FDA Jerky Treats Recall – Symptoms of Toxicity

Written on November 08, 2013 by Sommer Aweidah Hospital: IVG Hospitals, Inc.

Symptoms of Toxicity Related to Jerky Tenders or Jerky Strips

Within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit, some pets have exhibited 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. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems. The remaining cases reported various symptoms, such as collapse, convulsions or skin issues.

Although FDA has reports of more than 580 deaths, many pets have recovered.

What to do if you Suspect your Pet has Eaten a Contaminated Product

Remove any access to any uneaten portions of the suspected product. Veterinary Emergency - what to do, where to go

Do not give your pet any home remedies, water, milk or food. Do not induce vomiting. The sooner you can get your pet to an emergency hospital, the higher the chances are for a successful outcome to treatment.

Take your pet to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital as quickly as possible. A list of emergency hospitals in the IVG network can be found here. Calling in advance will save precious seconds, as our medical team will be prepared to treat as soon as you walk in the door, but if you cannot take the time to call, please make your number one priority getting to the hospital.

Bring the product, or products, that you suspect is causing your pet’s symptoms.

Suspected Products

Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China. Manufacturers of pet foods are not required by U.S. law to state the country of origin for each ingredient in their products.

A number of jerky pet treat products were removed from the market in January 2013 after a New York State lab reported finding evidence of up to six drugs in certain jerky pet treats made in China. While the levels of these drugs were very low and it’s unlikely that they caused the illnesses, FDA noted a decrease in reports of jerky-suspected illnesses after the products were removed from the market. FDA believes that the number of reports may have declined simply because fewer jerky treats were available.

Meanwhile, the agency urges pet owners to be cautious about providing jerky treats. If you do provide them and your pet becomes sick, stop the treats immediately, consider seeing your veterinarian, and save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing.

Useful Links:




24 Hour Emergency & Specialty

Boston West Veterinary Emergency and Specialty

Natick, MA 01760


Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital

Latham, NY 12110


Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital

Woburn, MA 01801


Port City Veterinary Referral Hospital

Portsmouth, NH 03801


General Practice, Emergency & Specialty

Bulger Veterinary Hospital

Lawrence, MA 01843
ER: 978.725.5544 GP: 978.682.9905