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FDA asks for Vets Help Identifying Deadly Virus Killing Dogs - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

FDA asks for Vets Help Identifying Deadly Virus Killing Dogs

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It's an outbreak that the FDA has not been able to get a handle on and it's left more than 3,500 dogs sick, and another 600 dead since 2007. The FDA sent letters out on Wednesday all across the U.S. to vet clinics asking for their help figuring out what the illness is. Right now authorities are blaming jerky pet treats likely from China for the sickness. Valley News team's Eric Crest talked with a local all natural pet store owner to get some insight on what to avoid.

Different breeds. different sizes, but the ones that got a mysterious bug all have the same dog-on problem. Decreased appetite, activity, their throwing up, and it has something to do with jerky pet treats from China.

"Until the recent story hit it's been awhile since we've had customers ask about it. But I would say even a few months ago, a year ago, it was pretty big. We had a lot of customers who had sick dogs and were looking for an alternative to the chicken treats," says Michelle Smith, the owner of the Natural Pet Center which sells natural pet products in Fargo.

At the Natural Pet Center you'll find a variety of treats for your pets. But you won't find any with those extra ingredients concerned mom's often worry about.

"Certainly any chemical preservatives, any coloring additives of that nature, are always good to stay away from," adds Smith.

It's all of those additives that got Alycia Flannigan worrying about her pets too. So she opened the Furry Feet Bakery for some local options of dog treats.

"We were looking at treats one day and realized there's a lot of stuff in the treats that we didn't know what it was, and we thought we should make them," says Flannigan. Since starting her business Flannigan says it's nice to have a local option, minus all the ingredients that we as humans often enjoy.

Her product contains all natural ingredients, and the best part, you don't have to wonder where it's from. Which is precisely what the owner over at the Natural Pet Center says is the number one thing to look for in this current crisis that the FDA can't seem to get a handle on.

"I guess the main difference from the products that we carry versus the products that are having issues is that our products are products of the USA," says Smith.

So for now the words "product of the USA" will give you some temporary peace, when buying your pet food.

Some of the name brands to avoid are likely discounted at box stores. They include Waggin Train, Canyon Creek Ranch Treats and Milo's Kitchen Chicken Jerky. On another note, just because it's organic doesn't mean it's safe from an outbreak. The FDA doesn't even know what's causing the illness for sure at this point.

If you want to check out the newest local all natural dog treats in the Fargo Moorhead area send the Furry Feet Bakery an email at furryfeetbakery@gmail.com

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