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Colorado Dog Owners Blame Illnesses, Death On Treats From China

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) CBS4 has reported on the hundreds of pet owners that say that chicken jerky treats made in China make their dogs sick. The Food and Drug Administration, FDA, has issued 3 warnings, but no recall, so stores continue to sell chicken jerky treats made in China.

The first warning from the FDA came in 2007. The agency has been actively investigating illnesses associated with the treats made in China. In 2008, the FDA issued another warning and then again in 2011, when the FDA saw complaints rise. The latest update was in March, when the FDA stated “no specific products have been recalled because a definitive cause has not been determined”. The FDA confirmed to CBS4 that it sent investigators to China to work on the problem.

Meanwhile, CBS4 found chicken jerky treats made in China at several retailers. The makers of the products and the retailers say that no link has been made between illness and chicken jerky treats, and that until there is a recall they’ll continue distributing the treats.

Related: FDA Investigates Safety Of Chicken Jerky Treats Made In China

Colorado pet owners are now making the connection between illnesses in their dogs and chicken jerky treats made in China.

Sandi Stephens says her dog Sophie got sick over the weekend. For Keith Graves’ lab, Roja, it started a couple of weeks ago. Bonnie Rohn went through it a year ago. All the dogs showed the same symptoms:

–Lack of appetite

–Lethargy

–Vomiting

–Diarrhea

–Kidney Failure

“The vet said she was suffering from kidney failure and she had a toxin in her kidney,” Chase said about Roja.

Stephens said that Sophie spent several nights in the hospital. She was on the mend but then ate more of the treats and got sick again.

“She started the lethargy, and the vomiting and the diarrhea all over again,” Stephens said.

After she stopped feeding Sophie the treats, she got better again. Teri died last May from the kidney failure. All Bonnie Rohn has left are her ashes and a paw print.

“These were her treats. This is what she got all the time,” said Rohn.

Roja didn’t make it either. Graves had to put her down just days ago.

Now these pet owners are left with hundreds and even thousands of dollars in vet bills, and a strong desire to stop the illnesses.

“I hope people get rid of them,” Rohn said.

“I say shame on the pet stores and the companies that are having them made in China,” said Stephens.

Graves sent a sample of the chicken jerky treats made in China to a friend for chemical testing. The lab couldn’t find any toxins in the sample he sent and they couldn’t find any toxins in an independent sample they got, but they say that doesn’t mean there aren’t toxins in other samples.

The FDA did send investigators to China in an effort to track down the problem. The agency has started a new round of testing based on that trip. There is no word when those test results would be finished.
RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks

- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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