Salmonellosis In Pets

Salmonellosis In Pets

Written By: Binita Published In: Other-Blog Created Date: 2017-06-05 Hits: 747 Comment: 0

Salmonellosis is a symptomatic infection caused by bacteria of the Salmonella type. The most common symptoms are diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. This typically occurs half to three days after exposure with symptoms lasts four to seven days. Occasionally more significant disease can result in dehydration. The old, young, and others with a weak immune systems are more likely to develop severe disease. Specific types of Salmonella can result in typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever. There are two species of Salmonella: Salmonella bongori and Salmonella enterica with many sub-types.  Infection is usually spread via contaminated meat, eggs, or milk. Other foods may spread the disease if they have come into contact with manure. A number of pets may also carry the infection and spread the infection including, cats, dogs, and reptiles. Diagnosis is by a stool test.

Efforts to prevent the disease include proper preparation and cooking of food. Mild disease typically does not require specific treatment. More significant cases may need the treatment of electrolyte problems and the replacement of fluids by intravenous. In those at high risk or in whom the disease has spread outside the intestines, antibiotics are recommended. Salmonellosis is one of the most common causes of diarrhea globally. In 2015, 90,300 deaths occurred from non-typhoidal and 178,000 deaths from typhoidal salmonellosis.

Causes:

  • Contaminated food, often having no unusual look or smell.
  • Poor kitchen hygiene, especially problematic in institutional kitchens and restaurants because this can lead to a significant outbreak.
  • Excretions from either sick or infected but apparently clinically healthy people and animals (especially dangerous are caregivers and animals).
  • Polluted surface water and standing water (such as in shower hoses or unused water dispensers).
  • Unhygienically thawed poultry (the meltwater contains many bacteria).
  • An association with reptiles (pet tortoises, snakes, iguanas, and aquatic turtles) is well described.
  • Amphibians such as frogs.
Salmonella bacteria can survive for some time without a host; thus, they are frequently found in polluted water, with contamination from the excrement of carrier animals being particularly important. The European Food Safety Authority highly recommends that when handling raw turkey meat, consumers and people involved in the food supply chain should pay attention to personal and food hygiene.
An estimated 142,000 Americans are infected each year with Salmonella Enteritidis from chicken eggs,  and about 30 die. The shell of the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella by feces or environment, or its interior (yolk) may be contaminated by penetration of the bacteria through the porous shell or from a hen whose infected ovaries contaminate the egg during egg formation.

Symptoms:
Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. They develop 12 to 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. But diarrhea and dehydration may be so severe that it is necessary to go to the hospital. Older adults, infants, and those who have impaired immune systems are at highest risk. If you only have diarrhea, you usually recover completely, although it may be several months before your bowel habits are entirely normal. A small number of people who are infected with salmonellosis develop reactive arthritis, a disease that can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis. Nevertheless, such interior egg yolk contamination is theoretically unlikely. Even under natural conditions, the rate of infection was very small (0.6% in a study of naturally contaminated eggs and 3.0% among artificially and heavily infected hens). 

Treatment:
You treat salmonellosis by managing any complications until it passes. Dehydration caused by diarrhea is the most common complication. Antibiotics are not usually needed unless the infection has spread.

To prevent dehydration, take frequent sips of a rehydration drink (such as Pedialyte). Try to drink a cup of water or rehydration drink for each large, loose stool you have. Soda and fruit juices have too much sugar and not enough of the important electrolytes that are lost during diarrhea, and they should not be used to rehydrate.

Try to stay with your usual diet as much as possible. Eating your usual diet will help you to get enough nutrition. Doctors believe that eating a normal diet will also help you feel better faster. But try to avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. Also avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee for 2 days after all symptoms have disappeared.

How can you prevent salmonellosis?
To prevent salmonellosis:

  • Do not eat raw or under cooked eggs. Raw eggs may be used in some foods such as homemade hollandaise sauce, Caesar and other salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frosting.
  • Cook foods until they are well done. Use a meat thermometer to be sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature. Do not use the color of the meat (such as when it is no longer "pink") to tell you that it is done.
  • Avoid raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products.
  • Wash or peel produce before eating it.
  • Avoid cross-contamination of food. Keep uncooked meats separate from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Thoroughly wash hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils after handling uncooked foods.
  • Wash your hands before handling any food and between handling different food items.
  • Do not prepare food or pour water for others when you have salmonellosis.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animal feces. Since reptiles are particularly likely to carry salmonella bacteria, wash your hands immediately after handling them. Consider not having reptiles (including turtles) as pets, especially if you have small children or an infant.