Dr. R. L. Wysong
October 1996


    Although there is much that can be learned about animal health from advances in human medicine and nutrition, there is much also that should be ignored or unlearned.  This is not to say there are not significant parallels between the biology of companion animals and humans.  In fact there is very little difference between the two, and what benefits your health will also likely benefit your pets. 
    What has to be differentiated, however, is marketing from substance.    Rather than really instruct animal owners how they can optimize pet health through restoring the diet to its more natural character, pet food manufacturers and their simplistic slogans try to capture the naive marketplace already duped by similar propaganda in the human food industry.    For example, “100% complete and balanced” diets is just such a nonsensical slogan.  Or, how about attempting to get people to believe their pets need pasta,  gravy,  high or low protein, or foods that have been “proven” in feeding trials or which have achieved certain magic percentages by analysis.
    The real hoopla right now concerns the fads of fiber and fat.  Increase your fiber and decrease your fat is the supposed panacea for all human woes.  Neither is true.  Fiber is not needed; more whole natural foods are needed which contain not only fiber but the whole spectrum of important nutritional elements. 
    Fat is another thing.   Everybody is afraid of it.  Fat provides an egregious example of how you can be misled in feeding your pets by following the lead of human food and fads.  Some pet food manufacturers are following the lead  of the human food processing industry and considering the use of synthetic fats such as Olestra to create special dietary formulas.  They have bought into the simplistic notion that obesity is just a matter of calorie counting.  If this were the case, then Olestra would indeed be a godsend since fat could be virtually removed from the diet, and the calories contributed by fat (the most dense source of calories in food) could be eliminated.
    Although this new synthetic fat technology is being promoted by some nutritionists, it  totally neglects the important value of lipids (fats and oils) and their quality in the animal diet.  This is discussed at some length in my book, Lipid Nutrition–Understanding Fats and Oils in Health and Disease.  Animals need a variety of unaltered, unoxidized fatty acids in the diet belonging to the omega-3, -6 and -9 classes.  Additionally, there are fat soluble vitamins such as A, D and K as well as carotenoids and other unknown fat soluble nutrients which would be lost by eliminating or severely restricting real fats in the diet.
    In the case of Olestra, a variety of problems have already occurred in humans. Olestra not only replaces many of the fat soluble nutrients mentioned above, but also will cause those that are consumed to be carried out of the digestive tract unassimilated.  Olestra also can cause flatulence, diarrhea and anal leakage.  Hardly what you need happening to your pet in the house.
    Synthetic fats such as Olestra and hydrogenated oils with their trans-fatty acids are among the most serious scourges in modern foods.  Yet they are becoming ubiquitous in the human food supply, and now animal food producers are following suit.
    Watch labels, read company literature and be sure the feeding program you are using for your pet is not based on the notion that synthetics are as good as the real, natural thing, or that nutritionists can provide for you a truly “100% complete and balanced” pet food which you should feed exclusively, day in and day out to your pet.
        Wysong Health Letter, (WHL Vol 10-7: 7)
    The cause of a food allergy is not a particular ingredient in a food,  it is a malfunctioning immune system in your pet.
    Allergy, or I should say allergies since most people and animals are multiple-allergic, are simply one of the many chronic degenerative diseases plaguing today's society as it has been extracted from its natural environmental roots.   Foods turned toxic by processing and toxic chemicals added to our food, water and air supplies can lie at the root of allergies.
    Even the routine administration of vaccines may disrupt the immune system in such a way as to trigger allergies.   Drugs and antibiotics may disrupt the natural microflora in the digestive tract, or otherwise cause digestive dysfunction.  This can permit the growth of disease-causing organisms that adversely affect the immune system, or permit the passage of large undigested antigenic molecules into the blood.
    Refined flours found in many commercial pet foods, sugars and high fructose corn syrup can react in food processing, such as in the Maillard reaction, to create sugar-protein compounds that are allergenic.   In this regard, all processing in one way or another changes and distorts the basic label ingredients, perhaps rendering them potentially allergenic.
