580 dogs die of poisoning, thousands of dogs and cats ill from Chinese jerky treats, FDA says
The US Food and Drug Administration is appealing to dog and cat owners in Canada and the US for information as it struggles to solve a mysterious outbreak of illness and deaths among pets that ate jerky treats.
In a notice to consumers and veterinarians published on Tuesday, the agency said it has linked illnesses from jerky pet treats to 3,600 dogs and 10 cats since 2007 in all 50 US states and six Canadian provinces.
About 580 of those pets have died.
The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has run more than 1200 tests, visited pet treat manufacturing plants in China and worked with researchers, state labs and foreign governments but still hasn’t determined the exact cause of the illness, the FDA statement said.
“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” Bernadette Dunham, a veterinarian and head of the FDA vet medicine centre, said in the statement.
Severe cases have involved kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder, the FDA said.
Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China, the FDA said.