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Despite FDA warnings and pet deaths, pet food companies won’t recall treats

by Therese on February 9, 2012

in Cats, Dogs, Pet Food Recall, Pets

Back in November, the FDA put out a warning about potentially deadly pet treats.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians.

Now, four months later, pets are still dying from these treats. And, since the FDA testing has been inconclusive, the pet food companies that sell them aren’t recalling them. Again, that’s even though many pets are dying.

Some of the brands pet owners say are causing problems are well known pet food brands that we all know. Before buying any pet treats for your pets, please look closely to see if there is a label saying “Made in China.” If you see it, don’t buy it!

Pet Pardons News has an excellent post about the lack of concern by pet food companies about these pet treats.

Because tests by the FDA are inconclusive, pet treat manufacturers are not required by law to recall their products, and none of them have volunteered to do so. But given that the tests have not pinpointed the contaminant does not mean it is not contaminated. The FDA issued a warning to pet owners in November, 2011 in regards to this issue.

The question many are asking is how many dogs will have to die before the products are recalled? It is already estimated that the dead and dying are numbered at more than 500. This number does not count all of the cases that have not made the connection yet between a pet’s illness and the treats. The treats are causing kidney failure and Fanconi syndrome, with some cases resulting in death; others, in chronic kidney disease.

Four months has passed since the FDA warning yet the treats are still being sold, and pets are still dying.

When Purina began to receive calls from customers whose pets had become ill after eating their Waggin Train jerky treats, they initially discussed financial settlements, but when the FDA’s tests came back with inconclusive results, Purina took all offers off the table.  Some consumers who have posted about pet’s illnesses on other pet food manufacturers websites and Facebook pages have been banned from posting there any longer.

At a news conference today in Cleveland, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich both petitioned the FDA to step up their investigation. They both called for the Food and Drug Administration to take immediate action to put a stop to their policy that allows dangerous pet treats and pet foods to remain on the market and to put an immediate stop to its continued sale.

If your pet has eaten tainted treats, symptoms may include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased water consumption
  • Increased urination

Read the rest of FDA Warns Pets Being Poisoned by Treats: Manufacturers Refusing Recall at Pet Pardons News.

OK, so why are you still feeding this crap from China to your dogs and cats? Many of the pet food companies seem to have not learned a darn thing from the 2007 pet food recall (except, maybe how to cover their ass better). And sadly, a lot of pet owners haven’t either. Some people are getting a little too comfortable with the pet food industry and have forgotten how horrendous the massive, melamine-tainted pet food recalls were. Please don’t fall into that trap – stop feeding this poison to your pets!

Again, there are some very popular brand names out there, that are made in China, that many people say are causing health problems for their pets. Do your pets a favor, and avoid any treats made in China.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen Sheridan February 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm

My friend shared this link with and I have to say that I’m very upset that the FDA has not recalled this pet food / treats from the shelves!… My dog was very Sick last week and she needed to be treated at the emergency Vets for the sum of $486.00 on the first visit and $65.00 dollars for follow up blood work!… Her kidney function test as well as liver levels were horrible!… Vet wasn’t exactly sure of the cause so I was told to not give any treats and to provide her with a bland diet…. So this of course keeping treats from her…. A week later her blood work was much better… I shared this story with my friend and then shared this link with me.. I checked in the draw after reading this and found Waggin train erky treats!… I’m very upset because I’m thinking this was the cause all along!….

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BekiD March 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm

The FDA cannot force a recall, they can only recommend that a company does a voluntary one or that retailers stop selling products that are considered hazardous. Even if a company puts out meat that is so tainted it’s turned green the FDA cannot force them to recall it.
Seems like a bit of a flaw in the system right??

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AD March 22, 2012 at 8:06 am

Actually, under FSMA they can force a recall if they determine the products are in violation and the company(s) involved refuse to do a voluntary recall.

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Daisy February 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm

I give my lab …..chips with yams However I give her bark n bacon ones ….are these any good or are they suspect too?

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Linda February 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

Why do they allow this stuff in the country? It’s maddening that it is allowed and it especially upsetting that the Chinese allow this. Are they poisoning our pets on purpose? This isn’t the first time they have done this. I am ready to boycott all “Made in China” products.

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Andrea February 20, 2012 at 11:30 pm

I have no doubt in my mind whether China is poisoning us on purpose or not, but that’s just my opinion. They have poisoned our children, our pet’s toys and food and have had their hand in other poison accusations which I’ve read about. I have stopped buying anything from China quite awhile back. It is to the point now that all products from China should have a warning on them.
Andrea

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Patricia February 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I agree with you regarding China-After lead based paint on toddler toys, heavy metals found in name brand toothpastes sold in “Dollar” stores, and many other toys ANDGirls costume Jewelry-if it’s made in china-”fuhgeddabouddid.” China is a decidedly foreign culture to we Americans. They do not value life in the same cultural vein we do. Therefore these cultural differences certainly trickles down to pets-I look for made in USA whenever possible. any other country then China-agree with dumbing us down we do it to ourselves and China mastered it-they have had a few thousand years of their culture in which to refine technique. We as an American Nation are Global infants relatively speaking. My dogs are sensitive to-they have been sick this week-not dog treats in this case-dog food-I use Pedigree cans w/ dry except for my chihuahua-only canned -and has been sick this week-I just read last week canned Dog food can contain salmonella–greeeaatttt..

