FDA Issues Update on Jerky Pet Treat Investigation


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Small dogs may be at extra risk from jerky treats.

Keep small dogs smiling with fewer jerky treats. Photo credit: Naomi Ibuki.

Pet Jerky Treat Health Issues Over The Years

Owners first had problems associated with these treats in 2007, with sporadic complaints filed since then. In 2009, a similar outbreak occurred in Australia. In addition to the chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky treats, Virbac voluntarily recalled VeggieDent Chews in Australia after they were associated with Fanconi-like syndrome. Virbac manufactured these chews in Vietnam; they received irradiation on entry to Australia.

Virbac chews are still in stores in the US, Europe and Asia where no problems have been reported. The chews sold in these countries are not manufactured in Vietnam, however.

In 2011, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association notified the American Veterinary Medical Association that they were receiving reports of similar cases. It’s 2013, and the issue is ongoing.

Advice to Pet Owners Regarding Pet Treats From China

As treats are not a necessary part of a pet’s diet, it makes sense to read labels and avoid any pet treats manufactured in China. Limit quantities of any treats, as many of the dogs affected have been small breeds fed a proportionally large quantity of the treats.

If pets shows signs of vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite after eating jerky treats, take them to your vet. Put the treats and their packaging, in a carefully-marked, larger sealed bag, and bring them to the veterinarian’s office for potential testing.


FDA. FDA  Animal Veterinary Recalls and Withdrawals. (2013). Accessed October 24, 2013.

FDA. FDA Safety Reporting. (2013). Accessed October 24, 2013.

FDA. FDA Veterinary Product Safety Information. (2013). Accessed October 24, 2013.

Thompson, MF. et all. Acquired proximal renal tubulopathy in dogs exposed to a common dried chicken treat: retrospective study of 108 cases. (2007-2009). Australian Veterinary Journal. Accessed October 24, 2013.

Lau, Edie. Virbac recalls VeggieDent chews in Australia(2009). VIN news service. Accessed October 24, 2013.

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