Chicken Jerky from China update

I’ve been a bit slow in posting this.  The reported numbers of affected dogs keeps changing depending on who’s reporting, not have done any investigation myself I’m not sure if this is due to a mix of old and new information or if someone is adding numbers where they’re not supposed to,  but it does appear that the number of dead and desperately sick dogs has skyrocketed since people became more aware of the possible cause of their dog’s illness. 

MSNBC is stating that they have obtained documentation from the FDA on this, that some 600 dogs in the last year have been affected.  As part of that documentation they cite a total of 22 “type 1” cases, these are dogs who are aged 11yrs or younger and have provided medical records of the course of the illness for study.  In many cases samples of the treats in question were provided.  Of that 22 cases 13 cite that the brands of the treats fed were Waggin’ Train or Canyon Creek Ranch (both produced by Nestle), and 3 more listed Milo’s Kitchen Homestyle treats.  The rest listed either other single brands or had no brand listed. 

According to the Truth About Dog Food, in 2007 the FDA tested 134 samples  for a huge variety of things, 4 tested positive for propylene glycol.  In 2008 – 2010 they tested 23 samples with no results.  In 2011 they tested 84 samples, mostly for salmonella, though salmonella doesn’t usually cause Falconi-type symptoms.  As of the time of the publication of the article in 2012 the FDA has sent out 130 samples to be tested (can you say public pressure??), all were listed as “Results Pending” but 58 samples are being tested for metals and/or organic compounds; 72 samples are being tested for DNA analysis.  Why DNA analysis they’re it doesn’t say.  TTADF article also provides a link to a PDF of the documents they received from the FDA.

I suppose in the over all scheme of things 600 pets out of the huge number being kept in the US is not a huge deal, but the way the numbers skyrocketed when people realized that their pet’s death might not have just been a fluke makes me wonder how many other cases aren’t getting reported because no-one’s making the connection.  Its also worrisome, contamination of food products (both animal and human) imported from China has been an on-going issue for a long time, and yet it keeps happening.  Please please please, go look at the package of dog/cat treats sitting on your shelf, go look at the package of pet food that you’re feeding them.  If it says “Made in China” (its usually in small print on the back of the package, at or near the bottom) PLEASE stop feeding it.  I know “Made in the USA” often costs more, I understand, but there are other countries where things are made, and so far China is the only one with consistant problems.