The Causes of Health Problems in Pets

Woman sitting on lawn with dog and four kittens

The Causes of Gastrointestinal & Other Health Problems

Have you noticed that dogs and cats are suffering with and dying from many of the same illnesses and diseases as humans? I believe this is no coincidence. There is a connection - it's diet. Like us, we feed them highly processed foods and food-like substances that are devoid of nutrition.

Artificially colored kids cereal beside brightly colored dog kibble

When food enters the body, it begins a journey to provide energy and nutrients to build cells that contain the genetic material which will reproduce and replace aged cells. If defective or unhealthy cells are formed, they only created more of the same. So, you are not just providing nourishment for your pet today, but for years and generations to come. This is of particular importance to breeders, for obvious reasons. However, you can stop the process of disease in your pet, starting today. Awareness is the first step.

Today we are seeing epidemic levels of allergies, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, heart problems and gastrointestinal disorders in humans. There is an ever-increasing number of dogs and cats suffering from a large variety of repetitive breakdown conditions including: allergies, autoimmune conditions, many gastrointestinal disorders including "sensitive stomach," colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid, kidney and heart breakdowns. Also breakdowns during growth including: hip dysplasia, impaired reproduction, bloat, torsion, and others. There is no doubt that commercial nutrition is at fault. Any breakdown condition that reaches epidemic levels, crosses ethnic or breed lines, and is seen all over the country has to be nutritional in origin. There is no other valid explanation for this phenomenon.

These health problems, are "food-related". The solutions are food-related also. The composition and structure of dry commercial kibble is primarily highly processed plant matter, which is not digestible, because carnivores do not produce the enzymes needed to break down cellulose. A more recent addition to the pet food isle is a raw diet of raw meat that contains vegetables. If exclusively fed a diet of raw plant matter, carnivores will die of starvation.

To make matters worse, some vegetable matter contains plant toxins or saponins. This is a partial list of ingredients you may recognize; soybeans, beet pulp, tomato pomace, alfalfa, sorghum, oats, peas, beans, potatoes, garlic and yucca. Their molecules are large, and are not absorbed redly from the digestive organs. When ingested by dogs, on a regular basis, they damage and inflame the digestive organs (also known as Leaky Gut in humans), where saponins enter the blood stream. Saponins paralyze the digestive organs and suppress vomiting, which is the main cause of bloat and torsion. The inflammation of the digestive tract, caused by the saponins, results in a variety of other gastrointestinal disorders, health problems and allergies. Death is often attributed to the symptom and not the actual cause, which is the saponins. Saponins also interfere with energy metabolism. These high fiber vegetable ingredients are designed to artificially form a firm stool, which only exacerbates the effects of the saponins by retaining the food and fibrous material for extended periods of time in the ileocecal valve and the colon.

So, I have to wonder how much nutrition are they getting and what are you paying for? The way I see it, "I will spend my money either in good nutrition or at the vets office. It will all come out the same in the end". So, ask yourself the same question. How would you prefer to provide for the health of your pet?

Pets teach us health lessons

That's why scientists test lab animals before human trials. Observe how wild canines don't eat hay and wild cats don't eat fruit because their body wisdom guides them and they know that they cannot digest them. However, we trick dogs and cats into eating corn and soybeans by adding the flavors they like and deceive their wisdom the same way we deceive ours. A concoction is made for them that is called "complete nutrition" and sold in a way that appeals to humans. We feed this concoction to them every meal, every day. Variety gives the liver a break from a particular pollutant and a chance to detoxify, but their liver is bombarded with the same pollutants day after day, without a rest. When the liver has hit its limit, it will be quickly evident by the development of an allergic reaction or food intolerance to that particular food or chemical in that concoction. No wonder they are getting cancer; a situation where the liver can no longer detoxify the preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, sugar and other unnatural ingredients. They deserve pure food and variety.


