Friday, March 14, 2008

It’s A Dog’s Breakfast - Part 3: Getting Down To Cases

Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni are the two most common known causes of food-borne human gastrointestinal disease. Both of these microbes are often present in raw meats – especially in raw poultry.

Dogs and cats can carry these bacteria – often without showing any symptoms – and can pass these pathogens along to their human companions. To illustrate, the following is just a very small sampling of reported cases.

1. Wright, J.G., et al. 2005. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium in four animal facilities. Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 1235-1241.
Salmonella-infected dogs and cats in 3 veterinary hospitals and in one animal shelter transmitted the infection to their handlers. Thirty-six out of 200+ animals and 18 out of 19 people (employees and clients of these facilities) were infected with Salmonella.

2. Sato, Y., and R. Kuwamoto. 1999. A case of canine salmonellosis due to Salmonella infantis. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 71-72.
A dog with watery diarrhea was diagnosed as being infected with Salmonella infantis. Soil samples taken from the garden in which the dog had been housed before it became ill also contained Salmonella infantis. The dog was treated with antibiotics and recovered.

3. Sato, Y., et al. 2000. Salmonella virchow infection in an infant infected by household dogs. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, vol. 62, no. 7, pp. 767-769.
A 4 month-old infant, who was suffering from diarrhea, was diagnosed with salmonellosis. Salmonella virchow was found in the infant’s stool and in the feces of two of the three dogs that were living in the same house.

4. Cantor, G.H., et al. 1997. Salmonella shedding in racing sled dogs. Journal of Veterinary Diagnosis and Investigation, vol. 9, pp. 447-448.
Dogs can carry Salmonella without showing any signs of illness. In this study, Salmonella was found in the feces of 19 out of 30 sled dogs that were suffering from diarrhea, and from 18 out of 26 sled dogs that appeared perfectly healthy.

5. Koene, M.G.J., et al. 2004. Simultaneous presence of multiple Campylobacter species in dogs. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 819-821.
Campylobacter jejuni, a human pathogen, was found in the feces of 12 dogs out of a group of thirty. Most of the 30 dogs showed no symptoms of infection.

6. Damborg, P., et al. 2004. Occurrence of Campylobacter jejuni in pets living with human patients infected with C. jejuni. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 1363-1364.
Forty-five pet owners who were suffering from Campylobacter jejuni infection participated in a study of their pets. Eight of their pets - 4 dogs and 4 cats - were carriers of the same species of Campylobacter. In one case, the DNA fingerprint of the Campylobacter isolated from the human patient and the pet were identical.

7. Morse, E.V., et al. 1976. Canine salmonellosis: a review and report of dog to child transmission of Salmonella enteritidis. American Journal of Public Health, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 82-84.
A dog became infected with Salmonella after drinking contaminated chicken broth, and experienced vomiting and diarrhea. A 16-month old child came into contact with the sick dog and developed a severe case of salmonellosis, requiring hospital treatment.

Reports such as these show conclusively that dogs and cats are able to carry and transmit harmful bacteria. Sometimes, the animals suffer from diarrhea or vomiting; sometimes, they show no apparent signs of illness. Either way, the Salmonella or Campylobacter that may be in your dog or cat’s feces or vomit can end up infecting you, a family member, or a friend.

Watch for Part 4 of this series, “What’s In It For Fido?”, which will appear on Saturday, March 15th.


  1. So,according to your posted studies, not only raw fed dogs are carriers of these bacteria. Not only that, but dogs should be wary of humans, as we can pass these to our pets, aaaand, we should avoid contact with other humans too, as we can catch these from each other too.Really, we should all just go about our lives in bubbles, so we don't catch anything from anyone or any animal? What you've posted just proves you can pick up a bug from anyone, anything, anytime.That's called Life.
    Show us studies that prove raw fed dogs have owners with a higher incidence of salmonella infections than kibble fed dogs, since that seems to be the point you're trying to make.

  2. thank you for your great articles!

