Well this is a first… Noticed topic on a Greyhound Forum :
“Feeding Raw Foods to your Pets can Cause Hyperthyroidism”
WHAT? I’m sorry. Can you say that again?
Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction when one of the world’s leading veterinarian immunologists, Dr. Jean Dodds of Dr. Jean Dodds’ Hemopet, Petlifeline, Hemolife & Nutriscan, announced that statement.
While attending one of Dr. Dodds’ seminars, we were going over the topic of thyroid dysfunction in pets and the current “epidemic” of hypothyroidism in dogs and hyperthyroidism in older cats going on today. As she went deeper into the subject, she brought up a study involving both raw foods and dogs. The study by Dr. Mark E. Peterson showed that feeding certain raw foods caused a previously unexpected dietary hyperthyroidism effect. While hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in dogs, canine hyperthyroidism is rare.
How could this be? Quicker than the Roadrunner escaping Wile E. Coyote my hand flew up into the air! “How was this possible?” I asked.
Some raw food manufacturers are grinding up the neck of the beef cattle into their mixtures/pet food. Inside that neck is where you find the thyroid glands of the cow. The thyroid tissues are being ground up and mixed into the pet food. This terrible mixture causes dietary hyperthyroidism in dogs.
Moral of the story: It is suggested to make sure that if you’re feeding fresh, raw foods to your pets, be sure to find out if the neck (gullets that still have the esophagus and thyroid attached) of the cattle is included. How do you find out? Contact your local farmer or manufacturer! (Side note: There is no concern in feeding chicken, turkey or duck necks.)
Feeding fresh foods to our pets is always the way to go, but educating ourselves beforehand makes it even better. Knowledge is power.
I posted on this very issue 3 months ago on the Natures Logic thread. A paper was published on this in 2012 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22931400
In response Shawna posted “Additionally, if there were truly a risk of hyperthyroid and raw diets I am certain Dr. Dodds would be one of the first to recommend against them.”
Guess Dr Dodds is now warning people about the issue. Here is a link to her blog on the issue dated 2 /2013
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Interesting. Glad I don’t feed that stuff on a regular basis anymore. I used to use the ground beef organ mix from Hare Today which has gullet and trachea but since I’ve been back in school I haven’t had time to do everything completely from scratch so I’ve been just adding ground beef or pork to Steve Brown’s mix for breakfast and feeding poultry RMB’s for dinner.
I bought a package of gullet about 6 months ago and it’s still sitting in my freezer because it was a huge block of gullet stuff all ground and frozen together. I was expecting whole gullets. Those I could do surgery on and remove any glands that I don’t want.
You and I remember that conversation slightly differently aimee..
My entire “initial” comment was
“I imagine they would have to eat a lot of thyroids to overdose on iodine that way.? Additionally, if there were truly a risk of hyperthyroid and raw diets I am certain Dr. Dodds would be one of the first to recommend against them.
I don’t think even one of the raw diets I feed contains any thyroid (or gullet). The supplements I use do but not the foods.” http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/natures-logic-dog-food-dry/#comment-1204301377
Shortly after I posted (this is only a portion of the post)
“Dr. Dodds actually does have an article regarding this study..
“Dr. Peterson’s “Bottom Line”:
In man, community-wide outbreaks of “hamburger thyrotoxicosis,” resulting from inadvertent consumption of ground beef contaminated with bovine thyroid gland, have been previously reported (3,4). These outbreaks resulted in the banning of “gullet trimming,” in which meat in the neck region of slaughtered animals is ground into hamburger……
…..In the dogs of this report, it is obvious that the correct balance was not maintained and a very large amount of raw thyroid gland tissue ended up in their raw meat diet. As is the case with the exogenous L-T4, these natural thyroid hormones are not destroyed by gastric acid and can then be absorbed, leading to high concentration of circulating T4
and clinical sign of hyperthyroidism.” http://drjeandoddspethealthres…” http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/natures-logic-dog-food-dry/#comment-1204382360
To clarify — Dr. Dodds is still not recommending “against” raw diets but is certainly warning about feeding an imbalanced raw diet… Something myself, BCnut, HDM and many other raw feeders here completely agree with..
This is what Dr. Dodds says about raw (same article as above).
“The rationale behind the concept of BARF (an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) is that this is the type of diets dogs were programmed to eat during their evolutionary development (6). Therefore, the BARF diet represents a biologically-appropriate food for dogs, rather than cooked or processed foods. With a BARF diet, the perfect meal would contain muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meats, vegetable and fruit materials combined in precisely the correct balance, just as nature intended.”