The breakdowns relate specifically to the monopoly of ideas in animal nutrition exercised by the Industry-dominating manufacturers, the government regulatory agencies, and the Veterinary Establishment. Together they control all thought on pet nutrition and virtually dictate the level of nutrition for the industry at large. Industry has mischaracterized the dog as being an omnivore in order to justify its production of cheaply made feeds for omnivores. The dog, however, is a carnivore and requires significantly higher levels of animal protein and different nutrition than an omnivore for it to thrive. This mischaracterized nutrition is then "legitimized" by the government regulatory agencies and supported by the Veterinary Establishment. The resulting pandemics of breakdowns appear to be benefiting all these institutions at the expense of the consumer, thereby insuring the status-quo in perpetuity.

The cause of hip dysplasia is woefully inadequate level of nutrition. How do we know that nutrition is at fault? Other than the fact that hip dysplasia can be prevented through the judicious feeding of Abady products, hip dysplasia along with the other conditions I have listed, have reached pandemic levels and are on the increase. Since no one is breeding for these faults, if anything, people are trying unsuccessfully to breed against them, these conditions cannot be genetic. They are not breed-specific either, since all breeds are affected. Environment is not a consideration, since dogs all over the country exhibit the same symptoms. The only factor remaining is the food supply and the uniform level of nutrition that it delivers. This should come as no surprise since the majors set the price parameters and everyone scrambles to produce products within or close to those margins.

The avoidance of hip dysplasia, as understood by the Abady Company and supported by scientific fact, has to do with feeding sound diets, all the time. The dam has to be properly nourished so that she can absorb and utilize the nutrients involved in tissue production. If her internal organs are not functioning properly, her thyroid is damaged, her intestines inflamed, all due to inadequate and improper nutrition, she will not be in the best position to produce the soundest puppies. It has been scientifically proven that deficiencies of vitally important nutrients during the formation of body structures can diminish the number of cells in those organs and tissues. It all begins with the embryo and is carried on throughout the first year of growth. Abady nutrition can bring about the desired results when properly applied.

Chronic gastrointestinal disorders, bloat and torsion, are due to two pivotal factors: the use of ingredients that contain toxic saponins and the excessive levels of fibrous material in the diet. Some ingredients offer the worst of both worlds: toxic saponins and high levels of fiber. The ingredients are beet pulp and tomato pomace. Other sources of fiber often used in excess are cellulose and grain fiber. A study by the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine printed in the January 1997 edition of Bloat Notes indicated a rise of 1,500% in cases of bloat and torsion from 1964 to 1994. To quote their articles, "the increase is unlikely to reflect changing diagnostic criteria or disease recognition. The increasing frequency of GDV starting about 1969 affected mostly the large and giant dog breeds. Therefore, it is also unlikely to be caused by genetic factors. However, this apparent epidemic of GDV could be explained by the introduction of one or more novel environmental factors such as new ingredients in dry dog foods or a change in manufacturing processes." The article went on to state other possible causes.

Twenty years prior to the publication of the article, the Abady Company had already solved the riddle of bloat and torsion, only to discover later that independent scientists had discovered the cause even earlier and had reached the same conclusion as had the Abady Company-toxic saponins. Saponins are highly toxic substances that science had shown can cause innumerable problems including chronic gastrointestinal problems, bloat and torsion in every animal in which they were tested, including dogs and cats. Saponins are found in a number of ingredients, many of which are included in dog foods like beet pulp, soybeans, tomato pomace, alfalfa, sorghum (milo), potatoes, oats, peas, beans, garlic, and yucca. Since none of these ingredients are relevant to the feeding of carnivores, the reason for their use is purely economic. Naturally the Abady Company does not include any of these ingredients in its foods.

Thyroid breakdowns are also increasing dramatically, affecting younger and younger animals - proving once again that genetics have nothing to do with this breakdown condition. Abady’s current products, when fed as directed, are already effective in preventing or delaying the onset of this breakdown condition. However, at this point Abady believes that it has pinpointed the exact factors responsible for bringing about this condition and is incorporating this solution into its production. Abady has developed the level and kind of nutrition that is required to produce sound, fully functional dogs and to insure their safety. The Abady Company is continuing to expand its research in order to prevent all the food-related breakdowns that affect dogs today. Commercial nutrition is uniform and stagnant, and because it is satisfying the financial needs of those who created it and of those that support it, there is no incentive for change. They have been successfully selling this stuff for over 60 years and the level of nutrition should continue to get worse, as this is the path that seems to lead to ever increasing financial rewards.

