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Leave a bone for Ms. Johnnie Mae
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March 22nd 1999
My first vege dog was a Lab/Greyhound mix who died at the age of 7 from a tick disease Ehrlichiosis that was improperly treated by her vet. She reached the weight of 96 pounds.During her entire life, she was seen by Veterinarians, who performed routine tests on her, and with the exception of a skin allergy to certain grasses, never had any health problems. Her loss has inspired me to research canine health and longevity.
As the owner of three dogs( all female-mixed Lab breeds),I've found myself increasingly committed and concerned about their health and longevity.Being the developer of a Vegetarian program, I questioned whether the vegetarian diet could improve canine health like it does for humans.
Of course, the first argument people are going to have is that
"dogs are carnivores".
DOGS... OMNIVORES OR CARNIVORES?
According to Rebecca Remillard, DVM, a Specialist in Veterinary Nutrition:
"Canines are in the order Carnivora, but I think their feeding behaviors are best described as omnivorous. The term carnivore applies to their taxonomic classification, not their feeding behavior. Taxonomically, dogs are members of the order Carnivora, a very diverse group, that includes 12 families of more than 260 species, some of which are herbivorous mammals (the panda). There are three types of feeding behavior (omnivorous, herbivorous and carnivorous) all of which can be found among different members of the order Carnivora." (From an email response to the question of dogs being looked upon as carnivorous or omnivorous in the newsletter of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition.)
The domesticated canine is in fact an Opportunistic OMNIVORE and a Scavenger, who can even digest it's own fecal matter and derive about 5-10% of the nutrients contained within.
The domesticated canine does NOT, hunt down it's food and eat it,blood,bones and all.In fact, the domesticated canine can and is trained to bring dead animals to the feet of it's master(hunter) without eating it
The dental structure of the domesticated canine is in fact, capable of chewing both vegetable matter and meat tissue.A fact presented on several documentaries about the development of Dogs
The domesticated canine is completely dependent upon human beings for it's food. The commercial dog food industry by it's very nature, is UNNATURAL for dogs, if you want to discuss the concept of the natural diet of dogs.One could easily argue that the teeth and claws of dogs did not develop due to an evolutionary need to tear into bags of kibble.The domesticated canine does NOT have claws capable of opening metal cans- which is what much of it's food is stored in at this point in it's evolution as an animal
While the canine as a species is a natural creation, the majority of dog BREEDS, are the creation of MAN. Designed to suit the purposes and needs of MAN.
February 6, 2005 (Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation) -- Aging beagles supplied with a diet rich in nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, given exercise, and social and environmental stimulation remained more youthful and smarter than canines given run-of-the-mill treatment, a new study from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) reports
Interesting that the things that are being shown to improve human and canine performance are NOT from dead meat but instead from living herbs,fruits and vegetables
A key scientifically proven factor in canine longevity and reduction of bone diseases is
High nutrtient-reduced caloric intake
Common Foods harmful to canines
Rather than get into any long arguments regarding a vegetarian diet for dogs, let me simply state the following.
My wife and I have had four dogs that were vegetarian since owning them at 8 weeks.
We now have 3 Vegedogs
I've Been On Dogster Since:
|March 7th 2008
||More than 6 years!
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March 9th 2014 5:05 pm
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Aloha to Ms. Johnnie Mae-15 yr old vegetarian dog
It is with a heavy heart that I write this article concerning the passing of one of my beloved dogs, Ms. Johnnie Mae. Given to my wife Pam and I by her sister, who insisted that we take one of the dogs from a litter of pups, we wound up with the “Runt of the litter”.
Her mother was a Mastif/Lab mix and her father was a Pit Bull mix. Something that I always talked about but never followed through with was genetic testing to determine her full blood line.
Be that as it may, Johnnie lived to the ripe old age of 14 years-11 months and one week. She was a Vegetarian all of her life.
Within her years, she had a hematoma on her ear from shaking it near a wall that required surgery and a stage one skin cancer on her left back paw that was removed without further issues.
At 14 ½ she did not have arthritis, she did have the lenticular scleroderma eye symptom common to dogs over 11, but was not blind nor was she was deaf .
As part of my health and fitness program , a central goal has always been to “increase health span within life span”. This goal pertains to dogs as well as humans.
In Ms. Johnnies case, she experienced 14 ½ years of relatively good health within her 14 years and 11 months on this Earth. She is a product of PDN Canine Vegetarianism and as it’s developer, I am honored to have been her owner and nutritionist for close to 15 years.
While there are several Vegetarian dog food brands on the market today all of which meet the basic standard of canine nutrition, PDN Canine Vegetarianism was designed to reduced common ailments within dogs as well as contribute to the greater longevity of the domesticated canine. Now that many countries in the developing world are accepting dogs as pets and not food, the need for high quality nutrition not requiring meat is paramount. All of my dogs have eaten both commercially developed dog food as well as home prepared.
With Ms. Frankie I, I was able to develop a dietary program that would sustain a 96 pound dog. She died unfortunately at the age of 7 from complications associated with Erliciosis that was improperly treated by the same Vet who diagnosed it.
With Ms Johnnie Mae (35-40 lbs.), I was determined to take her to the record books(literally).
What I did not take into consideration regarding Canine longevity was the phenomena of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or Acute idiopathic polyneuropathy. Both issues which Ms. Johnnnie displayed symptoms of within her last months of life.
Six months prior to her passing, we noticed her on occasions displaying weakness in her back legs. The fact that she would initiate play with her pack mate T’Challa who out weighed her by 30 plus pounds, lead us to believe as well as her Vet, that she pulled a muscle playing too hard. While that is still very likely, it may have also been the first signs of muscle weakness associated with the neurapthay.
It was during the same time that she had the muscle weakness that we also began to see from time to time, a lack of house training skills(soiling the rug). This also goes along with the Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. Our dog door requires our dogs to step over a raised portion and we rationalized that maybe it was too hard for her to step over that portion to go outside because of her sprained muscle. More likely, this was also a sign of CCD.
When I took Johnnie Girl(my pet name for her) to her Vet, I noticed on the wall a chart of How Old is your Pet? It went up to age 15. I looked at Johnnie and said to her ”well puppy, I took you to the end of the chart”!
During her last week of life, I had to feed her liquid nutrition because she would not eat anything except a piece of Greenie.I told her that as long as she was willing to accept nourishment, I was willing to try everything in my powers to keep her alive. She took nourishment up until her last day. Within her last week of life, she was very weak and had difficulties climbing up and down the four stairs that she had climbed for 10 years. But up until a fews days before her passing, without prompting, she attempted that task. Two days before her passing, I woke up around 2 Am to go to the bathroom, I looked around and there was Ms. Frankie and King T’Challa but no Johnnie Mae. I looked in the living room and all of the rooms in the house but couldn’t find her. Grabbing a flash light I prepared myself for the worse, no sooner did I get down the stairs , there she was having successfully relieved herself outside but too weak to stand up to get back inside.
Ms. Johnnie Mae although she started out as the runt of the litter receiving less nutrition than any of the others-out lived all of the dogs within her litter including her parents. She also outlived her pack mates Ms. Frankie I(7 years old) and Queen Storm(7 years old-poisoning).
Born on the North Shore of the island of Oahu in Hawaii, she lived the last 10 years of her life on the Big Island of Hawaii.
She is survived by Ms. Frankie II(11 years old) and King T’Challa(6 years old). The knowledge gained by me through her life, will be passed on to her pack mates. And while it’s too soon to think about replacing her, as I’ve stated to my wife many years ago “ we will always have a Frankie and Johnnie in our home.”
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