WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -The CDC and FDA are advising people not to buy or feed any pig ear dog treats to pets, including any that may already be in your home due to a salmonella outbreak.
Reports indicate 127 people in 33 states have been sickened after handling the treats or caring for dogs who ate the treats. Dogs, too might be at risk for getting sick after eating the pig ears.
North Carolina is one of the states where people have fallen ill. According to the CDC’s map, two people have reported illnesses connected with the outbreak.
People began getting sick in mid – June. By July, a full blown investigation was launched and the FDA began sending out information about product recalls.
Of those 127 cases, 26 have resulted in hospitalizations and 24 illnesses have been reported in children under 5 years old.
No single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats has been identified that could account for all the illnesses, the CDC report confirms.
Epidemiologists have evidence to show that contact with pig ear dog treats from many different suppliers is likely the source of the outbreak. State health officials have tested treats at various suppliers and identified many different strains of Salmonella.
Experts also say this infection may be tougher than normal to treat- infections related to this outbreak may be difficult to treat with common antibiotics.
The FDA is continuing to work to remove pig ear pet treats from the marketplace and identify places where they may have been distributed.
On July 3, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins, on July 26, Lennox Intl recalled pig ears and expanded that recall on July 30. On August 16, Dog Goods USA recalled bulk and packaged Chef Toby pig ears.
People with a Salmonella infection may have diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Though many people recover in 4-7 days without treatment, you’re encouraged to reach out to your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms.
Spotting the infection in dogs isnt always easy because some may not look sick. Dogs with a Salmonella infection usually have diarrhea, which may be bloody. Sick animals may seem more tired than usual and may vomit or have a fever. If your dog or cat is showing signs of illness, or you are concerned that your pet may have Salmonella infection, you’re urged to contact your pet’s veterinarian.
The investigation into the salmonella outbreak is ongoing by the CDC and the FDA. The FDA encourages consumers to report complaints about pet food products electronically through the Safety Reporting Portalexternal icon.
Below are some tips from the CDC to keep you and your family and your pets safe:
- Even if some pig ears were fed to your dog and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to your dog.
- Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held any pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water. Be sure to wash your hands after handling any of these items.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching unpackaged dog food or treats, including products in bulk bins or on store shelves.
- Don’t use your dog’s food bowl to scoop food. Use a clean, dedicated scoop, spoon, or cup.