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MILWAUKEE, WI — The CDC said the salmonella outbreak linked to pig ear dog treats has now sickened 4 people in Wisconsin and 143 people in 35 states, sending 33 people to hospitals. At least 26 children under age 5 are among those sickened by potentially tainted pig ears. No deaths have been reported.

Earlier this year, the CDC warned the public that animals and humans can get sick simply from handling pig ears or interacting with dogs who have eaten the treats. The CDC is telling pet owners not to buy or feed pig ear dog treats to their pets, and to avoid handling pig ears.

If you have pig ears in your home, throw them away in a secure container so that pets or other animals cannot eat them. The CDC also advises pet owners to wash containers, shelves and areas that held pig ears with hot, soapy water. Be sure to wash your hands after handling any of these items.
Several companies have recalled pig ear products, including Pet Supplies Plus, which sold bulk pig ears at stores in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and multiple other states. The full list of recalls is as follows:

“No single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear treats has been identified that could account for all the illnesses,” the CDC said. “More products could be recalled as testing identifies Salmonella.”

Symptoms of salmonella infection in humans include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Symptoms may not be as noticeable in dogs, but include diarrhea, which may be bloody; seeming tired or sluggish; and vomiting or fever.

The CDC advises pet owners to take precautions to stay healthy around dogs and while feeding pets. Although germs from dogs rarely spread to people, they could cause illness, ranging from minor skin infections to serious disease. To protect yourself and your family from getting sick:

  • Seek routine veterinary care for your pet.
  • Wash your hands and the hands of children with running water and soap after contact with dogs, their saliva, their stool and their food.
  • Pick up and dispose of dog stools, especially in areas where children might play.
  • Discourage pets from licking people’s faces after they eat, or from licking open wounds.

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