Local vets warn of dangers associated with dog jerky treats

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Food and Drug Administration is linking pet jerky treat products, most of which were made in China, to 580 deaths and more than 3,600 illness in dogs.

The FDA says more than 1,200 samples have been tested since 2011, looking for things like pesticides and salmonella.

Local veterinarians say that they have not seen any severe cases. However, they have treated sick dogs in relation to food illness. It is unclear at this time is it is related to these jerky treats.

"Food is causing so many problems, it's just horrible and it's every dog owner's nightmare," explains a local dog owner at Armleder Dog Park.

Many dog owners at the park have concerns about the news coming from the FDA. So what do pet owners need to watch for?

"Vomiting, diarrhea with blood in it, sometimes without, lethargy, you could see some kidney signs such as drinking a lot and peeing a lot," explains Dr. Larry Keller, a vet at Lewis Pet Hospital.

Keller says it's unknown what's in the jerky treats that is causing sickness and sometimes death.

The FDA has published a list of treats that may be associated with the mysterious outbreak. Many of these treats are no longer on store shelves. However, some are – including the Dogswell treats that are made in China.

"It does seem to be Jerky Treats, it seems to be the big constant," explains Keller. "So my main recommendation is to possibly stay away from jerky treats, anything with jerky in it would be a good thing to avoid until they figure it out."

"It's scary because a lot of times we go into the stores thinking that we can really depend on these different brands that we buy, but we're really taking a huge risk either way," explains dog owner Kamilah Muhammad.

Anyone with concerns is asked to contact a local veterinarian and set up an appointment. Veterinarians are also asking individuals to collect the information and send it to the FDA.

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