Pet Treats Have Killed Thousands of Pets and the FDA Has No Idea Why

In Depth

There are disturbing reports that numerous brands of pet treats from China have killed over 1,000 dogs and made several thousand more extremely ill in the last several months. Worse, the FDA can’t figure out why.

The duck, chicken, and sweet potato jerky treats have thus far sickened 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and 3 humans (because this is America, and SOMEONE is going to eat dog treats), and as of yet, the FDA hasn’t a clue why. The FDA has asked veterinarians around the country for blood samples, but so far, they haven’t pinpointed a cause:

“This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve encountered… Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it,” said Bernadette Dunham, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Director.

Roughly 60% of afflicted pets show signs of gastrointestinal distress, and another 30% have kidney issues (the remaining 10% display neurological symptoms, dermatological symptoms, or immune reactions). If a pet becomes sick, the FDA recommends you IMMEDIATELY stop giving them the treats (well, no shit), seal the rest in a bag, and send it to them for analysis.

The illness-inducing treats also haven’t been limited to one brand or source. Just about the only connection these treats seem to have is that they all seem to have been imported from China. I know the instinct is to blame China any time something like this happens, but there’s a reason for that. A country where virtually nothing is regulated — where basically everything must be subservient to economic drive — has a tendency to cause things like this to happen.

Until the FDA figures this out, everyone please, PLEASE keep a close eye on your pets if they’ve eaten anything like this.

Image via dezi/Shutterstock.

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