Pet treats are usually a special reward meant for well-behaved animal companions, but pet owners throughout the United States are confused and outraged as reports surface of toxic jerky pet treats causing mass sickness and death.
Federal animal health officials link various chicken, duck, and sweet potato jerky treats made in China to the deaths of almost 600 pets and 3,600 cases of sickened pets.
Dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes have been sickened after consuming the contaminated jerky treats. 10 cats were also affected. The animals suffered gastrointestinal problems, kidney troubles, and Fanconi syndrome, which is a specific type of kidney disease.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still cannot identify the specific compound present in the treats responsible for the tragic loss of many beloved pets. They are running extensive tests on the treats, but FDA officials claim that the toxin is unfamiliar to them and may not be typically present in the United States.
The FDA has recently asked vets for help by requesting various test results from any sickened animal, and has also distributed a jerky treat fact sheet for owners. They are also asking owners to provide detailed information through the FDA's consumer safety portal if their pet becomes ill after eating jerky treats.
Because there is no official recall, the FDA cannot list affected brands. They maintain that their current focus is to alert the public, and try to reach pet owners who may still have jerky treats.