FDA Cautions Pet Owners About Chicken Jerky Products For Dogs

In an alert dated today, the FDA is warning consumers about chicken jerky products for dogs:

The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning consumers of a potential association between development of illness in dogs and the consumption of chicken jerky products also described as chicken tenders, strips or treats. FDA has received more than 70 complaints involving more than 95 dogs that experienced illness that their owners associated with consumption of chicken jerky products.

To date, FDA has not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky.

FDA has also received preliminary information from Banfield, The Pet Hospital which suggests an association between exposure to the chicken jerky products and signs of gastrointestinal illness (vomiting, diarrhea and bloody diarrhea).

Dogs that have become ill, typically show the following signs: decreased food consumption, although some may continue to consume the treats to the exclusion of other foods; decreased activity or lethargy; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; and increased water consumption and/or increased urination. Some or all of these signs may be present in any individual. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.

FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch the dogs closely for any signs of decreased appetite, decreased activity, increased water consumption, increased urination, vomiting and/or diarrhea; and, if the dog shows any of these signs, to discontinue feeding the chicken jerky product. The signs of illness may occur within hours to days of feeding the product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours.

Chicken treat products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be used occasionally in small quantities.

The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem. Consumers who wish to report animal illness, please see http://www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html for contact information on the FDA complaint coordinator in their state.

Source: FDA

(Thanks menusux)

46 Responses to “FDA Cautions Pet Owners About Chicken Jerky Products For Dogs”

  1. Mrs. P. says:

    And are the stores going to post this warning in the pet treats aisle?

  2. Bridgett says:

    My little Daisy just loves the rawhide with chicken jerky twisted in it. Fortunately, she hasn’t eaten any in the last couple of weeks because she is on a diet now. I have cut out all treats until her weight is down.

    So this alert applies to all chicken jerky products not just a specific brand or dates? Interesting. It is problem common to all chicken products turned into jerky.

    Does anyone know where the chicken comes from?

    I am going to out on the limb and say it is scraps from rendering plants. okay, yuck, can’t believe I was giving this stuff to my Daisy. I should be taken out an beaten for that. Sorry Daisy!!!!

    Time to buy a dehydrator.

  3. straybaby says:


    seems to be a problem with the ones from china, which seems to be most of the easily available ones . . .

  4. chris says:

    The FDA and the Indiana State Chemist’s Office both tested the Chicken Jerky Strips separately and said they found no traces of melamine in the products.

    Did the FDA not test for CA or acetaminophen? HELLO!!! One would think that this warning would have been issed long ago.

  5. nthstarr1 says:

    Where is the offical FDA alert on this? Anybody have a link? I looked but can not find it. Thank you+

  6. Bridgett says:


    I should have known that by now. I am sure most of it comes from China.

    When is our government going to get a clue?

  7. menusux says:

    nthstarr1 says:

    September 26th, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    “Where is the offical FDA alert on this? Anybody have a link? I looked but can not find it. Thank you+”


    You’re welcome :-)

  8. Debra says:

    Even the smallest piece of chicken jerky results in diarrhea for Jelly. Some of my friends still give them to their dogs but I think they are crazy.

  9. Cathy says:

    What BRANDS? Again, do we have to guess - or are they ALL bad? This was one of the only things that my dog would eat before he died. Great - he wasn’t sick enough from the food - the treats had to help kill him.

  10. Bridgett says:

    Cathy, if they aren’t naming brands, I would stay away from all of it until we know for sure. Not worth the risk.

  11. highnote says:

    I find it strange that they do not mention any brands on the FDA sight. I am sure these people called in and told them the brands they had used.
    Since the FDA has done some tests and cannot find what the tainted product is then I guess they feel they should not provide product information that people had complaints about!
    Isn’t that just like them! They must protect the company first till they find the exact cause and the heck with the animals that may get ill.
    What makes me angry is who is going to here about this problem? Wal Mart keeping them on their shelf? Is it going to be told on TV? Doubt it!
    If consumers do not have a way of checking on the FDA sight then they will have no idea what they are feeding their pets could kill them or make them ill!
    Everyone does not have a computer!

  12. straybaby says:

    “Everyone does not have a computer!”

    I know lot’s of pet people WITH computers that won’t hear about this unless the FDA steps up and REALLY makes it public. Many people don’t (nor should they have to!) live by the FDA recalls and warnings on a daily basis. this should be on local media so people can make an INFORMED! choice.

    how many people do you know (that you haven’t alerted *grin*), know of the mystery kibble that sparked the FDA safe pet food handling memo?

  13. 5CatMom says:

    What ingredients are used in these treats?

