You Can Help Control Salmonella Food Bourne Illness for Pets

Salmonella food bourne illness for pets

The FDA appears to be taking steps towards controlling food bourne illness in humans.  But there is little being done to prevent this type of illness in our pets.  The good news is that we can take steps to help control this type of disease for pets. 

We have become more aware of salmonella food bourne illness for our pets because of the Diamond dog food recall 2012. For every recall announcement that Diamond makes, they state, “no report of pet illness has been reported.”

In my opinion, this is a joke.  The only reason illnesses and probably deaths have not been reported as a result of this salmonella poisoning is that there is no adequate reporting system to monitor each situation.

Doctors of human patients are educated on their role in detecting and reporting food bourne illnesses in humans.  But that is not the case with veterinarians.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point out the specific steps that these doctors must take in identifying, treating, and reporting this type of disease in humans.  But veterinarians have not been educated in this way.  This is not the fault of veterinarians.

Not only would we have better reporting statistics on food bourne illness for our pets, we probably would have saved many pets’ lives in the process.

I read a recent article by Susan Thixton entitled, “You Can Help Control Salmonella Food Bourne Illness for Pets.”  She discusses the importance of involving our veterinarians in this process just like with human doctors.

Here is a quote from the article:

The FDA website states that each year, “48 million people in the United States suffers from a foodborne illness; more than a hundred thousand are hospitalized, and thousands die.”  Sister government agency, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates the number significantly higher.  The CDC states “estimates that each year 76 million people get sick, more than 300,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 Americans die as a result of foodborne illnesses.”

Comparing the number of people in the US (313,628,208) to dog and cat estimates (164,600,000) – and based on the CDC estimates (for human illness), the seriousness of pet-foodborne illness in the U.S. could be…
Each year 38 million pets get sick, more than 150,000 are treated by a veterinarian, and 2,500 will die as a result of pet-foodborne illness.  This is in sharp contrast to what is stated on almost every pet food recall press release; “no report of pet illness has been reported.”

The CDC provides education to human physicians; “a teaching tool to update primary care physicians about foodborne illness and remind them of their important role in recognizing suspicious symptoms, disease clusters, and etiologic agents, and reporting cases of foodborne illness to public health authorities.”

The entire article can be read here.

It’s an excellent article, and I encourage you to read it.

Ms. Thixton suggests that you send emails to various agencies to encourage them to involve veterinarians in the identification, treatment, and reporting of food bourne illness in our pets.  She provides the agency email addresses and actual email to be sent.  I hope you will send out those emails.

What do you think about involving veterinarians in the salmonella food bourne illness for pets?  Not only is it a good idea, it is also a very important one.

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