FDA investigating dog deaths from jerky treats - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

FDA investigating dog deaths from jerky treats


Several pet treat companies are voluntarily recalling some of their products after the FDA announced they were investigating hundreds of dog deaths and thousands more illnesses connected to some treats.  

Some of the companies that have voluntarily recalled products include Nestle Purina, Canyon Creek, and Milo's Kitchen.

CNN reports that the FDA linked pet jerky treats, mostly made in China, to 580 deaths and more than 3600 illnesses in dogs since 2007.  At least 10 cats have also gotten sick. 

"Within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit, some pets have exhibited decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption, and/or increased urination," explains the FDA website.

Investigators are still trying to determine what ingredient is responsible for the illnesses, but they are reportedly meeting with Chinese regulators to share findings.  They are sending out letter to veterinarians around the country to send urine samples and blood work from sick pets that eat jerky treats.

Dr. Rick Nelson at Animal Aid Clinic South in Elkhart said, "the symptoms are so varied and they're so general that it could be almost anything."

While the FDA's warning is only about jerky treats Dr. Rick Nelson says avoid anything made in china, treats or food.  Because he said in China, "the controls are not what they are here."

So how can you tell if your pets food is made in China?  Well it's actually not that easy, Dr. Nelson said, "It's very difficult to impossible because the labels are very misleading with dog food and with treats."  So he recommends, "Stick with the National Brands and the larger brands that probably have better quality control and testing and are very picky about their sources."

Linda Candler at Linda's Camp K-9 in Mishawaka said her policy is made in the USA only.  "If it's not made in the USA we don't sell it we don't give it to any of the animals here."  Candler said this has been her policy for years because there's just too many recalls that stem back to China.  She said look for "Made in the USA" or an American Flag on your pets food.  Sometimes it's in really small print or on the bottom but Candler said it's worth finding over picking something made elsewhere.  "Don't chance it, it might be a few dollars cheaper per bag, however, if your dog is in liver failure or dies you can't put a price on that."

Another thing Candler recommended is to watch the language on the label.  If it says "processed" in the USA," you don't want that either because that means not all of the ingredients came from this country, so you really need to find "Made in the USA"


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