Allergies are caused by the passage of incompletely digested protein into the bloodstream, bringing about immune reactions. The large molecules of incompletely digested food materials behave as allergens – producing allergies. There are two routes that have been verified as passageways for these molecules of food through the intestinal lining into the bloodstream. The first is through lymphatic tissues in the intestinal tract; the second is called m-cell vesicle trancytosis and involves the transport of large substances directly into the bloodstream by a process of microenvagination. This indicates that mal-digestion of dietary protein caused by excessive dietary fibrous material may lead to widespread allergies or hypersensitivity, particularly to protein foods. It has also been found that certain dietary protein molecules, when incompletely digested, may cause a reduction in the capacity of the immune system to respond appropriately, leading to long-term allergic reactions, thereby producing a state of low zone tolerance resulting in skin problems and recurrent infections.

Many dry commercial diets are responsible for a whole host of health conditions including: breakdowns during growth, bloat, torsion, allergies, gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, hypothyroidism, reproductive problems, oral problems, chronic/recurring ear infections, IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, dermatitis, seasonal allergy, behavior problems, anxiety, pancreas exocrine insufficiency, obesity, joint & ligament problems, finicky eaters, urinary tract and kidney problems and many others.

Because the causes are food-related, the solutions are food-related as well. You, as dog breeders and pet parents are on your own. Breeders, if you want to produce sound, healthy dogs, start feeding them species appropriate nutrition and you will succeed in avoiding most common problems. Pet parents, if you want to avoid the breakdowns that are ruining America's dogs, you must do likewise.

Pappy (formerly Paddy) was my case study for Veterinary Nutrition Education

Dermititis in dogs

When I was studying Veterinary Nutrition, I decided to have a case study. It wasn’t required or even thought of by my instructor, and he was amazed when I did this. I adopted a 14 year old, 14.8 pound Maltese male dog from a rescue in 10/2014, this blood work from 3/2014 was among his papers. I adopted Pappy because he was the classic example of what can go wrong in the body due to feeding inappropriate foods and an inadequate diet. I wanted to be able to not only help him, but also to learn from him. I wanted to see what nutrition could do to reverse these things. I was learning to read blood work, so I asked the vet to run everything on Pappy. That way I could understand better and get hands on experience.

The veterinarian gives you your pets blood work, like you've got a clue what all the letters and numbers mean. You trust that if there is anything wrong with these numbers, that he/she will tell you, but from a nutritional perspective, the vet hasn't a clue. They only know how to look at the results from a pathological point of view.

Pets blood work showing renal function

What this blood-work reveals:
RBC (red blood cell count) is down due to insufficient protein in the diet. Red blood cells are made in the kidney and they are also protein amino acids.
MCV (Mean Cell Volume) & MCH (Mean Cell Hemoglobin status, which gives us the anemic status) are slightly above the laboratories range, which is actually a good sign, because it means if you have fewer red blood cells, you want these cells to have to have a high hemoglobin content and to be slightly larger. So there is compensation going on here, which is a very good sign to see. This little old guy is fighting to survive.
MONO (Monocytes find that which is creating a mild allergic situation, to stimulate certain white blood cells to make the globulins. Those cells that make the globulins are called EOS) are down, due to a consumption. We see that the GLOB is also low. So, there is a mild type of allergy going on. This is an inhalant allergic dermatitis (ATOPY - seasonal allergy) on the internal skin and a food allergy dermatitis on the external skin.
EOS (Eosinophil) are above the labs reference range.
TP (total protein) amino acid/protein. Is low, with the GLOB. Both of those require amino acids.
GLOB (Globulin- protein) is on the low end, which means this little dog is having an allergic reaction.
ALB (Albumin - protein)
ALB/GLOB - add together the ALB & GLOB = total protein or 6.1.
ALT (liver function) bile sludge in the liver decreases the enzyme GGT, which is below the laboratory reference range. Is above the reference range. And the
ALKP (Alkaline Phosphatase) is high. Because of the ALT and the ALKP both being up, this indicates that this dog is in a state of Colestasis (a sludging of the bile in the liver), which will decrease the enzyme GGT, which is below the labs reference range. In addition to that, the ALT and the GGT are enzymes, which are made up of amino acids/proteins.
LIPA (lipase - an enzyme responsible for the digestion of fat) is on the high side of the labs reference range. Before lipase can act of the fat, the bile salts need to be present in the small intestine, but because the ALT and ALKP are high, which is creating the Colestasis (bile cannot flow from the liver to the duodenum), we see that the pH in the pyloric valve; between the stomach and small intestine, is incorrect. The more acidic the pH, the more it stimulates the hormone to make the gallbladder contract. So, the pH in the stomach is not sufficient to contract the gallbladder enough to get the bile into the small intestine, to predigest the fat. Then the lipase cannot act upon that fat, and hence the lipase becomes a high value.

