A multi-state outbreak of a drug-resistant strain of salmonella has been linked to pig ear dog treats. There have been 93 reported cases in 27 states, with 20 hospitalizations and no recorded deaths. The first case of illness was reported in November 2018 and the latest case was reported July 2, 2019. The exact source of the outbreak is still unknown
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that the pig ear dog treats are the likely source of the infection. Of the reported cases, nearly half of those affected said they were in contact with a dog before getting sick and a third reported contact with the treats or with dogs who ate the treats. The pig-ear treats were first recalled earlier this month. At the time of the initial recall, the outbreak involved just 45 people in 13 different states.
Many pet stores have now removed the product from their shelves, even if none of the illnesses were linked to their locations. Pet Supplies Plus, which has more than 400 stores across 33 states, said in a statement, “Testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that aging bulk pig-ear product in one of our stores tested positive for salmonella. We have pulled bulk pig-ear product from the shelves of all of our stores and have stopped shipping bulk pig ears from our distribution center.”
Salmonella, a bacterial disease, can cause illness in both humans and dogs. Common symptoms in people include nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Pets infected with salmonella may be lethargic and have diarrhea, fever and vomiting. The CDC said its investigation into the matter is ongoing.