Raw Meat Based Diets (RMBDs)

Update, February 2018

Pets As Therapy has recently considered the potential risks posed when feeding Raw Meat Based Diets. Raw meat can contain not only parasites, but also the bacteria causing such serious infectious diseases as E-Coli, Salmonella and Listeria which can be extremely dangerous to humans. These bacteria are NOT killed by freezing the meat.

In the light of recent scientific and medical advice from a number of veterinary consultants we are updating our guidelines with the aim of minimising any health risks associated with PAT pet visits to the young, the elderly and the immuno-comprised recipients of our service.

An increasing number of NHS Trusts and education authorities now state in their Infection Prevention and Control Policies that they cannot accept visits from therapy dogs fed on raw meat and in order to ensure that PAT dogs are considered safe to visit schools and hospitals in future, it is our duty of care to comply.

Therefore, PAT pets should NOT be fed raw meat – or unpasteurised milk. This will reduce the potential risk of diseases such as E-coli, Salmonella and Listeria being transmitted to humans from our pets.

Safeguarding our clients is our key responsibility, so your understanding and co-operation in this matter is much appreciated.

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If you would like further information on RMBDs, you may find the links below useful:

A short article in the Veterinary Recordhttp://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/182/2/50

An excerpt from the BBC programme Trust Me, I’m A Vet: https://www.facebook.com/bbctwo/videos/1710335305662894/

A view from the Food and Drugs Administration in America: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm368730.htm 

Homeopathy

Update, February 2018

Pets As Therapy has undertaken a review of its vaccination protocols. In the light of recent scientific advice, the following decision on vaccination using homeopathy has been taken by the Board:

With immediate effect from the date of this update, Pets As Therapy can no longer accept vaccination using homeopathic prophylactics for PAT dogs.

If your dog is currently treated with homeopathic prophylactics, this may continue until their next review, when inoculations using ethical veterinary products against leptospirosis, administered and certified by a registered veterinary surgeon must replace the use of homeopathic treatments.

Current advice from experts in the field is that the effectiveness of protection provided by homeopathic nosodes is not proven. They consider the risk this represents to public health is unacceptable.

This decision has been reached after seeking advice from experts in this field and lengthy discussions of the implications of this course of action. Pets As Therapy is very aware that a number of our valued volunteers currently use homeopathic vaccines to treat their dogs, but safeguarding our clients is our key responsibility, so your understanding and co-operation in this matter is much appreciated.

It is also recommended that dogs visiting establishments on behalf of Pets as Therapy should receive inoculations against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus at the frequency recommended by your vet.

Pets As Therapy has also taken into account recent policy changes away from the acceptance of homeopathy by an increasing number of NHS Trusts and education authorities. Pets As Therapy has a duty of care to minimise any risk to our clients and be pro-active in Infection Control and Disease Prevention. We aim to provide the best and safest possible service to the people in hospitals, care homes, hospices, schools and other establishments we visit every day, many of whom are children, the elderly and the immuno-compromised.

Vaccinations for PAT dogs

Update, February 2018

Pets As Therapy has undertaken a review of its vaccination protocols as part of our ongoing duty of care to minimise any risk to our clients and be pro-active in Infection Control and Disease Prevention. We aim to provide the best and safest possible service to the people in hospitals, care homes, hospices, schools and other establishments we visit every day, many of whom are children, the elderly and the immuno-compromised.

We operate within strict and frequently updated agreements in partnership with NHS Trusts, education authorities and private long-term care establishments. Minimising the risk to patients and residents from zoonotic diseases which can be passed to humans from visiting animals is one of our highest priorities.

Zoonotic diseases in dogs include Leptospirosis, therefore all dogs visiting establishments on behalf of Pets as Therapy must receive an initial course of inoculations against Leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis booster vaccinations must be administered annually.

Copies of the dog’s current vaccination certificate must be forwarded to PAT’s Head Office as part of the annual volunteer renewal process.

We also highly recommended that dogs visiting establishments on behalf of Pets as Therapy should receive inoculations against Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus at the frequency recommended on the product data sheets as recommended by your vet.

Homeopathic vaccination

In the light of recent veterinary advice, Pets as Therapy can no longer accept vaccination using homeopathic prophylactics for PAT dogs.

Current advice from experts in this field is that the effectiveness of protection provided by homeopathic nosodes is not proven. They consider the risk this represents to public health is unacceptable. (See our latest Homeopathy Update for more information). 


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