An investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella illnesses across British Columbia, Alberta, and Yukon, found pig ear dog treats the likely source of the deadly outbreak.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, some of the individuals who became sick reported feeding their dog Paws Up! and Western Family brands of pig ear dog treats before their illnesses occurred. These brands are sold at Canadian Tire and Save-On-Foods. The outbreak investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products may be identified.
As of September 29, 2020, there were eight confirmed cases of Salmonella Typhimurium illness in the following provinces: British Columbia (5), Alberta (2), and Yukon (1). Individuals became sick between late February and early August 2020. Three individuals have been hospitalized. In addition, one individual has died.
On September 29, 2020, the supplying company, Masters Best Friend, voluntarily issued a Notice of Stop Sale for Paws Up! and Western Family brands of pig ear dog treats. These products were sold nationally. For more information on the affected products, please contact Masters Best Friend.
Masters Best Friend is a branded and private-label supplier for major retailers in Canada and the U.S.
Although products are no longer available for purchase in stores, they may still be in consumer homes. Given this, do not feed your dog any Paws Up! or Western Family brand pig ear dog treats. Always wash your hands right after handling dog treats, and ensure that all areas the treats have come in contact with are properly cleaned and sanitized.
This outbreak is a reminder of the importance of safely handling all pet treats, including pig ears and pet food. These products can be contaminated with bacteria that can make you and others sick if proper handling and cleaning practices are not followed. If contaminated, pet treats and pet food can also make your pets sick. Ill pets can spread bacteria, like Salmonella, to individuals they are in contact with even if they do not show any signs of illness.