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Lafayette Veterinary Care Center

Put Down The Pig Ears!

CDC's map of the US recording Salmonella cases

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have updated their investigation into an outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella across multiple states, singling out pig ear dog treats as the common source of contact for the infection.

The CDC and FDA announced on their website: Based on new information gathered from cases and the traceback data, the agencies are currently advising that consumers avoid buying or feeding any pig ear pet treats at this time. Additionally, the CDC and FDA recommend that retailers (including online retailers) stop selling all pig ear pet treats. Dogs might get sick after eating an infected pig ear and people can get sick after handling the treats or caring for dogs who ate them.

  • A total of 127 cases of people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported in 33 states.

  • 26 people have been hospitalized, with 24 of the cases involving children younger than five years of age.

  • Fortunately, no deaths have been reported.

Evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats from many different suppliers is the likely source of this outbreak. State health and regulatory officials in several states and the FDA have tested pig ear dog treats at various suppliers and identified many different strains of Salmonella. Although no single supplier, distributor, or common brand of pig ear treats has been identified that could account for all the illnesses, several companies have voluntarily recalled pig ear products because they might be contaminated with Salmonella.

Tips For Pet Parents

  • Do not feed any pig ear to your dog.

  • If you have pig ear dog treats in your home, throw them away in a safe container inaccessible to pets.

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling pet meals and treats. Clean items in your home that may have come into contact with contaminated pig ears — like floors.

  • Did you know animals can actually shed the bacteria? That’s why it’s important to pick up and dispose of your dog’s poop in your yard and public parks where people or other animals may become exposed.

  • Children younger than 5 should not touch or eat dog food or treats, according to health officials.