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Old 07-04-2014, 08:46 AM   #1
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Default Dr Ian Billinghurst wrote a great letter about how he found raw feeding

I wanted to share this great article that Dr Ian Billingshurst, a vet out of Australia wrote about his personal experiences with his own breeding dogs. He is credited for bringing the raw diet to the public in an age of highly processed, highly marketed dried dog food.

I thought it would be a nice bit of insight for those curious about raw feeding from an experienced vet's perspective. I will do it in two parts as it's quite large

Dr. Ian Billinghurst

By defining something – or somebody- you are also limiting it. That is why I try not to be defined. However, if I am to be defined (and therefore limited) then I have to admit that by profession I am a Veterinary Surgeon. I am also a writer and a lecturer with my favorite topic being the nutrition of pet dogs and cats. My most important piece of writing is the book “Give Your Dog a Bone.” This book has changed the thinking of tens of thousands of people worldwide. More importantly, it has improved the health of these peoples dogs. Many of these people now look to me as the authority on feeding pets their evolutionary diet. Some say that “Give Your Dog a Bone” has become their “Bible.”

The fact that an evolutionary diet promotes health comes as no surprise. That a grain based product such as commercial pet food is destructive to a dogs health should also be no surprise. However, clever marketing (combined with very poor science) has resulted in these atrocious products being the major source of food fed to most pets in developed countries. And yet, feeding our pets according to the dictates of evolution (which is sound science in every sense of the word) is currently regarded by some as a fad, which they assume, will be short lived. I don't think so!

How did I arrive at the point where “Give Your Dog A Bone” could be written? My high school years were spent at an agricultural high school (Hurlstone) on the western outskirts of Sydney. Here my love of plants, animals and all things natural was fostered through working with cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, the market garden the orchard, and more formal studies in agriculture and biology. There was never any question. My career would be both biological and medical.

I did not start out as a vet. In 1966 I graduated from Sydney University with a degree in Agricultural Science. I spent that year as a research Scientist at Orange Agricultural Research Station about 200 miles west of Sydney. The next four years were spent as a high school teacher during which time I obtained my Diploma in Education. However, despite having a young family, the desire to become a vet burned strongly. Its a long story which I shall not go into here, but in 1976 I realized my dream and graduated with an Honors degree in Veterinary Science from Sydney University.

At that time I believed the years studying Agricultural Science and teaching had been an enormous waste. In hindsight, the knowledge gained in that first degree, the teaching experience and the studies in education have combined to shape my unique approach to things veterinary, particularly as regards nutrition and disease. That early education allowed an understanding of the fundamental role that sound nutrition (translated today as evolutionary nutrition) plays in health. This concept dominates my writing, lecturing and research as well as my day-to-day veterinary practice.

Since 1976 I have worked full time as a veterinary surgeon. Although city born, my reason for becoming a vet was to work with cattle and horses. However, Fate, God or the Universe had other plans. Shortly after graduating I abandoned my dream of being a large animal practitioner. Family responsibilities pushed me to the Southern suburbs of Sydney where I established a small animal practice. Since that time events have kept me treating mostly cats and dogs and I must admit, a surprising number of horses. Right now I am in general veterinary practice in Bathurst New South Wales Australia. And still treating mostly cats and dogs, some horses and the very occasional bovine and budgie.

After being in practice for about six years I decided to heed the advice of my veterinary training and feed my own pets (as I was advising my clients at the time), a scientifically formulated complete and balanced commercial product. I wanted to make sure my dogs (particularly) stayed in the best of health. This was mainly because as a family, we had begun to breed and show dogs. I knew that they had to have the very best. I was determined that from now on I would do things properly.

My veterinary training had taught me that a diet based on raw meaty bones and household scraps, was a very poor way to feed pet cats and dogs. We had been taught that commercial pet food was the ultimate in pet nutrition. I selected the very best brands of commercial pet food, and I looked forward to outstanding fantastic results. How wrong you can be!

