What's poisoning our pets? It is not just jerky treats

2013-10-23 09:43

The FDA has issued a warning about toxic pet treats that is sickening dogs, some cats and have even been linked to some deaths, but from what exactly remains a mystery.

Since 2007 580 pets have died. Jerky treats may have sickened 3,600 dogs and 10 cats. The specific treats in question are jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit.

Symptoms of jerky treat poisoning to watch for

Within hours of eating the treats pets become lethargic. Other symptoms include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea that is sometimes bloody and lack of appetite. The mysterious illness affects the gastrointestinal tract in 60 percent of cases. The most severe illness linked to jerky treats are kidney failure, a rare type of kidney disease known as Fanconi syndrome, pancreatitis and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract.

In response to reports the U.S. FDA has issued letters to veterinarians across the country asking for help tracking down the exact source of the poisonings.

What pet owners should know

  • If your dog or cat becomes sick after eating any treat, stop giving it
  • Take the treat to your veterinarian in a sealed back for analysis
  • Have your animal checked as soon as possible. Your veterinarian may ask for blood and stool samples.
  • Call the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your State and give details
  • Hold on to the original container of treats that made your pet sick for 60 days in case the FA asks for testing
  • Put the container in a sealable bag
  • Report problems to
  • Contact the pet food company to alert them to the problem
  • Don't give your pet treats. The FDA reminds us they're not part of a balanced diet.

"This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we've encountered," veterinarian Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.

Since 2011 more than 1200 jerky treat samples have been tested by the FDA but there are still no answers.


Subscribe to EmaxHealth on YouTube


My dog has been sick by taking Cadet Duck Breast treats
Oh no Shawn. Is your dog going to be okay and has been seen by a veterinarian? We love our animals so much.
I am interested in weather or not KINGDOM PETS duck and sweetpotato is OK or not. The company says it's safe but I just want verification. Thanks
I don't know Gwen. I don't feed mine treats anymore; especially from China. They were recalled last year. Once is enough for me.
our outside labadoodle got really sick and our inside Morkie did not make it .. just bought a new bag of benifill a week before...
David I am so sorry. I had been giving my own dog Beneful when I started seeing online discussions and listened to the interview above. Thank you for sharing to help others. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. Our pets are family too.