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LORI February 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

I give my Yorkie the Waggin Train “Duck” jerkey. Has anybody heard anything about those?

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ltnda March 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Do not give any products that are made in china, that would include Waggin Train Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Pork, Lamb,and Duck. If it comes from China Do not eat or buy.anything that comrs from there.

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lynn February 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Are Purina products among the ‘suspects’ ? I feed Purina products to both my cat & dog. I feed one cat Prowl from The Honest Kitchen, but my other cat isn’t so into it. He loves his Fancy Feast, tho! I’m trying to swith him to THK, but when he won’t eat, I give him what he eats so he won’t starve. I make poverty wages, so my budget is basically non-existant once I pay my bills. Not much left for food. Are there any AFFORDABLE, safe pet foods out there? I like THK, but my dog won’t touch wet food.

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Karen March 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm

According to a vet — he would trust Purina dog foods because they have done a lot of testing on all of their products and they are made in the USA.

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Terie March 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Purina owns Waggin Train. Why would anyone, especially a vet, trust a company that will not pull a product that is so highly suspect? It is NO coincidence that all the dead dogs, mine included, had nearly identical lab results. I don’t trust ANY of them and make all the food my dogs eat. Takes time but well work it. I eat organic, so do they.

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kate May 6, 2012 at 9:37 am

I buy my cats Friskies canned cat food or Nine Lives, although they don’t like anything but beef in gravy in the Nine Lives. I give them Nine Lives dry, which is cheap, and they like it. It also comes in a urinary tract health formula. For males who have been “fixed”…and all cats SHOULD be… this, plus a half of a can of one of the above should keep all cats healthy and happy.

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Christie M. R. March 8, 2012 at 2:06 am

Why not avoid industry treats / food altogether? I don’t understand why we are still relying on someone else to make our dogs’ food. I would never think of giving either one of my three dogs that crap. If you want to give them a treat, prepare some good old fashioned bacon (if you’re honestly worried about fat or sodium, just buy the healthiest kind out there), or scramble up an egg, or toss them a carrot, or throw them out back with a raw beef marrow from the grocery store. WHATEVER. My dogs can eat at least triple the amount that most people feed their dogs in kibble, and they are at their proper, healthy weight (as opposed to all these poor obese dogs I see waddling around). Why? Because the whole foods I give them aren’t full of useless carbs and unhealthy fats. They eat 70-90% meat, organs, and eggs, and the rest is veggies prepared in such a way that they can actually digest, cheeses, and “treats.” I understand that it’s expensive. But if you can’t find room in your budget to properly care for your dog, then maybe you shouldn’t have a dog (an entire issue on its own).

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Terie March 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I agree. I give up things I’d like to have to spend the extra so my dogs eat right now. They are a responsibility I took on, so I gladly do it. I eat organic, healthy and make their dog food. One exception was the chicken jerky treats they loved. Waggin Train. Thank god I have only one dead dog, it could have been so much worse!! I miss BJ every day and kick myself for not reading the WHOLE back of the bag. Chicken jerky is very easy to make BTW.

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ann January 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Great comments and advice …. not too crazy about the raw thing, though ….

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J March 10, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I am so upset by all of this, I recently lost a puppy to this, and to hear that purina can get away with this, makes me sick they dont care what they are doing. I read things over and over again and think of sympotoms and what we went thru. then our other dog came down sick, and there will probley be nothing done about this. Other then I pray that that stops and that noone has to go thru what just went thru with my baby

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kate May 6, 2012 at 9:39 am

I am so sorry for your loss.

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PAUX April 16, 2012 at 7:31 am

This is happening with dog food again with severe illnesses and deaths, while the products remain on the shelves. Natural Balance LID and their other lines are being “investigated”, but they are still selling these products and animals are getting sick and dying. This company does not manufacture their products, they sub contract this out and they do use materials from China. Beware! There was a web site that was taking complaints, but they have stoped accepting them since April 5, 2012. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pet/natural_balance.html

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Donna Rhea September 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

FDA, needs to remove the Tainted Dog Treats, from store shelves. I gave My dog, the Wagon Train chicken jerky and her kidneys totally, shut down. There was nothing the vet could do. I had to have her put down. That was the Hardest thing, I ever had to do. Didnt know about the treats, till many months later. The FDA is NOT doing their JOB !!!. RECALL THE CHICKEN TREATS., before many more loved pets die a horriable death.

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FURIOUS69 September 25, 2012 at 1:55 am

HOW MUCH LONGER WILL YOU GUYS PUT MONEY IN FRONT OF LIFE….HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR ALL OF YOU TO GET HUMANS AND NOT ROBOTS?????? You sell poisoned food, in my case was for dogs. THE BEEF AND CHICKEN JERKY. A product they supposed they knew it’s poisoned since 2011 that kills dogs and they still sell it. It writes 100% natural and my dog is sick near to death from it. WHAT KIND OF CREATURES ARE YOU PEOPLE??? I WILL SUE YOU AND THE IMPORTER AND THE FDA THAT DIDN’T ACKNOWLEDGED THE THREAT. YOU ARE NOT HUMANS YOU ARE BLOODY MONEY DESPERATE!!! You and the PETSMART PEOPLE ARE THE SAME WAY. A BUNCH OF IGNORANT MONEY STARVING PEOPLE!!

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ann January 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Make your own treats …. doesn’t take long ….

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