Pilot Study - Effects Of Pet Plus On Pet Oral Health

Researchers

  • Susanna McIntyre (Penman) BVSc MRCVS
  • Max Tuck BVetMed MRCVS

Summary

This pilot study involved 13 cats and 2 dogs. The animals involved were all suffering from a degree of periodontal disease which required treatment.

One of the cats involved had gingivitis/stomatitis complex. All the animals which were provided with the active enzyme supplement showed significant improvements in their oral health compared with the unsupplemented control group. The most notable was the dramatic improvement in the cat with gingivitis/stomatitis complex.

As a result of these very encouraging findings, we are continuing to use Pet Plus in practice. Since this pilot study was completed in 1997, thousands of dogs and cats have benefited from the inclusion of Pet Plus in their diet.

Introduction

The modern diet of domesticated dogs and cats is very different from that of their wild counterparts. Cats have evolved as carnivores and in their wild state will catch and kill their own prey, eating the meat, bones, intestinal tract and offal. Dogs are more adaptable and, by nature, scavengers, but their natural diet is also raw, like that of the cat, although it usually contains more vegetation.

There have been several studies showing improvements in oral health following a change from a processed food diet to a raw food diet in both dogs and cats. One of the major differences between these two diets is their enzymatic activity. As processed foods are produced at high temperatures, any active enzymes which may have been present in the original raw ingredients are destroyed.

This study explores the effects of adding a concentrated multiple micronutrient and active enzyme supplement (Pet Plus for Dogs or Pet Plus for Cats) to processed pet food diets on the oral health of dogs and cats.

Materials and Methods

All cats and dogs were examined while under general anaesthesia, induced by Rapinovet and maintained by Halothane, nitrous oxide and oxygen, standard practice in 1997. Photographs were taken and the degree of gingivitis assessed using the following gingivitis index:
• I mild with no bleeding on probing
• II moderate with no bleeding on probing
• III severe with bleeding on probing
• IV severe with swelling or ulceration and spontaneous bleeding.

A thorough prophylaxis was performed with the details recorded on a dental chart. Further photographs were taken. All animals were discharged on 5 days of Synulox. The supplemented group commenced the daily enzyme supplement immediately upon discharge. The control group had no supplement.

Post-operatively, all animals were re-assessed on days 5, 14, 21 and 28, updating the dental records. Photographs were taken at 28 day intervals in most cases. Home-care was specifically not implemented in order to minimize the variables.

Results

The results are very interesting, with the improvements gained being maintained throughout the period of supplementation. Most of these animals have remained on the supplement and are planning to continue for life.

  1. Gingivitis in all supplemented animals improved and in some cases resolved. These changes were evident 5 days postoperatively and continued after withdrawal of antibiotic therapy.
  2. Gingivitis in the unsupplemented animals improved in most cases up to day 14, but with no home care and only a processed proprietary diet, the gingivitis had started to worsen by day 21; one cat had reverted to its original grade III gingivitis.
  3. Two unsupplemented cats showed no significant improvement by day 5 so further antibiotic therapy was implemented. This was continued up to day 21. Unfortunately one of these cats was withdrawn from the trial, but the other, after no improvement on 3 weeks of Synulox and an 8-day long-acting corticosteroid injection, joined the supplemented group, where his condition has greatly improved.
  4. The cat with gingivitis-stomatitis complex was in the supplemented group. At the start of the trial, the gingivitis was classified as grade IV with spontaneous bleeding of the gingival tissue. Pharyngeal ulceration was also present. Improvement to grade III gingivitis was noted by day 5 and by day 28 the examination and repeat photographs showed a grade I gingivitis with resolution of approximately half the area of pharyngeal ulceration.

Discussion

The preliminary findings of this study suggest that the micronutrient and enzyme activity of the food plays a significant role in the state of oral health. Recent research in the human field (I.L.C. Chapple et al) has shown that serum antioxidant levels are directly related to periodontal health. In addition, the other exposed epithelial surfaces (e.g. cervix and lungs) are affected in the same way.

This emphasizes the importance of a thorough oral examination at every consultation as the state of oral health reflects the degree of health of the whole body. If oral health is poor, a natural whole food supplement is required to redress the balance of micronutrients which will provide the body with the ingredients it needs to effect repair and maintain health.

Pet Plus, the natural whole food nutritional supplement used in this study, contains active enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, probiotics and prebiotics all from dehydrated, concentrated raw food. It is having a positive impact on the overall health of dogs and cats all over the world.

Micronutrients

It has long been realised that micronutrients (especially live, active enzymes) play an important role in the proper functioning of all living things. Only recently have we begun to understand that unless these are present in the diet, body systems begin to fail. This results in degenerative diseases, especially cancer and heart disease, and allergies, which are becoming increasingly common in the human and domestic animal populations of the developed world.

Why Are Active Micronutrients So Important?

