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Posted on 01-15-2013

Early  this January Nestle Purina PetCare Co. officials announced the recall of Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats until further notice.  Del Monte Corp. officials also announced the recall of Milo's Kitchen chicken jerky and chicken grillers Home-style dog treats.

The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) reported findings of trace amounts of the antibiotics: sulfaclozine, tilmicosin, trimethoprim, enrofloxacin and sulfaquinoxaline.   While these antibiotics are approved for the use in China, they are not in the US (in food).  Officials at NYDAM could not be reached to confirm their findings.  The FDA stated that the agency is aware and "supportive" of the recalls. 

"It's important to note that the residue levels found by NYSDAM are very low and that FDA does not believe that they would trigger health concerns, nor that they are the cause of the reports of illness and deaths that we have received," said Siobhan DeLancey, RVT, MPH, veterinary medicine team lead in the FDA's office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine.  "The discovery that some jerky treats contain antibiotic residues likely will do little to help the FDA identify a chemical or microbiological contaminant in jerky treats that can be blamed for causing serious adverse health consequences," said Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, a board certified veterinary toxicologist. 

Most practitioners around the country have been advising owners to steer clear of all jerky treats until the FDA definitively determines if a chemical or microbiological contaminant is causing illness.   Jerky treats have earned a reputation in recent years for causing mysterious illness.  According to the FDA these recalls are not linked to the ongoing investigation into what has caused thousands of dogs to become ill. Common signs include decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and urination. There have also been reports of symptoms in dogs that consume jerky treats that mimic Fanconi.  This is typically an inherited disease in which kidneys do not properly reabsorb electrolytes and nutrients to the body and instead release them in the urine. 

Earlier this month, FDA officials released the agency's latest adverse event report.  More than 2,000 complaints from pet owners and veterianians have been filed with the FDA since 2007. 

Source: Jennifer Fial, VIN news service

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