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<i>Veterinary Advisors</i><i> Blog</i>
<i>Veterinary Advisors</i><i> Blog</i>
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Veterinary Advisors Blog

Our Vet's Blog

This is a copy of our Veterinary Advisor Graham Hines Blog which hopefully has some useful information

Vaccicheck Clinic Starting again 5th May


 Well as lockdown eases we feel we can start Vaccicheck Clinics at the Dogs Diner again in May

Subject to the guidelines as much as we can - Please wear a facemask, wait outside until we call you in, extra hygiene between clients etc and bear with us a little slower than normal

First session 10am Wednesday 5th May 10am

Ring the Diner on

The Dog's Diner Ltd
Tarran Way North, Moreton 
Wirral CH46 4UB

0151 678 2588

As from that date I can also see client for longer consultations for advice or treatment there but book those with me on


Services offered



Nutrition Advice

Herbal medicine 

Vaccination, Parasite treatment advice and titre testing 

Just general Holistic Natural Veterinary Care 

No surgery, X-rays I run a referral practice but you can self refer


Evidence for the value and benefits of raw feeding increases...


 I would like to share with you some recent research which I was privileged to hear about on webinars and reading over the past month or so.

Should dogs and cats be fed a high carbohydrate diet?

1. Comparing Wolves and Dogs natural starch consumption

Dogs genomes are different to wolves in a number of aspects including the fact they have genes which allow them to produce amylase (the enzymes which the gut uses to digest starch. Does this mean they can therefore be fed high levels of carbs?

Research has shown that wolves diet consists of approximately 50:50 fat and protein and only 1% starch 

Domestic dogs of a wide variety of sizes and breeds if allowed to self select foods choose to eat 4-7% starch. 

(Feral) Cats naturally eat about 2% starch and natural would choose to avoid more starch if given a free choice.

Wild animals will by the laws of natural selection will eat the foods that give them the best chance of survival.

So why do Commercial cat foods contain as much as 40% starch can we find research to back this up and disagree with the above assumptions. Yes there is a study Hall et al 2018 which found cats would choose t eat more starch than that...

How did they get this figure that is so different - They used as protein sources total un-natural foods such a pea and wheat protein as their food sources because as you can see on the slide and cats like chicken better.
What?!!! Guess who sponsored this research HILLS

There are similar studies in the dog...

Above dogs should to eat less than 10% starch if given the choice and no surprise there is a studies sponsored by H*** Pet Nut*** attempting to dispute this ad again they chose to add to the diet a chicken flavour enhancer to all the diet from which the dogs could chose. They found dogs ate significantly more starchy carbs:

Why do the commercial food guys add carbohydrate? 

1. Its a much cheaper source of calories

2. You need to use starch to bind the kibble and form the dry foods

We have shown dogs and cats would not chose to eat very much starch but is it harmful?

There is increasing evidence to support observations myself and other holistic vets have been seeing for years that pets do much better on a raw based, minimal starch diet or even a cooked home prepared diet if they are balanced of course.

1. a small study compared the number of Toxocara canis egg in dogs fed on raw and processed diet found drastically less worm eggs shed in raw fed dogs:

It would seem the immune system of dogs that are naturally fed are much better able to defend themselves against this intestinal worm. 

A small study on the gene expression of white blood cells - the immune system cells macrophages and found differences in transcriptome expression. Basically within 3 weeks of changing between raw and processed diet there was an increase in inflammatory cell expression. Kibble causes chronic inflammation.

Studies in Finland I think I have written about before show that raw foods are dramatically protective in preventing Canine Atopy Dermatitis CAD in dogs fed a raw diet in the pre-natal period. The lowest levels of CAD in young adults was in the cohort in which the dam was raw fed and pups weaned on to raw food with intermediate level were pups were raw fed soon post weaning.

