Registry of cases of jerky treat-related illness
Fanconi syndrome associated with the consumption of jerky treats has been reported in pets in the US, Canada and Australia, with a few cases reported in the UK. Numerous products have been implicated and in most cases the products have originated from China. The cause remains unknown.
- The VPIS is the point of reference for collection of cases of jerky treat-related illness to monitor the situation in the UK.
- In order to obtain a fuller picture of the situation in the UK (or elsewhere in Europe) we ask veterinary professionals to report any suspected cases using the questionnaire linked below.
- We are collecting information on duration of exposure, brands of jerky treat involved, clinical signs, treatment, investigations and outcome.
- We will be very grateful for any information on suspected cases.
Advice for Owners
If you notice your pet is unwell with decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhoea and increased drinking or urination, contact your veterinary surgeon for advice. They will examine your pet and perform tests in order to establish a cause of your pet’s illness and determine the best course of treatment.
Information for Veterinary Professionals
Signs reported include polyuria/polydipsia, inappetence, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss. Common biochemical findings include euglycaemia or hypoglycaemia (in the presence of glucosuria), acidaemia, hypokalaemia and hypophosphataemia (Fanconi syndrome).
Signs are often non-specific making diagnosis difficult; therefore diagnosis is based on excluding underlying aetiologies (pyelonephritis, leptospirosis, heavy metal or drug toxicities, and underlying neoplastic disorders), a history of jerky treat consumption and the biochemical changes consistent with a defect in proximal tubular function (i.e. Fanconi syndrome – in particular glycosuria without hyperglycaemia). Fractional excretion of electrolytes and urinary amino acid assays are often abnormal. Samples of suspect treats can be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration in the US through their safety reporting portal.
Advice on management of cases can be obtained from:
– David Walker, Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists, Hampshire
– Andrew Kent, Willows Referral Service, Solihull
– Victoria Smith, Small Animal Hospital, University of Glasgow
– Mellora Sharman, Animal Health Trust, Suffolk