Dog owners, if you’ve been waiting to give up your pet’s pig ears, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that now is the time.
A warning about a multistate salmonella outbreak tied to the treats has been updated to include all pig ear products.
“A total of 127 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 33 states,” the CDC said in its update Wednesday.
Twenty-six people have been hospitalized, and 24 of the illnesses have been in children younger than 5. No deaths have been reported.
Animals and their humans can get sick from simply handling these treats or caring for a dog who has eaten one.
Symptoms of salmonella infection in humans include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. It may be harder to identify the infection in a dog, but look for diarrhea, which may be bloody; sluggish or tired behavior; and possible vomiting or fever.
The CDC recommends that adults and children wash their hands after playing with or feeding their pet. Owners should discourage their pets from licking humans’ faces after they eat or from licking open wounds. Pet food should also be stored away from human food to avoid any contamination.
The CDC and the US Food and Drug Administration are also advising retailers not to sell pig ear treats.
Companies have recalled pig ear products because of possible contamination.
“No single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats has been identified that could account for all the illnesses. More products could be recalled as testing identifies Salmonella,” the CDC said.
A Northeast Ohio doggy day care owner is reminding dog owners not to give their dogs the tasty treats.
“The reason we don’t allow them is because it’s a choking hazard, and pig ears also can cause potty issues in dogs.”
Whitney Callahan, owner of Inn the Doghouse in Lakewood, told FOX 8 News their policy has always been to not use pig ears for those reasons and now, because of the recall, they’re reminding their clients to throw out the pig ears if they have any at home and wash their hands and the location the pig ears were stored.
“Give your dog alternatives such as pet store products like antlers, or Kongs, or something called No Hide,”
“Kids are also at risk, because young children will put their fingers in their mouths very commonly after petting their dogs,” said Doctor Amy Ray from MetroHealth Medical Center.
“Getting sick from salmonella causes people to lose a lot of fluids. Children can become dehydrated very quickly, and people who have underlying diseases,” Dr. Ray said.
FOX 8 checked around with several veterinarians and we haven’t heard of any local cases.
We also checked with two local pet stores who said they have already pulled pig ears from their shelves because of the recall.