  3. OK - if we accept (a) the premise that raw fed dogs pass illness to their owners more often than kibble fed and (b) all dogs have the potential to pass on bacteria [based on the assumption that shelters feed kibble & the first article you quote deals with animals in shelters] we now have to draw a reasonable conclusion from these "facts":

    Dogs fed raw pass on disease.
    Dogs fed kibble pass on disease.

    Conclusion: You can't feed your dog. In fact, you should not be around a dog.

    I can only assume you have not spent a great deal of time around human toddlers - now those are serious contamination sources!

  4. Seriously, why are people so hostile? all Ms. Entis is pointing out is that you might want to rethink feeding raw for your own health and the health of your dog. You dont have to do it if you dont agree. But I ask all of you with your sarcastic comments this one question:

    Would you eat a raw chicken?

    Why not? If you might get sick anyway some other way? Why not just dig in to some nice, jiggly, translucent raw chicken flesh? Well, you wont do that, because it unnecessarily increases your chances of getting ill.

    Why do that? When there i perfectly good kibble out there without salmonella in it?

    Even if you dont agree, you dont have to be such a pompous you know what about it in your posts. Ms. Entis is an educated profession, offering her knowledge to you. You dont have to agree with it, but Im gathering you might not have a degree in micro biology....anyway, if you dont like it, dont read it.

  5. Samantha said:you might want to rethink feeding raw for your own health and the health of your dog.

    My dog is extremely healthy, and neither it or anyone in the family has gotten ill in 10 yrs of feeding raw.Why change what works? I don't agree that there is perfectly good kibble out there.Many dogs died in the recalls last year eating your perfectly good kibble. My neighbors kibble fed dog had to have $4oo dollars worth of teeth cleaning last year at 4 yrs old, while my dogs teeth are sparkling white.Dogs have shearing teeth, not flat molars.They are made to eat meat.

    Ever heard of steak tartare, or sushi? Like my egg yolks runny too.

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  8. Samantha hello the kibble has bacteria in it too!!!!
    There were two major KIBBLE salmonella contaminated recalls last year. In fact the most recent study showed that kibble fed dogs had a 30% rate of the dogs shedding the bacteria in feces. The raw fed dogs given raw food purposely contaminated with salmonella. Of those 17% shed the bacteria in feces the others apparently were able to kill or neutralize the bacterium. The FDA acknowledges that a vast majority of salmonella infection is from eating tainited food directly. There has not been one proven case of dog transmission by DNA testing to human. Or no human to human cases which should happen given this woman's claims. Since 80% of the human food supply is contaminated with this bacteria and only 30% of intentionally infected dog feces is I'd rather kiss my dog than eat a Wendy's hamburger. My chances of getting sick would be 2/3 less if I actually at my dog's poop.

  9. I never meant to imply that dry kibble is completely safe. We all know just how dangerous even that can be, when ingredients from china were tainted, etc.

    But seriously. When you are ready to go eat a nice big bowl of gelatainous clear jiggly raw chicken flesh, is when I will believe its safe to feed it to my dog.

    And why post anonymously? Stand behind what you have to say. There is nothing wrong with your viewpoint. Maybe its just the way you say it???

  10. Samantha, perhaps you should study up on a dogs digestive system. Your's is not built like a dogs, they have the short tract of a carnivore-made to eat raw meat and bones.Why would a human want to eat ' a nice big bowl of gelatainous clear jiggly raw chicken flesh', anymore than we would want to eat a bale of hay like a horse, or dig up worms and eat them like a robin? Just because raw chicken sounds nasty to you nothing in the world should eat it? A bale of hay for dinner sounds nasty to me, but its what a horses digestive system is built to eat.A dogs gi system/(teeth too) is built to eat meat, and last I knew,dogs don't know how to cook.Your just being silly.

    Also-Whats the difference between posting as anonymous or under a name, you click on your name and still know nothing about you???

