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A POPULAR dog food brand is being tested by authorities after an “extremely rare” and incurable illness that infected and killed police squad dogs, and also wiped out service dogs interstate.

One service dog has been put down and another two are expected to be euthanised after being diagnosed with megaesophagus, a condition that *affects the movement of food.

Vet experts probing the cause of the almost “unheard of” illness — affecting both the squad’s german shepherds and labradors — say food is a “common factor” between the nine infected canines.

At least one popular dog food brand is co-operating with the investigation.

The Advance Dermocare range is widely used among squad dog handlers, a source confirmed.

A spokesman for manufacturer Mars Petcare Australia said: “As the health and wellbeing of Australian pets is our number one priority, we’ve run over 100 tests on Advance Dermocare, and have found no link between the condition and our product and so we’re not asking owners to change their pet’s feeding regime.

“We want to get to the bottom of this as soon as we can so we have engaged our top veterinary science experts to investigate the issue and have been providing information to U-Vet at the University of Melbourne and the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) to try to find the cause.

“It’s also worth noting that the dogs diagnosed make up a very small proportion of all dogs who are fed Advance Dermocare.

“If owners have any concerns about their pet’s health, you should contact your veterinarian you can contact our Consumer Care team on 1800 640 111.”

The Herald Sun can exclusively reveal at least one other interstate division has ordered its squad dogs avoid certain foods after one dog died and another fell ill with megaesophagus earlier this year.


Advance Dermocare dog food is being tested.
The Department of Correctional Services in South Australia was forced to euthanise a dog this month after it developed pneumonia. Another is still battling sickness.

The department has notified the manufacturer of the food, and has sent samples of the food to be tested and are awaiting results. DSC has also requested an autopsy,” a spokesman said.

Megaesophagus is an incurable condition that causes the dog’s oesophagus to become “abnormally enlarged” and lose its ability to swallow, affecting its ability to absorb adequate nutrients.


Victoria Police Dog Squad Inspector Jon Woodyatt said the sick dogs, aged between two and eight, fell ill with the condition from last December.


A team of veterinarian experts is probing the cause of the illness.

He said it took police weeks to connect the cases.

Insp Woodyatt confirmed the animals were fed dog food brands available at pet stores and that manufacturers had been contacted.

“Several possible sources have been eliminated with other likely causes still being fully explored,” he said.


“There are a number of common factors we are looking at and one of them does include the food we are feeding the dogs.”

Insp Woodyatt said vets were confident no other service dogs are or would become infected with the non-contagious condition.

“We have had no new cases for a period and on vet advice, we are confident we have isolated the casual factors … and no others are infected,” he said.

The dogs that survive the illness will be retired from *operational duties and will *require lifelong maintenance.
 

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I do not know .

here are the ingredients
"
INGREDIENTS
Rice, Maize Gluten, Maize, Chicken Fat, Tuna, Pilchards, Natural Flavour (Chicken), Beet Pulp, Iodised Salt, Sunflower Oil, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Choline Chloride, Histadine, Inositol, Dicalcium Phosphate, Plant Extracts (Tomato Powder, Marigold Meal), Taurine, Vitamin E, Vitamin B3, Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Beta-Carotene, Antioxidants, Iron Sulphate, Vitamin B5, Copper Sulphate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin B1, Selenium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B "

who among us would feed this gloppy corn pud .
Tuna? You would question mercury poisoning .
Pilchards are herring/smelt like fish .

Why chicken fat and chicken flavour but no chicken ?

this is a quote from Herald Sun web site
"“It’s also worth noting that the dogs diagnosed make up a very small proportion of all dogs who are fed Advance Dermocare"

so why does it favour taking down police and service dogs?

I thought megaesophagus was congenital - present ab birth -- ???


teach me.
 

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Dear god, I'd have to be REALLY REALLY desperate to feed something like that to my dog!

Why would they be feeding it to police dogs and service dogs?
 

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I thought megaesophagus was congenital - present ab birth -- ???
Sometimes, but always. It can also be part of some other ailment like acquired myasthenia gravis (autoimmune disease). Finding Mega-E is one of those things that tells a good vet to look at a bunch of other things to rule them out. If it's caused by MG, my understanding is that's often relatively treatable, and then the Mega-E pocket shrinks. Not all dogs with Mega-E have MG though -- there are several different potential causes.
http://caninemegaesophagusinfo.com/myasthenia-gravis/comment-page-4/

It's a weird, weird condition.
 

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canine neutrition aside--why is it selectively taking out police dogs?

will be interested in updates once things get investigating, but am thinking of poisoning, malicious or accidental, or some unique to the force husbandry practice

or there will be a heck of alot sick dogs turning up in Austrailia shortly (which would be horrible)
 

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I had to put to sleep a not quite 3 year old GSD years ago. Her symptoms were myasthenia gravis like. But her blood work was negative and the RX that is used for it and works on over 80% did nothing. But it also affected all her voluntary muscles. Was the hardest 3 weeks and setting free for a dog ever.
 
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