Diet

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give a dog a bone
Choose suitably sized bones for your dog!
This tiny sheltie pup ("Zoe") enjoys tucking into one of the 'big dogs' bones while they are not looking

Northern Inuit Dogs, Wolfdogs and Wolfdog Hybrids do best on BARF diet

(Biologically Appropriate Raw Food).
  
 
Generally speaking these dogs do
not thrive on commercial 'complete' dog foods, although there are always exceptions who do, nor do they tolerate cereal based foods in large quantities.   If you cannot bear the thought of feeding your dog its natural diet, then the only commercial complete dog foods that I can personally recommend are listed on my Links page, along with BARF suppliers.

Feeding BARF can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it and there are some very good articles and books on the subject.   Variety is the spice of life and that goes for dogs too.   If you consider the wild canines they do not go hunting with the preconceived notion that they must catch a balanced diet.   They will make a kill and eat almost all the parts, offal, muscle, fat, hair and bone - the stomach contents will provide vegetables and herbs.   Minerals they will find naturally and will often 'top up' with seasonal fruit and vegetation.    They are also opportunists and will consume eggs if available.   They might not get a balanced diet in one sitting, but over the course of time the wide variety consumed will ensure there are no deficiencies.

With this in mind I believe that
One Third Meat, One Third Vegetable and One Third Carbohydrate is about right.   All meat and bones should be fed raw, while all vegetables and cereals should be gently cooked, as dogs are unable to break these down.   The wider the variety you can feed, the better.   Vitamins and minerals can be added in the form of SA37 or Stress (which is higher in calcium and not normally necessary if the dog is fed bones).

Alongside raw mince (beef, chicken, lamb and rabbit) you can feed tripe (whole or minced) as well as fish.  Chicken carcasses are a mainstay of BARF feeding, being cheap and easily consumed.   Lamb ribs, lamb necks, turkey necks and chicken wings are all considered to be meaty bones.  Large beef knuckle and marrow bones are recreational bones.  Pasta and rice are also good to bulk out a meal and add variety but should be fed sparingly.  Eggs are enjoyed cooked or raw, complete with shells.   Heart, Liver etc. can also be fed sparingly but too much can be detrimental; I therefore prefer to keep these as training treats.  Goats milk and bio yogurt are appreciated too.

A 'pea sized' blob of garlic puree on their food daily will help to keep parasites at bay.    Natural Bio yogurt will help to maintain a healthy gut flora and will quickly sort out minor digestive disorders.
(If the dog appears lethargic, is vomiting or has a temperature seek veterinary advice).

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Recommended Reading:   

Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs for a Long Healthy Life
by Ian Billinghurst


Grow Your Pups with Bones: BARF Programme for Breeding Healthy Dogs and Eliminating Skeletal Disease
by Ian Billinghurst


The Barf Diet:  For Cats and Dogs
by Ian Billinghurst

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sky and bone
"Sky" has been enjoying BARF for over 10 years

Tom Lonsdale Veterinary Surgeon

PO Box 6096 Phone: +61 2 4578-1389

Windsor Delivery Centre Fax: +61 2 4578-1384

NSW 2756 E-mail: tom@rawmeatybones.com

Australia Web: www.rawmeatybones.com

January 2006 ©

Diet guide for domestic dogs and cats

Dingoes and feral cats keep themselves healthy by eating whole carcasses of prey animals. Ideally we should feed our pets in the same manner. Until a dependable source of whole carcasses becomes available, pet owners need a satisfactory alternative. The following recommendations, based on raw meaty bones, have been adopted by thousands of pet owners with excellent results.

The diet is easy to follow and cheap, and pets enjoy it.

• Fresh water constantly available.

• Raw meaty bones (or carcasses if available) should form the bulk of the diet.

• Table scraps both cooked and raw (grate or liquidise vegetables, discard cooked bones).

Puppies and kittens

From about three weeks of age puppies and kittens start to take an interest in what their mother is eating. By six weeks of age they can eat chicken carcasses, rabbits and fish.

During the brief interval between three and six weeks of age it is advisable to provide minced chicken, chicken carcasses or similar for young animals (as well as access to larger pieces that encourage ripping and tearing). This is akin to the part-digested food regurgitated by wild carnivore mothers. Large litters will need more supplementary feeding than small litters. (The meat and bone should be minced together. Meat off the bone can be fed, but only for a short time, until the young animals can eat meat and bone together — usually about six weeks of age.)

Between four and six months of age puppies and kittens cut their permanent teeth and grow rapidly. At this time they need a plentiful supply of carcasses or raw meaty bones of suitable size.

