The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has noted an increase in Fanconi Syndrome. It is believed to be associated with an increase in pets receiving treats, chews, and processed jerky in China.
Fanconi syndrome is a renal tubular disease of the kidney. It is an impairment of the reabsorptive functions of the renal ducts. Instead of releasing certain substances into the bloodstream to be absorbed, they are released into the urine. This disease can cause kidney and liver failure. It can be fatal.
There are breeds of dogs and cats that are inherently predisposed to a familial form of Fanconi syndrome. Include but not limited to: Basenji, Beagle, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Chow-Chow, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Lasso Apso, Miniature Schnauzer, Norwegian Elk, Rottweiler, Samoyed, Shar-Pei, Shih Tzu, Shetland Sheepdog , Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Standard Poodle, Welsh Corgi, Whippet and Yorkshire Terrier.
Cat breeds predisposed to the familial form of the syndrome include, but are not limited to, Abyssinian and Persian.
Watch for weight loss, hair loss around the eyes, dull fur, lack of appetite, lethargy, muscle spasms, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive alcohol consumption, and/or excessive urination.
Processing procedures used in China for candy, chews, and jerky are suspected of containing toxic substances, including heavy metals; that are associated with non-familial Fanconi Syndrome.
Fanconi syndrome is sometimes misdiagnosed as canine diabetes. Since a blood test is used to diagnose the syndrome, make sure that if your vet suspects canine diabetes, they investigate Fanconi syndrome further. Diabetes treatment can be fatal for a dog with Fanconi syndrome! If diagnosed early enough, there are treatments that can bring relief to your pet and extend the quality and length of his life.
Bottom line: don’t take chances. Check the package label. If the treats, chews, or jerky you have are made in China, throw them out!