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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