They claim grain is safe (it’s not) and have neglected to mention the connection of processed inferior ingredients to heart disease in dogs. Why is that?
Dr. Lisa Freeman – a veterinary nutritionist professor from Tufts University – has been very outspoken about grain free dog food’s link to dilated cardiomyopathy. She’s told everyone from the New York Times to readers of the Tufts vet school blog that “boutique grain-free” dog foods were responsible for the dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases.
2018 was a Busy Year in Pet Food
DCM Study Misses the Big Picture
Diet associated heart disease in dogs, “what we know”
Unless Dr. Freeman considers Royal Canin, Purina and Diamond to be boutique pet foods – she’s wrong on her assessment of the problem. The truth is many different brands, mostly from medium to large manufacturers are linked to low taurine levels and the DCM diagnosis in dogs. Why would a veterinary professor attempt to sway pet owners away from small pet food brands?
Hold that thought.
In another statement, Dr. Lisa Freeman told the New York Times:
“Grains have not been linked to any health problems except in the very rare situation when a pet has an allergy to a specific grain.”
This one is simply unforgivable. Grains most certainly have been linked to serious health problems over many decades – the risk is mycotoxins. Mycotoxins – even at low levels – pose a serious risk to pets. Further, mycotoxins are an on-going problem. Earlier this year Biomin.net published the the 2018 Global Mycotoxin Threat stating grains in North American tested as “Extreme Risk“. Where do you think those ‘extreme risk’ grains end up? Hint: it’s not human food.
Telling pet owners to switch to a grain based pet food is just switching out one problem for another. So again, why would this veterinarian try to direct pet owners away from small pet food brands towards grain based pet foods when grains are a certain mycotoxin risk?
Again…hold that thought…there’s more…
Poor Digestibility of Ingredients
In 2003, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine published “Taurine status in normal dogs fed a commercial diet associated with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy”. This study found that processing and “poor digestibility” of ingredients played a role in canine heart disease. Why hasn’t any veterinary nutritionist investigating the DCM cases today discussed the risk of processing and inferior ingredient link to canine heart disease?
Perhaps it is because no veterinary nutritionist wants to talk about law being violated in pet food. Even though it is a direct violation of US Federal Law, pet food is allowed by FDA to contain ingredients sourced from “diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter”. Isn’t it common sense that sick, decomposing dead animals would provide inferior nutrition in pet foods? Add numerous processing stages to these inferior ingredients – is it any wonder the necessary amino acids are destroyed?
There is one more significant issue…
Endotoxins and Heart Disease
Briefly mentioned in the New York Times article was a clue to a completely different group of DCM diagnosed dogs; “But taurine levels in other affected dogs, including mixed breeds, are normal, which puzzles researchers.” In other words, some sick dogs have low taurine levels linked to DCM – but other dogs diagnosed with nutrition related DCM have normal taurine levels. Why are these dogs with normal taurine sick with heart disease? It might be endotoxins.
Endotoxins are ‘toxins’ that are released on bacterial death. Gram-negative bacteria such as Salmonella and or E. coli killed through cooking or processing of pet food ingredients ‘get even’ with their killers – they release a toxin that can be more dangerous to dogs and cats than the live bacteria.
Waste pet food ingredients such as “diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter” are certainly sources of massive levels of Salmonella an other gram-negative bacteria. When cooked/processed into pet food ingredients – they become sources of massive levels of endotoxins.
From “Endotoxin Effects on Cardiac and Renal Functions and Cardiorenal Syndromes” –
“Endotoxin plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of multi-organ dysfunction in the setting of gram-negative sepsis. Indeed, heart and kidney impairments seem to be induced by the release of circulating pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic mediators triggered by endotoxin interaction with immune cells.”
From “Low level bacterial endotoxin activates two distinct signaling pathways in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells” –
“Bacterial endotoxin, long recognized as a potent pro-inflammatory mediator in acute infectious processes, has more recently been identified as a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.”
In 2016, myself and an educated pet owner whose dog died from endotoxemia had a meeting with FDA. For more than an hour scientific evidence was submitted to FDA regarding the dangers to pets of endotoxin levels in pet food. FDA openly dismissed the risk. (To learn more about the risk of endotoxins in pet foods, Click Here.) Will FDA admit the link of heart disease to endotoxins in the pet foods? Doubtful.
