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Jerky Treats Causing Fanconi Syndrome in Dogs

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently has posted a Media
Alert warning veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats
manufactured in China have been making dogs sick.

No cats have been reported to be affected. A contaminant has yet to be
identified. At this time there is no list of specific brands affected
and there is no recall in effect, so these products are still being sold
to consumers.

Presenting Signs and Laboratory Findings

The dogs appear to be developing an acquired Fanconi’s syndrome which
appears to be transient. Small dogs with a history of ingesting jerky
treats (mostly chicken jerky) are typically affected. Clinical signs
include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Physical examination findings have been unremarkable. In addition to
mildly elevated liver enzymes, the most common blood abnormalities
include severe decrease in Potassium, called hypokalemia, along with
acidosis and glucose (sugar) in the urine and granular casts on
urinalysis. Elevated kidney enzymes; Blood Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine
may or may not be consistently found.

Testing Recommendations

For dogs with apparent Fanconi’s syndrome, we recommend a CBC, chemistry
panel including electrolytes, urinalysis and urine culture. Blood gas
analysis, if available, is ideal. Additional testing for other causes of
acute kidney damage including Leptospirosis blood testing is also
recommended. Kidney x-rays, and Fanconi screens on urine may be
warranted in some cases.

This veterinarian is seeing dogs with apparent acute liver failure problems
associated with canine treats made by Delmonte.

For more information, veterinarian, Dr. Carol Osborne can be reached toll free
at 1-866-372-2765.

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