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"The Thinking Person's Pet Food"™ – Since 1979

DentaTreat™

Question:
My name is ___ and I work at Pet Valu as their Nutritionist. Probably similar to you I get all those technical questions regarding foods, and other nutritional related matters. I have had many stores personnel ask for proof that the Wysong DentaTreat is safe for cats, a number of these stores have stop selling the DentaTreat because of their concern. The concern arises from the Apple Phenols in the DentaTreat. They have be told, or read, that phenols are toxic to cats, and by extrapolation the apple phenols makes DentaTreat unsafe for cats. What I would like is some help finding the scientific information I need to explain why the concerns are unfounded.

From what I have read, there are clearly some type of phenols that cats are very sensitive to. I believe it has something to do with their lack of glucuronyl transferase, which is needed to metabolize and excrete phenols, and other drugs like acetaminophen. This is also the reason why many essential oils are said to be toxic to cats. Do you know of any information on what type of phenols are toxic to cats? It would a nice to able to say these type of phenols are toxic, the apple phenols in DentaTreat are another type of phenol and are not toxic. Do you know of any information of the toxicity level of phenols in cats? So far my search of the scientific literature has turned up very little, and this is where I could use some help.

I know the DentaTreat does an excellent job, but unless this hurdle is overcome I will have a hard time convincing all our stores of its great potential, so whatever you can get to me will be helpful.

Answer:
I have attached the DentaTreat™ monograph to this e-mail. It explains the benefits of apple polyphenols.

It is amazing how myths begin and spread in the pet food industry. This occurs not only because the public at large is unaware, but because the industry is filled with more marketing (most products are not even made by the company on the label) than technical expertise. As you are aware, "phenol" is merely a name for a particular chemical structure that is ubiquitous in biochemistry. The structure is a variant of the benzene ring and can be found in virtually every food, many vitamins, and many enzymes. Life would not be possible, nor would food, without the phenolic structure. We challenge those who are on the "ban the phenol" bandwagon to find one cat that does not have phenols as part of its biochemical makeup, or that can survive on foods that do not have the phenolic structure in them.

We are aware of no evidence that the polyphenols in apples, consumed in a dose as in DentaTreat, do anything other than benefit. The onus is on the myth purveyors to prove otherwise. Yes, certain kinds of phenols can be toxic, but then so too can be certain kinds of any kind of chemical found in nature.

The ingredients used in this product have been used by Wysong for decades, fed to tens of thousands of animals through multiple generations, with no toxic effects. In many cases that which is toxic at a certain dose is beneficial at another. Remember, anything can be toxic if in high enough dosage and fed continuously. Even oxygen and water can be toxic. The dose makes the poison.

I hope this will help.

Question:
When I discovered your DentaTreat product, I was amazed at the results. My little guy's teeth were practically glowing in the dark!

However, I'm noticing a problem and am wondering if any other dog has experienced it.

- My dog (James) is a 22 lb. mixed breed, in good health, gets plenty of exercise and is a hearty little dog

- I feed him premium food (although, not Wysong)

Problem: I sprinkled a small amount (a slight dusting) of DentaTreat on the morning meal and after a time, James had anal sac problems. He had them before occasionally (maybe once a year the vet would express the sac), but this past summer the flare ups were more serious. After adding more fiber to his food and trips to the vet to express the sac, antibiotics, etc., the problem did not abate. Finally, I eliminated DentaTreat and the problem cleared up. About a month or so later, I tried using DentaTreat again (in even smaller amounts) and within two to three weeks the anal sac problem recurred. I've done this routine (stopping and starting DentaTreat) about three times and each time the result is the same: the gland problem clears up when I stop the DentaTreat and returns when I reintroduce it. I can only conclude that DentaTreat is causing the anal sac to get irritated since everything else remains static.

Are you aware of any reactions like this to DentaTreat?

I'm really disappointed in my dog's reaction because I've whole- heartedly recommended the product to many people and I completely trust Wysong to produce only quality, safe products. I'm not looking for retribution, but only want to (a) let you know my experience with your product and (b) am curious if any other dogs have had a similar reaction.

Answer:
We have had no reports of such problems over the many years and thousands of animals that have used the product.

Anal sac problems are usually related to diet and exercise.

We would recommend that you follow the Optimal Health Program™ (http://wysong.net/wohp/) to help prevent this and other health problems.

Question:
Just wondering if a cat has issues with urinary tract disorder, would the dentatreat be alright for her? The vet has already been asked and they said they didnt know. Also, if a dog were lactose intolerant, would the dentatreat bother the dog as well?

Answer:
DentaTreat™ should have no adverse effect on cats with urinary disease. In the small amount used, it will likely not cause a problem with the dog either, but all you can do is test and see.

Question:
We just started using DentaTreat for our three-year-old dog and so far really like the product. The only concern we have is that our dog constantly licks our one-year-old son - sometimes on the mouth. Is there any reason for concern if our one-year-old son is licked after the dog eats her food sprinkled with DentaTreat?

Answer:
We can think of no reason why DentaTreat™ should cause a problem if your pet licks your child. You will note that the ingredients are the same as found in many human foods.


Question:
After reading this article: http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/enterococcus-sequencing.html, I am very concerned about using DentaTreat. Can you tell me why you use Enterococcus faecium, what testing you have done on animals, especially dogs, and whether or not you have been informed of any adverse affects from the use of your product?

