Can Dogs Get Salmonella?
We have all heard about salmonella from a young age and know there is a reasonable possibility for us to get infected. This is a serious health concern that can infect humans. Now, as a dog owner, you are most probably worried about your dog and the possibility of him contracting this bacteria.
Since dogs are masters at picking up every food they find, you would assume that they could also easily contain salmonella bacteria as well. Let's check this up.
What is salmonella?
Salmonella bacterium is the main reason behind salmonellosis infection. This bacteria will cause different problems in the gastrointestinal system, and this bacteria can quickly spread between the species. There are different types of salmonella; while some will not cause any problems, others can create a few health concerns.
Can dogs get salmonella?
The simplest answer is – yes, dogs can get salmonella. The most common way to contract salmonella is to eat raw eggs or meat, and we all know that a fair amount of dogs use this type of nutrition. However, when it comes to dogs and salmonella, there are also other ways for them to get infected.
Most salmonella infections in dogs don't happen because the dog ate raw food but rather because he was in close contact with the infected animal or even if he managed to eat the infected animal's feces.
No matter why your dog got infected, you must provide proper treatment for him to secure good health and remove salmonella bacteria from his system.
How serious is salmonella in dogs?
If your dog manages to get infected, you must take things seriously and find a proper treatment for your dog. Salmonella in dogs is not the most dangerous infection, but it will cause some health problems for your dog.
Depending on your dog, his age, general health, and a few different factors, the severity of infection will vary, but no matter how healthy or strong your dog is, he will still show some symptoms.
The best thing you can do is to talk with your vet to set the best treatment option and to ensure that your dog quickly gets over this infection.
Are some dogs more prone to this infection?
There are no specific dog breeds that are more prone to salmonella bacteria. However, young puppies and older dogs are in the most danger. They have a high possibility of getting this infection since their immune system is weakened and they don't have full protection not only against salmonella but also against other health diseases.
So, suppose you own a puppy or a senior dog. In that case, you must be extra careful, not only related to salmonella, but generally speaking, you have to provide proper protection for them because even if they contract some typical health problem, it could be very dangerous for them and even, in some cases – deadly.
Symptoms of salmonella in dogs
If your dog gets infected with salmonella bacteria, you can expect symptoms to show within 72 hours. Every dog will show some symptoms, and the number of symptoms and their severity will greatly depend on the dog itself.
Symptoms you can expect include
- Refusal of food
- Decreased energy levels
- Skin problems
- Strange discharge
If you notice any of these mentioned symptoms and suspect that your dog got infected with salmonella bacteria, you must contact your vet and ask for your next moves in treating your dog.
How do vets diagnose salmonella?
Vets can pretty quickly determine if your dog has salmonella bacteria with a few tests. The first thing you must ensure for your vet is to let him know all the symptoms your dog is experiencing. The first exam your vet will perform will be physical. He needs to check his general health and strength.
Depending on your dog's symptoms, your vet could request additional tests, such as
- blood tests
- blood cultures
- fecal cultures
After the result, your vet will fully understand whether it is a severe or mild salmonella infection.
What is the correct treatment?
The good news is that for the majority of mild salmonella infections, you can treat your dog at home without additional vet support. The most important thing when it comes to treating salmonella infection should be ensuring that your dog is getting enough fluids since this infection could quickly develop dehydration, which is an extremely dangerous state for dogs.
For the more serious salmonella infections, in most cases, your dog should stay in the clinic, where he will receive IV fluids in order to battle dehydration.
In both cases – mild or severe, your vet could prescribe your dog some antibiotics to fight additional infections.
Is there a way to prevent salmonella in dogs?
As a dog owner, it is your duty to protect your dog from various health problems. This also includes salmonella infection. To fully protect your dog, there are a few steps you can take to minimalize the chances of your dog developing this nasty problem.
To prevent salmonella in dogs, you will have to
- Avoid giving your dog raw meat
- Avoid giving your dog food scrapes
- Regularly wash your dog's bowls
- Pick up poop after your dog
- Clean your hands after managing dog poop or vomit
- Never give your dog expired dog food
Can I contract salmonella from my dog?
For your general knowledge, salmonella is a zoonotic disease which means it can be spread between different species. With that in mind, your dog may infect you with salmonella bacteria. Because of this, it is extremely important to follow the rules if your dog is already contracted salmonella to protect yourself, your family members, and other pets you might have in the house.
The chances of you contracting salmonella bacteria from your dog are low, but it can still happen.
The most common way humans get infected with this bacteria over their dogs is by feces. After handling dog feces, it is important that you wash your hands immediately after. Only that way can you ensure that you will not contract this bacteria.
World Dog Finder team