Posted in cats, dogs, pet health, pets

Jerky related illness not a treat

Despite the recent government shutdown, there was one system which appeared to still be alert and continuing earnest efforts: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Among other important activities, the FDA ensures that the ingredients used in pet food are safe to eat.
According to press releases from the FDA’s website over the past year, the FDA has been making concerted efforts to isolate the cause of an illness in pets that is thought to be associated with eating jerky pet treats. Since 2007 and up to late September 2013, the FDA says it has received reports concerning jerky treat-related illnesses involving 3,600 dogs and 10 cats; 580 of those pets have reportedly died.
The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has conducted hundreds of tests of the treats, and even visited the facilities of some treat manufacturers in China to ferret out the cause of these illnesses. Still there is no definitive answer.
If you have a pet who has had an adverse reaction to this type of product, they would like to hear from you and your veterinarian.
Since the melamine-in-pet-food recall of 2007, the FDA has encouraged consumers to register complaints about pet food products on its website, now through its FDA-NIH Safety Reporting Portal (https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov) or by calling one of its consumer complaint phone lines.
The FDA recently sent a letter to veterinarians, asking their participation in reporting any related illnesses seen in their practice, and asking them to inform their clients of illness that may be related to pet jerky treats. A fact sheet was provided with the letter, so that pet owners may know what to look for and what to be aware of about these products. The fact sheet is available at the FDA’s website.
Pet owners are also urged to report concerns about individual products with the pet food manufacturer.
The FDA has also reached out to pet food manufacturers, as well as to testing laboratories, to encourage a climate of sharing data to further their investigation.
The Preventive Controls for Food for Animals proposal has been put forth this year by the FDA as part of a standard that would focus on preventing foodborne illnesses.
More info is available on the Consumer Updates section of the FDA’s website.

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Owned by three cats over age 13