Is pet food actually POISONING our dogs?
In a nice change of pace, a major daily newspaper has actually published an article that is pro raw feeding.
Vets tell you: ‘Live with canine epilepsy, not for it.’ Good advice, but much easier said than done. We went entirely the other way and buried ourselves in research, starting on a journey that would take us far beyond canine epilepsy.
A concerted internet trawl through scientific journals, veterinary publications and pet-owner forums revealed a huge and growing incidence of dogs with diseases of the joints, internal organs, immune system, eyes, ears, skin, teeth and nervous system; not to mention cancers, behavioural disorders and, yes, epilepsy. And, this being the internet, the suggested treatments encompassed everything from fancy pharmaceuticals to collective prayer.
There was one piece of advice, however, that cropped up far too often to ignore – ‘get your dog off commercial pet food’.
At the time we were feeding Dave what we thought was a high-quality dried food or ‘kibble’. According to the description on the side of the packaging, it was ‘rich in meat’ with ‘wholesome ingredients’ and ‘100 per cent complete and balanced’.
But the ‘ingredients’ section on most petfood packaging is notoriously vague and misleading. Manufacturers don’t really want you to know what’s in there. After some serious delving, I could understand why.
In all probability we had been feeding Dave the waste by-products of industrial grain processing, vegetable pulp (and possibly woodchip), a grounddown mix of non-nutritious animal parts, along with used fats and oils, possibly from restaurant fryers and industrial food-processing units. This mixture is preserved with powerful antioxidants banned in the UK for human consumption and linked to liver and kidney damage, stomach tumours and cancer.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315145/Is-pet-food-poisoning-dogs.html
I feel like we’ve reached a sort of impasse with the debate on home prepared diets vs. pre-made. I think it’s going to take something big to break it. And I’m not sure it would happen, even then. After all, we are a culture who thinks feeding “Chicken in a Biscuit” crackers to our human kids is A-OK and it doesn’t even occur to many people that making crackers from scratch would be far more healthful.
As long as the Veterinary schools keep inviting the pet food industry to instruct their student on animal nutrition, yes, a continued impasse seems likely. But some vets are straying from the pack (ba – dum – dum) after seeing dogs that have repeatedly failed on commercial diets and pharmaceuticals turn around after being switched to a raw diet, or at least a home made diet. My vet is one – he just can’t deny actual results.
One of my 8 year olds had a thankfully brief grand mal in July. Wait and see turned into back to the vet as he had a second tonight.
Both were triggered by anxiety.
He is going 100 percent raw tomorrow AM. He’s been getting 50/50 raw to kibble. I was gone for a few days and back on kibble he went and had a second seizure.
So another trip to the doc and a new diet tomorrow
You might also want to talk about a low dose of phenobarbitol with the vet.
It’s been used with humans for seizures for many years, and my sister’s dog is on it. It calms him as well.
The catch-22 with seizures, is that the highest priority is preventing them, not only because they can be fatal, but because every time a human or animal has one, there’s a little damage done inside the brain which lowers the threshold for the next one. Maybe only fractionally, but it can cause other changes too – changes in personality and temperament. That’s one reason why it is so critical for humans with seizure disorders to have their blood levels tested regularly and to be utterly faithful about taking their meds. Best of luck.
If there’s no obvious ickiness on his blood work, we’ll probably go with potassium bromide. For infrequent seizures, it works very well and causes much less personality change.
It takes longer to reach optimal blood levels so it by itself is not always a great choice for a dog having frequent seizures.
He’s a rescue foster, so of course keeping costs reasonable is a big deal too. And keeping him continent and personable so someone will want him of course. 🙂 I’ve fostered a couple epileptics over the years and pheno is just not my favorite. Last one developed mood swings and started eating rocks on it. KBr was a much better fit once we got his levels up.