Puppies and kittens tend not to overeat natural food. Food can be continuously available.

Natural foods suitable for pet carnivores

Raw meaty bones

• Chicken and turkey carcasses, after the meat has been removed for human consumption, are suitable for dogs and cats.

• Poultry by-products include: heads, feet, necks and wings.

• Whole fish and fish heads.

• Goat, sheep, calf, deer and kangaroo carcasses can be sawn into large pieces of meat and bone.

• Other by-products include: pigs’ trotters, pigs’ heads, sheep heads, brisket, tail bones, rib bones.

Whole carcasses

Rats, mice, rabbits, fish, chickens, quail, hens.

Offal

Liver, lungs, trachea, hearts, omasums (stomach of ruminants), tripe.

Quality — Quantity — Frequency

Healthy animals living and breeding in the wild depend on the correct quality of food in the right quantity at a correct frequency. They thereby gain an appropriate nutrient intake plus the correct amount of teeth cleaning — animals, unlike humans, ‘brush’ and ‘floss’ as they eat.

Quality

Low-fat game animals and fish and birds provide the best source of food for pet carnivores. If using meat from farm animals (cattle, sheep and pigs) avoid excessive fat, or bones that are too large to be eaten.

Dogs are more likely to break their teeth when eating large knuckle bones and bones sawn lengthwise than if eating meat and bone together.

Raw food for cats should always be fresh. Dogs can consume ‘ripe’ food and will sometimes bury bones for later consumption.

Quantity

Establishing the quantity to feed pets is more an art than a science. Parents, when feeding a human family, manage this task without the aid of food consumption charts. You can achieve the same good results for your pet by paying attention to activity levels, appetite and body condition.

High activity and big appetite indicate a need for increased food, and vice versa.

Body condition depends on a number of factors. The overall body shape — is it athletic or rotund — and the lustre of the hair coat provide clues. Use your finger tips to assess the elasticity of the skin. Does it have an elastic feel and move readily over the muscles? Do the muscles feel well toned? And how much coverage of the ribs do you detect? This is the best place to check whether your pet is too thin or too fat. By comparing your own rib cage with that of your pet you can obtain a good idea of body condition — both your own and that of your pet.

An approximate food consumption guide, based on raw meaty bones, for the average pet cat or dog is 15 to 20 percent of body weight in one week or 2 to 3 percent per day. On that basis a 25 kilo dog requires up to five kilos of carcasses or raw meaty bones weekly. Cats weighing five kilos require about one kilo of chicken necks, fish, rabbit or similar each week. Table scraps should be fed as an extra component of the diet. Please note that these figures are only a guide and relate to adult pets in a domestic environment.

Pregnant or lactating females and growing puppies and kittens may need much more food than adult animals of similar body weight.

Wherever possible, feed the meat and bone ration in one large piece requiring much ripping, tearing and gnawing. This makes for contented pets with clean teeth.

Frequency

Wild carnivores feed at irregular intervals. In a domestic setting regularity works best and accordingly I suggest that you feed adult dogs and cats once daily. If you live in a hot climate I recommend that you feed pets in the evening to avoid attracting flies.

I suggest that on one or two days each week your dog may be fasted — just like animals in the wild.

On occasions you may run out of natural food. Don’t be tempted to buy artificial food, fast your dog and stock up with natural food the next day.

Puppies, cats, ferrets, sick or underweight dogs should not be fasted (unless on veterinary advice).

Table scraps

Wild carnivores eat small amounts of omnivore food, part-digested in liquid form, when they eat the intestines of their prey. Our table scraps, and some fruit and vegetable peelings, are omnivore food which has not been ingested. Providing scraps do not form too great a proportion of the diet they appear to do no harm and may do some good. I advise an upper limit of one-third scraps for dogs and rather less for cats. Liquidising scraps, both cooked and raw, in the kitchen mixer may help to increase their digestibility.

Things to avoid

•Excessive meat off the bone — not balanced.

•Excessive vegetables — not balanced.

•Small pieces of bone — can be swallowed whole and get stuck.

•Cooked bones — get stuck.

•Mineral and vitamin additives — create imbalance.

•Processed food — leads to dental and other diseases.

•Excessive starchy food — associated with bloat.

•Onions, garlic and chocolate — toxic to pets.

. Grapes, raisins, sultanas, currants - toxic to pets.

. Fruit stones (pits) and corn cobs - get stuck.

•Milk — associated with diarrhoea. Animals drink it whether thirsty or not and consequently get fat. Milk sludge sticks to teeth and gums.

Take care

Old dogs and cats addicted to a processed diet may experience initial difficulty when changed on to a natural diet.

