FDA warns pet owners about potentially dangerous treats

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FDA warns pet owners about potentially dangerous treats

By Rikki Mitchell. CREATED Dec 23, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The numbers keep climbing.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as of September, more than 3,600 dogs and 10 cats have become ill after eating pet jerky treats.

And nearly 600 of those pets died. Here in Pima County, there's one reported case where a Golden Retriever died after eating a jerky treat.

Ann Lancero owns a Golden Retriever and says she threw away her pet jerky treats and worried about feeding them to her dog.

"I won't buy them again," she said.

Malinda Nissley worries if the treats come from overseas.

"It's a concern I would have especially if I looked at the label and they say they're from China," she said.
But what's in the treats that's making so many pets sick? The problem is, no one knows.

"To date they have not found a connection between these treats and the diseases that create the symptoms that these dogs and cats are experiencing," said Kim Janes, manager at Pima Animal Care Center.

Janes said the FDA has not officially recalled any brands yet, but  the treats take the form of tenders or strips and are made with chicken, duck, sweet potato, dried fruit or any combination of those.

Symptoms can start within hours of the pet eating the treat and include decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and drinking more water than usual.

If your pet has any of those symptoms after eating jerky treats, Janes says take them to the vet right away.

"First of all they need to take it to the vet," he said. "Get the vet to take a look at it and get it under treatment and absolutely they need to report it to the Food and Drug Administration."

The FDA says reports of illnesses could help in its investigation.

You can report illnesses to the FDA by visiting its Safety Reporting Portal.

More information can be found on the FDA factsheet.


Rikki Mitchell

Rikki Mitchell

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Rikki Mitchell is a proud University of Arizona grad and joined the KGUN9 team after graduation. Rikki reports for the evening newscasts.