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FDA asks for help solving mystery surrounding pet illnesses.

The FDA has called upon pet owners and veterinarians to aid in figuring out why pets keep getting sick. The culprit appears to be jerky treats made in China. So far more than 3,000 dogs and cats have fallen ill from suspect jerky treats. Over 580 pets have been killed. While these numbers are alarming, incidents have increased since January.

At this time there is no recall. Several jerky treats for pets were removed from the market after testing discovered up to six drugs. Although most products causing illness have been traced to China, manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin on ingredient lists for pet foods. JerkeyGate has been described as “one of the most elusive and mysterious outbreaks we’ve ever encountered;” and the FDA is asking for more details on blood, tissue, and urine samples from affected pets. The FDA will cover the cost of testing to get determine the cause of the illnesses.

In the meantime pet owners should be vigilant. Be mindful of what type of jerky treats you are feeding your pets. If you notice your pet is sick contact your veterinarian. Remember to save any remaining treats and the packaging for possible testing. Read more about the possible dangers facing pets at USA Today’s online news story.

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