Raw Chicken Necks Leading to Fatal Paralysis in Dogs
As chicken is a staple in most people’s diet, so it is for their dogs too. The question here asks whether a raw chicken is suitable for dogs to eat? We know that untreated chicken carries the risk of salmonella for humans. Since dogs would naturally be eating raw chicken in the wild as an excellent source of protein, does this mean that our pets dogs are alright to eat raw chicken too?
Some vets will advise against raw chicken for dogs because of the salmonella risk as well as other possible bacterial contaminants in the meat. Instead, they recommend that dogs eat cooked chicken to avoid any risks. Dogs do have more acidic stomach acid which can better prevent them from any harmful bacteria.
A recent study by the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine has found that raw chicken may be causing dogs to experience a form of paralysis. The study found that dogs who eat raw chicken are more at risk of a form of dog paralysis called APN (acute polyradiculoneuritis) which can potentially be fatal to your dog. This condition mainly links to a dog that eats raw chicken necks. APN can also occur in humans as the counterpart known as GBS (Guillain-Barré Syndrome).
In light of this information, it some seems somewhat contradictory to information provided in the past, which encouraged dog owners to feed the dogs with raw chicken necks as a means of improving their dental health.
The study involved two dogs that had APN symptoms and 47 dogs that did not. The findings of this research pointed to Campylobacter bacteria which was the triggering agent for around 40% of patients with GBS. These bacteria are visible in raw or undercooked chicken meat, as well as contaminated water and unpasteurized milk and related products. As a result of these finding, the researchers have urged dog owners to instead feed their canines with regular dog food that has been specially designed for dogs and avoid raw chicken necks altogether. That is until they can discover more about this debilitating disease.
The paralysis of this condition attacks the nerve roots in the dog’s body. According to the chief investigators for the study, Matthias le Chevoir, the disease begins by first affecting the dog’s back legs which become weak. The paralysis can then progress to the front legs and up to the neck and face. If the dog’s chest becomes affected by the disease, the outcome will be fatal for the pooch.
It is essential for dog owners to understand the condition, to look out for the symptoms and to know how to nurse their dog should they develop the condition. Without treatment, the dog may make a full recovery, although it can take up to six months. Some dog owners may find it difficult to care for their dog until they show signs of improvement. Thus, it is best to avoid the condition altogether and not give dogs raw chicken necks on which to snack.