Canine Health Issues
Feeding raw chicken to your dogs is fine if the precautions are taken to prevent human infection from handling chicken containing the bacteria known as campylobacterium or the much more common salmonella.
Raw Chicken and Campylobacterium
by Barbara "BJ" Andrews,TheDogPlace Publisher
Many dog owners who caught "dog show crud" in Florida report upper respiratory that didn't go away as quickly as the gastric and bowel symptoms.
While intestinal upset and diarrhea is symptomatic of Campylobacterium, often called "fowl flu", it is a common but seldom deadly bacteria. Actually, "flu" symptoms are not generally associated with the bacteria. Diarrhea is commonly experienced with fowl flu and dogs and handlers alike experienced that awful condition which is what led some to speculate that the "crud" might be from the campylobacterium.
One source for campy is raw chicken, which is why we’re cautioned to wash chicken thoroughly during preparation. Dog breeders and owners often feed raw chicken wings or legs. Sylvia Hammerstrom of Skansen (famous Schnauzers) swears by it. It should be noted that dogs seem immune to Campy and many other bacteria.
Campylobacterium can remain active in feces and therefore could be problematic in kennel conditions.
On the other hand, a reminder doesn't hurt. Dr. Cash said “If a dog has been in a kennel-type situation or anywhere they could have eaten raw or undercooked meat, they’re at a higher risk. What makes the ‘Canine Flu’ so dangerous is that, by the time you test the animal to determine what kind of bacteria it has, the animal could already be dead.”
Well, let’s hope not. Dogs eat raw meat on the farm and in the back alley but a dog's digestive system is engineered to handle raw, even decomposing meat. Dr. Cash was right about delaying for tests but by now, viral or bacterial infections encountered on the January circuit would be gone. In fact, dogs and people recovered just as quickly as "the crud" attacked.
It is still worth remembering that campylobacteriosis is reported as the most common bacterial diarrhea illness in the United States . Over 10,000 cases of campy are reported each year, and while many go undiagnosed or unreported, campylobacteriosis is estimated to affect over 2 million people each year.
According to the USDA, Salmonella bacteria are the most frequently reported cause of foodborne illness. In order to reduce salmonellosis, a comprehensive farm-to-table approach to food safety is necessary. Farmers, industry, food inspectors, retailers, food service workers, and consumers are each critical links in the food safety chain.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is addressing the problems of Salmonella contamination on meat and poultry products, and offers guidelines for safe food handling to prevent bacteria, such as Salmonella, from causing illness.