1 - Free Radical Pathology

Free radical pathology is now largely accepted as a major cause of degenerative disease. It is estimated that every cell is exposed to free radical attack 10,000 times a day.
Antioxidants offer the major protection against these molecules.
Free radicals are unbalanced molecules which need an electron to regain their neutral balanced status. If this electron is taken from a cell, the cell is damaged, which is the beginning of free radical pathology.

Antioxidants work synergistically to provide the necessary electron to neutralize the free radical, thus protecting the cells.

The Antioxidant Recycling Cascade

That antioxidant is now short of an electron and effectively behaves like a free radical. It needs to be repaired by other antioxidants, phytonutrients and enzymes found in whole food sources but missing from isolated vitamin/mineral supplements. This natural antioxidant recycling cascade cannot work effectively when vitamins are given in isolation or in large amounts (e.g.1000mg vitamin C), because the damaged antioxidant is left unrepaired doing as much damage as the original free radical.
There are now known to be over 15,000 micronutrients in whole raw food all of which are required to maintain the fine natural synergistic balance of health.

2 - Enzymes

Enzymes are essential catalysts for all metabolic processes. Without enzymes, there would be no metabolic processes and hence no life. These are only available from a whole raw food source as it is essential to have all the enzymes together so they can work synergistically in an efficient natural balance. They are destroyed by heat and processing.

Micronutrients are used up during the process of living. They constantly need to be replaced. The only source is raw food. Without an adequate supply, the body gradually runs out of enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, probiotics, prebiotics and other essential micronutrients resulting in a reduction of both the function and the protection of the body organs. Consequently degenerative disease is initiated. To prevent this, it is essential to provide a natural nutritional supplement, like Pet Plus, which provides all these nutrients.

In the developed world, we have moved away from raw food towards processed foods of enormous variety for ourselves and our pets. We are largely loathe to return to the perceived inconvenience of raw food.

A new era of nutritional supplements has evolved made from the raw food on which the animal is designed to live, being bio-available, bio-active and rich in active micronutrients which work together synergistically, but do not work properly in isolation. In this way, the essential elements of raw food, most of which have not yet been identified, are provided without the inconvenience, when added to the animal's normal diet.

Human Research

  • Since 1992, several medical trials have been completed on people using Juice Plus, with very positive results including:
  • huge increases in antioxidant levels with concomitant decreases in lipid peroxides (a measure of cellular free radical damage) (Wise J A et al, Leeds A.R. et al)
  • 66% reduction in DNA damage (Smith M J et al)
  • enhanced immunity (Inserra P.F. et al)
  • improved muscle to fat ratio (Ray M et al)
  • reduced plasma homocysteine (instrumental in the pathogenesis of heart disease) (Samman S et al, Panuzio M.F. et al)
  • a reduction in the vasoconstriction which normally follows a fatty meal (Plotnick G.D. et al).

Clinically, one of the notable improvements is in the health of the oral tissues, a trial on which is currently running at Birmingham University Dental School, UK, under Professor Iain Chapple. It is due to be published in 2011.

Conclusion

The initial findings of this pilot study indicate that the micronutrient activity of food, its bio-availability and the synergistic actions of its components play an important role in the oral health of cats and dogs. Since the completion of this study in 1997, thousands of dogs and cats have been taking Pet Plus with excellent improvements in overall health and vitality.

References

Alpha-tocopherol, Beta-carotene, Cancer Prevention Study Group. The effect of vitamin E and beta-carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. New England Journal of Medicine. 1994;330:1455-1456

Chapple I.L.C. et al. Glutathione in gingival crevicular fluid and its relation to local antioxidant capacity in periodontal health and disease. Journal of Clinical Pathology: Molecular Pathology 2002:55:367-373

Inserra P F et al. Immune function in elderly smokers and nonsmokers improves during supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts. Integrative Medicine 1999; 2(1); 3-10

Leeds A.R. et al. Availability of micronutrients from dried, encapsulated fruit and vegetable preparartions: a study in healthy volunteers. J Hum Nutr Dietet 2000; 13; 21-27

Panuzio M.F. et al. Supplementation with fruit and vegetable concentrate decreases plasma homocysteine levels in a dietary controlled trial. Nutrition Research: 2003; 23(9); 1221-1228

Plotnick G.D. et al. Effects of supplemental phytonutritents on the impairment of the flow-mediated brachial artery vasoactivity after a single high fat meal. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2003; 41: 1744-1749

Ray M. et al. Positive effects of nutritional supplements on body composition biomarkers of aging during a weight loss program. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, March 1998

Samman S et al. Supplementation with mixed fruit and vegetable concentrate increases plasma antioxidant vitamins and lowers plasma homocysteine in men. Nutrition. 2003;133:2188-93

Smith M J et al. Supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts may decrease DNA damage in the peripheral lymphocytes of an elderly population. Nutrition Research. 1999;19 (10):1507-1518

Wise J A et al. Changes in plasma carotenoids, alpha tocopherol and lipid peroxide levels in response to supplementation with concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts: a pilot study. Current Therapeutic Research 1996;57:445-461.

