Pet Jerky FDA: 1,000 Dogs Dead, Nearly 5,000 Ill, Cause Unclear

Pet jerky has caused illness and death in several thousand dogs and the FDA doesn’t know why. According to NBC News, certain pet jerky treats seem to be the common denominator in the deaths of 1,000 dogs and the illnesses of nearly 5,000 more. Three humans have also fallen ill after consuming the treats: Two toddlers reportedly ate the treats “accidentally” while one adult was said to be “snacking” on the dog food.

The FDA said the following in a statement:

“The agency continues to caution pet owners that jerky treats are not required for a balanced diet and encourage them to consult with their veterinarians, both prior to feeding treats and if they notice symptoms in their pets.”

According to the FDA, the pet jerky caused all three humans to become quite ill. One child was diagnosed with a salmonella infection while the other came down with a sort of gastrointestinal illness and a fever — which seems to be the most common symptoms in dogs. The adult who sampled the treats suffered “nausea and [a] headache.” All three are expected to be okay.

The treats that are causing the illnesses and deaths are different brands made by different manufacturers. They include chicken, duck, and sweet potato varieties of jerky treats. Although the FDA can’t seem to pin down what’s causing the problems, pet owners need to be aware that not all “treats” are good for their four-legged friends. Many pet owners have decided to steer clear of all jerky type treats — since there are so many other options out there anyway, why chance it?

The pet jerky epidemic is still being looked into by the FDA and tests are being done to try and solve the mystery. According to VIN News Service, previous testing has turned up strange things. The insect repellent DEET and the drug amantadine have been found in several pathology reports.

Brett Levitzke, a Brooklyn, New York, veterinarian familiar with the case told NBC News:

“It’s quite sad when you see it dawn on the people that they’re trying to reward their best buddy there and then now they’re the ones who have been making them ill.”

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this has been a mystery for quite some time. As of Oct. 2013, 600 pets were killed and 3,600 had fallen ill after consuming the pet jerky treats. The FDA has come up short and these treats are still on shelves in stores nationwide. Despite some companies doing “voluntary recalls,” many have since put their products back on the market because they can’t seem to identify the exact problem either.

[Photo courtesy of Celsim Junior / Wikimedia Commons]