Another Pig Ear Recall

veterinary news

There have been some recalls on pig ear treats recently.  Here is a summary of the products recalled:

Diggers Natural Treat Pig Ear

-Recalled May 17, 2011 by Boss Pet Products, Inc.

These pig ears were recalled because of possible Salmonella contamination.  The batches affected were:

Bulk Pig Ears in boxes of 100 (UPC #0-72929-00038-6)
Bulk Pig Ears Shrink Wrapped in boxes of 50 (UPC #0-72929-99120-2)
2-Pack Bags shipped in cases of 12 bags (UPC #0-72929-99504-0)
4-Pack Bags shipped in cases of 12 bags (UPC #0-72929-00227-4)
8-Pack Bags shipped in cases of 12 bags (UPC #0-72929-99584-2)

The packaging looks like this:
(photos courtesy FDA)

Boss Pet Pig Ears


PrimeTime Brand and Premuim Pig Ears

-Recalled May 17, 2011 by Blackman Industries, Inc.

These pig ears were recalled because of possible salmonella contamination.  The affected UPC’s were:


The packaging could look like any of these:
(Photos courtesy FDA)

pig ears

recalled pig's ears

Recalled pig's ear

Are Pig’s Ears Safe?

I definitely do not recommend feeding pig ear treats to dogs.  There are many reasons for this.  As we have now seen, Salmonella contamination can happen.  Salmonella is a bacteria which can cause serious illness in pets as well as people.  While many people believe that dog’s can not get sick from Salmonella, this is not true.

In 1999 there were some Pig Ear recalls in Canada because of Salmonella contamination.  A vet in my practice treated a Doberman who had gotten ill from eating a contaminated pig ear.  This poor dog had horrible bloody diarrhea.  The dog was hospitalized.  Despite intensive veterinary care the dog went on to get “septicemia” which is a blood infection.  This dog died…all because of a pig’s ear.

Symptoms of Salmonella Poisoning

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Fever

Fat Content

Another reason not to give pig ears to your dog is because they are really high in fat.  I have a personal story to tell.

When I was a high school student I had the best dog in the world.  His name was Toby and he was a Border Collie.  Toby was excellent at obedience, agility, and flyball.  He was in tip-top shape.  Then, in 1992, I graduated high school and ventured out to university.  It was painful to leave my wonderful dog, but I knew that my parents would take good care of him.  Well…they spoiled him….rotten.  They found out that Toby loved Pig Ears.  So, he got two pig ears a day.

When I left for school, Toby weighed about 40 lbs.  When I came home he was more than 70 lbs.  He was really overweight…and mostly because of pig ears!

Other Concerns

There are other reasons to not feed pig ears to your dogs.  Many of them are treated with artificial colors and possibly even formaldehyde.  When Toby would eat a pig ear he would leave a red residue on the carpet and on his paws.  My parents used to make him go on his blanket so he could get a pig ear and not stain the carpet.

The other concern is that dogs can choke on a pig ear.  As the dog chews on them they get soft and mushy.  While I have not personally seen a dog die from choking on a pig ear, it could happen.  I have seen dogs die from choking on a soggy rawhide.

Your thoughts?

Do you feed your dogs pig ears?  Do you have any experiences to share?  I’d love to hear them!

Dr. Marie


About the author

Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie is a veterinarian treating dogs, cats, and pocket pets. Click here to ask Dr. Marie a question.

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