(Washington, D.C.) The FDA continues to receive reports of 1,000 dogs who may have died due to jerky treats, most of which came from China.
The agency advises consumers that if a pet becomes sick, they should stop giving the treats and put them in a sealed bag so they can be analyzed.
The FDA is also reaching out to veterinarians for blood samples and other evidence.
“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered…Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it,” Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine, said.
The FDA, which has been investigating since 2007, hasn’t been able to identify what exactly causes animals to get sick.
The agency has gone to China to inspect plants where the treats are made, but has come up empty-handed.
From the complaints, the FDA has been able to break down symptoms:
- Approximately 60 percent of the cases report gastrointestinal/liver disease
30 percent kidney or urinary disease
- The remaining 10 percent of complaints including various other signs such as neurologic, dermatologic, and immunologic symptoms
- About 15 percent of the kidney or urinary cases also tested positive for Fanconi syndrome, a rare kidney disease that has been associated with this investigation
The FDA asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for help in its investigation.
The FDA offers this advice when it comes to your pet:
- Signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the jerky treat products are decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, 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.
- If your pet has experienced signs of illness, please report it to FDA.
Unfortunately, the sicknesses aren’t isolated to one particular brand or manufacturer, although the FDA says they are mostly imported from China.
To report a pet’s illness or death you believe may be related to the treats, call 866-289-3399 if you’re in Tennessee or Mississippi, or 855-630-2112 if you’re in Arkansas.