Updated: 10/23/2013 6:08 PM
Created: 10/23/2013 12:24 AM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion
A treat you may be feeding your dog or cat could make them sick or even kill them. That's what the FDA is saying about a mysterious outbreak that has made thousands of pet sicks and killed more than 600.
What makes it even worse is the FDA can't figure out the cause. They only know the animals ate "pet jerky" made in China, but they don't know what specific brand of jerky treat is causing this. Many different brands have made animals sick. Right now, the FDA has not put a ban on this product.
Todd Wihlen, Animal Hospital of Pittsford, said, “The FDA says in their page that if you choose to use jerky treats, watch for these signs. It would be my advice since there are so many treats and things to give to them, stay away from those in particular”
The Animal Hospital of Pittsford has seen a number of cases where dogs have fallen ill because of what appears to be pet jerky. They are telling all of their patients to look at other options and completely stay away from the product until there is a solution to this outbreak.
The FDA says the majority of complaints involve chicken jerky, including treats, tenders and strips. They also found that treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits or sweet potatoes are also getting pets sick. The outbreak has local pet owners worried and also angry.
Jim Mandile, dog owner, said, “It's repulsive. It's another life. There's no reason why people shouldn't at least watch over their pets and there's no reason why people who make the food shouldn't be more careful.”
The FDA does not know which specific brand is causing the problem. If you choose to feed your pet "jerky treats”, the FDA says to watch them closely and look out for decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption and an increase in urination. These symptoms may occur within hours to days of feeding your pet. If your pet is experiencing these symptom, the FDA says to have a vet take a look at them immediately.
Several pet stores have not taken jerky products off their shelves so it is up to the owner to decide what's best for their pet.
For more information or to file a report, click here.