- zo 10 sep 2006, 18:53
Nou perfect! Zou jij dan het resterende stukje willen doen? Dat zou heeeeeeeeeeerlijk zijn!
For the first time in millions of years of canine evolution, our dogs were deprived of fresh whole raw foods and forced to eat a diet based on masses of cooked grain, meat meal and bone meal together with artificial calcium. For the first time in their long evolutionary history, dogs were deprived of the diet they had evolved to require. That massive dietary change was followed in succeeding decades by breeders selecting larger breeding stock with rapid growth rates; they teamed this with an increasing emphasis on excessive exercise.
These changes, but most especially the dietary change, proved to be the ideal set of conditions to allow certain genes to express themselves in the form of skeletal disease.
The two greatest dietary dislocations suffered by our dogs from the 1930’s onwards have been the removal from their diet of whole raw foods, particularly the raw meaty bone and the addition to the diet of masses of starch. The removal of raw meaty bones from the canine menu has removed from our dogs’ diet, their usual source of calcium and other healthy bone forming nutrients. The use of starch, a seemingly harmless substance as the major source of energy in the canine diet is also far from innocent. In fact, this problem alone is responsible, not only for much of the skeletal disease in young pups, but also for most degenerative disease suffered by older dogs raised on grain-based pet foods.
This new artificial dog (puppy) food produced both subtle and overt nutritional excesses and deficiencies, including a total loss of protective nutrients found only in fresh whole raw foods. We now recognise the enormous nutritional contribution that cartilage makes to normal bone growth; artificial foods totally lack this vital nutrient. What these artificial foods do contain, is artificial calcium. Artificial calcium is added to these foods in excessive amounts. We now recognise this as a major cause of skeletal disease, interfering as it does with normal bone growth. Being based on starchy foods, this new artificial dog food is a diet designed to support rapid growth and fat deposition; as it does with livestock. Puppies forced to eat this food experience accelerated growth rates and obesity. Part of the reason for this is that diets high in starch cause damaging hormonal changes, most particularly hyperinsulinaemia. Excessive insulin is a potent growth promoting factor. Insulin promotes fat storage and it also promotes inflammation. The net result has been and continues to be, enormous physiological insults to the skeletons of growing pups; producing pathological bone growth, which may be summarised as young inflamed bones, way too soft and too sick to support the massive weight and trauma, to which they are subsequently exposed.
This catastrophic change in food (and exercise) began to wreak havoc on our dogs’ bones and joints from the 1930’s onward and continues to do so with our dogs today. These health damaging attributes of modern pet foods remain unchanged from the original formulations of the 1930’s; these damaging effects are noted particularly with the larger and giant breeds, whose genetic makeup renders them particularly susceptible.
In summary, excessive exercise, will traumatise, inflame and re-shape soft, rapidly growing, poor quality bones. Genetically susceptible pups of the giant breeds develop skeletal disease as their rapidly increasing weight outstrips the ability of their inflamed, soft and badly formed bones to support them.
As you can see, the causes behind Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are much more than genetic, but a question remains, where do the genes fit in to this story? If genes are the basis of the problem, why has the attempted removal of these genes failed to fix the problem? The answer is, simple. We have not fixed the problem because the genes have not been removed.
Despite years of not breeding from dogs, which demonstrated faulty skeletal structure (according to radiographic evidence) and only breeding from dogs with (relatively) sound bones and joints, (according to radiographic evidence), the genes which cause those problems still remain. Why is this so? Because nobody has asked– “which genes are we trying to eliminate?”
The genes we must eliminate are very well known. They appear in most articles dealing with Hip and Elbow Dysplasia but nobody has recognised them as such.
Could it be that simple? Yes it could; that simple and that difficult. The major difficulty is that these genes also happen to code for the very distinctive characteristics of the particular breeds that are susceptible to these skeletal diseases as young pups.
The genes which pre-dispose for skeletal problems in our young dogs are the genes which code for the following characteristics: 1) large size, 2) fast growth rate, 3) small muscles, 4) great obesity, and finally… 5) genes that code for poor engineering, or to put that another way, genes that code (very often) for the very essence of the breed.
The genes we want to eliminate to solve these bone and joint problems are the exact same genes we want to keep! To retain our breeds in their recognisable form, most of the genes which pre-dispose to skeletal disease are the genes we must not remove; they are ones we select for as being the genes, which build the unique characteristics, the distinctive look and character of our giant and large breed dogs.
And so it has been that from the 1930’s onwards, we have been producing the perfect conditions for skeletal disease in young dogs, with these problems being particularly noted in the larger, faster growing, more poorly muscled, more obese, and poorly engineered breeds.
