Thinking about switching your pet to a raw meat based diet (RMBD)? A new study of commercial RMBDs available in pet stores and supermarkets found a significant number of harmful bacteria and parasites in these pet foods.
The results, published this month in the journal Veterinary Record, found the following rates of bacterial contamination in 35 commercial RMBDs from 8 different brands tested:
Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 : 23%
Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases-producing E coli : 80%
Listeria monocytogenes : 54%
Other Listeria species : 43%
Salmonella : 20%
Two parasites, Sarcocystis cruzi and Sarcocystis tenella were found 11% of the products. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii was found in 6% of the samples.
Researchers found that the large number of bacteria and parasites in these commercially prepared RMBDs pose a health threat to both pets that consume the food, and humans via handling and exposure to contaminated food.
They also note that dogs and cats on a RMBD are more likely to become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria than those that consume cooked food.
If you choose to feed your pet a RMBD, it’s important to be aware of the health risks of a raw diet, and how to handle these foods safely.
To learn more about the possible dangers, you can read the American Veterinary Medical Association’s position paper on feeding pets a raw food diet HERE.
Search and rescue dogs are on the front lines as first responders race to find survivors of the recent mudslides in Montecito, California.
The Los Angeles Times reports that there are 8 search and rescue dogs working with their handlers in the search for victims, with more arriving now.
The dogs were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which rescues shelter dogs and trains them for this lifesaving work. They are provided to first responders free of charge. The Foundation is continuing operation even though its own facilities were damaged in the Thomas fire.
You can watch a brief video of one of these brave dogs in action on the KTLA News website HERE.
Image: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
With the growing popularity of brachycephalic (short-nosed) dog breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs, veterinarians are increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of these dogs.
Many short-muzzled dogs suffer from a condition called BOAS (brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome). Symptoms include respiratory noise, narrowed nostrils, gastrointestinal problems, sleep apnea, heat intolerance, cyanosis (low oxygen), and collapse.
The British Veterinary Association has recently announced its new #BreedtoBreathe campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the health problems of brachycephalic breeds.
You can read the BVA’s official policy statement on brachycephalic dogs HERE. In it, they outline their concern about breeding practices (and advertising campaigns) that promote brachycephalic dogs, and provide guidance for vets on how to raise awareness about the health problems of short-muzzled dogs with clients.
The #BreedtoBreathe campaign provides a 10-point plan for veterinarians that emphasizes the need for vets to educate pet owners about the health and quality of life problems faced by many brachycephalic dog breeds.
Interested in learning more about the health issues of brachycephalic dogs and the #BreedtoBreathe campaign? Watch this short video:
For 9 years, sweet Yaston has been the devoted service dog for a brave young girl named Sky. Sky has an incurable mitochondrial disorder and has endured many hospitalizations and operations…with Yaston at her side.
In 2017, Yaston was diagnosed with primary renal hematuria, a rare but serious kidney disease. Yaston needed a life-saving surgery that is performed by only a handful of veterinary specialists in the U.S. Sky’s extensive medical bills also made affording Yaston’s surgery a challenge.