Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm sorry that I have not responded sooner. I'm afraid that I have been neglecting the duties of my site for quite some time as I have been doing battle in other realms. But, there is something BIG on the horizon so please stay tuned!
I know this article was long and that people are used to taking in much smaller "sound bites" on forums and Websites like this. But, the important thing to grasp for this is the role of viruses in our health and that of our pets. We need to gain the PROPER perspectives of how and why they do what they do.
Viruses are not innatley malicious. They have a very important purpose in nature and in our bodies. And, they are the masters of adaptation. Most of what we call "disease" is viral adaptation that has gone awry due to the lack of proper response on our part.
For example, for years I suffered from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. This is characterized by damage to the intestinal lining caused by gluten, the main protein in wheat, barley, and rye. This kind of damage was meant to be transient and correctable IF we listened to our body and stopped eating the things causing the symptoms. The gut normally heals very quickly when we do this.
BUT, rather that stop consuming the offending foods (gluten, dairy, soy and corn being the most damaging), we take medication to cover up the symptoms and continue to eat the bread, cheese, and corn chips that are pounding away at our intestinal villi. So, whose fault is it that celiac disease develops and becomes such a horrific condition?
Researchers are now looking at a viral cause of celiac disease and I believe they are correct. This is what viruses do. They force us to adapt. But just because we adapt does not mean that we are normal or healthy as a result of that adaptation. We are often compromised by that change. We may survive as a result of the adaptation but do we thrive???
This is what wheat-based pet foods have done to our cats and dogs. Undoubtedly, the transition from corn-based to wheat-based foods 20 years ago was the single worst thing to ever happen in veterinary nutrition. Our pets have "ADAPTED" to these diets but they are far from thriving on them. In fact, it only took 3-4 days of mixing in these new gluten-riddled diets to have them get over the initial gastrointestinal signs they experienced when they were first exposed to them. Remember that? Where were our heads when this was happening 20 years ago? Why didn't we think there was something wrong with the food when the dogs and cats became ill when we first put these wheat-based foods in their bowls? We got confused when we realized that a slow mix-in could solve the problem, didn't we?
That's called adaptation. We also adapt to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and air pollution. That doesn't mean they're good for us, right?
It's the viruses in our body that allow us to adapt to these challenges. BUT, as the article above states, there is a limit to what they will take before cause serious illness, including cancer. Yes, cancer is their ultimate adaptation.
And when we consider what we are doing wrong to these amazingly adaptable yet ultimately vulnerable bodies, should we be surprised at the outcome? Why DO dogs have a higher cancer rate than people? Look at their diets and how biologically inappropriate most commercial pet foods are. Ugh! Dogs and cats would NEVER eat wheat, corn, soy or dairy products in nature.In fact, they would not even be exposed to them! Corn was buried deep in middle America, soy was only in Japan, original unadulterated wheat was only in the Middle East and cow milk was..well...buried in the cow's udder. Not many cows would let a dog or cat suckle on them, right? Plus, the cows that we chose to drink the milk of were only found in Western Europe and are a different species of those found in Africa and India.
No matter how you look at them, the "big 4"...the gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye), dairy, soy and corn...are unnatural and unhealthy for pets. The bad news is that this all applies to humans as well. It is crazy that these make up nearly 80% of the standard American diet (that's SAD), but they do. And they are the top 4 childhood, dog and cat food allergens. This is for a very good reason. And it is painfully clear that viruses hate them, almost as much as they hate carcinogens.
So, if you want real answers as to why medical things happen the way that they do, jump down this rabbit hole and check it out. You'll be amazed.
I hope this helps,
John B. Symes, DVM (aka "DogtorJ")