Saturday, September 15, 2007

AVMA Warns about Jerky Dog Treats

FINALLY someone says something. The AVMA weighs in on Jerky Treats Emphasis mine.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats manufactured in China have been making pets sick. Symptoms of illness have included vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. To our knowledge, no deaths have been reported.

Guess they don't read my blog.

The AVMA posted an alert on its Web site on September 13 to inform its members and the public about what was known. Today, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) issued a statement saying it also has become aware of an unusual number of dogs presenting similar symptoms and abnormal test results associated with consumption of some jerky treats. The ACVIM statement is available at

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently testing several products to see if a contaminant can be found. So far, they have ruled out melamine, one of the chemicals that led to the massive pet food recall this spring, but have yet to identify anything that might be making pets sick.

While a list of brand/product names of affected treats is not yet available, the AVMA has learned that all complaints have involved jerky treats from China. We recommend that pet owners use their best judgment in this matter.

Suspected cases should be reported to the FDA. To find the number for the FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator in your region, visit

The AVMA is monitoring the situation and will provide updated information on our Web site ( as soon as it becomes available. Like all information on our Web site, we will only post information that is credible and has been confirmed.

Unlike the AVMA and FDA, I consider multiple anecdotal reports credible. So let me say it a little stronger. DON'T FEED YOUR DOG CHICKEN JERKY TREATS right now, especially if they're made in China.

See my earlier post for many reports by owners who believe their dogs got sick or died from these treats.

I have more updates on jerky treats coming later today.


Anonymous said...

We need regulations on ALL food products stating where (what country) these products were formulated - - NOT where they were packaged. Not showing the country of orgin in entirely deceptive!

Anonymous said...

Whether this fiasco is a distaster or a conspiracy, it matters not, as it is a serious problem. And demonstrates our bureaucracy's absoulute failure to protect not only our pets/domestic animals, but the human food chain as well. Our grafting politicos and our FDA bureaucrats - - claim to unaccountable feathered in their nest of job protection have let the American citizen to investigate that which they shoud have been doing. Pathetic, they represents a non caring bumbling thiefs; as they continue to collect our tax dollars. I say they should be held up to criminal charges as well as civil litagation.

Jonathan Bernstein said...

According to their press release on September 14, "The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats manufactured in China have been making pets sick."

This is terrible, but at the same time we want pet owners to know that Waggin' Train is not one of those brands and is, in fact, working to assist in the understanding of why these pets are sick through detailed research on dietary history and all factors potentially affecting health. You should know that:

* Waggin’ Train Brand Chicken Jerky Tenders have been tested by FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) testing labs, which have shown our treats to be safe and free of harmful microbes and chemical contamination (most current testing as of September 12, 2007).
* Approximately five million dogs eat jerky treats safely each week
* Waggin’ Train Dog Treats are intended as a tasty, meaty snack for your dog and not as a meal replacement.
* Always provide a balanced diet for your pet and plenty of fresh water.
* We prepare all of the Waggin’ Train products in human food grade facilities to insure the highest quality for your pet.
* Products are tested in US laboratories for bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli as well as chemical contamination and test results have always proven our products to be safe.
* Our products have never been associated with any recall and are currently available at major retailers nationwide.

For more information, see our home website or blog, and thanks for giving us a chance to communicate with you!

Jonathan Bernstein
for Waggin' Train

Anonymous said...

To Jonathan Bernstein:

Just curious. After reading your comments on numerous websites and forums (regarding the Waggin' Train Chicken Jerky Tenders debacle), do you EVER advise your clients that they should perhaps take the high road?

A decent company would not try to defend themselves in such manner as they have hired you to do - if their product came
up in so many places as being a culprit to ill or dead pets, they would pull the product and cooperate fully with the FDA
and AVMA.

This would lead to a much better situation regarding their reputation. As it is, my bet is that Waggin Train will fold in the next year due to their evasive tactics - and you, my friends, may very well go with them. Sometimes, you simply cannot defend the ind

Anonymous said...

last word above was supposed to be “indefensible.”

For those who don’t know, Jonathan Bernstein is in the employ of Waggin Train in his capacity as a “Crisis Management” expert -

Kim said...


