If you’ve ever fed your dog raw chicken, you might not want to do that again after hearing the latest dog health news. The consumption of raw chicken has been linked to paralysis in dogs in a new Australian study.
The January 2018 research, published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, found that eating raw chicken — especially chicken necks — increased a dog’s risk of developing acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN) by more than 70 times. You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of APN; it’s a super-rare peripheral nerve disorder found mostly in dogs. But it’s nothing to mess around with. In this disorder, the pup’s immune system becomes unregulated and attacks its own nerve roots. This can lead to paralysis, or even death, if the canine’s chest becomes paralyzed.
In this particular study, researchers studied 74 dogs, 27 of which had APN symptoms — like changes in voice, hind limb weakness, and a choppy gait — and 47 of which did not have these symptoms. Shockingly, owners of 96 percent of the dogs that had APN reported raw chicken consumption, compared with just 26 percent of control dogs.
Regardless of how rare APN is, it is still absolutely awful that any dog ever has had to suffer from this horrible disorder. That’s the last thing we’d ever want to happen to our furry friends, especially if it was because of something we fed them. Raw food diets may be trendy for many pet owners at the moment, but it’s worth remembering that no trend is worth risking your doggo’s health. That’s why it’s always a good idea to speak to a trusted vet before putting your pet on any diet — even if you think it’s OK.
In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to leave our (cooked!) chicken on our own plates.
On a much lighter note, let’s watch these dogs reunite with their owners in the heartwarming video below: