An outbreak of salmonella in connection with pig ear dog treats has expanded to 27 states, with 93 people stricken, including 20 hospitalizations, according to federal health officials. Obviously pets are at risk if they ingest the dog treats, but federal officials are also warning that pet owners are falling ill just by being in contact with the infected treats.
In early June, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ear dog treats sold in more than 400 stores, and since then an additional 48 illnesses have been reported, bringing the total count to 93.
At this time, the CDC and FDA are investigating the situation, but it seems that contact with the infected pig ears is causing the outbreak in pet owners.
Salmonella can affect animals eating contaminated products as well as the humans who handled the sickened animals or the infected product. In people, the salmonella infection causes symptoms including nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever; in rare cases, it can cause more serious ailments. Affected pets may become lethargic and have diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
Bulk pig ears were distributed to Pet Supplies Plus stores in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Pet owners who purchased bulk pig ears should throw them away immediately. (Anyone with further questions can call (734) 793-6564 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, Pet Supplies said.)