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by Shawna.
Shawna I didn’t read through the entire thread again so my apologies. I only recall you thinking if it was a real problem Dr. Dodds would be warning people about the issue. I didn’t mean to imply Dr Dodds was recommending against all raw feeding, but that she is warning people about the need to be aware of the sourcing of what is being fed.
Thank you Shawna for clarifying Dr Dodds stance on raw diets and hyperthyroidism!!!
I feed NorthWest Naturals raw for my dogs..and rotate the proteins..is this a worry about this dogfood? Should I go back to Kibble?..HELP…….
I use commercial raw frozen Northwest Naturals..etc… I just called Vital Essentials.they do use necks in their grinds..and weren’t aware of Dr. Dodds info…and the thyroid tissues being ground in too…so am waiting an answer from North West Naturals..now…hate to have to go back to kibble..but I don’t want to cause problems that I don’t have….and Yes I tried making my own raw dog food.by Dr. PITCAIRN’S book..just don’t feel I’m qualified to make my own dog food correctly..HELP……..
Does the gullet always contain the thyroid in the grinds? I was going to order the Hare Today beef organ mix for my next round of homemade but…
Always, no, but commonly, yes.
Thanks BC. Do you think (thyroid) in an organ mix used as 10% of a meal, beef as 30% of diet overall, would be an issue for a healthy dog?
It would really depend on how much was in there. It takes an extremely small amount of thyroid hormone to mess you up and it would take even less for dogs. Cows have bigger thyroid glands. For myself, I wouldn’t worry about an occasional meal with too much thyroid in it, but I certainly wouldn’t want it to be a regular part of the diet. My endocrinologist says it takes a human about 3 months to get back to normal after taking too much or too little thyroid, I don’t know if the timing is the same for dogs, but I’m pretty sure that eating thyroid every three days, when you don’t need any at all, would be too much. I have fed my dogs gullet twice in 2 years.
Thank you. I’ll probably just stick with my own organ blend than risk it.
I have been trying to research this issue because I have 2 questions that I can’t find the answers to. 1. Why are they discussing this only in reference to raw diets. I am sure the same parts of the animals are being ground up in meat and bone meal for kibble. Does the extra processing/cooking eliminate the problem? and 2. I saw in one place that chicken, duck and turkey necks are not an issue. I can’t seem to find this confirmed or explained anywhere. I am so glad people are on top of this stuff now!
In raw diets, they may be getting a meal from the same type of meat source multiple times a week and at a higher concentration of meat, since kibbles are typically at the very least 1/3 carbs. And yes, heat destroys thyroid hormone.
I honestly don’t know if in fowl the glands are not present, in a different location, or removed during processing, but I have also read that it is not an issue.
I have a dog with hyperthyroidism, due to raw feeding. the past couple of years they have trachea and gullet, although this is a glucosamine for the joint I had no idea it would do this. till my dog had 2 seizures, lost almost 6 pounds, his fur got extremely thin and he could not get enough to eat or drink.and weakness. my other dog lost 7 pounds and thinning fur but not much else. it was so scary. so I started him on home cooked meals and he’s improving. I was so happy when feeding them raw they were on it for over 4 years.
Were you feeding raw diets .you made yourself or were you buying commercial raw dog food diets? and if it was commercial raw,which ones were you using??? I also raw feed,but buy from North West Naturals, Natures Variety..OC.. .Primal…..they do not use gullets or tracheas..so they say,but this scares me…about raw feeding also……
I talked to Hare today gone tomorrow vendor. The poultry meats don’t have gullet or trachea.
The none poultry meats do. Since they ground the whole animal they are not sure the exact amounts that each food gets. Since I normally order around 3-6 lbs of the more exotic meat is impossible for me to determine how much gullet and trachea I am getting. They grind the whole animal so I could basically be getting none or all of it.
This sucks just when I was trying to experiment with more exotic meat for my pup. Guess I am back to beef, pork, rabbit, lamb, chicken, and turkey from my local super market.
On the other hand Hare Today believes that the Dr. Dodds’ studies are not conclusive enough. It doesn’t list the amounts that may cause this issue.
