Just received the newsletter from a friend of mine who is a Vetinarian. Read it. It will make you cry, then scream.
Twenty years ago this month Dr Breck Muir and I blew the whistle on the
junk pet-food/veterinary alliance.
Breck’s letter appeared in the Australian Veterinary Association News and
my piece was published in the Sydney University Post Graduate Committee
in Veterinary Science Newsletter. At the time we were optimistic that our
appeal to the better nature and professional integrity of vets would
strike a chord. Now, twenty years on, I believe we’ve seen some of the
worst professional blindness, cruelty, incompetence and corruption that
is possible to contemplate.
Instead of investigating and addressing the massive junk pet-food fraud
and the highest veterinary involvement in the scam, the global veterinary
profession has aligned itself ever more closely with the mass pet
Of course there are exceptions —- vets who put their heads above the
parapet in support of a natural diet. They deserve recognition however I
won’t name names. In vet circles it’s seen as something of a crime or at
least a mark of insanity if a vet advocates a natural diet according to
nature’s teachings. In this junk pet-food dominated world vets are
expected to be tame lap dogs who regurgitate junk pet-food inspired
Had the vet profession shown some leadership then I believe it could have
achieved massive benefits for pets, pet owners, the wider community and
the planet itself. The medical profession speaks out against junk food.
Increasingly doctors investigate the mechanisms whereby junk food and
periodontal disease give rise to morbidity and mortality of their
patients. Vets by contrast peddle ever more expensive brand name
products —- as their patients get sicker and sicker.
Twenty years of failed veterinary leadership created a vacuum filled by
opportunists, quacks and hucksters. Some vets manufacture junk cooked and
raw food and bogus supplements. Profit is their goal. And the internet is
alive with self-styled experts who seek power and prestige through
promoting their confected concepts.
Perhaps this is a low point. Let’s hope so. In an effort to keep the
original ideals alive I’ve reproduced both of the opening statements
below. Let’s hope that integrity and common sense come back into fashion
over the next twenty years.
With only days until Christmas I’d like to end on a happier note. We all
enjoy the gift of life on a wondrous planet. This year I turned 62 years
of age and I look back with gratitude for the life lived. What does the
future hold? Who knows? But I’m eager to find out. I hope that you’ve got
lots of wonderful memories and lots of extraordinary experiences to come.
Wishing you and your pets a Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthful New Year,
Canned pet food not the healthiest.
Dr Breck Muir, Australian Veterinary Association News, December 1991
The pet food situation has concerned me for some years, my feelings
brought to this by the current competitive marketing of various dental
work stations for veterinary use.
The scene as I see it goes like this: ‘Here is the best food ever made
for your dog Mrs Jones’ handing her a can of commercial dog food or dry
food, ‘but he may develop problems with his teeth, so here is a special
toothbrush and paste for yhou to use to clean his teeth regularly, and
then if that doesn’t keep the periodontal disease at bay then we have the
very latest in dental equipment just like our own dentist has, and we can
give Fido that perfectly enameled ivory grin’—- that he would have had
had you not fed him the commercial food in the first place.
Here we have the perfectly engineered commercial circle —- a problem
doesn’t exist, so we create one, and then come up with all the remedial
The infiltration of the commercial pet foods into our lives is one of the
great success stories of the business world. Gross sales figures for a
single product type is probably only bettered by petroleum products
We as a profession have been led by the nose by vested interests in to a
current situation where most younger vets actually recommend commercial
pet foods as the best available way of feeding domestic pets —- because
they have never known of any other way. Before they had their first pet
they were bombarded with constant mass media advertising instilling into
them that the various commercial foods were the only way to go, and when
they graduated and went to postgraduate nutrition courses again they had
this idea reinforced by visiting lecturers who actually mentioned brand
names in their notes.
My experience with commercial canned and dry pet foods is that they:
– are a prime cause of periodontal disease in all breeds of dogs and cats
– are associated with an increased incidence of gastric dilation and/or
– are a cause of diarrhoea in a substantial number of dogs
– cause intestinal ‘allergies’ with associated dermal pruritus and
behavioural changes in a significant number of cases
– are a prime cause of flatulence and offensive odour in dogs —- some
brands more than others.
We are objectively educated, of above average intelligence, trained to
observe and reason as undergraduates. We should develop the ability to
assess products for what they are in spite of extremely effective
advertising claiming otherwise. This is a mammoth and ongoing task for
all of us and certainly not just with pet foods.
In this case we should be giving clients advice to correct their pets’
diet towards more natural one and not justify the financial outlay on the
latest dental equipment available by advocating the wholesale feeding of
commercial pet foods.
