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  • #129722 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Hi everyone I know this is old news, but I was reading the lawsuit about it today and the toxins that were found claim to be harmful to cardiovascular health, kidneys and brain function. I wonder if these toxins have something to do with DCM? I say this because a lot of dogs that were diagnosed with DCM ate Orjien and Acana. Of course there are other grain free dry foods that dogs were eating that also had DCM. But it makes me wonder that it could be the legumes PLUS toxins.

    #129745 Report Abuse

    Hi Joanne,
    You might be onto something cause America is the only country where these dogs are suffering with low taurine causing health problems…
    Canada, Australia, UK & Europe aren’t having these problems like the dogs in US??

    We dont get Orijen, Zignature or Acana in Australia maybe this is why we dont have any of these problems.
    Every time I see Patches vet which has been monthly lately cause of his lower back, I ask my vet has any vets here had any dogs come in suffering with heart problems caused by low taurine & she say’s “no” I asked her again last week & she laughed & said
    “Susan I think you need to stay off the internet’ lol….
    I’m not asking her no more cause I know now if she does start having dogs come in suffering with low taurine she will tell me, its stuck in her head lol…

    #129754 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Hi Susan, I am going to do a little research on taurine and toxins and see what I come up with. Well I just briefly read that toxins can cause heart problems. I guess that goes without saying of course. And from what I understand there are dogs with DCM and have normal taurine levels and there are dogs with DCM that have low taurine levels. So it could be a combination of two things: 1. legumes which prohibit nutrients if consumed on a daily basis.
    2. toxins. Which of course can be harmful to the heart. Well anyway, this lawsuit on champion pet foods is big and still going on. I keep checking for updates on it. I don’t feed it but I like to know what is going on.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by joanne l.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by joanne l.
    #129766 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    Joanne add to that #3 possibility being the use of novel proteins .

    Exotic ingredients have different nutritional profiles and different digestibility than typical ingredients and have the potential to affect the metabolism of other nutrients. For example, the bioavailability of taurine is different when included in a lamb-based diet, compared with a chicken-based diet, and can be affected by the amount and types of fiber in the diet.“

    The increased use of previously uncommon animal protein sources such as rabbit, venison, bison, lamb, and wild boar, especially in the category of diets marketed as grain-free, warrants characterization of their typical amino acid profiles including the degree and nature of any variability. In fact, certain meats are unexpectedly low in taurine (such as rabbit) or low in sulfur amino acid precursors (such as lamb meal). In addition, the bioavailability of taurine and its precursors in many animal protein sources is not known. Many of the baseline diets in this study contained animal protein sources that until recently were not commonly found in canine diets.”

    #129767 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Good point Patricia I forgot about the exotic meats. I never did trust exotics meats.

    #129772 Report Abuse

    I would think the toxins could be a big part of it more than “exotic” meats. I live in the Netherlands and as Susan pointed out, this just isn’t an issue here in Europe either. Some very common meats for dogs in my country are venison, rabbit and goat. Very often fed raw too. I would think if meats like that were a cause for all of this we would be seeing quite a few cases here in NL!

    Orijen and Acana are sold here in Europe but we only get the stuff from the Canadian plant. Also, even if a food is not made in the EU, if it is sold here it must pass the same regulations that food made here does. I still don’t touch Champion foods though and it is not that common in the Netherlands. Most of us stick to foods made in Europe because the rules on pet food are much more strict.

    It is definitely an interesting theory! Interestingly, dog foods full of legumes are not very popular here either. We do have some with peas but foods like that just have not gotten very widespread here.

    #129773 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Wow Sanne this is interesting, what brand of food do you guys feed? I live in Philadelphia and I do think it is some kind of quality control here. Since you and Susan said dogs don’t have that kind of problem this is concerning here in the US. I would like to know your feedback on wellness dog food and firstmate.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by joanne l.
    #129777 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Thank you very much, I do like wellness, do you know what the difference in ingredients are in the wellness? Just curious to see the difference.

    #129787 Report Abuse

    No problem! Not much really, just some small differences in where the starch ingredients are on the list and ours seems to be missing liver and other minor things.

