Thousands of pets sickened, hundreds die from jerky treats

Published 10/23 2013 12:58PM

Updated 10/23 2013 06:54PM

Update: 4:38 pm
NATIONAL -- The FDA is investigating a popular pet treat which has been linked to hundreds of dog deaths. Some manufacturers are voluntarily recalling treats until investigators get to the bottom of the problem. Michaela Pereira reports. It's a mysterious treat-related illness which can be deadly for your pet.

"The most severe symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, but the real underlying problem causing the problem is kidney disease."

The Food and Drug Administration linked pet jerky treat products, most of which were made in China, to 580 deaths and more than 3,600 illness in dogs since 2007. But, it's not just attacking man's best friend.

At least ten cats have also fallen ill. The FDA says more than 1,200 samples have been tested since 2011, looking for things like pesticides and salmonella.

"They have to not only narrow it down, to which product, but then, which ingredient. And then, to see how many different products that one ingredient is in."

Investigators claim to be meeting "with regulators in China to share its findings," but experts are still stumped as to what's making the animals sick.

In a last-ditch effort, the FDA sent a letter to veterinarians around the nation Tuesday requesting urine samples and blood work from ill pets which consumed jerky pet treats.

"It's very important to educate veterinarians so that we can educate our clients and stopping them from eating the treats could reverse any damage that's been done."

Nestle, Purina, Canyon Creek and Corp's Milo's are voluntarily recalling their products while the FDA investigates.

"If it's unhealthy and they're warning you against it, then, no, you shouldn't be giving it to them."

The FDA has a fact sheet on its website about the investigation and symptoms. For more information, click here.
Original: 12:58 pm
NATIONAL -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants veterinarians to let it know if they encounter pets getting sick after eating jerky treats. The agency says it's gotten reports of thousands of illnesses. Nearly 600 dogs and cats have died.

FDA officials say it's one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks it's encountered. According to the FDA, most of the treats are from China but there isn't one specific brands to watch for. 

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