The Error of the Millennium in Veterinary Medicin

 


 

The background

Diseases of the musculoskeletal system in dogs have been a considerable veterinary problem for decades. Statistics compiled by the canine science associations indicate that 70 - 75% of the entire canine population are affected. More than half of the dogs of all breeds exhibit pathological changes, especially of the acetabulum and femur, known as hip dysplasia (HD) or canine hip dysplasia (CHD)

The etiological or causal background to canine hip dysplasia has hitherto generally been assumed to be multifactorial heredity. This term originates from farm and slaughter animal breeding and postulates that not only heredity but also environ-mental factors – especially nutrition – play a role in determining characteristics. The relative importance of these factors is expressed as the degree of heritability. For CHD, percentage values of up to 60 % have been assumed or, with reference to 1, of 0.2 to 0.6.

The dog breeding associations in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany developed X-ray systems designed to detect and combat hip dysplasia. But only in Germany and several other European countries was it attempted to eliminate CHD through selection, by excluding the dogs exhibitting this condition from breeding in the populations of the different breeds. These genetic measures, however, proved fruit-less over a period of fore decades. The Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (VDH) (German Kennel Club) failed in its attempts to gain approval for this initiative from the American Kennel Club (AKC), The Kennel Club (KC) or the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) in France.

The incidence of hip dysplasia still persists at around 60 - 65 % in all the canine populations of the Western countries. When other pathological changes are included, the total skeletal morbidity rate is as high as 70 - 75%.  In most cases HD is accompanied by other skeletal diseases.

Veterinarians in the Western countries have traditionally advocated a »balanced diet« – with-out specifying further details – and have left it to the animal feedstuffs industry to provide dogs with »optimized complete diets«. At present, around 80 – 90  %  of the total canine population is being fed completely or partially with industrially manufactured preformulated food, which has consequently become accepted as »healthy dog food«. These new feeding methods, however, have been unable to signify-cantly improve morbidity in terms of canine hip dysplasia. Indeed, there is also a very high total morbiddity level of numerous nutritional diseases affecting various organ systems.

Marc Torel and Klaus Dieter Kammerer – a veterinarian and a Pharmamanager with medical training – believe that breeding programs and industrially produced dog food in its present form cannot hope to bring about any fundamental improvements in the incidence of canine hip dysplasia because CHD is not heritable and because existing dog food does not prevent, but is in fact the original cause of CHD. In these authors view, canine hip dysplasia is induced solely by malnutrition.

 

An article in the TU caused a worldwide sensation

In 1996, the respected German journal »Tierärztliche Umschau« (TU) (Veterinary Review) published the continuation article »Topical notes on canine hip dysplasia« by Marc Torel and Klaus Dieter Kammerer, in which these authors traced the entire history of the development of canine hip dysplasia. They claimed that the hereditary nature of CHD had never been conclusively proven and is not supported by any objective evidence, and that breeding programs over three decades were thus inevitably doomed to failure (Tierärztliche Umschau, Volume 51, pp. 455 ff., 1996).

In the opinion of Torel/Kammerer, everything points to the probability that CHD has an alimentary/ hormonal etiology and pathogenesis associated with malnutrition and increased production of somatotropin, tri-iodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), parat-hormone and insulin-like growth factor IGF-I in the canine organism. The authors went on to draw conclusions regarding the nutrition and keeping of dogs and gave recommendations for the prevention of their skeletal diseases.

The essence of their argument is that CHD is of nutritional and hormonal origin. Malnutrition causes increased production of growth hormone, the thyroid hormones tri-iodothyronine and thyroxine, parat-hormone and insulin-like growth factor in dogs. The authors give a detailed analysis of the malnutrition and its adverse skeletal effects.

The book aroused great interest among veterinarians and met with a worldwide response. The authors and the editors of TU have received consistently positive feedback from the USA, the whole of Europe, South Africa and Australia.

 

The Thirty Years‘ War and its bitter struggles 

These sensational »Topical notes« formed the basis for the Compendium


»The Thirty Years‘ War 1966-1996«

 
published in 1997. The book, described with a certain selfirony by the authors Torel/Kammerer as a controversial pamphlet, provided further data, facts and back-ground on the subject of canine hip dysplasia, especially in the expanded and revised 2nd edition published in March 1999 (ISBN 3-9807236-1-5).

