Dogs and their owners have been in for a shock for about a year, now, on account of a terrifying string of deaths, illnesses, and injuries relating to the recall of three major brand's jerky treats for dogs. Though the treats suspected of causing the harm to pets span across multiple brands, they hold one thing in common; all were chicken-flavored treats manufactured in China.
The ill effects have affected dogs for the most part, but cats have also been reported in the numbers of hurt pets. Pet owners reported Kidney and gastrointestinal problems in their pets after they ate chicken-flavored treats. Nearly 600 dogs have died as a result of poisoning and illness associated with the treats, and nearly 3,600 have been reported as sick.
The FDA has been stumped by this unfortunate outbreak since its beginning over a year ago. At that time, the FDA released an announcement to the public, urging caution when selecting treats, and asking owners to record serial numbers of treats that seemed to cause illnesses. The FDA did not name names when it announced its recall, but since the beginning of the incident, the top three brands associated with the outbreak of illnesses were Nestle Purina PetCare Co.’s Waggin’ Train, Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders, and the Del Monte Corp.’s Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats. Waggin' Tail went on to release a voluntary recall, as was announced on their website.
Martine Hartogensis, a deputy director for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, was quoted as saying, “To date, testing for contaminants in jerky treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses. Despite these warnings, we have continued to receive reports of illnesses in both cats and dogs.” Initially, antibiotic residue was the prime suspect as the source of the poisonings, but has not been officially linked to the deaths and illnesses.
There is some good news among all the bad, however. Deaths and sickness associated with the tainted jerky treats have been on the decline since the beginning of the year. This is probably due to the voluntary recalls by companies such as Nestle Purina, resulting in fewer tainted goods on the market. Hopefully, the FDA will be able to uncover the true reason for all the sickness and death, and the problem can be put to rest. In the meantime, caution is urged by both the FDA and this writer; stay away from those chicken jerky treats for your fuzzy buddy, and opt for something else, if you can![Image courtesy of Waggin' Train's official Facebook page.]