Over the next four to six months my own animals – who were supremely healthy - began for the first time ever to develop the same range of problems that my clients pets were suffering. However, the sad truth is, I failed to notice. It was only in retrospect that I could put this picture together. It took two years of watching my pets’ health deteriorate before I realized something was wrong. And that realization did not hit me until AFTER I removed the commercial pet food from their life, and witnessed the incredible transformation that occurred.

At that time (1984) I had begun to study acupuncture and was being introduced to a broad range of complementary healing modalities including whole food nutrition. This led me to read a book on pet nutrition by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. Her book was an inspiration. I did not agree with everything she had to say, but her words made me realize that my old method of feeding, using bones and food scraps was probably much closer to an ideal diet for pets than the approved veterinary method which relied on commercial pet food. A glut of lamb at that time made it easy for me to make the switch. For the next few years my pets were fed mainly lamb – together with general household food scraps. However, we did not have to wait years to see results. The change in our pets was immediate and dramatic. We were amazed. Like most people experiencing this incredible improvement in health, we had not realized the extent to which our pets health had deteriorated on commercial pet food. I should also add, there was another pleasant surprise. Apart from being simple and easy, we discovered this method of feeding was also very inexpensive.

By now it had become clear to me that processed pet foods, not only did not promote good health, they produced positively bad health. This dismal failure of commercial pet foods to keep my pets healthy forced me to read what ever I could find that dealt with nutrition. I needed to understand nutrition both at a fundamental level and also at a very practical level. I was also looking for answers to the question – “Why does commercially processed pet food cause health problems?” I eagerly devoured books by Pat Lazarus, Drs. Pitcairn and Belfield together with numerous others on human nutrition. Eventually I realized a very simple truth. Raw meaty bones and vegetable scraps were very close to the evolutionary diet of cats and dogs. No cooking or processing to remove the “unwanted” or “unnecessary” bits. No adulteration with chemicals. No massive amounts of cooked grains. The evolutionary approach to nutrition was obvious and common sense. It was also good science.

Clearly, small animal nutrition was one area where my veterinary training had let me down. I had to rethink the way I answered the question “What should we feed our cat/dog?” This being the most common question we vets are asked.

Having witnessed first hand the health destroying attributes of commercial pet food together with the health promoting benefits of an evolutionary diet, I had no option but to share this information with my clients. I began to hand out simple diet sheets to any client who was interested, mostly the owners of young pups and people whose pets had severe or long term health problems.

The results were consistent and seemingly amazing as over the next few years we had the wonderful experience of clients extolling the virtues of this way of feeding. We watched as puppies that followed this regime grew beautifully and trouble free. We were astounded as unhealthy pets experienced the same dramatic improvements in health that ours had, with many animals becoming totally drug free.

Most noticeable among the problems that cleared up were skin and arthritic problems. However, we saw improvements across the broad spectrum of health issues that we encountered on a day-to-day basis. Over a period of several years this included incredible improvements in reproductive health, and also in orthopedic problems in young dogs of the giant breeds. Problems such as Hip and Elbow Dysplasia.

By now I realized that most of the disease problems I was seeing in cats and dogs were due to nothing other than poor nutrition. That most of those diseases did not have to be. They could be eliminated with correct nutrition. To me this was both a revolutionary thought and an incredible revelation. I wanted to tell everybody! The only problem as I saw it back then was that this philosophy of feeding may not be accepted by my fellow vets who rely heavily on ill health in their patients for their daily bread.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:47 AM   #2
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By the mid to late 1980’s these revolutionary thoughts regarding nutrition and disease in cats and dogs had taken over my thinking. I had become obsessed. By the end of the 1980’s I had spent years questioning the owners of both healthy and unhealthy pets about their pets’ diets. I was told continually that healthy dogs lived and thrived on raw meaty bones. In Australia at least - Raw Meaty Bones were the major contributor to health in both cats and dogs. It was commercial dog foods that were the major cause of ill health.

I should point out that during our undergraduate years, we veterinary students accepted the proposition that disease in cats and dogs was inevitable. Rather like human beings! We accepted without question the idea that disease was not something that was in any way preventable. There were a few exceptions such as the small number of diseases we vaccinated animals for, and a limited number of specific deficiency diseases. Those aside, our training did not involve looking for any such basic causes of disease. Our job was to diagnose disease and on the basis of that diagnosis institute treatment using surgery and drugs.