    Here’s my rough translation of Core original
    Fresh Turkey 15%, Turkey meal 13%, Chicken meal 15%, peas, dried potatoes, potato protein, dried chicken protein 5%, chicken fat 5%, Flaxseed 4%, Beetroot 3%, Salmon Oil 1%, Dried chicory root 0,5%, Apples, Broccoli, Spinach, Blueberries, Cranberries, Tomatoes, Yucca, Yeast extract

    Might be some minor mistakes in there haha thinking of the English equivalent for some of those was a bit difficult

    Oh wow after posting this reply my other long drawn out one seems to have disappeared! Glad you saw it before that happend 🙂

    #129796 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Thanks a lot Sanne, the wellpet products seem to be pretty good, I had my dog on Purina but had to switch because he develop anal gland issues. Now he is on Holistic Select made by Wellpet and things seem to be clearing up. I give him the grain in one.

    #130652 Report Abuse
    #130724 Report Abuse

    This particular lawsuit seems to be with regard to elevated levels of heavy metals in the Champion food.

    The lawsuit doesn’t mention anything about diet-related DCM.

    Just something to think about.

    #130733 Report Abuse

    I agree. But, that’s a different kettle of fish.

    Spoke to my vet the other day and his advice was to stay away from small companies, boutique, grain free. They are more inclined not to hire veterinary nutritionists or do feeding trials and testing as they should.

    I told him I was currently using Purina Pro Plan and Fromm. He approved of both, especially Fromm.
    Fromm has been around a long time, I like the Classic Adult (1949 recipe) as a base and add to it.

    That being said, your vet may have a different recommendation.

    #130736 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    Feeding trials are :
    Pet food feeding trials are touted by Big Pet Food as ‘the’ standard every pet food consumer should be guided by. Many veterinarians make pet food recommendations based solely on feeding trials. Thanks to two pet food companies, the pet food feeding trial bar has been raised. Can Big Pet Food handle the new standard?

    It is common within the pet food industry to tout pet food feeding trials; many (unknowing) veterinarians follow and believe in the propaganda. From the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) website: “Of all the education and resources that Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc. provides to veterinarians and their health care teams, the most potentially valuable for their patients are criteria for evidence-based clinical nutrition. Conducting high-powered clinical trials is not simply Hill’s approach to product development but another way the company gives back to the profession—by providing scientific evidence they believe veterinarians can depend on when arriving at informed clinical decisions.”

    Although pet food feeding trials are touted as the ‘it’ means of proving the quality of a pet food, there are many drawbacks rarely discussed. Those that take issue with the validity of pet food feeding trials, most commonly cite concerns of length of the trial (only 6 months), simple blood work required to pass the food (four blood tests), and that it is common (standard until now) to use ‘purpose-bred’ dogs and cats tested in a laboratory setting.

    The worst – purpose-bred dogs and cats. From the University of Cincinnati website: “Purpose-bred dogs are those that are specifically bred for biomedical research, most often by companies that specialize in producing such animals. Purpose-bred dogs can be either mixed breed or purebred. Purebred animals have the advantage of uniform size, body conformation, and genetic background. The beagle is a popular purebred because of its relatively small size. There are far fewer companies offering purpose-bred cats.”

    Most dogs and cats used in typical pet food feeding trials are born, raised, and die in a laboratory kennel. They never have a home or a family to love them. They serve a purpose – to sell pet food – and that is all.

    Most pet food companies that utilize pet food feeding trials perform them within their own facilities. Their own purpose bred dogs/cats participate in the trial, the trial is overseen and documented by pet food company employees. Other companies that have touted feeding trials hire private facilities to run the trial. Needless to say, pressure is on the private facility/lab to pass the diet if they wish to have a return customer.

    Now to the good news. Two pet food companies have stepped forward and moved pet food feeding trials to a whole new level. To a humane and more accurate level.

    JustFoodForDogs has recently completed a six month real-life AAFCO approved feeding trial. JustFoodForDogs hired University of Cal Poly Pomona’s Animal and Veterinary Science Department to develop a new humane and realistic feeding trial that met AAFCO requirements and to run the trial. “According to Dr. Broc Sandelin, PhD, Chair of the Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department, “The field method we developed takes significantly more effort than the standard ‘industry approach’,…the dogs are happy, and the data are scientifically valid.”

