Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Pig Ear Dog Treats


Advice regarding for pets owners from the CDC Center for Veterinary Medicine regarding a Salmonella outbreak associate with pig ear treats for dogs. What’s more, this is multidrug resistant Salmonella.

  • Forty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- have been reported from 13 states.
    • Twelve ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
  • Epidemiologic evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of this outbreak.
    • In interviews, 34 (89%) of 38 ill people reported contact with a dog before getting sick.
      • Of 24 people with available information, 17 (71%) reported contact with pig ear dog treats or with dogs who were fed pig ear dog treats.
  • Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill people reported buying the products. They sampled pig ears for Salmonella. Although the outbreak strain was not identified, other strains of Salmonella were. Investigators are checking to see if any human illnesses are linked to those strains. Retail locations where sampling occurred have removed pig ears from shelves.
  • A common supplier of pig ear treats in this outbreak has not been identified. Pet owners can take steps to keep their families healthy while feeding pets.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
  • Tips to stay healthy while feeding your dog
    • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after handling pet food or treats, including pig ears.
    • When possible, store pet food and treats away from where human food is stored or prepared and away from the reach of young children.
    • Don’t use your pet’s feeding bowl to scoop food. Use a clean, dedicated scoop, spoon, or cup.
    • Always follow any storage instructions on pet food bags or containers.
  • Play safely
    • Don’t let your pet lick your mouth or face after it eats pet food or treats.
    • Don’t let your pet lick any open wounds or areas with broken skin.
    • If you do play with your pet after it has just eaten, wash your hands and any part of your body it licked with soap and water.
  • Shop safely
    • Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching unpackaged pet treats, such as food or treats in bulk bins.
  • Take extra care around young children
    • Children younger than 5 years old should not touch or eat pet food or treats.
    • Young children are at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.
    • Adults should supervise handwashing for young children
  • How do I know if my dog has Salmonella  infection?
    • Some dogs may have Salmonella infection but may not look sick. Dogs with a Salmonella infection usually have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus. Affected animals may seem more tired than usual, and may have a fever or vomit.
    • If your dog or cat has these signs of illness or you are concerned that your pet may have Salmonellainfection, please contact your pet’s veterinarian.

In my opinion, there are SO many choices for treats available, there’s no need to feed pig ears. Your dog may love pig ears (which have zero or little nutritional value), but your dog will love a lot of choices.