Sausages can make dogs ill or kill them
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.
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,