In the instance of the AVMA coming out against raw diet, the real story behind the matter was that a person on the executive board of the organization that requested that the AVMA institute a formal policy regarding raw diet just so happened to be a Marketing Director at Purina. hmmm.
Does anyone have the references to the studies allegedly showing that raw is harmful? I'd like to read some of them.
It is hard for me to imagine that there is much risk to raw when our dogs love nothing better than rotten road kill.
I'm sure there is SOME risk to eating raw, but the question to me is whether raw is worse than the alternatives.
I see it as the AVMA doing their job. Vets are should be practicing what is based in science and if you as the owner want to try something different then that is your right. But veterinary practice is an industry based in science and much of the homeopathic treatments just do not pass the test. I guess what I'm saying is... Should homeopathic/alternative treatments be prohibited - no. But neither should the right to prohibit unproven, unscientific and possibly ineffective or even dangerous treatments in an industry like vet medicine (among its members). My wife is a vet and a phd student and trust me, there is no grand scheme to only do studies and publish what the big pharmaceuticals want. If it works on a consistent and proven basis, it would not be considered homeopathic, it would be considered science.
For what it's worth, I feel that the reason so many veterinary organizations or individual veterinarians are against things like homeopathy or raw diets is because the majority of what is seen in practice are animals with problems (for the most part, you see these patients far more often than a healthy patient just there for annual exam/bloodwork/vaccines/etc). If those problem cases are on homeopathy or raw diets, it is automatically assumed that they are ineffective or simply not being used correctly. JMH(not scientifically-proven)O.
"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Anon
LIFE IS GOOD. "Do what you like, like what you do."
I didn't completely understand the difference between Homeopathic and Holistic but certainly do now. Even though it is one small area, it is in the same lines as the 'raw pet' food diet decision. One less tool in which to treat our dogs.
I'm sure the 'raw food' issue can be a whole long thread in itself, but anytime you are preparing food there is a chance of contamination. Just look at the chicken jerky treats from China, now why doesn't the AVMA go the next step and declare dog treats harmful to your dog's well being.
Yes, it is very political and the well being of our dogs is not the #1 issue anymore. Awareness of these issues by the pet owner is critical when you have a sick dog, especially when it is a competitive dog.
I agree that the AVMA is doing there job. As I see it "there job" is to promote the parctice of conventional veterinary medicine. I don't know that there is a "grand scheme to only do studies and publish what big phamaceuticals want." However, I do think TBell makes a good point about where the funding for most studies originate.
For example, Hill's Science Diet is "vet recommended" and sold at many vet offices (including mine). When my wife worked at Purdue U's School of Veterinary Medicine they sold Science Diet at a discount to the employees (40 lbs. bags cost $12 in the late 1980's). IMHO Hill's Science Diet is CRAP and in my experience veterinarians don't know crap about canine nutrition. What do they recommend 99% of the time? Hills, Purina, or Iams/Eukanuba. Who funds companion animal nutrition research? Hills, Purina, or Iams/Eukanuba. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Want an example from human medicine? How about high LDL cholesterol? Statin drugs like (Lipitor and Crestor) are amoung the most widely prescribed drugs in our country. They are proven to lower you LDL cholesterol. But, what about the disclaimer at the end of the of the commercial? It goes something like this: "The use of ________ has not been shown to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke." Then why the heck is your doctor prescribing the drug? To get a number down? IT DOESN'T SOLVE THE PROBLEM! It only tweakes a blood lipid value that isn't going to improve your cardiovascular health significantly. What should you do? Eat a Primal Diet (read that as "human appropriate diet") and exercise (like a caveman, move frequently and lift heavy objects on occassion). A Primal Diet is high in protein, moderate in fat (including saturated fats which have been unjustly demonized) with some carbs from fruits, vegetables, and nuts (but none from grains, sorry big Agriculture!). This type of Primal diet along with moderate exercise (especially weight training) will "cure" most cases hyper glycemia (high LDL and triglicerides), type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity! These are the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome which is caused by a high carb diet. Is the medical community too dumb to figure this out? Or is it that big Pharma and Big Agri don't fund research that might hurt their bottomline?
What if we all did this? You know, eat fresh, whole nutritious meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and berries (note the absence of "healthy whole grains"!). People would be MUCH healthier! They wouldn't need so much conventional medical treatment or pharmaceuticals. That's bad for the bottom line for the medical community, Big Pharma, and Big Agriculture. This isn't rocket science. Not even Brain surgery! It's proven common sense! Why don't we know? No Profit in the truth!
Sorry for the diversion from dogs. The same principles apply to canine diets IMHO. Dogs aren't farmers. They didn't evolve living with farmers. They don't need a diet rich in grains. In fact, they probably shouldn't eat a diet rich in grains! What is the first ingredient in Hill's Science Diet? Whole Grain Corn! "The Number One Choice of Veterinarians for their Own Pets!"
I missed the connection between this rant and the AVMA's stance on an unproven and controversial type of medicine whose principals were adopted 200 years ago when the average lifespan was twenty years less than today, when infant mortality rates were high, and before the discovery of the germ theory of disease. Any pet owner is not prohibited from using homeopathic agents, they are not considered drugs and are readily available to anyone who wants to purchase them.
People who object to the funding of research projects should understand that without those sources there would be no research. Find a cure and make a profit, is that not the American way?
I'll admit I'm out in left-field. Seems like I live out there! The human medical analogy was used as an example of how sometimes there may be no profit to finding the cure!
I am not defending homeopathy, nor am I trying to impugn modern veterinary medicine. I am trying to suggest that there are incentives for companies with a profit motive to protect their interests. That is also the American way!
Perhaps I'm too cynical. Hard not to be in this day and age.
There is certainly a connection due to the first post of the thread regarding the resolution by the AVMA to discredit a RAW diet, or ancestral diet (primal diet).
Swack goes on to say that the foods vets are recommending to their clients are primarily grain, not exactly what was on the ancestral or primal diet list. Is this because the pet food companies are so well connected to vets and vet schools? I'm sure you haven't seen Hill's Science Diet funding a study that compares a raw food diet to their high carbohydrate foods.
Swack is very much correct in saying that a 'real food' diet for humans would cure many diseases, and the same can be said for our dogs. The nutritional analysis of the ancestral diet shows that animals obtained 49% of their calories from protein, 44% from fats, and the other 6% from carbohydrates. Hill's Science diet contains 25% protein 16% fat and 51% carbs! Now where is the science behind that?
Now just go try and find the carbohydrate value on a bag of dog food! They don't have it for a reason. You have to figure it out for yourself.
Yes, there is much that the dog food companies aren't telling us and this includes the AVMA by the dismissal of a raw diet.
I am also not defending homeopathy, but trying to create awareness to AVMA decisions that affect our dogs.