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FDA warns of possible dangers with chicken jerky dog treats

6:26 PM, Jan 27, 2012   |    comments
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By Mike Rush

St. Louis (KSDK) - Cute and cuddly today, but a couple of months ago, Snooki and Macy, two tiny Chihuahua mixes, were close to death according to their owner.

"I didn't think that they were going to make it," said Shannon Black.

Black is convinced her dogs became gravely ill after eating chicken jerky treats made in China.

"Snooki got so sick that her heart even seemed to stop," said Black. "Her breathing was shallow for hours. She actually had seizures for 18 hours."

It is one of hundreds of cases. The Food and Drug Administration has issued two warnings since 2007 about the possible dangers of chicken jerky dog products made in China. This after 621 reported cases with problems like vomiting, diarrhea and even kidney failure and death.

The caution does not reference any specific brand, but the company "Waggin' Train," owned by Nestle Purina, which is headquartered in St. Louis, is one company that makes the popular treats.

"Waggin' Train Chicken Jerky Treats are safe," said spokesman Bill Salzman. "The FDA has conducted extensive testing and have found no contaminants. They have found no definitive cause for the reports of pet illness."

Which is why the FDA tells Newschannel 5 there is no justification at this time for a recall, and the products are still on the shelves.

Bo Bunton is happy about that.

Bunton, who's a NewsChannel 5 production assistant, feeds his dog, Ozzie, the jerky treats every day, several times a day.

"He's completely healthy and even with using the Waggin' Train, whether we give him too many or not, there's never been an issue health-wise with him in terms of vomiting or diarrhea or anything like that," said Bunton.

Once again, the FDA is not referring to any particular brand, just chicken jerky treats made in China. And they are not saying not to feed dogs the treats, only to watch them closely to make sure they don't get sick.

The FDA continues to investigate, but can't find any common trend, other than all those dogs ate those types of treats.


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