• Pets with misshapen jaws and dental disease may experience difficulties with a natural diet.

• Create variety. Any nutrients fed to excess can be harmful.

• Liver is an excellent foodstuff but should not be fed more than once weekly.

• Other offal, e.g. ox stomachs, should not exceed 50 percent of the diet.

• Whole fish are an excellent source of food for carnivores, but avoid feeding one species of fish constantly. Some species, e.g. carp, contain an enzyme which destroys thiamine (vitamin B1).

• There are no prizes for the fattest dog on the block, nor for the fastest. Feed pets for a lifetime of health. Prevention is better than cure.

Miscellaneous tips

Domestic dogs and cats are carnivores. Feeding them the appropriate carnivore diet represents the single most important contribution to their welfare.

Establish early contact with a dependable supplier of foodstuffs for pet carnivores.

Buy food in bulk in order to avoid shortages.

Package the daily rations separately for ease of feeding.

Refrigerated storage space, preferably a freezer, is essential.

Raw meaty bones can be fed frozen just like ice cream. Some pets eat the frozen article; others wait for it to thaw.

Small carcasses, for example rats, mice and small birds, can be fed frozen and complete with entrails. Larger carcasses should have the entrails removed before freezing.

Take care that pets do not fight over their food.

Protect children by ensuring that they do not disturb feeding pets.

Feeding bowls are unnecessary — the food will be dragged across the floor — so feed pets outside by preference, or on an easily cleaned floor.

Ferrets are small carnivores which can be fed in the same way as cats.

For an expanded description of dietary requirements, including the potential hazards, please consult the books Raw Meaty Bones: Promote Health and Work Wonders: Feed your dog raw meaty bones.

Further information, links and RMB Newsletters:

  • http://www.rawmeatybones.com

  • IMPORTANT: Note that individual animals and circumstances may vary.

    You may need to discuss your pet’s needs with your veterinarian.

    This diet guide may be freely copied and circulated.

     

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    cloud with lamb ribs
    "Cloud" enjoys tucking into a rack of lamb ribs during a camping trip

    THE BARF DIET AND NATURAL FEEDING

    The BARF diet is one of the most controversial and misunderstood concepts in canine nutrition. Whilst it can work perfectly well, it imposes unnecessary strictures. Although the basic idea is appealing because it is simple and generally sound, putting it into practice requires more research, consideration, time and effort, than many people can, or are prepared, to find.

    The Barf Diet is idealistic and as such, difficult to achieve. Feeding adequately according to this method is not as simple as it may first appear, largely because of the inability to identify and source materials of the right quality, an inescapable fact associated with the products of modern farming methods and distribution.

    Many dog owners have used the BARF feeding method very successfully and this is because they have both the knowledge and experience to put this concept into practice, but many fail because of various problems. The latter come into two categories; they either give up because it is messy, smelly, and time consuming and return to a commercially prepared diet; or they persevere with a depleted version of the BARF diet, or a poorly conceived concoction of BARF and other ingredients, both bringing with them the inevitable negative consequences on health.

    Generally, the BARF diet reflects the natural diet of the dog, i.e. Natural Feeding, but, despite its appealing apparent simplicity, it should not be embarked upon without a full understanding of the ingredients required and the way to feed them.   It should not be used unless the owner has at least a basic level of understanding of nutrition.   The central issues are what raw materials to use in order to provide an appropriate range and quality of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and other nutrients.   The starting point here is an appreciation of the evolved requirements of the species.

    The BARF diet is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. It was coined by an Australian veterinary surgeon by the name of Ian Billingshurst who suggested that many modern dog foods were causing problems basically because –

    1. They contain high levels of unsuitable carbohydrates, depleted byproducts and artificial additives.

    2. Cooking reduces the nutritional value of the food

    Billingshust therefore proposes a diet of raw meat and vegetables together with raw bones. The basic tenets of the BARF diet are consistent with Natural Feeding in that it follows the evolved requirements of the species; by-products and artificial additives are certainly not consistent, however Billingshurst is against the inclusion of any grain carbohydrate in the diet on the grounds that it is not digestible and the dog has not evolved to cope with it. However, the wild dog has always ingested grain carbohydrates from the stomach content of its prey and it can be argued that feeding them is generally compatible with its evolved physiology.

    Grain cereals can certainly cause problems and attention has been drawn to these recently, but it is usually not the presence of carbohydrate in the diet which causes the problem, but the type and the amount. Billingshurst is also against cooking, but whereas overcooking can deplete nutrients drastically, gentle cooking does not have this affect. So both these are question of degree.