It was not part of our training to look for basic (e.g. nutritional) causes of disease, and follow that up by instituting sound management (e.g. dietary) regimes as a preventative measure. Most certainly the idea of preventing the vast majority of the diseases we see in cats and dogs via nutrition was an unheard of concept. By contrast, the concept of disease prevention via nutrition was (and is) well accepted in farm animals being used to produce meat, milk, wool and eggs etc.

Disease prevention via nutrition is still an unheard of concept in small animal veterinary circles. However, by the mid to late 1980’s it had become obvious to me that those – never discussed - basic causes of disease had their roots in poor and inappropriate nutrition. I was also aware that while most medical practitioners and veterinary surgeons had no idea of this concept, many of the patients and clients of those two healing professions, had begun to embrace this approach to health for themselves, if not for their pets.

The word had to be spread! And who better to spread it - I thought - than my fellow vets. That meant telling them. I penned an article in a newsletter circulated by the Postgraduate Foundation in Veterinary Science of the University of Sydney. It explained to my colleagues my experiences with this evolutionary (revolutionary) diet. I outlined its enormous and far reaching implications for our patients’ health. This article reached every vet in Australia.

My thoughts were greeted (1986/7) with (almost) deafening silence. I received phone calls and letters from about ten vets all of whom wholeheartedly agreed. However, it was obvious that by talking to vets I was not about to set the world on fire. Being a slow learner, I did try once more. The next attempt was a paper circulated at a Postgraduate conference dealing with small animal and equine nutrition in 1988. This too passed without comment by the profession. I was totally ignored. Was I ignored because my ideas would reduce patient numbers and therefore income? Not at all. I was ignored because these ideas did not fit the current mode of thinking. The current dogma was – and still is – that small animal nutrition is something left to the experts employed by pet food companies. That the “so called” super premium products are the pinnacle of pet nutrition. If the manufacturers of super premium pet foods and the prescription diets don’t know the answers, then it would not be possible for any else to. On that basis, my thoughts on the matter did not deserve a moment of their time.

However, from my point of view the message was too important to let lie. Since the vets could not be persuaded to believe me, let alone tell pet owners, I would have to educate the pet owners directly. This required a book. The book’s aim was simple. It was to free pet owners from the tyranny of only being able or allowed or trained to feed their pets processed commercial pet food. I wanted them to know that there was a healthy simple cheap and viable alternative. I was also aware that most books on nutrition are deadly boring, difficult to understand and highly impractical. I was determined that mine would be easy to understand, highly practical and hopefully entertaining.

There was so much to be said! And not one of the books that I had read was saying what I was experiencing, particularly with regards to the importance of bones. I could not find one book which promoted the feeding of raw meaty bones. All the books on so called natural feeding relied heavily on grains and with the exception of the book by Levy specifically warned against feeding bones.

Because cats and dogs have different food requirements, (cats are obligate carnivores while dogs are omnivores with a carnivorous background)), I decided they each needed their own book, and that I would write the dog book first. Thus was born “Give Your Dog a Bone.” This book was launched at a 3 day Bichon Frise conference in western Sydney on the 17th November 1993. The book was advertised in all the canine breeder magazines throughout Australia.

“Give Your Dog a Bone” proved an instant hit, with many breeders adopting its ideas. Since that time it has been making steady inroads into the minds of breeders and dog owners throughout Australia and around the world. By 1995 Give Your Dog a Bone had found its way to England where it developed a steady following. This culminated with an invitation for me to be the principal speaker in a four seminar lecture tour in England during the month of September 1997. The seminars proved an outstanding success. They were well attended and began a strong movement of raw feeders in England. They also attracted interest in the United States.

