Once again, pig ears are being pulled from the shelves. After the 2019 warnings to avoid pig ear treats, many dog parents stopped feeding them to their dogs completely. Now, the risk has reappeared again in certain areas with specific brands.

Numerous cases have linked select pig ears with a recent salmonella outbreak. While these specific pig ears are no longer in stores, it’s possible that dog parents may have them in their homes. So, if you have any of the affected brands, dispose of them immediately.

pig earspig ears
Image: @CDC/Facebook

Which Pig Ears are Affected?

Currently, the Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating a deadly outbreak of Salmonella. This outbreak has occurred in British Columbia, Alberta, and Yukon. So far, the investigation has shown that pig ears are likely the cause of this salmonella outbreak.

The people who became sick reported that they recently fed their dogs Paws Up! and Western Family pig ear brands. These products are sold across Canada. Supplying company Masters Best Friend issued a “Notice of Stop Sale,” and the products have since been pulled from shelves. Yet, the Public Health Agency is urging customers to dispose of these products if found in their homes.

As of September 29th, 2020, there were eight confirmed salmonella cases. Five were in British Columbia, two were in Alberta, and one was in Yukon. The people affected ranged anywhere from 7 to 95 years old. Additionally, half were men, and half were women. Three of these people were hospitalized, and one died.

Dog holding pig ear

Dog holding pig ear

How Can Salmonella Harm You and Your Dog?

So far, the salmonella cases only seemed to affect humans, but dogs could be at risk too. Your dog could get sick from eating infected pig ears, and they could quickly spread that illness to others. So, both you and your dog could be at risk if you’ve handled these treats.

Salmonella is most likely to affect individuals with weaker immune systems. This includes children under 5, older adults, and pregnant women. It only takes a few days to recover fully, but some humans could carry the bacteria without getting sick or showing symptoms. Symptoms of Salmonella include fever, chills, cramps, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

Dog with Pig EarDog with Pig Ear
Image: Karen via Flickr

What Should You Do if You Have These Pig Ear Brands?

If you have Paws Up! or West Family brand pig ears in your home, do NOT feed them to your dog. Dispose of them right away and make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after handling them. Also, be sure to sanitize any surfaces that the pig ears came into contact with.

With that in mind, you should always wash your hands after handling dog food or dog treats. Keep areas that the treats touch clean for everyone’s safety.

For additional information about the affected products, you can contact Masters Best Friend. Also, if any Canadians have experienced health or safety incidents related to these pig ear products, they can fill out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

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H/T: dogfoodadvisor.com
Featured Image: Karen via Flickr

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