The Food and Drug Administration is expanding its warning to pet owners who feed their pets chicken jerky products.
The FDA first issued a warning in September 2007. Since then it has received approximately 2,200 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to the consumption of the jerky treats. The majority of the complaints involve dogs, but cats also have been affected.
Over the past 18 months the reports have contained information on 360 canine deaths and one feline death. There does not appear to be a geographic pattern to the case reports. Cases have been reported from all 50 states and 6 Canadian provinces in the past 18 months.
So here’s what the FDA is recommending for all pet owners:
- Do not substitute chicken jerky products for a balanced diet. The products are intended to be used occasionally and in small quantities. Owners of small dogs must be especially careful to limit the amount of these products.
- If you choose to feed your dog chicken jerky products, watch the dog closely. Stop feeding the product if your dog shows any of the following signs, which may occur within hours to days after feeding the product:
- decreased appetite, although some dogs may continue to eat the treats instead of other foods
- decreased activity
- diarrhea, sometimes with blood
- increased water drinking or increased urination
- Call your veterinarian if signs are severe or last for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose).
You can go here to file a report.