Oral Disease in Cats and Dogs
Dr Tom Lonsdale December 1991 Control and Therapy Series No. 3128;
Mailing No. 163 Post Graduate Committee in Veterinary Science
The stench of stale blood, dung and pus emanating from the mouths of so
many of my patients has finally provoked this eruption of dissent.
The sheer numbers passing through the practice, when extrapolated to the
world situation, tells me that oral disease is the source of the greatest
intractable pain and discomfort experienced by our companion animals.
This is a great and mindless cruelty we visit upon our animals from the
whelping box to the grave. Just imagine having a mouth ulcer or toothache
for a lifetime.
The internal factors are these:
Puppies and kittens cut their deciduous teeth between two and six weeks
of age. An inevitable consequence of this is gingivitis. A diet of
processed food ensures lack of gum massage and the gingivitis persists.
The growing animal develops grooming behaviour and adds hair and faecal
materials to the accumulated food scraps clogging the interdental spaces.
Between four and six months of age the permanent teeth erupt into a soup
of blood, pus and saliva. The gingivitis is now well established and not
infrequently one finds a young kitten or puppy with a complete set of
deciduous teeth hanging from inflamed gingival shreds.
Even on a diet of processed food the deciduous teeth must eventually fall
out. The permanent teeth come to occupy a diseased mouth and by this time
the animal has learned not to chew on anything because of the pain
The exquisite mechanism of teeth and gums, designed by nature to be
cleaned, massage and stressed daily, is left to rot. Compare mining
machinery properly maintained which can excavate a mountain but by disuse
can be rendered useless.
A lifetime of inescapable pain is bad enough. The sequelae of
endocarditis, iliac thrombosis, nephritis and all those other entities
attributable to a permanent septic focus finally condemn this situation
as being intolerable.
The external factors are these:
Foremost are the pet foods which are promoted as ‘complete diets only
water needed’. Along with petroleum and coffee, pet food is one of the
biggest industries world wide.
Reacting to the now universal dental needs of our animals the dental
instrument, the dental machine and even the imitation bone industries
I believe many veterinary practitioners have reacted passively, perhaps
providing some dental care as an after thought and virtually no advice.
Since cats and dogs don’t complain, owners don’t realize and don’t seek
advice. Many vets just don’t seem to be pro-active in this vital area.
As vets we need to provide more than palliative care. Brushing teeth and
regular prophys are not enough when advice on diet and food to massage
the gums is so vitally important.
What’s to be done?
a. The internal system
Help them to control their two bouts of physiological gingivitis before
it becomes pathological. Older larger dogs need raw bones and cats need
raw meat on the bone.
b. The external system
The external commerce driven system did not exist before the 50’s and now
it seems such an inescapable part of life. It may take a while to alter
The profession can do much to re-educate itself and in turn the public. A
few practice surveys and university based research projects would set the
The pet food manufacturers will need advice on the problems caused by
processed food. One pet food company gives bi-annual ‘prophys’ to its
research animals. (personal communication)
However, they may be persuaded to voluntarily print cautionary advice on
What benefits can we expect?
Innumerable. Pets will be fed on cheap unprocessed bi-products some of
the time. The environment will benefit, clients will be an average $1000
per animal/per lifetime better off. Certainly the pets can be expected to
live longer as they enjoy their lives seeking to ‘steal bones out of the
As vets we will be happy to see more pain free, healthier pets and
Christmas gift ideas
Work Wonders: Feed your dog raw meaty bones
The easy-reader on canine nutrition suitable for every dog (cat and
ferret) owner, young and not so young. Ideal for trainers, breeders,
groomers, dog walkers and other professionals who wish to give their
clients a gift that goes on giving.
Raw Meaty Bones: Promote Health
Provides essential reading on carnivore diet, health and the junk pet
food industry/veterinary/fake animal welfare alliance. Ideal gift for pet
owners, veterinarians, lawyers, dentists, doctors, teachers, scientists
and anyone needing the facts upon which to build a better world for pets,
pet owners and the wider community.
All proceeds help the Raw Meaty Bones campaign.
Bligh Park Pet Health Centre Holiday opening
For readers in the Sydney and Blue Mountains region just a reminder that
we shall be open at regular times except on public holidays when we shall
be providing an emergency service. Please phone: 02 4577 7061.
Christmas feast for pets
We’ve got plenty of ox hearts, liver, bibles, tripe and gullets plus
sheep and pig heads, chicken frames and quail portions for your dogs,
cats and ferrets.
Recently inadvertently I deleted some unanswered emails. Sorry if I
failed to answer one of your emails.
We welcome copies of correspondence/emails/faxes for possible inclusion
in future RMB Newsletters.
Please circulate, distribute or reproduce this newsletter as you wish.
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