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Jerky treats – a health issue?

Published: Monday, April 7, 2014

This week’s Veterinary Record has a letter about Fanconi syndrome in a dog. No, I didn’t know what it was either but basically it is a type of kidney damage which causes a loss of glucose and aminoacids in the urine. It is a life-threatening toxicity, widely reported in the USA, Canada and Australia and which is associated with the consumption of jerky treats.  This is the first reported case in Europe.  Because it was so fond of them, a Border Terrier had been given up to 50% of its diet as jerky over a number of weeks.  These were beef and chicken jerky, some of which contained ingredients from China.  The dog became very much off colour and was drinking excessively.  The dog recovered by about 4 weeks after discontinuing the treats.

In the USA over 3600 dogs have been affected since 2007 and 580 have died.  The cause of the toxicity has not been identified but it is not melamine.  (That was another food contamination issue involving Chinese ingredients.)

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) has issued an alert and advised that jerky treats should be fed sparingly and not from China.

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