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Author Topic:   Mad Cow Disease and Cat Food
TeeWidow
New Member

Posts: 9
From:Buellton, California, United States
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 01-01-2004 04:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TeeWidow     Edit/Delete Message
Does anyone have concerns over this Mad Cow Disease thing and the canned food we feed our cats? I have been reading articles that indicate staying away from beef products, and any food with meat-by-products, etc. They say to go with chicken diets that contain grains and vegetables. This is all well and good, but only if your cat will eat this type of food.

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Chessmind
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Posts: 701
From:CA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 01-01-2004 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
Yes, I am worried about it. From what I have read dogs can not get BSE, but our cats can from pet food.

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fleafly
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Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 01-01-2004 08:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
It could be in the food but they don't know whether or not it can be transmitted to humans. Most animals have a species specific disease that is related to Mad Cow. Humans have CJD and deer have Chronic Wasting Disease. They don't know if Mad Cow or BSE can translate into a disease in dogs and cats. My suggestion is to feed a quality food without meal or by-products. That would lower the chances of them getting contaminated food.

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nern

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Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 01-01-2004 08:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
quote:
My suggestion is to feed a quality food without meal or by-products.

I agree but specific meals or by-products such as "chicken meal" or "chicken by-products" should'nt be a concern, right? Unspecific sources such as meat meal or animal by-product, from what I understand, is what you want to avoid.

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TeeWidow
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Posts: 9
From:Buellton, California, United States
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 01-02-2004 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TeeWidow     Edit/Delete Message
With regards to Mad Cow Disease and cats, I know from a recent article I read that the U.S. is way behind compared to other countries in the testing done for this. Apparently, their motto is "Don't look-Don't Find". This bothers me greatly. Here is what the article say to beware of:
Meat (includes cattle, sheep, goats and swine)
animal digest (can include the renderings from any animal)
meat and bone meal
meat by-products
They state that a chicken diet is probably better and that is should be a good quality cat food.

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Samsintentions
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Posts: 944
From:Columbus, Tx ,USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 01-02-2004 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Samsintentions     Edit/Delete Message
I don't think you should be too concerned with it. Normally the canned food you get from the store comes from a warehouse, so it was probably canned way before this Mad cow disease started.


Yes humans can get mad cow. I remember reading in the paper about the English guy who died from getting it. He ate ground beef from one of the infected cows.

Mad Cow can not be killed or destroyed, its a virus, therefore it's not alive so you cant kill something that isn't alive.
I read that even burning it at high temperatures doesn't kill it. I dont know what they do with it then. I read that in a yahoo serch for information on how to protect yourself and your livestock from it. We have cattle, horses, goats, ect...

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Katerina
Member

Posts: 145
From:Toronto, Canada
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 01-03-2004 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Katerina     Edit/Delete Message
I don't believe that their is great risk at all.

After all very few people have died from Mad Cow disease and it seems that mad cow disease is not that well spread in developed countries at all.

I heard somewhere that their was only one cow in Canada in the last year found to have it and one in the states.

I could be wrong with these stats though.

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Cat
Member

Posts: 141
From:Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: May 2003

posted 01-03-2004 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cat     Edit/Delete Message
I could be wrong in this but cows are processed into pet and animal feed which include chicken feed. I remember this as there was an article discussing that vegetarian animals (such as cows and chickens) were being fed diseased animals that were not fit for human consumption. So can animals such as chikcens get mad cow or pass it on?

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 01-03-2004 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
I should wait till tomorrow to respond since it is late, but I can never resist......

nern: how do you do that qoute thing?

Mad Cow is not caused by a virus or bacteria, it is caused by something called a prion. A prion is a type of protein. The prions that cause mad cow are like proteins found in people and animals, but they are mis-shaped. They enter the body and go around finding all the good proteins and turning them into mis-shaped proteins. That is what creates the holes giving the brain a spongy (sp?) look. The reason they can not be killed is that they are proteins. It is extremely hard to denature a protein and you can do it with denaturing all of the good proteins which would kill a person or animal.

These prions are normally found in the brain and nervous system. When they create bone meal they throw the brain and spinal cord in which is why it is usually spread through meal.

There is a lot that is not known about Mad Cow and the other diseases related to it. We don't know if chickens or other animals can get a similar disease. The ones we know about are:
Cows- Mad Cow or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Humans- Naturally occuring form is Creuztfeld Jakob Disease (CJD), form from eating contaminated beef is new variant Creuztfeld Jakob Disease (vCJD)
Sheep- Scrapie
Cervids (deer & elk)- Chronic Wasting Disease

Other animals may get a similar disease, but we haven't discovered them yet. So chicken meal would be safe if chicken don't get a similar disease. If they do, then it might not be.

To date in England there have been 137 confirmed or probable deaths from vCJD. Since the incubationg period can be quite long, there could be more people out there infected.


That's all for tonight, I'm sure I'll have more to say in the morning!

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nern

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Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 01-04-2004 12:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
Fleafly: You have to copy and paste the statement you wish to quote between QUOTE with brackets and /QUOTE with brackets.

Thanks for the very informative info. on mad cow disease.

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TeeWidow
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Posts: 9
From:Buellton, California, United States
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 01-04-2004 04:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TeeWidow     Edit/Delete Message
I have to say, I am very impressed with the knowledge that exists here in relation to Mad Cow Disease. I do think that the person who indicated that wharehouse stored pet food is probably safe was right on track. I guess all we can do is hope for the best in what we feed our kitties.

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fleafly
Member

Posts: 996
From:sheridan, wy
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 01-04-2004 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fleafly     Edit/Delete Message
You are welcome for the information. It's nice when I can share what I know, usually people don't care!

quote:
Normally the canned food you get from the store comes from a warehouse, so it was probably canned way before this Mad cow disease started

The first confirmed Mad Cow (BSE) case in England was in 1984, I believe it was actually the 131 cow to die but the first lab confirmed case. That doesn't mean that the disease wasn't around before that. That is just when it was wide spread enough to cause public attention. This website has a good timeline for the development of BSE.

Since it has been around since at least 1984, I doubt that the canned food is 20 years old and therefore it isn't necessarily safe.

Also, this is the first cow that has been found in the US, but there could have been others. Most cows are slaughtered fairly young, so they would probably be killed before they ever showed symptoms.

One other thing that I thought of today. Even if cats and dogs can get sick from BSE, the incubation period is usually very long. It can take up to 30 years for symptoms to develop, although normally it is around 10 years. Most dogs and cats would die of natural causes before they got symptoms of BSE. Say a 6 year old dog eats infected food. If it would take him 10 years to develop symptoms then he would be 16 before he got sick. A lot of dogs die from other causes before they get that old. This is kind of hypothetical, but I just thought about it today and thought I would share.

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TeeWidow
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Posts: 9
From:Buellton, California, United States
Registered: Sep 2003

posted 01-04-2004 11:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for TeeWidow     Edit/Delete Message
Since all my cats are seniors, I suppose I should not worry too much then. I didn't realize that it took so long for symptoms to take hold. Well, I hope and pray that they get a handle on Mad Cow Disease.

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