Jerky Pet Treats
Since 2007, FDA has received reports of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of jerky pet treats. As of May 1, 2014, FDA has received approximately 4,800 reports of pet illnesses which may be related to consumption of the jerky treats. These include about 1,800 reports received since FDA’s last update in October 2013. The reports involve more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, three humans, and include more than 1,000 canine deaths.
What we are doing
FDA is working with laboratories across the country to investigate causes of these illnesses. To date, testing for contaminants in jerky pet treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses.
We have tested for:
- Metals or Elements (such as arsenic, cadmium and lead, etc.)
- Markers of irradiation level (such as acyclobutanones).
- Antibiotics (including both approved and unapproved sulfanomides and tetracyclines)
- Antivirals (including amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and others)
- Mold and mycotoxins (toxins from mold)
- Nephrotoxins (such as aristolochic acid, maleic acid, paraquat, ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, toxic hydrocarbons, melamine, and related triazines)
- Other chemicals and poisonous compounds (such as endotoxins).
Testing has also included measuring the nutritional composition of jerky pet treats to verify that they contain the ingredients listed on the label and do not contain ingredients that are not listed on the label. Another area of investigation includes the effects of irradiation and its byproducts.
FDA has also had the opportunity to perform necropsies (post-mortem examinations) on dogs suspected of having jerky pet treat-associated illness. We have completed 26 of these as of May 1, 2014. In half the cases, dogs displayed evidence of other diseases, such as widespread cancer, Cushing’s disease, abscess or internal bleeding secondary to trauma. In the remaining 13 dogs, jerky pet treats could not be ruled out as contributing to the illness.
What consumers can do
Watch your pet closely. Signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the jerky treat products are decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and/or increased urination. Severe cases are diagnosed with pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure or the resemblance of a rare kidney related illness called Fanconi syndrome (or “Fanconi-like syndrome”).
If your pet has experienced signs of illness, please report it to FDA. Once a consumer has filed a report with their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator, or electronically through our safety reporting portal, FDA will determine whether there is a need to conduct a follow-up phone call or obtain a sample of the jerky pet treat product in question. While FDA does not necessarily respond to every individual complaint submitted, each report becomes part of the body of knowledge that helps to inform FDA on the situation or incident.
What veterinarians can do
The “Dear Veterinarian” letter to veterinary professionals explains how they can provide valuable assistance to the agency’s investigation, requests that veterinarians report to FDA any cases of jerky pet treat-related illness that come to their attention and, when requested, that they also provide samples for diagnostic testing by the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), a network of veterinary laboratories affiliated with FDA.
- May 16, 2014
FDA Provides Latest Information on Jerky Pet Treat Investigation
FDA Voice: Help Us Find Out Why Jerky Treats Are Making Pets Sick
- January 09, 2013
FDA CVM Update on Jerky Treats
FDA Voice: Is It Something My Pet Ate?
- November 18, 2011
FDA Continues to Caution Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products[ARCHIVED]
- December 19, 2008
Preliminary Animal Health Notification - Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs[ARCHIVED]
- September 26, 2007
FDA Cautions Consumers about Chicken Jerky Products for Dogs[ARCHIVED]
Product Safety Information
Questions and Answers Regarding Jerky Pet Treats FDA Facts: Jerky Pet Treats(PDF - 216KB) Why Are Jerky Treats Making Pets Sick? FDA Progress Report on Ongoing Investigation into Jerky Pet Treats Jerky Pet Treat Investigation Rationale and Results(PDF - 345KB)
- Jerky Pet Treats - Letter to Veterinarians
FDA Report Regarding Jerky Pet Treats and Illnesses FDA Investigates Animal Illnesses Linked to Jerky Pet Treats Caution to Dog Owners About Chicken Jerky Products Vet-LIRN and Jerky Pet Treats Investigation
September 2013-May 2014 Jerky Complaints(PDF - 1.9MB) February 2013-September 2013 Jerky Complaints(PDF - 1MB) 2012-January 2013 Jerky Complaints(PDF - 42.2MB) 2011 Jerky Complaints(PDF - 4.9MB) 2010 Jerky Complaints(PDF - 242KB)
- Pet Jerky Consumer Complaints Received by ORA District Consumer Complaint Coordinators (January 1, 2007 - July 2, 2012) (PDF - 16MB)
Firm Inspection Information
- Establishment Inspection Report - Acidchem (PDF - 5.8MB)
- Establishment Inspection Report - Yantai Aska Food (PDF - 4.5MB)
Yantai Aska Foods 484(PDF - 238KB) Establishment Inspection Report - Gambol Pet Products Co.(PDF - 7.2MB) Establishment Inspection Report - Jinan Uniwell Pet Food Co., Ltd.(PDF - 5.8MB) Establishment Inspection Report - Shandong Honva Food Co. Ltd.(PDF - 7.4MB) Establishment Inspection Report - Shandong Petswell Food Co. Ltd.(PDF - 5.7MB)