A multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to certain Jif peanut butter products has triggered a massive recall.
Many pet parents use peanut butter as a treat for their dogs or to help them take their medication. Unfortunately, dogs and cats can become sick from Salmonella.
- Find out if your jar of peanut butter has been recalled: Salmonella outbreak triggers recall of Jif peanut butter: What to know
How to tell if your dog has a Salmonella infection
Dogs that become ill from a Salmonella infection will have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus. The affected dog may seem more tired than usual or may have a fever or vomit. While other dogs may have a Salmonella infection but not appear to be sick at all, according to the CDC.
If your dog is showing signs of illness you should contact your veterinarian. Let your veterinarian know your pet recently consumed the recalled peanut butter. Do not feed your dog any more of the recalled products and throw the jar away immediately.
How is Salmonella treated?
Your veterinarian can do an exam and lab testing to determine if your dog has a Salmonella infection.
An infection may require immediate treatment with supportive care and fluids. Treatment with antibiotics may also be necessary.
If your dog is experiencing a severe case, it may need to be hospitalized.
You should reach out to your veterinarian if you have concerns.
Can I get Salmonella from my dog?
Yes. Salmonella infections are zoonotic, meaning that it can spread between animals and people.
They are usually spread from animals to humans and humans to animals by the “fecal oral route,” according to the CDC. Salmonella germs can be shed in the stool of pets for 4 to 6 weeks after infection.
A mild bleach solution can be used to clean areas that may be contaminated.
Here’s what the CDC recommends doing:
- After contact with animal feces (stool), wash your hands well with soap and running water. Wash your hands as directed in the handwashing instructions.
- Be sure to wash your hands with soap and running water after handling or feeding your pet. Wash your hands as directed in the handwashing instructions.
- Clean up after your pet. If you have a dog, use a plastic bag to pick up the stool, and clean up the stool while on walks or from the yard and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag. If you have a cat, scoop the litter box daily and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
- Do not share food with your pets.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness and fever called salmonellosis.
Most people infected with Salmonella will begin to develop symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment.
Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal.
Children younger than five, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe salmonellosis infections.
Who to Contact
If you experience symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider to receive care.
If you want to report an illness or an allergic reaction you can take the following steps: