Could Those Treats be Killing Your Dog?
Dog owners beware, the treats you’re feeding your beloved canine could be making him sick. About 3,600 dogs have become sick since 2007 with jerky-related illnesses, resulting in 580 pet deaths.
The treats are sold as Jerky tenders or strips and, while chicken treats have been named as the most common cause of illness, the treats could be made from duck sweet potatoes or dried fruit.
Most of the jerky products were made in China. Manufactures and distributors of pet food products are not required to list the country of origin for ingredients in their products.
The Food and Drug Administration is turning to the public for help. "This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we've encountered," veterinarian Dr. Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.
The FDA is asking pet owners and veterinarians to contact the agency if they've seen these illnesses in a pet. Symptoms include decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water drinking, and increased urination within hours of eating the treats.
In some cases, vets will be asked to send in an animal's blood, urine and tissue samples for testing, with the owner's consent.
The FDA urges owners to be cautious and stop giving treats immediately if a pet becomes sick after eating them, and place the container in a sealed bag for analysis.
Earlier this year, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company removed their Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand dog treats from the market.
Local pet supplier, Pets 1st issued a statement today reminding pet owners to take steps to make sure that the source of their treats is not coming from China. They recommend discussing the ingredients with the store where you purchase your pet food.