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Symptoms Of Affected Dogs From Jerky Treats Compared To Fanconi Syndrome
Veterinarians warn of China-made jerky treats
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By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
Veterinary organizations are warning dog owners that their pets could be at risk of illness from some jerky treats made in China.
Six months ago, tainted pet food made from Chinese ingredients sickened and killed dogs and cats and led to a massive recall.
In the last few weeks, dog owners and veterinarians have noticed cases of dogs becoming sick after eating Chinese-made jerky treats. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. No deaths have been reported.
The number of reported cases is low, but the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine are all tracking the problem.
The AVMA has posted an alert on its website. It hopes to gather information quickly from members on whether there is a problem, and if so, how large it is, spokeswoman Sharon Granskog said.
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Affected dogs show maladies that a typical clinic might see just once or twice a year, said Richard Goldstein, a veterinary kidney specialist and professor at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine. He described them as "Fanconi-like syndrome" symptoms. Fanconi's syndrome is an inherited disease that affects the kidney's ability to function.
But suddenly, veterinarians have seen "three in one week," Goldstein said. The contamination appears to be causing damage to a specific area of the animal's kidneys, based on tests of affected dogs, he said.
The AVMA is advising owners to "use their best judgment." Only non-brand-name jerky treats from China have been implicated.
The Food and Drug Administration is aware of consumer complaints related specifically to chicken jerky treats and is actively investigating the matter, spokesman Michael Herndon said. The agency is testing numerous samples of jerky treats for pets for chemical and microbiological contaminants, including melamine, the industrial chemical that led to the pet-food recall earlier this year. Thus far, it has not detected any contaminants.
No other types of pet treats have been implicated. No list of brand or product names of the affected treats is currently available. The Pet Food Institute, an industry organization, is not aware of any problems with pet treats, spokesman Kurt Gallagher said.