The FDA has released new information about the investigation into jerky treats for pets that have killed more than 1,000 dogs.
According to the FDA, they've received more than 4,800 complaints about sick pets who ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats. Nearly all of the treats were imported from China.
The complaints include more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats and three people. Sixty percent of the cases report gastrointestinal/liver disease, 30 percent report kidney or urinary disease and 10 percent report various other health issues. Many of the reports came in from owners with multiple dogs. The FDA says they received almost 2,000 cases since last October.
The FDA has received case reports from veterinarians who treated animals sickened after eating the treats. They also did postmortem examinations on 26 dogs. They found clues that linked the treats with the cause of death in at least half of the pets.
The tests the FDA has done on the jerky treats show low levels of antibiotics, as well as the drug Amantadine, which is an antiviral and antiparkinsonian medication that is FDA-approved for use in people.
The FDA started investigating in 2007 and has struggled to make much progress. Last year the FDA sent letters to veterinary clinics throughout the U.S. and asked them to tell pet owners about illness associated with the treats.
The FDA recommends pet owners talk to their veterinarians before giving their pets treats.