By 1997 “Give Your Dog a Bone” was beginning to sell in ever increasing volumes in the United States. Following the success of the English tour I was invited to present an even more extensive series of seminars across the United States. The American tour proved an enormous success. It was during this US tour that I released my second book “Grow Your Pups With Bones.” This new book has formalized the concept of BARF, an acronym that stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw (or Real) Food. I wrote this book for breeders and the owners of large dogs. It covers feeding to prevent (and treat) skeletal disease in growing pups and feeding for breeding. When I wrote, “Give Your Dog a Bone” I was confident it would be successful in some limited sort of way. However, I had no idea that it would start a revolution in raw feeding that would sweep across Australia, England and more particularly North America the way it has.

Dr Billinghurst lives with his wife Ros, on a small farm on the outskirts of Bathurst, 10 minutes from their surgery. Their family consists of 5 children, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 1 budgie, 5 geese and 17 cows. Life is a busy round of working in their Veterinary practice, traveling, writing, and gardening. Most of their spare time is spent dealing with the many BARF inquiries. Theirs is a life of dedication, helping pet owners both at home and throughout the world, restoring health to their pets.

Let me wish you and your dog(s) - GOOD HEALTH
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:02 PM   #3
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I've heard a vet nutritionist refer to his book as "The book of babble"
LOL!
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Old 07-04-2014, 01:26 PM   #4
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Many readers will say it's not well organized in it's writing method and could have used a better editor. But they do not take away from the fact that the information is completely sound and still honest and truthful.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:00 PM   #5
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I tend to ignore anything that rambles. No time to try to decipher someone's thoughts.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teegy View Post
Many readers will say it's not well organized in it's writing method and could have used a better editor. But they do not take away from the fact that the information is completely sound and still honest and truthful.
Oh no, that's not why it was referred to as the book of babble. It was criticized because the author has not based his "writings" on sound science. I don't know how an opinion of one lone Australian vet/farmer is "sound" if not scientific but then again I haven't read his rantings/writings. As for honesty, it's all about perspective. One can find a leprechaun and pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if one just believes hard enough.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:53 PM   #7
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Interesting article that I found written by Brennen McKenzie, DMV regarding just this very topic and addresses Dr. Bilinghurst.
Raw Meat and Bone Diets for Dogs: It’s Enough to Make You BARF

Some of the most rewarding interactions we have with our pets involve food. Most dogs respond with gratifying enthusiasm to being fed, and this activity is an important part of the human-animal bond. Providing food is also part of the parent/child dynamic that in many ways characterizes our relationships with our pets. Giving food is an expression of affection and a symbol of our duty of care to our pets.

Because of these emotional resonances, pet owners are often very concerned about giving their pets the “right” food to maintain health and, if possible, to prevent or treat disease. This has allowed the development of a large, and profitable commercial pet food industry that aggressively markets diets with health-related claims. This industry resembles in some ways the pharmaceutical industry. It is regulated by the FDA, and also by individual states, according to a somewhat Byzantine set of standards established by the FFDCA (the guiding document governing the FDA) and by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a private organization made up primarily of state and federal feed control officials. Thanks to this regulatory structure, imperfect though it is, there is a good deal of solid science and research behind the products and claims the industry produces.

Like all for-profit concerns, the pet food industry also has its share of flaws. Some of these are relatively subtle, such as the probably unavoidable tendency for industry-funded research to come up with findings favorable to the funder’s products. Others are more serious, including rare but devastating instances of malfeasance. One example of the latter is the incident in 2007 in which melamine was substituted for wheat gluten as a protein source in pet food manufacturing, leading to the deaths of hundreds, possibly thousands of pets who ate contaminated commercial foods.

And like “Big Pharma,” the pet food industry is often demonized by those who wish to promote unscientific or alternative veterinary medical treatments or theories. Anyone who has ever accepted a dime in research funding or a bagel at a conference (with or without cream cheese) from a pet food company is automatically an industry lackey whose opinion is worthless regardless of their credentials or expertise. This demonization of the pet food manufacturers is often used as a marketing tool for alternative nutritional theories and products.