    Maybe the FDA should take a look at the palatability enhancers. These could have been applied in excessive amounts, or the wrong grade of chemical used, or a tainted chemical used.

    One palatability enhancer that is used in some food/treats is tetrapotassium pyrophospate. In humans, exposure may cause kidney damage, skin, eye, respiratory tract irritation, gastrointestinal irritation with
    nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

    Time to start thinking beyond melamine.

  14. Pukanuba says:

    How about the chicken they use to begin with (or whatever “white meat” this happens to be)? If this is chicken from China, they are probably diseased chickens that they certainly couldn’t waste…..so they decided to use them up on pet treats & send them to the dummies in the US……they’ll take anything…..

    I have looked at just about every pet treat in pet stores, discount stores, etc. At least 99% of all the treats….chicken, rawhide, pork rolls…..all from China. Yuk.

    I can’t believe they aren’t finding anything or what they found is something they don’t want to go public with…..as in sick birds.,…God forbid they should blacken any more eyes when it comes to their buds, the Chinese manufacturers. Keeping info from the public is not anything new.

  15. Katie says:

    I have never fed these treats to my dogs. But, I can’t help wondering why it is taking so long for them to figure out the problem! Pukanuba, I agree with you - sick birds…. or what they did to disguise the problem. Seems to me the FDA should have named the brands, there should have been mention of it on TV or in newspapers. And, leaves one wondering what happens if a small child gets a hold of one of these treats.

    Guess it’s the same old story - don’t get China angry at us. I am avoiding Made in China products, for me and my animals.


  16. Anonymous says:

    “5CatMom says:
    One palatability enhancer that is used in some food/treats is tetrapotassium pyrophospate. In humans, exposure may cause kidney damage, skin, eye, respiratory tract irritation, gastrointestinal irritation with
    nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.”

    The scary thing about this additive is that it is used in many people products such as toothpaste (acts as a whitening agent). If this additive is one of the problems in the pet treats then the government will be in no hurry to identify it since it will lead into other manufacturing areas. IMHO they do not want to step on any of the “big boys’ toes”

    Lots of products contain this ingredient:


    Any problem with this ingredient affects almost all toothpaste manufacturers.

  17. Anonymous says:

    More on tetrapotassium pyrophosphate :


    Tetrasodium and/or tetrapotassium pyrophosphate (Ppi) is the anticalculus component of most tartar control dentifrices on the market today. While pyrophosphates alone are not responsible for hypersensitivity reactions, several modifications which may lead to adverse oral manifestations may occur when pyrophosphates are added to a dentifrice. First, tetrasodium pyrophosphate in a dentifrice forms a slightly alkaline solution upon oral use which could irritate oral membranes. Second, increased concentrations of flavoring agents, known to be sensitizers, are needed to mask the strong bitter taste of pyrophosphates. Third, increased concentrations of detergents, capable of producing hypersensitivity reactions, are necessary to allow the pyrophosphates to become soluble in the dentifrice. Fourth, a pre-existing condition of reduced salivary flow may augment hypersensitivity to tartar control toothpastes. While pyrophosphates have been approved as additives in dentifrices, these compounds along with the increased concentrations of flavorings and detergents and their higher intraoral alkalinity are strongly implicated as the causative factor in certain hypersensitivity reactions.


    The strange thing is that this ingredient is supposedly used in pet food to enhance palatability, yet the study above says ” … increased concentrations of flavoring agents, known to be sensitizers, are needed to mask the strong bitter taste of pyrophosphates.”

    Very interesting…

  18. 5CatMom says:


    Yes, like many chemicals, tetrapotassium pyrophospate (TKPP) has many uses from human food additives, fertilizer, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, pet food palatants.

    It’s available as food grade or technical grade. Higher levels of contaminates such as arsenic and lead are allowed in technical grade TKPP.

    Every chemical that is added to pet food/treats brings with it the opportunity for human error and a new source of contamination.

    We know that Menu couldn’t tell the difference between wheat flour and wheat gluten. Not sure how a pet treat maker could tell the difference between different grades of a chemical.

  19. Anonymous says:

    5CatMom says:

    Every chemical that is added to pet food/treats brings with it the opportunity for human error and a new source of contamination.

    I so totally agree. The problem is that many of these chemicals have already been shown to be hazardous , toxic or carcinogenic. They may be “acceptable” in small quatities, but when you add 10-20 or more chemicals in a single item together, the end result IMHO is likely to be a toxic cocktail. Pet food already starts off with substandard ingredients and then has multitudes of synthetic vitamins and chemicals added to it. Besides the lack of care at “some” of the manufacturers does anyone really know what the cummulative effects of all this garbage is??

