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Chicken Treats May Have Sickened Hundreds of Dogs

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Over the past month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received more than 200 reports of dogs being sickened -- some fatally -- after eating chicken jerky treats imported from China.

On Nov. 18 the FDA warned it had received an increase in complaints of illnesses in dogs that had eaten chicken jerky -- tenders, strips and treats. At that point, there had been 70 reports.

Since then, the agency has received another 283 reports. That brings the total to 353 pets sickened. Some of them died, but the FDA has not released a number of deaths.

Investigators have not yet directly linked the illnesses to eating the treats and contaminants have not yet been found on any particular product.

An FDA spokeswoman writes: “A specific brand hasn't been identified nor a causal relationship established between the chicken jerky products and the reports of illnesses/deaths. The FDA is actively investigating the matter and conducting analysis for multiple different chemical and microbiological contaminants. We have tested numerous samples of chicken jerky products for possible contaminants including melamine. The complaints received have been on various chicken jerky products but to date we have not detected any contaminants and therefore have not issued a recall or implicated any products. We are continuing to test and will notify the public if we find evidence of any contaminants.”

The FDA spokeswoman also says, “It's also important to note that not all complaints have been triaged and categorized yet at to what types of symptoms.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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