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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you who give your dogs antlers to chew on, are you familiar with the research that indicates that they contain reasonably high levels of chronic wasting disease prions if the animal is infected?
Just wondered how everyone feels about it. Apparently repeated exposure over time, even at low levels, can result in CWD.
My info. comes from the U.S. CDC.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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I don't feed antlers but that is scary information you present there. I wonder what they consider is a safe quantity to give your dog. How much of an antler do they actually consume?
 

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2 goldens and a BMD
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I'm seriously running out of things to let my dogs chew on. Currently we're down to antlers and sterilized beef bones. Ugh. Off to do some research.
 

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This seems scary, similar to CJD and Mad Cow Disease where the normal prion proteins are converted to the abnormal, diseased proteins. Off to research. I just had a class last semester that went over this.

I haven't looked into anything yet, but can CWD be contracted from only chewing? Or does the entire antler need to be eaten?

With Mad Cow the brain matter of cows is what spread the disease. Farmers feeding brains to other cows that were used for meat. Cyclic process. I would wonder if one would have to consume the diseased brain/meat. It also says that it is spread by urine and feces. I'm sure that we've all cleaned the antlers before giving them to the dogs.

I just looked here for a few minutes. Some good info.

http://www.cwd-info.org/index.php/fuseaction/about.faq
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
what I found said it's in high concentrations in the velvet, as well as in the interior of the antler.
what next?!?
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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CWD is down right rare in Maine....so not a big concern for me personally.
If I lived in other parts of the country where the disease was more prevalent...it would be higher on my radar...not only for the dogs, but for my families personal consumption of farm-raised and/or wild venison.

From Maine's DIFW:
In a 1999 cooperative study, DIFW, DOA, and Center for Disease Control officials tested 299 hunter-killed white-tailed deer from the western mountains and foothills of Maine. All deer tested negative for CWD. In 2002, DIFW biologists tested 831 hunter-killed deer from all areas of the state. All deer tested negative for CWD. Similar negative results were obtained from 810 deer in 2003, 756 deer in 2004, 819 deer in 2005 and 909 deer in 2006.

No sick animals that may fit the clinical profile for CWD have ever been brought to the attention of the Department of Agriculture (DOA) or private veterinarians from among Maine's licensed deer farms. Since autumn of 2001, more than 1,900 farmed-raised elk and deer slaughtered in Maine have been tested for CWD. To date, all tests have been negative for CWD.

In a 1999 cooperative study, DIFW, DOA, and Center for Disease Control officials tested 299 hunter-killed white-tailed deer from the western mountains and foothills of Maine. All deer tested negative for CWD. In 2002, DIFW biologists tested 831 hunter-killed deer from all areas of the state. All deer tested negative for CWD. Similar negative results were obtained from 810 deer in 2003, and from 756 deer in 2004, and 819 deer in 2005.

At this time, we consider Maine to be CWD-free, based on available evidence. However, we are stepping up surveillance for wild deer and captive/farmed cervids to better evaluate CWD status in Maine, as is being done throughout the U.S.
 

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Antlers supposedly are used in chinese herbs for arthritis and hip dysplasia and pain relief. Our acupuncture vet prescribed a formulation that contained deer antlers in it. When our regular vet found out about it she called me and told me to stop giving Barkley the herbal formulation immediately because the risk of contracting CWD was so high. She said the herbal formulations are not regulated by the FDA and there are no standards for the manufacturing process and grinding of the antlers to ensure purity of the source; therefore we should assume the risk is there. I took Barkley off the formulation immediately and didn't research it further. I'm curious as to what others have discovered here. I assume letting a dog chew on an antler is just as risky as taking an herbal formulation with deer antler in it. That's why we never give our dogs the antlers to chew.
 

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I ordered my antlers online, so I really have no knowledge of where it came from. Was it a CWD-risk area?

I'm going to look into CWD's prevalence in PA, too. Good idea, Mary!
 

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I've always questioned this when I first learned that people were using them for their dogs. I've seen too many deer with CWD, and TB. I can't see taking a chance.
 

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I got our antlers from petexpertise.com, and I know some other people here get them from them too. This is the only thing I found that they say about where they get them from:

Our antler chews for dogs are from free-ranging North American deer or elk. Some of the antlers are naturally shed and some of the antlers are harvested from animals that have been hunted for sport or food (and not for their antlers!).
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The first antlers we gave the dogs were off a deer my husband killed himself, so I suppose if we were to only give them antlers from deers he killed, we could have them tested for CWD.
 

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As far as CWD being rare in your area, how do you know where the antlers came from? Presumably they could come from anywhere, including China (and we know how horribly negligent China is in regulating ingredients). I would assume any antler product is suspect and risky unless and until you have 100% proof of the source.
 

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Aren't antlers and hooves hard on the enamel on a dogs teeth? There's even concern that tennis balls thrown outside, picking up dirt can be abrasive. I use the gumabone type things, ropes and kongs.
 

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The CDC article I found only referenced finding prions in elk brain material and the velvet portion of the antler. Can you link to the article you read?

I'm not all that concerned at this point. Heck, there's something bad about almost everything-even water can kill you if you drink too much.
 

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The velvet is the soft, skin like outer covering of antlers. When deer rub their antlers on trees, etc., they are rubbing off the velvet.
 

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What if you feed your dog dog food with venison in it? I think we use a venison and rice formula from Nature's Recipe.
 

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Magica Goldens
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I've always questioned this when I first learned that people were using them for their dogs. I've seen too many deer with CWD, and TB. I can't see taking a chance.
All the more important to know your source. Mine come from a captive elk population on an elk farm 15 miles from our house...

E
 

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Missing Tasha, Sky, & Ral
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What if you feed your dog dog food with venison in it? I think we use a venison and rice formula from Nature's Recipe.
I also feed one of mine Hills venison and potato. I was wondering the same thing.
 
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