Veterinarian urges caution after FDA jerky treat alert

Staff report

October 27, 2013

Dr. Lee Beckworth of the Ashe Animal Clinic urged caution this week in response to an FDA alert issued after nearly hundreds of pets nationwide became ill and died from eating tainted jerky treats from China.

“Be very aware,” Beckworth said. “Look at the labels.”

People should take their pet to the veterinarian immediately if they notice gastro-intestinal symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea after eating jerky treats labelled “Made in China,” he said.

But, he added, such incidents are unlikely, and pet owners should not panic.

“It’s important you don’t overreact to these reports. Given the number of pets that have died versus the number of dogs in the country, it’s very unlikey we will see any incidents,” he said.

Since 2007, the FDA has received reports of 3,600 dogs and 10 cats becoming ill from eating jerky treats. Approximately 580 of those pets have died.

Most of the jerky treats involved have come from China.

“We went through this a few years ago with dog food from China, and those products were recalled. I suspect they will have pulled these treats from the shelves,” Beckworth said.

Possible jerky treat related illnesses should be reported online or by calling the state FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator at 404-253-1169.