FDA warns about dangerous jerky treats for pets
DENVER — Jerky treats for pets are now connected to nearly 600 deaths since 1997.
The FDA is still struggling to determine what is actually making the treats so dangerous, so this week the agency is calling on veterinarians to track cases related to the jerky.
The idea is to identify sources of the jerky that may not be identified as being based in China, where other deadly treats are processed.
Dr. Dean Vicksman of Evans East Animal Hospital in Denver says keeping detailed records is crucial to solving the problem and adds, “There are many different kinds of toxins (inside) of these different kinds of treats.”
The FDA is also asking pet owners with animals that have developed symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite to bag and seal any jerky treats the pet may have eaten and keep them for 60 days.
Serial numbers can be used to track the source and then reported to the FDA.
Jerky treats under the brand name Waggin’ Train have been pulled from store shelves but a FOX 31 investigation in February revealed that jerky can be found online.
The FDA says other brands may be manufactured in China as well. Many concerned pet owners are looking for alternatives.
Dr. Vicksman says traditional treats like biscuits are an option and if you want to completely natural, hard veggies like carrots and broccoli are great choices. The stalks are hard and can help to keep teeth and gums clean.