Answer:
Enterococcus faecium is a species of bacteria that has been characterized as part of the normal gastrointestinal microbial flora in animals and humans. It is a naturally occurring bacterium that grows in human and animal intestinal contents. They have been colonizing G.I. tracts of living creatures for eons and are here to stay. There's no way to "make them go away". Depending on the composition of a human diet or an animal ration, up to 100 million (1 x 10 8 ) colony forming units (CFU), or live bacteria, have been isolated per gram of fecal material. Thus, it naturally constitutes a major population in the gut. Bacteria are essential in the gastrointestinal tract. Although enzymes are excreted by humans and animals to digest foods, a considerable portion of consumed dietary ingredients are broken down by the action of intestinal microflora (bacteria).
To date, there have been no well-documented and characterized cases of disease attributed to E. faecium infection in animals (Devries and Pot, 1995). In fact, there are numerous studies published in the scientific literature that demonstrate effectiveness when Enterococcus faecium probiotic cultures are fed to livestock. In one particular calf study, calves were fed a negative control diet (no probiotics or growth-promoting levels of antibiotics), a diet containing a culture of Enterococcus faecium, or a diet containing the familiar growth-promoting antibiotic zinc bacitracin. Results from the study clearly demonstrated that both the probiotic culture of E. faecium and the zinc bacitracin diets performed equally well, and both treatments significantly out-performed the performance of the negative control diet. In light of these results, might not the probiotic culture accomplish the same result on the natural intestinal microflora as low-level feed antibiotics, shifting microbial population that favor enhanced performance, only without inducing antibiotic resistance? These cultures are delivering what the medical community has requested of the animal feeding industry; cost-effective performance without the use of antibiotics.

In another study with dogs, feeding a culture of E. faecium statistically significantly increased the serum titres (levels of circulating antibodies) to antigens contained in common dog vaccines, when compared to controls that were not feed the E. faecium probiotic culture. In dairy cattle, feeding live yeast and two strains of Enterococcus faecium to fresh cows increased dry matter intake, milk yield, and milk protein content as compared to negative control cows. There are countless other studies showing the benefits of feeding probiotic cultures of E. faecium to livestock, all without incident. These products increase feed costs when fed to livestock. Thus, in order to justify their use, economics dictate that the return for their use must exceed their input cost. Probiotic cultures of E. faecium are doing just that. No farmer is going to throw money away on useless (or dangerous) feed additives! Furthermore, Enterococcus faecium has been reviewed by the European Union and has been granted the status of an approved, safe probiotic.

Enterococcus faecium have been used as a human probiotic for more than 25 years. More recently, Sarantinopoulus et al (2002) published a paper describing the benefits of using Enterococcus faecium strains as adjunct cultures in the making of Feta cheese for human consumption. Leroy et al (2003) studied the effects of adding a strain of Enterococcus faecium that was a natural isolate from cheese as a co-culture for the production of Cheddar cheese. This bacterium was used because of its ability to inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogenes, an extremely important food-borne pathogen. Hugas et al (2003) reported that species of enterococci were used in processed meat fermentations for years. "Despite the concern about pathogenicity of enterococci, recent studies point out that food and meat enterococci, especially Enterococcus faecium, have a much lower pathogenicity potential than clinical strains." The authors stressed the benefits of the control of Listeria monocytogenes in sliced, vacuum-packed cooked meat products when Enterococcus faecium strains were used. There are countless other papers in the literature supporting the use of Enterococcus faecium probiotics in humans. Carefully selected and researched strains of Enterococcus faecium are safe and effective probiotics. One must keep in mind that not ALL Enterococcus are the same.

Devries and Pot reported in 1995 that Enterococcus faecium had received recent attention in the scientific literature. Increasing reports had surfaced describing an increase in the incidence of nosocomial infections in humans due to some strains of Enterococcus faecium that have become resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. By definition, nosocomial infections are those infections "obtained while admitted to a hospital". But again, these infections have only been identified in long-term antibiotic therapeutic situations and in patients hospitalized with debilitating disease. Since that time, the medical community has designated these types of infections as VRE or vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infections.

BENEFICIAL CONCLUSIONS
  1. Enterococcus faecium is a normal healthy G.I. tract bacterium that constitutes an integral part of the intestinal microflora for most living creatures, including man. It cannot be removed from the environment and will continue to be a portion of the intestinal microflora.
  2. As the world community continues to demand that animal food products are produced with no antibiotics whenever possible, probiotics are going to play an increasingly greater role in the future.
  3. Carefully selected and researched strains of Enterococcus faecium are well-documented as safe and effective probiotics. They have been proven safe and effective in humans and livestock and have been recognized as such in the European Union, the United States, by the FDA, AAFCO, and in other countries as well.
  4. Although certain clinically challenging strains of Enterococcus faecium have been identified, their existence has been attributed to indiscriminate use of antibiotics in humans and animals, and such strains often turn into outbreaks, spreading rapidly when proper hospital sanitation procedures are lacking.
  5. The medical community has supported the use of beneficial probiotic cultures in humans. Despite the literature citations listed here, no authors in the volumes of research papers describing this problem have ever mentioned that these pathogenic strains of Enterococcus faecium were associated with the feeding of E. faecium as a probiotic, nor have they called for the prohibition of probiotic use.
  6. Wysong has used this probiotic culture for some 35 years and tens of thousands of humans and animals through multiple generations have benefited, not been harmed.