Keeping dogs out of vets since 2011

Important Notes on Thiamine (Vit B1) for Dry and Raw Feeders…

fish with or without thiaminase

Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Why Dry Pet Food is so Deficient so Regularly and a Warning to Raw Feeders Concerning Raw Fish…

Thiamine (vitamin B1) is an essential nutrient for dogs which means they can’t make it themselves. It functions in the energy department. A lack of it can result in fatigue, weakness and weight loss in your dog. Over time a deficiency it can result in neurological issues such as an abnormal heartbeat, seizures and paralysis, death too. Known as beriberi in humans, a Polish physician with the rather envious name of Cashmir Funk first discovered thiamine via deficiency experiments in dogs in 1912.

Thiamine deficiency is one of most common reasons for dry pet food recall…

It thus should come as with some alarm to dry feeders that a thiamine deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in ultra-processed pet food. Taken from my forthcoming book “Raw Science”…

Thiamine (vitamin B1) appears to be one of the trickiest nutrients for manufacturers. AAFCO (2008) states “because processing may destroy up to 90% of the thiamin in the diet, allowance should be made to ensure the minimum nutrient level is met after processing”

Manufacturers are aware of this and so include lots of thiamine mono-nitrate to replace all the vitamin B1 that they know will be destroyed during processing. Sadly, analysis of major pet food recalls over the eight years to 2017, for just vitamin deficiency/excess, all of which occurred in dry and canned pet food, reveals that thiamine is at the centre of five of them. (For more details see www.fda.gov “Animal and Veterinary Recalls Archive.”)

  • 2017 J.M. Smucker Company (twice). Possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1)2016 Addiction Pet foods, elevated levels of Vitamin A
  • 2016 Fromm Family Foods, elevated levels of vitamin D2016 Nestlé Purina, “may not contain the recommended level of vitamins and minerals”
  • 2015 Ainsworth Pet Nutrition voluntarily recalled their cat food for “potentially elevated vitamin D levels”
  • 2014 Natura Pet recalled cat food due to vitamin insufficiency
  • 2013 Premium Edge, Diamond Naturals and 4health dry cat food formulas voluntarily recalled due to possibility of low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • 2012 Nestlé Purina voluntarily recalls their therapeutic canned cat food due to a low level of thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • 2011 Wellpet LLC voluntarily recalls canned cat food less than adequate levels of thiamine (vitamin B1). WellPet decided to recall “out of an abundance of caution”
  • 2010 Blue Buffalo Company recalls their dry dog food because of possible excess of vitamin D. Blue Buffalo learned of this potential condition in its products when it received reports of 36 dogs diagnosed with high Vitamin D levels after feeding on these products
  • 2010 P&G recalls canned cat foods due to low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • 2009 Diamond Pet foods announces recall of Premium Edge Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball Cat Food for the potential to produce thiamine deficiency. 21 cases confirmed in cats eating this product

Of course, this is only IF an issue is detected. For example, it was astute researchers at Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) that led to the recall of Blue Buffalo dry food in 2010 for dangerously high levels of vitamin D. They began receiving samples from all over the country from hypercalcemic dogs. DCPAH endocrinologist Kent Refsal thankfully noticed a pattern and the team investigated further by telephoning the individual vets in charge of each case. Once the common factor was identified, they alerted the FDA who sprang into action. Four years on the situation is no better. Markovich et al. (2014) observed a wide range of thiamine concentrations in pet foods evaluated. 12 of 90 pet foods were below the minimum protocol set out by AAFCO. They concluded that clinicians should consider thiamine deficiency as a differential diagnosis in cats with acute neurologic dysfunction.

