The results of this clinical study suggest that 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be eliminated without medical intervention over a period of one year with the proper diet modifications.
Five hundred and five dogs and 83 cats, all with a history of assorted chronic skin diseases averaging 33 months, were treated for their symptoms by modifying their diet alone at the Pet Health and Nutrition Center in Corning, N.Y. (Ninety-six percent of these animals had been given veterinary care before the study.) Only animals free of medication were included. All remained in home situations without matching control groups. Their diet was natural, raw and cooked whole foods and Viand pet food. Feeding protocols varied depending on the animal's initial response to the diet. Transient digestive disturbances (healing episodes; see Conclusions) were experienced by 28% of dogs and 22% of cats, which were treated by diet and fasting. These reported results were based on client testimonials.
Behavioral changes were difficult to chronicle and were based solely on improvement, or the lack thereof, as observed by the owners. Positive changes, based on existing behavioral patterns, were reported by 72% of the owners. These changes included more settledness, greater responsiveness, and less voracious eating habits. In many instances, the higher nutritional intake restored more youthful traits and encouraged playful characteristics in older animals.
The benefits of raw food, including meat, were revealed when Dr. Francis M. Pottenger Jr. MD F.A.C.P. who conducted what became known as the Pottenger Study (The Effect of Heat Processed Foods and Metabolized Vitamin D Milk on the Dentofacial Structures of Experimental Animals. August 1946. American Journal of Orthodontics and Oral Surgery, Vol. 32, No. 8, Pages 467-485). Over a 10-year period, Dr. Pottenger did a series of controlled experiments between cats fed raw foods, including meat, and cats fed the same foods cooked. The study showed that cats fed raw foods were healthier and more resistant to disease as well as having fewer developmental abnormalities. (For a copy of the study, call the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, P. O. Box 2614, La Mesa, CA 91943-2614, Tel. (619) 574-PPNF.)
Raw meats and vegetables with the occasional cooked grain (mostly oatmeal) was the predominant diet during transitional periods (coming off of a fast or directly after or during healing episodes). The introduction of Viand by gradually increasing portions in the diet resulted in a minimized duration and intensity of healing episodes.
A commercial pet food was needed in this study, as it is impractical to feed a totally natural, raw diet in most households. Viand foods were chosen as they mimic the natural diet of dogs and cats in its nutritional components and freshness, while providing the appropriate calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium for the feeding of raw and cooked meats as supplements. Also, freshness is important to health. Viand is delivered fresh without chemicals or warehousing. This seems to be the best complete food supplement to a natural diet that is sold on the market.
The monitoring of animals after the survey (up to one year later) has shown that there was no return of original symptoms as long as the natural diet was maintained.
Dermatoses & Allergies
The dogs (representing 31 breeds) and cats (representing five breeds) all displayed classic symptoms of chronic skin disease including but not limited to pruritis, alopecia, scaling, seborrhea, and hyperkeratosis, with and without chronic biting and licking. These animals were placed on a diet of fresh raw meats and Viand or Aelyon in a 1:2 and 1:3 ratio (that's twice as much or three times as much Viand Pet as meat) for one year. In the dog group, 88% displayed a cessation of 80% or more of the symptoms within three months. The figure rose to 91% by the sixth month and to 94% by the end of the test. (All subjects had been off corticosteroids at least one month before testing).
In the cat group, 78% showed a 70%-80% healing response within six months; 80% within nine months, and 84% within the year.
Of the tested animals, 114 dogs and 19 cats also displayed symptoms of gastrointestinal disturbance (parasites excluded) including vomiting, irregular stool patterns, weight loss, and general weakness. Their diets were adjusted, taking into account these considerations.
Treatment was generally started with a 24-48 hour fast. The animals were then often given a chicken-base broth, followed by raw chopped meat. Other whole foods, including cottage cheese and cooked oatmeal were added gradually as long as diarrhea did not develop or get worse. This diet continued for between two and five weeks, depending on the severity and history of the problem. Viand was gradually introduced for several days to two weeks after the raw meat, until a diet of one-third whole food to two-thirds Viand was reached. The animal was fed this way for the rest of the test. Cats were not always given oatmeal, but a variety of raw meats; blanched, often pureed raw vegetables, and other whole foods. As with the dogs, the Viand was gradually introduced until the same proportions were achieved.
In virtually all cases, the digestive tract returned to normal within one to three weeks unless the pancreas, or large intestine was found to have been compromised (history of pancreatitis and/or parasites). In only 3% of cats and 2% of dogs were there any need for further medical intervention.
The higher-quality nutrition, the freshness of diet, and formulation of the Natural Raw Meat Diet and/or Viand enabled the animal's immune system to throw off lingering chronic disease. (The inability to remove disease completely, whether in a sub-clinical or chronic form, is due predominantly to feeding marginally adequate grain-based commercial pet foods.)
In a survey of data from people who are and have been feeding a combination of the foods mentioned, 46% of the animals exhibited a healing episode on the road to greater wellness.
A healing episode is a short-lived, mild appearance of symptoms mimicking disease without the loss of vitality, mental clarity or physical strength, in which the symptoms pass without medical intervention. After their passage, the animals are more playful and stronger, generally indicating greater wellness. The symptoms are an indication that the body has been able to stabilize itself at a higher level of wellness, and in doing so, is able to summon more vitality and push chronic disease out of its system. In deep healing, the body takes a chronic disease and makes it acute.
Healing episodes appeared in dogs and cats as one or more sets of symptoms in predominantly one of the following body systems: Gastrointestinal, Skin or Behavioral.
- Gastrointestinal: periods of intermittent or continuous diarrhea, 8%; soft stools, 34%, with or without excessive gas.
- Skin: a period of scaling, dry or oily, with mild or moderate shedding 12%; (more than one episode 9%) with or without varying degrees of pruritis, indicative of deeper (allergic) disease.
- Behavioral: a period of hyperactivity, general unsettledness, mild aggressiveness, with a mild or moderate lack of owner responsiveness and clarity of learned behavior, 2%.
The healing episodes ended with an emergence of higher-quality life functions. This occurred in the three areas mentioned, and was expressed as an overall enhanced vitality that not seen previously by the owners. The waiting during the healing episode, without medical intervention, was well worth it. It showed an unmistakable indication of the power of health remaining in our companion animal population if they are given the right food and an opportunity to heal themselves naturally.