John Aaron, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - The latest pet food recall is affecting consumers in 12 states, including Maryland and Virginia.
Diamond Pet Foods is voluntarily recalling a third type of dog food, its Diamond Puppy Formula, because of salmonella concerns.
The company had already announced that it was recalling batches of its Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul Adult Light Formula and Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice products.
While pets that have eaten the recalled food should be taken in for a check-up, Daniel Shillito, Staff Veterinarian at the Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C., says although the chances are slim, other pets and even humans could become infected.
"Salmonella ... can be transmitted from animals to people," making any potential pet food contamination a major concern, according to Shillito. A person or pet would have to come into contact with an infected dog's feces in order to become infected themselves.
Signs of salmonella poising in dogs are often less than obvious. "It's actually a pretty tough diagnosis," Shillito says, "A lot of dogs can be carriers. They can be shedding the bacteria into the environment." Other dogs may display vomiting, diarrhea, a decrease in appetite, and lethargic behavior.
For prevention, Shillito recommends increased vigilance when it comes to hygiene, including hand washing and being careful with dog waste. In humans, people with weakened immune systems, children, the elderly, and even those taking antibiotics could be vulnerable to the bacteria.
But despite the recall, Shillito doesn't think salmonella is a widespread problem in the pet food industry.
"I feed my dogs commercially-made dog food," he says, "[The salmonella recall] shows that they're monitoring, and looking for it."
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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