(Athens, Ga.) — The University of Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, located in Athens and Tifton, are collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network to evaluate diagnostic samples from companion animals in suspect cases of exposure to contaminated foods or drugs, to help protect human and animal health.
On May 16, 2014, the FDA released an update to its ongoing investigation into pet illnesses and deaths associated with jerky pet treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. Since 2007, the FDA has investigated over 4,800 reports of pet illnesses related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats. As of May 1, 2014, more than 5,600 dog cases, 24 cat cases, 3 human cases, and more than 1,000 canine deaths have been reported. So far, no specific cause has been determined for these illnesses. For more information click here.Investigation
The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine is partnering with other government agencies, such as the CDC, and member laboratories of the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), such as the Georgia Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, to investigate jerky pet treat illnesses nationwide. In this regard, we will conduct FDA-approved and FDA-paid testing on jerky pet treats, animal specimens, or entire pet carcasses as part of the investigation. If you suspect your pet has become ill as a result of eating jerky pet treats, report the case through the FDA Safety Reporting Portal (or call the FDA at 1.240.276.9300). You must obtain FDA pre-approval prior to submitting suspect jerky pet treats, sick animal samples, or dead animals to us through your veterinarian.What to look for in your pet
Pets that have consumed potentially contaminated jerky treats may exhibit the following symptoms within hours to several days following consumption: decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption and increased urination.Information to be provided to the FDA and/or to your veterinarian should include