Jerky treats are killing dogs
Experts at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are seeking the public’s help in finding out why some jerky flavored pet treats are killing dogs and cats.
In a new consumer alert, the FDA says 3,600 dogs and 10 cats across the U.S. have been sickened after eating jerky pet treats since 2007. Of those, nearly 600 pets have died.
Experts at the FDA’s for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) suspect the tainted treats have their origin in China and have made onsite visits to manufacturers to run tests in hopes of finding the source of the problem. However, no conclusions have been reached, FDA officials said.
“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” says CVM Director Bernadette Dunham, DVM, Ph.D. in a statement. “Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it.”
To help solve the mystery, the FDA is looking to pet owners to provide helpful information. Fact sheets have been sent to veterinarians so they can alert their patients about the problem. The fact sheets include instructions on how to report jerky-related illnesses and how veterinarians can provide blood and urine samples to aid in the investigation.
After eating the poisonous treats, pets may exhibit lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and increased thirst. In the worst cases, they may experience kidney failure, internal bleeding and convulsions, FDA officials said.
Consumers should be on the lookout for treats sold as “jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit.” A majority of the suspect treats are made in China. The FDA notes that makers of pet foods are not required by U.S. law to state the country of origin for each ingredient in their products.
The FDA reminds pet owners that treats are not essential for a pet’s diet and can be avoided altogether. If any symptoms are present after eating treats, owners should see their veterinarian and save the remaining product for FDA testing.
“Our fervent hope as animal lovers,” says Dunham, “is that we will soon find the cause of—and put a stop to—these illnesses.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.
This is so interesting! One of my family members told me to always look at the doggie treats’ packaging to see where it was made. If the package does not state where it was manufactured, it’s probably on the safer side not to buy it.
OMG! This article has just floored me! It was a few years ago my dog did die shortly after I was giving her Jerky Treats i bought at Sam’s Club made out of Chicken. Yes, they were manufactured in China. My husband suspected this is what had happened to our dog. She was dead in about a week after she showed her beginning symptoms of diarrhea which then turned into full blood coming out of her. It was just aweful to see this happen to her. We felt so helpless and just sickened us this was happening to her. We had her at the vets multiple visits. he did do blood work and her numbers were way off the charts, i can’t remember exactly which ones. We threw the treats away. I’ll have to check Sam’s Club to see if they still are selling them. Thank you for posting this article. This just makes me so angry and sick to my stomach…. 🙁