Salmonella is a bacteria that is known to cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms in humans, but can dogs get salmonella poisoning? Our Union City vets are here to answer your questions about salmonella in dogs.

What is salmonella?

Bacteria called salmonella can infect the gastrointestinal tracts of a wide variety of animal species. Between the two species of salmonella, there are thousands of distinct strains (serovars). These strains vary slightly from one another; some cause serious illness, while others don't even cause an infection.

Can dogs get salmonella poisoning?

Salmonella can, in fact, infect both our cherished dogs and cats. 2.5 percent of dogs tested positive for bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts, per a 2017 study. However, at the time of testing, only 55% of the infected dogs in the study displayed symptoms of diarrhea. This indicates that almost 50% of the individuals were asymptomatic and were therefore asymptomatically spreading the infection. Indeed, humans and dogs can transmit salmonella to one another.

What causes salmonella in dogs?

Animal excrement from infected animals contains salmonella, which originates in the gastrointestinal tract. A contaminated animal ingests the bacteria and becomes infected. After eating some tainted treats, pet food, or undercooked meat, some dogs may contract the infection. Infections with salmonella are most common in dogs with weakened immune systems. Puppies are more prone to contract salmonellosis because they still lack a fully functional immune system.

Can dogs get salmonella from raw chicken?

Although it is considerably less common for dogs to get salmonella this way than it is for people, dogs can still get the disease by eating raw chicken. This condition is less common in our canine companions because your dog's gastrointestinal tract is far more tolerant of raw meats than the GI tract of humans.

What are the symptoms of salmonella poisoning in dogs?

Some of the most common symptoms of salmonella in dogs include:

  • Acute diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Dehydration
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Lethargy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Depression

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
  • Shock
  • 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 go over the basics first. The veterinarian will probably look at your dog's medical history when deciding whether or not salmonella is a viable diagnosis. After discussing your dog's symptoms, the veterinarian will examine your dog physically.

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?

Treatment for salmonella is based on the symptoms your dog is exhibiting. Dogs with weakened immune systems or cases that are severe may benefit from antibiotic use, but mild or asymptomatic cases should not receive them.

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.

Is your dog exhibiting signs of salmonella? Contact Reelfoot Animal Hospital right away to book an appointment for your four-legged family member.