Federal health officials are warning pet owners to be cautious about feeding their dogs jerky treats as they investigate a mysterious illness that has left nearly 600 dogs dead.  The treat-related outbreak has also sickened more than 3,000 other dogs.

The FDA has issued an alert to consumers about the illnesses and deaths tied to jerky treats form China.    The exact cause of the illnesses remains unknown.

The agency has received reports from pet owners and veterinarians about jerky pet treat-related illnesses affecting 3,6000 dogs and 10 cats in the U.S.   About 580 of those pets have died.    The FDA urges owners of pets showing symptoms of decreased appetite, vomiting, increased water consumption and decreased activity to consult a veterinarian and save any remaining treats for testing.

NBC News