Vet outlines symptoms to look for in dog treat sickness outbreak - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Vet outlines symptoms to look for in dog treat sickness outbreak

FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Pet owners need to check what treats they're giving their dogs.

Thousands of dogs have gotten sick, nearly 600 have died and it's possibly linked to a type of treat.

The Food and Drug Administration said over the last six years, jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit have sickened more than 3,600 dogs and several cats.

"Everybody who's been feeding some of these treats, it's probably a good idea to just come in and get checked out," said Dr. John Rowe, a veterinarian.

Rowe is not feeding the jerky treats. Dogs under his watch at his south Kansas City clinic are getting real chicken treats and nothing processed or from China.

China is the common denominator in the illnesses. The FDA has been making trips to manufacturers there but still can't determine the problem.

There are no specific brands, but if a person has jerky animal treats that were made in China, officials highly recommend to stop using them right away.

"The symptoms you want to watch for are decreased appetite, changes from normal activity, lethargic, vomiting and diarrhea," Rowe said.

There's been no recall at this point of any of the treats, but several companies have pulled their product for testing.

Doctors said the symptoms can come on quickly after ingesting the treats and many times it can be too late. They tell pet owners to get their pet to the veterinarian immediately if they suspect they're sick from treats.

The FDA is also asking anyone who has a pet that has gotten sick from the treats to save the leftovers in case they need to be tested.

The FDA also released a statement that said, "Our beloved four-legged companions deserve our best effort and we are giving it."

The agency also released a letter to veterinarians asking that they provide samples from affected animals and continue to report on jerky-related illnesses.

Click here for more information on the jerky pet treats.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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