In other words an ultra processed carbohydrate based diets are a major risk factor in CAD 

(Atopy is inflammation of the skin caused by allergy and extremely common in practice.~)


Newer studies I think are getting us a step closer - it's the microbiome. There are dramatic differences in the bacterial populations in the gut and stool of raw fed low starch diets. There are increases in the variety of bacteria found in raw fed animals.

There are dramatic changes in the numbers and types of bacteria in not only the faeces but also the skin microbiome. We do not know what each type of bacteria does as yet and there is a lot more to learn. 

I will tell you more as I learn it.

Anti raw campaigners will use figures such as an increase in E. Coli spp. & Clostridium spp to berate raw and cite it as evidence raw is dangerous. But there are many sub-species or strains of these bacteria and increasing evidence in fact increased levels of clostridiceae is associated with faecal health and low faecal volume and a healthy microbiome.

The other measure is of the metabolome - chemicals in the body -  Kibble fed dogs have higher levels of methionine and cystathionine chemicals associated with inflammation and bile acids are higher which has in man been associated with colon cancer.

Another small study measured transcriptome in the skin of a small number of Staffies comparing the raw fed to the kibble fed and there are some evidence of an improved immunity and reduced oxidative stress

Most of these studies are very small numbers of animals and of course will be criticised by Big Kibble - Mars, Pedigree , Nestle and other pet food manufactures. 

The micro biome research is very new and I am sure we will learn more over the next few years to support our observations in practice.

If you want to read more then may I suggest reading my Irish Colleague Conor Brady's excellent book

The RFVS Raw Feeding Veterinary Society

We are trying to sponsor our own research into the benefits/risks of Natural Feeding to be able to challenge Big Kibble if you can donate anything please do

Donation Page

References - see images and more available on request.

D. Knueven DVM (personal communication )


Coconut Oil - Is it good for your Dog?


 Coconut oil is a fashionable addition to the diets of both people and there pets. 

Is it good for your dog? NO stick to an species appropriate diet

Not according to these researcher. Unless your pets microbiome is used to these forms of oil it can cause more problems than it helps.

Have a listen to this youtube interview:

You can really upset the delicate balance of your pets gut flora and cause inflammatory chemical to leak out of the gut with coconut oil and many other novel foods which pets are not used to or evolved to consume. Read more about the microbiome on my website.

The microbiome is the population of micro-organisms which live along side us in or gut and elsewhere and I think is the reason a raw diet helps so many of my patients.


Last Vaccicheck Clinic of the year 12/12/20


 Our next vaccicheck clinic has been arranged for Saturday 12th December at the usual place.

The Dog's Diner Ltd
Tarran Way North, Moreton 
Wirral CH46 4UB

0151 678 2588

Give them a ring to make an appointment

What is this?

We will take a small blood sample from you dog and measure the antibody levels (titre) to 

Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus

If there are as in most dogs adequate levels there is no need to have them vaccinated - result!!

Covid distancing and masks are required and used.

As it so close to Christmas then santa masks would be good and you can get your companions their last minute gifts while there - Turkey and cranberry minced dinners

Read more about vaccicheck at naturalpetcare.vet/medicine/vaccination/

Fore appointments about other things on other days or after the clinic contact me not the Diner


Raw Feeding Research an Update


 This weekend I attended a seminar on raw feeding from  RAW FEEDING VETERINARY SOCIETY

I would like to share some of the results with you

Raw Feeding and Allergies

Vets who advocate Raw Feeding will confirm that they see a reduction in the severity of skin allergy (atopic dermatitis) and IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases) when they change a dog onto a raw diet.

This has been confirmed in research presented to the conference by a Finish Group led by Anna Hielm-Björkman DVM, PhD in Finland 

When a breeding bitch is fed a raw diet and her puppies are fed raw for the first few months of life the incidence of Canine Atopic dermatitis is 3 times 300% less likely to occur. There are other factors such as genetics but diet has a huge affect.

