The relationship between a raw meat diet for dogs and a patent infection with Toxocara canis of dogs in the Netherlands.
Vorst, S. van de
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There are several risks for the occurrence of a patent T.canis infection, for example demographic data, behaviour of the dog, circumstances the dog lives in and the health status of the dog. In this study we focused on the possible risk of feeding raw meat and the development of a patent infection with T.canis in the dog. In paratenic hosts, ingestion of T.canis eggs leads to somatic migration and encapsulated larvae in the tissue. When this meat with encapsulated larvae is eaten without cooking by a dog these larvae could lead to a patent infection. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between dogs eating raw meat and a patent T.canis infection. Dog owners in the Netherlands were asked to participate voluntarily in this research for two years. The owners of the participating dogs collected faecal samples every month and send them to the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Utrecht. The samples were processed according to the centrifuge sedimentation flotation method with sucrose (1,27-1,29 kg/dm3) as flotation medium. The slides were examined microscopically for T.canis eggs. Also a questionnaire was send via the e-mail to participants to gather information about possible risk factors that could cause a patent T.canis infection. Because this research focussed on raw meat, an additional questionnaire was send to owners of dogs that fed their dog(s) raw meat with questions about the origin of the meat and factors of risk associated with the meat. A significant association was found between dogs that did not eat raw meat and a patent T.canis infection. We also found a significant association between dogs not at risk for a patent T.canis infection, which included dogs that ate raw meat from intensively kept meat producing animals or commercially available dry and canned dog food, and a patent T.canis infection. No association was found between dogs eating raw meat and a patent T.canis infection.