  20. A Concern Pet Owner says:

    They need to take DINGO OFF THE SHELVES.they come from CHINA!!!!!

  21. 5CatMom says:

    Apparently, urine can be tested for arsenic and blood can be tested for lead.

    If your dog has been affected by these treats, you might want to talk to your vet about running these tests.

    Just a thought, as I don’t believe we’ll live long enough for the FDA to get to the bottom of this.

  22. Concha Castaneda says:

    Hey maybe someone at that big animal hospital will tell us what name brand “treats” are involved. For Walmarts sake…they better hope it is not the Bestro ones returned to the shelves. It is probably all of them. I agree we should not buy any of the Chicken Jerky for our pets and probably not any jerky from China…even human!

  23. Skittles says:

    Durbin Food Safety Proposal Goes To President For Signature

    Thursday, September 20, 2007


    DeLauro Statement at Ag, FDA Appropriations Subcommittee

    Oversight Hearing on Food Import Safety


  24. Skittles says:

    H.R. 3610, The Food and Drug Import Safety Act

    Watch the webcast here:


  25. Jenny Bark says:

    You might want to watch Anderson Cooper tonight. 2 % of all durgs are NOT FDA aproved even doctors & drug stores didn’t even know. I think the FDA knows what ingredients & ingredients are causing all the problems. Imo Anonymous is right it is in human products and they don’t want the lid blown off. We just eat different things & are a lot bigger. Do you notice that they arn’t saying anything about the fish from China & the long term effects anymore? The not FDA aproved drugs has been going on since the 60’s.

  26. straybaby says:


    i’m just watching it!! OMG!!! why the F*** didn’t they arrest the guy(s) that were producing and selling unapproved drugs?! that can’t be legal . . . it’s just INSANE out there!!

  27. straybaby says:

    OMG! they have been treating this drug thing JUST like how they handle the pet food recall. they won’t tell the drugs, etc, etc, etc . . .

    i’m stunned. and i really shouldn’t be at this point! damn, now i need to check with my mom on all her and dad’s meds . . . this just makes my head spin. especially with the possible side effects of what they take.

    can we just throw the fda in jail for gross negligence, call it a day and start over from scratch?

  28. A Concern Pet Owner says:

    bottom line they don’t give a flying fig about us or our pets

  29. nora says:

    Had a conversation with a dog owner at the local dog park today in Des Moines, Iowa. He was feeding his Mixed breed medium sized female dog the Chicken Jerky treats from his local Wal-Mart and she had those symptoms of early kidney failure and her breath was so bad he said you could smell it 5 feet away…another symptom of kidney failure. Fortunately he was made aware of the dog treats issue and stopped feeding them after 3 days and tossed them in the garbage. Walmart is still selling all that sht!!!!!! This is never going end. Only way to avoid the poison is to NOT BUY IT. ALL OF THEM ARE BAD, so stop asking which brand? Which brand?

  30. Skittles says:

    FDA Approved Drugs


  31. Jenny Bark says:

    You bet this is sick. The FDA hasn’t worked for us for a long time & they keep getting away with it. So far i’m on 3 drugs that arn’t aproved. I was taking quine until last month when they stopped it. Nobody would tell me why. I have been really sick for the last 3 years, yesterday I couldn’t get off the floor for 1&1/2 hours because of pain & my hips. Lost 3″ in height, last time checked 100 lbs, skin hanging,heart problems & more. Getting another operation tuesday to see if they can figure out what is wrong. Had one 6 months ago, they didn’t find anything, but still bleeding. The doctors just keep giving me more & more drugs. After tuesday i’m done with them all but my heart doctor. I was always very strong & still have a love affair with food. I’m beginning to believe they are doing me in with drugs.

  32. Skittles says:

    And another


  33. Jenny Bark says:

    Skittles I can’t believe that list but yet I do. I’ve been taking Evista for at least 5 years & that link says it has been just aproved Sept. 2007. I have not yet been able to find the Fartao (sp) shots I been giving myself for the last 2 years. I bet it hasn’t been aproved, you can bet i’ll find out tomorow.

    Sorry i spelled Quinine wrong in the other post.

  34. Don Earl says:

    I wonder what would happen if food with “acceptable” level of lead and other heavy metals were irradiated to kill germs?

    Table of radiation poisoning symptoms on Wiki:


  35. Donna says:

    Bake and dehydrate your own organic turkey and chicken treats. Nothing is worth the risk of killing or harming our pets. I no longer “trust” any authority,when a dollar can be made. Boycott chinese products.

