The Food and Drug Administration is cautioning pet owners about chicken jerky dog snacks, after a surge in complaints by dog owners and vets associating the treats with sickness and death.
According to the FDA, the products at the center of the investigation were made in China. However, the agency has not yet pinpointed the problem or issued a recall, meaning there is not a certain product to look for.
Veterinarian Dr. Carla Cloud examined one dog experiencing symptoms at Noah's Animal Hospital in Lawrence on Tuesday.
"Her appetite has been a little bit decreased, she vomited once this weekend which is pretty abnormal for her," Dr. Cloud said. "So just feeling a little under the weather."
Dr. Cloud said the small dog ate several chicken tenders treats, one of several names given to chicken jerky-type snacks.
Back in 2007, the FDA issued its first caution alert related to chicken jerky snacks after they took 156 complaints associating them to illness and death. The FDA issued another bulletin when cases spiked again between 2008 and early 2009. The most recent caution alert comes after at least 70 complaints already this year.
In a statement the FDA said: "The complaints received have been on various chicken jerky products, but to date we have not detected any contaminants and therefore have not issued a recall or implicated any products. We are continuing to test and will notify the public if we find evidence of any contaminants."
"All we can do is say, 'If you're using this, use with caution and look for these things and proceed cautiously,'" Dr. Cloud said.
Though Arie appears to be back on track, Dr. Cloud said if you notice something wrong, take action.
"We always recommend stopping the treat immediately," Dr. Cloud said. "Get the intestinal tract back on order with some bland food, and then watch for any signs that the problem may be persisting."