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FDA: Dog Jerky Treats Linked to 3,600 Illnesses, 580 Deaths

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently investigating a dog jerky treat outbreak. Meat or plant-based pet jerky treats have so far been tied to unexplained illnesses in nearly thousands of dogs, HealthDay News reports.

These products come in the form of jerky tenders or strips, and they are made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes, or dried fruit. The FDA is reporting that since 2007, the death of nearly 580 pets have been linked to illnesses related to these products.

What else may your pet be at risk for from consuming these jerky treats? What can you as a pet owner do to protect your pet?

Dangerous Risks For Your Furry Ones

The FDA has performed more than 1,200 tests on these jerky products, allegedly believed to be imported from China. DNA tests and a variety of screenings have been conducted, testing for contaminants, metals, pesticides, and Salmonella, among others. In the end, however, the exact cause is still unknown.

Pet owners, who may have a likely product liability claim in their hands, are also being called on to come forward if they find that their pets, after consuming jerky treats, suffering from the following risky symptoms:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased activity
  • Diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus)
  • Increased water intake or urination

Pets have also experienced kidney failure or skin convulsions in more extreme cases.

Protect Your Furry B-F-F

Pet owners -- what can you do to protect your pets? The FDA advises, first of all, just to avoid purchasing jerky treats for their pets, or to be cautious at the very least. Not only do these treats provide minimal nutritional benefits, but the possible link to all these dangerous symptoms make jerky treats just not worth it.

As the investigation does continue, the FDA plans to inform consumers of its findings via a fact sheet distributed to veterinarians.

Aside from general caution, pet owners should also be sure to report any illnesses that their pets are experiencing, by calling the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their respective state.

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