    Main points for Natural Feeding

    • Carbohydrates from cereals can be a part of the dog’s diet. There is no convincing theoretical or scientific evidence to the contrary. The point is to give a range of different types and not too much.

    • For a dog in good digestive order about one third carbohydrate, one third meat, and one third vegetables seems to be about right. This may have to be adjusted according to other factors, such as age, life style, or other factors.

    • Feeding dogs is a simple matter provided the food given reflects the dog’s natural requirements. If good quality raw materials are used, complicated regimes and specialist commercial diets are not usually necessary.

    • If the food is being prepared from scratch it is important to ensure that all nutrients are provided in a proper form. Knowledge of canine nutrition is required to provide a balanced diet.

    • It should be remembered that all dogs are individuals and they like variety. Boredom with the same diet on a daily basis is one reason for ‘fussiness’.

    • If bones are being fed it is vital that should be given raw and there are other simple rules to follow.

    • Meat can be fed raw but dogs may have to be changed over from cooked diets very slowly. Carbohydrates and vegetables must be processed or the dog cannot digest them properly. This should be done by liquidising or gentle cooking.

    • A more convenient alternative to home preparation of all individual ingredients is to use a BAHNM Certified Holistic Food as a base diet, say 75-80%, with the addition of other fresh and raw ingredients. That way the owner can get the best of both worlds. (Note that this practice is not advised by the manufacturers of highly processed conventional non-certified diets)

    For free information on integrated nutrition and medicine and for advice in specific circumstances contact: tech.help@bahnm.org.uk

     

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    quest pup
    "Quest" 8 weeks old enjoys a bone

    Still not convinced that Natural Feeding is best? 
     

    Have you considered what goes into the convenience dog foods?   Read the labels on the complete dog food bags.   If you imagine chicken or lamb on the label means it contains actual fresh meat then think again.   With the exception of the manufacturers listed on my Links page you will more often than not find that the words chicken or lamb 'derivatives' or 'by products' are listed amongst the ingredients.

    The dictionary definition of a derivative reads as follows, “based on or making use of other sources; not original or primary” in other words if the label reads meat derivative, it’s not meat but what’s left over after the meat is taken away, fat, gristle, bones, heads, feet, feathers etc.

    The dictionary definition of a by-product is “ a secondary or incidental product of a manufacturing process”.

    If the manufacturer claims it doesn't contain any artificial preservatives, how come it doesn't go off?   Preservatives like BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin which have been implicated in a whole host of health and behavioural problems. Artificial colourings and flavourings are also known to cause behavioural problems.

    Dogs don't actually need carbohydrates - cereals such as wheat, oats and rice are added to bulk out the food.

    Oils - these are more often than not the residue returned for 'recycling' by chip shops and the like.

    Calcium - you imagine this to be bone - chalk is also calcium but is not a digestible form.

    Added vitamins - only added because they were missing in the first place.

    New Improved .... - if it was supposed to be a completely balanced diet in the first place, why would it need improving?

    Tinned dog food is no better - a very high proportion of the content is water.  

    If you are still not convinced, take a few minutes to read the following article, which makes the connection between the decline in canine health and the introduction of manufactured dog food. .The incidence of problems increased in direct relation to the increase in dog food manufacture and consumption.   It's food for thought!

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    quest pup
    "Quest" - Czechoslovakian Wolfdog pup - enjoys BARF

     

    The Error of the Millennium in Veterinary Medicine

    The background

    Diseases of the musculoskeletal system in dogs have been a considerable veterinary problem for decades. Statistics compiled by the canine science associations indicate that 70 - 75% of the entire canine population are affected. More than half of the dogs of all breeds exhibit pathological changes, especially of the acetabulum and femur, known as hip dysplasia (HD) or canine hip dysplasia (CHD)

    The etiological or causal background to canine hip dysplasia has hitherto generally been assumed to be multi-factorial heredity. This term originates from farm and slaughter animal breeding and postulates that not only heredity but also environ-mental factors – especially nutrition – play a role in determining characteristics. The relative importance of these factors is expressed as the degree of heritability. For CHD, percentage values of up to 60 % have been assumed or, with reference to 1, of 0.2 to 0.6.

    The dog breeding associations in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany developed X-ray systems designed to detect and combat hip dysplasia. But only in Germany and several other European countries was it attempted to eliminate CHD through selection, by excluding the dogs exhibiting this condition from breeding in the populations of the different breeds. These genetic measures, however, proved fruit-less over a period of three decades. The Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (VDH) (German Kennel Club) failed in its attempts to gain approval for this initiative from the American Kennel Club (AKC), The Kennel Club (KC) or the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) in France.

