A Michigan veterinarian speaks out against copper sulfate – a commonly used pet food supplement. When his own dog got sick and ultimately died, he connected the dots back to copper sulfate.
From the Battle Creek Enquirer…
Dr. Phillip VanVranken’s dog was diagnosed with liver disease. A biopsy showed the dogs liver contained more than 2,000 parts per million of copper. “It should have been under 300,” he said. “Actually, it should have been between 50 and 60.”
It was too late for Dr. Phillip’s dog, but this brave veterinarian is not letting this dangerous pet food supplement quietly go unnoticed. His research found that this source of copper was approved for pet foods based on research of pigs.
“Somebody wrote an article back in 1993 about replacing cupric oxide,” he said. “They did some tests and decided copper sulfate was a more biologically available source of diet for pigs. So someone decided to go across the board to all (animals with one stomach) and replace it with copper sulfate.”
Since 1996, VanVranken said the number of dogs with copper storage in their livers was rising and he was convinced it was because of the copper sulfate that had no place in a dog’s diet.
“There’s no such disease as copper shortage in dogs,” he said. “There’s no benefit. It occurs naturally in most grains and organ meats. This was all based on a paper about baby pigs.”
Dr. VanVranken has contacted AAFCO – with little resolve. And he is also reaching out to pet food manufacturers. We shall see what that response is.
He also contacted Michigan State University asking if they had seen an increase of copper in dogs, they reported to him “almost half had too much”.
Hats off to Dr. VanVranken! Thank you for investigating this issue and taking it to regulatory authorities. Pet food consumers very much appreciate your efforts.
I spoke with Dr. VanVranken late yesterday. I provided him with a contact at FDA that I hoped would listen to his perspective and data on copper sulfate. Fingers crossed they listen. In the meantime, if your pet food contains the supplement copper sulfate – please share this information of potential build up of copper in the liver with your veterinarian. Dr. VanVranken told me if this is caught early enough, the liver can be detoxed. Below is the link to the full article – including various names of veterinarians your vet can reach out to in order to learn more.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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