SARASOTA, Fla. - The FDA continues its effort to find out more about a deadly batch of dog treats. Hundreds of dogs have died, but there are steps that can be taken to keep your pet safe.
This problem has been going on for years. Back in 2007 there was a massive recall of pet foods containing the ingredient "melamine", a chemical used to make plastic. But now various brands of jerky treats are possibly the cause of death for nearly 600 pets.
Dr. James Kurzydlo says, "We have been mentioning to our clients for a long time to avoid the jerky treats that are available to dogs coming from China."
We asked Dr. Kurzydlo, the veterinarian at Forest Lakes Animal Clinic, what symptoms to look for if a pet owner is concerned.
"There have been a number of dogs throughout the nation who have shown gastrointestinal problems, were it vomiting, diarrhea. Or also shown, urinal problems, were to have an increase in drinking, urinating, having trouble controlling their urine."
The FDA has received over 3,000 reports of pet illnesses related to the consumption of chicken or duck jerky treats, and they say finding answers is a priority.
"They're pro-active and they're looking very closely. They have, you might even say, forensic laboratories involved right now just trying to look for if there's a miniscule amount of a chemical that could be causing a problem. They're looking into it."
Dr. Kurzydlo says there are several pet stores in the community that provide pet food and treats that meet certain guidelines and are made in the USA.
Milllie Oberman, with Pet Supply Center, described the treats they sell. "They're far more inspected, and because they're made with things that are produced here in America without all of the additives."
Dr. Kurzydlo has not heard of any cases at this time in the community of Sarasota.
We went around the Suncoast to various pet stores in search of the tainted dog treat brands, but we couldn't find any on the shelves.
For more information on the complaints associated with the jerky pet treats, go to the FDA website.