FDA Needs Help Solving Outbreak Linked To Jerky Treats That’s Sickened Thousands Of Pets

There’s been a recent spate of pet deaths and illnesses connected to jerky treats made in China in the last few years — with almost 600 pets killed and 3,600 more sickened as of now — but federal animal health officials say they’re puzzled over exactly what’s actually causing the illnesses.

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration say most of the cases have been dogs of all breeds, ages and sizes but 10 cats have also fallen ill, reports NBC News. The FDA is turning to vets and pet owners to help it figure out what in the heck is happening.

“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.”

Two of the largest sellers of the chicken jerky treats recalled the product because of unapproved antibiotic residue, which in turn led to fewer cases getting reported, but the FDA doesn’t think the residue is the issue.

“We still are extensively testing treats for a number of things,” Hartogensis told NBC News. “We do seem to be getting some leads, but we still have a little bit of a ways to go.”

As such, the FDA has issued an open letter to vets in the U.S. to help uncover the source of the problem, including results of blood and urine tests.

“This testing will allow FDA to get a better idea of how many of the suspected cases involve Fanconi syndrome, whether or not the pets display symptoms of kidney or urinary disease,” the report said.

Check out the source link below for more info on what to do if your pet becomes sick after eating the treats, as well as get email updates about what the FDA is working on to solve the puzzle.

Why Are Jerky Treats Making Pets Sick? [FDA.gov]
Jerky treat mystery: Nearly 600 pets dead; still no source, FDA says [NBC News]