Have any of you heard of neosporosis canineum??????
Well, up to this week I had not, but I do know more about this now. UNFORTUNATLY
Last saturday we were having a barbeque and invited just a small group of local friends.. My husband and I went shopping to a very large chain of supermarket (tesco, but you may not wish to publish the store name) early in the week, and as I am now disabled and walk with a stick, most of the time, I suggested that we purchased some of the meat for the barby, for that weekend....... as I cant go shopping on my own ( thats why you dont see me at shows these days) and basically killing two birds with one stone. Pardon the pun. We purchased many items, but amongst them were two large packets of best lean minced steak, that I intended to make my own burgers from... As they were large packs, and on arrival home, did not know what to do for tea, so suggested spaghetti bolognaise.... as it is a quick and easy meal to make.... I took about one third of the mince from one of these packets and put it in a pan...... all of the rest of the meat was then frozen for the weekend. My boxer then came into the kitchen and as I had not starting cooking at that moment , I removed some of the mince and gave it to her...about half the size of a gold ball. ...mmmmmmmm she loved it. Then stephen called her, and her mother and fed the dogs , whilst I prepared the spag bol.
This was tuesday evening last week... then came friday and Cilla was starting to act strange. Hanging her head to one side, and slightly falling as if she was drunk. Saturday she seemed to stabalise and I thought a little better, and thinking she had an inner ear infection started her on a course of synulox 250 mg tablets three times daily, as the vet would.
By monday she was worse so was rushed to the vets........ I was so upset, I could not remember half of what he said but he did say he was doing several tests but one particular test that had to be sent away was one option, and the possible cause if proved possitive. . In either case, if it did come back possitive for neosporosis he would start her on the antibitics there and then, and he said the synulox I had given was good.
She was a little better on tues evening so was allowed home.But still hanging her head to one side, and walking in circles and then falling over. I thought she at that point, blind, but my vet said NO she wasnt, but her reactions were a lot slower than what they should be. We continued with the drugs, then, wednesday came and my vet rang to say the tests results were back and were possitive. She was infected with neosporosis caninum . We then racked our brains how she could get this awfull desease.....not virus! apparantly very few cases are reported, because it is masked by so many symptoms... I only had a couple of days to read up on this illness and my worst fears had now become a reality !!
Neospora is a parasite that is ingested from contaminted meat, that is fresh from infected heards, and from the consumption it only takes 1-3 days apparantly for the parasite to attack the brain, then work its way down the spinal cord, and infect all the major organs and mussles.......leaving the dog paralised and blind...studies have shown on the internet, done at several universities that from the first signs of symptons, death or euthinasia is usually within 7 days. .. other tests have shown that with medication it can leave the parasite dormant indefinatly, but if paralysis has set in, then there would be no improvement in the damage to the dogs mussle reactions, due to brain damage.
At 9.30 yesterday morning I had to have my beautifull Cilla eathanaised, to save further suffering.
On reserching this, on the internet, it mostly appears in cattle heards and clinicle tests have been carried out at liverpool university, sweden, and the USA. It is usually more common in costa rica, south america, but is gradually showing up everywhere. there was also some concern with the findings of some clinicle tests showing a high insidence of women aborting thier babies mid term comming into contact with this problem, but I have not found any further test results on this.
Very few cases were reported last yr. in fact Defra told me, there were NO cases in dogs, only cattle and that the syptoms range from a weekeness and paralysis of the forlimbs, drunken type behaviour, altered behavier, blindness, head tilt, head nodding, tremors, seizures,sudden death due to heart inflamation, pheumonia, skin abnormalities. Frightening isnt it?
It can only be ingested from fresh infected meat, as freezing the meat will kill the spors.... cooked meat will kill the spors. As we eat very little meat ourselves, and never feed fresh uncooked meat to our adult dogs , I can definatly say that it was the fresh lean mince steak , that was the cause. BUT the lean minced staeak purchased was from the human food chain, and not for animals....... so what are we eating ?????
Neospora can not use humans as a host so if ingested the stomach will kill the spores, so dont worry there. That is why the human food chain has never alerted the public. ........ it only affects, cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, but has now moved to dogs, and research on the internet suggests ALL dog breeders and owners be aware of this parasite. From the onset of ingesting the spores, my dog was dead within 8 1/2 days....... She was my constant house companion, and our hearts have been ripped apart. How many of you, when in the kitchen, preparing the evening meal, give some fresh meat to your dog... I have always cut bits off, especially the fat, and thats the high light of thier day, waiting for that bit ! Please look it all up, its frightening to think that this is in the human food chain.