Why are veterinarian nutritionists telling pet owners false information?
Why is no scientist, veterinarian, or FDA representative discussing the multiple links between inferior ingredients and high processing of ingredients to canine heart disease?
The blinders need to come off – a biased investigation does not benefit pets. Will investigators intentionally ignore issues as not in the best interest of industry? And how many more dogs will die because of what they ignored?
It’s a concern.
Update to original post. Dr. Michael W. Fox sent the following statement adding several good points:
“I would urge Dr. Lisa Freeman – a veterinary nutritionist professor from Tufts University, to reflect on the instances of dogs with seizures and inflammatory bowel, skin, ear and anal gland problems who return to good health when their diets no longer contain corn, cereal glutens and byproducts, and soy, many being GMO and contaminated with glyphosate among other agrichemicals and aflaxoxins.
Glyphosate blocks manganese uptake, a nutrient essential for many organ functions.” See: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274005953_Glyphosate_pathways_to_modern_diseases_III_Manganese_neurological_diseases_and_associated_pathologies
And “Aug 13, 2018 – Rachel Ray’s Dog Food, Nutrish, is marketed as being free of “[No] artificial flavors or artificial preservatives” and being a “Natural food for dogs” …
The current epidemic of DCM in dogs may have a multi-factor, pluricausal origin, genetics not withstanding. Lectins in GMO potatoes and in conventional pulses/legumes, when not properly processed are of concern. They may also play a role in the genesis of kidney failure especially when put in manufactured cat foods since cats are obligate carnivores, and in the development of autoimmune diseases.”(Editorials. Do dietary lectins cause disease? BMJ 1999;318:1023-1024 ( 17 April ).
Hello all, I apologize in advance, this is going to be a long story. My boy Sam is a 12 year old beagle. He had been on Wellness Core for a couple of years when I decided to put him on a raw diet (not a commercial one – gave him chicken and turkey necks, pork necks, beef, etc, with the recommended ratio of organs, bones, and meat). I started that in June of last year. In March, he started coughing and had trouble breathing, so we rushed him to the pet ER where they diagnosed him with congestive heart failure. The day after we brought him home he was unable to urinate, and we took him back to the vet and he had a bladder stone blocking his urethra. They were able to flush it back into his bladder and put him on Royal Canin SO to dissolve it. At the time they said his white blood cells were elevated, and tested him for a bladder infection, which came up positive. For the last six months he has been on different antibiotics trying to clear up the infection, and we have been seeing an internal medicine specialist for about a month now. They did an ultrasound and he still had the bladder stone, and put him on Hill’s S/D, despite the high sodium content that would put a strain on his heart. He had a urine culture again last week that again came up positive. The specialist called me today and said the bacteria is now resistant to all medication and she feels that he needs surgery to remove the stone. Naturally I am terrified to let him go under anesthesia with his heart condition, but I know if the infection continues it can lead to kidney issues. If anyone can weigh in with experience with resistance to antibiotics and/or pets having surgery with CHF, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
I have an 18 month old Australian Shepherd male who is reluctant to pee. Someone is home with him all day, so he goes out often enough. The vet has not prescribed any antibiotics as he sees no evidence of infection. He is convinced it is the food and recommended regular Science Diet or Iams food (not an rx formula). When I asked why he thought it was the food, he just seemed to think it was a function of his metabolism.
The best I can figure out he recommended these foods because they are low in phosphorus. My dog had previously been on Canidae All Life Stage and when that didn’t work I tried Health Extension GF venison, which still didn’t work. Most dog foods do not list their phosphorous content or do so in a vague “min” quantity when
I need a max quantity… I did find one website which listed low phosphorus commercial foods, but it was very out of date and inaccurate.
So after going through chronic kidney failure and a raw/homemade diet with a previous dog, I decided to try a balanced raw diet (see Dr. Karen Becker’s diets on YouTube). But for a 40# dog it is not cheap or easy and I have only been doing it as half his diet along with the Science Diet (because I think this is crappy food). I also added Nutramax Crananidin, additional ascorbic acid, and calcium in order to boost the calcium:phosphorus ratio closer to what other sources recommend to be 2:1. Since this dog does not drink water at all (despite having bought a purifier and all), I also put a cup of water/broth on his food both am and pm.
