FDA warns of pet illnesses linked to jerky treats

Atlanta Animal Shelter Photos

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a message for veterinarians and pet owners: If dogs or cats get sick after eating jerky pet treats, let us know.

The agency says it’s received reports of more than 3,600 dogs and 10 cats that got sick after eating jerky pet treats since 2007. Of those cases, the FDA says, more than 580 pets have died.

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” said Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.

“Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China,” the FDA said. Investigators have tested more than 1,200 samples but haven’t uncovered what could be causing the illnesses.

On Tuesday, the FDA issued a letter to veterinarians asking for help tracking the illnesses. The agency also released a fact sheet for pet owners warning of possible symptoms, including decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and increased urination.

“FDA recommends that pet owners whose pet becomes sick after eating jerky pet treats should hold on to any unused portion of the product in its original container for at least 60 days, in case FDA calls to request samples for testing,” the fact sheet says. “Owners should place the container inside a sealable plastic bag, if possible.”

The FDA says there isn’t a particular brand for which consumers should watch.

“The illnesses have been linked to many brands of jerky treats,” the FDA says. “The one common factor the cases share is consumption of a chicken or duck jerky treat or jerky-wrapped treat, mostly imported from China.”

Find more information on the FDA website.

5 comments

  • Cyndi Berry

    Our dog, Luci, a shih tzu got very sick after eating Canine Carry-outs distibuted by Del Monte foods. How do I contact the FDA? I bought them at Walmart. After looking up the barcode numbers, we found they are made in china. Vet trip cost us $400 and she is still recuperating. She had to have two IV’s.

  • Heidi Edwards

    wonder if Pupperoni treats caused my Phoebe’s sudden illness last year (died Oct 2012)? but I think they were beef.. she vomited after eating, so I stopped feeding them to her. She was lethargic, had to take many breaks during short walks.. last symptom I recognized was enlarged lymph nodes in her neck. She died 2 days later. (total time from day I realized she was sick till death was 2 weeks).

  • Amy

    In a way this is old news.Knew of this and the names a couple of years ago.Can’t believe they are still on the shelves!! That’s why My Mom & I only buy made in USA.

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