One of the most popular unscientific notions sold to pet owners these days is that of feeding diets based on raw meat, typified by the BARF diet. According to the a leading proponent of this idea, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, BARF stands for Bones and Raw Foods or Biologically Appropriate Foods (though I confess other interpretations have occurred to me). Raw diets are frequently recommended by veterinarians and other who practice homeopathy, “holistic” veterinary medicine, and other forms of CAM. This is not surprising since, as you will see, the arguments and types of reasoning used to promote the BARF concept are also commonly used to defend other forms of alternative veterinary medicine. Let’s take a look at the arguments some BARF proponents make for this diet.

Some Inconvenient Truths

Now let’s have a look at the problems with this raw dog food marketing propaganda. To begin with, the concept of “evolutionary nutrition” ignores the simple fact that taxonomy and phylogeny are not destiny, nor do they reliably predict the specific details of a species’ biology, including its nutritional needs. Sure, dogs are in the order Carnivora, but so are giant pandas, which are almost exclusively herbivorous. Functionally, dogs are omnivores or facultative carnivores, not obligate carnivores, and they are well-suited to an omnivorous diet regardless of their taxonomic classification or ancestry.

Domestic dogs did branch off from a wolf ancestor, and current DNA evidence suggests this occurred some 100,000-135,000 years ago.2,3 Though the data are unclear as to what morphologic or ecological changes might have occurred following this initial divergence, and while it is likely that there was much ongoing genetic exchange between dogs and wolves even after they diverged, it is still the case that dogs have not been wolves for a very long time. However, a distinct phenotypic divergence of dogs and wolves followed the development of more sedentary agricultural habits by many human groups some 10-15,000 years ago, which placed new selection pressures on our canines companions.31 Since then numerous anatomic and behavioral changes that have occurred first as a result of living with humans and sharing our food. And even more dramatic changes have been wrought on dogs in the last about 3000 years as a consequence of intensive selective breeding. Domestic dogs exhibit many features of neoteny, the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. They have smaller and less robust skulls and dentition, and numerous features of their skeleton, GI tract, and other anatomic structures are significantly different from wolves. 4-6

Of course, anatomy does not always correlate with function anyway. All humans have essentially the same GI tract from an anatomical perspective, but when someone who is lactose intolerant chugs a glass of milk, he or she may be treated to a visceral demonstration of the fact that anatomy doesn’t necessarily predict function. But in the case of dogs and wolves, the claim that they are anatomically identical with respect to what is an appropriate diet is simply not true. If you try to picture a pack of Chihuahuas bringing down and savaging an elk, the impact of thousands of years of artificial selection is obvious. Other breeds may be more like wolves in appearance, but they are none of them truly wolves. Dogs have lived with humans, eaten our table scraps, and been intensively bred for features we desire, none of which is likely to make them ideally designed for the diet of a wolf.

Of course, even if BARF advocates could demonstrate that dogs were functionally equivalent to wolves in terms of diet, the evolutionary nutrition argument would still fail because at its heart it is nothing but a form of the naturalistic fallacy.

The average life expectancy of wolves in the wild is considerably lower than that of captive wolves, and disease, parasitism, and malnutrition are important factors in the mortality of wild populations.7-9 Captive wolves live longest and are healthiest when fed — guess what? — commercial dog food! This is the recommendation of the leading specialists in captive wolf husbandry and medicine, and it is largely the result of evidence that the previous practice of feeding raw meat based diets to captive wolves led to poorer quality nutrition and health than the current practices. Certainly, raw meat and bones are often used as enrichment items or bait for husbandry purposes, but always with an awareness of the risks they pose, and never as the primary diet. 10-12

BARF proponents persistently confound ingredients with nutrients. They imagine that because wild canids get their nutrients from raw whole carcasses that this must be the only appropriate source of nutrition for all canids, including domestic dogs despite the fact they have been eating our cooked leftovers for tens of thousands of years. This is contradicted, however, by extensive research in canine nutrition and by the generations of dogs who have lived long, healthy lives eating commercial pet foods.

