It's heartbreaking for any pet lover to watch their animal go through pain. That's why a Pearl City family is hoping others can avoid the ordeal they've been through.
The Ito family says their pet dog went from a happy, healthy dog to practically near death after giving him jerky treats.
Kobe, a nearly 11-year-old Pomeranian-mix, is full of energy and has a hearty appetite. It's a stark contrast from when he was brought into the Waipahu Waikele Pet Hospital about a year ago.
"We had to force feed him with a syringe and he'll throw it up. He wouldn't eat anything and he'll just lay there," Kobe's owner Jessie Ito said.
Kobe had been eating one of the pet treats made in China that the Food and Drug Administration is investigating.
After two months of eating it, Kobe was diagnosed with kidney disease. His weight dropped from 20 to 13 pounds.
"At that point, Dr. Morikami says in a sense just feed him what he wants to eat and just enjoy him at that time, so we thought. Well, we expected the worse," Kobe's owner Lance Ito said.
Dr. Dawn Morikami says there's something in the treats that caused both of Kobe's kidneys to stop working. Kobe was in the hospital for a week on two occasions getting constant care. And for months, he had to get treatments three times a week.
"He went through two bouts of really intensive IV fluid therapy to help get him more stabilized and after a lot of care a lot of long-term treatment. He pulled through. He's doing great now," Dr. Morikami said.
The FDA says nationwide, nearly 600 dogs and cats have died from eating the treats, and another 3,600 have gotten sick since 2007.
The FDA has issued a warning on the products, but not a recall because it's still not sure what exactly is making pets sick.
Dr. Morikami says her hospital has seen three other possible cases. One dog has died.
"I've been just warning my clients if anything is manufactured in China, it doesn't matter what the ingredient is, just don't give it. It's not worth the risk," Dr. Morikami said.
Dr. Morikami also warns that some products don't say "Made in China" even though they are. So she says make sure it actually says "Made in USA" or "Made in Canada."
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