The title is a deliberate reference to the religious war of 1618-1648 in Central Europe, since  the at-tempts to combat hip dysplasia in the associations and societies, as described by the authors with more than a touch of irony, were not only characterized by the ferocity of a military campaign but, in the face of prevailing dogmatism, were also ultimately futile.

With its »furor teutonicus« – its teutonic fury – the Compendium created an uproar. The authors Torel/Kammerer were not only skilled in verbal cut-and-thrust when deploying their arguments, but also brought up heavy artillery to support their attack. The hostilities, with their attacks and counter-attacks between the authors and their opponents in industry and veterinary medicine, are a cause of ongoing concern to various official agencies. The  Bundestierärztekammer (BTK) (Federal German Veterinary Authority), the VDH (German Kennel Club) and the Waltham/Effem/Masterfoods  company boycotted the book on the basis of cartel agreements and suppressed reviews and reports in the veterinary literature, the societies and the media.

 

The Error of the Millennium in Veterinary Medicine

One year later, on 10 Mar. 2000, Klaus Dieter Kammerer published his new book entitled
 

»The Error of the Millennium in Veterinary Medicine«

 

subtitled

»Malnutrition-induced Hip Dysplasia as a    
Non-hereditary Skeletal Disease of Dogs«
 

 

In his new book K.D. Kammerer traces, with a restrained style of presentation and including much new informa-tion, the entire development of canine diet over the past thousand years up to the end of 1999, as well as the nu-trition-related skeletal diseases affecting dogs.

The »trio infernale« have no alternative but to diffame and attempt to completely discredit the authors Torel/Kammerer, whose charges, if proved correct, would disgrace and compromise in an unprecedented manner the leading figures of canine science, the veterinary profession and animal feedstuffs industry for their blundering and charlatanism continuing over decades. The Compendium »The Thirty Years‘ War« and the Compendium »The Error of the Millennium in Veterinary Medicine« has become a full-blown political issue.

The author piles fact upon fact to create an impressive, many coloured mosaic that ultimately portrays a dismal scenario:
 

The 12 theses of Klaus Dieter Kammerer:

1.  As in all the Western countries, about 80 – 85 % of the approximately 5.5 million dogs in the Federal Republic of Germany are suffering from more or less chronic or subchronic obesity, liver parenchymal damage, metabolic diseases, gastrointestinal disorders with pancreatic insufficiency, cardiovascular diseases with vascular sclerosis, impaired immune system with an increased incidence of allergies, infections and carcinomas, as well as a variety of disorders of the musculoskeletal system including dysplasias of all joints, but especially the hip. The life expectancy of dogs is considerably reduced, with cancer now heading the cause of death statistics.

2.  Similarly, 80 – 85 % of dogs are nourished completely or partially with industrially produced ready made food which, apart from the quality deficits of the raw materials, generally also suffers from methodological errors in its formulation and manufacturing process. Morbidity due to the aforementioned diseases over the last 30 years has shown an unmistaken able correlation with the sales of the animals feedstuffs industry. Especially the skeletal diseases with hip dysplasia are directly related to the decades of mal-nutrition to which dogs have been subjected and are their immediate consequence.

3.  The principle applied in the manufacture of modern dog food was adopted from the mass production of domestic and slaughter animals, especially calf and pig fattening. Calves and piglets are fed a mixture of the primary nutrients

carbohydrates, proteins, fats,
minerals and vitamins
 

calculated to induce rapid growth and weight gain. For retail trade purposes, the 25 and 50 kg bags of calf and pig food were repackaged for dogs into small packs and cans with a water con-tent of up to 80 %. This food differs from slaughter animal feed only by the inclusion of synthetic aromatizers, flavouring agents and attractants specific to dogs, and by the elaborate package-ing. One further difference, however, is that to dupe consumers dog food also contains soya designed – sometimes into the very fibre structures - to simulate meat and »meaty lumps«. The genetic manipulation of soya results in lipid deposits in the organs and the content of phytoestrogens leads to pathological changes in the skeleton:

                     »Frankenstein Food«

So not only the alleged heritability of CHD has been adopted from domestic and slaughter ani-mal breeding, but also its nutritional basis.

