By now many of you will have seen yesterday’s Rodney Habib post “Raw food with a side of hyperthyroidism” and link to a post by Dr. Jean Dodds “Dietary hyperthyroidism in dogs”. For anyone who hasn’t read either blog post let’s cut right to the chase:
“Dietary hyperthyroidism can be seen in dogs on a raw meat diet or fed fresh or dried gullets (which include thyroid tissue).”
“In the dogs of this report, it is obvious that the correct balance was not maintained and a very large amount of raw thyroid gland tissue ended up in their raw meat diet.”
So basically the study concluded that you can give a dog hyperthyroidism through raw feeding but to do so you need to feed large amounts of raw thyroid gland tissues.
It’s worth reading both of the posts that I linked above and also some of the comments that have been made against each one. There is debate over the low number of dogs contained in the study and queries as to whether this also applies to feeding other animals such as lamb for example. To be honest I’m not that concerned about the answer to either question.
For me the key point to take away from this is the importance of balance in the diet. That is not to say that I obsessively weigh out the percentages of meat to bone to organs that I am feeding my dogs. But what I don’t do is feed large percentages of any one item. If you feed whole pieces and are concerned as to whether you’re over feeding thyroid gland tissue then a quick google image search should arm you with sufficient knowledge to be able to identify the tissue.
Where things get a bit more tricky is if you feed pre made minces. I personally don’t use them, and one of the several reasons I don’t is because I am then that much further away from knowing exactly what my dogs are eating. But I understand that for some people using pre made minces is unavoidable. If you do feed pre made minces and are now concerned then I would encourage you to get in touch with your supplier/the original manufacturer.
Any supplier or manufacturer of raw pet food should be aware of this study (conducted in 2012) and should have a response for you, even if that response is that they believe the study to be flawed. If they are unable to provide you with an answer that makes you feel comfortable then it may well be time to change suppliers/manufacturers or to switch products to ones that you feel are lower risk.