About 10 years ago the FDA put out a warning about jerky treats coming from China making pets sick. To date the FDA has not found the source in the jerky treats that are making pets ill. It can be meat or vegetable based, and doesn’t matter where it is from, even the U.S. The illness is called Fanconi’s syndrome or Fanconi-like syndrome. Fanconi’s can be hereditary especially in Basenjis, it affects the kidneys. The normal function of kidneys is to filter out waste while keeping in the body nutrients such as glucose, bicarbonate, and amino acids. With Fanconi’s part of the kidney called the proximal tubule doesn’t work properly, and these nutrients are lost into the urine instead of being reabsorbed.
Recently there was a very sad case at a neighboring veterinary clinic of a young dog who had been receiving jerky treats. She became extremely sick and was hospitalized. They tested for Fanconi’s, which takes up to 2 weeks to get results back. Unfortunately the kidney damage was irreversible and was getting worse. The dog was humanely euthanized before results came back. The test came back positive just days after she was euthanized.
Symptoms: Drinking and urinating much more than normal. They can also be lethargic and have no interest in eating. Some dogs may have all of these symptoms, while others show only some of them. The symptoms may be mild or severe. About 60% of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness (with or without elevated liver enzymes) and about 30 % are kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10% of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives and skin irritation.
The doctors at Pacific Veterinary Hospital are recommending that you not feed your pet any jerky products. Please help us spread the word tell your family and friends so no more dogs needlessly suffer. If you have questions please call us at (503) 246-3373.