Thousands of pets have been getting sick (and over 500 have died) since 2007 after eating jerky treats sold as strips or tenders. The treats are made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit and in combination of these ingredients. It appears the products affected were either made in China or contained ingredients originating in China (this is not necessarily apparent on the bag). Usually within hours or a couple days of ingestion, dogs or cats will begin to have severe gastrointestinal signs and sometimes kidney failure. The FDA has issued an update on the Safety Alert for Jerky Treats for Pets, beginning a more active investigation and calling for help from consumers and veterinarians in reporting the case if you think your dog or cat is ill as a result of eating these treats. As of right now, the toxic ingredient causing the illnesses is unknown.
What to watch for:
If your pet shows sudden signs of decreased appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, increased thirst or urination, especially shortly after eating jerky treats, please see your veterinarian immediately.
See the FDA’s website for more information including an FAQ Fact Sheet: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm360951.htm