My dog Myrtle has had skin based stomach rashes for a good 6 months now. Extensive reading has lead me to a mother-type conclusion. Perhaps an outrageous theory (that is grounded in science..) – that most rashes and problems we see on our body, are connected to gut health. Of course there are other rashes that may not be. But we can always race to our much loved vet.
And I am going to have a red hot go, at fixing her.
Of course, I am no vet. I have been feeding my dog reasonably healthy, cereal based foods for the last 6 years with the odd fresh bone thrown in. She is entering middle age. And this rash is ugly.
I want a long term fix. Nothing less.
She is going back to what her great, great grandparents used to eat, back to the basics.
I have begged 3 months grace with the other half in order to restore gut health to Myrtle the fox terrier. Apparently that is the time you need to get back on track.
When it comes down to it, dog cereal biscuits ain’t no freshly killed rabbit.
My theory is that many of the same disorders are affecting dogs as humans. We are seeing higher incidence of problems related to gut dysbiosis and a permeable gut (with a broken cell wall) – allergies, autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes, skin and thyroid problems – in the human population, as well as our darling beloved pets. The whole permeable gut problem ties back to gut wall breakdown and reduced microbiota populations. As a result we are not processing our food as well, we are not extracting the nutrients as well. Food is becoming foreign as it gets through our gut wall and causes an autoimmune reaction. Our immune systems are not as robust. We are weaker.
With modern medicine, we have fewer communicable diseases causing us hassle, but there is massive growth in non-communicable disease that was never previously at the levels we see today.
Every second person I meet has something going wrong. It’s not just better diagnostics. It’s not just ‘weak’ genes. Our grandparents didn’t tip over into autoimmune disease when a stressful, heart braking tragedy occurred. Or just tipped over for no apparent reason. Not at the same rate we are now.
We have always had families with genetic tendencies that have the unlucky misfortune to, for example, develop Crohn’s disease. But we have Crohn’s disease in epidemic proportions compared to 30 years ago.
I tend to think tragedies are ‘tipping points.’ But they’re not the culprit.
There is a ‘something else’ going on inside us is that can make us ‘tip over’ into illness in stressful times – an environmental trigger - and it’s often a weak gut. But this is a slow process that we don’t see. So we don’t know it is happening.
If you look at government budgets for autoimmune disease – in my own country New Zealand, our Pharmac register, drugs for autoimmune disease are the most expensive group of medicines tax payers shell out for. It is not a stretch to say that these illnesses are reaching pandemic proportions.
Yet there is no autoimmune database tracking these illnesses in my country. There is no discussion of the correlation between a permeable gut and these disorders in the mainstream media. It is all about medicine to fix the problem – important – but not the full story. People don’t want to get sick in the first place.
And what if a restored gut and microbiota health mean’t that in some cases, we would not have to depend on long term medicine? But it’s not covered in mainstream medicine.
We need to dedicate research to the environmental triggers that cause this damage. But there is miniscule funding going towards looking at the causes of gut dysbiosis, breakdown of the gut wall and identifying the causes of microbiota death.
It is not a priority.
Sadly, when you look at all the research organisations, cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes type 1, rheumatoid arthritis – and the others – research funding allocations are allocated to researching new drugs. Making more medicine.
What if 20% of their research funds were allocated to researching the cause? Researching the toxins that trigger disease, rather than just medicine to manage and treat disease? Perhaps our world would be vastly different.
Please can you consider that the Roundup pesticide levels permitted on our cereals – our wheat, barley and oats etc – have increased 6 fold in the last 10 years. That the levels of Roundup permitted on the over 80 different GMO’s permitted in New Zealand’s diet is astonishingly high – these foods are not yet labelled – mainly corn, soy and canola. The pesticide levels are way higher than what independent scientists recommend. The researched irritant that is within GM food, never discussed by mainstream media.
Don’t groan because I am bringing up the ‘pesticide thing’. There’s a reason why people are concerned about our current exposure levels, and they’re grounded in science.
Roundup – or the weaker active chemical, glyphosate is registered as an antibiotic – it kills bugs – microbiota. It also chelates – pulls metals together – and many scientists believe, makes it harder for us to digest vital minerals and vitamins.
Please understand that the full formulation of Roundup is never tested by the regulatory agencies – only the weaker glyphosate. And as a mother, it is confronting to me that pesticides are never tested on rodents in the lead up to pregnancy or in the equivalent first trimester for the important developmental studies.
Scientists are calling it ‘the worlds most significant environmental toxin’. That’s a very big call. It’s a lot to, well, ……………………… digest.
And when you look the ingredients label on your dogs food – and what is in our supermarket food – a picture comes together that shows that our staple foods – wheat, corn, soy – that is in so much of the stuff we buy – are the same foods with the highest Roundup residue loads.
There are other contributors, other culprits contributing towards this suffering, of course there are. But this dark empty space of no-research for the most common pesticide on planet Earth is well, wrong. For a bit more reading on what other mothers day you can visit Moms Across America. Most of them, by way of watching sick kids suffering, have entered the world of science in a way many of them never imagined they would.
Back to my dog. I am going off grid. Entering the dark side. So far, it has worked for my health and my families health. Keeping it simple. Eating real food.
So for now it’s green animal guts, fresh meat, a small amount of suitable vegies and a vitamin & mineral mix for Myrtle the wee fox terrier. Approximately the same cost as medicine, I am guessing. And a bit more hassle. But she is a pretty special part of our family.
We’re staying away from pork and chicken – they’re the meats with the highest load of GM feed, sadly.
I’m just relieved she is small, so not too expensive.
The finger has been pulled out and the experiment is ON!
Will it work for my dog?
Or will I end up at the vets?
I know, you are beside yourself with excitement. Jiggling in your seat.