Listeriosis: Should you be worried about your pets?

2018-03-13 13:00
PHOTO: Getty Images/ Gallo Images

PHOTO: Getty Images/ Gallo Images

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The nationwide listeriosis outbreak naturally has a lot of consumers panicked, as they fear for their health and the health of their family members.

Since January 2017, 967 cases of listeriosis have been reported in South Africa, 218 this year alone. So far, 183 deaths have been reported, according to News24.

But what about pets?

According to Dr Guy Fyvie, nutritional advisor at Hill’s Pet Nutrition South Africa, while it’s possible that pets could contract the bacteria, it’s less likely.

“Pets with underlying disease conditions, weakened immune systems and those who are older are at an increased risk,” Dr Fyvie explains.

Dr Fyvie recommends following these three guidelines to protect you pets from listeriosis:

  • What’s unsafe for you is unsafe for your pet

Make sure you discard potentially contaminated products properly – you don’t want your pet finding and eating the item later.

  • Stick to safe, cooked treats

Stick to nutritious treats rather than rewarding your pet with processed meats that have been put on the “danger” list, such as Viennas, sausages or cold meats.

  •  Cook meat thoroughly

If you feed your pet meat, make sure it’s been cooked, no matter what it is. Listeria is heat sensitive – a core temperature of 70°C will kill the bacteria.

If you’re worried your pet may have come into contact with any contaminated products, these are some of the symptoms you should look out for:

•             Diarrhoea

•             Nausea

•             Fever

•             Vomiting

•             Weakness

•             Lack of co-ordination

Can your pet pass the disease onto you?

Dr Fyvie says that while this is highly unlikely, “you have a greater chance of contracting listeriosis from pets that are fed raw diets”.

Read more on:    listeriosis

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