FDA recall on Jerky Treats

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

Good dog getting a treatThe FDA has been investigating reports of illnesses in pets associated with the consumption of a variety of jerky pet treats since 2007. Their investigation continues. To date, testing for contaminants in jerky pet treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses.

More information on signs and symptoms to look for in your pet can be found here.

Some Statistics from their Findings:

Between 2007 – September 2013: FDA has received approx. 3,000 reports of illnesses related to jerky treats.

The report involves more than 3,600 dogs, 10 cats and more than 580 deaths.

Approximately 60% of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10 percent of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives, and skin irritation.

Since 2011, The FDA has collected approximately 250 jerky treat samples relating to more than 165 consumer-related complaints, plus more than 200 retail samples (unopened bags obtained from a store or shipment), and performed more than 1,000 tests on these samples. The FDA has also run more than 240 tests on historical samples.

For more on the FDA’s response, ongoing investigation, findings and recommendations for pet owners, please follow this link. Some highlights from the FDA website are posted here, but more detailed information, a consumer update and instructions on how to report a complaint are available on their website.

From the FDA:

FDA has issued several advisories to the public about the illnesses, and, while the rate of reports has declined since February 2013, we are still receiving new complaints. We continue to investigate these illnesses in conjunction with the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) and State partners.

On October 22, 2013, FDA issued a Dear Veterinarian letter to licensed practitioners, encouraging them to provide case information to FDA and Vet-LIRN, and asking them to advise their clients about the illnesses. We are also providing a Fact Sheet for pet owners explaining what symptoms to look for and steps they can take to protect their pets’ health. We also remind pet owners that treats are not needed for a balanced diet.

The reported illnesses are not limited to jerky treats made from chicken. We have received complaints about duck and sweet potato jerky treats and related products, such as jerky-wrapped rawhide treats. We know that the illnesses and deaths reported are mostly linked to jerky pet treats sourced from China. Pet owners should be aware, however, that manufacturers do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.

As veterinarians, animal scientists and pet owners, we strive to make sure that the products FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine regulates are safe, effective and properly manufactured. We understand the love and devotion pets provide, and we are determined to find the answer to this mystery.

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