While there is LOTS of thiamine in most raw pet foods, certain fish will cause problems…

There’s loads of thiamine in most raw foods as they are not processed. However, some fish contain an enzyme called thiaminase which, as the name suggests, breaks down thiamine, making it unavailable to the body. Even small amounts of this enzyme can play havoc with thiamine levels. Hence it is strongly recommended that no raw feeders or “complete” raw product are based on fish that contain thiaminase. I did a quick list of the more common types below in a chart, hope it helps.

fish with or without thiaminase

So, if your premade says it contains “whitefish” you need to ask them what species are in there.

Salmon is OK thiaminase-wise, but then you are feeding large amounts of the most intensively, drug-treated animal out there. Watch this Panorama exposé and tell me that’s something you want your dog eating full time.

farmed salmon is poor quality meat

Then there’s the issue of what they’re fed. Salmon are top predators. They eat other fish. Most farmed fish are fed meal pellets made up of an assortment of garbage but some of the better kinds to grind up lots of really small fish in there. What results is a bioaccumulation of nasty crap in the salmon fat, including heavy metals and PCB’s and all sorts that we have poisoned our oceans with.

I recommend not using too much of it (in their diet or yours, toxic crap and destroying the environment).

Share This Article

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on email
Email

Categories

Need Advice?

1-to-1 Online Consultations

Should you need a little hand holding, I’m here to help. Consultations are typically 1 hour in length: 15 minutes to read your presubmitted questionnaire and prepare for your pet, 30-40 minutes with you directly via Zoom / Skype and 10-15 minutes to write your summary email, including all necessary tips and their diet plan. It also includes a follow up email should you need it.

MY BEST SELLER

5/5
"Finally! A well-written, well-referenced thorough examination of the raw dog food debate. A fantastic gift for your favourite veterinarian."
Dr. Karen Becker

Subscribe

For the most up-to-date advice, support, tips and ticks from Dr. Brady and his team, please subscribe below .

Related Articles

Torn ACL in Dogs
Dog Health

Torn ACL in Dogs: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Cost

So what is the ACL, and where is a dog’s ACL? The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is located in the centre of the knee (stifle) and is responsible for stabilising the hind leg when the dog is straightening, bending or rotating the leg.  In this article, we will be discussing: What is an ACL tear

Read More »
symptoms of bloat in dogs
Raw dog food

Bloat in Dogs: Causes and What to Look Out For

Bloat with torsion in dogs is a scary, painful, often life threatening and all too common occurrence in large, deep chested dogs . As the science is yet to pin a definite culprit, there is a lot of confusion. In this extensive review piece I present the most up to date thinking on the matter and make some important dietary recommendations for at-risk dog owners.

Read More »
Raw dog food

Everything About Raw

Everything You Need To Know Abut Raw Dog Food In Ten Minutes… Below is a short summary on ten key articles in raw feeding. Each article is linked out to the larger article should you fancy doing a little more research. What do dogs eat? What is raw dog food? The benefits of feeding raw

Read More »
How Much Raw Food Should I Feed My Dog
Raw dog food

How Much Raw Foods Should I Feed My Dog? Dog Food Calculator

Initially, moving to a raw diet for your dog can seem a little tricky. One of the most likely questions when shifting to raw dog food is how much should I feed my dog? The answer can be simple (2.5% of his body weight per day, if an adult) but thereafter the figure varies depending

Read More »
What causes yeast Infection In Dogs
Dog Health

Yeast Infection In Dogs: Causes, Treatments, Foods To Avoid

Extreme itchy and irritated skin with a foul odour can indicate a yeast infection. This is a very common problem in particularly dry-fed dogs today.  Yeast infections in dogs are highly uncomfortable and over time they can cause severe damage to the affected areas. Knowing how to treat yeast infections in dogs is thus a

Read More »
Raw dog food

A Fairly Thorough Review of Hemp, CBD and Ending With Advice for Pets

To understand where we are with CBD, why mothers have to walk the length of Ireland to get permission to use a herbal product that prevented epilepsy in her child suffering 300 back-breaking and life-endangering seizures a month, an entirely natural product that is supported massively by the science as beneficial in the treatment of

Read More »