Hundreds of Cases of Sickened Dogs, But Still No Recall on Chicken Jerky Treats

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There are now over 1,800 reports of dogs being sickened and even dying from chicken jerky treats made in China due to kidney failure. The FDA finally released their test results after msnbc.com reported that they were denied the requested information. Without confirmed contaminants, however, the FDA is unable to force a recall. There have been three federal warnings regarding possible safety issues since 2007 with the Chinese-made treats.

Kidney Failure and Even Death

Barbara Pierpont of Stewartstown, PA lost her 7-year-old shelter dog Honey to kidney failure in April, three weeks after starting to give her Waggin' Train jerky treats.  It was the only change in her diet. "Just because they haven't found something doesn't mean it isn't there," she said.

New Tests in Development

Spokeswoman Tamara Ward for the FDA says that they continue to be aware of and are concerned about the problem. New methods are being developed for testing for compounds in the jerky treats that could cause illness. It could take months to develop and validate the tests, however.

The main complaints center around Waggin Train and Canyon Creek Ranch treats which are produced by Nestle Purina, and Milos Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, produced by the Del Monte Corp. These products are typically sold at Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and Costco.

Distributors Taking Action

Many dog owners are frustrated that the makers and distributors of the treats have failed to recall the products voluntarily but one distributor, Costco, is launching their own investigation into the issue.

Craig Wilson, Costco's vice president of quality assurance and safety says that, as of yet, they have detected nothing that could explain the reports of illness in dogs. FDA officials and Costco representatives will travel later this fall to the Chinese plants that make the Costco treats. According to Wilson, Our testing program is very solid. We actually test these at a higher level than some human food.

This is a troubling situation for sure. While it makes sense to buy treats made in the USA, the news is full of recent recalls of American manufactured pet foods as well. But at least the process for rectifying those problems seems to be quicker. Some  people are creating their own dog treats in response. I wouldn't be surprised if new treat companies are launched in an effort to satisfy the market demands for healthy, wholesome treats.

Have any of our readers experienced trouble with chicken jerky treats?

For more information go to NBCNews.com.

Photo courtesy of Scot Campbell.

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Linda Wenger on July 25 at 12:17 PM said:

I've started making my own dehydrated sweet potato slices foor my fur babies. It's very difficult to find treats that are made in the US. They also gat baby carrots and green beans, all healthy and human consumption quality.
Christy on July 25 at 12:47 PM said:

My Daisy became extremely sick and after several vet visits and several medicines to try to find out what was wrong we finally realized it was her made in china chicken jerky treats!!! Her symptoms became almost immediately better once I stopped giving her the treats (canyon creek ranch chicken and duck jerky and waggin tails chicken jerky). My Daisy is only one of the many pets that have been affected by these treats...this is a video of some of the pets that are have been harmed by these treats! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmkEEJQyPUw&feature=youtu.be Thank-you for this post! I hope this helps others to know the dangers and helps keep our pets safe!
Amber on July 25 at 12:56 PM said:

Dog Food Advisor has an interesting theory: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-news/chinese-dog-treats-glycerin/ using a food dehydrator to make your own dog treats is awesome. we bought a dehydrator about a month ago to dry out the massive crop of figs my grandaprents get from their 2 trees this time every year, for use in "figgy pudding" (which, BTW, is delicious!) later this year. then i learned that you can make sweet potato jerky treats with a dehydrator too. it doesn't take very long, and you can even cut out fun shapes. and they smell AMAZING!! and apparently, sweet potato jerky treats from China may not be safe either: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/07/20/sweet-potato-dog-treats.aspx
Mary on July 25 at 1:08 PM said:

Thank you for the video. Heartbreaking. But it's time to put faces to the statistics.
Jo on July 25 at 2:14 PM said:

Boycott these companies. Our pets should never suffer. Wish Costco Nd the FDA would investigate NOW!
Pam on July 26 at 5:33 PM said:

Do you just slice up the sweet potato an how long do you Dehydrate them? Please let me know. Do u feed your animals raw carrots an green beans? Thanks so much for your time!
Pam on July 26 at 5:47 PM said:

I'm glad I found this, I give mine or should say use to chicken wraped yams, made in China!
Patrice on July 27 at 6:16 AM said:

Milo's Home Kitchen makes a Beef Sausage Slice with Rice treat that is made in the USA. The first ingredient is BEEF. It's the only one that I have found and is sold at Wal-Mart and the grocery store
What do you think?

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