|Barked: Thu Apr 20, '06 2:21pm PST |
|There was just an interesting post on another thread, about turkey being "poisonous to dogs". Before starting a completely off-topic discussion there, I thought I'd start a new thread.
It was stated by Lizzie (and mom) that she was told by three vets that turkey is bad for dogs, and they shouldn't be fed it at all. She goes on to say, "It's the chemical that is found in turkey (the one that makes humans sleepy) that is quite toxic in dogs. I'm not sure how much we'd have to eat, but the vets stressed the importance of not feeding dogs turkey. Chicken was okay because it doesn't have that chemical in it." I am assuming that the chemical in question is tryptophan.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. Both humans and dogs need it to function properly and cannot synthesize it, so it must come from food. Lots of foods have high amounts of tryptophan, including dairy products, beef, peanuts, and chicken. The 'tryptophan in turkey makes you tired' myth has been debunked many times. One article about this can be found at: http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/turkey.asp
After reading Lizzie's post, I did some quick looking around on the internet, and the only support I could find for the potential danger of tryptophan was that some scientists suspect that it could be related to schizophrenia in humans who can't metabolize it properly. I suppose if there are humans that can't metabolize ingested tryptophan properly, there are probably dogs who can't either. In those cases, though, it wouldn't just be turkey that was a risky food. There are also folks who think the effects of a bad batch of a tryptophan dietary supplement produced by a Japanese company in 1989 may have been blown out of proportion to make way for the new drug Prozac. I can't find anything on tryptophan being BAD for dogs, only articles about the necessity of tryptophan for proper health.
I am not a vet or a canine nutritionist, this is just the info I've gathered from books and the internet, and the experience of feeding my girls turkey and never having a problem. I'd love to hear more from Lizzie and/or anyone else who has more info on the potential hazards of turkey and/or tryptophan for dogs. Any thoughts?
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