What we see here is that his dog needs a food that contains the correct formula of amino acids/protein, plus correct animal fat, to create the correct pH of the stomach to enable enzymes to break down the animal protein in the food into individual amino acids, and also to give the correct pH across the pyloric valve, to stimulate the gallbladder to contract, so that the enzyme lipase can digest the fat. Pappy was been eating a food that has not contained the correct protein sources, and that has not been high in animal protein and animal fat; the two most important nutrients for a carnivore, because they are the best digested and absorbed. He has not been completely digesting the protein in the food, because the protein sources are indigestible to begin with, but also because of the fiber and high carbohydrate ingredients in the food increase the pH of the stomach and small intestine.

When you give the correct source of amino acids/protein and fat (from animal sources that are digestible) you will see tremendous improvement in the dog from nose to tail. The foods he has been eating contained potato, beet pulp, tomato pomace, yam, yucca, sweet potato (fillers) - plant fibers that expand 250% when mixed with stomach fluids, creating bulk. The volume of the plant ingredients is greater than the volume of the animal protein ingredients, so that causes the animal protein and fat ingredients to not be digested. The foods also contained wheat, oats, barley - sources of gluten, which are known allergens, high fiber and cause blood glucose problems. Also, his most recent food contained fish meal - heads, scales and tails, which are high in protein, but are completely indigestible. The plant ingredients cause the pH in the stomach to be more alkaline, and so the proteins are not completely broken down, resulting in long chains of amino acids, plus the incorrect pH causes the stomach to empty prematurely. The same thing happens in the small intestine and it empties too early. The result is less time for digestion. All of this causes inflammation in the gut (leaky gut) and the amino acid chains (proteins that are not completely digested) interact with the immune system, causing IgA (immunoglobulin A) and IgE (immunoglobulin E), who's main function is to provide immunity to foreign invaders, to produce hypersensitivity, which is an allergic reaction provoked by repeated re-exposure to a specific type of antigen/allergen.

Pappy has skin allergy dermatitis and seasonal allergies, so he has classic ATOPY. He is a foot licker and face rubber, as a reaction to things he is allergic to. This kind of problem is related to the quantity of the antibody IgA, that should be high in the liver, so as to protect the body, but when sufficient quantities of animal protein will not be able to make up the full component of IgA throughout their body, and hence they suffer from ATOPY. This is why the EOS are high and the MONO are low and GLOB is low. ALB is one kind of protein and GLOB is a kind of protein. The total protein is indicated by TP.

The labs reference range is not a range of "normality". Vets interpret the blood results from a "pathological" point of view, but that is just looking at the results to see which ones are either higher or lower than the reference range supplied by the laboratory. That range that's in the middle, is the reference range, and you can go above or below the reference range, but that reference range is not a range of normality. It's a range based on the blood results of say 200,000 dogs and then after they have got a statistical number, they try to find the average value in the population of dogs. Then they take a standard deviation to the lift and to the right, to incorporate say 60-80% of the population. Then they call that the reference range. Then they say that any value outside the reference range may be associated with a clinical event. So, the reference range includes a range of true normality, but it also includes dogs that are "sick".