    The incidence of hip dysplasia still persists at around 60 - 65 % in all the canine populations of the Western countries. When other pathological changes are included, the total skeletal morbidity rate is as high as 70 - 75%. In most cases HD is accompanied by other skeletal diseases.

    Veterinarians in the Western countries have traditionally advocated a “balanced diet” – with-out specifying further details – and have left it to the animal feedstuffs industry to provide dogs with “optimized complete diets”. At present, around 80 – 90 % of the total canine population is being fed completely or partially with industrially manufactured pre-formulated food, which has consequently become accepted as “healthy dog food”. These new feeding methods, however, have been unable to significantly improve morbidity in terms of canine hip dysplasia. Indeed, there is also a very high total morbidity level of numerous nutritional diseases affecting various organ systems.

    Marc Torel and Klaus Dieter Kammerer – a veterinarian and a scientific journalist with medical training – believe that breeding programs and industrially produced dog food in its present form cannot hope to bring about any fundamental improvements in the incidence of canine hip dysplasia because CHD is not heritable and because existing dog food does not prevent, but is in fact the original cause of CHD. In these authors view, canine hip dysplasia is induced solely by malnutrition.

    An article in the TU caused a worldwide sensation

    In 1996, the respected German journal “Tierärztliche Umschau” (TU) (Veterinary Review) published the continuation article “Topical notes on canine hip dysplasia” by Marc Torel and Klaus Dieter Kammerer, in which these authors traced the entire history of the development of canine hip dysplasia. They claimed that the hereditary nature of CHD had never been conclusively proven and is not supported by any objective evidence, and that breeding programs over three decades were thus inevitably doomed to failure (Tierärztliche Umschau, Volume 51, pp. 455 ff., 1996).

    In the opinion of Torel/Kammerer, everything points to the probability that CHD has an alimentary/ hormonal etiology and pathogenesis associated with malnutrition and increased production of somatotropin, tri-iodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), parat-hormone and insulin-like growth factor IGF-I in the canine organism. The authors went on to draw conclusions regarding the nutrition and keeping of dogs and gave recommendations for the prevention of their skeletal diseases.

    The essence of their argument is that CHD is of nutritional and hormonal origin. Malnutrition causes increased production of growth hormone, the thyroid hormones tri-iodothyronine and thyroxine, parat-hormone and insulin-like growth factor in dogs. The authors give a detailed analysis of the malnutrition and its adverse skeletal effects.

    The book aroused great interest among veterinarians and met with a worldwide response. The authors and the editors of TU have received consistently positive feedback from the USA, the whole of Europe, South Africa and Australia.

     

    The Thirty Years‘ War and its bitter struggles

    These sensational “Topical notes” formed the basis for the Compendium
    “The Thirty Years‘ War 1966-1996” published in 1997. The book, described with a certain self irony by the authors Torel/Kammerer as a controversial pamphlet, provided further data, facts and back-ground on the subject of canine hip dysplasia, especially in the expanded and revised 2nd edition published in March 1999 (ISBN 3-9807236-1-5).

    The title is a deliberate reference to the religious war of 1618-1648 in Central Europe, since the attempts to combat hip dysplasia in the associations and societies, as described by the authors with more than a touch of irony, were not only characterized by the ferocity of a military campaign but, in the face of prevailing dogmatism, were also ultimately futile. When these measures failed to prevent the distribution of the Compendium by word of mouth, Waltham/ Effem persuaded the BTK and the VDH to apply to Dortmund District Court to have the book banned. When even a temporary injunction obtained from the biased and prejudicially influenced 7th Civil Division on 23 Sept.1999 failed to halt the sale of the book, the VDH intrigued with the Association of Publishers and Booksellers of the Federal Republic of Germany in Frankfurt and on 10 Feb. 2000 the book title was deleted from the list of available books (VLB list) This meant that "The Thirty Years' War" was effectively placed on the index of prohibited books, since it was no longer available through the book trade, or only with great difficulty. The first legal actions taken against the Association at Frankfurt District Court have so far been unsuccessful due to behind the scenes manipulation among the judges in Dortmund and Frankfurt resulting in agreements preferential to the VDH and its backers. Meanwhile, however, a promise has been extracted that the book will be reinstated and available once more through the book trade.

    On the basis of predetermined decisions irreconcilable with the existing legal order and without any statutory basis, and in gross violation of the law of civil procedure, the 7th Civil Division of Dortmund District Court on 16 Mar. 2000 granted the applications of the VDH to have the book banned, thereby effectively curtailing the basic constitutional right of freedom of the press. The proceedings are not yet finalized and the judgement does not yet have the force of law, but is subject to judicial review by the Cartel Division of Duesseldorf Higher Regional Court following an appeal.

