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Pet jerky dog deaths: FDA warns 'Made in USA' treat may use China ingredients

The 1000 dog deaths linked to pet jerky are baffling the FDA researchers today, as the exact cause of the reported deaths still remains a mystery after seven years of investigating. The FDA has received close to 5,000 complaints of dogs falling ill after consuming the pet jerky treats, according to Fox News on May 19.

Pet jerky deaths: FDA warns "Made in USA" could have ingredient from China still in product, so you don't know if the jerky is safe.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

“Fox and Friends” live on Tuesday morning had a veterinarian speak about the symptoms associated with the illnesses and deaths reported from the pet jerky products. The majority of the symptoms, or about 60 percent, have been gastrointestinal. The dogs have fallen ill with diarrhea and vomiting. They sometimes have blood in their stools.

Liver failure makes up about 30 percent of the symptoms reported and it is important to note that the signs of liver failure are just the opposite of what most expect. Many people are under the impression that liver failure would look as though the dog cannot or does not urinate, but this isn’t the case.

When liver failure first presents itself in dogs, you would see an excessive thirst, followed by frequent urination. The remaining 10 percent of the symptoms are of neurologic, dermatologic and immunologic symptoms, according to the FDA.

The FDA, along with veterinarians are urging pet owners to call their vets when the first signs of this illness are present in their dogs. For the first time since 2007 three cases of this sickness has been seen in people. Two toddlers fell ill after eating their dog's jerky treats accidentally and an adult got sick after apparently snaking on the jerky, according to CBS News today. 24 cats have also contracted this illness after eating the dog jerky treats.

The FDA describes the first symptoms of this illness in pets:

Vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy are what you would first see in your pets. Contact your veterinarian right away if see these symptoms or any other signs of sickness coming from your pet.

Dr. Jonathan Levine, an associate veterinarian at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in New York City warns owners to always check the labels of the products they are giving their animals to eat. It seems that the majority of these pet treats getting dogs sick are coming from China.

"Made in USA" dog treats warning:

The FDA warns that even if the stamp “Made in USA” is on the product, it still could contain an ingredient from another country, such as China. While the dog treat might be made in the USA, some of the ingredients could be sourced from China. The FDA has partnered up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to try and single out what foods may be the culprits in these dog deaths and illnesses.

The two agencies will begin comparing the food eaten by the sick and dead dogs to food eaten by dogs who haven’t gotten sick. This is how they will try and determine if the pet jerky is the product at the center of this dog sickness.

The first reports of this sickness and dog deaths came from back in 2007. At that time some of the companies voluntarily removed their pet jerky products from the market. The FDA can’t issue a recall without a specific cause of this outbreak. This is what is baffling the researchers, no one ingredient seems to be the common denominator in these cases of dog sickness and deaths.

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