Miscellaneous - Sounds Wild
Parasites and Pets


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Parasites and pets

A successful hunter is cutting and wrapping moose meat in the garage. She's trimming meat and setting aside some scraps and bones for the dog, which begs for the ocassional tidbit. This hunter may be giving her dog more than scraps - she might well be passing on parasites.

Dogs are canids, related to Alaska's wild canids like foxes, coyotes and wolves. Dogs can get all the diseases and parasites that spread between game animals like moose and caribou and their natural canid predators and scavengers. Bacteria like brucellosis and tularemia, round worms like trichinella, and a variety of tapeworms, can all be transmitted to dogs that eat raw game meat. Tapeworm cysts occur in meat, and in the liver and lungs of game animals.

It's not legal to feed game meat to pets or livestock. However, the skin, heads, bones and organs may legally be fed to pets or livestock after all the edible meat is salvaged. Freezing kills some parasites, but trichinella in Alaska - which is common in bear meat - is a parasite adapted to the north and is not killed by freezing. Scraps left over after all meat is legally salvaged should be cooked before it is fed to pets.