After almost 600 pets have died and another 3,600 more have fallen ill, animal health officials are no closer to what caused the sickness linked to China-made jerky treats.
The Federal Drug administration said pets - nearly all dogs along with 10 cats - became ill with violent gastrointestinal distress after eating various brands of duck, chicken and sweet potato jerky treats. Reports of illnesses being tracked since 2007 in most states, including Pennsylvania, have slowed since recalls were issued on certain brands.
But cases of illness linked to jerky treats continue, leaving federal officials with an unsolved pet health mystery.
“To date, testing for contaminants in jerky treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses,” Martine Hartogensis, a deputy director for the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in the new report released Tuesday. “Despite these warnings, we have continued to receive reports of illnesses in both cats and dogs.”