    This feeding trial enlisted 28 pets – in family homes (real life pets, real life environment). Some of the pets were already eating a JustFoodForDogs diet, some were not. Of the 28 dogs that began the test, 26 completed. The two that dropped out (AAFCO regulations allow 25% of the animals to drop out), did so early because of personal/lifestyle (human) challenges, not related to the pet food. Dr. Oscar Chavez, house veterinarian at JustFoodForDogs, explained each pet completed “Comprehensive Blood Cell Count and Comprehensive Canine Chemistry Panel, looking at over 25 blood parameters” at the conclusion of the study; AAFCO regulations only requires four blood tests.

    Dr. Chavez provided the following explanation of the reasoning behind JustFoodForDogs 25 blood parameters: “A typical AAFCO trial is required to measure parameters that look for anemia (low blood red blood cell count) and – indirectly – liver damage. Anemia is a potential end result of deficiencies that may occur if the food is severely deficient. In order to become anemic, the severe deficiencies must have been present for a significant amount of time, as anemia is usually a secondary sign of a more serious underlying disease. That is to say, the deficient food has to first make the dog sick (through malnutrition), then the dog has to become anemic in response to that illness, and all this must happen within the 26 weeks for the standard AAFCO protocol to catch it. The liver parameter AAFCO requires to us to look at ALP (Alkaline Phosphatase) is only one of many used by vets to evaluate the integrity of the liver, and could be normal even though there is insult to the liver. Vets agree that in many cases, using this protocol may actually 1) not catch problems even though the disease or deficiencies may be present, or 2) miss long term problems that did not become evident by this limited testing in the 26 week period. Lets put it this way – most veterinarians would never clear an older or fragile patient for anesthesia, for example, with only the results of the parameters required by AAFCO.”

    “By measuring full blood panels, we were able to look for evidence of diseases directly and see – truly – if the food was making our dogs sick within the 26 week period.”

    Current regulations guiding feeding trials require the ‘group’ of animal participants on a whole to pass the four blood tests; the 26 dogs participating in the JustFoodForDogs feeding trial each passed individually (and passed the 21 additional blood tests individually too). To read more about JustFoodForDogs feeding trial, click here.

    Another raising of the feeding trial bar has been from Answers Pet Food. Though this feeding trial does not meet AAFCO requirements, it is none-the-less a huge step forward.

    Dr. Amy Nesselrodt DVM was the volunteer owner of the dogs in this feeding trial (not an employee of the pet food company). The trial ran for one year on Dr. Amy’s four dogs (in real life conditions), unlike the AAFCO requirement of only six months.

    Each dog was given a health exam prior to the transition to Answers raw pet food, at six months and at 12 months by an independent veterinarian. Detailed before and after health information is provided by Dr. Amy on her blog , below is a chart from her website.

    All dogs passed the trial and experienced health improvement.

    Real life feeding trials using pets in their homes are the ONLY way to do a feeding trial – the only way. Anything less is cruel and the results should prove to be inaccurate to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats living in a family setting.

    Thank you to Just Food for Dogs and Answers Pet Food for taking pet food feeding trials into a more humane and realistic era. Your turn Big Pet Food.

    Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

    Susan Thixton
    Pet Food Safety Advocate
    Author, Buyer Beware
    Co-Author Dinner PAWsible

    #130737 Report Abuse

    We have had this discussion before:

    Who’s Behind the The Truth About Pet Cancer?

    (excerpt from article below)
    Susan Thixton
    Ms. Thixton is a vehement activist at war with the pet food industry, government regulators, and anyone who doesn’t share her views about pet nutrition. She blames the death of one of her dogs on a preservative in pet food and identifies this experience as the genesis of her crusade.
    Unfortunately, her passion is not matched by a respect for science or evidence or a very sophisticated understanding of epidemiology, nor does she have any apparent willingness to consider she might be mistaken or others might know more than she does about such issues.
    Ms. Thixton is one of these “experts” whose expertise consists of all the information she can find that supports what she is determined to believe no matter what. She has served as a public member of AAFCO, the group that generates much animal feed regulation, but was dismissed in 2017 for personal attacks against other board members. She expresses deep contempt for science and for anyone who doesn’t see the industry/government conspiracy poisoning our pets that she warns about, and her participation in this series illustrates the degree to which it is ideologically driven.

    #142028 Report Abuse
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