questionsstay away from chicken jerky from china!


Looking for answers, I researched and found the problems with chicken jerky. This was early enough in the reports that my vets didn't know much about it yet. Those treats went in the trash.

Maisy had also started having seizures about a year ago. They were infrequent and ranged from mild to grand mal. She's getting up in age so we were just monitoring at this point.

One day she threw up and entire rawhide (little stick ones) and I took away her rawhides for a while. I should explain that Maisy has bad teeth and the xrays show that she was malnourished during her first couple years of life. She's a food addict because of this. I can't free feed her and she rarely chews food.

After a couple months off these rawhides, I realized she hadn't had a seizure in a long time. These rawhides were Walmart's brand with chicken jerky wrapped around the outside! Yep, from China. She'd been eating them for a year with no problems. I had no idea the seizures were related.


Move to this week. I can tell that Maisy just isn't feeling well. She's eating. She always eats. Even when she's sick, she eats. But something wasn't right. She was eating slower. Urinating on the carpet. Something was just wrong.

Took her to the vet. Liver, Kidney, and Pancreas values are all high. First suspect was pancreatitis. Vet told me to move her to a low fat diet. I stocked up on food yesterday and we started the new diet plan.

I got a call this morning on the results of her urinalysis from the sample I took in yesterday. She has major kidney issues as well. That means a low protein diet.

Vet is calling Science Diet to find out what kind of food we can give her that is low fat yet low in protein.

Needless to say, things don't look good for my sweet Maisy. I know her time is probably short at this time. I feel sick that I did this to her but pissed at the pet food industry for their part as well.

So go check all your pet's food and snacks.


Miss Maisy. Picture is from last year or so. Her face is a lot whiter now.


Awww, poor girl... :-(

Sorry to hear, thank you for the warning.


I'm so sorry to hear. This seems to be an ongoing problem with pet food/treats sourced from China. Keep us posted, and we'll think good thoughts for your girl.


Sorry to hear about that :(

It always sucks having a loved pet go downhill. Hopefully you get another couple of years/months.


Sorry to hear about that - it stinks! Thanks for letting us know about the issue - will keep a closer eye on what we feed our three!


Sorry to hear about your pup. Thanks for the warnings. I don't understand why they won't do a recall.
On a side note, this explains why Gordman's suddenly decided to donate their entire stock of Waggin' Train chicken jerky treats to our shelter a few weeks ago. Nice move Gordman's. :(


Also, please don't blame yourself. You thought you were giving her a healthy, fun treat, you had no idea. Blame the idiots who make the stuff and will cut any corner to make more profit. Blame the FDA who doesn't seem to give a crap about pet food. I know it's hard not to second-guess yourself but you had no way of knowing these were bad treats.
Just enjoy what time you have left with her, spoil her (even more than normal) and try to act like nothing is wrong when you're with her. Pets can sense when we're sad or depressed and I think it can stress them out too because they know something is wrong but they don't know what.


I am terribly sorry to hear about your dog's close shave.

I have two old (15 & 16 yrs old) dogs who have liver problems. I put them on a supplement based on vet's recommendation. It seems to have helped and it gets pretty uniformly good reviews on Amazon and other credible customer feedback sites.

Kodie (16yr old) has come close to keeling over a few times now, and it scares the heck out of me every time.

When all else fails, and we think our little guy is about to have his last meal, we buy some really nice ham for him. Every time, he perks up a bit, and wags his tail when he gets yummy ham, even when he is incontinent, cant stand up, shaking or having involuntary muscle spasms, or whatever horror he is going through.

I think I should put that in my living will. "Before you pull the plug on me, please give me one last slice of ham."

Anyway, I wish your furball a speedy recovery. The product is Denamarin by Nutramax. You can ask your vet if it could help.


@tippypaws: I agree - it is not your fault that there are almost no trustworthy companies out there any more.

If they can make it cheaper, erode quality control, and not tell you, they will. It goes beyond dogs, but I'll try not to rant.

