Vets are warning owners about the dangers of giving their dogs chewy jerky treats after more than 20 pets were found to be suffering with Fanconi syndrome, which causes kidney damage.
The Veterinary Poisons Information Service began noticing a rise in the number of dogs being treated for the condition last year. Previously, there had been no cases of Fanconi Syndrome reported in the UK.
Last year, they began documenting the number of cases of Fanconi syndrome and found that 22 dogs had been affected. It spanned a number of breeds including dachshunds and Labradors and symptoms included excessive thirst and vomiting. In the worst cases, two dogs had to be put down.
While the exact cause is still unknown, the illness has been linked to chewy dried strips of meat, known as jerky, that are widely available in supermarkets and pet stores across the UK. Although a wide range of brands were involved, 59% had been manufactured in China.
Head of service at VPIS, Nicola Robinson, told The Telegraph:
“After reports from the US, Canada and Australia that the consumption of jerky treats has been associated with Fanconi syndrome in dogs, the Veterinary Poisons Information Service set up a case registry inviting vets to submit cases to establish the extent of the problem in the UK”
The Veterinary Poisons Information Service have instructed dog owners to look out for abnormal signs such as extreme tiredness which could be an early warning signal of the condition. Fanconi syndrome can be fatal if not treated quickly.
If you plan to continue giving your dog jerky-style treats, we suggest following these tips to keep your pet safe:
1. Don’t buy dog treats made in China or the US. Many US products are made using ingredients from China.
2. Contact the jerky producer if you have any questions about their ingredients.
3. Try and buy your dog treats from a reputable pet shop rather than the supermarket, as these are likely to be of a higher quality.
4. Only buy products made in the UK or the EU that use ingredients sourced in the UK or the EU.
5. Check the ingredients. Jerky should only ever contain 100% meat. There should be no added preservatives, sugar, salt or glycerol.