4.  Heating of the raw materials with pressurized steam to as much as 250 °C and the subsequent hotair drying breaks down the carbohydrates, but also denatures the proteins and fats and destroys all the natural vitamins. Also destroyed or altered are the secondary nutrients and bioactive substances vital for longterm animal health. A standardized mineral and vitamin premix is therefore added, but usually in excess. The phytoestrogens remain largely intact, however, and exert the same effects on the body, including bone metabolism, as endogenously produced sex hormones, while the lipid deposits lead to sclerosis of the blood vessels and thus to hypertension, cardiac and circulatory diseases. These feeding methods in dogs lead especially to hyperalimentation, fibrous osteodystrophy, osteochondrosis (OCD), hormonal dysfunctions as well as vitamin A and D3 hypervitaminosis with their associated pathological skeletal changes including hip dysplasia. Vitamin D3 overdosage alone, both in food and vitaminized mineral preparations, can induce Legg Calvé-Perthes disease with aseptic necrosis of the femoral head with mush-room-shaped and cylindrical protrusions and consequently CHD. Most ready-made food usually has added appetizers that usually stimulate consumption, resulting in more or less marked obesity and, in the long term, to chronic diseases of various organ systems, especially of the cardio-vascular type. Modern domestic animal food designed in the laboratory became causally responsible for hip dysplasia in dogs. Whereas calves and pigs, after reaching a certain size and weight within a few months, are slaughtered together with their pathologically altered skeleton, dogs have to propel themselves around on their ruined bones for the rest of their lives.

5.  The heritability of hip dysplasia and the other skeletal diseases of dogs has never been demonstrated. The first veterinarians to investigate the etiology of CHD elaborated a number of hypotheses of which multifactorial inheritance was finally chosen as the winning candidate, since it appeared to explain everything. Subsequent investigators adopted these assumptions unreflectingly and uncritically and merely perpetuated the error. Others wrote papers designed to please their sponsors, for remuneration. There is a certain ironic pleasure to be had from the fact that Professor Helmut Meyer, as a nutritional scientist, Senior Assistant and prospective Director of the Institute of Animal Nutrition of Hanover Veterinary College published a paper on the heritability of CHD in 1968, although this was not his specialization and he had no under-standing of canine genetics, but was already maintaining very close and financially rewarding business links with Waltham/Effem/Masterfoods. Finally, a downright dogma was established regarding the multifactorial (polygenic) heritability of hip dysplasia.

6.  It is perhaps one of the ironies of fate that CHD is indeed a multifactorial disease, with a variety of nutrition-induced underlying disorders as possible causative factors:

 


·        Hormonal dysfunctions (IGF-I, T3, T4, Parathormon, Estrogene)
·        Vitamin A+D3+K3 - Hypervitaminosis (toxic overdosage)
·        Rickets (softening of bone due to Ca and vitamin D3 deficience)
·        Moeller-Barlow disease (scurvy due to vitamin C deficiency)
·        Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (femoral head necrosis)
·        Genu valgum (knock-knees)
·        Fibrous osteodystrophy (bone dystrophy)
·        Osteochondrotic syndrom (degenerative cartilage disease, OCD)
·        Hypertrophe Osteodystrophy (HOD)
·        Obesity (overweight, Overload during movement

 

The metabolic derangements with alimentary/hormonal dysfunctions underlying these pathologic conditions thus lead to dysplasias of the entire skeleton and range from very mild and often clinically undiagnosed disease courses to severe deformations. Since the dynamic and static forces involved in movement are most pronounced at the hip joint, this is where the first deformations (dysplasias) inevitably develop. Dysplasi-as can also occur in all other joints, however, and they would be observed in more or less severe form in all dogs with CHD if X-ray examination were not confined to the hip joints. Many cases of canine hip dysplasia are also accompanied by dysplasia of the shoulder, elbow and knee joints.

7.  The etiology and pathogenesis of hip dysplasia can thus only be explained in terms of multifactoriality, but omitting the genetic factor. Accordingly, hip dysplasia is to be regarded as a complication of metabolic disease in puppies and young dogs, and as a symptom of a generalized, alimentary/hormonal skeletal disease, and on no account as a hereditary, isolated anomaly of acetabulum and femur.

