A health alert to all dog owners – beware of raw chicken, specifically, chicken necks. According to the Melbourne Newsroom, a study has linked the consumption of raw chicken necks to a rare paralysis condition in dogs.
Results from a study, led by University of Melbourne’s U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital, showed that dogs who consumed raw chicken were 70 times more likely to develop acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN) – a potentially fatal form of paralysis.
Dr. Matthias le Chevoir, chief investigator on the project, described the devastating impact of APN:
“It is a rare but very debilitating condition where the dog’s hind legs first become weak. It can then progress to affect the front legs, neck, head and face. Some dogs may die from the disease if their chest becomes paralysed.”
The paralysis is the result of the dog’s own immune system launching an attack on its nerves, reported the University of Melbourne.Though the condition is rare, it is an important for dog owners to be aware of the risks, especially given that raw chicken necks are often considered to be a healthy dog treat.
Campylobacter, a bacteria, is thought to be the culpret in the APN cases – the bacteria is found in raw chicken and it was discovered in the fecal matter of the dogs who showed symptoms of APN. The doctors involved in the study are recommending that owners hold off on feeding their dogs raw chicken necks until more is known about the risks.
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