ALERT: Vets warn of new treats from China poisoning dogs
Despite repeated warnings issued by the FDA, veterinarians are reporting new cases of dogs developing symptoms of kidney failure (Fanconi’s syndrome) similar to dogs who have been poisoned by Chinese-made chicken jerky treats, but this time they are being poisoned with a whole new class of treats: sweet potato treats imported from China.
The brands veterinarians say are associated with the new cases of unexplained acute kidney failure are Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good Dog Treats (Nestle-Purina), Beefeaters Sweet Potato Treats (16 types of yam-related treats), Drs. Foster and Smith (exact item not specified in the report) and Dogswell Veggie Life Vitality (4 types of Veggie Life brands).
It is important to remember that although the type of treat most often mentioned in the press is described as a jerky treat, the treats may also be called by a myriad of other names such as stix, chips, poppers, tenders, drumettes, kabob’s, strips, fries, lollipops, twists, wraps, bars, tops and discs (I wish I was making this up).
In 2010 the FDA issued an Import Refusal Report and later issued an Import Alert for sweet potato dog treats imported from a company in China (whose main business is, oddly, in rubber and plastic raw materials) were contaminated with a highly toxic pesticide known as Phorate.
Phorate is an extremely toxic organophosphorus compound and is among the most poisonous chemicals commonly used for pest control. It is used in agriculture as a pesticide and Phorate is identified byPesticide Action Network (PAN) and Californians for Pesticide Reform (CPR) as one of the “most toxic” set of pesticides known (aka a Bad Actor) in the world.
Although Phorate is known primarily as a neurotoxin and not classified as a nephrotoxin and therefore unlikely to cause acute renal failure in dogs, its presence in any food item is a disturbing indication that treats of any kind imported from China could pose a risk to the health and safety of pets and to the consumers handling them.
Sweet Potato Treats from China Causing Kidney Failure?
On the Veterinary Information Network, several veterinarians have reported cases where dogs have developed symptoms of kidney failure (Fanconi’s syndrome) similar to dogs who have been poisoned by Chinese-made chicken jerky treats.
So far, the brands implicated are all made in China:
- Beefeaters Sweet Potato Snacks for Dogs
- Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good Dog Treats (FDA has issued a warning on this product)
- Drs. Foster and Smith (exact item not specified in the report)
- Dogswell Veggie Life Vitality
There was also speculation that the problem may also extend to pork products (pig ears) and cat treats made in China. Australian veterinarians have reported similar symptoms from chicken jerky treats, as well as several cases associated with “Veggie Dents,” a dog treat made in Vietnam by Virbac, an American company. Virbac recalled one batch of Veggie Dents in Australia in 2009.
The FDA still claims that there is no pending recall of Chinese-made pet treats, even though it has repeatedly issued warnings about the problems associated with chicken jerky treats since 2007.
Symptoms of Fanconi’s syndrome include:
- Increased drinking and urinating
- “Accidents” in the house
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Blood and urine tests show azotemia (high BUN and Creatinine), dilute urine, and glucose in the urine (that isn’t diabetes).
Most affected dogs have recovered over time with good supportive care.
We strongly recommend that you check the source of all cat or dog treats you may have purchased, and do not give them to your pet if they were made in China. It would be best to avoid any pet food or treat products made in China, and probably a good idea to avoid all dried animal parts, because they are not heated to a temperature that will kill pathogenic bacteria.
Phorate EXTOXNET (Cornell)
FDA inspectors are investigating jerky treat production facilities in China (poisonedpets.com)
Secret FDA document reveals test results of chicken jerky treats (poisonedpets.com)
U.S. Senator Brown Presses the FDA Over Inadequate Response to Tainted Chicken Jerky Inquiry (poisonedpets.com)
More dogs die as poisonous jerky treats remain on store shelves (poisonedpets.com)
Congressional Leaders Demand FDA Action to Protect Dogs from Poisonous Jerky Treats (poisonedpets.com)
Chicken Jerky Pet Treat Alert (poisonedpets.com)
Update: Thaxton family nightmare after dogs poisoned by jerky treats continues (poisonedpets.com)
A grieving family wants chicken jerky dog treats to be taken off the market.
More information available at http://PoisonedPets.com