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  • Author or Editor: Rachel A. Strohmeyer x
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Objective—To evaluate bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs.

Design—Prospective longitudinal study.

Sample Population—240 samples from 20 raw meat diets for dogs (containing beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), 24 samples from 2 dry dog foods, and 24 samples from 2 canned dog foods.

Procedure—Each product was purchased commercially on 4 dates approximately 2 months apart. Three samples from each product at each sampling period were evaluated via bacterial culture for non–type-specific Escherichia coli (NTSEC), Salmonella enterica, and Campylobacter spp. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on selected isolates. Polymerase chain reaction assays were used to detect DNA from Cryptosporidium spp, Neospora spp, and Toxoplasma spp in samples obtained in the third and fourth sampling periods.

Results—One hundred fifty-three of 288 (53%) samples were contaminated with NTSEC. Both raw and prepared foods contained NTSEC during at least 1 culture period. Salmonella enterica was recovered from 17 (5.9%) samples, all of which were raw meat products. Campylobacter spp was not isolated from any samples. In 91 of 288 (31.6%) samples, there was no gram-negative bacterial growth before enrichment and in 48 of 288 (16.7%) samples, there was no aerobic bacterial growth before enrichment. Susceptibility phenotypes were variable. Cryptosporidium spp DNA was detected in 3 samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacterial contamination is common in commercially available raw meat diets, suggesting that there is a risk of foodborne illness in dogs fed these diets as well possible risk for humans associated with the dogs or their environments.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To investigate Salmonella enterica infections at a Greyhound breeding facility.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animal and Sample Populations—138 adult and juvenile dogs and S enterica isolates recovered from the dogs and their environment.

Procedures—The investigation was conducted at the request of a Greyhound breeder. Observations regarding the environment and population of dogs were recorded. Fecal, food, and environmental specimens were collected and submitted for Salmonellaculture. Isolates were serotyped and tested for susceptibility to 16 antimicrobials. Isolates underwent genetic analyses by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and ribotyping.

Results—S enterica was recovered from 88 of 133 (66%) samples of all types and from 57 of 61 (93%) fecal samples. Eighty-three (94.3%) of the isolates were serotype Newport, 77 (87.5%) of which had identical resistance phenotypes. Genetic evaluations suggested that several strains of S enterica existed at the facility, but there was a high degree of relatedness among many of the Newport isolates. Multiple strains of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport were recovered from raw meat fed on 1 day.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceS enterica infections and environmental contamination were common at this facility. A portion of the Salmonellastrains detected on the premises was likely introduced via raw meat that was the primary dietary constituent. Some strains appeared to be widely disseminated in the population. Feeding meat that had not been cooked properly, particularly meat classified as unfit for human consumption, likely contributed to the infections in these dogs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association