    On the other hand, Christa Bremer, 3rd President of the VDH, its Secretary Bernhard Meyer and permanent legal adviser Claudia Marienfeldt are now under investigation by Dortmund Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of making a false statutory declaration and giving false evidence in the course of proceedings. Investigative proceedings are also pending at the same Office into the incorrect and biased presiding judge Becker of the 7th Civil Division and his associate judges Altemeier and Meyer-Tegenthoff due to the suspicion of perverting the course of justice. The presiding judge of Hamm Higher Regional Court is also conducting a disciplinary review into manipulation and suspicion of corruption in Dortmund.

    Proceedings are ongoing at the Public Prosecutors Office, Division for Commercial and Medical Crime in Mannheim, against the "trio infernale" of BTK, VDH and Waltham/ Effem due to suspicion of fraud, unfair competition and corruption with active and passive bribery. The computerized breeding value estimation system of Dr. Beuing at the Institute of Animal Breeding and Domestic Animal Genetics of Gießen University, as a piece of profitable charlatanism, will be among the objects of the Public Prosecutor's inquiries.

    The "trio infernale" have no alternative but to defame and attempt to completely discredit the authors Torel/Kammerer, whose charges, if proved correct, would disgrace and compromise in an unprecedented manner the leading figures of canine science, the veterinary profession and animal foodstuffs industry for their blundering and charlatanism continuing over decades. The Compendium "The Thirty Years' War" has become a full-blown political issue.

     

    One year later, on 10 Mar. 2000, Klaus Dieter Kammerer published his new book entitled

    “The Error of the Millennium in Veterinary Medicine”

    subtitled

    “Malnutrition-induced Hip Dysplasia as a
    Non-hereditary Skeletal Disease of Dogs”

    In his new book K.D. Kammerer traces, with a restrained style of presentation and including much new information, the entire development of canine diet over the past thousand years up to the end of 1999, as well as the nutrition-related skeletal diseases affecting dogs.

    The “trio infernale” have no alternative but to defame and attempt to completely discredit the authors Torel/Kammerer, whose charges, if proved correct, would disgrace and compromise in an unprecedented manner the leading figures of canine science, the veterinary profession and animal feedstuffs industry for their blundering and charlatanism continuing over decades. The Compendium “The Thirty Years War” and the Compendium “The Error of the Millennium in Veterinary Medicine” has become a full-blown political issue.

    The author piles fact upon fact to create an impressive, many coloured mosaic that ultimately portrays a dismal scenario:

    The 12 theses of Klaus Dieter Kammerer:

    1. As in all the Western countries, about 80 – 85 % of the approximately 5.5 million dogs in the Federal Republic of Germany are suffering from more or less chronic or subchronic obesity, liver parenchymal damage, metabolic diseases, gastrointestinal disorders with pancreatic insufficiency, cardiovascular diseases with vascular sclerosis, impaired immune system with an increased incidence of allergies, infections and carcinomas, as well as a variety of disorders of the musculoskeletal system including dysplacias of all joints, but especially the hip. The life expectancy of dogs is considerably reduced, with cancer now heading the cause of death statistics.

    2.  Similarly, 80 – 85 % of dogs are nourished completely or partially with industrially produced ready made food which, apart from the quality deficits of the raw materials, generally also suffers from methodological errors in its formulation and manufacturing process. Morbidity due to the aforementioned diseases over the last 30 years has shown an unmistaken able correlation with the sales of the animals feedstuffs industry. Especially the skeletal diseases with hip dysplasia are directly related to the decades of mal-nutrition to which dogs have been subjected and are their immediate consequence.

    3.  The principle applied in the manufacture of modern dog food was adopted from the mass production of domestic and slaughter animals, especially calf and pig fattening. Calves and piglets are fed a mixture of the primary nutrients

    carbohydrates, proteins, fats,
    minerals and vitamins

    calculated to induce rapid growth and weight gain. For retail trade purposes, the 25 and 50 kg bags of calf and pig food were repackaged for dogs into small packs and cans with a water content of up to 80 %. This food differs from slaughter animal feed only by the inclusion of synthetic aromatisers, flavouring agents and attractants specific to dogs, and by the elaborate packaging. One further difference, however, is that to dupe consumers dog food also contains soya designed – sometimes into the very fibre structures - to simulate meat and “meaty lumps”. The genetic manipulation of soya results in lipid deposits in the organs and the content of phytoestrogens leads to pathological changes in the skeleton:  

    “Frankenstein Food”

    So not only the alleged heritability of CHD has been adopted from domestic and slaughter animal breeding, but also its nutritional basis.

