Menomonee Falls, WI August 8, 2019
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care, Inc. is warning pet owners about the connection of pig ear treats and the human salmonella outbreak.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that there had been 127 cases of multidrug-resistant salmonella infections from 33 states as of July 31, 2019. Twenty-six people are currently hospitalized, and 24 others who have fallen ill are children younger than five years old. No deaths have been reported.
The FDA, together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is investigating a link between pig ear treats and human cases of salmonella. Some of the cases have been traced back to sources in Brazil and Argentina. FDA is working with distributors to remove pig ear pet treats from the marketplace and identify stores where they may have been delivered.
Based on this information, the CDC and FDA are strongly recommending that pet owners do not purchase or feed their pets any pig ear treats. If people have any previously purchased treats in their homes, the pig ears should be completely wrapped and safely discarded. Wherever they were stored should be disinfected and thoroughly cleaned. Salmonella can be a significant health hazard to both the family and their pets.
Dogs Getting Sick, But Humans Are Too
Approximately 69% of people who got sick stated that they had recent contact with pig ear treats, and 90% indicated that they had contact with a dog shortly before getting ill. Salmonella can infect animals eating the products and humans handling the contaminated pet treats. This is especially so if the owner’s hands are not carefully washed after contact is made.
The symptoms of salmonella in humans are flu-like and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. According to the CDC, symptoms typically develop 12 to 72 hours after the initial infection. The illness usually lasts between four to seven days. Hospitalization may occur if severe.
Some dogs may not look sick but still, have a salmonella infection. Infected dogs frequently have diarrhea containing mucus or blood. They may also seem more tired than usual, vomit often, or have a fever.
What Should Pet Owners Do?
If you have symptoms of the salmonella infection, consult your healthcare provider immediately. If your pet is showing signs of salmonella, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
In addition, the Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital makes these suggestions to avoid becoming infected:
- Do not feed any pig ear treats to your dogs.
- Wash containers, shelves, and other areas that held any pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water. Be sure to wash your hands after handling any of these items.
- Throw the treats away in a secure container so that your pets or any other animals won’t eat them.
- Even if some of the pig ears were fed to your dog, and no one got sick, you should still throw them away!
However, if you choose to continue feeding pig ears to your dog, you must practice good hygiene. Monitor your pet while they have the treat and properly dispose of any leftovers. Keep these treats away from small children and clean all areas the pig ears touched. Wash your hands and do not allow your pet to lick you, your family members, or any surface in your home. The infection can be passed from your pet through saliva.
The best way to protect yourself and your family is to avoid purchasing or feeding your pets any pig ear treats for the foreseeable future. Wait until this issue has been resolved.
Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital and Exotic Care is dedicated to providing quality care to all companion pets and exotic animals. Brook-Falls is a Menomonee Falls, WI-based full-service veterinary hospital with an extensive range of comprehensive medical, dental, diagnostic, and surgical services to meet the varying needs of all patients. Brook-Falls Veterinary also offers informational and educational media and seminars for pet owners by way of blogs, digital TV series (Expert Veterinary Television), e-books, whitepapers, infographics, and more.
For more information, contact Brook-Falls Veterinary Hospital & Exotic Care, Inc.