  11. oh, well, i guess my point is, that if the bacteria survives the GI tract, why would you want that to be around your family? If thats ok with you, that the salmonella is sitting in your yard in your dog's poop, and on his tongue when he eats his food, and in his beard when he sticks his head in the bowl, then why not just go mush your hands in some nice raw meat and lick your fingers?

    Its not only about the dog, its about you, your family, etc. I personally dont think the risk is worth it.

    And I dont know about your dog, but my Pickles is an extraordinary cook.

    People from the forums probably know me just with my name. I dont blog,and I rarely post on these things, but I like this blog. So I guess somewhere there is a profile i can fill out....

    But for anyone who questions it, Im Samantha from the Doodle Zoo and Doodle Discussion Forums and Pickles is my dog. Who eats Evo. Because raw meat schkeeves me. I dont want raw meat in her bowl, on her fur when she snuggles me. Yuck. And Pickles is the smartest, healthiest doggie I know. And like I said, she cooks a mean stew, when she is feeling really adventurous.

  12. As a vegetarian, I find the smell of cooked chicken nauseating Samantha.Raw chicken has no smell, so I have no problem giving it to my dog.The nasty smell of kibble makes me nauseous also, and the crumbly dryness of kibble isn't too appealing either, very far away from natural foodstuffs.Everyone should have the advantage of eating fresh, unprocessed foods, our doggie family members included should not be forced to eat processed foods for their entire lives.How would you like it if you could only eat total cereal the rest of your life? What would you possibly be missing that scientists don't know about yet (look at cat food, how many cats were damaged because of lack of taurine for so many yrs)?

  13. Phyllis's posts showed that you must eat your dogs poop to be contaminated with e-coli.Who does that? Why would there be thousands of raw fed dogs out there if it made owners sick.It just doesn't happen.

  14. Ah, you know what? If it werent for me, Pickles would be out there in some forest, foraging for food, eating a squirrel or two every couple of weeks and fighting for her life.

    With me she gets 2 square meals, plays at the doggie park, tons of toys, has her own dog bed and she gets people food snacks too.

    As far as I see it, the dog has hit pay dirt, and she doesnt miss raw squirrel meat at all.

  15. oh, and if you are asking how you'd get sick from your dog's poop, i am thinking maybe there are no toddlers in your house. I personally have watched in horror as my son picked up a nice dog turd that i missed and threw it like a rock. The next thing he did? Fingers in the mouth. Of course! You touch stuff all the time and put your hands in your mouth. People dont realize how often it really is that they have a "stomach flu" and its really because they got some nasty stuff on their hands and then in their mouth.

    Your dog poos. It licks its tush. Now there's poo on its tongue. It licks your kids. I mean, all that is icky in and of itself but i love my dog enough to try to not think about it. But add raw food bacteria to her tush and I say, Check Please.

  16. I have an 11 month old 'crawler' not toddler yet.We have had no problems with raw feeding and illness with her. And yes, she gets a hold of the dog toys once in a while and the dog loves to lick her.I'm sure she's got a strong immune system from that, which is a good thing. Again, if the risk were so high, she'd have been ill by now.

  17. Raw dog poos are not the same as kibble fed poos, they disintegrate quickly. No poo laying around the yard for the kiddies to pick up when you raw feed.

  18. Your son has just as high a chance of getting salmonella from kibble fed poop as raw fed poop.Read some of the bloggers studies.

  19. Samantha, I'm sure you're going to consider this comment "nasty" & "mean" but I'm willing to bet I'm old enough to be your mother so you can consider me a mean old lady.

    I cannot imagine letting dog poop sit in my yard. Furthermore, none of my children ever picked up dog poop because I watched them. As for licking the child - again, kibble also transmits salmonella. Read the links. I never permitted any dog to lick my children so therefore it really didn't matter what they ate. By the way - my kids are all grown & none ever got a food borne bug. I use good sanitary practices.

