Top 10 Facts about Salmonella in Dogs

Salmonella is a bacterial organism that affects animals and also human beings. It affects both warm-blooded and cold-blooded species. These bacteria cause a foodborne illness called salmonellosis. Named after its discoverer Daniel E. Salmon, this bacterium has been known for over 130 years.

Salmonellosis affecting Dogs

As mentioned earlier, Salmonella is a bacteria that can infect people and animals. It primarily affects the gastrointestinal tract and leads to disorders orders such as spontaneous abortions, septicemia, and gastroenteritis. Salmonellosis is a disease or infection which s caused by Salmonella. It can affect dogs, and it is often associated with common diseases in older dogs and puppies. To know more about how Salmonella bacteria and how it affects canines, we have listed ten (10) important facts about Salmonella in Dogs.

Who are prone to Salmonellosis?

Dogs with weak immune systems or weak gastrointestinal tracts are at risk, as well as older dogs due to weak body systems and younger dogs because of their underdeveloped immunes systems. 

Do dogs transfer or spread Salmonella?

There are some pet products the food treats that can be contaminated by the bacteria. Dogs can be infected by the bacteria through ingestion. This fact is true, just like with humans, as Salmonella is a foodborne bacterium. Though Salmonellosis is not frequent in dogs, the sigh is often limited to acute diarrhea.

How common is Canine Salmonella?

There is just a small percentage of dogs who get affected by Salmonella. According to statistics, about 20% of the canine population may have been affected by Salmonellosis.

Causes of Salmonella Infection

Salmonella can be transferred to the body via ingestion. It is the same for both humans and animals. Salmonella bacteria are usually found in eggs, raw meat, or pet food that has not been refrigerated. Your pets can ingest contaminated food if they happen to eat dirt, feces, or drink dirty water.

What are the symptoms of Salmonellosis?

The signs and the symptoms of the disease depend on its severity, which affects your pet. The common symptoms are: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Shock
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Skin Disease
  • Dehydration
  • Fast heart rate 
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes 
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Miscarriage 

The signs and symptoms are most often associated with diarrhea. The bacteria affect the digestive system first, so it is common that dogs who are infected by Salmonella experience diarrhea that may contain mucus or blood. You may observe that your pet may seem tired, are experiencing fever, and vomits.

Food Safety in Salmonella infections

According to the Food and Drug Authority, Salmonella can be transferred through ingestion. Thus pet food that is contaminated by the bacteria can be transferred to dogs only if they have eaten it. As soon as that happens, dogs get the bacteria, and they get sick.

What happens when your Dog is infected with Salmonella?

When the dog has eaten contaminated food, it will show symptoms that it is affected by the bacteria. Vomiting is the most common symptom as it affects the digestive system. Older dogs who have weak digestive and immune systems are often affected by these bacteria and also puppies who have underdeveloped immune systems. Once ingested, the bacteria enter the intestines; it attaches itself to the inner lining of the intestines. As soon as you see that your pet is experiencing symptoms of Salmonellosis, it is best to bring your pet to a veterinarian so that they can stop the spread of the disease, most importantly, save your pet.

Treatment of Salmonellosis or Salmonella infection in canines

If your pet shows the sign and experiences symptoms mentioned, see your veterinarian right away. Though many cases are resolved with just prescribed medications at home, severe cases may lead to hospitalization in a veterinary facility where medications such as IV fluids can be administered. Your pet may need to stay in the facility for a couple of days for medication so that the bacteria could leave the body. For minor cases, the doctor would normally have prescribed anti-biotics for medication.

Can Salmonella or Salmonellosis cause death?

Unfortunately, YES. As mentioned, old dogs and puppies have weak immune systems that cannot fight off bacteria. This makes Salmonella infection lethal. But if the dog is healthy, usually the could show symptoms of the infection, and it can be treated by prescribed medication by your veterinarian. In other cases, your dog may need to stay in a veterinary facility so that their health can be fully monitored.

Can Salmonella infection be prevented?

Up to this day, there is no vaccine available to prevent the infection caused by Salmonella. The best way to avoid Salmonellosis is to be very cautious with the food that your dog eats. By taking control of what they ingest, means that you have to make sure that they eat healthy foods and let them avoid eating stool, dirty food, or drinking water which may be contaminated by bacteria. Just make sure they eat and drink clean and healthy food. Maintain a safe and healthy diet for your dog.

To keep your dog healthy and free from Salmonella bacteria, maintain a healthy and safe diet for your pets. Prevention is better than cure, so keep them healthy by feeding them clean and healthy foods.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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