Similar results abut the development of IBD in later life is found

You can have a look at the studies at dogrisk.com/publications 

Anna and her team run DOG RISK in Finland and need funds to improve the data and run more studies. If you feel you can donate so we can gain more evidence to fight back against Mars Nestle and the like please make a small donation


Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, scientists find


  Discovery is ‘extremely concerning’ for water insects, and fish and birds that depend on them

This is a headline in todays Guardian Newspaper 

For more about this increasing problem read my website as well

Why should you avoid the overuse of modern anti-parasitic drugs?

There are newer 'chewable" alternative flea/tick treatments but there is increasing evidence of neurological problems with these which you can read about above.
There are alternatives but they do take a little more effort from you the pet parent than can be affective and are so much better for the environment and your purse.

My website will have more details soon or you can contact me

Veterinary Herbal Medicine Week 12 October 2020


Exciting news! Veterinary herbal medicine week (12th-18th October) is fast approaching! Please join us here every weekday at 7pm! 

The Veterinary Herbal Medicine Week 2020 is nearly upon us

Every week day at 7pm you can join us for a facebook talk to learn more about how herbs can help you or your companions.

Join us here


October Halloween Vaccicheck Clinic


 We have arranged our next clinic to be Halloween MORNING from 10am at the Dogs Diner in Moreton Wirral

Give them a ring on 0151 678 2588

Cost £30 per dog

What is Vaccicheck?

We take a small blood sample from you pet and than use this to measure antibodies to Adenovirus, Distemper and Parvovirus in the blood. For this we can tell if he has been vaccinated successfully or had a natural infection to give him antibodies

If the antibody titers are positive then you will not need a vaccine for any of these diseases.

When should it be done. 

Ideally a couple of weeks post vaccination as a puppy if it's worked then he's protected but at any time is fine 

How long does protection last. Probably for life but we recommend a retest every 3 years if a good level of antibodies are found


Next Vaccicheck Clinic


 Saturday 19th September 2020

Ring the Diner for an appointment 0151 678 2588 

Cost £30.00

Read more about what Vaccicheck Antibody testing is here


Should you Neuter, When should you neuter -


 There has long been discussion around the most appropriate age for dogs to be neutered. 

Certain dog breeds have been shown to have an elevated risk of developing cancers and/or joint disorders when neutered at an early age. However, that risk had only been assessed across a very limited number of breeds. A new study published by researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California, USA, sheds new light on this topic. Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence’, a 10 year study of 35 dog breeds, has uncovered a large disparity of risk of joint problems and cancer amongst different breeds. 

The joint disorders include hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tear or rupture, and elbow dysplasia. The cancers include lymphoma, mast cell tumour, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma.

The researchers analysed data from thousands of dogs examined at the University of California Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital to try to determine whether neutering, the age of neutering, or differences in sex affected certain cancers and joint disorders amongst different breeds of dog.

In most of the breeds examined, the risk of developing problems was not affected by the age of neutering. Not surprisingly researchers found that vulnerability to joint disorders was mostly related to body size. 

Small-dog breeds seemed to have no increased risks of joint disorder while a majority of the larger breeds tended to have joint disorders. Interestingly, an exception to this was among the two giant breed, great Danes and Irish wolfhounds, which showed no increased risk to joint disorders when neutered at any age. 

The researchers also found the occurrence of cancers in smaller dogs was low, whether neutered or kept intact. In fact, only two small breeds, Boston Terrier and Shih Tzu, showed a significant increase in cancers associated with neutering.

In most cases, a dog’s owner can safely choose the age of neutering without increasing the risks of joint disorders or cancers. 

However, of the 35 breeds studied, 9 breeds showed increased risks and were recommended to be neutered after 23 months of age. For males these breeds included Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, German Shepherd, Irish Wolfhound, Standard Poodle. For females the breeds included Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog and Shi Tzu. 

To assist pet owners and veterinarians in deciding the appropriate age of neutering a specific dog, guidelines are laid out for neutering ages on a breed-by-breed and sex basis. The study suggests that dog owners should carefully consider when and if they should have their dog neutered.