I completely agree. I am appalled at the continued posting of Waggin Train representatives, given the countless stories, posts and emails I've seen about illnesses and deaths in dogs given their treats.

Maybe we need to send them pictures of all the dead dogs that ate their product... perhaps then they'd show an ounce of concern and compassion.

Yeah, I know Jonathan, it's unknown whether these dogs died from the Waggin Train product. But there are MORE than enough anecodotal reports for a company that cared to take them seriously, and as you said, take the high road. There were enough reports 2 months ago!

That Waggin Train continues to ignore these reports tells us all we need to know about their product and their company.

Anonymous said...

Xy1Uzd Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am a pet sitter and run a doggie daycare in Pa. For five years we have been using the waggin train jerky treats for all the dogs. We have not seen or had a sick or dying dog to date. I am not defending waggin train by any means, but perhaps the dogs that have died or gotten ill while being given waggin train jerky treats were also eating another contaminated food in their diet that caused their illness. I have four show dogs of my own that eat the waggin train jerky treats and not one of them has gotten sick from them. They do however eat only holistic food and other treats. Waggin train brand is the only treat they get that is not completely holistic. Had anybody been able to prove without a doubt that the waggin train treats was the absolute cause of their dogs death or illness to date?? 6/7/08

sallreen said...

The world's largest retailer started pulling Chicken Jerky Strips from Import-Pingyang Pet Product Co. and Chicken Jerky from Shanghai Bestro Trading on July 26, spokeswoman Deisha Galberth said late Monday.
Social Marketing

mikemathew said...

The company said it stopped production at the Everson facility on July 29 when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with Salmonella Schwarzengrund.
"Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting," according to a news release. "Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms.

Anonymous said...

Waggin' Train Jerky Treats from ADI PET,INC.- Reno, NV, made in China

Have been giving my English Springer Spaniel Waggin’ Train for 3-4 years, one per day until recently, she started getting 2-3 per day due to increased activity. She stopped eating her dog food, urinating every 5 mins, drinking every 2-3 mins, I mean a cup at a time. Vet tested her and she had high liver enzymes and thyroid condition. Did liver biopsy(surgically) and found very fatty liver and discoloration of same. It almost tore apart in his hand. She was radiating heat like crazy through her spine area, yet her temp was normal. Would not lie on her bed anymore, just on the cool tile or out on the breezeway cement. This was a comfort dog who just loved the couch or beds, any bed at all. After being out over $1,500 within the past 5 weeks, I will never again give my animals anything from China. This product used to say ‘Rancho, CA’. I suppose that the taxes were too high so they moved and now the packaging states, ADI-Pet, INC. Reno-NV. I suppose and know that the taxes are cheaper in NV, so…I guess they went one step farther and began to outsource/import and now they have a bunch of ’shit’ for a product, as it now shows it is made in China. When were first began buying these about 5 years ago, there was nothing which showed they were made in China. I urge everyone to never buy this product at any time. Sam’s Club supplied ours, but I’m sure they are sold at a lot of places. I do not care what they say, I know it is the chicken treats that caused her ‘near death’. She is on the road to recovery, thanks in large part to money well spent, a good vet, feeding by hand, force feeding with a syringe, patience, pills by the dozens, sitting up at night with her and cuddling and soothing her fears. China can go to HELL and so can ADI-PET, INC. Nothing they can say will convince me otherwise and I will go into Sam’s Club and write all over their display cases…’THESE ARE FROM CHINA, AND THEY WILL KILL YOUR DOG’!!!!!

Hal Herrin

Anonymous said...


I just returned from the Vet. My dog has been showing symptoms of a urinary track infection , urinating i the house which is unusual, strong ammonia like smelly urine, deep yellow brown color urine. He had crystals in his urine and a raving infection. Then the blood test revealed Extremely high blood nitrogen and creatinine, both of which indicate compromised kidney function. All these symptoms and the resulting blood chemistry occurred after he started eating the KINGDOM PETS ORIGINAL CHICKEN JERKY. The doctor told me to never give my pets anything made in China. After a lot of research I found that this brand was not on any recall lists. I believe there is a strong possibility that while this brand has not been recalled that it may have been made at the same factory as the recalled one, simply imported under a different name and importer. I have called Costco 3 times and the USDA Consumer Complaint Dept in Seattle and I am awaiting a response. I even called Jim Senegal, the President and CEO of Costco and left a message. I may be the guy picketing Costco soon if they do not agree to at least look into it and get back to me.

