Something Smells at the Veterinary Evidence Journal…

Following on From Yesterday’s Post, Here is Another Example of a “Study” Published by the Veterinary Journal That Leaves far Questions Asked Than Answered. Something is Going on…

Another recent work by Veterinary Evidence Journal. This one authored by a lady with a degree in science, entitled “In Adult Dogs, Does Feeding a Raw Food Diet Increase the Risk of Urinary Calculi Formation Compared to Feeding a Complete Dry Kibble Diet?“.

Once again, the article begins with the ever patronising (italics added by me for effect):

During consultation you are asked by a client if a raw food diet supports the prevention of kidney stone formation in dogs because they have read on an internet forum that a raw food diet is a healthy and natural alternative to kibble that alleviates a number of health issues.

This is the very same patronising introduction as was used in the deeply flawed paper we highlighted yesterday, produced by the same journal, and again focusing on raw feeding.

You are asked by a client for advice on improving the dental health of their dog after they read on the internet that periodontal disease negatively affects their dog’s wellbeing. They read that feeding raw treats helps improve the dental health of their dog and are now asking you if there is evidence to support this.

Veterinary Evidence Journal, 2018 “In Dogs Does Feeding Raw Dietary Treats Reduce or
Prevent Periodontal Disease?”

Again, these authors apparently analysed the available literature on the subject of raw feeding, this time in relation to kidney issues in pets, and AGAIN only came up with a single study (Dijicker 2012) which they based their whole “paper” on. This study by (Dijicker 2012) checked out the blood chemistry of 23 dogs fed a raw diet. After the trial they found these dogs had higher levels of creatine in their blood, something studies have repeatedly shown to be the case in raw fed dog populations. Top veterinary canine haematologist Jean Dodds repeatedly highlights that this is to be expected in dogs and cats fed species appropriate diets as these animals are now eating a diet containing an optimum amount of protein, not the minimum for survival over 6mths in a cage, as is the case with cereal-based dry food. You can only compare raw fed dog populations blood work to animals fed proper food, not ultra-processed and grossly inappropriate, cereal-based, low protein nonsense, as is the accepted norm by dry-supporting vets today.

BUN levels in raw fed dogs average 19=8.8 – 22mg/dL, compared to 15.5mg/dL in dry fed dogs.
Creatinine levels in raw fed dogs average 1.20mg/dL, compared to 1.07mg/dL in dry fed dogss.

Leading veterinary haemotolotigst Jean Dodds, 2015

Unfortunately, in their scare-riddled discussion, this crucial point was somehow missed by the authors.

Furthermore, so quick were they to highlight their concern regarding the possible link between “high protein diet and the increased risk of renal damage” in dogs, suspected by nobody outside of the dry food sector, they neglected to mention that studies repeatedly show, dogs in chronic kidney failure do better on higher protein diets. This is taken from our kidney disease article:

As meat eating carnivores, dogs are shown to thrive on high protein diets (Robertson et al. 1986, Bovée 1991, Finco et al. 1994, Hansen et al. 1992, Laflamme et al. 2008). In fact, their ability to process protein is so high, that prior to feeding them the high-dose protein diets, many of the studies authors cited above actually removed 75% (and as much as 90%) of the kidney function in healthy dogs (by chopping off supply to the rest of the organ), to replicate chronic kidney failure. All these studies unequivocally prove that dogs with CKF can safely deal with and do better on higher protein diets than low protein dog food.

For references please see Kidney Disease in Dogs, Part 2, DogsFirst.ie

Regardless, the authors conclude,

The evidence provided by the single study identified is weak and the outcomes can neither support nor challenge the hypothesis that a raw food diet increases the risk of urinary calculi compared to a kibble diet. Therefore, professionals working within the veterinary science or nutrition field should proceed with caution when advising clients and rely on their professional experience until more evidence is generated.

This is the very same conclusion as yesterdays post which called itself a “knowledge summary” of the knowledge around feeding raw meaty bones to dogs for dental hygiene, almost verbatim. A knowledge summary that used a single study and neglected eight others that supported the hypothesis they couldn’t bring themselves to accept, something 15mins on Google Scholar would have told them. And not a single one against the hypothesis.

Considering the weak evidence on raw bones and lack of evidence on other types of raw treats, veterinarians and veterinary nurses should be cautious when recommending raw treats to support periodontal health in dogs. Additionally, they should advise clients accordingly by relying on their clinical experience rather than the literature until more and better quality evidence is generated.

Veterinary Evidence Journal, 2018 “In Dogs Does Feeding Raw Dietary Treats Reduce or
Prevent Periodontal Disease?”

This is outrageous. Both these papers published in Veterinary Evidence have used same intro, conclusion and general style by self-selecting a single study from the wealth of evidence available.

These “papers” make no effort whatsoever to get to the bottom of the question they are asking but both end by urging “caution” with raw feeding as a result.

Their plan is, so very clearly, to swamp the data (and our vets) with junk science.

We need to find out who owns this journal.

Dr. Conor Brady

After a doctorate studying the effects of nutrition on the behaviour and gut morphology of animals, five years with Guide Dogs as a trainer and supervisor, some success on Dragons Den with the finest raw dog food company and the last few years both writing and speaking on canine nutrition and health, I can say with some confidence that the pet food and drug industry cares not a jot for the health of your pet.
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