Which leads to the second pillar of the BARF argument, the safety and nutritional adequacy of commercial pet foods. Like all knowledge based on science, our understanding of the nutritional needs of dogs is incomplete and always evolving. However, admitting that we do not know everything is not tantamount to admitting we know nothing. The basic nutrient requirements of our pets are well-established by decades of research, and despite the claims of BARF proponents there is no evidence that nutritional disease are widespread among pets fed balanced commercial diets.
Commercial dog foods are formulated according to AAFCO standards based on extensive nutritional research. These foods are testing through laboratory methods for nutrient content before and after processing, and many are subjected to feeding trials to determine their digestibility and the adequacy of their nutritional content as fed to healthy dogs. These reference standards and limited feeding trials are, like the basic pharmacology and preclinical testing of pharmaceuticals, not perfect, and it is certainly likely that advances in our understanding of dogs’ nutritional needs as well as epidemiologic studies of dogs fed commercial diets will uncover changes that need to be made in the formulations of commercial diets. But the data we do have strongly supports the nutritional appropriateness of these foods. 13,14
By contrast, homemade and commercial raw diets are seldom tested for nutritional adequacy, and when they have been tested they have usually failed to meet known nutrient requirements. 15-18. The knowledge of established nutritional science concerning the adequacy of commercial pet diets, imperfect though it may be, is certainly superior to the near total ignorance of the nutritional adequacy of most homemade of commercial raw diets.
There are many specific criticisms of commercial dog foods made in support of the BARF concept, but there is little evidence to support most of them, and some are clearly false. There are far more than I can deal with in a reasonable space, but I will address a few of the more common of these claims.
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:00 PM   #8
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Yet another vet Dr. Remillard addresses your above referenced BARF diet. Here is a cut and paste of several of her responses to people that have asked questions.

https://www.petdiets.com/Ask-the-Nutritionist

1. The wolf's diet includes animal flesh, bones, innards, fruits, vegetables and grasses. Do you realize that raw diets include all of these items, as well over the course of several weeks?
Dr. Remillard's response:
Yes, I read the Billinghurst Book of Babble, made myself go around the BARF webring and waded through the BARF FAQ and other "writings". I am very familiar with the concept and the raging testimonials absent of fact, reason or truth.
If one understood intermediary metabolism and employed just some degree of logic, it would become obvious that a sporadic "fest or famine" nutrient intake (over 1-3 weeks) for the adult dog could not be optimum. Most of us are seeking optimal nutrition for our pets. The body runs like an engine. Your car engine needs water, gasoline, air, oil and coolant all at the same time to run optimally. If you provided oil one day, then water another day and finally gasoline next week, you would not win any races or ever make it out of the driveway. Why not allow your dog's engine (intermediary metabolism) the opportunity to run optimally by providing all essential nutrients at the same time?


2. Where did you get your education about Raw Food Diets....not from Dr. Ian Billinghurst, DVM, I'll bet!
Dr. Remilard's response:
We base our recommendations on a sound, scientific evidence, from a wide range of professional resources and experiences. We have to make our professional recommendations based upon seeing the big picture, and cannot be overly persuaded by testimonials and heresay. Yes, I have read Billinghursts writings, and please note, he does not hold a DVM. Ian Billinghurst is an Australian holding a 1976 BVSc degree which is a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. The Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) is the veterinary degree granted in the American system. The interesting point is that he was not trained at a School of Veterinary Medicine in the USA which would indicate that he has very limited first-hand knowledge of how veterinarians in the USA receive their nutritional training and more importantly how the pet food companies may have or are currently influencing that training. Therefore all reference he makes in that regard should taken in the limited context of his training.

3. Are you trying to say that a dog should not eat as he [they] did for thousands of years? And that the incidences of serious disease have [has] not gone up astronomically in the last fifty or sixty years...oddly, about the time that dogs have been eating cardboard from bags?

Dr. Remillard's response:
Neither you nor anyone else knows the prevalence of dogs eating the BARF-type diets or the true incidence of deaths related to the feeding of bones. However, most responsible people will not deny that there have been problems related to feeding that diet type and call the risks for what they are. Even Dr. Billinghurst (pg 10) agrees that bones can cause GI obstructions. Yes, the incidence of reported diseases might be up but for several reasons totally unrelated to pet foods.

