Petfood Industry - December 2013 - 9

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Pet jerky treats not necessarily cause for alarm, veterinary
pathobiology professor says
On October 22, the US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) issued
an update on its investigation into
pet illnesses associated with pet
jerky treats from China, along with
a request to veterinarians for their
assistance in identifying pets that
were potentially sickened as a result
of consuming the tainted pet treats.
Tim Evans, an associate
professor of veterinary pathobiology at the University of Missouri
College of Veterinary Medicine and
a veterinary toxicologist, says that
while pet owners should be aware
of this issue and watchful for signs
of illness in pets that have been
consuming these treats on a regular
basis, it is not a cause for alarm for

the majority of dogs and cats.
According to Evans: "While
the loss of any pet is tragic, only a
very small percentage of pets has
been affected by this strange illness
during the past six years." He says
the primary illness stemming from
these tainted treats involves kidney
disease and failure if the illness
progresses without treatment. Evans
believes that while this issue has
been occurring since 2007, it does
not mean FDA has been negligent.
"FDA and scientists around the
country have been working on this
problem tirelessly for many years,
but it has been a very difficult
process because no obvious ingredients in the jerky treats have been

found to cause this illness," Evans
said. "Hopefully, with this latest call
for help from veterinarians nationwide, the FDA will collect enough
information soon to determine why
this illness is occurring."
Because jerky treats are not a
part of an essential diet for any pet,
Evans recommends that pet owners
refrain from feeding them to their
pets if they are concerned about this
illness. He also recommends regular
annual checkups for pets, including
baseline blood work as the animals
get older. He says this will help
veterinarians catch any potential
health issues before they escalate
into more serious problems.

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PetfoodIndustry

December 2013

9


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