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Diet Related Hyperthyroidism

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  1. Dianne

    I will have to check with the whole carcass foods to make sure the thyroid is not included. I wonder if any other glands have similar effects.

  2. Beth Marousek

    Do we know if the thyroid gland’s hormone is rendered harmless by the high heat used in preparing canned and dry food, which would make these foods exempt from this problem? Sounds like it was an issue with hamburger, but maybe that wasn’t cooked thoroughly.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      No – I don’t believe cooking eliminates the issue. There is also concern of dogs eating trachea treats that include the thyroid gland – these treats are dried prior to sales.

  3. Sherrie Ashenbremer

    Do any of the foods on your dog food list have this in it? OR should we call the company. I have five dogs, one of them eat Just Food for Dogs (venison and squash) he is an allergy dog. The others eat Evermore Raw diet and Orijen.

  4. Yoo Jin

    Does this include only beef? No chicken, turkey, venison, pork?

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I’m by no means an expert on this issue – but from my understanding there is a greater risk with beef or larger slaughtered animals. This is because the thyroid gland is larger – thus the pet would be consuming more of the thyroid hormone.

  5. DIana Artemis

    Hyperthyroidism has been proven to be associated with flame retardants in furniture, draperies, carpets and clothing as determined by biopsies of the thyroid glands of affected animals.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      There is a new study – just read about it today – that is saying “The researchers tested cat food and blood samples from cats. They also simulated how a feline’s body would process various PCB- and PBDE-related compounds. Based on their results, the team concluded that the byproducts that were detected at high levels in cats’ blood samples likely came from fish-flavored food and not exposure to PCBs or PBDEs.” I haven’t read the full study yet – just this write up on it. Here is the link:

  6. Heather

    Thanks for this info, Susan.

    If this helps others –
    I emailed both Nature’s Logic and Primal Pet Foods and asked if their raw frozen foods contained thyroid gland.

    Nature’s Logic response: “They do not.” (Note, I specifically asked about the Chicken and Rabbit formulas only.)

    Primal Pet Food’s response: “Because we incorporate the use of only Human Grade sources of nutrition, we are prohibited from incorporating the use of the thyroid gland into any of our meats, and have refrained from doing so in all of our products.” (Note, I specifically asked about their feline formulas – Pheasant and Rabbit – and also asked about their treats.)

  7. Lisa

    Wish we knew which commercial raw beef product caused the problem. 🙁

  8. Debbie

    i am going to ask what others will ask and I am shocked they havent yet, What pet food was it she fed that caused this to happen?

  9. Phyllis Russo

    In your list you recommend several raw food companies. Do any of them use the thyroid gland in their foods. I noticed RadCat uses organs as well as muscle. How do I know that they do not use the thyroid gland?
    Thanks for always sharing such important information.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I know several do not – have not had the opportunity to ask each of them yet.

      1. Phyllis Russo

        So, you are putting your top picks that you would only feed your own pets AND you wrote an article on a serious problem, but you don’t know if Your top picks that we as readers and as those who have given money to this cause of the healthiest foods we can feed our cats, and let me get this clear, you don’t know which ones on your list of 2016 uses thyroid tissue? I know I can ask the company, but my name would not carry the weight that your’s does, so any of these companies can lie to me, but they would certainly be hesitant to do that to you. You’re going to lose your “fear”status to them if you don’t investigate this on your TOP companies and lose our trust who depend on you to do this for us.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          Phyllis – I learned of this issue AFTER the companies were selected for The List. Well after. I learn of new concerns in pet food often. And I do other things than contact pet food companies and ask questions – such as going to an AAFCO meeting next week (which includes a boat load of preparation). There have been weeks when I’ve had a meeting (phone) with AAFCO and/or FDA every single day of the week. There is only one of me – I can’t be everywhere and do everything. I investigate issues and share those investigations with consumers. Everyone is responsible for their own pet food decisions. The List are foods that I personally trust – if that doesn’t work for you, I understand.

          I’m a bit insulted by you stating “fear status” – do you think I sit here day in and day out just to make consumers fear pet food? If so, that is very wrong. I offer education about the industry to help them not be afraid – to help them make informed choices. And by the way – pet food companies can (and have) lie to me just as easily as they can lie to you.

          I could have lied to you and said none of the foods on The List use thyroid material – but I didn’t. I was honest. Again – there is only one of me – and I try my best every single day. That’s the best I can do.

          1. Phyllis Russo

            I meant “fear” status to the companies. Not to the consumers. I meant to say they know you mean business as opposed to just one of us consumers.
            And I know you wouldn’t lie. It just sounded like you didn’t research this part of it and I and other consumers depend on you. The comment after yours has helped. And yes you are well appreciated and I know your work is important. That is why I hold you to a higher calling.

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            Your response is appreciated Phyllis. But just to be clear – I don’t want pet food companies to fear me, or fear any consumer or advocate. I want them to respect us. To me, there’s a big difference between the two.

          3. Phyllis Russo


        2. Heather

          @Phyllis –

          Note how the use or inclusion of the thyroid gland is PROHIBITED in human grade/intended for human consumption meat. Just as Susan mentions in the article above and also what Primal’s representative mentioned in their email response to me (above).

          So it’s not that difficult to figure out – meat intended for human consumption is USDA inspected and approved (as explained in this article Which means, those meats cannot contain thyroid gland.

          If a raw pet food company uses either Human Grade/USDA Inspected meats in their formulas, by adherence to that existing ban, thyroid gland cannot be included, right? At least that’s what I’m gleaning from it.

