New research suggests the treats we feed our pets may be making them sick or even worse, killing them.
The Federal Drug Administration is investigating a popular pet treat that has been linked to hundreds of dog deaths.
“The most severe symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, but the real underlying problem causing the problem is kidney disease,” said Veterinarian Internal Medicine Specialist Diane Levitan.
The FDA linked pet jerky treat products, most of which are 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 10 cats have also fallen ill.
The FDA said more than 1,200 samples have been tested since 2011, looking for things such as 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,” Levitan said.
Investigators claim to be meeting with regulators in China to share its findings, but expert 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 a urine sample and blood work from ill pets who 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,” Levitan said.
Nestle, Purina, Canyon Creek and Corp’s Milo’s are voluntarily recalling their products while the FDA investigates.
“If it’s unhealthy and they are warning you against it, then no you shouldn’t be giving it to them,” Levitan said.
The FDA said they have found one firm in Chine that they said used falsified documents for the jerky ingredient glycerin.
Since then, Chinese authorities seized their products and suspended exports in hopes of finding what is killing our four-legged friend.
But, so far, there is no evidence that glycerin is the cause.