by: Susan Thixton
New data released by the FDA provides us with some startling numbers of antibiotic use in meat producing animals. Antibiotic resistance concerns and antibiotic residues in our pets needs to be considered. What can we do to protect our pets health?
According to new data released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in 2009 were used for livestock and poultry. “A huge portion of those antibiotics were never intended to fight bacterial infections, rather producers most likely administered them in continuous low-dosages through feed or water to increase the speed at which their animals grew. And that has many public health experts and scientists troubled.”
Dr. Mercola, of Mercola.com brings up a very valid concern believed to be the result of antibiotic overdose in livestock and poultry; MRSA. “MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The term is used to describe a number of strains of the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, that are resistant to a number of antibiotics”. “MRSA ST398, also known as “the pig strain” of MRSA, was first discovered in pigs and pig-farm workers in the Netherlands in 2004. Since then, this livestock MRSA strain has spread across Europe, Canada and the United States, causing both mild and life-threatening infections, and has even been found in retail meat in Canada.”
“This livestock-acquired strain of MRSA (ST398) adds to an already troubling situation.
The human community-associated strain of MRSA, USA300, already affects close to 100,000 people a year in the US, and caused 18,600 deaths in 2005 alone. To put that number into perspective, HIV/AIDS killed 17,000 people that same year.”
“It’s important to realize that antibiotic-resistant disease like MRSA is a man-made problem, created by the excessive use of antibiotics.”
Most people and pets are able to fight of a Staphylococcus aureus infection, however those that are vulnerable can suffer from boils, abscesses, to heart valve problems and even death. Jill Moss learned of pet MRSA the hard way, the death of her beloved dog Bella.
Moss’s website, Staph Infection (MRSA) in dogs, cats and animals states “The more aggressive forms of MRSA increasingly found in humans are now finding their way into the skin flora of domestic pets and causing hard to treat wound and skin infections.” Again, while in most cases a healthy pet should be capable of fighting off a MRSA Staph infection, some will not.
MRSA aside, the other concern for our pets is antibiotic build up in the body. Because many pet foods are made with liver and other poultry and livestock internal organs (human grade or by-product quality) that could hold higher levels of antibiotic residue, dogs and cats could be consuming more than the already believed overdose of antibiotics.
So, what can you do to protect your pet and your human family?
Feed your family organic meat – pet food (commercial or home prepared) made with organic meat and organic internal organs (liver, kidney, and so on). Provide your pet purified water (filtered). Keep your pet’s immune system strong by feeding antioxidant rich foods (as example beans and/or berries in commercial or home prepared foods) and provide your pet with a quality probiotic (live bacteria guaranteed).