Most Reports Involved Treats With Ingredients Sourced From China

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 3,600 pets have gotten sick, and 580 have died, from jerky treats that were largely imported from China, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

As of Sept. 24, the FDA had received more than 3,000 reports of pet illnesses related to jerky treats, most of which were sourced from China. The reports involved 3,600 dogs and 10 cats, and more than 580 deaths, the FDA said.

There was no clear geographic pattern to the reports, the FDA said.

Many sizes of dogs and multiple breeds have been affected, the FDA said. About 60 percent of the reports were for gastrointestinal illness – sometimes with elevated liver enzymes – while 30 percent related kidney and urinary signs, and the remaining 10 percent involved such symptoms as convulsions, tremors, hives and skin problems, the FDA said.

The FDA has launched an investigation into the illnesses and deaths in conjunction with its Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network and state partners. The agency also has met with Chinese regulatory authorities and plans to host Chinese scientists as the investigation continues.

Most of the reports involve chicken jerky tenders, treats and strips. But duck and sweet potato treats, and treats where chicken or duck is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes and yams also have been pinpointed as causing illness, the FDA said.

Many brands have been affected, all with the common factor of being chicken or dug jerky treats primarily from China. The packages may not indicate that the products are sourced from China, the FDA said.

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