8.  The multinational corporations Nestlé (Alpo, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Migthy Dog), Colgate Palm-olive (Hill’s Science Diet), Procter & Gamble (Iams, Eukanuba), Heinz (Amore, Gravy train, Recipe, Verts) and especially Mars with its affiliates Waltham and Effem (Advance, Cesar, Chappy, Formula, Frolic, Kal Kan, Mealtime, Pedigree ) control the multi-billion-dollar world market for industrially produced dog and cat food, including 90 % of the European market. Ralston Purina (Pro Plan, Purina) and Royal Canin (Selection, Size mini-medium-maxi) also enjoy a certain prominence. Effem is the market leader in Germany with a 45 – 50 % share of a market worth 3,500 million German Marks and, with a turnover of about 2,000 million German Marks makes a profit of almost 1,000 million. These big corporations are behind most of the many small producers.

9.  These business empires have virtually unlimited funds for advertising. In the Western countries, they have advertising budgets totaling more than 10,000 million DM to splash out on dog food advertising. In the Federal Republic of Germany alone, Mars together with Waltham and Effem invest almost 500 million DM annually in the public and non-public domains. The money is de- voted firstly to poster and press adverti-sing, TV spots and for paid public relations articles in newspapers and magazines. The canine popular press is completely under the control of the animal feedstuffs industry and is only allowed to publish articles favourable to its backers‘ interests. Canine science societies and associations and their functionaries enjoy considerable financial benefits. The VDH (German Kennel Club) and its board members are annual beneficiaries to the tune of several millions and as such are to be regarded as completely dependent and corrupt. While all this money is paid to buy people and votes, hush money is paid to the parties, institutions and the judiciary.
 

10. The veterinary profession too is now firmly in thrall to these multinational corporations. Many
veterinarians owe their living to this mutual sleaze and corruption. Of the 20,000 practising veterinarians in the Federal Republic of Germany, about 20-25% are unemployed anyway and another 20-25 % would have to shut up shop if they didn’t receive the average Euro 20,000 – 25,000 annually from the sale of special diet feeds and the X-ray system of the VDH (German Kennel Club) they need to cover their practice costs (rent, staff). Considerable benefits in cash and kind find their way to students of veterinary medicine, medical-technical assistant personnel and the veterinarians themselves. The opinion-leading veterinarians and nutritional scientists at the institutes of animal nutrition are almost without exception bribed and travel around the world at the expense of the various companies. They therefore recommend these products from sheer self-interest and regale dog owners with the benefits of industri-al dog food while keeping quiet about the disadvantages. Since the entire advertising budgets are funded from the turnover and hence from the sales prices of the various brands, consumers and dog owners are actually pay-ing out of their own pockets for the brainwashing to which they are continually subjected, not even realizing that these by no means so optimized products are also grossly overpriced. The same or similar conditions prevail in the other countries.

    11. The companies mentioned above – but especially Waltham/Effem/Masterfoods – initiated the

dogma of the heritability of skeletal diseases of dogs to conceal the methodological errors being perpetrated in industrial animal feedstuffs production and have sustained their campaign over three decades. Almost all the authoritative veterinarians in the USA, UK and Germany who are or have been involved in studying CHD have at some time received inducements from Walt-ham/Effem/Masterfoods, Ralston Purina or the others. The financial calculations and marketing strategies require not healthy, but sick dogs. The diseases of the various organ systems induced by malnutrition gave the impetus for market innovation in the form of the numerous dietary products sold through veterinarians, to whom the industry not only delivers the various brands free of charge, but also the sick dogs necessary for their consumption. In this thoroughly corrupt system, the industry and veterinary profession in the Western countries are actively engaged in white collar and white coat crime and are perpetrating the biggest fraud in the history of veterinary medicine, nothing less than a chronique scandaleuse.

   12. The malnutrition of dogs and the dogma of the heritability of its hip dysplasia are firstly a double

error and considering the disaster for dogs‘ health created and sustained over four decades by the industry and the professors in their service at the faculties of veterinary medicine, especially in the USA, UK and Germany, can only be described as the error of the millennium in veterinary medicine: millions of dogs around the world have been fed to a state of illness or to death during this period. By reforming canine nutrition, improving  the quality and eliminating the methodological errors in production, morbidity due to the numerous nutrition-induced diseases of dogs could be significantly lowered. In particular, the skeletal diseases associated with hip dys-plasia could be at least considerably reduced.
 

This book review is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this review may be reproduced, stored in information retrieval systems, or transmitted, in any for or by means of  electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilm – without the prior written permission of the publisher. The copy-right is held by Transanimal and Klaus Dieter Kammerer.

Version of 01.11.2006                                                                                                 Klaus Dieter Kammerer

 

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