    4.  Heating of the raw materials with pressurized steam to as much as 250 °C and the subsequent hotair drying breaks down the carbohydrates, but also denatures the proteins and fats and destroys all the natural vitamins. Also destroyed or altered are the secondary nutrients and bioactive substances vital for long term animal health. A standardized mineral and vitamin premix is therefore added, but usually in excess. The phytoestrogens remain largely intact, however, and exert the same effects on the body, including bone metabolism, as endogenously produced sex hormones, while the lipid deposits lead to sclerosis of the blood vessels and thus to hypertension, cardiac and circulatory diseases. These feeding methods in dogs lead especially to hyperalimentation, fibrous osteodystrophy, osteochondrosis (OCD), hormonal dysfunctions as well as vitamin A and D3 hypervitaminosis with their associated pathological skeletal changes including hip dysplasia. Vitamin D3 overdosage alone, both in food and vitaminized mineral preparations, can induce Legg Calvé-Perthes disease with aseptic necrosis of the femoral head with mush-room-shaped and cylindrical protrusions and consequently CHD. Most ready-made food usually has added appetizers that usually stimulate consumption, resulting in more or less marked obesity and, in the long term, to chronic diseases of various organ systems, especially of the cardio-vascular type. Modern domestic animal food designed in the laboratory became causally responsible for hip dysplasia in dogs. Whereas calves and pigs, after reaching a certain size and weight within a few months, are slaughtered together with their pathologically altered skeleton, dogs have to propel themselves around on their ruined bones for the rest of their lives.

    5.  The heritability of hip dysplasia and the other skeletal diseases of dogs has never been demonstrated. The first veterinarians to investigate the etiology of CHD elaborated a number of hypotheses of which multifactorial inheritance was finally chosen as the winning candidate, since it appeared to explain everything. Subsequent investigators adopted these assumptions unreflectingly and uncritically and merely perpetuated the error. Others wrote papers designed to please their sponsors, for remuneration. There is a certain ironic pleasure to be had from the fact that Professor Helmut Meyer, as a nutritional scientist, Senior Assistant and prospective Director of the Institute of Animal Nutrition of Hanover Veterinary College published a paper on the heritability of CHD in 1968, although this was not his specialization and he had no under-standing of canine genetics, but was already maintaining very close and financially rewarding business links with Waltham/Effem/Masterfoods. Finally, a downright dogma was established regarding the multifactorial (polygenic) heritability of hip dysplasia.

    6.  It is perhaps one of the ironies of fate that CHD is indeed a multifactorial disease, with a variety of nutrition-induced underlying disorders as possible causative factors:

    · Hormonal dysfunctions (IGF-I, T3, T4, Parathormon, Estrogene)
    · Vitamin A+D3+K3 - Hypervitaminosis (toxic overdosage)
    · Rickets (softening of bone due to Ca and vitamin D3 deficience)
    · Moeller-Barlow disease (scurvy due to vitamin C deficiency)
    · Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (femoral head necrosis)
    · Genu valgum (knock-knees)
    · Fibrous osteodystrophy (bone dystrophy)
    · Osteochondrotic syndrom (degenerative cartilage disease, OCD)
    · Hypertrophe Osteodystrophy (HOD)
    ·
    Obesity (overweight, Overload during movement

    The metabolic derangements with alimentary/hormonal dysfunctions underlying these pathologic conditions thus lead to dysplasias of the entire skeleton and range from very mild and often clinically undiagnosed disease courses to severe deformations. Since the dynamic and static forces involved in movement are most pronounced at the hip joint, this is where the first deformations (dysplasias) inevitably develop. Dysplasi-as can also occur in all other joints, however, and they would be observed in more or less severe form in all dogs with CHD if X-ray examination were not confined to the hip joints. Many cases of canine hip dysplasia are also accompanied by dysplasia of the shoulder, elbow and knee joints.

    7.  The etiology and pathogenesis of hip dysplasia can thus only be explained in terms of multifactoriality, but omitting the genetic factor. Accordingly, hip dysplasia is to be regarded as a complication of metabolic disease in puppies and young dogs, and as a symptom of a generalized, alimentary/hormonal skeletal disease, and on no account as a hereditary, isolated anomaly of acetabulum and femur.

