Veterinarians who encounter a patient that has eaten peanut butter or peanut-containing products and has signs of a Salmonella infection are encouraged to report the information to their state and send samples.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks that suspected or confirmed cases of Salmonella infection be reported to determine whether an animal is infected with the outbreak strain, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. This can be done by contacting a regional Food and Drug Administration consumer complaint coordinator. For a state-by-state listing of coordinators, go to www.fda.gov/opacom/backgrounders/complain.html.
The CDC also advises reporting any incidence to a state veterinarian or state public health veterinarian; see links at www.avma.org/aa/peanut_butter_recall.asp. The product manufacturer should also be contacted.
Regarding samples, the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians recommends submitting feces (preferred) or vomitus to a state veterinary diagnostic laboratory for Salmonella culturing and DNA fingerprinting. If a state laboratory cannot perform the fingerprinting procedure, the laboratory will forward the sample to one that can.
These AAVLD laboratories will charge the cost of the testing to the veterinarian who submitted the samples. The veterinarian will then determine how the charges will be billed to the client. Clients seeking reimbursement should be instructed to contact the manufacturer.
To locate an AAVLD laboratory, go to the AAVLD home page at www.aavld.org/mc/page.do and click on the "Accreditation" link on the menu bar.
At least three states have reported incidents of dogs showing signs of Salmonella infection. All had eaten peanut butter products on the recall list.