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Listeria hysteria: Can my dog catch Listeriosis?

April 1, 2018

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Symptoms include: weakness, nausea, skin infection, lack of coordination, stiffness, fever, diarrhoea, and/or lethargy. Dogs might not have all these symptoms. If your pup’s showing more than one, please consult your vet immediately. Depending on your doggo’s immune system, Listeriosis can be fatal if not treated fast enough. Prompt treatment could save your best four-legged buddy’s life.

What’s the treatment?

Your fur ball’s treatment depends on the severity of the infection. If Bruno is throwing-up or has a runny tummy, the vet will probably only prescribe gastrointestinal and pain medication. If the virus is more aggressive, your pooch will need to be hospitalized for immediate treatment. IV fluids and antibiotics will be given to the sick pup. The antibiotics include penicillin, amoxicillin, ampicillin and other meds with names that medical Einsteins find easy to pronounce.

Dogs can recover completely from Listeriosis but, in some cases, death may result from vicious infection. Before the infection leaves your hound’s tail hanging, consult a vet and give pooch lots of TLC and the correct medication. Follow the veterinarian’s treatment plan to the T and finish all prescribed meds to ensure the best chance of a complete recovery from a Listeria infection.

Can dogs pass Listeria on to humans?

According to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, “it is highly unlikely that a dog that has eaten contaminated meat would pass the infection on to humans. Only a small percentage of healthy pets can shed Listeria in their stool at any time” which wouldn’t easily infect humans, unless the poop comes into contact with your hands.

Listeria symptoms in Humans:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches

*In more serious cases people can develop meningitis, brain abscesses and ultimately pass away.

*NOTE: Pregnant women, new-borns, cancer patients, people with diabetes, and people with HIV/AIDS or compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of suffering severely OR from the disease and are more likely to die from it.

 

How to prevent Listeriosis?

                     

  1. Don’t eat meat (from Enterprise)!

Enterprise polony is the source of the South African outbreak. 85% of 109 patients with the disease reported eating Enterprise processed meats like viennas or polony.

 

  1. Clean your fridge

Your fridge is Listeria’s home. You might think it’s clean and cold, but this is where the infection multiplies and spreads to ready-to-eat meats and dairy products. Clean your fridge with a bleach solution to kill the infection (10 ml bleach for every 500ml water).

 

  1. Eat cooked meat

Heat food above 70 degrees Celsius to eliminate the Listeria bacteria. Raw food should be kept separate from cooked food to prevent cross-contamination.

 

Now that you know more about Listeriosis, you can prevent it and identify the symptoms (for both you and your doggo). Take care of your health and make sure your pal is happy and healthy. Defeat the Listeria bacteria polony-lover by being cautious and educated. Remember that our Superior Plan covers your pets for up to R10 000 per illness claim.

Adios Listeriosis!

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