Anonymous said...


I called the Seattle FDA Consumer Complaint Representative, Camille Bennett Hoffman. She was very concerned and very helpful. She took all the information and even gave me the direct number of COSTCO's VP of food safety, Mr. Craig Wilson.She impressed me with her concern and detail. I believe she restored some faith in me about our Federal Government. Thank You FDA !

Before I had the chance to hang up Craig Wilson from COSTCO called me directly. Nice Guy, and also very concerned about my dog. He has 5 dogs and a dog lover. He personally over see's the safety of this product and gives it to his dog as a treat, no more than 2 per day, as it is straight protein and not a diet. The first thing he ( and COSTCO ) said was that they will contact my Vet and have KINGDOM PET's Vet contact my Vet. He said COSTCO sells a lot of this product and that it is under tremendous scrutiny by his Food Safety department. COSTCO visits this plant 3 or 4 times a year and inspects the product and production regularly. The chicken breasts used in this product is graded for human consumption. They are tested and re tested for microbial...e-coli and salmonella and other microbials before marinating and after marinating and after the heating process. They are also tested for organics such as melamine, and phosphates many times during production. They are irradiated to a level of 7 kilagrams (??? ) the same level as the food on the space shuttle, just under the "sterile" level prior to shipping. In essence this product is tested equal to human food. I believe he takes this issue very seriously, and he decribes himself as a "Dog Nut". While he said in the past the Chinese had problems with Melamine in order to inflate protein levels that in this product that is not the case. The number 1 reason Dogs die in America is Cancer, the number 2 reason is Renal Failure...since my dog is about 11 years old perhaps this is the case. Never the less, Mr. Wilson said bring the leftover treats to any COSTCO and they will refund my money. I believe him as his concern and competence impressed me. They promised to follow up on Deano's condition.

Thanks to THIS BLOG, the FDA, and COSTCO, I feel better educated and better informed and less emotional about this issue. I encourage anyone to call the FDA or COSTCO if they have any questions or concerns. I might add that I did get the phone number for the FDA from a link on this site.

Thanks again,
Larry Papa
Bend, Oregon

Anonymous said...

I just bought Waggin Train Chicken Drummettes with Dental stick and my dog that night after eating the treat had soft stools and the next morning again even softer. It was borderline diarrhea. The treats were promptly thrown away.

Volunteers Needed! Get food off shelves...,,,, and have joined together to ask for your help.
Update 6-10: Recalled food was purchased from a
California store on 5-29th – this stuff is still out there!
We need Volunteers to help get recalled food off store shelves. Read this post at Spocko’s Brain for instructions. Print a list (or two) on this site. Visit stores, then report safe stores here at

Printing Information:
1. Print the main FDA Pet Food Recall page – this will be handy to show retailers who haven’t heard anything about the recall. (3 pages)

2. Print the list of 14 Major National Brands - it includes flavors and date information where applicable so you can tell if specific products for these brands have been recalled. The brands are: Alpo Prime Cuts, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Doctors Foster and Smith, Eukanuba, Gravy Train, Hill’s Science Diet, Iams, Jerky Treats, Lick Your Chops, Mighty Dog Pouches, Natural Balance, Nutro, Pounce, Royal Canin. (It’s 7 pages and includes FDA contact information.)

3. Print the List of All Brands – it will remind you what products have been recalled - but it does not give you date and flavor information, there is just too much to put in one document. (7 pages, but the 7th page is links to more detailed information so you don’t need to print it)

If you want, and are going to a store that you know has store brands that have been recalled (such as Walmart), go to that recall information at the links on the summary or at the FDA site and print it out. Some of the information is formatted in ways that make it difficult to read (one of the main reasons for this site), but it’s better than nothing.

Note: The FDA is the official source for all recall information and recalled products. This is an unofficial volunteer effort to help get the word out and get recalled foods off of shelves. We’re doing the best we can but can’t guarantee these lists are completely accurate. Again, here is the official recall site: