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Don’t feed peanut butter products to your pets

By Gary Bogue
Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 at 11:43 am in ASPCA, Recalled Products.

ASPCA Responds to Nationwide Peanut Butter Recall

I just received the following press release stating that the ASPCA is advising pet owners to discontinue using peanut butter products in light of last week’s recall by the FDA, which traced sources of Salmonella contamination to a plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), a distributor of peanut butter and peanut paste — a concentrated product consisting of ground, roasted peanuts.

Please read the following information carefully and then click on the link at the end to go to the FDA’s Recall Page to find out more about the recall and see which pet-related products might be involved. /Gary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FROM THE ASPCA:
“The ASPCA recommends that pet parents discontinue the use of all affected products immediately until further information has been received,” said Dr. Steven Hansen, the ASPCA’s Senior Vice President of Animal Health Services. “Pet parents should wash their hands after handling any potentially contaminated food and immediately consult with a veterinarian if any signs or symptoms are noticed in their pets.”

Peanut butter is often used in small amounts as an occasional reward for dogs, commonly used in treats and activity toy.

While healthy adult dogs are fairly resistant to illness from Salmonella bacteria, pets with health issues, young puppies and elderly or pregnant dogs that may have compromised immune systems may be at greater risk for becoming ill. In addition, pet owners handling a peanut butter product that could be contaminated may also develop food poisoning.

“Salmonella can be passed between pets and humans,” said Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine of the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital. “Adult cats are relatively resistant and most dogs infected with the bacterium appear normal, but may pass Salmonella in their feces which can infect people or other susceptible pets, therefore it’s essential that pet parents take steps to protect both themselves and their animal companions from exposure.”

Dogs who do become ill from Salmonella may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and drooling or panting — an indication of nausea.

In severe cases, the bacterium may spread throughout the body resulting in death. Cats may develop high fever with vague non-specific clinical signs. If you suspect that your pet may have ingested a contaminated recalled product, please contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

For a complete list of affected brands and more information on the recall, you can visit FDA’s recall page at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html

As recall information can change rapidly, it is important to check this information often.

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