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Study finds raw diets for pets place animals, owners at risk

A new study conducted by Utrecht University scientists, published in British veterinary journal Vet Record, has discovered that raw meat-based diets (RMBD) for pets, places owners at risk for serious disease.

The study, which analyzed 35 RMBD’s from 8 brands, revealed that E. coli 0157 was isolated from eight products, Salmonella species in seven products, and Listeria species were present in 15 products. Four products found the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi; another four contained Sarcocystis tenella and two products revealed Toxoplasma gondii.

Researchers also found evidence the raw meat harboured antibiotic resistant bacteria.

“Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBD’s may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings,” they added.

Pets fed RMBD’s can pass pathogens to humans through direct contact, such as licking or brushing up against them, according to scientists. Researchers wrote that pathogens can also be transferred through direct contact with the food, through contact with household surfaces, or by ingesting cross-contaminated human food.

Researchers believe there is no evidence for any benefit of RMBDs compared to mainstream dry or canned pet foods and that raw meat-based diets may even be less nutritious.

Source: VeterinaryPracticeNews.com – March 2018 Volume 30/Number 3

Written by Chris MacDonald, DVM

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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Last updated: September 15, 2021

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