At least 360 dogs and one cat reportedly have died in the U.S. after eating chicken jerky pet treats made in China, even as claims of illnesses tied to the products have topped 2,200, federal veterinary health officials said.
Food and Drug Administration officials this week issued the first summary of reports of pet deaths linked to the jerky treats in the past 18 months, along with the strongest suggestion to date that owners might want to avoid the products all together.
“The FDA is reminding pet owners that jerky pet treats are not necessary for pets to have a fully balanced diet, so eliminating them will not harm pets,” agency officials said in an online report.
At the same time, the FDA said it will begin testing treats to see whether irradiation of the products may have contributed to reports of treat-related problems ranging from diarrhea and vomiting to kidney failure, Fanconi syndrome and death.
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