Salmonella in Boston Terriers

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I have had dogs that have had diarrhea, but have never had it tested for salmonella.  The dogs recovered quickly.  I will never know whether my Boston Terriers had salmonella.  In the future I will test for salmonella in Boston Terriers to prevent further problems of dehydration and complications later.

 Salmonella is not common in dogs or cats, the disease can be transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated food and fecal material.

Common name: Food poisoning
Scientific name: Salmonellosis


All dogs are susceptible to Salmonella infection, but the young and elderly are more likely to develop systemic infection. Dogs under stressful conditions (crowding, poor nutrition, and poor sanitation) may be more likely to become infected.

Geographic distribution
Salmonella infections occur world wide.

Clinical signs (primary most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Diarrhea (+/- blood), abdominal cramping, fever.

Clinical signs (secondary most to least frequent, scientific term, synonyms)
Anorexia or poor appetite, dehydration (more fluids lost than taken in by drinking water).


Salmonellosis is a common bacterial infection of both mammals and reptiles. Since dogs will eat carrion (dead animals) and fecal material of other dogs, they are frequently infected, whether they show signs or not.

Most common signs are diarrhea that may contain mucous and blood, fever, lack of appetite and abdominal cramping. Infections can spread from the intestinal tract to the lymph nodes and then to other organs, resulting a more severe illness or even death.

Sources of Salmonella include stools from other dogs that are currently shedding the bacteria, contaminated natural pet treats (pig ears, rawhide chews) and raw pet food.

Dogs can transmit Salmonella to humans, especially to children or to anyone with a compromised immune system. Lack of hand washing after cleaning up stools, after pet care, before handling food, or before eating are the primary means of transmitting the bacteria to people.


Home Care
At home care of diarrhea includes encouraging drinking of water, and feeding bland and easily digested food. If other signs develop, such as lethargy or weakness, if a dog starts to vomit, if the skin seems to be getting less flexible, or if the diarrhea lasts over 24 hours, smells very bad, or contains mucous and/or blood, it is time to seek veterinary care.

Professional Care
Veterinarians can test for specific causes of diarrhea as well as for secondary problems such as dehydration. If a bacterial infection like salmonellosis is found, appropriate antibiotics are beneficial. Intravenous (IV) fluids replenish body fluids and other supportive care ton make the pet more comfortable. Special diets that are easily absorbed can help as well.

View the source

The article describes feeding your dog a bland diet.  There is a recipe for dogs with diarrhea in the book “101 Dog Treat Recipes

Salmonella in Boston Terriers can be treated and your dog’s life can be saved if you have the right information.

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