    The author is a scientist. As a scientist she should realize that other scientists will be reading this - and drawing their own conclusions from the same facts. If she wanted to reach only people with no scientific background who would read & accept everything she wrote she should have been promoting her site at the local chapter of IdiotsRUs instead of sites where raw feeders congregate. Most raw feeders have done research to determine the best way to feed their pets.

    I'm just curious which kibble company she is promoting.

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  21. By the way Samantha if I put a name up with the anonymity of the internet what would it tell you anyway. This is what Ms Entis is counting on also. My name is Suzie, there you know as much as you know about Ms Entis. What I do know is that anything here or in blog world is not held to any standard of journalistic ethics, honesty, or morality. Dan Rather got fired for his mistake. Ms Entis could write complete mass lies and nothing would happen because this is TOTALLY UNREGULATED by definition. Why don't you ask her why she's not providing her sources and research rather than blindly defending her with no facts or background or knowledge yourself.

    By the way why do you leave dog poo in your yard?? Do you flush your toilets after you use them? Also the salmonella is in the kibble and dogs fed kibble are also exposed to pesticides to kill several forms of microbes. This does not work however since kibble fed dogs still pass living salmonella in somewhat higher concentrations than raw fed dogs.

    If you are so worried about all this raw jiggly chicken flesh are you and your family vegetarians? The primary source of salmonella in humans in ingested contaminated human food supply. Check out the CDC web site. They actually have scientists there that are not on payrolls of commercial dog food manufacturers. There has never been proven case of dog to human transmission, or human to human transmission if the saliva vector Ms Entis discusses is valid. You better quit kissing hubby after eating Wendy's if you believe all this drivel. Kissing your baby could give it to him also so you better quit that. And forget taking him to McDonalds.

    Why is it okay for 80% of the human food supply to be contaminated and only 17-26% of dog feces to be contaminated?? Unless you eat dog poo there isn't much to worry about is there?? I pick up my dog's feces after they leave it and I flush my toilets too. I also wash hands after preparing or touching meat and I disinfect my cooking surfaces.

    You sound very uninformed and just defending someone that people are "picking on." We are questioning since all the research I can find disagrees with what Ms. Entis is saying. Go use google, CDC, WHO, NIH, WebMD, PubMD and other sources of research. No dogs fed raw diets have ever been traced to human infection by salmonella. In fact the suspected cases were proved not to be from dogs by DNA testing. Giardia is still not proven to ever have been transmitted to humans or even proven that the same strains exist in dogs and humans. Reality Check. Where are Ms Entis' responses to all the questions?

  22. Actually, Anonymous, if you search my book on Google Books, you will find that I discuss raw pet diets on page 281.

    I find it ironic that you choose to counter my arguments and my source links (which I have been careful to provide to support all my substantive statements) by citing an Internet source that itself has no scientific credentials as far as I can tell (

  23. Just going through the references Ms Entis provided us that I could actually link to. In none was a raw diet mentioned. The funniest one was that a local human food supplier was found to have the bacteria. It sounds like the human food supply strikes again. As a scientist myself I’m infuriated that this rubbish can be floated out to the public in the guise of legitimacy knowing many people won’t read it and since little of it is in lay terms that most won’t understand it. Not only does it not prove her point it disproves it by making no mention of raw diets or any involvement. THIS IS THE REFERENCES SHE SUPPLIED. Hello???!! Ms Entis what is your response? This is ridiculous and I wish criminal to make money and publicity over fear terrorism of the public.
    #1 most of the examples no samples were collected from the animals and no proof that animal to human transmission took place or was the same strain. NO RAW DIET MENTIONED.

    #2 Dog has salmonella and bacteria found in soil, no mention of human transmission and NO RAW DIET MENTIONED

    #3 Apparent same strain of salmonella in infant and 2 of 3 dogs. NO MENTION OF RAW DIET and no cause or vector discussed. Did improper hygiene cause the infection of dogs and child or could child have infected dog after dogs age human feces from diaper? Not enough information.

