FDA warns pet owners of dangerous jerky treats


In a notice to consumers and veterinarians published Tuesday, the agency said it has linked illnesses from jerky treats to 3,600 dogs and 10 cats since 2007. About 580 of those pets have died.

The FDA says its Center for Veterinary Medicine has run more than 1,200 tests, visited pet treat manufacturing plants in China and worked with researchers, state labs and foreign governments but still hasn't determined the cause of the pet illness.

The FDA says pets can suffer from a decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting and diarrhea among other symptoms within hours of eating the jerky treats.

Some of those treats were voluntarily recalled after a Morgan Hill woman launched a petition drive last year. One of her dogs died, while the others became sick after eating chicken treats from China. Since then, she's been relentlessly campaigning to have the treats recalled.

The Chinese government responded last year, slamming the FDA for putting an advisory alert on its website even though the exact cause of the deaths has not been determined. The Chinese government wrote, "From the perspective of the Chinese side, there might be something wrong with the FDA's investigation guidance."

The FDA is asking pet owners and vets to contact them if their pets get sick after eating the jerky treats.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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