The company called OC Raw…DOES NOT use any gullets or tracheas or any form of the thyroid tissues in any of their meat sources !! If any one has any questions just email or call Oliva Hudson ..of OC Raw…I am very happy with the results of their raw diets so far…it is important to know what is in the meat trims,the raw companies are getting from the suppliers..if a company can’t verify this ..I won’t use them….I trust OC Raw..and also trust North West Naturals..who also verified they use nothing with thyroid tissue attached either….in their raw meats….
I feed my two dogs commercial, still battling with getting my dogs better, one is doing well the other is struggling. I emailed the company I buy raw from and asked if the thyroid meat was in any of the mixes with or without bone and the variety mixes. the answer was they might.
The most common culprit is beef. Humans use almost every part, but apparently not the neck.
Becca..which commercial raw company’s are you using???? as I stated before OC Raw,North West Naturals, Natures Variety does not use any thyroid ,gullet ,trims in their mixes………
What if it’s the raw kale, not raw thyroid causing hypothyroidism in dogs?
Eliza..It’s not the raw kale..there is no thyroid tissue in kale..Kale is a vegetable…Thyroid tissue can still be attached to necks or gullets if it is not trimmed off properly. And by feeding raw it is still active…That’s why using human grade raw meats insures more quality control.
Eating raw kale and other similar vegetables (cruciferous?) is known to block absorption of iodine, I believe, potentially injuring the thyroid.
Also, I noticed my dogs frozen raw chicken has a lot of kale , presumably raw, so to be safe I’m going to look for a raw chicken dog food with no kale or related vegetable (e.g. Cabbage)
Hare Today, Reel Raw, Raw Feeding Miami & others are just meat, no veggies.
Interesting topic, but I wonder if owners or vets of (many) cats that (have) develop(ed) hyperthyroidism that have been fed kibbled or canned commercial diets since babyhood would automatically blame the food as “causing” it?
Yes, as the owner of a female hyperthyroid cat, I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t due to feeding a lot of fish flavored can food to her during her lifetime. I’ve read many articles and studies on the risk factors of feline hyperthyroidism and most somehow link pop top canned food as a common denominator, especially fish flavored. I don’t think they know exactly what it is about the canned food that is a risk factor, however. If is is actually the food or the can itself.
It is quite a dilema for me though as I also have a male cat that has suffered a life threatening urinary blockage and requires a lot of moisture in his diet. I’m trying to find a happy medium as I do not want any of the other cats to have either issue. They are both, obviously, very hard on the cats.
I do remember reading in a previous conversation on this topic that there are foods that block the absorption of iodine as the above poster mentioned. I forgot all about that issue!
Crazy4cats, it’s great to see another cat person!
I knew of an owner who had a cat that would only eat fish and the vet was concerned about the taurine deficiency over time; picky cats can be a nightmare and cause much worry to caring owners. My question was pretty much rhetorical as many people (myself included) look to diet first. In re-reading my response it did sound rather snarky, my apologies to everyone as it was more thinking out loud than anything else and I have a lot of respect for many on this forum.
I had a male cat get urinary blockages twice (life threatening indeed, and scary!) and have a female cat that develops UTI’s at the drop of a hat. A high moisture diet helped the male but the female is still having issues occasionally. It bothers me as she’s not very old. It sounds crazy but I can tell when she’s got a UTI coming on as the other cats begin to bully her, which (I’m sure) makes the stress level higher which in turn does nothing for the UTI.. 🙁
On another side of the topic, it’s kind of fascinating to me that dogs develop low thyroid so often and cats go the opposite way and develop a high thyroid.
Kind regards to you and your kitties >^..^<
I honestly wasn’t sure if your comment was snarky, or if you were thinking out loud. I do think that people blame way, way too much on the food. But, it’s looking like there may be a link in this case. My furry canine nephew has hypothyroidism. He is a male English lab about 9 or 10 years old.
Thank you for your well wishes. I hope the same for you.
I’m sorry about the tone, sometimes it’s hard for me to come across correctly over the internet. For everything we know, or think we know, about the link between A and B (and in this case, food and (insert problem/disease) I think there’s about 100 things we’ve yet to discover; I think you’re absolutely right in suspecting a link between the issues. We had a hypothyroidism dog that was diagnosed at about 7 years old, too. Even though medication and synthetics are usually not the first route I prefer to take, in this dogs case I did and it helped him tremendously and he lived a full and happy life. Best to your canine nephew as well!
Greentripe.com has whole trachea and gullet. Would thyroid tissue be visible and easily removed?
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