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Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital : Dog and Cat Health Alert – Jerky Pet Treats


Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital : Dog and Cat Health Alert – Jerky Pet Treats
October 24, 2013 @ 02:31 PM — by Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital

The FDA has issued a warning asking consumers and veterinarians to be on the lookout for illnesses caused by jerky pet treats.  Over 3600 dogs and 10 cats to date have reportedly become ill from eating jerky pet treats made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit, and combinations of these ingredients, mostly made in China.  To date, the FDA has not been able to identify the cause of the illness, but the correlation between eating the treats and the number of illnesses has warranted the investigation, and they are asking for veterinarians and consumers to report any suspected cases.

Since treats are not a necessary part of a pet’s diet, the FDA and the American Veterinary Medical Association commented that eliminating them will not harm pets.  Since the veterinarians at the Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital are uncertain at this time what the outcome of this investigation will be and your pet’s safety is our first concern, we also recommend eliminating jerky treats from unknown origins from your pet’s diet.   We have confirmation from Hill’s Pet Nutrition that the ingredients in the Science Diet Jerky Snacks that we carry in our hospital are completely made in the USA, and that their product has not been named in the reported complaints.

Most pets who have been affected with illness have had symptoms within hours to days of eating the products.  Symptoms include decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucous), increased water consumption and/or increased urination.  Severe cases are diagnosed with pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure or the resemblance of a rare kidney related illness called Fanconi syndrome.  Many have recovered from the illness, but the FDA has reports of more than 580 deaths.

If you think your pet has contracted any illness due to the treats, you can help the FDA’s investigation by reporting complaints through the Safety Reporting Portal:

You can also contact the pet food/treats company and alert them about your pet’s illness (see packaging information).

For more information:



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