This week, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has now received around 3,000 reports of illnesses in pets related to jerky treats. This number includes 580 fatal cases. These reports date back to 2007.
Although several warnings have been issued from the FDA regarding jerky treats from China, the exact cause of the illness is still unknown. Testing has been inconclusive so far, with about 60% of reported cases involving gastrointestinal illness and around 30% involving urinary or kidney symptoms.
The FDA is encouraging veterinarians to report illnesses associated with jerky treats using a “Dear Veterinarian” letter. They have also compiled a Jerky Treats fact sheet for concerned pet owners to refer to.
If you notice your pet is experiencing decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased water consumption, or increased urination, it is advised to contact a veterinarian. Manufacturers are not required to include the country of origin on pet treat packaging.