Posted by kestrel91316 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Apr 03rd 2007, 09:36 PM
First of all, this will be fairly brief. I am on my crappy old computer at home. Doing any research on it is nearly impossible due to Windows ME, 15 GB hard drive, Pentium 3 processor, and dial-up. So I am not going to be able to post links for everything I think should be here. My internet service at the office (where I have a GREAT computer) has gone out 4 times in 8 days, and is down again (thank you, AT&T DSL, you total POS). I will add additional comments and links to published, peer-reviewed research and official government and NGO policies once I can get online at the office again.
There appears to be some confusion about where I stand with respect to feeding pets raw foods (raw meats, in particular). I was posting a reply to a thread about this earlier today when I lost the internet. The poster seemed to think, for some unfathomable reason, that I had said pets should be gradually switched onto raw foods.
PLEASE NOTE: I DO NOT advocate ANY feeding of raw meats to dogs or cats EVER. This ALWAYS constitutes a risk to the animal's health AND MORE IMPORTANTLY a risk to the health of humans who may have contact with the animal in question.
Raw meats are ALWAYS contaminated with bacteria to some degree when they are purchased. This is inevitable. Germs come with the territory, and the government position is that sterility can not be achieved nor should it be sought for raw meats. It is simply not achievable.
The bacteria commonly found in/on raw meats and likely to cause illness are Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli O157H7. Raw meats may also contain, within the flesh, parasites such as Trichinella, Toxoplasma, and tapeworms. Of these, Toxoplasma is the biggest danger.
Salmonella can make dogs and cats seriously ill and even cause their death. IIRC Campylobacter can also (when I can surf the net I can look up sources on this). Toxoplasma may or may not make any particular cat ill or cause its death, but its greatest danger is to unborn human fetuses. Generic E. coli is ubiquitous in meat packing plants, and anywhere it is found, it may be accompanied by its evil twin, E. coli O157H7, a notorious killer. I do not have information this evening as to whether that one can harm dogs or cats, but it bears looking into. The point is, contaminated meats can AND DO make dogs and cats ill and even cause their deaths with some frequency.
Pets infected with these pathogens may pass them on to humans. The young, the old, the chronically ill and the immunosuppressed are particularly vulnerable. Dogs and cats frequently become asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella and have been widely shown to then pass the infection on to humans. These humans are at risk of serious illness and even death. Same problem with Campylobacter, though I do not recall offhand if an asymptomatic carrier state exists for it. Animals and their food dishes and toys and such may act as fomites for transmission of these pathogens.
The evidence is clear. It is indisputable fact that raw meats should not be fed to dogs or cats because of the disease risk to the pets and the risk of zoonotic disease in humans.
I have been viciously attacked for pointing this out on other threads. But it is my firm belief that, if someone is going to make an outlandish claim that is FAR outside the realm of mainstream scientific thought, it is incumbent upon the claimant to prove their case. My case has already been proved, time after time, in refereed journal after refereed journal, and in study after study.
If you are going to call me a liar (and you people know who you are) you had better be able to back up your claims that raw meat is harmless with some published, peer-reviewed data of your own. I will not accept the rantings of some mad internet bloviator as fact. I don't care HOW many breeders advocate it, or how many "alternate practitioners" in my own profession do. That doesn't make it safe.
I took my professional oath very seriously 26 years ago. I have a duty to the public, and when I see advocacy of something so potentially deadly as feeding raw meats to pets, I intend to speak out.
As I said, when I can navigate the internet normally I will post links to my sources and back up what I say. It's unfortunately not possible to do so tonight.
For those who will no doubt attack me again for daring to speak out, you are on notice. I will aggressively alert on anyone who attempts to start in with the flaming. If you think raw meats are the greatest thing since sliced bread, go back to one of your many threads already here. This one's my baby.