Dogs and raw chicken

February 13, 2018

There has been recent publicity regarding raw chicken causing diseases in dogs. The disease in question is a rare neurological disorder called Acute Polyradiculoneuritis (APN) which causes temporary paralysis due to inflammation of the motor nerve roots.

Researchers in the Neurology department at Melbourne University have discovered a possible statistical link with affected dogs and the consumption of raw chicken.

The theory is that the raw chicken ingested could be contaminated with campylobacter bacteria* and that in certain individual dogs campylobacter may trigger an aberrant autoimmune reaction that triggers APN.

The incidence of APN is extremely low in dogs, especially compared to the total number of dogs that eat raw chicken.

Research into APN is ongoing as there may be multiple factors that trigger APN. Some patients in the study that developed APN had no access to raw chicken.

At this stage the relative risk of developing APN by eating raw chicken is extremely low.

*Campylobacter is a bacteria that usually causes gastroenteritis. It is most commonly found in chicken that hasn’t been hygienically processed. It is usually eliminated by cooking.

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