GREAT FALLS — Dog owners are advised to stop feeding pig ear treats to dogs in order to end the spread of salmonella to both humans and dogs nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said in a news release.
The CDC, public health, and regulatory officials in several states, along with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, are investigating an outbreak of multi-drug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to contact with pig ear dog treats. Cases have been reported in 35 states; there are no reported cases in Montana at this point.
The CDC released an update on Thursday to previous advisories from July indicating that dozens have become sick after their dogs consumed pig ear treats.
Since then, 16 people with salmonella have been added to the investigation. In total, 143 have become ill in connection to this salmonella outbreak, the CDC said.
Nearly 30 percent of the illnesses have resulted in hospitalizations, the CDC said. Twenty-six illnesses (20%) are among children younger than 5 years. No deaths have been reported.
The CDC and FDA are advising people not to buy or feed any pig ear dog treats, including any that may already be in homes.
People can get sick after handling the treats or caring for dogs who ate the treats. Dogs might get sick after eating them.
Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicates that contact with pig ear dog treats from many different suppliers is the likely source of this outbreak. As a result, the CDC and FDA are advising people not to buy any pig ear dog treats or feed them to their dogs.
State health and regulatory officials in several states and the FDA have tested pig ear dog treats at various suppliers and identified many different strains of Salmonella. No single supplier, distributor, or common brand of pig ear treats has been identified that could account for all the illnesses, according to the CDC.
The CDC offers the following advice: