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Chewy dog treats, which are made in China, have been linked to more than 1,000 dogs dying and many others becoming ill. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been investigating these mysterious incidents for nearly seven years, but the organization is still unsure about what specifically is causing these pets deaths.
The FDA has continued to examine these dog deaths after years of complaints from pet owners. According to the organization, since 2007, over 5,600 dogs, 24 cats, and even three people, have suffered from kidney, gastrointestinal, of other painful symptoms after eating dog treats. Of the three humans that ate the dog treats, two of them were toddlers who ate them by accident. One was an adult that likes to eat dog jerky as a snack.
About 60 percent of the animals that ingested the treats reported liver disease, or gastrointestinal issues. The other 30 percent experienced urinary disease or kidney disease. The other 10 percent experienced skin conditions and serious neurological problems. A New York veterinarian, Brett Levitzke, said that it is sad when pet owners try to reward their pet with a treat, which should be safe, and then it ends up making the pet very sick.
Even though the FDA is unsure about what specific ingredient is causing these illnesses, the organization is sure that the deaths of these dogs are linked to chewy dog treats, such as jerky, which are mostly made in China. However, the dog treat manufactures in China still claim their products are safe for dogs. Luke Qin is the owner of a factory in Shandong. Qin said that their products are safe and even human standard, and suggested that people should try eating them as well. Qin even ate a jerky, duck flavored, to prove they are safe and harmless.
It is hard to hone in on a specific brand of treat causing the problems. These dog treats are mostly made in China, but they are sold by many different companies and are under several different brands. There is no one product that is responsible for the dog deaths. However, the FDA has narrowed in on jerky treats. These jerky treats include duck, chicken, and sweet potato flavors.
There have been several tests done on pets, which have come back positive for Fanconi syndrome. Fanconi syndrome is a rare disease that is linked to pet treats. However, even though the dog treats have been tested extensively, a specific cause has not been found, and the number of pet deaths and illness keep rising.
A pet might become sick within hours of eating a tainted treat. Symptoms to look for are: vomiting, decreased appetite, decreased activity, an increase of water consumption, and increased urination. If a pet is experiencing any signs of illness, take the animal to a veterinarian immediately, and the FDA should also be notified.
To prevent a pet from becoming ill or even dying, it seems best to avoid dog treats that are made in China. Since the majority of tainted treats all come from China, pet owners should try to buy treats that are made in the United States. Check the label to make sure the treat was manufactured in the U.S. and not just distributed in the U.S. The FDA is continuing the investigation of these products.
By Sara Petersen