This makes any attempt to remove skeletal disease from young dogs using a genetic solution, an exercise in futility. To solve the problem of bone and joint disease in our young dogs, we have to re-visit the basic underlying factors, which caused these problems to appear in the 1930’s; the factors, which continue to this very day. These are the factors we must eliminate.
The key to eliminating skeletal disease in our dogs is found in diet and exercise which (happily) are the two factors over which each breeder and dog owner can have maximum control.
We must return our dogs to their evolutionary diet and their evolutionary exercise regime. Of greatest importance is to find modern foods that are equivalent in nutritional terms to the evolutionary diet. This is simple.
An evolutionary diet is based on 50 to 60 percent raw meaty bones, 20 to 30 percent raw crushed vegetables and fruit, ten to twenty percent offal, no artificial calcium, together with simple additives such as kelp, cod liver oil, fish oil, flax meal, eggs and yoghurt. This diet is not to be fed in enormous amounts. Pups are to be grown slowly, as nature intended. Enough is fed to ensure that the pups grow at about 60 to 70 percent of their maximum growth rate.
Exercise along evolutionary lines is vital; bones require normal stresses for normal growth; neither too much nor too little.
The only “bone healthy” exercise for juvenile dogs is PLAY. Plenty of play, not rough play, but play where the puppy stops as soon as it becomes tired. Until the bones are mature, that is the only exercise that should be allowed - as Nature/God/Evolution intended.
Raised this way, no matter what genes they have inherited, the vast majority of pups will develop a sound and healthy skeletal structure, with little or no trace of Hip or Elbow Dysplasia. However, it must be understood, that even if we adhere to these principles, a small percentage of pups will be found that develop skeletal problems. These pups have directly acting genes. Genes that express themselves no matter what the diet or the exercise regime. Now is the only time we would consider the possibility of removing this individual from the breeding programme, this individual has genes we definitely do not want.
Should we still radiograph our dogs? Yes! By combining a radiographic programme with sound management, we will maximise the chance of raising sound pups, and be able to eliminate any genes, which are directly responsible for causing skeletal problems. Meanwhile, we have no choice; we must keep most of our predisposing genes, so as to maintain our breed characteristics.
In a nutshell, healthy management requires that pups are grown slowly, kept slim, without artificial calcium supplements, on an evolutionary type diet, high in raw meaty bones, offal and vegetable material, together with other whole raw foods. This is the only logical way to ensure normal healthy bone growth. Until the pup’s bones are mature, the only exercise that should be allowed is play with age and size matched peers. This will produce normal stresses allowing normal growth.
These are the simple but powerful tools, which have kept dogs’ skeletal structures, sound for millions of years. Employing them will eliminate most Juvenile Bone Disease, no matter what “nasty” genes are present.
Are you, as a breeder or a veterinarian or a dog owner barking up the wrong tree when it comes to producing sound skeletons in young dogs? Think carefully before dismissing the ideas in this article. To not use those simple but profoundly effective tools, can make breeding and rearing dogs a difficult and painful exercise, and very costly from a monetary, an emotional and a genetic loss point of view. On the other hand, by adopting sound dietary and exercise regimes for growing pups, makes rearing healthy dogs with a sound skeletal framework a simple and pleasurable exercise.
Also realise, when these basically sound ideas are opposed by veterinary professionals, those professionals, mostly have no idea, no understanding of the material being presented in this article. They have no idea of the damage wreaked on the health of companion animals by modern diets; they have no idea of the value of evolutionary nutrition in producing sound bones and joints and maintaining healthy longevity.
Additionally, as a profession, veterinarians have a huge stake in maintaining the status quo. It appears more ‘professional’ and has definitely been far more profitable, to stick with the ‘high tech’ approach to eliminating hip and elbow dysplasia. The use of specialised radiographs and complicated hip scores that can only be assigned by highly trained veterinary radiologists fosters elitism and generates dollars. There is no kudos and no on-going profit to be made from pursuing low-cost effective solutions. It does not matter that the high tech solutions are useless. Indeed, the fact that they are useless ensures their ongoing value to the veterinary industry. Such procedures, because of their futility, have the ability to generate dollars indefinitely. Hip and elbow dysplasia have become yet another major profit centre for a veterinary industry, which sadly, like its medical cousin, maintains ill health, based on poor diet, as its stock in-trade.
For more detailed information about feeding and exercising young dogs according to evolutionary principles, may I suggest you read my book “Grow Your Pups With Bones”
Click here to purchase Grow Your Pups With Bones
Copyright Ian Billinghurst.
Laatst gewijzigd door Lizzy op zo 10 sep 2006, 19:48, 1 keer totaal gewijzigd.