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Newsletter - July 2011

The News At Home

This part of the newsletter is tough to write because I’m torn. Do I pretend that things are fine, or bring everyone up to speed? If I say nothing and need to make a sad announcement soon, it would look like I hadn’t been honest with you. If I say something now and things go well, I might sound like an attention-seeking pet owner talking about her “special needs” dog. And do I really want to tell the world about private matters?

Maybe it’s not as tough a decision as I’m making it out to be. The fact that I’ve included stories about Tori’s life in newsletters means that I share the facts as they come. And the fact is that Tori’s had a relapse of autoimmune hemolytic anemia that is not responding to treatment. She’s not producing any new red blood cells either, so the clock is ticking. The strange and wonderful thing is that she doesn’t act sick. Somewhat tired, but not enough that it prevents her from jumping on the couch to look out the window and bark at other dogs. Not enough that she doesn’t paw her ball around the room. In fact, if you didn’t know her, you might think she was just a laid back dog. We’re hoping she defies the odds yet again.

This is a scary time because she could be gone in a matter of days, and yet, it seems impossible. As I write this, she’s staring defiantly at Morley because she has demanded food that isn’t arriving fast enough. Our miracle girl might just pull it off again. Here’s hoping.

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Fact of The Month

Dogs can contract salmonellosis

People don’t like to hear it. Some raw feeders become defensive about it. Others deny it altogether. From my perspective, it’s really not about your choice of feeding method so much as it is about facts. Denying them or hiding from them doesn’t help anyone to make a better decision on behalf of their dogs. Here’s a case that has nothing to do with feeding a raw diet. “The authors describe a large outbreak of canine salmonellosis in a municipal kennel in Tuscany. During the outbreak, 174 samples of ‘diarrhetic’ and ‘normal’ faeces and two batches of commercial dehydrated dog food were cultured for pathogenic bacteria. The results of 25, out of a total of 41 dogs (60.9%) revealed at least one faecal sample as being positive for Salmonella; incidence per sampling ranged from 12.5% to 34%. Nine of 10 samples of dehydrated food were positive. Ten totally different serotypes were isolated from dry food and faeces: the results of the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis referred to similarity between the Salmonella Montevideo, Muenster and Worthington isolates recovered from both the food and canine faecal samples.” Vet Ital. 2011 Apr-Jun;47(2):183-90.

There are many strains of salmonella and proving cause and effect isn?t always easy. For example, a dog that ate raw chicken and had salmonellosis may be presumed to have contracted it from the chicken, and indeed s/he may have. On the other hand, the dog may have become sick from having consumed the feces of another dog or another contaminated food. For that matter, the dog may have a compromised immune system that was overwhelmed by bacteria that would not have made a healthier dog sick. People (especially those on internet discussion groups) can argue about the “why” for days if not weeks, but the bigger point is that it can happen regardless of the hypothesis. Is any feeding method truly safe from bacteria that can make a dog sick? Probably not. In the real world, bacteria is everywhere and food is only one place we can find it. One of the better articles I’ve read about this subject is here:


“Wag more, bark less” - author unknown



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