1. Dogs now live in our houses and sleep in bed with us. Most dogs today do not know what is a doghouse. When they get sick, owners recognize disease sooner then previously because of this closer contact.
2. Owners care for pets as family members and are willing to spend much more money on their pets then previously which aids in the actual diagnosis of a disease as oppose to simply 'taking them for a one way trip out back of the barn'.
3. The practice of Veterinary Medicine has improved in the diagnosis and treatment/management of diseases. Just take a glance at the SNOMED system if you are not yet impressed with how far medicine as evolved in just the categorization and defining of disease states.

With the combination of owners willing to paying and DVMs armed with better medicine, the number of reported diagnoses and treatable diseases will appear to rise, but not the true incidence of a disease may not change. Your question implies that you know the true incidence of some diseases in the canine population 50-60 years ago and can therefore make such a comparison. But you do not know this, and you cannot make such comparison. Simply because you hear more about a disease does not mean the incidence or even the prevalence is greater than before.

A romanticized view of evolution cropping up on the web is reversionary "new age" trash and clouds the issue. Evolutionary pressure, contrary to current popular notions, does not indicate the very best or optimal diet but merely indicates a minimal diet for survival. Simply because a species survived long enough to reproduce and propagate is no vindication that their diet was optimal. Look around the world today, many animal species (and people) are living on diets known through scientific investigation to be far less than optimal, but some live just long enough to reproduce once or twice. The mere survival of any species is a poor testimonial to the fitness of their diet. Not all nutritional imbalances kill, most just impair, mar and maim.


And there you have it from Dr. Remillard DMV who is a nutritionists
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by megansmomma View Post
Yet another vet Dr. Remillard addresses your above referenced BARF diet. Here is a cut and paste of several of her responses to people that have asked questions.

https://www.petdiets.com/Ask-the-Nutritionist

1. The wolf's diet includes animal flesh, bones, innards, fruits, vegetables and grasses. Do you realize that raw diets include all of these items, as well over the course of several weeks?
Dr. Remillard's response:
Yes, I read the Billinghurst Book of Babble, made myself go around the BARF webring and waded through the BARF FAQ and other "writings". I am very familiar with the concept and the raging testimonials absent of fact, reason or truth.
If one understood intermediary metabolism and employed just some degree of logic, it would become obvious that a sporadic "fest or famine" nutrient intake (over 1-3 weeks) for the adult dog could not be optimum. Most of us are seeking optimal nutrition for our pets. The body runs like an engine. Your car engine needs water, gasoline, air, oil and coolant all at the same time to run optimally. If you provided oil one day, then water another day and finally gasoline next week, you would not win any races or ever make it out of the driveway. Why not allow your dog's engine (intermediary metabolism) the opportunity to run optimally by providing all essential nutrients at the same time?


2. Where did you get your education about Raw Food Diets....not from Dr. Ian Billinghurst, DVM, I'll bet!
Dr. Remilard's response:
We base our recommendations on a sound, scientific evidence, from a wide range of professional resources and experiences. We have to make our professional recommendations based upon seeing the big picture, and cannot be overly persuaded by testimonials and heresay. Yes, I have read Billinghursts writings, and please note, he does not hold a DVM. Ian Billinghurst is an Australian holding a 1976 BVSc degree which is a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. The Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) is the veterinary degree granted in the American system. The interesting point is that he was not trained at a School of Veterinary Medicine in the USA which would indicate that he has very limited first-hand knowledge of how veterinarians in the USA receive their nutritional training and more importantly how the pet food companies may have or are currently influencing that training. Therefore all reference he makes in that regard should taken in the limited context of his training.

3. Are you trying to say that a dog should not eat as he [they] did for thousands of years? And that the incidences of serious disease have [has] not gone up astronomically in the last fifty or sixty years...oddly, about the time that dogs have been eating cardboard from bags?

Dr. Remillard's response:
Neither you nor anyone else knows the prevalence of dogs eating the BARF-type diets or the true incidence of deaths related to the feeding of bones. However, most responsible people will not deny that there have been problems related to feeding that diet type and call the risks for what they are. Even Dr. Billinghurst (pg 10) agrees that bones can cause GI obstructions. Yes, the incidence of reported diseases might be up but for several reasons totally unrelated to pet foods.

