Salmonella is something we know that humans can get. As such, we arae careful to be sure we take the necessary measures to protect ourselves from it. But what about dogs? Can dogs get salmonella too? The answer is yes, dogs can get salmonella and it can lead to other disorders. These include like gastroenteritis septicemia and spontaneous abortions. Knowing this, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your dog from getting this infection. Read on to learn more about how to identify and treat salmonellosis in dogs.
What Is Salmonella?
Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) is a disease caused by bacteria that can be found in the intestinal tract. Salmonella can affect both humans and animalsand in both cases, the bacteria are shed through the stool.
For both humans and dogs, salmonella is normally contracted through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Salmonella is also zoonotic, which means that it can spread between animals and humans.
The surprising thing is that there are over 2,000 different types of salmonella. In most cases, an animal that has the bacteria will have at least two or more different types of it in its system.
The dogs that are at the highest risk of developing an infection include those that are younger and senior dogs. This is because, in the case of younger dogs, their immune system is not yet fully developed, making them easily susceptible to the disease.
In older dogs, their immune system may be weakened due to old age. In other cases, if a dog has any health issues that result in a weakened immune system or damaged gastrointestinal tract, it will be at a higher risk of developing an infection as well.
How Do I Know if My Dog Has Salmonellosis?
There are symptoms that you can be on the lookout for to know if your dog has salmonellosis. The number of symptoms your dog displays will be dependent upon the severity of its infection. Let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms of salmonellosis in dogs:
- Skin disease
- Weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mucus in stool
- Rapid heart rate
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Spontaneous abortion or miscarriage
As you can see, there are many signs and symptoms that your dog may have salmonellosis. If you’re concerned that your dog may have the infection and they are displaying any of the symptoms above, take your dog to the vet. A vet visit will help determine the cause of the symptoms.
In the case of a more severe infection, you may notice weight loss, loss of blood, fever, or diarrhea that lasts for weeks. These symptoms can overlap with the less severe ones. It’s important that your dog sees a professional so that the disease does not progress. The sooner your get to the vet, the sooner they can treat the infection and your dog can recover.
How Is Salmonellosis Treated in Dogs?
The treatment for salmonellosis in dogs depends on how severe the infection is. For mild cases, a dog will be treated by replacing the lost fluid with electrolytes and by giving your dog antimicrobials. In more severe cases, a dog may require plasma or blood transfusions to help replace lost fluids and serum albumin.
Many times the treatment for a dog with salmonellosis will be outpatient as long as the case is not severe. However, if it is, your dog may need inpatient care if it has a blood infection, sepsis, or any other severe symptoms.
After your dog has received treatment, the vet may suggest that you refrain from feeding your dog for 48 hours as it recovers. They may also advise that you remain separated from your dog while they are in the acute stage of the illness. This is because the disease is contagious and can spread from animals to humans. Owners of dogs who have contracted the disease should take extra care when it comes to hygiene. This reduces the chances of becoming infected with the disease — which is normally shed through the dog’s stool.
Once it is safe again for your dog to eat, it is important to make sure that your dog is eating a well-balanced diet full of all the required nutrients that dogs need on a daily basis. You’ll also want to avoid feeding your dog raw meat or meat that has not been thoroughly cooked. This is because both raw and undercooked meat can contain salmonella bacteria, which can lead to reinfection in your dog.
How to Prevent Salmonellosis Infection in Dogs
One of the most important steps to take in order to prevent the chances of your dog developing salmonellosis is to make sure that it has a safe, nutritionally-complete diet. Feeding your dog raw or undercooked meat can lead to development of the disease, since the bacteria that cause salmonellosis live there.
Some foods are more likely than others to contain harmful bacteria that can cause illnesses in both humans and animals. If the food is not prepared properly it is possible that the harmful bacteria will be consumed and could lead to the development of things like salmonellosis.
Some raw foods that are more likely than others to be contaminated with salmonella include raw or undercooked poultry and other meats, raw or undercooked eggs, raw shellfish, and raw milk. Even some fruits and vegetables can be contaminated with salmonella if not thoroughly washed and properly prepared, or if they come in contact with other raw foods that carry the bacteria.
In some cases, it is hard to be sure that your food is safe from contamination. This is because food can become contaminated during processing at a plant. In these situations it’s best to try to stay up-to-date on food recalls so that you are aware if your dog’s food or any other food that you’re feeding it has been recalled.
Thoroughly washing and fully cooking your food to the appropriate temperature ensures that harmful bacteria are killed off during the cooking process. This reduces the chances of your dog becoming ill from salmonella bacteria.
You should also be sure that you store your food in the refrigerator within two hours of its preparation. This keeps bacteria from growing on it. Following these steps will greatly reduce the chances of your dog developing salmonellosis.
How to Prevent Salmonellosis Spread From My Dog to Family
As we mentioned earlier, salmonellosis is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can spread from animals to humans. This means it’s important that you work to prevent the spread of the disease from pets to household members. There are a few steps you can take to make sure that your family is safe.
First, it’s important to understand how these germs are normally spread. Salmonella germs are generally transmitted through stool (feces). These germs can be shed from the stool of pets for between 4 to 6 weeks after an infection has occurred.
This means that you will need to take extra care to make sure that you minimize the spread of the germs. This can be accomplished by simply keeping all areas and surfaces clean where your dog typically is. You can use a mild cleaner or bleach solution to kill off any salmonella bacteria that may linger on surfaces or floors where your dog has been.
If you come into contact with the animal’s stool, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You should also be sure that each individual washes their hands after handling or feeding your dog. Always dispose of your dog’s stool promptly with a tightly sealed plastic bag, and if your dog has an accident indoors, be sure to disinfect all surfaces thoroughly.
- Can Dogs Get Allergies?
- Can Dogs Get Tetanus, What Are The Risks?
- Can Dogs Get Headaches? How Can You Tell?
- Can Dogs Get Herpes? Symptoms, Treatment, and Identification
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?
How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I know if my dog has salmonella?
There are several telltale symptoms that could indicate salmonella infection. Some of the worst include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and swollen lymph nodes. If you suspect your dog has salmonella infection, take him or her to the vet immediately.
Can a dog get salmonella from eating raw chicken.
Yes. In fact, any raw meat can cause salmonella in dogs.
Is salmonella in dogs fatal?
If left untreated, salmonella in dogs can be fatal, yes. This is especially true for older dogs or any with a compromised immune system or weak gut. Any suspicion of salmonella in a dog should be promptly followed by a visit to the vet.
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.
- Pet MD, Available here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_dg_salmonellosis
- Mayo Clinic, Available here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salmonella/symptoms-causes/syc-20355329
- CDC, Available here: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/dog-food-05-12/pet-owners-info.html
- CDC, Available here: https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/foods-linked-illness.html