Dr. R. L. Wysong
May 1996
    The most common inquiry we receive is from pet owners who want recommendations for a specific health problem their pet is experiencing.  In some cases people who have been using Wysong Diets for quite some time might even be having a health problem with their companion animal.  Someone might wonder why their dog has developed arthritis when it has been fed Adult Maintenance for the past two years.  Or a cat owner may be puzzled by why her cat has developed a urinary stone blocking its bladder when it has been fed Feline Vitality for its entire life.
    Although it would be nice if diseases could always be reducible to simple cause and effect, such is not usually the case.  Most serious diseases in fact only manifest themselves after many years have elapsed since the cause (or causes) began.  In this time a wide variety of circumstances may have actually contributed to the development of the condition. 
    Inherent in modern domestic life is almost certain toxic contact from the air, water, food, and the home environment.   Disease may result from any one or all of these.  There may also be a genetic weakness, or a nutritional deficiency or imbalance.
    Though modern medicine is geared toward attempting to achieve a specific diagnosis and prescribing a specific cure - and we have all been led to believe this is to be expected - very seldom is there a specific diagnosis identifying a specific cause and a remedy that can be prescribed that causes a reversal and cure.
    So it would be very difficult for us here to be able to satisfy the need for a silver bullet cure for health problems even if we were in a position to fully evaluate cases.  (Nor would we be legally permitted to do so by the FDA.)  But what we can do is help you to restore balances into your pet's life to give it the best chance of recovering from and preventing disease.  
    That is the whole point of the Wysong Feeding-For-Health Program.  Wysong is not just a better pet food to serve as a ď100% complete and balancedĒ diet which can be fed day in and day out for an animal's life.  Although I continually stress throughout all our literature and labeling the need to fresh-food supplement and give appropriate nutritional supplements as described on page 4, many people have not discovered the importance of this concept.   Still others ignore it, opting for the convenience of simply feeding one food day in and day out.
    To me it is a marvel that all pets fed exclusively any processed foods are even alive.  It is a testimony to the fantastic adaptability of organisms that they are able to withstand such nutritional abuse.
    So if you call with a health problem, almost regardless of what the problem is, we are going to tell you pretty much the same thing.  Cycle through the Wysong Diets using the principle of variety.   You can cycle-feed, as I mentioned in the January issue, Junior Growth to elderly dogs, Senior Less Active to adult dogs, cat food to puppies and Anergen to kittens.   Also remember - fresh foods are a must on a daily basis.  Such variety including the canned Diets and also incorporating the supplements Biotic, Pet Inoculant and EFA, combined with daily fresh air, sunshine, exercise and lots of tender loving care is the formula for optimal health. 
    There are simply no short cuts.
    It can be argued that the most essential class of nutrients is minerals.  This can be said because essentially all other nutrients can be created by living organisms.  Lipids (fats and oils), carbohydrates, proteins and enzymes are all created within living tissue.  However, none of these processes would be possible if minerals were not present.  Minerals are our direct link to the Earth itself, since this is where minerals are derived.  The other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins are our link to the sun, since they embody the energy derived from it.
    We all know the importance of calcium and phosphorus in the bones.  But what is less well known or understood is the wide range of important physiological functions a host of other mineral elements play.   For example, zinc is essential for the function of over 200 biochemical processes.   Chromium is important for the proper functioning of insulin so that glucose can be properly metabolized.  Iodine is important for thyroid function.  Iron is critical in red blood cell formation and selenium is a critical component of the important antioxidant glutathione peroxidase.  The list could go on and on discussing hundreds of important biological functions that depend upon dozens of major, minor and trace minerals.
    Minerals take on increasing importance in our modern day, because increasingly the foods we eat and feed our pets are derived from farm lands that only have three elements replaced to the land each year after crops are continually harvested.  NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) in these fertilizers does not replenish the land with the dozens of minerals these plants take up and deliver to their crops.  Over the years our food supply becomes increasingly impoverished of minerals, while horticulturists busy themselves trying to create weak hybrids of farm crops that are absolutely dependent upon NPK fertilizers and pesticides for their survival.
    The ideal source of minerals is as they are complexed within plant and animal tissue foods.  But if these plants and food animals do not consume crops that have the minerals,  then their tissues will not contain them.  The problem is not solved by simply going out and buying calcium tablets to give your pet ďto build strong bones.Ē 
    Supplementation of modern diets is very important to deliver not only the major minerals, but the dozens of minor and trace minerals that are and are not yet known to affect health physiology.  
    Further, not only is it important that minerals be available in the diet, but that they be in a proper mix, inorganic and organically complexed to create the best results.  In this regard it was found that organically complexed minerals (chelates, proteinates) were superior to many inorganic forms of minerals because as the minerals are tied to amino acids and proteins, they are absorbed within tissues more readily.  But in the haste by some to move to these organically complexed minerals, problems resulted because too large of a percentage of these organic complexed minerals could actually interfere with mineral metabolism.  It has subsequently been shown that a mix of inorganic and organic minerals is ideal. 
    This is the reason you will find listings on the labels of Wysong  Diets of a variety of inorganic minerals (e.g. zinc sulfate and iron sulfate) along with organic minerals (e.g. zinc proteinate and iron proteinate).  In addition, the Wysong Diets contain a very unique 74 trace mineral supplement which is derived from an ancient geological deposit of a composted sea bed vegetation (pre-pollution), which contains an extraordinary range of minerals in both organic and inorganic form.  (As a separate dietary supplement in pill form this is known as Wysong Chelamin.)