  36. menusux says:

    While we didn’t get any brand names, AVMA appears to have given us an important clue in their September 14 press release:


    “The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats MANUFACTURED IN CHINA have been making pets sick.”

    They repeated it in their September 17 press release:


    Jerky treats FROM CHINA could be causing illness in pets

    “The AVMA staff has been in communication with veterinarians who believe certain brands of jerky treats FROM CHINA could be causing illness in pets.”

    ACVIM echoes this:


    “While a list of brand/product names of affected treats is not yet available, the AVMA has learned that ALL complaints have involved jerky treats FROM CHINA.”

    No matter what BS is being pumped out by various brands, NONE of them can say that their Chinese-made jerky treat IS NOT part of those being investigated.


    “AVMA Press Release Misleads Some into Thinking it Refers to WT”

    They’ve attempted to take the quote from the AVMA September 14, 2007 press release and claim that AVMA couldn’t possibly mean their brand:

    “This is terrible, but at the same time we want pet owners to know that W T is not one of those brands.”

    And then there’s a claim that the treats were tested by FDA September 12, 2007-with a supposed clean record.

    No authority has gone on record stating WT was NOT part of those treats under investigation. FDA made an announcement September 26, 2007 regarding jerky treats and illness–there’s nothing there exempting WT:


    They’ve FINALLY acknowledged there have been complaints about WT, but look at how they’re trying to get around the issue:


    “Is chicken jerky the issue or feeding too much the problem?

    “Most of the complaints that have been reported to ADI are from dog owners who have far exceeded the acceptable norm of treat feeding, generally considered only 5% of the dogs’ daily intake.”

    They have more addresses than a vagabond–in Nevada, California, and South Carolina.

    The blog directs e-mail to an ADIPet address,


    The website to a GMail one:


    How to contact the CN & WT Tag Team:


    You’ll also note that the WT blog is closed to outside comments–only WT and the ChemNutra Tag Team Damage Control/Crisis Management Twins Stern and Bernstein are able to post there.

    If there’s nothing wrong, why the need to hire the ChemNutra Kids when a simple, truthful, press release would have been a LOT less expensive? And if all’s as well as WT maintains it is, why have a blog which is identical to the one they started for CN in the respect that it was also CLOSED to outside comments. And why the need to try to say that the 75,000+ members of the AVMA were mistaken in their September 14 press release ?

    “The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats MANUFACTURED IN CHINA have been making pets sick.”

    We have a thread re: Chinese Jerky on Itchmo Forums which has a lot of information and links to what others elsewhere have been saying about WT and other made in China brands. Unlike the WT blog, it’s OPEN for comments:


  37. purringfur says:

    “To date, FDA has not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA has conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified any contaminant.”

    Look to heavy metal poisoning, one of the three causes of Acquired Fanconi Syndrome-like symptoms that vets are seeing in the sick animals.

    Did you get through the testing of the list of heavy metals yet? And be SURE TO REPORT your findings.

    On his new site, Don Earl is asking for people with samples of chicken jerky (that have made their pets sick/dead) to be tested.

    Don’s other site: Pet Food Products Safety Alliance:

    It also looks as though Don could use some members or donations, if anyone wants to help out to find the answers. (I am not one of the people involved in his site… just mentioning it.)

    The FDA looked to Banfield for numbers of pet deaths & illnesses back in March or April, but when Banfield estimated 39,000 dead, the FDA did not want to repeat those numbers. The FDA looked to Banfield before for information and should look to them again and pull the products from the shelves!

    We know the pet food is poisoned and well as our human food, so OUT WITH IT, FDA. You can’t look any more incompetent than you already do for not being able to or WANTING to protect the public, over the interests of big business.

    Tell us what poisons, heavy metals, and discarded drugs (possibly even radiological substances) are in our foods. We WANT to know what we are going to die of because we sure are heading in that direction under your watchful eye!

    JENNY BARK: I saw Anderson Cooper 360 last night about the UNAPPROVED DRUGS that are in the market. I was ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED that drugs DO NOT have to go through trials before they are sold to pharmacies.

    This revelation should have the entire country rioting. Literally! There’s a huge population of baby boomers and more coming up, many from the protest era, so maybe we’ll get some action on this. Fire off your emails to the media that you want more coverage!

    I always knew that the drug trials were often self-sponsored, hence a conflict of interest in reporting results and that there was pressure on the FDA scientists to push through products despite their safety or lack of, but I NEVER CONCEIVED that the drugs could just be sold without any kind of trials, biased or not! What kind of country do we live in??????

    See the Union of Concerned Scientists site for the survey of FDA scientists and how they were pressured by superiors to slant their findings or not report certain findings about products. Absolutely disgusting!



