Raw Chicken: The Myth
Mark has been on a mission for 15 years trying to get pets off raw chicken. He has seen many a severe gastroenteritis following ingestion of raw chicken 1-2 days before, with symptoms of:
- Watery diarrhea (sometimes with blood present)
Since Mark started putting clients off feeding raw chicken, he has witnessed a huge reduction in the number of affected pets.
Mark has referred 2 dogs to a specialist to have chicken necks removed from their oesophagus at a cost of approx. $4,000. Both dogs swallowed a whole neck, only to have it get stuck over the base of the heart half way down the oesophagus. The specialist used a fibreoptic endoscope to break down the sharp edges before slowly retracting the chicken neck back up to the mouth.
There was also a Shih Tzu dog that presented dead on arrival having choked on a chicken neck it tried to swallow whole.
One of his Mark's clients cultured up the human chicken in the local Wollongong supermarket (as part of a PhD study), and showed him all the not so lovely bacteria growing on it e.g. E Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter.
Up to this time, Mark along with most other vets had been recommending raw chicken (carcasses, necks, wings, breasts etc.) as a means of keeping small dogs and cats teeth healthy. TV and other vets still advocate the feeding of raw chicken to pets despite the hidden dangers.
There are quite a few nasty bacteria in raw chicken– that’s why everyone is so careful about handling and cooking it for themselves. I had 2 un-related clients in Dec 2016 both get very sick for 3 days after both of their pets came down with gastroenteritis after eating raw chicken necks and wings.
Pets can develope colonies of these nasty bacteria in their intestines. They can easily spread to owners, especailly children handling the pet and not taking the necessary hygiene precautions.
People can get also be infected handling raw chicken and/or its packaging, and not following good hygiene principles.
Campylobacter bacteria can cause paralysis in humans and there has been recent speculation in the Illawarra that this is also the case for dogs fed raw chicken.
Mark recommends avoiding raw chicken in any shape or form, whether or not it is for pet or human consumption.
No one eats raw chicken in a restaurant, but a medium - raw steak does not seen to cause any issues.
So go for beef or lamb bones when thinking about a raw diet for your pet.