Pets: Veterinarians report that some sweet potato treats on the market may be linked to pet illnesses
If you regularly browse the AnnArbor.com pets section, you're no stranger to all of the pet food recalls that have taken place in the past few months.
Just this week, I wrote about an ongoing problem that been a concern for pet owners across the world — chicken jerky treats.
A new alert has been abuzz the past few days, and it might surprise you: Sweet potato treats that are making dogs sick and thought to be tainted with a toxin, which has yet to be identified.
Veterinary Information Network notes that recent anecdotal reports made by clinicians to the Food and Drug Administration indicate that some sweet potato treats may be behind pet illnesses as well.
Once again, the treats are imported from China (as the chicken jerky treats that are under scrutiny are), and in fact, in 2010, the FDA issued an Import Refusal Report and later issued an Import Alert for sweet potato-based dog treats that were imported from a company in China were contaminated with a highly toxic pesticide called phorate.
The chief business of the company in question is dealing with rubber and plastic raw materials.
Phorate is an organophosphate and a known neurotoxin.
There are indications that there could be problems with pork treats and cat treats imported from China as well.
On VIN, several veterinarians have reported cases where dogs have developed symptoms of kidney failure (Fanconi’s syndrome) similar to dogs who have been poisoned by Chinese-made chicken jerky treats.
The brands implicated include:
- Beefeaters Sweet Potato Snacks for Dogs
- Canyon Creek Ranch Chicken Yam Good Dog Treats
- Dogswell Veggie Life Vitality
No pets have died after eating these treats, unlike cases involving the chicken jerky products.
Do you think that your pet may be sick from tainted food? Click here to read my interview with Crystal Eberly, DVM from earlier this summer. She clarifies some of the steps on what you need to do to dialogue with your veterinarian, and how to proceed.
The FDA notes that there is no pending recall of Chinese-made treats, even though it has repeatedly issued warnings about the problems associated with chicken jerky treats over the past few years.
At this point, it's really up to pet owners to do a little homework and, fortunately, it's easy.
Just this week, I've fielded calls from concerned pet owners from all over the Ann Arbor area as to the safety of the chicken jerky treats, and my advice is the same when choosing those, or sweet potato or any other pet consumables: Read the back label, and if it says "Made in China," don't buy it.
You can make your own wholesome sweet potato treats, and can learn how by clicking here to get a recipe from DogTreatKitchen.com.
You can count on AnnArbor.com to offer up-to-date information on pet product related recalls. Search our archives of previous recalls here.