Sausages can make dogs ill or kill them

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Opinion -

I RE­CENTLY read an ar­ti­cle about the fundrais­ing idea for the Shen­ton Park Dogs Refuge. It sug­gested that bar­be­cues around the date of Aus­tralia Day be held in hon­our of the shel­ter to raise funds for it.

As a vet­eri­nary sur­geon, I found it un­be­liev­able that the shel­ters' pres­i­dent Karen Rhodes would pose with the refuge dog Kahleesi in one hand and a bunch of sausages in the other.

I found it equally disturbing that the jour­nal­ist’s first sen­tence read "Two-year-old ter­rier Kahleesi has her heart set on a sausage din­ner".

While I'm sure both par­ties were well mean­ing, Karen should have known bet­ter or at least have con­sulted with the shel­ter’s vet team be­fore set­ting up the meet­ing with the jour­nal­ists.

All too com­monly, sausages cause acute pain, lead­ing to in­tractable pain, vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea, which can cause scar­ring of the pan­creas and di­a­betes.

If un­lucky, a num­ber of dogs will die be­cause of the hum­ble sausage. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, they are re­spon­si­ble for far more deaths on dogs than choco­late, onions and other more­known toxic hu­man foods com­bined.

Hav­ing said this, the ar­ti­cle puts out an un­safe mes­sage to the pub­lic that it is OK to feed dogs sausages and that they should join in with the own­ers in a fundrais­ing bar­be­cue.

I write this only in the hope that a cor­rec­tion to this ar­ti­cle be pub­lished in the spirit of com­mu­nity aware­ness, as I am dread­ing see­ing yet another poor dog present to my clinic with another bout of "Satur­day morn­ing dis­ease" after a night of bar­be­cue good­ies.

It is a pre­ventable dis­ease only through sim­ple com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion.

TrevorPavey, Kin­rossVe­teri­naryHospi­tal.

IN re­sponse to Dr Pavey’s let­ter, the Dogs for Dogs fundrais­ing event was clearly in­tended to en­cour­age hu­mans to hold a bar­be­cue to help raise much-needed funds and en­able us to con­tinue to save thou­sands of aban­doned dogs ev­ery year.

No pro­mo­tion of feed­ing dogs sausages was in­tended.

As an almost en­tirely self-funded or­gan­i­sa­tion, we sim­ply can­not af­ford to pay for ad­ver­tis­ing to pro­mote our work so were very grate­ful that the lo­cal pa­pers agreed to as­sist us with this.

To en­sure a fun photo that would be no­ticed and rep­re­sent the event, the pho­tog­ra­pher felt a dog and sausages close to­gether would sim­ply get the mes­sage across.

At no point did Kahleesi get close enough to eat the sausages nor was that what we were pro­mot­ing – the open­ing line was a tongue-in-cheek com­ment to grab at­ten­tion.

I wholly support Dr Pavey pro­mot­ing re­spon­si­ble feed­ing of dogs and am very grate­ful he has brought at­ten­tion to the health prob­lems the “hum­ble sausage” can cause to dogs. KarenRhodes,pres­i­dent,

Dogs’RefugeHome.

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