Apparantly only one animal is inspected from each heard to be slaughtered, but thats this counrty. A lot of meat now comes from other countries..... if in doubt, still buy the meat, but FREEZE it before you intend using it for at least 24 hrs. I dont wont to scare anyone into NOT feeding raw meat to your dogs, and they do need it, but FREEZE it first please, for at least 24 hrs.
Cilla was 16 months and four days old, when she died.
I have now contacted DEFRA who were immediatly concerned, and thier duty veterinary suggested I contact the food standards agency in London. They in turn were at a loss of what to do, as this is not a common problem SO THEY THINK !!!, and then the local environmental health officer was alerted, and we speant several telephone calls exchanging information, as he also was at a loss of what to do, and had to keep going off and making other calls, and looking up journals. In the end, the London office decided that as the mince was for human consumption, and I fed it to a dog, they had NO jusistication. But advised me to alert as many dog breeders, and canine press as possible, and to try to make veterinaries more aware of this parasite........
In the mean time I did have an apointment with the manager of the store in which the meat product was purchased, and I went hand in hand wiht a folder of info printed off of the internet, along with photos of Cilla....... He was very sympathetic, and felt the matter urgent enough to consult the meat technicials at his head office .......... and guess what? They told him, they had never heard of neosposis. He adviced me further that day m that they were calling in a microbiologist to deal with the matter further, and I am now awaiting the findings of this consultation.
The problem being that it is masked by so many syptoms, that some veterinaries may treat a dog for a particular condition, but NOT THE CAUSE OF IT.... Therefore, if the dog is NOT tites tested for neosporosis, then no one will know it is presant, and running the possibility of infecting close kennel companians, or even the pet dog next door, through the garden fence, or the pet next to them in the vets itself. etc etc.....as so little is widely known of this parasite, do we really know how it is transmitted?
The reactions and emails I have been recieving this week, from worlwide dog enthusiasts is enlighting, and my heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who has contacted us and I hope that we can all bring this awfull problem to the fore together .
I have been involved with dogs for most of my life, and have NEVER come across this problem or even heard of this, but am now being told that a dog can also be infected from drinking stagnent drinking water. But the main host is equine and bovine, so who is trasmitting it to the water, flies? Or can it be air born? So little is known about this parasite. I am writing this in the hope that someone out there, who has reserched this in depth can please inform us all of the time bomb that is about to exploid, or already has done so, but we just dont know it yet !!!!......
From now on, all of my dogs will be tested regually, as it is said to be easelly detected and treatable with specific antibiotics containing sulphur. Having had first hand knowledge of this awfull parasite and what it can do to bring down a large healthy boxer bitch in a week, is frightening, and seeing her, the syptoms were as if it were CJD...... as some have already pointed out to me, or (mad cow desease) ! ... I never want to go through this again, with any of my girls, and the reason why I am letting you all know about our Cilla. I do not want her death to be in vain, but there may just be a chance here of helping some dogs to avoid this awfull death.
Please, please, if you feed your dog raw meat, even just a tiny bit for a treat, read this thread on Mz Muttley's forum concerning a very fatal parasite. It's easily killed if the meat is handled properly before feeding, but it's really required reading: http://www.pugwelfare-rescue.org.uk/beware_parasite.html
I could not read the original post from the link. Did it mention anything about freezing the meat helping the situation? It is my understanding that freezing does not kill bacteria. It merely slows its rate of reproduction. That's in part why we humans don't simply eat defrosted meat without cooking it first. (That, and the taste, obviously.) Of course, I am no expert on this, so please expound on this issue if you know about it. Thanks.
Good article and good post, however , I never feed "people food" at all. Seen to many cases of pancreatitis at the clinic. Occasionally, I will give a "teddy graham" but never, ever any meat, chix, pork etc.
I think I heard about this a while ago, but I also think it's not in Aus yet?
I think we'll freeze anything first anyway.
Although the vast majority of meat we get is frozen when we buy it formt he butcher so we'll keep that up.
Sorry I really have to disagree with that, our lot eat meat every single day. Today they had about half a kilo each. imo much healthier than canned food. I love the compliments form the vet we get that we are one of the few people that come in that have dogs with such healthy teeth.