Monday, October 28 2013, 07:19 PM EDT
East Ridge Woman Blames Dog's Death On Jerky Treats
A dog in East Ridge is one out of 580 dogs throughout the US who reportedly died after eating jerky treats imported from China.
This information comes from the Food and Drug Administration who say this type of treat may be to blame for the thousands of dogs sickened since 2007. One local pet owner says she's pushing for change before another dog suffers like hers did.
Patricia Cassidy says her 6-year-old dog, Doodles was always full of spirit and energy. But in July, everything changed.
"He progressively got worse. We did the IV treatments and all that and he got so sick that all he was doing was throwing up yellow bile. He went from sixteen pounds to six pounds within eight weeks," says Cassidy.
For weeks Cassidy tried to figure out what was wrong. Then Doodle's veterinarian delivered the news. He was sick most likely because of jerky treats. Just two months after, Doodles passed away.
"The first thing I thought is I killed my dog because I trusted in things like that to give him just like I would my child. So I felt like I took it personally. It took me a lot to get over the fact that I didn't do it. That it was my trust in what we eat and what we give our pets, what we clean our houses with, what we brush our teeth with things on my shelves. They killed my dog. I didn't kill my dog," says Cassidy.
What makes it worse is officials still aren't sure what causes the sickness.
"We don't know what it is. These treats have been examined. They've looked at antibiotic residues, they've looked at chemical residues, they've looked at heavy metals and other drugs," says Dr. Liz Boggan with Red Bank Animal Hospital.
Dr. Boggan has advice for pet owners.
"I always recommend people steer clear of treats made in China because that's where we've seen the most quality control issues. One problem with that advice is some of the ingredients may come from China but the product may not be manufactured there. So use particular caution when feeding any type of jerky treat," says Dr. Boggan.
As for Cassidy, she says she won't stop fighting for answers.
"Doodles was part of our family. We miss him. I miss him. I would do anything to have him back. I know all this isn't going to bring him back but at least I'm doing something," says Cassidy.
Dr. Boggan says if you notice your dog or cat is eating and playing less than they normally do or has vomiting and diarrhea, take them to your local veterinarian right away.
The FDA says symptoms can show up just hours after eating the treat.