We want to look at true normality. Any deviations to the left or right of that true normality, even though those values are within the reference range, does not mean they are normal. Vets are interpreting the reference range as a range of normality, but it includes a compensation and a de-compensation phase, before the dog becomes a pathological entity. What they are looking for is the pathological entity, while I am looking at it as a nutritional entity. I want to see what is going wrong, before it goes wrong. It is just a different interpretation. This is something that is not taught at the veterinary schools. It's something that, if you are interested in nutrition, you pick it up yourself or learn it from someone like my Veterinary Nutrition instructor.

The first photo was taken the day I brought Pappy home. Inside and out, this old dog smelled like death. His breath would make my eyes water. His thin coat had a yellowish tinge to it. His skin had scabs everywhere and when he wasn't licking his front legs, he was rubbing his face. He had pussy eyes and tear stains down his face.

The second photo of Pappy was taken after 7 days on Abady Non-Prescription Vitality A for dogs. His tear stains were gone. His eyes were clear and not running or oozing puss. He stopped rubbing his face, and the licking of his paws was reduced by 25%. He had nothing between his skin and ribs when I got him, but in the first week he gained 1 pound of muscle, not fat.

I took Pappy to our vet on day 10 to get a complete blood work-up, including liver enzymes, because I wanted to know everything that is going on inside his little body. I got the blood work results back from the vet on day 13, since I got Pappy. In addition to all of Pappy's other diagnosis; seasonal allergies, food allergy dermatitis, hypothyroidism, cataracts and hearing loss, the test revealed that he also had kidney disease, which was not detected in his last complete blood work-up done 13 months earlier. That test showed levels in the upper range of the reference range. In the past year, his levels have increased above the reference range.

The ingredient list for the food that the vet suggested is as follows: Water, Beef, Carrots (indigestible and contains toxic saponins), Rice, Pork Liver, Chicken Fat (cheap carbohydrate fat), Peas (indigestible and contains toxic saponins), Corn Starch (indigestible), Dextrose (sugar), Flaxseed, Sucrose (sugar), Powdered Cellulose (wood pulp), Chicken Liver Flavor (artificial-carcinogenic), Whole Grain Barley, Fish Oil, Caramel color (carcinogenic)...

I fed him Abady Vitality A, which contains: Beef (Muscle Meat), Beef Tripe, White Rice, Beef Heart, Water sufficient for processing, Sunflower oil (organic), Lard (Pork Fat - yields the longest chain of land-based omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids), Beef Kidney, Beef Fat, Beef Liver, Chicken Liver, Bone Flour, Whole Eggs, Flaxseed Oil (organic), Menhaden Fish Oil, Beef Trachea, Thymus, Dried Pancreas gland, ...

Pappy gained a total of 3 pounds in the first 3 weeks I had him, putting his weight at 17.9 pounds for a male Maltese. That's ridiculously large for the breed. How did that happen? Saponins in the food he was raised on is a big part of the cause. Saponins stimulate rapid growth, while interfering with the protein-splitting enzymes involved in tissue production, thus potentially producing muscular and skeletal failure during growth, because it interferes with the nutrients required for sound growth (hip dysplasia). So, as evidenced by his unusually large skeletal structure and the presence of knee and elbow dysplasia, it's obvious that the saponins in the food put together a large frame with not enough muscle tissue to hold it all together.

When the blood test revealed that Pappy had renal failure, the vet said to cut back on protein in his diet. I explained to her, "It's not the quantity of protein that is important to get longevity in these dogs with kidney filtering issues. It's all about giving the right kind of protein. In fact, protein is even more essential for kidney function when damage is present. It's not LOW protein, but the CORRECT amount of the CORRECT protein that should be fed in order to try and gain longevity in these types of individuals. Tissue building nutrients are required to increase the part of the kidney that works, to compensate for the part of the kidney that doesn't work.

Proteins derived from animal sources are therefore essential, NOT the protein derived from non-animal sources; legumes and grains, which are not digestible and contain toxic saponins. In order to obtain a permanent improvement in the clearance of BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen - which is influenced by dietary intake) you must work hard on the remaining healthy glomeruli (Glomerular filtration rate produces an increase in filtering out BUN, and therefore also increases urinary output). In this aspect, success is achieved if the size of the filtering surface is increased. The growth factors will do this. You can't have growth factors without tissue building nutrients, which are amino acids / protein. Protein amino acids are essential for kidney function, and even more so when there is kidney damage."

