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Toxic Treat Warning For Dog Owners

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(CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBS4) – Chancy, a 10-year old Pug… dead from kidney failure. Teri, dead from kidney failure. 9-year old Sampson, a Fox Terrier exactly the same. And Roja also died from kidney failure.

Keith Graves was Roja’s owner. “The vet said she was suffering from kidney failure and that she had a toxin in her kidney.”

What do all these dogs have in common? They all ate Waggin Train Chicken Jerkey treats.

Waggin Train is made in China by Nestle Purina. The company insists its products are safe. But according to the owners of the dogs that ate the Waggin Train Chicken Jerkey Treats, they all displayed similar symptoms: lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.

Candace Thaxton was Chancey’s owner.  “Chancey was one of the friendliest dogs.”

After Candace lost her beloved Pug, she got a new puppy, a mixed breed named Penny. Candace soon began feeding Penny Waggin Train Jerky Treats and suddenly Penny was vomiting just like Chancey had before dying.

“We took the puppy into the vet the next morning and the results came back that the puppy was in kidney failure,” said Candace.

Penny recovered, as did Sophie, who first got sick on a Saturday. Her owner stopped giving her the chicken jerky treats for two days… then started doling them out again.

“On Monday she started the lethargy and vomiting and the diarrhea all over again.”

Since 2007, the Food and Drug Administration has been actively investigating illnesses associated with chicken jerky treats made in China. The latest warning came in November of 2011. At that time, only 70 complaints had been filed. Today, the FDA reports nearly 1,000 such reports.

That spike prompted the FDA to send inspectors to China. So far, their report has not been made public. The FDA can only say that “no specific products have been recalled because a definitive cause has not been determined.”

Although dogs have fallen ill and even died all across the country…

“I’m devastated because I know it came from my hand. I fed him the treat that killed him,” said Sampson’s owner, Terry Safranek.

… we discovered that the product remains on local store shelves.

“I hope people get rid of them,” said Bonnie Rohn, Teri’s owner.

“I say shame on the pet stores and the companies that are having them made in China,” exclaimed Sophie’s owner, Sandi Stephens.

Dr.  Shannon Jordan, a veterinarian, says don’t wait for an official recall. “If you have a bag in your cupboard… throw it out.”

And don’t wait to get your dog help. “You may start off with simple signs of not eating and vomiting and it may progress to the point where we can’t… those kidneys can’t repair themselves,” said Jordan.

There are chicken jerky treats that are made in the USA, so read the packaging carefully if the “MADE IN CHINA” label is one you want to avoid.

Also, an online campaign is collecting signatures on a petition to demand the Chinese products be recalled.

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