My thoughts about the famous "Two Cats Died of Salmonella from Raw Meat" article

Shane L. Stiver , Kendall S. Frazier, Michael J. Mauel, and Eloise L. Styer.
"Septicemic Salmonellosis in Two Cats Fed a Raw-Meat Diet"
J. Am. Anim. Hosp. Assoc., Nov 2003; 39: 538 - 542.

You can find the entire article here: . Do a search for "salmonella" and it will come up. Or search for the
author, Shane L. Stiver. He does not appear to have published anything else in JAAHA.

In the full article, you will learn that the first cat was 14 years old and presented dead, and they decided that, of the many bacteria
isolated from the dead cat, Salmonella was the one that caused the death. Salmonella was not isolated from the food it ate, however, so
we cannot say that he got the Salmonella from raw meat at all, even if we were convinced that Salmonella caused the death, which it may
or may not have.

The second cat was a kitten which had just been vaccinated for distemper. It did not die but was euthanized, so again, salmonella didn't kill it, the pink juice did. Although the article mentions that distemper vaccination is associated with the overgrowth of Salmonella in cats, again, the food is blamed. In this case Salmonella was supposedly isolated from the beef the owner claims to have fed the kitten (ground beef).

TWENTY-TWO DAYS after the first batch of contaminated beef was brought in, the cat's owner brought another batch of beef that was supposedly the same stuff fed to the kitten. Words fail me here, so let me quote from the article: "Salmonella Group B and a mixed population of other bacteria, including Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Aeromonas, Pantoea, and Hafnia spp. From the ground beef, Salmonella Group C and an additional Salmonella species were isolated. Additional isolates from this specimen included Proteus, Staphylococcus, Pantoea, Acinetobacter, Morganella, Myroides, Corynebacterium, Streptococcus spp., and E. coli. Again, all three Salmonella spp. isolates were submitted to NVSL and identified as Salmonella bardo (specimen 1) and S. newport (specimens 2 and 3)."

Please note that all of those serotypes had not been isolated from the dead kitten. The kitten only had serotype newport, a different strain than the first cat had. Also note that there are more than 200 serotypes of Salmonella, most of them fairly harmless, just as E. coli is all around you everywhere, and only if it is a hot strain like 0157:H7 is there much cause for concern. Ground beef is ideal breeding ground for bacteria. It would have been a surprise if they didn't isolate a whole bunch of bugs from old ground meat.

Oh, and the last and best part: the kitten had "severe, acute, suppurative pneumonia with severe, multifocal, coalescing alveolar and bronchiolar infiltrates," no doubt due in part to the Bordetella infection.

If you ask me, the whole thing smells like week-old fish. A setup, a put-on, a fraud, a sham, a hoax. And that's without consulting my thesaurus.