    Even doctors and pharmacists THOUGHT/ASSUMED the drugs they prescribed and sold WERE APPROVED BY THE FDA.

    Did you hear the female representative from the FDA? She said the FDA knows MOST of the drugs that have never been approved, but not all.


    This FDA person proved once again THAT THE FDA WORKS FOR PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES (and big agri-business) and does NOT have as its first priority HUMAN SAFETY! That should be grounds to fire the whole agency right there!

    DISSOLVE THE FDA IMMEDIATELY. These people are puppets of big business. Health and welfare are of little importance.


    The more corruption, loopholes, bias, and deceit I hear about that only serve to line the pockets of the weatlthy, the sicker I become and wonder how in the world we can call the USA the greatest country in the world. No, I’m not concerned about a political enemy attacking us. I’m concerned about our own government killing me off!

    Maybe some of those “survivalist” groups that take to the hills and subsist through their own means knew something years ago!

  38. purringfur says:

    601,000 MORE RECALLED ITEMS from Wed., Sept. 26, 2007: MSN.com

    Odd that Walmart isn’t listed here.

    RC2 Corp: Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway products (5 more items added)

    RC2 Corp.’s “Knights of the Sword” series toys and some of its Thomas and Friends items - sold at specialty toy stores

    floor puppet theaters - by Guidecraft - sold via catalog, toy stores, gift shops, & web site

    gardening rakes for children - sold at JoAnn Fabric stores

    TOBY N.Y.C. jewelry for children - sold at T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, A.J. Wright, Cracker Barrel and Shopko stores

    Happy Giddy garden tools - sold at Target

    Rhode Island Novelty - spinning wheel necklaces - sold nation-wide

    Sunny Patch chairs - sold at Target


  39. Louie W. says:

    How about the poison blanket recall in Australia and New Zealand.

    August 22, 2007 - Sidney Morning Herald:

    “Chinese-made blankets found to contain high levels of formaldehyde have been recalled across Australia and New Zealand, the distributor said today, amid rising global concerns about the safety of Chinese products.”


  40. 5CatMom says:

    Here’s a vet who was way ahead of the curve in 1984:

    Chronic Heavy Metal Poisoning - Silent Killer in Pets
    by Gloria Dodd, D.V.M.


  41. purringfur says:

    Louie W.:

    And don’t forget the “wrinkle-resistant” clothing with the formaldehyde in.

    “Alert for Poison in Clothes from China”

    “…long-term exposure to high levels can be harmful, causing problems ranging from minor skin rashes to some types of cancer.

    Tests discovered formaldehyde concentrations up to 900 times above the safety limit in children’s and adults’ woollen and cotton clothes from China.”

    We can’t eat (poisoned food), sleep (poisoned blankets), brush our teeth (anti-freeze component), get dressed (formaldehyde), or put on jewelry (lead)without being poisoned.

    With the ACCUMULATION FACTOR at work here, it’s a wonder we’re still walking around. Give the accumulation of poisons time though…


  42. Jenny Bark says:

    Purringfur, I agree with everything you said. I didn’t post for a long time but when I did I said we should march. Nobody was interested. Protesting, especially around election time really helps. They seem to need to see human people. If the media does say something most people don’t read newspapers or watch most news programs, too busy trying to put food on the table & a roof on their house.

    I think all of the FDA & maybe USDA should be replaced because I don’t think they will change. They have had the same mind set for too long. Read Skittles post at 12:27 they are already approving drugs that have been around a long time. They stopped quinine & gave no reason (don’t know how many others) other than to say they are no longer making it. They are now giving restless leg meds even thou people where taking quinine because of terrible leg cramps that would go on for hours & hours does that make any sense? Two completly different problems.

    Imo if pet food, human food & lead in toys & baby bibs didn’t bring the people out nothing will until it’s too late. Imo the worst is still going to happen, long term affects. I pray I as wrong as can be but I think too many people think some one else will fix the problems. I really want to be wrong.


  43. Jenny Bark says:

    THANKS to all of you for the links.

  44. Skittles says:

    Unrelated but important:

    September 27, 2007
    Release #07-315

    Kolcraft Recalls Play Yards After the Death of a 10-Month-Old Child


  45. Jackie says:

    It has been determined that the problem with the chicken jerky strips is a mold spor not melamine as originally thought. This according to our local veterinarian and our states’ FDA representative. Unfortunately I have first hand knowledge of this tragady. Should the diagnosis change or more news becomes available I will update my information.

  46. 5CatMom says:


    Do you have the name of the mold/mold spore?

E-mail It