COLUMBIA - Pet jerky that has killed nearly 600 dogs was still on pet store shelves in Columbia Wednesday.
Since 2007, more than 3,600 dogs and cats nation-wide have been sickened by various kinds of pet jerky. Local veterinarians said they have not seen any cases recently.
Despite sickening thousands of pets, the FDA has not recalled the jerky that is still on local pet stores' shelves. One store has even expanded its American-made section of pet jerky.
"We really are emphasizing on 'Made in the US' jerky for people," said Ian Robinson, manager at the Petco in Columbia.
About 1,200 tests have been performed on the jerky, but the cause of contamination is still unknown. Most contaminated jerky originates from China, but pet food manufacturers are not required to list where the products are made. The jerky in-question is made of chicken, duck, sweet potato, or dried fruit.
Pet owners are being asked to watch their pets for signs of illness after eating the food.
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased activity
- Increased water consumption
- Increased urination
Pet owners whose pets become sick after eating the jerky should keep the food in its original container for 60 days in case the FDA recalls the product.
The FDA is asking for veterinarians' and pet owners' help. With the pet owner's consent, veterinarians may be asked to send in samples of a sick animal's blood, urine, or tissue for testing to try to determine the cause of the contamination.