I got Pappy October 27th and he died on his 15th birthday, December 29, 2014. He only lived with us for 2 months, but what is amazing is that even though he was very, very old for his breed and at the end of the final stage of renal failure, the other conditions he suffered with were reversing themselves with proper nutrition. The renal failure, of course, was irreversible, however I have to tell you that the vet was amazed to learn that Pappy gained 3 pounds while his kidneys were failing. The vet said, "It's impossible to put weight on a patient with renal failure". Those 3 pounds served him well, because during his last two weeks of life, he was living on those 3 pounds. When he died, Pappy weighed 14.1 pounds. He had lost all he gained, plus 1/2 a pound. She also noticed that Pappy had more hair all over his body and that the hair on his legs was growing back very well. This was the result of feeding tissue building nutrients (animal protein).

Old Maltese dog enjoying his last days of life

I was disappointed that Pappy was only with is for two months, but at the same time, I was glad he didn't die in a shelter. During his final days, that nasty smell he had when I got him returned, but it smelled only half as bad. He wouldn't have lived two more months, without Abady. He looked better (see photos) on day 60, in his last photo than he did in his first, even though he was 2 days from death. Two months may not sound like much but in dog years that's a little longer than one year. When Pappy died on his 15th birthday, he was 105 years old, in dog years. I can't help but imagine how much healthier he would have been and how improved his end could have been, if he'd been eating a species appropriate diet that provided the proper nutrition. Imagine the benefit a younger dog could experience from the nutrition provided by Abady.

As a case study, Pappy turned out to be everything I've learned about in the veterinary nutrition text books. What a wonderful way to truly experience this and also help this precious old soul live the best possible ending.

The veterinary prescribed food he had been eating to “remedy” his health problems, contained the following ingredients:
Menhaden Fish Meal, Potato, Ground Barley, Ground Oats, Menhaden Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Kelp, …
It is promoted as “For healthy skin and coat” and ‘Helps improve tear stains”. If this food was capable of resolving these symptoms, it would have done so in the 2 ½ years he had been eating it. If you excluded the potato, oats and beet pulp, you might actually have something worth feeding, depending on what the actual fish ingredients are. Usually it's fish heads, scales, fins and tails, which are not digestible.

I feed my dogs only ABADY because it is unique. They target the nutritional needs of carnivores by supplying a diet largely composed of raw meat, internal organs, fat and bone. Abady is balanced nutrition that is effective, properly focused and safe to feed, because it more closely approximates Nature's plan for the diets of carnivores. I absolutely love to see what it does for the health of my dogs, as they mature. Everyone marvels at how good they look, even the breeder!


Another reason why I adopted Pappy is because I wanted to try out the Maltese breed. I always thought to myself, if I got a little dog it would be a Maltese. I fell in love and decided to adopt Maggie. Someone dropped her off at a rescue and said, "We just don't want her anymore." I drove to the rescue where she was, one hour north of Philadelphia, which is 3 hours from home, to get her.

This 17 month old Maltese-Shi Tzu was obviously beginning to accumulate vet bills, because she was starting to have health problems caused by improperly formulated dog foods. She was thought to have an eye infection, for which they had been giving her antibiotics. She may have had an eye infection in the left eye, but as time passed I realized that her right eye-ball had been cut. It developed scar tissue that continued to grow and is very visible to us. I'm not sure what she sees out of that eye. I fed her Abady Vitality A and Abady Maintenance & Stress granular food. She received no medications and recovered her health beautifully.

Now four years old, Maggie has been a delight and the best dog we have ever had.

Maltese dog rescued in poor health and updated photo

Please understand that I am not a veterinarian and I cannot diagnose any condition or prescribe, but I can give you an opinion of your pets health based on an interpretation of the results from a nutritional perspective. What you do with the information is your responsibility. This information is for educational purposes only.