Salmonella Infection – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Salmonella is a bacterial infection that lives in the intestines of many animals. A person can get these bacteria if they eat food that has become contaminated.

These bacteria can also be passed to them from animals that are infected. Many different types of animals carry these bacteria and if a person is not careful, they can contract it as well.

Animals that Carry Salmonella

There are many animals that carry these bacteria. They include reptiles such as turtles and snakes. Some lizards also carry these bacteria as well as frogs.

Poultry including chicken and ducks are carriers. Pet birds such as parakeets and parrots may have salmonella. Farm animals and mice are carriers. Even dogs and cats can carry these bacteria and it may be possible to spread it to humans.

How are Animals Infected?

An animal may become infected with salmonella is they eat foods that are contaminated. They can also get it from their mothers when they are born or even those that are hatched. Salmonella is found in the intestines of many animals.

When they pass their stool, these bacteria are often in it. This can get on other parts of the body including their fur, feathers, and scales. They can also pass it around their environment. Many animals that have these bacteria still look healthy and they have a clean appearance.

Pets can become contaminated if they eat pet food or treats that were contaminated in the factories. Every so often dog and cat foods are recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. If a person touches an animal that is contaminated, and they do not wash their hands they can pass it on to their pets.

Infection in Pets

It will take a large colony of salmonella bacteria to make a pet sick. The bacteria need to attack normal intestinal bacteria and overtake it. If this does happen the salmonella can get to the deeper tissues in the intestines.

This can lead to diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and depression. Some animals may die from this. There can even be blood in the stool. If a person feels their pet is at risk, they must bring it to the vet right away.

Treatment in Pets

If a pet has salmonella it most cases it will be able to clear up on its own. The pet may be uncomfortable for a couple of days and the owner will need to make sure they are getting plenty of water.

The owner may need to take measures to keep the pet hydrated and make sure they are still eating and drinking. If the pet has severe cases, then antibiotics and other medications may need to be given. This is especially true for mammals.

Diagnosis

While a person may think that their pet has salmonella, they need to go to a vet to confirm. The vet will test the feces and will give it a Real PCR test.

This will determine if salmonella was present in the system of the pet. In some cases, other body fluids may also need to be examined to confirm that salmonella is really what the animal has. The vet may then recommend medication to treat it.

People at Risk

While any person can be a risk for salmonella there are some people that will get a more serious illness. Infants and children under the age of 5 are at high risk.

People over the age of 65 years old are also at a higher risk. People that have a weak immune system and those that are undergoing chemotherapy are also at a higher risk for developing serious illnesses from salmonella.

People are at an increased risk for dehydration. Most people will experience pain and they may have some digestive issues as the bacteria pass through their system.

Salmonella is naturally occurring in the digestive tract of most animals. This can become a problem when they eat something that has been contaminated or when the bacteria outnumber the good bacteria in this system.

A person also needs to be careful they do not spread these bacteria from one pet to another. While salmonella will often clear up on its own pay close attention to the animals n case medical services are needed.

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