Salmonellosis is a bacterial disease of the intestinal tract caused by the bacterium Salmonella. Animals are infected by eating substances contaminated with the bacteria. The organisms are present in the feces of infected animals for up to 6 weeks after recovery. This organism is very hardy and can survive for long periods in the environment.
Signs of salmonellosis include vomiting, diarrhea with or without blood, fever, and dehydration. Severe cases may be fatal. The disease is most common in young, stressed, weakened, or aged animals.
Some dogs can carry and spread the disease without showing signs of illness. Because cats are more resistant to the organism, they are affected less often than dogs.
Public Health Significance
Because these bacteria can infect people, strict hygiene should be practiced when handling infected animals. Carefully dispose of all fecal material. Small children should not handle infected pets.