FDA Stumped After Jerky Treats Made In China Linked To Nearly 600 Pet Deaths

How’s this for scary – federal animal health officials are saying that nearly 600 pets have died and more than 3,600 have taken ill after eating jerky treats that were made in China.

This is just one more reason why you should always check were your dog treats and food ingredients are being made and coming from. Dogs (and a few cats) have taken ill or died after eating chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky treats. In January, 500 deaths and 3,200 illnesses were reported after dogs ate jerky pet treats made in China. It looks like numbers are slowing down, but federal Food and Drug Administration officials are stumped and are turning to veterinarians and pet owners for help stopping the outbreak.

Just one family that’s been affected by the outbreak are the Mawakas. Their 6-year-old Boston terrier (pictured above) died in 2012 after he ate chicken jerky pet treats made in China.

To date, testing for contaminants in jerky treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses,” Martine Hartogensis, a deputy director for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in the new report. “Despite these warnings, we have continued to receive reports of illnesses in both cats and dogs.”

The number of illnesses and deaths has dropped because two of the largest sellers of pet jerky treats announced recalls due to unapproved antibiotic residue found in these products. That means there are less treats to be ingested, which results in fewer reported illnesses. The recent recalls of Nestle Purina PetCare Co.’s Waggin Train and Canyon Creek Ranch treats, and Del Monte Corp.’s Milo’s Kitchen Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers home-style dog treats cut back on the sheer number of treats being available on the market.

But still, FDA officials still don’t know where the problem lies and what to do to stop this epidemic. Officials are running tests and tracking down leads, but there’s still no end in sight. For the time being, FDA officials are tracking information from vets about any animals sickened by jerky treats, and they are putting out a fact sheet for owners that can be posted at veterinary hospitals, pet supply stores and various online sites.

So what can we do as pet parents to protect our dogs? We have 5 vet-approved tips for buying safe dog treats.

[Source: NBCnews]


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