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Two children on the floor with a dog

Salmonella and Dog Treats: What Your Family Needs to Know

By Dr. Sherie Austin, Courthouse Pediatrics

A salmonella outbreak related to dog treats made from pig ears is causing concern among families with dogs. The outbreak has sickened 127 people in 33 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No cases have been reported in Virginia, but a few have popped up in neighboring North Carolina.

Salmonella is a group of bacteria that causes foodborne illness. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include: diarrhea, fever, chills, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Salmonella is most common among children. People with compromised immune systems, older adults, and babies are more likely to experience severe cases.

Here’s what you need to know to keep your family safe:

  • You can get salmonella by touching contaminated dog food or treats, or from contact with a dog with salmonella.
  • Children younger than 5 years old should not handle dog food or treats.
  • The CDC is advising people not to buy pig ear dog treats or feed them to pets, including any that were purchased in the past.

Feeding your dog:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after feeding your dog or handling dog treats.
  • Supervise children around dog food and treats. Make sure they thoroughly wash their hands after coming in contact with either.
  • Store dog food and treats away from areas where human food is stored or prepared.
  • Keep dog food and treats out of the reach of young children.
  • Follow storage instructions listed on dog food bags or containers.

Playing with your dog:

  • Keep your dog from licking your mouth or face after he eats food or treats.
  • Keep your dog from licking any cuts, scrapes, or open wounds on your skin.
  • Wash any part of your body that your dog has licked after eating food or treats.

Contact your doctor if you think you or a family member may have gotten sick from pig ear dog treats. Most people infected with salmonella develop the symptoms listed above within 12 to 72 hours after coming into contact with a contaminated product.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.