Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Compost Hounds Are Headed For Tummy Trouble, Cornell Veterinary Toxicologist Warns

Date:
August 8, 1997
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
The "greening" of American backyards -- as more people turn to composting food scraps -- is turning some dogs a bilious shade of green. Certain microorganisms and the toxins they produce can sicken or even kill dogs that get into the wrong compost pile, a Cornell University veterinary toxicologist is warning.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- The "greening" of American backyards -- as more people turnto composting food scraps -- is turning some dogs a bilious shade of green.Certain microorganisms and the toxins they produce can sicken or even killdogs that get into the wrong compost pile, a Cornell University veterinarytoxicologist is warning.

Related Articles


"We're seeing more and more cases of 'compost poisoning,' where thefermentation of meat, dairy products and other food in compost pilesproduces clostridial toxins that can be very nasty to a dog," said Larry J.Thompson, D.V.M., Ph.D., a toxicologist in the Cornell University Collegeof Veterinary Medicine's Diagnostic Laboratory.

Samples sent to the Cornell Diagnostic Laboratory from throughout New Yorkstate and the Northeast give veterinarians an early warning about diseaseand toxicological trends in the animal population, and they now have arenewed concern about "garbage gut."

"Particularly in warm weather, when animals ingest garbage with clostridialtoxins, we see severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, dehydration and sometimesdeath if garbage gut is not treated," Thompson said. "As more peopleutilize compost for degrading biological materials -- if they're notjudicious about what they put in their compost and how they protect theircompost pile -- dogs and other animal can smell the meat and gain access tothe compost."

Composts can be a microcosm of potentially harmful bacteria tomeat-foraging pets, according to Patrick McDonough, Ph.D., amicrobiologist at the Cornell Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. He pointedto Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica,Staphylococcus aureus and some of the Salmonellae and Bacillus species asprime suspects.

In any case, meat scraps have no business being in backyard composts, saidDan Cogan, a compost technology expert at the Cornell Waste ManagementInstitute.

"It's true that meat can be composted in some of the high-tech, in-vesselsystems that are now in commercial use," Cogan said. "But please don't trythis at home -- for a number of reasons, including the 'attractive-nuisance' problem with dogs and other animals. Also, if you simply makesure your pile is enclosed on all sides, dogs won't be able to gainaccess."

Most of the compost garbage-gut cases recorded at the Cornell VeterinaryDiagnostic Laboratory involve dogs, Thompson said, hoping to alert petowners to hazards in their own backyards and to encourage owners to monitorthe health of dogs that roam the neighborhood. "Dogs are not putoff by smells that offend us humans," he said, "and dogs -- more so thancats -- will eat garbage without hesitation. It takes all kinds oforganisms to make a compost work, but a dog isn't one of them."

-30-

--------------------------------Cornell University News Service324 Judd Falls RoadIthaca, NY 14853607-255-4206 phone607-255-5373 faxmailto:[email protected]://www.news.cornell.edu


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Compost Hounds Are Headed For Tummy Trouble, Cornell Veterinary Toxicologist Warns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970808062319.htm>.
Cornell University. (1997, August 8). Compost Hounds Are Headed For Tummy Trouble, Cornell Veterinary Toxicologist Warns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970808062319.htm
Cornell University. "Compost Hounds Are Headed For Tummy Trouble, Cornell Veterinary Toxicologist Warns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/08/970808062319.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins