Dogs, Cats, Osteosarcoma, Dysplasia
and Pet Food Fluoride
by George Glasser,
The recent cover-up scandal about osteosarcoma and drinking water
fluoridation brought to mind research I had done several years ago into
canine osteosarcoma which is fairly common among certain breeds of dogs
Because of the association between osteosarcoma and drinking water fluoridation, I contacted people whose dogs developed the cancer to see if they lived in fluoridated areas, but there was not even a credible anecdotal connection. It appeared to be a universal problem. I dropped the investigation until the new flap came up about fluoride and osteosarcoma and I decided to take a fresh look at the issue again.
Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in humans, cats and dogs. Osteosarcoma mostly occurs in male humans, dogs and cats. In dogs, the disease is more frequently seen in larger breeds such as rottweilers, greyhounds, golden retrievers, etc. Recent studies have also shown that osteosarcoma is also more common in taller people.
Osteosarcoma accounts for 85% of all primary bone tumours in dogs, and in the US - 8,000-10,000 dogs per year in U.S develop osteosarcoma.
In cats, osteosarcoma accounts for 70% of primary bone tumours.
humans, about 5 children out of a million develop osteosarcoma each
year. Osteosarcoma accounts for five percent of all primary bone tumors
Osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer/tumors seen in humans, dogs and cats.
CONNECTING THE DOTS:
If fluoride were possibly a factor - how did the animals get a sufficient dose in their diet? My research suggested that it was arbitrary and not associated with drinking water fluoridation, if fluoride were a factor. The only other possibility was in their food.
It took nothing more than an Internet search using "fluoride content + dog food" and there it was:
A low-fluoride commercial dog food contains 40 - 60 parts per million of fluoride. A high-fluoride dog food can contain up to 460 parts per million of fluoride (Marks TA, J Toxicol Environ Health. 1984;14(5-6):707-14).
"A 1971 study at the University of Montana found the average level of fluoride in leading pet foods to be 11 to 193 ppm, with the highest found in canned pet food. If your dog weighs 100 pounds this translates to a daily consumption of 21 to 368 milligrams of fluoride from commercial food.
government upper daily limit of 2.5 milligrams of fluoride is said to be
safe for children over three years of age. The Montana researchers found
that fluoride accumulates in pet's bones. 84 to 1535 milligrams of fluoride
was found in dog's leg bones. 74 to 1,190 milligrams was found in the bones
of cats, and it increased with age."
Investigating further, some lower grade dog foods may contain even more - up to 2,000 parts per million of fluoride.
Interestingly, the only study I could find about dogs, osteosarcoma and fluoride was one where they were investigating fluoridated drinking water - Apparently, the researchers, not realising that dogs may already be consuming several hundred milligrams of fluoride per day in their food; tens - hundreds of times more that the recommended dose for humans of 1.0 milligram per day.
While there are fairly strict regulations about how much fluoride can be in the food of farm animals, the guidelines for pet foods are fluid. I could find no research for "safe fluoride levels" for cats and dogs.
There is no fluoride intake criteria for pet dogs and cats - it is all based on ASSUMPTION and not science.
The reason that pets and dietary fluoride intake have been totally neglected is that pets do not represent an agricultural cash commodity.
For instance, daily fluoride intake for breeding farm animals and dairy cows are lower than for animals raised for slaughter. The reason for this is high levels of fluoride can interfere with reproduction, milk production and the general health of the breeding stock/dairy cows.
"Safe levels of fluoride in the diet dry matter for finishing [slaughter] cattle are no more than 100 ppm (0.01 percent) and to more than 40 ppm (0.004 percent) for animals to be kept in the breeding herd." http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/ansci/g02081.htm
"Tolerance levels have been identified for domesticated animals, with the lowest values for dairy cattle at 30 mg/kg feed or 2.5 mg/litre drinking-water. . . Symptoms of fluoride toxicity include emaciation, stiffness of joints and abnormal teeth and bones. Other effects include lowered milk production and detrimental effects on the reproductive capacity of animals." http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc227.htm
that pets fall into the lower end of the 'safe limit' priorities along with
farm animals bred for slaughter - all regulations for levels of undesirable
constituents of mineral supplements were developed with commercial
agricultural ends in mind - profitability and cost saving for the farmer or
Unfortunately, pets are not considered an agricultural commodity and the agricultural standards are simply accepted without reservation by veterinarians for all animals. They do not factor in the fact that pets are pets and their owners are fond of them, and people want to keep them alive and healthy for as long as possible. People's pets are not just nameless cash producing commodities that either go to slaughter or are put-down when they no longer can produce milk or offspring.
While, volumes of research has been done on pigs, sheep goats, chickens and cattle with regard to adverse health effects from fluoride, there is very little information about pets such as dogs and cats. Consequently, it is safe to assume that many of dogs and cats who appear to be suffering with arthritis, dysplasia, spinal deformities, etc. may have actually
developed skeletal fluorosis. The veterinarians don't have a clue that fluorosis might be the problem.
It appears that most veterinarians are completely unaware of the fact that there are cat and dog foods contain high fluoride levels and the physical problems that it can cause your pet dog or cat.
Researchers are looking at many of the health problems as genetic aberrations rather than toxicant related conditions such as skeletal fluorosis from high levels of fluoride contained in pet foods. While a particular breed may be genetically predisposed to those health problems, the contaminants in the feed may prematurely trigger the events or even make them more pronounced at a young age.
The addition of mineral supplements which contain high levels of fluoride is not a conspiracy, but plain old ignorance - your pet is simply in the same category as a farm animal bred for slaughter - no one has ever adequately investigated the long-term effects of fluoride intake on domestic pets or its impact on specific breeds.
While they have known that certain breeds are genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia (osteoarthritis), osteosarcoma, kidney dysfunction, etc., no one has done research to determine if the high levels of fluoride in their feed may exacerbate or even be the catalyst in triggering these adverse events.
Hip dysplasia is actually a form of arthritis of the hip bones. Most of the dogs and cats that are genetically predisposed to dysplasia develop the condition before they are two years old. However, dysplasia may well be misdiagnosed and is actually skeletal fluorosis - but veterinarians have not looked at this possibility because they haven't thought outside of
the agricultural nutrition box.
The primary source of the fluoride in pet foods is from the added mineral supplements: defluorinated phosphate rock (which still retains some fluoride and is found in more expensive pet foods), raw soft phosphate rock, mono and tricalcium phosphate (made from a mixture of phosphoric acid and calcium carbonate). The less expensive the dog food, probably, the higher the fluoride levels because they use raw phosphate.
phosphate, mainly because of it's fluoride content (3% -4%) is most
physically damaging animal mineral supplement because it is not processed
and the least expensive. These facts have been known since the 1920s in
early animal nutritional research of fluorine in animal nutrition.
Manufacturers are not required to list the fluoride of contaminant levels in pet food.
Could it be, that by simply changing the mineral supplements added to dog and cat foods, many of the maladies your pet may suffer from can be virtually eliminated or delayed until much later in life.
http://www.dogpack.com/health/healthproblems.htm and do some of your own
research by entering "fluoride" or "fluorine*" with the problem into an
From my research, I would suggest purchasing meat from the butcher, andif the animal needs mineral supplements - give them the same quality supplement that you would take yourself.
Also see: http://www.npwa.freeserve.co.uk/pollution.htm for more information about phosphate rock.
* In animal nutrition, 'fluoride' is more commonly referred to as 'fluorine'.
By George Glasser, Press Officer/Water Quality Advisor
National Pure Water Association
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