Wave of illnesses linked to tainted jerky treats prompts FDA probe


More than 500 dogs in the U.S. have been reported sickened after consuming Chinese-made chicken jerky treats since November.

Complaint logs from the Food and Drug Administration show hundreds of pet owners and veterinarians reported kidney failure and other serious ailments they believed were linked to three popular treat brands, according to an MSNBC investigation. 

The majority of cases were connected to 13 different types of Waggin' Train or Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats or tenders, both produced by Nestle Purina Petcare Co..

The number of reports of illness rose dramatically after the FDA warned pet owners about the jerky treats in November, but the agency has not issued a recall becaues no definitive cause has been determined, MSNBC reports.

The probe comes as calls rise from pet owners for increased scrutiny of foreign-made treats.

Robin Pierre co-founder of Animal Parents Against Pet Treats Made in China, wants treats recalled or at least a warning lable on packaging. Pierre blames Waggin Train treats for the death of her 2-year-old pug, Bella.

Nestle Purina defends the safety of its treats, saying the illnesses and fatalities could have been caused by something else.

Consumers can file complaints about pet food or treats at the FDA website.