News Releases

Raw food diets risky for pets, AAHA study shows

DVM Newsmagazine - December 22, 2003

Denver—The trendy raw food diets for pets may cause a fatal Salmonella infection, a new study published by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) shows.

"While raw food diets are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners, there is a growing body of information showing that these diets pose a health risk not only for the pets that consume them but to their owners as well," AAHA President Dr. Link Welborn says.

Leading the research are Shane L. Stiver, DVM, Kendall S. Frazier, DVM, Michael J. Mauel, Ph.D. and Eloise L. Styer, Ph.D., from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

The case study, published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, involved two cats that developed salmonellosis as a result of a raw meat-based diet. The salmonellosis caused gastrointestinal upset, weight loss and anorexia, leading to both cats' deaths. Salmonella in tissue cultures isolated from one cat was identical to cultures from the raw beef used in the cat's home-prepared diet. The resulting infection was confirmed as cause of death in both cases. The report is first to describe the occurrence of salmonellosis in cats as a result of feeding a raw meat-based diet.

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