No Rah! Rah! for raw

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webmaster | 10/15/12

Dear Andre,

My husband and I recently purchased an adorable retriever puppy from a breeder. The breeder feeds all of her dogs a raw diet, and encouraged me to continue feeding her like this. I don’t know much about raw diets, what’s your opinion? Thanks,

Elisa from Chowchilla

Dear Elisa,

What a great question. The doctors at our hospital do get asked quite a bit about raw diets, as the topic can be quite controversial. Recently, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) printed its policy regarding raw pet foods on its website, and the points made reflect what we believe as well.

Raw pet foods typically refer to raw or undercooked animal-source protein, including meat or products from meat-source animals, including raw eggs and unpasteurized milk. Raw diets can also contain bones, organ meats (like liver or kidney), and raw fruits and vegetables.

The biggest danger in raw meats and meat products is that they are likely to be contaminated with bacteria and other parasites (yes, even USDA-inspected “Grade A” meat for humans is not free of bacterial contamination). Some of the commonly-known pathogens that can be present in meat include Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. Others less well known include toxoplasma gondii, cryptosporidium, echinococcus, clostridium, neospora, and sarcocystis. All of these pathogens have ominous-sounding names, and can cause serious, even life-threatening disease in our pets as well as our human families...

 

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