Can Dogs Get Salmonella?

Can Dogs Get Salmonella?

Posted by Volhard Dog Nutrition on Feb 28th 2023

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the Salmonella bacterium in a dog's gastrointestinal tract. Scientists have documented over 2,000 types of Salmonella bacteria, out of which Salmonella typhimurium is most often found in dogs. Diarrhea and fever are the telltale symptoms of a salmonella infection, although the virus can lead to more severe health conditions, such as weight loss and miscarriages, if left untreated. Research has shown that 20% of the canine population may carry the virus without any symptoms of salmonellosis.

Many dogs naturally have salmonella present in their GI tract. However, it can be transmitted through contaminated food or the feces or saliva of an infected animal. Like humans, dogs can get salmonellosis from contaminated food, like dry or wet dog food, and a raw diet that is not stored at the correct temperature.

Factors that increase the likelihood of salmonellosis include:

  • Age
  • Antibiotics
  • Chemotherapy
  • Poor nutrition
  • Steroids
  • Stress
  • The presence of cancer, neoplasia, and other concurrent diseases

Although it can cause severe cases of salmonellosis, the Salmonella virus is not as dangerous in dogs as it is in humans. That is because the canine stomach is more acidic, therefore, less suitable for the virus to spread. However, dogs with lowered stomach acidity — due to an unbalanced gut microbiome or medications — are more predisposed to Salmonella infections. A trip to the veterinarian is the only way to detect and eliminate the virus/infection, while certain home remedies will help speed up the recovery process.

How Do Dogs Get Salmonella Poisoning?

Certain factors make dogs more susceptible to Salmonella infections, such as:

  1. Stomach acidity: An unbalanced gut microbiome or medication can upset your dog's stomach acidity, paving the way for a Salmonella infection.
  2. Age: Younger and older animals are more at risk due to their weaker immune systems.

Where Can Dogs Get Salmonella From?

Salmonella can be transmitted from one dog to another through:

  • Food: Raw or undercooked meat and contaminated pet food and water.
  • Feces or saliva of other infected animals: One of the many reasons you should never allow your dog to come into contact with other dogs' poop!

How Do I Know if My Dog Has Salmonella Poisoning?

The most obvious Salmonella infection sign is acute diarrhea (i.e., which starts out of the blue, without any apparent reason), particularly with mucus in the stool. Other symptoms of Salmonella include:

  • Anorexia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting

Bringing these symptoms to your veterinarian's attention is essential, as they can worsen the infection. An untreated Salmonella infection can lead to serious health issues, such as:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Abnormally fast heart rate
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Miscarriages in pregnant dogs

Can Humans Get Salmonella From Dogs?

Salmonella bacteria are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted to humans or even other animals. The easiest way to contract Salmonella is by touching infected animal feces. Dogs shed the bacteria for 4 to 6 weeks after infection, which can survive weeks and even months in dry or wet environments. Unfortunately, many dogs remain asymptomatic, managing to spread the bacteria without any notice.

The following CDC guidelines will help prevent the bacteria from infecting you and your family:

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands after handling, feeding, or cleaning your dog (especially if you come into contact with their feces).
  2. Dispose of the infected feces to prevent bacterial transmission to other pets.

How Do You Treat Salmonella in Dogs?

Since there's no effective home fix for it, the safest course of action for treating Salmonella is to see a medical professional. During the consultation, your vet will look for symptoms associated with the infection, such as gastroenteritis, lethargy, dehydration, chronic fever, etc. It would be helpful to keep a log of your dog's symptoms prior to the vet visit.

Your vet may analyze your dog's urine and fecal samples and conduct blood cultures to rule out parasitic infections, such as E. coli or other common bacteria.

Salmonella infection treatment generally involves outpatient treatment in the shape of antimicrobials and rehydration. However, severe cases may require inpatient treatment, especially for sepsis, blood infection, and severe dehydration diagnoses.

What To Do if Your Dog Has Salmonella

An integrative approach to treating salmonellosis is two-fold. First, you want to treat the active infection, and second, you want to strengthen and heal a dog's GI tract, so bad bacteria do not flourish in the future. Treating an active infection in your dog may include fluids and electrolytes to avoid dehydration. Additionally, giving your pet colostrum and probiotics or fermented foods will help heal your dog's GI tract and allow the good bacteria to flourish and restore balance.

Bovine colostrum provides a natural and powerful healing food for your dog's gut and entire body. Colostrum provides immune factors necessary to protect and rebuild the gut lining and the immune system. It also provides growth factors for the body to repair and heal. It is ideal to use a liposomal form of colostrum, which allows for optimal delivery and absorption of these specialized nutrients in the gut.

Help Your Dog Overcome Their Salmonella Infection With Our Home Remedies!

Dogs can catch Salmonella from various sources, such as contaminated food or by coming into contact with contaminated feces or saliva. Whatever the origin of your dog's infection, be sure to consult a veterinarian for prompt treatment. Remember that Salmonella is a zoonotic disease — the longer you wait to treat it, the higher the chance it will spread to you or your family! For more advice on dog nutrition, health, and training, make sure that you contact us and check out our blog!

Volhard Dog Nutrition and its expert nutritionists are now offering online consultations to help more dog parents discover why, what, and how to feed their dogs the healthiest of foods! Speaking to a Volhard nutritionist will help you understand the inseparable relationship between healthy food, a healthy body, and a healthy mind. If you're interested in contacting one of our Volhard nutritionists, don't hesitate to access our consultation page!

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