The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners feeding their beloved animals chicken jerky treats after reports of illnesses and deaths that may be related to the treats since 2007.
The FDA says they have received reports involving more than 3600 sick dogs and 10 sick cats, including more than 580 deaths, which may be related to the consumption of the jerky treats from multiple brands.
Though the FDA has seen a decrease in the amount of complaints from pet owners and veterinarians since February 2013 saying their animal became sick after ingesting the jerky products, they are still receiving new complaints.
Most of the complaints are linked to jerky products sourced from China, according to the FDA.
The FDA says dogs affected spans multiple breeds, sizes and ages. About 60 percent of illnesses reported are for gastrointestinal illness and about 30 percent are related to kidney or urinary problems.
Most of the complaints come from chicken jerky (treats, tenders and strips) but other owners report animal sickness after ingesting duck treats, sweet potato treats and treats with chicken or duck jerky wrapped around dried fruit, according to the FDA.
The FDA advises those who feed their dog jerky products to watch their animal closely for signs of sickness, such as: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea; sometimes with blood, increased water consumption and/or increased urination.
The FDA says this is an ongoing investigation and will alert the public if a recall is initiated from any company selling the jerky products.
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