Chinese Treats Lead to Thousands of “Mysterious” Pet Illnesses and Deaths
Occasionally after reading one of the stories in our newscasts I’ll come home and check if it applies to me. Tonight was one of those times. There was a story that worried me. And if you’re a pet owner, it should worry you too.
There’s a warning about a popular treat many people give their pets. The FDA is investigating “jerky treat” products. And for good reason. Since 2007 they’ve been tied to nearly 600 deaths, and more than 3600 illnesses in dogs. And not just dogs are getting sick. A few cats too.
The FDA calls it one of the most mysterious outbreaks it’s ever encountered, saying there isn’t just one particular brand of jerky treats to avoid. They’re causing kidney disease, and the most severe symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. Veterinarian Dr. Mike Jones says it could also cause your dog to be thirsty all the time. “A lot of people think my dog is drinking a lot of water, that’s a good thing,” says Jones. “Well, if they drink too much it’s not a good thing.” He advises pet owners if they notice any change in their dog’s appetite or water consumption to see their vet.
While there’s not one brand of jerky to point the paw at, most of it is made, you guessed it, in China. Doc Jones: “We know that their regulations are not as strict as ours. If it says “Made in China” for a dog treat or a dog food, I wouldn’t feed it.” His advise? Avoid treats altogether, and throw out any of them, made in China.
We have four dogs (including my college son’s dog Switzer), and give them treats all the time. As soon as I got home I checked the pantry. Fortunately they weren’t the jerky treats. But in the small print, the package says Made in China. That’s enough for me. Following the good doctor’s advice about avoiding treats altogether, especially those made in China, I tossed them in the garbage. Better safe than sorry.