Jerky-style dog treats labeled as made in the United States are being tied to a rare kidney disease that has been associated with jerky made in China.
The US Food and Drug Administration says it is aware of complaints related to USA-made products.
“We have found some of these products may contain ingredients from outside of the US. FDA continues its investigation into these, as well as other, jerky treats potentially linked to illnesses,” said Siobhan DeLancey of the FDA’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine.
The disease, known as acquired Fanconi syndrome, recently has been diagnosed in dogs that ate treats that were not labeled as made in China or made with ingredients from China. The illness has been tied to Chinese chicken jerky treats. Although a specific contaminant in the treats has yet to be identified, many companies have shifted manufacturing to the US due to public pressure.
Consumers in Europe as well as the US have reported jerky-associated disease in pets.
“We have recently received samples from Europe where we confirmed an acquired Fanconi syndrome and associated it to jerky treat consumption, and reversal (of illness) or improvement following withdrawal (of the treats),” said Dr. Urs Giger, director of the Metabolic Genetics Screening Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, in a report.
To be safe, Giger urged pet owners not to give jerky treats to their pets.
“While some may think pets cannot be without jerky treats, I do not consider them as part of a healthy diet or treat, even when labeled ‘all natural,’ and thus, currently do not recommend any,” he said.