TT, you acted reasonably, and got what you thought was a yummy treat for your pup. Not your fault that the treat you bought was full of yuck. I think there is a special place in hell reserved for people who abuse animals and the helpless. That place is not for you. It is for the manufacturer.


I'm sorry to hear that :(

But thank you so much for the heads up!!! We just received a chicken jerky treat from Waggin' Train and we were planning to give it to them this afternoon. We threw it away immediately!


Good luck and please keep us up to date!


my dog loves those chicken flat jerky dehydrated things. he eats a couple a day, and he only weighs 12 pounds. what is wrong with them exactly?


Sorry to hear about your dog. Thanks for sharing this for other dog owners.


@commonwealth109: They won't test them or recall them so no one really knows what's wrong. It could be some sort of chemical getting mixed in or salmonella or anything. Whatever it is, there are fairly widespread reports of these treats causing liver and kidney failure. My suggestion is to buy a dehydrator and make your own chicken jerky if you are adamant about giving jerky treats to your dog. At least then you know what's in 'em.


I apply the "don't eat food products from China" to all portions of my life. We were giving out Halloween candy at work yesterday and I was reading the back label (because that's the sort of thing I do) and it's Canadian candy but made in China. What? First of all, I'm pretty sure they have candy factories in Canada that are capable of producing these nasty little marshmallow monsters. Secondly, why would you want to offshore something that simple? I understand that if you have to pay a Canadian an actual living wage then you've got some cost savings but is it worth it when you factor in the inevitable food safety issues? I seriously doubt it. Apparently they taste kind of gross as well; a toddler spit a chewed one back out on our counter.


So sorry that you and your beautiful dog are going through this. Sending out good wishes that she feels better and gets stronger.


So sorry to hear about that @thunderthighs. We don't currently have a dog, but are planning on getting one in the spring. I'll be sure to let my brother-in-law know about this though. We were just dog sitting for them last week. As others have said, don't beat yourself up about this though -- you didn't know.


Wishing the very best for Miss Maisy. Thank you for sharing.


Thank you all for the kind words and wishes for Maisy. I'll do what I can to keep her comfortable and as healthy as possible.

Here is the latest update from the FDA last month where they found nothing conclusive. Again, no recalls. Just warnings.


You should take your story to the local news. In every city I have lived in there is at least one station that has a hard-news-fight-for-you type of segment, where they go after the people or companies that us little people cannot.

Stand outside of Petco with a sign that says Doggie Treats from China are poison.

Hit them where it hurts, give them bad publicity, and make them pay.

It is so irresponsible to allow your product to hurt or kill someone's pet, that to many people are like their children. The whole thing just makes me sick.


@commonwealth109: the FDA hasn't been able to figure out what exactly is causing the problems. They are warning people to not feed them to their pets but haven't gone so far as a recall.

Just believe me that it's real. If the jerky is made in China, stop now.


I have been following this story for some time now and I am shocked that stores still insist on carrying these dangerous 'treats'. I saw them in my local CVS, asked for the manager, and told her about how dangerous they are. Her reply, "well, they haven't been recalled yet." That was about 4 months ago. I wonder if profit is more important than a customer's pet's health? It infuriates me, really, that they are still on shelves of not only CVS but Walgreens and other stores. Regardless of the FDA's inability to find the exact cause with these treats, knowing they are making dogs sick should be enough for stores to stop selling them.

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Good thoughts for Miss Maisy coming from here. Spoil her, but be good to yourself as well. You two are a team.


I've been following the pet food issues for quite a while. It's a really big deal that you rarely hear about. @thunderthighs I'd would advise against using Science Diet, even. Please take a look at It gives in-depth reviews of just about every pet food on the market. I thought I was doing okay with my pet food choices as long as I made sure meat was one of the first ingredients. I was soo wrong. The things that they put in pet food (some-scratch that- ALL of those byproducts are disgusting) are scary. I switched my pets to Blue Buffalo Wilderness. It's a bit pricey, but I know I'm feeding them healthy food, and because it is good quality without fillers, they don't eat as much.

