(FDA) According to the update on an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it has received in total more than 4,800 complaints of illness in pets that ate chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats; nearly all of which were imported from China. The reports involve more than 5,600 dogs, 24 cats and three people - an overall increase of 1,800 new cases since October, 2013. As of yet, the FDA has still not been able to identify a specific cause for the reported illnesses or deaths.

The agency continues to review case records, test treat samples from reported cases, screen tissue, blood, urinary and fecal samples, and communicate with the attending veterinarians and pet owners to thoroughly investigate select cases. Because of the volume of information received in response to a "Dear Veterinarian letter," the agency has not completed an update to online case spreadsheets (an update is promised in the coming months).

The agency continues to caution pet owners that jerky pet treats are not required for a balanced diet, and encourages you to consult with their veterinarians, both prior to feeding treats and if you notice symptoms in their pets.

If your pet has experienced signs of illness that you suspect is related to jerky pet treats, we have provided a link that will give you direction on how to file a report. The FDA does not necessarily respond to every individual complaint submitted, but it considers each report valuable insofar as it becomes part of the body of knowledge that helps to inform their investigation.

Click here to read more about the toxic treats on FDA.gov.