1. Dogs now live in our houses and sleep in bed with us. Most dogs today do not know what is a doghouse. When they get sick, owners recognize disease sooner then previously because of this closer contact.
2. Owners care for pets as family members and are willing to spend much more money on their pets then previously which aids in the actual diagnosis of a disease as oppose to simply 'taking them for a one way trip out back of the barn'.
3. The practice of Veterinary Medicine has improved in the diagnosis and treatment/management of diseases. Just take a glance at the SNOMED system if you are not yet impressed with how far medicine as evolved in just the categorization and defining of disease states.

With the combination of owners willing to paying and DVMs armed with better medicine, the number of reported diagnoses and treatable diseases will appear to rise, but not the true incidence of a disease may not change. Your question implies that you know the true incidence of some diseases in the canine population 50-60 years ago and can therefore make such a comparison. But you do not know this, and you cannot make such comparison. Simply because you hear more about a disease does not mean the incidence or even the prevalence is greater than before.

A romanticized view of evolution cropping up on the web is reversionary "new age" trash and clouds the issue. Evolutionary pressure, contrary to current popular notions, does not indicate the very best or optimal diet but merely indicates a minimal diet for survival. Simply because a species survived long enough to reproduce and propagate is no vindication that their diet was optimal. Look around the world today, many animal species (and people) are living on diets known through scientific investigation to be far less than optimal, but some live just long enough to reproduce once or twice. The mere survival of any species is a poor testimonial to the fitness of their diet. Not all nutritional imbalances kill, most just impair, mar and maim.


And there you have it from Dr. Remillard DMV who is a nutritionists
Yes, she is, but let's not forget her PhD.
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Old 07-04-2014, 06:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 107barney View Post
Yes, she is, but let's not forget her PhD.
Yes, we can't leave off that FACT!
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:03 AM   #11
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Lew Olsson and Kymythy R. Schultze are two other animal nutritionists that have great information. To each their own. I present information as a place for people who are curious to start and move forward, allowing them to build a knowledge base and form their own opinions.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:29 AM   #12
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Phew, this was a tough article to get through / read bc it was unnecessarily verbose. I had to skim parts in order to get through it, but I got the gist of most of it.

I don't feed Prey Model raw as I feel it's too unpredictable and I feel that pre-made raw is more nutritionally balanced since it's AAFCO certified. That said, I have nothing against prey model and I respect others' choices to feed this way.

My issue with this article is the way it kind of purports that feeding raw is some kind of little miracle for general health and for specific health reasons. He mentioned a few times about these "skin issues" just miraculously clearing up...what skin issues? Infections? Dandruff? Dry skin? Seborrhea? What? He was WAY too vague in telling me *what*, exactly, was fixed by feeding raw -- bc he does make claims that he saw these incredible changes - but then leaves you w/ no real info / data / details. I don't like that.

I do believe that fresh / raw / whole foods are best for both dogs and humans, but it's not realistic that everyone can or will feed that way. I don't feed myself this way, at least not the to extent I think I should.

Thanks for posting this, it's an interesting personal opinion on his view of the BARF diet.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:06 PM   #13
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I bought his book because so many people believe he is so knowledgeable about nutrition. Honestly, it is page after page of the opinions of one man - opinions that are very concerning to me. I'm not even talking about raw versus cooked meat either.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:13 AM   #14
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you are welcome Wylie's mum. It's just an introduction letter from him it's not a play by play on every detail.

I just think it's a starting point, for some who are interested in learning more about raw feeding and how to get the balance right. To be certain your dog is getting everything it needs, people need to do their research and get informed. There are plenty of resources and people out there, who have been feeding raw in either the pre-made version or prey model, some like me mixed both, for decades. It's good to seek the guidance of an animal nutritionist if you feel that you are just a little afraid of letting your pet down.
And as we all know, some people's pets, whether it be a dog, cat, ferret or hedgehog, just don't take to raw.
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