Salmonella Infection in Dogs and Cats

    Today CNBC reported that Nature’s Recipe announced a voluntary recall of their product, Nature’s Recipe Oven Baked Biscuits with Real Chicken due to possible salmonella contamination.  So far, there have been no cases of animal or human illness caused by this product.  Because of all the recent recalls, I thought it would be a good idea to review the clinical signs of salmonellosis in dogs and cats.
    Dogs and cats develop infections three to five days after exposure.  Clinical signs include fever, lethargy, anorexia, dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting and/or abdominal pain.  Diarrhea can range from mucous to bloody in nature.  In severe infections, shock may develop requiring immediate medical intervention.  Salmonella may also affect the central nervous system causing seizures, paralysis and blindness.  Pregnant dogs and cats will often abort their litters or give birth to stillborn babies.  Humans have many of the same clinical signs as animals namely, headache, fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.  Please seek medical help immediately if these signs develop after contact with any contaminated products or animals.   
   More information on salmonella is available at the Centers for Disease Control at  For more information on the Nature’s Recipe recall go to  

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.