WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration is asking dog and cat owners to report any problems their pets have had after eating jerky pet treats.
In a notice to consumers and veterinarians published Tuesday, the agency said it has linked illnesses from jerky treats to 3,600 dogs and 10 cats since 2007. About 580 of those pets have died.
The FDA says its Center for Veterinary Medicine has run more than 1,200 tests, visited pet treat manufacturing plants in China and worked with researchers, state labs and foreign governments but still hasn't determined the cause of the pet illness.
The FDA says pets can suffer from a decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting and diarrhea among other symptoms within hours of eating the jerky treats.
The FDA said there isn't a particular brand for which consumers should watch.
An FDA fact sheet advised owners of pets that become sick after eating jerky treats to "hold on to any unused portion of the product in its original container for at least 60 days. Owners should place the container inside a sealable plastic bag, if possible."
FDA FACT SHEET: Why Are Jerky Treats Making Pets Sick? [PDF]
The Associated Press