Monday, May 7, 2012

Garbage

I was recently informed by a friend of mine that not only have dogs been getting sick from chicken jerky that was imported from China, but there has also been sickness linked to sweet potato treats. I recently bought some Canyon Creek Ranch yam treats which were, in fact, made in China. After some looking into the matter and finding vets warning of the dangers, I've decided to play it safe and am trashing the rest of the yams.

Ebon doesn't want me to throw them away. Yes, I keep treats in screw-top containers for ease of storage. This one once held couscous and will be sanitized and scrubbed thoroughly before anything else goes in it.
The symptoms that dogs have been developing after eating these treats have been very similar to Fanconi's syndrome. Fanconi is a disease of the kidneys, specifically the renal tubes, that messes with the body's ability to retain certain molecules. Symptoms include excessive thirst, weakness, weight loss, peeing in the house, lack of appetite, and the presence of certain materials in the urine, including glucose. If left untreated, Fanconi can be fatal. In the basenji breed, where this disease is a known issue, a common practice is testing a dog's urine for glucose using easily available diabetic testing strips. If the test comes back positive, then a more detailed blood test can be used to determine if the dog does indeed have Fanconi. Though Fanconi is best known as an inherited condition, exposure to certain chemicals can cause acquired Fanconi's syndrome by messing with the renal tubes' normal function.

I will be watching Ebon for any of the Fanconi symptoms, though I suspect that he will most likely be fine since he only had a few of the treats and, due to his size, he's less likely to be affected by toxic substances.

I don't think I will be buying dog treats from China again. I would be far happier with this situation if the companies were actually recalling the products since quite a number of animals have become ill after ingesting them. However, those named continue to deny fault, refuse to look into complaints, and parrot that their products are "safe." It's terribly upsetting.

11 comments:

  1. I also have stopped buying dog treats from China. That said, I picked up some treats with the AKC badge on the bag...Made in China! (It went back on the shelf.) I would have thought they would know better.

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    1. It seems like most everything is made in China nowadays. Usually I pay far more attention to ingredients, but now I apparently have to scrutinize every part of the label. I'm also going to keep every package now until the treats are gone, just to be safe. I usually chuck the package after I find out how Ebon handles a few treats and keep the remainder in containers like the one pictured.

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  2. It's sad, because almost everything is made in China. And I think I just heard about another recall today. hope Ebon is safe from that

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    1. I agree. I bought some treats today as replacements that were made in the US.

      I still think he's likely to be okay, but I am being quite cautious.

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  3. What a bummer! I give Tass dehydrated sweet potato slices, but they're produced here in Ontario.

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  4. I have family that used to own a dog treat and toy manufacturing plant in China. When they gave me free samples, I admit that I always tossed the "edible" items. They frequently looked like they were colored with the same plastics dyes.

    Anyway, they sold the plant and moved to another business because they did not want to deal with the constant strikes and labor unrest that comes with the territory of doing business in certain, more activist parts of the country. I sure would have loved a tour of their plant... fodder for a big blog expose that could have been. In the meantime, I also buy nothing edible that was produced in China, at least not for the dogs. And am selective about items for my own consumption (there are some things that I just can't avoid, though -- Taiwan made is okay to me).

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    1. That's a disturbing thought.

      It's amazing the sheer amount of products that are produced in China. Globalization is fascinating and also raises a lot of concerns. It makes me wonder how many people know about where exactly their food comes from. Like, for example, a lot of the organic food that shows up in markets comes from China.

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  5. Oh, there is a list of countries I won't buy from, but the biggest is... China. That one is sorta a "duh" but I inherited this mindset from my Dad. He would never buy stuff from China, preferred American made, but went for quality over everything else.
    For me, if it's food, I am very skeptical of it no matter the country of origin (yes, even the U.S. of A.) unless it's local or I grew it/shot it myself. Non-food products, I try to avoid China and that little list, but if the item is truly a quality one, then I'll go with it over American.

    With this huge dog food recall that's going on I am very reluctant to buy anything for my dogs (even though it's only food). Oregon isn't on the "official" list of states that the SD Diamond plant distributes to, but not too long ago we had a severe shortage of Taste of the Wild. Guess where it was coming from? The SD plant. Hmm, makes me wonder...
    Anywho, I don't really know what to do for the Girl's food. They eat the Taste of the Wild and unfortunately, anything I could switch them to that is within the price range is either really cruddy or made by Diamond.


    BTW... Yam/sweet potato treats are super duper easy to make. Get a yam, slice it thin, put it on a cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest heat setting for a while (couple hours, maybe) until they are the desired dryness. Give to dog or eat one yourself.

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    1. Oops, South Carolina plant. SC, not SD.

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    2. I think everyone has preferences when it comes to where their food comes from. I like to get locally grown and/or caught foods when possible. One of my favorite things about living in this area is the fresh seafood. One of the coolest experiences I have ever had was going on a shrimping boat, sorting and deheading the shrimp, and then cooking and eating some right on the boat. We were there for experience identifying the bycatch they pulled up, but the experience was just fascinating all around. The boat was actually a research vessel testing out devices to reduce bycatch and protect turtles and other species that could be accidentally caught by the nets.

      I noticed while I was as a pet store recently that they were having a big sale on Diamond food, specifically one of the formulas that was mentioned in the recall. I didn't bother to stop and check the manufacture date, but it made me cringe because my state is most definitely on the list. As for your girls, I hope you were able to find a good alternative.

      And now I want sweet potato chips.

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