SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is putting out an alert to pet owners about tainted dog treats.
The warning comes after reports that jerky treats have killed nearly 600 dogs and sickened 3,600.
Dr. Lauren Boyd of Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners says this has been an ongoing problem for years.
Since 2007, she’s seen about three or four confirmed cases.
“Most of them have had kidney problems. We’ve seen a couple that have had some gastrointestinal problems — vomiting, diarrhea,” said Boyd. “Sometimes it’s unclear whether or not it’s because of the treats or not. The confirmed ones, most of them have had kidney disease that I’ve seen.”
The FDA has been investigating factories and meeting with regulators in China. They’ve been testing treats and animals, but they haven’t been able to figure out exactly what is making the dogs sick.
The treats, meantime, remain on shelves.
“The official FDA … what they’re saying is to use caution,” said Boyd.
“I am telling my clients, just don’t do it,” she said. “There’s plenty of other treats out there; they don’t even need treats, but we all love to feed our pets treats, and I think that’s fine, but I would not give any sort of jerky treats at this point.”
Boyd says symptoms of kidney problems include lack of appetite, increased thirst and increased urination. Seizures are also a possibility.
Anyone whose pet is experiencing such symptoms should see their veterinarian.
To gather more information, FDA is reaching out to licensed veterinarians and pet owners across the country. If you have a dog or cat that became ill after eating jerky pet treats, the FDA wants to hear from you or your vet.
“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered,” says Center for Veterinary Medicine (CMV) Director Bernadette Dunham, DVM, Ph.D. “Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it.”
“Our fervent hope as animal lovers,” said Dunham, “is that we will soon find the cause of — and put a stop to — these illnesses.”
Get more information HERE.