Landmark Skybox

Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
The Weather Network
Advanced Search
search sponsored by


home : columns : ask the doctors December 10, 2019

8/21/2019 7:47:00 AM
Pig ear treats connected to latest Salmonella outbreak

Dear Doctor: Is it true that dog treats made from pigs' ears are giving humans a dangerous infection? I don't buy them because, honestly, they look kind of gross, but our dogsitter brings them over sometimes. Should we be worried?

Dear Reader: You're referring to a series of alerts issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about an outbreak of salmonella infections, which have been identified as being resistant to several different antibiotics. These infections have been tied to dog chews made out of pig ears.

As of the CDC's latest update on July 17, a total of 93 people living in 27 states have become ill, including 20 individuals who had to be hospitalized. No deaths have been reported at this time. If you have these dog treats in your home, the CDC recommends wrapping them securely and disposing of them. Use hot, soapy water to wash anything that came into contact with the treats, including surfaces, containers and, of course, your hands.

Salmonella is a group of bacteria that cause about 1.2 million people to become sick each year. They can cause an illness known as salmonellosis, which develops as soon as 12 hours and up to three days after ingesting the bacterium. The infection often occurs when feces infected with the bacteria comes into contact with food or water and is unknowingly consumed. Symptoms, which include fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, last from four to seven days. Although the majority of people recover without medical treatment, in some cases the diarrhea can be severe enough to require hospitalization.

The danger is that a salmonella infection can move from the intestines into the bloodstream, and then spread to other areas of the body. The infection is particularly risky for children under age 5, for the elderly, for individuals who are medically frail and for those with weakened or suppressed immune systems. Treatment typically focuses on managing diarrhea and pain, preventing dehydration and, if the infection has spread via the bloodstream, the use of antibiotics.

Pig ear treats are just the most recent source of a salmonella outbreak. In recent years, sources as diverse as pet guinea pigs, pet hedgehogs, dog food, papayas, sprouts, nut butters, backyard chickens, small turtles and chicken salad have been linked to outbreaks.

In response to the current outbreak, Pet Supplies Plus, a distributor of bulk pig ears, which are stored in large, open bins, has agreed to a voluntary recall of the treats. At this time, pre-packaged pig ear treats from individual brands are not part of the recall.

Pets can also become ill from a salmonella infection. Their symptoms can include lethargy, diarrhea that may be bloody, vomiting and fever. Pets with salmonella infections may be sluggish, run a fever, begin vomiting and have diarrhea that may contain blood or mucus.

For the latest information on the current outbreak, visit

Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, is an internist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Elizabeth Ko, M.D., is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Send your questions to, or write: Ask the Doctors, c/o UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, 10880 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1450, Los Angeles, CA, 90024. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Trinity Dodge Fixed
Dr Paul The Dentist
NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact UsLife
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved