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FDA Warning Pet Owners of Deadly Treats

They're supposed to be tasty treats for our pets, but instead they're causing them to get sick! The Food and Drug Administration is warning pet owners of the large number of pets that have gotten sick, or even died, after eating jerky treats sold in stores across the coutry.
WHAG NEWS - Vomiting, diarrhea and a decreased appetite are just a number of symptoms the FDA is linking to the jerky pet treat outbreak.

The FDA is warning pet owners after receiving thousands of reports of sick dogs and cats.

"I was guilty of having fed my own pets those," said Dr. Charlene Barnes, Wayne Heights Animal Hospital.

Dr. Barnes says she quickly threw those treats away after hearing about the widespread sickness, and even treated a couple animals that were affected.

She says, "Especially dogs, and some cats were found to have developed renal failure after eating chicken jerky."

Since 2007, the FDA says 3,600 dogs and ten cats got sick from eating jerky pet treats, and more than 580 pets have died. These treats have been tested and investigators weren't able to find a cause, but they have found a common tie. Most of those treats were imported from China.

"Hearty Pets philosophy is based upon healthy and wholistic foods," said Theresa Monahan, Hearty Pet Manager.

Monahan says they don't stock anything that was made in China.

She said, "Honestly the bad press that has been out lately and in the past. We just don't want to take that risk with our customers."

There isn't a particular brand of jerky the FDA is warning consumers to watch for. They say the common factor is consumption of a chicken or duck jerky treat, or a jerky wrapped treat, mostly imported from China.

Experts say to take a look at packaging for nutritional information, as well as where the product was made.

Dr. Barnes said, "Look for less by-products in their treats, more locally made, and if they really feel like it, they can actually make treats for their pets."

Barnes also says to be alert on how your pet reacts when eating something new.

The FDA says if your pet becomes sick after eating jerky pet treats, hold onto them in their original container for at least 60 days in case they decide to request samples for testing.

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