The CDC and FDA are warning people not to buy or feed their pets any type of pig ear dog treats due to the risk of Salmonella.
Between June and August 2019, at least 127 people were infected with Salmonella in 33 states, including 26 people who were hospitalized. That includes 24 children under 5 years old (21%).
The signs of a Salmonella infection appear within 2 days and usually go away within 7 days. The symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps or pain, diarrhea, fever, and headache.
The most common severe complication is dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. In children, dehydration can develop very quickly and lead to kidney failure or other life-threatening health problems.
Children are especially vulnerable to being infected with Salmonella from a pig ear dog treat because their immune systems are still developing. They are also more likely to put their fingers and other things in their mouths.
Even if the child does not physically touch the pig ear, they can be infected with Salmonella after playing on the floor where a dog has been chewing on a pig ear, or being licked on the face by the dog after it ate a pig ear that was contaminated by Salmonella.
No single supplier, distributor or common brand of pig ear dog treats has been identified as the source of the outbreak, according to the CDC. Instead, evidence shows that pig ear dog treats from many different suppliers is likely the source of the outbreak.
Multiple recalls have been issued in the last few months. On July 3, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins. On July 26, Lennox Intl recalled pig ears and expanded that recall on July 30. On August 16, Dog Goods USA recalled bulk and packaged Chef Toby Pig Ears.