ETA: Sending good thoughts for Maisy. We lost one of our dogs to age earlier this year. It sucks so bad when our four-legged family members begin to show their age.


@meandsecoya: yeah, I've never been a fan of SD. I'm actually sticking with the can food that I topped her dry food with for breakfast. I'm dropping the dry food (Three Dog Bakery baked) and going all can. Looked up what I've been giving her and it's 4.5 stars. Yay! I did research before I switched her to it last year. Probably even saw that report. It's PerSmart's brand, Simply Nourish. It had lower fat than the SD the vet was going to give me.

Stuff has huge chunks of meat and veggies. Looks damn tasty.


@thunderthighs: That's awesome. I'm glad that what you've already been using is so well rated. I'm too embarrassed to say what I'd been feeding mine before I really started researching the stuff. :-/

I've also learned that rawhides in general can be very dangerous for dogs and switched to elk antlers. My boxer loves them and they practically last forever.


@meandsecoya: Maisy has had many teeth pulled due to the effects of her early malnutrition so I went for smaller stick rawhides that she could handle. She got one when I would leave for the day when I worked for the school district. She's a nervous soul and it distracted her for a while. Now she has larger ones that she carries like a security item but rarely chews them.


@thunderthighs: Poor Maisy. :-( I'm glad she found a good dog mama in you. I'll never understand how anyone can mistreat and abuse their animals.


I'm so sorry about your pup. Thanks for the heads up, I'll avoid those with my boys.


@thunderthighs: I hope that Miss Maisy is able to rebound.
After reading through, I am happy to see you aren't using the Science Diet. I can recommend some treats for her. My dog had a dubious upbringing, too, so he's missing a bunch of teeth. I give him - Ark Naturals Sea Mobility Jerky and Get Naked Dental Chews. They are good stuff.
And while I'm throwing out recommendations - if you have a dog that get's freaked out over storms or whatever the trigger is - get them Ark Naturals Happy Traveler. I give my 60lb dog 2 of the small chews and he mellows out. Bad storms will be the death of us both. His heart will give out & mine will break.


As I Chinese person, I even try to avoid food products from China, because of sanitary reasons when making the products and also of the random, cheap stuff they put in it.


Update: Maisy was vomiting undigested food today hours after eating. Water intake was down. Called vet and he said take her to the emergency clinic. They're keeping her for 24 hours for dehydration, pain, and vomiting caused by the pancreatitis. They're going to pump her full of fluids and pain meds to let the pancreas complete rest. Then we'll see how she does.


Oh no. :-( I'm glad the ER Vet is taking care of her and I'm praying she'll bounce back from this.


You and Maisy will be in our prayers too.


@thunderthighs: I am so sorry about your pup being sick, and I will say some prayers.

I am also so angry at the stores that still carry these products and the greedy companies (Waggin' Train is put out by Purina) that refuse to do a voluntary recall.


No, you can't blame yourself. Most of the pet food is from China. It is damn hard to find food or treats from anywhere else.


On the other paw, I have personal experience with the Kingdom Pets chicken jerky. I used to have a cat who loved chicken. She totally went mental for chicken. So I picked up a bag of these treats. Of course, I cut them up for her, they are way too large for a cat, but after giving her a couple pieces, she started acting sick, and actually lost her voice for a day. This was a very vocal cat, and we could see her mouth move like she was making noise, but nothing came out. Fortunately this went away after just the day, but you can damn well take it to the bank that those treats ended up in the trash. Yes, CostCo has a wonderful return policy, but I simply wanted them gone.


For those subscribed to this thread...

This afternoon, I petted and soothed Maisy as I told her goodbye. The vet says that much kidney damage had to be caused by injury, poisons, or toxins. It was not caused by old age.

Spread the word, please.


@thunderthighs: I am so, so very sorry. big hugs It doesn't matter whether you're expecting the end or not, it's always hard.


@thunderthighs: I am so sorry for your loss. It was good you were able to be there with her at the end, but I am sure it was very difficult for you. She was lucky to have such a loving owner.