          I looked at RadCat’s website for you. They say this about their meat sources:
          “It is important to us that all of the meats we use come from farms that practice sustainable agriculture. Our organic chicken, free-range turkey, pasture-raised lamb and grass-fed beef are US sourced and our pasture-raised venison comes from New Zealand. All meats are USDA inspected, and are hormone and antibiotic free. All meats we use are the very same cuts that are found in fine supermarkets. On our label, we list the actual cuts of meat we use.”

          From that quote, I’d say it’s safe to assume RadCat does not use thyroid gland – if anything, simply because they can’t by way of using USDA inspected meats. The same cuts “found in fine supermarkets.”

          For comparison, I checked Nature’s Variety site. Here’s what they say (or try not to say?) :
          “All of the materials used in our raw diets and raw frozen bones are obtained from USDA-inspected facilities (or meet USDA requirements in the case of imports) and from animals that have passed ante- and post-mortem inspection. Our quality control and quality assurance programs include but are not limited to: Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP’s), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s), a Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) program, regular lot segregation, and other industry best practices. That said, our manufacturing facilities are used to produce pet food rather than human food, and since this is not in line with the USDA’s definition of human grade, our foods cannot be classified as being human grade.”

          From that quote, I’d suspect Nature’s Variety might have thyroid gland included – simply because of their use of the words, “USDA inspected facility” and not ‘USDA inspected meats.’ If I fed that food, I’d have emailed to ask them directly.

          So to know for sure, take a few minutes and send the companies of the foods you feed/have fed an email – like I did after reading this alert. We as consumers and animal guardians have as much responsibility to do due diligence on our part. We can’t expect Susan to do everything for us – she does a TON for us already! 🙂

          1. Phyllis Russo

            Thanks for clearing this up. Well appreciated. If you noticed there is a lot in your comment to digest, which is why I asked for a simple answer. I know she does a lot for us. I am just holding her to a high standard.

  10. Martin Ellis

    Has the lining of pet food tins- especially. pop-top cans with plastic containing BPA ever been connected with hyperthyroidism? I have noticed in New Zealand supermarket pet food that all the pop-top type cans that I feed my cat have a plastic type coating.
    Over the years I have had 3 cats with hyperthyroidism and all have lost weight, had high thyroid blood test results, heart problems(murmur, impaired kidney functions – a very expensive problem, that shortens their lives and costs owners thousands of dollars.
    Have you ever heard of this link to BPA.(Bisphenol A)

  11. catherine

    The place I’ve gotten some of my raw food (Hare Today – representative emailing me back was Tracy) had this to say when I contacted them about this issue just a couple of days ago, as I had some of their gullet in my freezer. Which no where on the package does in say “might or does” contain thyroid gland or tissue, nor can I find that disclaimer on their website at this time. Tracy emailed: “We do use the gullet in the grinds of beef, goat and sheep so it may have thyroid gland in it but I find a couple things important to point out in the article. From article:
    “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.” she goes on to say,”This was a comment from a poster (on the article Dodds? posted) and I find this relevant.
    “It would have been interesting to know which diet these dogs had been eating, and whether they were eating just the beef diet or getting a well rounded diet of a variety of protein sources. You don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water!” (but she had just said, they put it in many of their various protein grinds…beef, goat and sheep… wouldn’t people buying those different proteins, be trying to strive for a well rounded diet and not just getting “beef”? That made no sense to me as she points out the fallacy of feeding just beef and the benefits of a well rounded variety of protein sources – which they provide, yet they put gullet in those too.
    She believes that because the study did not quantify how much they were given in their diet – that the study is “flawed” (“Feeding some gullet will not cause hyperthyroid in a dog. The article is so flawed. Does not even say how much or how long this was feed.”)
    However how does Hare Today know how much is too much to have in any given product, that they can so easily dismiss the fact that their products contain it and at least give fair warning to customers? Might take a lot or just a little – could be breed specific, size specific etc. A lot of breeders are going raw and extra thyroid hormone in their breeding dogs is NOT good.
    I simply bought a package or two of just gullet so I can easily discard it, but if they grind it in with many of their grinds…they say they don’t put extra gullet in a whole animal grind, but they certainly do carry just packages of nothing but gullet – so some “whole” animal is not getting ground up as she stated below…and what becomes of the packages of just gullet that don’t sell – think they just toss it at a loss? She went on to state more of her thoughts on the article Dodd posted on the studies: “My Thoughts:
    Since we grind whole animals [except beef leg bones] there is one gullet/throat per animal so the proportion of a thyroid gland in that entire animal is miniscule. We do not add extra thyroid glands to any mix period. If you follow mother nature and use the ratios of a prey animal I do not believe this article would be relevant. The key again is a varied raw diet and if someone is feeding large amounts of anything this is not an appropriate diet.” So, to answer someones question above – this is one company that does include it in their raw pet foods. I’d just like to see that mentioned on product page or pkg from all raw providers – as I came across this potential problem just recently – had no idea I needed to watch out for thyroid gland in raw foods for dog.

  12. catherine toornman

    Hare Today Gone Tomorrow – has several grinds that contain the thyroid gland. Have been talking with Tracy via email on this subject for the past two days. She says among other things… “that the studies are flawed” because they don’t tell how much the dogs were actually getting… sent her screen shots of the PubMed studies (4) which were in jpg format and can be enlarged if she dropped them on her desktop – she said too tiny send link so I looked them up again and sent actual link to four different studies – was barely 11 minutes after I send the link to the studies that she wrote back – “Those links do not state what % or ratios or how much. I still stand behind what I said”. I’d love to share the rest of the emails with you as some of what she said blew my mind – but that would entail typing it all out again – as I tried to post it to you earlier and it looked like it posted but clearly it did not as I don’t see it up here…

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