Forty-five people in 13 states have reported becoming ill with a strain of Salmonella, many of whom after giving their dogs pig ear dog treats since November, the CDC reported.
Of the 45 people sickened, 12 were hospitalized. Of those interviewed, 71 percent reported contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed pig ear dog treats.
The report did not contain a recall, but some pig ear treats have been pulled from shelves.
The CDC said that the Michigan Department of Agriculture tested pig ears for salmonella. Although the outbreak strain of salmonella was not found in the pig ears, of strains were. The CDC said that investigators are checking to see if the pig ears tested were responsible for the illnesses.
In the meantime, the CDC offers the following advice:
- Tips to stay healthy while feeding your dog
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after handling pet food or treats, including pig ears.
- When possible, store pet food and treats away from where human food is stored or prepared and away from the reach of young children.
- Don’t use your pet’s feeding bowl to scoop food. Use a clean, dedicated scoop, spoon, or cup.
- Always follow any storage instructions on pet food bags or containers.
- Play safely
- Don’t let your pet lick your mouth or face after it eats pet food or treats.
- Don’t let your pet lick any open wounds or areas with broken skin.
- If you do play with your pet after it has just eaten, wash your hands and any part of your body it licked with soap and water.
- Shop safely
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching unpackaged pet treats, such as food or treats in bulk bins.
- Take extra care around young children
- Children younger than 5 years old should not touch or eat pet food or treats.
- Young children are at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.
- Adults should supervise handwashing for young children
- How do I know if my dog has Salmonella infection?
- Some dogs may have Salmonella infection but may not look sick. Dogs with a Salmonella infection usually have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus. Affected animals may seem more tired than usual, and may have a fever or vomit.
- If your dog or cat has these signs of illness or you are concerned that your pet may have Salmonellainfection, please contact your pet’s veterinarian.