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Are Your Dog's Treats Making You Sick?

The CDC and FDA are both investigating a recent outbreak of salmonella across 13 different states that has been linked to coming in close contact with pig ear dog treats ( In states ranging from California, Indiana, Michigan, South Carolina, and New York, 45 people have been diagnosed with salmonella, and 12 have been hospitalized. Out of those affected, 34 people said they came in contact with a dog before they were afflicted, and out of those 34 people, 17 said they were in contact with either a pig ear dog treat or dogs fed those specific treats (

A pig ear dog treat.

Salmonella is a bacterial infection that affects the intestinal tract. It is most commonly spread through contact with contaminated food and water. Common sources of salmonella include beef, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Salmonella is an easily treatable condition, but must be diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional.

Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development sampled pig ear treats for traces of salmonella and found certain strains of salmonella in the treats ( At this time, it’s uncertain whether the identified strains in the dog treats are the same strains that are causing the salmonella infection outbreak (

A microscopic view of Salmonella bacteria.

To prevent possible infection, the CDC recommends that people always wash their hands after handling pet food and pet treats, as well as store pet food/treats away from human food ( It’s also important to not allow your pets to lick your mouth, face, or any open wounds (

Dr. Carter has always recommended chew toys that your dog can chew but NOT swallow or eat because of the risk of bowel obstructions or choking. Because he's seen dogs eat pig ear dog treats firsthand and has seen negative consequences from ingestion, Dr. Carter doesn't recommend pig ear dog treats to his clients. Historically, the products he most commonly recommends are similar to the Nylabone products, or chew toys like Kongs. For some Dr. Carter approved chew toys, take a look at our CVMC Amazon Affiliate store on our website under 'CVMC Store'.

A Nylabone chew toy.

If you want to read the CNN article outlining this recent outbreak, click on the link below and take a look!

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