    Like all other nutrients, minerals do not act in isolation.  By feeding one or two or even half a dozen minerals to an animal we donít really know what we are doing because all minerals behave as they are related to other minerals.  For example, the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the diet is far more important than the absolute level of calcium in the diet. 
    Therefore, other than for very special circumstances, be sure that you do not supplement singular minerals since no one knows for sure how this may imbalance the system.  It may actually create the opposite effect intended. 
    Feeding Wysong Diets with the range of inorganic, organically complexed and composted trace mineral sources it contains, along with fresh food supplementation should create the ideal mineral-rich diet to give your pet the best opportunity for optimal health.
Yogurt, Not Milk
    All mammals, humans and animals, thrive on motherís milk during infancy.  But the ability to digest milk, particularly the milk sugar lactose, decreases with age and may disappear entirely in certain adults.  The result is that after milk is ingested there can be a variety of symptoms including diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence.  This is seen frequently when people put down bowls of milk for pets.
    To avoid this problem and still give your pet the benefit of dairy products, yogurt should be used instead of milk.   Use the plain yogurt, not the sugared yogurt.  Better yet, make your own yogurt as described in Vol. 8, No. 6 of the Wysong Health Letter (see Reference 1).
    The reason yogurt is tolerated better than milk is because the bacterial cultures in yogurt have the ability to synthesize beta-galactosidase, the enzyme that is capable of digesting lactose. 
    So go ahead and use yogurt periodically as one of the fresh supplemented foods we recommend you incorporate into your petís diet. 
    If you read the label closely on Wysong Diets, as well as the Biotics and Pet Inoculant, you will see a listing of various microbial cultures such as lactobacillus acidophilus.  One of the reasons we add these to these foods is that they are capable of seeding the digestive tract with healthy, friendly micro-organisms that not only decrease the possibility of disease-causing micro-organisms taking root, but have the capability of producing a variety of enzymes such as the beta-galactosidase that help your pet better digest foods including milk products.
    Reference: 1.2-5
        Volume 8, Number 6 of theWysong Health Letter, available from the non-profit Wysong Institute, 1880 N. Eastman Road, Midland, MI  48640 for $6.00.
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 1995: 1003-
        Journal of Dairy Science, 1983; 66: 959-66
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1984; 40: 1219-23
        American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1989; 49: 1233-7
Selenium For Pancreatitis
    Pancreatitis can be a severe debilitating life-threatening disease.
    A recent study has shown that the administration of oral sodium selenite, an antioxidant mineral often deficient in the diet, was highly effective in the treatment of pancreatitis.   In the study, no patient who was given the sodium selenite died, whereas 89% of those who didnít receive it did.
    The treatment regimen is as follows:  Upon diagnosis of pancreatitis, human patients are given 200 mcg of sodium selenite mixed with food.  Then in 24 hours they are given another 800 mcg and from the second day on they are given a dose of 500 mcg daily. 
    Since this treatment has not been adapted to animals, depending upon the severity of the condition, dosages ranging up to these levels might be tried.  A rule of thumb for adapting human dosages to animals is found in Resource 6.
        For converting human dosages to animal dosages, a safe starting dose as a general rule of thumb is to calculate the dosage based on the weight of your animal in proportion to a human.  (e.g. 4 capsules for a 160 lb. person equals 1 capsule for a 40 lb. dog)   However, since animals have higher metabolic rates than humans, higher dosages are usually needed and should be given with slow, incremental increases, watching for adverse reactions such as vomiting, loose stool and depression.
        Z Gesamte Inn Med, 1991; 46: 145-149
        Med Klin, 1995; 90: 36-41
Watch The Ashtrays
    Some pets will try anything, even cigarettes.  Since the lethal dose is less than 2 cigarettes for children, cigarette butts lying around the house or outside on the ground should be considered a potential threat to your pet.
    Since pets could consume cigarette butts quickly without owners even being aware that it has happened, it is hard to evaluate the incidence of this in pets.  Symptoms would include primarily gastrointestinal distress.  Since this is the most common presenting symptom to veterinary clinics, it is likely that it occurs more often than noticed. 
    In some human hospitals, as many as 15% of the admissions for children are due to the consumption of cigarettes.
        Lancet, November 11, 1995: 1296
Probiotics For The Seniors
    As animals age, their ability to secrete hydrochloric acid in the stomach decreases.  This acid is not only necessary for the digestion of proteins, but also helps inhibit the growth of disease-causing organisms. 
    This is one of the reasons that probiotic organisms are added to all Wysong Diets and the recommendation is made that all animals, and in particular the very young and the old, be given regular supplementation with extra doses of probiotics. (See the Wysong Feeding-For-Health Program below.) 
    By increasing the levels of probiotic (friendly) micro-organisms in the digestive tract, a wide array of health benefits result, including improved vitamin nutrition, anticarcinogenic activity, immune enhancement, improvement of constipation and competitive inhibition of disease-causing organisms.
        American Journal of Epidemiology, 1994; 140; 4: 350
Exercise For Diabetes
    Companion animals can get both juvenile and adult onset diabetes just like people can.
    You predispose your pet to developing adult-onset diabetes (juvenile diabetes is believed to be hereditary in nature) by feeding a constant diet of high carbohydrate, nutrient-impoverished (so-called "100% complete and balanced") processed foods day in and day out, and encouraging a sedentary lifestyle.
    By repeatedly causing a muscle to contract as occurs in exercise, insulin levels are lowered.  Since a high level of blood insulin can occur in diabetes and is related to a variety of diabetic pathologies, encouraging regular, daily exercise will help alleviate the condition.
        Journal of Applied Physiology, 1994; 7; 3: 1122