Listeriosis and your pets; the low-down

2018-03-27 06:01
PHOTO: SuppliedListeriosis is a serious but treatable disease.

PHOTO: SuppliedListeriosis is a serious but treatable disease.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

THE latest nationwide listeria outbreak has naturally got pet parents concerned about what they should and shouldn’t be feeding their pets. Listeriosis is a serious but treatable disease caused by listeria monocytogenes, which is widely found in soil, water and vegetation.

“Risks of infection in pets, while possible, is less likely. Pets with underlying disease conditions, weakened immune systems and those who are older are at an increased risk,” said Dr Guy Fyvie, nutritional advisor at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, South Africa.

Discussing raw food diets vs prepared food choices, is a bit like discussing politics or religion at a dinner party, but when it comes to listeriosis, you need to know the facts. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association, as well as the FDA, have all come out with official positioning statements cautioning against raw food diets. In one study, scientists evaluated 480 samples of dry and semi-moist food and found only two incidences of contamination. One was positive for salmonella and the other for listeria greyii. This comes to a 0,4% contamination rate. On the other hand, of the 196 samples of raw dog and cat food, a total of 88 were found to be contaminated — 65 for listeria, 15 for salmonella, and eight for e.Coli — a 45% contamination rate.

Fyvie says you can protect your pets from exposure to listeria infections by following these tips.

•Pay attention to the news. Any food that is unsafe for you is also unsafe for your pet. Make sure you discard contaminated products properly; you don’t want your pet finding the item later.

•Stick to safe treats. Stick to nutritious Hill’s stews rather than giving your pet viennas, sausages or cold meats as a reward.

•Cook meat thoroughly. If you feed your pet meat, make sure it’s been cooked, no matter what it is. Listeria is heat sensitive, a core temperature of 70°C will kill the bacteria.

If you’re worried your pet may have come into contact with listeria-contaminated products, look out for:

• diarrhoea;

• nausea;

• fever;

• vomiting;

• weakness; and

• lack of co-ordination .

As a pet parent you may be wondering if your pet can pass the disease onto you. Fyvie says this is highly unlikely, however. “You have a greater chance of contracting listeriosis from pets eating raw diets.”

According to Fyvie pet parents have no need to be concerned if their pets’ food is made by a reputable manufacturer.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.