Guinea Pigs May Be Giving People Salmonella, the CDC Says
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued an icky warning about pet guinea pigs: they may be spreading salmonella. The CDC has identified nine people who became sick due to a strain of salmonella bacteria that can likely be traced back to contact with pet guinea pigs, according to a report from the agency. The cases affect residents of eight different states and were reported between July 2015 and December 2017. One person was hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. Salmonella is a serious bacterial infection that results in gastrointestinal distress and can develop into a life-threatening condition if infection spreads beyond the intestines, according to the CDC. It is typically contracted by eating contaminated food or water, but rodents can also carry and transmit strains of the bacteria, even when they’re kept as domesticated pets. Of seven patients interviewed by the CDC, four said they had been in contact with pet guinea pigs in the week before showing symptoms. Genome sequencing also showed that the strain responsible for the outbreak was similar to bacteria collected from a guinea pig belonging to one of the sick people, pointing to a link between the animals and the disease’s spread. While the last case in the outbreak was reported in December, the CDC reminds guinea pig owners to wash their hands after any contact with the pets or their habitats, to avoid playing with the rodents in a manner that could cause bites and to clean pet cages and supplies outside, if possible. Families with children younger than five, pregnant women and elderly adults also shouldn’t have pet rodents because of the risk of infection, according to the report. Guinea pigs are only the latest probable source of a salmonella outbreak. In the past few months, the herbal supplement kratom, chicken salad and dog food have all been blamed for spreading the infection.
Proper handling facilities, which you keep in good working order; a race and a crush suitable for the animals you handle; trained and competent workers; and. The risk is greater if the animals have not been handled frequently, such as those from hills or moorland, sucklers or newly calved cattle. Cattle – the race Animals should be able to readily enter the race, which should have a funnel end. A circular collecting pen means workers can stand safely behind a forcing gate as they move animals into the race, and keep the animals moving. Animals need to see clearly to the crush and beyond, so that they will readily move along the race. Sheet the sides of the race to help keep cattle moving by reducing visual disturbances such as shadows and other animals. Never work on an animal in the crush with an unsecured animal waiting in the race behind. Additional head restraint will prevent the animal tossing its head up and injuring people; have a rump rail, chain or bar to minimise forward and backward movement of the animal. Never use sticks and prods to strike an animal – this may breach welfare legislation as well as agitating the animal. Before beginning work on any animal, check that you can restrain it from kicking. Use well-drained pasture, avoiding muddy drinking and feeding areas; house dirty animals on clean straw for a few days before slaughter; for court-housed animals, provide adequate drainage and bed them down regularly; for animals on slats, make sure the stocking rate is right as too many or too few animals in the yard will lead to greater soiling; change the animal’s diet for a short while before despatch to avoid feeds that cause loose motions, such as brassica, or spring grass ; use good husbandry practices, such as pasture rotation or appropriate use of anthelmintics, to prevent diarrhoea. Pigs – Make full use of pig boards when moving or working among animals.
Tips and advice on the health of your guinea pig
It is full of tips and advice on caring for guinea pigs – read on! Guinea pigs should not be kept with rabbits as rabbits can pass on diseases to guinea pigs. Their digestive system requires lots of grass or hay as guinea pig food in order to function properly. Guinea pigs also require vitamin C in their diet as their bodies are unable to make it, they can get this from grass and leafy greens such as kale and broccoli or grass based commercial guinea pig pellets. Guinea pigs’ teeth grow continuously throughout their life and need to be worn down and kept at the correct length and shape by eating grass, hay and leafy green plants. This procedure requires the guinea pig to come into the vets for a day and normally they can go home the same evening. This can be passed onto people so if you suspect your guinea pig may be suffering from ringworm please take them to see a vet and make sure you wash your hands well after handling. These can occur because the guinea pigs teeth grow continually and if teeth are not being worm down by grass/hay they can develop small spurs on the teeth with can cause discomfort, pain and damage to the tongue and cheek. If you notice that your guinea pig is not eating normally or if you would like your pets teeth checked please take them to see a vet. A good diet, a clean environment, regular handling and prompt veterinary attention are the mainstays of good guinea pig care. If you have any concerns about your guinea pig, or just a question regarding their care, always call 01323 640011, or use the contact form on this website. This guinea pig health guide, full of tips and advice on the ideal care of guinea pigs, is provided by St. Anne’s veterinary group which serves the pets and owners of East Sussex through it’s surgeries in Eastbourne, Langney, Willingdon and East Dean and at their homes with the ‘My Visiting Vet’ service.