Local dog death linked to treats from China, one of several hundred
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - A Chattanooga woman has also been in contact with the Food and Drug Administration, pushing for stricter rules and warnings on dog treats. Her dog is one of nearly 600 deaths linked to treats from China that are on American store shelves. She's making it her mission to save other pets from meeting the same fate.
"Eight weeks. That's all it took," Patricia Cassidy said.
Chattanooga resident Patricia Cassidy says dog treats killed her perfectly healthy pet last month.
"It was horrible. He went from 16 pounds to less than 6 pounds. When he died he was nothing but bones," she said.
She regularly gave her 6-year-old shih tzu, Doodles, sweet potato treats made in China, but then he stopped eating and got very sick. Her vet said the treats were likely causing kidney failure. Doodles took dialysis treatment, but it wasn't enough to save him.
"I promised Doodles the day he died that I would do something so that people would know how bad he did suffer, that I wouldn't let it happen to anybody else," Cassidy said.
Several local veterinarians are warning their clients about the potentially deadly treats. Dr. Randy Hammon has a list of ones to avoid posted in his office and sells those made in America.
"Look at the treat bag, even if it's a brand that you recognize, but look where it's made," Dr. Hammon said.
The FDA has been investigating the issue since 2007, but hasn't been able to pinpoint a certain manufacturing facility or ingredient, rather just the broad fact that the treats making dogs sick are all from China.
"The FDA is telling people to beware but it's difficult for them to pull certain products off the shelf," Dr. Hammon said.
Cassidy says the FDA needs to do more to warn pet owners, so they don't suffer the loss she has.
"I've stopped people in Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and I've told them don't buy that and they haven't heard about it, so at least I'm getting the word out," Cassidy said.
The FDA will hold three public meetings in November and December to seek input on its proposed rule-- requiring companies to analyze potential safety hazards of their products and follow "current good manufacturing practices." It would be adopted as law within 60 days after the comment period closes. Until now, there's been no such requirements that specifically address animal food.