(NaturalNews) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers concerning chicken jerky products (also sold as chicken tenders, chicken strips or chicken treats) for dogs that are imported from China. Complaints to the FDA have come from both veterinarians and dog owners. According to an MSNBC article, there have been 70 dogs that have become ill after eating these treats, up from 54 cases of sickened dogs in 2010. The FDA notes that dog deaths have also been reported.
When To Call The Vet
Some of the symptoms that may occur within hours to days of feeding a dog these chicken jerky treats include decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood), and increased water consumption and/or increased urination. A veterinarian should be consulted if symptoms are severe or persist more than 24 hours. Obviously, one should cease feeding chicken jerky treats to any pet that exhibits these symptoms.
The FDA reports that most dogs do seem to recover, although some have died. Some dogs experience kidney failure (determined by increased urea nitrogen and creatinine via a blood test). Other dogs may exhibit Fanconi syndrome (determined by increased glucose via a urine test.) It is very important to file a Pet Food Complaint Report with the FDA here if a pet becomes ill after consuming any of the aforementioned chicken treat products.
What The FDA Is Doing
Although the FDA is conducting an investigation into the Chinese chicken jerky treats, they do not yet know the exact cause of the deaths and illnesses. The FDA's Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is working with several animal health labs in the US to determine the cause of this travesty. So far, after extensive chemical and microbial testing, they have not found a contaminant.
Be Safe: Chicken Jerky Treats At Home
Many people feel that they don't want to risk their pets getting ill but would like to offer their doggies an occasional treat. Fortunately, chicken jerky treats are so simple to make at home, and no fancy tools are required.
Chicken Jerky Doggie Treats
organic, free-range chicken breasts (preferably from a local farm) organic, extra-virgin coconut oil
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. 2. Lightly grease baking sheet with coconut oil. 3. Prepare breasts by rinsing and removing any excess fat. 4. Slice chicken breasts into strips (with the grain). 5. Place strips on baking sheet and cook until done (around 2 hours). Don't undercook. 6. Remove from oven and cool. 7. Cut strips into pieces appropriate for the size of dog using kitchen shears.
The treats will keep two weeks in the refrigerator (if they last that long). Treats are meant to be given occasionally and are not meant as a meal substitute.
Joanne Waldron is a computer scientist with a passion for writing and sharing health-related news and information with others. She hosts the Naked Wellness: The Gentle Health Revolution forum, which is devoted to achieving radiant health, well-being, and longevity.