Warning: Dog Treat May Be Affected by Salmonella
The ASPCA is advising pet parents to discontinue the use of Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of "Best By 111911." On January 14, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a nationwide health alert about the product due to potential contamination with Salmonella. Although no illnesses have yet been reported, the FDA is advising consumers not to handle the treats or feed them to their pets. This product has been distributed nationwide through retail stores and Internet sales.
"The ASPCA recommends that pet parents discontinue the use of the affected product immediately until further information has been received," says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA 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."
While healthy adult dogs are relatively 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. Dogs who do become ill from Salmonella may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and drooling or pantingan indication of nausea. In severe cases, the bacterium may spread throughout the body resulting in death.
If you suspect that your pet may have ingested the contaminated product, please contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. For more information on this health alert and the affected brand, please visit the FDA's website.