WASHINGTON -- Chicken jerky treats may have sickened dozens of dogs, federal health officials warned Wednesday despite failing to find any trace of contamination.
The Food and Drug Administration said it's fielded more than 70 complaints, involving more than 95 dogs, from owners who believe their animals fell sick after eating the products, sold variously as chicken tenders, strips or treats. While most dogs appear to have recovered, an unspecified number died.
The FDA said it's conducted extensive chemical and microbial testing on the treats but has not identified any contaminant. The agency continues to investigate.
Separately, the FDA reported it's received preliminary information from Banfield, The Pet Hospital that suggests a link between dogs that ate chicken jerky products and signs of gastrointestinal illness, including vomiting and diarrhea. Banfield is a large veterinary hospital chain that's able to collect and analyze data about the large number of pets it treats.
The FDA cautions pet owners who feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch the animals for signs of decreased appetite or activity, increased water consumption and urination, and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Owners should consult a veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours.
Earlier this year, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pulled some chicken jerky dog treats from its shelves after company testing revealed the presence of the industrial chemical melamine. Subsequent FDA testing failed to find that or other contaminants.