Local vets and pet owners react to potentially deadly jerky treats

At 5 months, yellow lab puppy Oakley has not had any jerky treats and his owner plans to keep it that way.

After almost 600 pets have died and nearly 6,000 have gotten sick from chewing on a jerky treat, the FDA is warning pet owners to be careful. Researchers can't figure it out, but they're investigating chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky made in china.

Dressed in a hot dog costume, Oakley came to the Stack Veterinary Hospital in Syracuse for a check-up, unaware that his owner, Jen Miller, had been thinking about his food all morning.

"My first thought was oh my gosh have either of my dogs eaten one of those treats," says Miller.

Veterinarian Dr. Lisa Markham says she has not heard of any local cases so far, but warns owners to watch their pets carefully, especially if they've been fed jerky recently.

"Every owner knows their pet like they know their child. You know their habits. If their pet is acting very different, any vomiting and diarrhea is definitely a problem. If it persists for more than 24 hours you should seek veterinary care," says Markham.

Markham says you should particularly watch smaller breeds.

"We see most of the problems with small dogs and people who are giving their small dogs more than they should," says Markham.

In terms of an alternative, a safe bet is to buy treats from your local veterinary hospital because they are likely coming from reputable manufacturers. There are also snacks you eat at home that you can also feed your pet.

"You can use cheerios, you can use tiny little baby carrots, you can use pieces of fruit or different vegetables," says Markham.

All pet owners should be on high alert as the FDA continues to investigate.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off