The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made a statement Tuesday indicating that since 2007 hundreds of dogs are dead from eating poisonous jerky treats. The organization is calling out to citizens to share their stories in an effort to gain more information that could lead to a more definitive answer in the several year death surge.
Deaths and illnesses from jerky treats has only risen since January 2013, and it is reported that over 3,200 dogs and cats had been sick and nearly 600 died. Most of the suspected jerky treats are chicken, duck, and sweet potato which all can be traced to imports from China.
The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Director Bernadette Dunham stated, "This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we've encountered." Dunham followed up with, "Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it." A New York lab recently found six types of antibiotics in imported chicken jerky, with five of those being banned in the U.S. Although trace amounts, and unlikely for these to cause such sudden deaths, there is still cause for serious concern since deaths are piling up.
Multiple reports of Chicago area dog deaths have been reported, several of these included liver and kidney failures soon after ingesting new treats and food. Most of these have been linked to imported products from China.
Warnings from the FDA:
Within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit, some pets have exhibited decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption, and/or increased urination.Severe cases have involved kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems.The remaining cases reported various symptoms, such as collapse, convulsions or skin issues.Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China. Manufacturers of pet foods are not required by U.S. law to state the country of origin for each ingredient in their products.Meanwhile, the agency urges pet owners to be cautious about providing jerky treats. If you do provide them and your pet becomes sick, stop the treats immediately, consider seeing your veterinarian, and save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing.
If your pet may have been sickened by eating jerky products, report your findings to the FDA by calling 1-888-INFO-FDA.
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