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FDA issues warning about chicken jerky treats for dogs

by Therese on September 26, 2007

in Dogs, Pet Food Recall, Pets

The FDA is warning pet owners about feeding their dogs chicken jerky treats. Here’s the latest on this from Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chicken jerky products for dogs may be making some pets ill, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned on Wednesday.

The FDA has received more than 70 complaints about close to 100 dogs who became ill or died and are believed to have eaten chicken jerky products, the agency said in a statement.

Although the FDA has conducted chemical and microbial testing, the agency said it has not been able to identify any contaminant or a definitive cause for the reported illnesses.

Preliminary information the agency received from Banfield, The Pet Hospital, an Oregon-based hospital group, suggested a connection between exposure to the jerky, also known as chicken tenders, strips or treats, and gastrointestinal illness.

Dogs that have become sick typically showed some of these signs: decreased eating, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and/or increased urination.

It was unclear where the treats were made.

The FDA is advising consumers to withdraw the products if animals show symptoms after eating chicken treats. Signs of illness may occur hours or days after dogs have eaten the products.

I have heard from many, many people who have said their dogs have become ill after eating treats like these. My advice is always the same – stop feeding jerky treats! Our pets don’t care about fancy packaging and brand names! They would be just as happy, and most likely healthier, with a carrot, a piece of cheese, a cracker, or even a home made dog biscuit.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

jan September 26, 2007 at 6:33 pm

I just don’t understand why people continue to buy these kind of products unless they are looking for a lawsuit. That may not be nice to say, but as you wrote, dogs don’t care about jerky or anything in a fancy wrapping.


Jonathan Bernstein September 27, 2007 at 9:23 am

Please note the word “may have” in the FDA release. I have one dog and four cats and have always been an animal lover and owner. I’m also working with the one chicken jerky brand that has been absolutely PROVEN to be safe (including by the FDA!), a company whose employees, retailers and product consumers are being terribly damaged by the inaccurate things being said about chicken jerky by those who overreact to cautionary announcements.

Please take a moment to visit http://www.waggintrainblog.com. That’s where you’ll get much more information that the FDA has released to date.

Jonathan Bernstein
for Waggin’ Train


Kaycee October 5, 2007 at 11:11 am

To Jonathan Bernstein:

Just curious. After reading your comments on numerous websites and forums (regarding the Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders debacle), do you EVER advise your clients that they should perhaps take the high road?

A decent company would not try to defend themselves in such manner as they have hired you to do – if their product came up in so many places as being a culprit to ill or dead pets, they would pull the product and cooperate fully with the FDA and AVMA.

This would lead to a much better situation regarding their reputation. As it is, my bet is that Waggin Train will fold in the next year due to their evasive tactics – and you, my friends, may very well go with them. Sometimes, you simply cannot defend the indefensible.


Kaycee October 5, 2007 at 11:26 am

For those who don’t know, Jonathan Bernstein is in the employ of Waggin Train in his capacity as a “Crisis Management” expert – http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/


Gene Reed October 7, 2007 at 4:48 pm

My name is Donna, and Gene and I just lost our 9 year old female Akita Meiko. She was murdered. Murdered by Wal-Mart who continued to sell the Bestro Chicken Jerky even though they knew it was tainted with Melamine. She became ill June 15, 2007. She began vomiting everything we fed her. The vet came to the house to draw blood and take urine to see if he could determine what was causing her illness. She was in renal failure. Her creatine had gone from 3 to 14. We started an IV on her. We had IV poles and pumps on every floor in our home. We ran 54 liters of ringers through her in 72 hours. They retested her blood and her creatine had gone back down to 3, but her kidneys were permanently damaged and she would be on an expensive K-D diet the rest of her life. But we were still at a loss as to how Meiko came down with acute Kidney Failure. Within a couple of days of bringing her back to some level of normality a chief executive from Tyson Foods who spends a great deal of time at our home called to see if we were still feeding our pets chicken jerky from Wal-Mart. We said yes it is their favorite treat. He said to stop immediately that it was tainted with melamine and that was what was killing her. We thought we had her on the mend when she began vomiting again in September. The vet once again came and drew blood and took a urine sample. Her creatine was 15 this time. The damage that was done from continuing to feed her the chicken jerky was too great, we were not able to save her life, but we are still desperately trying to save the lives of our other 2 pets Yoshi and Chopper because they all ate the same damn jerky and the other two are both peeing whole blood. Had they pulled the jerky from the shelves and made a public recall, Meiko would still be alive today.

Our beautiful baby daughter is buried in our garden. Beware of what Wal-Mart sells and what they import and the country it is imported from. They do not care about you or your pets, they only care about the almighty dollar and their bottom line. When we contacted Wal-Mart about Meiko, they sent us a letter stating that “Claims Management, Inc. manages claims on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and that they were very sorry to hear of the incident which involved chicken jerky. At this time we would like to share some information with you regarding the claims handling process. Upon reviewing your claim, CMI tendered the claim to the product supplier; Shanghai Bestro Trading. If you do not hear from the supplier in the next 10 days, please feel from to contact them directly 011-86-21-5848-6661. This is an overseas phone number.

This is your great Wal-Mart at its best, they don’t want to take responsibility for what they imported and sold at their stores. It may cost us more, but we no longer shop at Wal-Mart or any of its subsidiaries.


KC October 10, 2007 at 9:49 pm

Gene Reed-

Have experienced pretty much the same thing you have, but ours involved Wal-Mart and Menu Foods. Had bought some canned food for our 15 yo Wire Roxie there, thinking it would be good for her teeth mixed in with her regular dry food (which she had had no problems with). This was in early Jan. before the recalls had even begun. She was dead 3 days later after the vet had done all he could.

He was puzzled as to why; he looked around at her stomach contents and found very little that could be the “culprit”. When I mentioned the canned food he argued that “all these products are tested”- well, after another few weeks he was convinced something was up with the pet food; his clinic had filled up with pets on IVs!

When the recalls first began, I was less inclined to blame the retailers themselves, placing that more on the big petfood manufacturers and their Chinese suppliers. But now, knowing that Wal-Mart is continuing to keep dangerous items on their shelves even as the evidence keeps coming in, and doing all this knowingly!!!! I for one am going to be avoiding Wal-Mart until I see some serious mea culpa-ing on their parts- there are other retailers out there… are Target, K-Mart, etc. pulling these same products yet (does anyone know?)- the FDA doesn’t have the ability any more to keep track of all the stuff for us humans, let alone our beloved pets, so who do we trust?

So very sorry you have had to join the ever-growing ranks of bereaved pet lovers…


Ron King February 5, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I have never had an issue with any BIL-JAC foods or treats!
25 years and on my 3rd best friend

Dogs do so well on theses foods due to the digestibility and quality of ingredients.

The Dog Show guy “Team”,

Ralph S & Beth S.


Cristy Xtremedolls April 7, 2009 at 10:36 pm

These treats almost killed my dachshund this weekend of kidney failure. $6,000 worth of treatment and test and they all come back to these treats, BEWARE, do not feed these to your animals


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