    #6 This is a CDC publication that examines several humans and their pets being infected with the same strain of campylobacter. The CDC states the following:
    However, the actual importance of pets as a source of Campylobacter infections in humans remains unclear.
    #7 This reference discusses a human mother and children infected and family dog. The most laughable part is NO RAW DIET IS MENTIONED. Here’s what made me laugh. A nearby supplier of minced poultry parts was found to have the bacterium. It sounds more like Mom wasn’t cooking her chicken.

  24. With regard to the most recent Anonymous comment:

    I never said that these cases referred to raw diets. I was refuting the statement that I have seen repeated many times on various raw diet support sites that dogs do not get sick from Salmonella and cannot transmit sickness.

  25. Apparently you need to go back to the CDC and reread their post on canine salmonella infections. Most of the intentionally infected dogs in the raw fed study were able to neutralize the bacteria and not pass it in their feces.

    Why suddenly now are you changing your main point that it's a danger to prepare and feed raw diets? Your whole premise from the first several posts was how dangerous it was to feed raw. Could it be that multitudes of people called you on your outlandish claims? There are actually educated people out there that don't like seeing much of the public manipulated for personal gain.

    The CDC maintains that healthy dogs do not get sick from salmonella but may harmlessly carry it. So does a Wendy's hamburger but at almost 3 times the rate of infection.

    So far you still have not shown one bit of evidence that dogs can pass on salmonella unless you eat their poop. Remember the CDC that states that most all transmission is from eating contaminated human food supply. Why the heck are you stirring all this hooey up about dog diets when you could be doing something USEFUL about the human food supply contamination?

    So I guess technically that you are correct. All you poop-atarians out there exclude dog poop from your diet.

    This is just preposterous and you are a classic example of why science and medical research goes at such a slow pace. The need to weed out the ridiculous and fame and money seekers outstrips the system's ability to fund the reasonable and serious.

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  29. But Phyllis out of your list of references there was no proof that dogs passed on the salmonella to the people. That is why I think you are a joke. Your own research and links totally disprove your own article. Getting down to cases doesn't show anything but scare tactic ohhhh people got sick stuff. Ludicrous.

  30. By the way, just for the record, its not that I "leave poop" out in the yard. My dog goes out in the yard alone quite often, and I go out regularly and pick up after her. But every so often, a nice chunky turd slips through the cracks. Call me imperfect. And even if you watch your kids with an eagle eye, anyone who remembers child rearing will know you can sneeze and those little buggers are hanging from the rafters.

    I find your passion on this issue a little out of perspective. Its dog food for christ sake. Feed it raw if you like. What do I care? I simply choose not to for the reasons Ms. Entis sites, and because I find it gross. I dont even allow utensils that have touched raw food touch a counter in my home, I am certainly not letting my dog run around with a beard full of raw meat. Eww.

    And, you may find the internet isnt as anonymous as you think. Like I said, people know me from the boards, Im sure people know you, Suzie, from somewhere as well. I just think its a little cowardly to come on quite as strong as some people here have been, and not at the very least say who you are. Some of these circles are small, and people do know eachother. If you believe what you say, put a name to your words is all I say.

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  32. Apparently Ms Entis when you say Mogens Eliasen has no credentials you didn't check. He actually has quite a scientific background in chemistry and extensive publications. Several more than you do as a matter of fact. Maybe you should check facts before throwing stones. You can "google" him too.

    If I google your book how would I find out on page 281 (without buying the book) that you discuss raw feeding. I notice that 5 are in stock and more are on the way. Preparing for a sales increase with this "commercial" venture?

    So far after being asked for your credentials all I've seen is self claimed journalist. Not that I mind getting info from a journalist but incorrect misinformed info is just unethical. I also don't turn to journalists for scientific research I go to the source if they are honest enough to name it.

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  37. As a courtesy to all readers, I request that everyone identify himself or herself at least with some random initials so that a train of thought can be maintained. I have not blocked Anonymous posting, but I have enabled my moderation option and will block any individual posts that do not contain at least a minimal level of identification.

    Phyllis Entis, MSc., SM(NRM)


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