I just feel like I am at my wits end. In the afternoons/evenings, his urine pH runs around 7.5. This morning, I tested it and it was a lovely 5.5! Additionally, we have taken samples to the vet for analysis and we get different results on different days/times with crystals and no crystals present.
All this leaves me feeling like I don’t understand what is working and why, and a dog that is miserable! We are going to add a little broth to his water today to see if that will get him to drink during the day, but if anyone else has suggestions or insight, I would be greatly appreciative.
I have a Cairn terrier mix that has both a gastro problem and early stages of kidney failure. We went with our vets recommendation and put her on the Hills K/D foods. She no longer wants to eat any of those foods. She likes the dry food, but she can’t digest it.
I’m having a difficult time finding a good replacement. Wysong looks promising, but I can’t find official numbers on phosphorus count. MyPerfectPet also looks like an option, but it’s extremely expensive and would cost $120 a month to feed my dog.
I am New to Editors choice. Has anyone member found information on FARMLAND TRADITION brand chicken jerky as a safe treat for dogs ? I buy mine from Costco and just watched an alarming show production from ‘MarketPlace’. They did not mention this particular brand, majority warning to stay away from Made in China brands. Attempting to find out more and did call the company who distributes ‘HILLSIDE FARMS’. They said they have never been under a recall. All the chickens raised in U.S.A.. That theirs bought though Costco are manufactured here in the U.S.A. They do have a manufacturing plant in China. Only two ingredients as their package states. Chicken, & Vegetable Glycerin. Company person stated that as long as feeding guideline is followed these are safe. She said the problem would be overfeeding that would result in too much protein for dog. Asking if anyone else has additional information or cautions with this product. Needing reassurance Please. The wrong type of Glycerin such as Probel (sp?) Ester used by the Chinese causes kidney failure. At this time I have not researched more about the types of Glycerin. I will, and possibly submit another post later to what I find out.
Topic: Kidney failure dog diet.
My dog was recently diagnosed with kidney failure. She is looking great but I am wondering what diet?
I have read lots and gave her chicken and rice today. I also gave her coconut oil as it’s good for kidneys.
Any other advice would be amazing! Shes only 6 and a half so losing her so young would be awful.
The vet said by her levels she should be dead.
Hi all, I’ve been researching a lot about what to do with my dog with kidney problems. He had acute kidney failure 2 years ago, and has since been doing well but often has episodes where he is not hungry and throws up. Usually clears itself up within the day, however. He also gets pancreatic problems when exposed to things high in fat (learned that the hard way).
I don’t have his bloodwork levels with me (I was actually going to see if i could get a copy from his vet in the next few days for my own records) but I do remember his BUN being higher than normal but the vet never said anything about it in terms of lowering it, but I feel like my vet doesn’t really see it as a problem despite him having high values.
Anyway, he is a few months shy of being 16 years old, and he is a 6-7lbs dog. We stopped feeding him dry kibble for many many reasons (around a year ago), and now we make his food at home. I don’t do raw meat (I don’t feel like trying out the raw meat thing at his age and conditions is worth it), his meals consist of:
Lean ground turkey cooked with white rice, carrots, peas, and green beans. I use a vitamin supplement (Only Natural Pet® Senior Ultimate Daily Vitamin Powder). After reading however, I will make some changes to his food by swapping out the peas (heard they are high in phosphorous) for some other veggies. And maybe switching out the turkey for ground beef 10% fat. He does get treats too – and if he is willing fruit as well particularly apples.
Also, I would like to start my dog on some more supplements – particularly green food supplements (have heard kelp is high in sodium though and the ones i’ve looked at contain many types of kelp..hmm), switching out the vitamin powder to VetriScience Renal Essentials Kidney Health Support Dog, adding salmon oil, and adding pre/probiotics to my dog’s diet.
Is the salmon oil necessary if I use the VetriScience kidney support tabs?
Can someone who is knowledgeable with kidney disease in dogs advise on the supplements I would like to add to my dog’s diet? I know the best thing is to consult my vet, but perhaps someone on here who has gone something similar can advise.
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