BaxterBoo Blog
October 27, 2013

The FDA Needs Help Tracking Down Mysterious Illness Related to Dog Treats

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Federal health officials are urging caution with feeding pets jerky treats from China as the tally of dogs sickened has risen to more than 3,600 dogs with approximately 580 of those dying. Ten cats have also been affected.

The cases have included dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes.

A mysterious case and a plea for consumers' help

Since the source of the contaminants are yet to be determined, the FDA has not had the legal grounds to pull these products from the shelves. These include chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky treats made in China. Many retailers have voluntarily removed the products. has been exceedingly careful about screening their suppliers and offers many healthy alternatives.

Now the Food and Drug Administration officials are seeking extra help from veterinarians and pet owners in solving the ongoing mystery. “To date, testing for contaminants in jerky treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses,” Martine Hartogensis, a director for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in the new report released on Tuesday. “Despite these warnings, we have continued to receive reports of illnesses in both cats and dogs.”

The rate at which the illnesses are being reported seems to be declining after the FDA issued warnings earlier this year; however, ”This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” according to Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it.”

Symptoms to look for

Within hours of eating the treats, reported symptoms include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased activity, increased water consumption and increased urination. Severe cases have involved kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding, according to the FDA report.

Should your pet show similar symptoms after ingesting treats, the agency urges dog owners to consult a veterinarian immediately. Any remaining treats and packaging should be retained for possible testing.

“Our fervent hope as animal lovers is that we will soon find the cause of—and put a stop to—these illnesses,” Dunham said.

Made-in-USA treats

Though the public has been solicited for help in this matter, our opinion is that we'd rather not have our beloved pets be guinea pigs. May we suggest some healthy home-grown treats instead?

Jones Natural Chews Co.

Jones Natural Chews Co., from Rockford, Illinois, has always been very proud to have the American flag on all of their products. All of JNC's products are 100% grown and made in the USA. A third party audit by "USA Made" has certified all of their products with their very own number on it.

They have a very strict HACCP (Hazard Analytical Critical Control Point) plan in place. Stringent cleanliness guidelines, product testing (in their in-house lab along with outside laboratories), and product lot code and tracking, are just a few things the HACCP plan covers. 

Plus, their treats are just plain good and long lasting! 

Jones Beef knee caps

But don't just take our word for it. According to Lisa, from Needham Heights, MA: "This all natural knee cap bone is a real treat and keeps Sayde busy for hours."  

Jones Natural Chews Co. is just one of several U.S. companies that offers plenty of healthy, wholesome goodness for your pets. We'll be highlighting other companies in future articles to help you decide what's best for you and your pet.

Can't wait? Shop for all of our made-in-USA treats now!

Has your pet become ill after eating treats?

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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