Salmonella poisoning are two words every dog parent dreads hearing. With headline after headline beckoning one dog food recall after another, is it any wonder dog moms and dads are perplexed? Many treats and dog food items have been recalled due to risk of Salmonella. It all starts to become a system overload, especially to someone like myself, who is heavily immersed in the pet industry. So what's a diligent dog mom or dog dad to do about salmonella poisoning and its risks in your life (and that of your dog)? Read on…
According to the Center for Disease Control, Salmonellosis is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Salmonella germs have been known to cause illness for over 100 years. They were discovered by an American scientist named Salmon, for whom they are named.
When people develop Salmonella, symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps occur 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness
What About Our Pets?
In a dog or a cat, pet parents will see symptoms including diarrhea, decreased appetite, fever, and excess salivation. Pets also appear very tired. Diarrhea in some animals may have blood or mucus.If Salmonella is suspected in either a human or a pet, it is critical to contact your healthcare professional as soon as possible. For pets, if there is suspicion the pet has Salmonella from its pet food, be sure to inform the veterinarian of this information.
How Can Salmonella Be Contracted?
- Handling raw meats and not your washing hands, surfaces (countertops), dishes, utensils that come into contact with raw meat
- Eating a commercial food that is contaminated
- Eating food that is improperly cooked or eating raw food
- Handling contaminated commercial food
- Direct contact with infected feces / diarrhea from infected animals
- Birds, reptiles, amphibians can carry the bacteria and can transfer it to people
Salmonella infection can even be contracted by simply being in contact with an infected pet.
How To Prevent Salmonella Poisoning
Did you know that according to the CDC, every year approximately 42,000 cases are reported in the U.S. but the actual number is about 29 times greater considering mild cases that are not diagnosed or reported. Our friends at Hill's shared some very interesting information with me at the BlogPaws Conference recently in how pet parents can prevent Salmonella from affecting them and their pets.
How to protect yourself and your pet:
o For commercial pet food, be sure it’s from a well-respected, reputable manufacturer
o Ask about the quality and safety in manufacturing practices
o Ask if foods are routinely tested for Salmonella
o Ask if manufacturing processes ensure that all of its pet food products are safe for feeding
o Ask if meat ingredients such as poultry are sourced from USDA facilities
o What is the company’s protocol for testing their products? Does their website talk about quality and safety?
Cook Cook Cook
o Cook meats thoroughly!
o Your pet’s food should be cooked thoroughly
Wash Wash Wash
o Always wash hands with hot, soapy water, after handling raw meat.
o Always was dishes, utensils, countertops, etc. that come into contact with raw meat with hot, soapy water.
The Bottom Line
- Salmonellosis is a bacterial disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella.
- Salmonella contamination can be a danger to both pets and people.
- Salmonellosis can be transmitted from animals to humans.
- Symptoms of Salmonella include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
- Salmonellosis is more common in the summer than winter.
Keep your pets safe, know the facts, and always report any new symptoms or changes in health to your dog's veterinarian. Thanks to Hill's for this pawtastic information.