    This alteration of the ingredients by processing is one reason why common so-called allergy laboratory tests are highly misleading.  The "chicken," "corn," "soybean," "wheat" and so forth that is tested in a laboratory is not the same antigenically as these same ingredients mixed together in a processed food and heated under high pressure.   Therefore, the only way to really know if an animal is allergic to a processed food is to feed the food itself – regardless of what its ingredients are, since the laboratory test does not test for the complex antigenic matrix of  a finished food, but only tests for singular ingredients.
    People attempting to find foods not containing certain ingredients because of laboratory allergy testing are beginning a never-ending futile plight.  If they were to find a food their pet was not allergic to, and then feed it exclusively as a so-called "100% complete and balanced" diet, the pet would likely soon develop an allergy to that food as well.  Then on the search would go again.  The basic cause of  the allergy is not being addressed.   It’s like continuing to turn off the fire alarm while letting the fire smolder in the closet. 
    Think of allergy as a sick immune system.  Try to restore the pet's entire environment to its more natural state, as I discuss repeatedly in the Companion Animal Health Letter.  Be sure to cycle through the various Wysong Diets and supplement a variety of fresh, whole, natural foods.  Supplementing EFA With Fish Oil, Pet Inoculant and Biotics is extremely important since these supplements help maintain a healthy digestive tract, assist in the more complete digestion of food, and provide important fatty acids and other nutrients necessary for a healthy immune system.  
    An absolute cure is not always possible, but control of allergies often is.  By addressing the true cause – your pet's immune system – you will not be required to have repeated laboratory testing performed, give dangerous medications, or search for weird (e.g. something like an   antelope and barley formula) "100% complete and balanced" processed diets in an attempt to solve the problem.  These bandaids will certainly never cure the problem, and are only stopgap measures fraught with a variety of side effects that may actually leave your pet in far worse health.
    Many ear problems in pets can result in an excessive accumulation of ear wax, exudate, hair and debris in the ears.   The ear canal in cats and dogs does not enter straight horizontally to the ear drum as in humans.  Instead, it is shaped somewhat like a tuba or saxophone (See drawing.)   In order to reach the ear drum you first go in horizontally, then you must go down vertically, make a 90 degree turn, and go horizontally again before you reach the ear drum.
    This configuration can result in accumulations down deep within the canal that are not easily removed. (See Drawing #1)   Infection from bacteria, molds and parasites can sometimes cause an incredible amount of pus and ear wax production in the canal.  This can be extremely resistant to treatment because it is very difficult to get medication down in this inaccessible ear canal, through this material to the ear tissue.
    To assist in the removal of such material and the restoration of the ear canal tissues to health, increase the amount of Wysong EFA With Fish Oil in the diet.  This will decrease the viscosity of the ear exudate and facilitate its removal, as well as provide a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.  Additionally, Wysong has two ear products which can be used to apply to the ear to help restore health.  One is an oil soluble droplet called Otisol-O which should be used when the ears are plugging.  The other is called Otisol and is water soluble, and can be used for routine ear cleaning.  If excessive hair plugs the ear this can be pulled out with Wysong blunt tipped nylon forceps.
    When putting Otisol in the ears, hold the tip of the ear and pull it up vertically to allow the ear drops to run down into the vertical part of the ear canal.  While still holding the ear flap vertically, grab the funnel shaped cartilage you can feel through the skin underneath the ear opening and massage it to allow the medication to work down into the ear canal.   (See above drawing)      If you don't do this, but rather simply throw a few drops at the surface of the ear canal and run, the animal will quickly shake its head and the centrifugal force will force the drops out.  They will never reach deep in the canal where needed, but it makes a nice pattern on your walls and ceiling.
    An additional treatment that will help with ear problems is to apply moist heat to the outside of the ears for 5 to 15 minutes, or as long as your pet will allow, a couple of times a day.  Simply moisten a wash cloth with water as hot as your skin can tolerate it and then apply this to the outside of the animal's ear canal, massaging the canal and whispering sweet nothings to try and get him to hold still and allow you to do this as long as possible.  To prolong the heat use instant hot packs available from Wysong.
