FDA NEEDS HELP -The Food and Drug Administation is reaching out to pet guardians and veterinarians for help pinning down why jerky treats - primarily from China - continue to make dogs and cats sick.
More than 3,600 dogs and cats have gotten ill and at least 580 have died since 2007, USA Today reported. The number of illnesses and deaths — the vast majority of which have affected dogs — has risen since January, the newspaper said.
The FDA needs details on more cases and more blood, tissue and urine samples from affected pets, according to an update posted by the agency Tuesday.The FDA will cover the cost of the tests to get to the bottom of the outbreak.
The update says consumers should "be cautious about providing jerky treats" to pets. "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."
A Denver veterinarian, in an interview with Examiner.com last year, suggested that pet owners buy jerky treats made in the United States.
"There are lots of other treats to choose from," said Dr. Apryl Steele - who practices at Tender Touch Animal Hospital and is past president of the Colorado Veternary Medical Association.
"If you notice symptoms, be sure to take your dog to the veterinarian right away," Steele added. And make sure the doctor knows what you're seeing in your dog. "A routine physical exam won't catch it," she said. "It takes a blood test and urinalysis."
A fact sheet posted on the FDA website said the treats are sold as jerky tenders or strips and are made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit, and in combinations of these ingredients. Product samples have been tested for contaminants known to cause the symptoms and illnesses reported in pets including Salmonella, metals, pesticides and antibiotics, and were screened for other chemicals and poisonous compounds.
Nutritional composition analyses have been conducted including fatty acids, crude fiber, glycerol, protein, ash and moisture, and other excess nutrients.
To date, none of the tests have revealed the cause of the illnesses.
Signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products are decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and/or increased urination.
Severe cases are diagnosed with pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure or the resemblance of a rare kidney-related illness called Fanconi syndrome.
FDA recommends that pet owners whose pet becomes sick after eating jerky pet treats should hold onto any unused portion of the product in its original container (or a sealable plastic bag) for at least 60 days. M.ake sure your dog can't get to them.
You can help FDA’s investigation by reporting your complaints through the Safety Reporting Portal (www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov) or your local FDA Consumer Complaint coordinator (www.fda.gov/Safety/ReportaProblem/ConsumerComplaintCoordinators/default.htm). You can also contact the pet food/treats company (see packaging for contact information) and alert them about your pet’s illness.
DENKAI SUCCESS - Denkai Animal Sanctuary has received $10,000 in emergency funding from the Petco Foundation to help Denkai provide medical care to more than 300 cats, dogs and other animals at a shelter in Kern County, Calif., where some animals are in bad shape.
Including other donations, Denkai has raised $14,000 to help the animals at the California shelter, where the founder is retiring. Denkai will be assisted by a California veterinarian.
The Denkai team will initially be providing veterinary care for all animals on-site, identifying them, logging them and then placing them up for adoption, foster and rescue transfer. If you know of anybody who can help by taking in a cat, dog or goat, call Blackburn at 970-217-1457 or go to email@example.com
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