Wednesday January 22, 2020

High Levels of Bacteria Found in Raw Meat Dog Foods, Says Study

Dogs should not be fed raw meat products while being treated with antibiotics as this could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance

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Gut Bacteria.
Gut Bacteria. Pixabay

Feeding your pooch with raw meat could pose potential health risks as they contain high levels of bacteria, researchers have warned.

A study by researchers from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden showed that many raw meat products contain enterobacteriaceae species, which are indicators of faecal contamination and hygiene standards.

Such food products can also cause health risks to people, particularly infants, elderly and those with poor immunity, the study said.

A raw meat-based diet has become increasingly popular with dogs in recent years because it is seen as a “healthier natural alternative” to the widely available commercial products.

But unlike commercial feeds, raw meat products are not heat treated or freeze dried to pasteurise, the research team added.

For the study, published in the journal Vet Record, researchers took samples from 60 packs of raw meat samples that were analysed for bacteria, including enterobacteriaceae species — clostridium perfringens, salmonella and campylobacter.

Family walk with dog. Pixabay

Nearly 31 samples (52 per cent) contained bacteria levels that exceeded the 5,000 bacteria per gram maximum threshold set by the European Union regulations, said the study.

Escherichia coli was found in about a third of the samples. Clostridium perfringens, another marker of faecal contamination and hygiene standards, was found in 18 samples (30 per cent).

In addition, salmonella species were found in four (seven per cent) of the 60 samples, while campylobacter species were found in three samples from three different manufacturers.

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Dogs should not be fed raw meat products while being treated with antibiotics as this could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance, the researchers noted.

“Bacteria such as escherichia coli and salmonella can cause significant gastrointestinal disease in animals,” said Daniella Dos Santos, Junior Vice-President at the British Veterinary Association.

“We would advise any pet owner wanting to try a raw meat-based diet to first consult a veterinary surgeon,” Santos said. (IANS)

Next Story

Find Out how Puppies can be Dangerous For Your Health

US Health Agency Warns of Danger Posed by Puppies

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Puppies infection
Puppies can spread harmful bacteria. Pixabay

Beware of dog, especially the cute puppies in pet store windows, U.S. health officials warn.

A bacteria resistant to common antibiotics has sickened 30 people this year, sending four of them to hospitals, and puppies are the likely culprit, according to an advisory issued late Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The strain, known as Campylobacter jejuni, is closely related to a 2016 outbreak that health officials said was most likely caused by contact with puppies sold at Petland stores, a nationwide chain of franchised pet stores.

That outbreak sickened 113 people in 17 states between January 2016 and January 2018, with 23 of them requiring hospitalization, the CDC said.

In the current outbreak, the CDC said it interviewed 24 of the people afflicted with the disease, 21 of whom reported contact with a puppy, including 15 who had contact with puppies from a pet store.

Puppies
French Bulldog puppies at the American Kennel Club (AKC) in New York. VOA

Twelve of the people infected were linked to Petland, including five employees of the store chain, the CDC said.

Response from pet store

Chillicothe, Ohio-based Petland said in a statement that it has implemented a host of preventative steps recommended by public health officials since the 2016 outbreak.

In both outbreaks, the company said, the bacteria strain did not originate at any specific Petland store.

“For perspective, more than 12 million guests visit our stores annually and during this specific time period, Petland estimates more than 2.4 million customer socializations of Petland puppies,” it said of the current outbreak.

CDC recommendations

Campylobacter infections generally cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps two to five days after exposure, the CDC said. It usually lasts about a week and most people recover without antibiotic treatment, it said.

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The CDC said the disease has been detected in 13 states, including Utah, Wyoming, Minnesota and Maryland, where Petland said it has no stores.

Owners were advised to always wash their hands after touching their dogs or cleaning up after them, have their pets checked regularly by veterinarians, and “don’t let dogs lick around your mouth and face.” (VOA)