ARLINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether something in jerky treats for dogs has killed nearly 600 pets and sickened thousands more.
Investigators aren’t sure how many thousands, because not all cases would have been reported. They're now asking pet owners to contact them if they believe jerky has caused their dogs to get sick.
An Arlington woman wonders if rawhide chews could also be part of the problem. Barbara Hardin noticed trouble almost immediately after giving her two dogs a brand of Chinese-made chicken and pork chews she had never bought before.
"The next morning woke up, there was a big mess she made in the kitchen," Hardin said, adding that both her dogs had bloody stools.
On Wednesday morning, Hardin learned about the FDA investigation. She saved the package to send in, although it's not one of those involved in the current probe.
But some of the ingredients are the same, and they were made in China, where the suspected type of chicken jerky originated.
Hardin just wants pet owners to pay closer attention now. "Please, please, tell the public to watch what you give your animals,” she said. "These are our pets... our children."
The FDA said it hasn't identified a specific ingredient responsible for sickening dogs. Visit the FDA website for additional information.