    8.  The multinational corporations Nestlé (Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Migthy Dog), Colgate Palm-olive (Hill’s Science Diet), Procter & Gamble (Iams, Eukanuba), Heinz (Amore, Gravy train, Recipe, Verts) and especially Mars with its affiliates Waltham and Effem (Advance, Cesar, Chappy, Formula, Frolic, Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree ) control the multi-billion-dollar world market for industrially produced dog and cat food, including 90 % of the European market. Ralston Purina (Pro Plan, Purina) and Royal Canin (Selection, Size mini-medium-maxi) also enjoy a certain prominence. Effem is the market leader in Germany with a 45 – 50 % share of a market worth 3,500 million German Marks and, with a turnover of about 2,000 million German Marks makes a profit of almost 1,000 million. These big corporations are behind most of the many small producers.

    9. These business empires have virtually unlimited funds for advertising. In the Western countries, they have advertising budgets totaling more than 10,000 million DM to splash out on dog food advertising. In the Federal Republic of Germany alone, Mars together with Waltham and Effem invest almost 500 million DM annually in the public and non-public domains. The money is de- voted firstly to poster and press adverti-sing, TV spots and for paid public relations articles in newspapers and magazines. The canine popular press is completely under the control of the animal feedstuffs industry and is only allowed to publish articles favourable to its backers‘ interests. Canine science societies and associations and their functionaries enjoy considerable financial benefits. The VDH (German Kennel Club) and its board members are annual beneficiaries to the tune of several millions and as such are to be regarded as completely dependent and corrupt. While all this money is paid to buy people and votes, hush money is paid to the parties, institutions and the judiciary

    10.  The veterinary profession too is now firmly in thrall to these multinational corporations. Many veterinarians owe their living to this mutual sleaze and corruption. Of the 20,000 practising veterinarians in the Federal Republic of Germany, about 20-25% are unemployed anyway and another 20-25 % would have to shut up shop if they didn’t receive the average Euro 20,000 – 25,000 annually from the sale of special diet feeds and the X-ray system of the VDH (German Kennel Club) they need to cover their practice costs (rent, staff). Considerable benefits in cash and kind find their way to students of veterinary medicine, medical-technical assistant personnel and the veterinarians themselves. The opinion-leading veterinarians and nutritional scientists at the institutes of animal nutrition are almost without exception bribed and travel around the world at the expense of the various companies. They therefore recommend these products from sheer self-interest and regale dog owners with the benefits of industrial dog food while keeping quiet about the disadvantages. Since the entire advertising budgets are funded from the turnover and hence from the sales prices of the various brands, consumers and dog owners are actually paying out of their own pockets for the brainwashing to which they are continually subjected, not even realizing that these by no means so optimized products are also grossly overpriced. The same or similar conditions prevail in the other countries.

    11.  The companies mentioned above – but especially Waltham/Effem/Masterfoods – initiated the dogma of the heritability of skeletal diseases of dogs to conceal the methodological errors being perpetrated in industrial animal feedstuffs production and have sustained their campaign over three decades. Almost all the authoritative veterinarians in the USA, UK and Germany who are or have been involved in studying CHD have at some time received inducements from Walt-ham/Effem/Masterfoods, Ralston Purina or the others. The financial calculations and marketing strategies require not healthy, but sick dogs. The diseases of the various organ systems induced by malnutrition gave the impetus for market innovation in the form of the numerous dietary products sold through veterinarians, to whom the industry not only delivers the various brands free of charge, but also the sick dogs necessary for their consumption. In this thoroughly corrupt system, the industry and veterinary profession in the Western countries are actively engaged in white collar and white coat crime and are perpetrating the biggest fraud in the history of veterinary medicine, nothing less than a chronique scandaleuse.

    12. The malnutrition of dogs and the dogma of the heritability of its hip dysplasia are firstly a double error and considering the disaster for dogs‘ health created and sustained over four decades by the industry and the professors in their service at the faculties of veterinary medicine, especially in the USA, UK and Germany, can only be described as the error of the millennium in veterinary medicine: millions of dogs around the world have been fed to a state of illness or to death during this period. By reforming canine nutrition, improving the quality and eliminating the methodological errors in production, morbidity due to the numerous nutrition-induced diseases of dogs could be significantly lowered. In particular, the skeletal diseases associated with hip dysplasia could be at least considerably reduced.

    With its “furor teutonicus” – its Teutonic fury – the Compendium created an uproar. The authors Torel/Kammerer were not only skilled in verbal cut-and-thrust when deploying their arguments, but also brought up heavy artillery to support their attack. The hostilities, with their attacks and counter-attacks between the authors and their opponents in industry and veterinary medicine, are a cause of ongoing concern to various official agencies. The Bundestierärztekammer (BTK) (Federal German Veterinary Authority), the VDH (German Kennel Club) and the Waltham/Effem/Masterfoods company boycotted the book on the basis of cartel agreements and suppressed reviews and reports in the veterinary literature, the societies and the media.

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