Salmonella is a bacteria that is known to cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms in humans, but can dogs get salmonella poisoning? Our Jackson vets are here to answer your questions about salmonella in dogs.
What is salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacteria that can infect many different animal species' gastrointestinal tracts. Salmonella is divided into two species, which are further subdivided into thousands of different strains (serovars). Each of these strains is slightly different, with some causing severe disease and others not causing infection at all.
Can dogs get salmonella poisoning?
Salmonella can in fact affect our beloved dogs and cats. A 2017 study found that 2.5% of all tested dogs had bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract. However, only 55% of infected dogs in the study exhibited diarrhea at the time of testing. This indicates that nearly half of the participants exhibited no symptoms but spread the infection nonetheless. Yes, salmonella can be transmitted between humans and dogs.
What causes salmonella in dogs?
Salmonella primarily resides in the digestive tract and is excreted in the feces of infected animals. When an uninfected animal consumes bacteria, infection occurs. Some canines may become infected after ingesting contaminated pet food, treats, or raw meat. Salmonella infections are most prevalent in dogs with weakened immune systems. Due to their immature immune systems, puppies are more susceptible to developing salmonellosis.
Can dogs get salmonella from raw chicken?
Raw chicken can transmit salmonella to dogs, but the likelihood of this happening is much lower for dogs than for humans. The gastrointestinal tract of your dog is much more tolerant of raw meats than the gastrointestinal tract of humans; therefore, this condition is much less likely to occur in our canine companions.
What are the symptoms of salmonella poisoning in dogs?
Some of the most common symptoms of salmonella in dogs include:
- Acute diarrhea
- Appetite loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Increased heart rate
If your dog is showing symptoms of salmonella, take them to the vet.
More Severe Symptoms of Salmonella in Dogs
If your dog displays any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately or bring your dog to an emergency vet:
- Persistent fever
- Uncontrolled weight loss
- Blood loss
- Non-intestinal infections
- Prolonged diarrhea (lasting more than 3-4 weeks)
- Miscarriage in pregnant dogs (a rare symptom, but still a cause of concern)
How is salmonella diagnosed?
Your veterinarian will first review the fundamentals. The veterinarian will likely consider your dog's medical history when determining whether salmonella is a possible diagnosis. After reviewing your dog's symptoms, the veterinarian will conduct a physical examination.
If your vet suspects salmonella, they may run more diagnostic tests. These can include:
- Fecal cultures
- Blood work
- Blood cultures, if sepsis is present
Remember, take your dog to the vet if you suspect salmonella. The sooner you can get a diagnosis, the sooner treatment can begin.
How is salmonella in dogs treated?
Your dog's treatment for Salmonella will depend on the symptoms he or she is exhibiting. In severe cases or in dogs with compromised immune systems, antibiotics may be used, but they should be avoided in mild or asymptomatic cases.
Your veterinarian may also advise you on symptomatic treatments to alleviate the clinical signs of salmonellosis. Some strains are antibiotic-resistant and necessitate the use of specific antibiotics.
It's always best to speak with your vet directly and receive treatment options specific to your dog's case.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.