Jan 18, 2012 8:21 AM by Dax VanFossen- KAJ News

Potentially deadly dog treat dangers detailed

KALISPELL- There's some more information to pass along about a pet treat that's not so sweet for your dog. Waggin' Train Chicken Jerky treats may be behind illness and even death in hundreds of dogs nationwide, but national retail stores in Montana are still selling the product.

They look like a delicious option for your canine companion, but after hundreds of reports of sickened or killed dogs, the FDA has issued a warning to the consumer about the Waggin' Trail treats after being linked to a disease similar to Fanconi syndrome, which can be fatal.

"That's a syndrome where the kidney's are unable to retain electrolytes, so you get electrolyte imbalances that can be fatal. For example, the potassium rates could drop to the point where the heart stops," Dr. Dean Aldridge with Flathead Pet Emergency explained.

No cases have yet been diagnosed in the Flathead Valley, but there have been hundreds of cases nationwide and several in Montana, including a golden retriever that belongs to the Lacopini family in Billings. Aldrige says if caught early this condition can be treated, but warns that's not always the case.

"In most cases with the jerky treats, It's a correctable syndrome. It's just that it takes a lot of work and a lot of care. Measuring electrolytes, supplementing electrolytes, until the time that the kidney's do come back around. In some cases it is fatal though, you just can't get ahead of it."

The FDA has issued an official warning to consumers but not a recall, and the product remains on shelves of at least two national retail stores including Target and Walmart.

Aldrige told us this is not the first time vets have seen this problem.

"In 2007, there was something that came across, and then in June, we got another alert from the AVMA, that there was some more of it, and that there may be recall's on the treats, so we've been aware that it's out there since about June."

There are some warning signs in these cases, if you were to lift up your animals ear and notice a reddish rash or on the belly area as well, those could be indications that your animal may be facing this disease. Other signs include, pet nausea, general lack of energy and decreased appetite. Some other symptoms include a lack of energy, loss of appetite and nausea.

The best solution to avoid your dog going through this would be to find a new option for snack time. Vets says that if your dog begins showing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately.


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