FDA Needs Help with Jerky Treat Illnesses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reaching out to pet owners and veterinarians for help in its ongoing investigation into mysterious jerky pet treat-related illnesses. Specifically, the agency is looking for information about any pets that have fallen ill after eating these types of treats.

Since 2007, the FDA has received reports about such illnesses involving 3,600 dogs and 10 cats, including approximately 580 pet deaths. Despite the fact that it has conducted more than 1,200 product sample tests and visited manufacturing facilities in China, the agency has been unable to uncover a direct cause of the illness, leading to the call for more information.

"This is one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we've encountered," said Bernadette Dunham, DVM, Ph.D, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, in a statement. "Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort, and we are giving it."

The FDA detailed what information it needs in a letter to licensed veterinarians—including, in some cases, blood, urine and tissue samples from patients for further analysis.

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