    Occasionally, ear conditions are refractory and will need medical examination and treatment.  A quick course of topical antibiotic treatment may be needed in some instances.  If your veterinarian prescribes oral antibiotics as well, be sure to increase the dose of Pet Inoculant at the same time, since oral antibiotics will disrupt the healthy microflora in the digestive tract of your pet.
    There is evidence that fertility in both modern humans and their companion animals is on the wane.  This is most likely a result of the general ebbing of health from extracting ourselves further and further from our natural environmental roots.  Additionally, a host of toxic elements is being introduced into our environment which also take their toll.
    Here are some suggestions, however, to reverse this trend. 
    1.  First off, be sure you are following the entire Wysong Feeding-For-Health Program.  Building the general health of your companion animal will spill over into health of the reproductive system.   Don't overlook the need for regular exercise and daily exposure to fresh air and sunshine. 
    2.  There are a variety of estrogen-like compounds that have been introduced into our environment and our food supply.  These estrogen-like compounds can disrupt the delicate balances within the reproductive hormonal system and lead to fertility problems.  Everything from pesticides to household chemicals to compounds that gas off from packaging materials can be estrogenic.  Herbicides and pesticides used on the lawns, shampoos, flea products, and the like all may cause an estrogenic fertility sapping effect.  Clean up the environment of your pet.
    3.  I'm not going to suggest a specific dosage on these supplements, but I will tell you what has worked with humans and you can adjust as you see fit for your specific pet:  A) zinc 120 mg twice a day for 2 to 3 months, B) arginine, an amino acid, 4 grams per day for three months, C) ginseng, the dosage recommended for humans is on the labels, D) antioxidants beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E - and here I will recommend Wysong Food ACE as the best natural form of these supplemental antioxidant vitamins, E) coenzyme Q-10, 60 mg daily, F) glutathione 600 mg a day for two months.
    An estimated million and a half people per year suffer an adverse reaction to drugs administered to them in hospitals.   About 20% of all disabling adverse events due to medical care are a result of reactions to drugs, and 45% of these were clearly due to human error.  Injuries due to drugs are in fact the most frequent cause of procedure-related malpractice claims.
    Although I know of no such statistics for use of pharmaceuticals in animals, there is no reason to believe the results are not similar.  There is probably, on a whole, less impact on the companion animal population because people are less inclined to spend the money for veterinary care because they do not have the blank check provided by insurance carriers.   Additionally, the dangers decrease because animals live shorter lives and thus are less likely to experience decades of drug use like that to which humans subject themselves. 
    If medication is ever necessary for you or your pets, do all you can to find out everything possible about the drug, and why it is being used, and what its potential adverse effects are.  If possible, obtain the drug insert from your veterinarian so you can read what the contraindications are.  Pharmaceutical companies are required by law to reveal adverse effects they have discovered in their research.  If you cannot get the drug insert, then go to your local library and get a Physician's Desk Reference and look the drug up there to learn about it.
    The question to ask  is whether the potential benefits from the drug are worth the risks. 
    And remember, health and healing will not ultimately come from a pill, but rather result from the lifestyle you create for your companion animal.
        JAMA, July 5, 1995: 35-  (WHL Vol 9-10: 3)
    Although dogs and cats are capable of synthesizing their own vitamin C, there is evidence that this ability may be compromised in pets fed modern processed foods and subjected to the variety of oxidants and toxins in our modern environment.  Many veterinarians have experimented with the use of vitamin C in therapy including intravenous vitamin C, and have reported favorable results. 
    For upper respiratory conditions,  particularly that are related to allergies, high doses of vitamin C have an antihistamine and antioxidant effect.  The way large doses of vitamin C are given is to slowly increase the amount by 250 to 500 mg per day until loose stools result.   Then the dose is backed off slightly until stools normalize.  This high dosage is then maintained to give a therapeutic effect and then should be slowly tapered off over a period of several weeks, rather than stopped abruptly. 
    If large doses of vitamin C are given and then stopped abruptly, the body  may be thrown into imbalance and be unable to adequately catch up in producing adequate vitamin C,  and thus a withdrawl susceptability to more illness may actually be created.
        Health Revelations, June 1995: 8 (WHL 9-11: 7)