Further Reading

Billingshurst, I. (1993). Give Your Dog a Bone. I. Billingshurst, Lithgow.

Howell, E. (1985). Enzyme Nutrition; The Food Enzyme Concept. Avery Publishing Group Inc. Wayne, New Jersey. ISBN 0-89529-221-1

Lonsdale, T. (1995). Peiodontal disease and leucopenia. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 36, p542-546.

Pottenger, F.M. Jnr. (1995). Pottenger’s Cats. Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, San Diego, California.

DuBois Dr. R E. Oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of disease and ageing: an opportunity for intervention. 2003.

Original paper published in BVDAJ, 2000, page 7

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6 comments on “Pilot Study - Effects Of Pet Plus On Pet Oral Health”

  1. Susanna

    Also as a follow up to your Vet Times letter, your description of the pilot study does not say how many animals were in each group, how they were allocated to treatment of control group and you do not describe the distribution of severity of disease in each group.

    Is the description, above, the way this was presented in the BVDA Journal?

    1. Thanks for your question Simon.

      This was a pilot study conducted during normal busy work in general practice. We assessed and photographed each case and categorized the degree of periodontal disease as 1-4 for each individual. The results were recorded for each individual case. Whatever the category of periodontal disease, there was a marked and sustained improvement in all the animals receiving the Pet Plus.

      Every animal in the pilot study had a degree of periodontal disease that required treatment under general anaesthetic. We gave Pet Plus to every alternate animal, thus forming the control 'group'. Ginger, one of the cats with Chronic Feline Gingivo-Stomatitis, happened to be a control. As his mouth became sore again once the traditional treatment was wearing off, the owner asked if she could try some Pet Plus. As Ginger had demonstrated the recurrence of symptoms without Pet Plus, we decided to give her some. It was very interesting to see how his gingivae gradually recovered without needing further surgery. This is the beauty of dealing with cases as individuals, I think.

      The owner of one of the cats receiving Pet Plus saw her cat was better, so stopped giving the Pet Plus. Interestingly, his gingivae became inflamed again, so she started the Pet Plus again and the situation resolved again.

      The idea was to see if Pet Plus made any difference to the outcome of treatment for periodontal disease, as this remained one of those frustrating, recurring conditions which could be partly controlled by homecare, but was rarely completely resolved.

      Thanks for your question.

      Best wishes,

      Suzi

      1. Hi Susanna,
        Just wondering if since this you have any further data on treating cats with chronic gingivostomatitis? From your data it seems that you only have results from using Pet Plus treating one cat with this condition.
        Thanks,
        Amy

        1. Hi Amy,

          I have been using Pet Plus in practice since 1996 with great results. Several other vets and numerous pet owners have also been using it very successfully for years, but I have no further actual data as I haven't had time!
          From all this experience, we have found that a thorough 'scale and polish', especially subgingivally, a short post-operative course of antibiotics if deemed necessary and changing the diet onto raw food with Pet Plus gives the best results. Some people are not willing to change the diet, so adding Pet Plus to the existing food, as we did in the little Pilot study, also gives great results, but possibly more slowly.
          Are you in a position to do a bigger study? I think that is what is needed now, so we have more actual data.

          I hope that helps.

          Best wishes,

          Suzi

  2. Following your letter in Veterinary times, Can you give me details of where your pilot study was published and whether it was pier reviewed, 15 animals of two species is rather a small number. Thanks John Downees

    1. Thanks for your comment John.

      The Pilot Study was published in the British Veterinary Dental Association Journal, a peer reviewed specialist journal, in 2000, after presenting it as a lecture to the BVDA at the Annual Scientific Meeting and subsequently as a poster presentation. The BVDA J did not have an official peer reviewing body at that time. A letter providing an update was published in BVDAJ in 2009. Professor Iain Chapple delivered an exceptional Key Note lecture at the last BVDA Annual Scientific Meeting (30 March 2011) on the first of the specialist days preceding the BSAVA Conference in Birmingham. I wrote a synopsis of his talk, with his help, which has just been published in the current BVDA Journal, 2011. You can read it in the Veterinary Dental section of this web site.

      We ran the pilot study to explore the possibility that micronutrients like enzymes and antioxidants could play a part in the aetiology of periodontal disease. Many trials have been completed by the various pet food manufacturers to determine the effect of the consistency of the food, namely tinned wet food or dried hard food, with poor results.

      Then 'dental' biscuits were developed, all to mimic the excellent cleaning properties of the humble raw carrot or broccoli stalk, which is flexible and firm enough to clean the carnivore tooth as it passes through. Normal biscuits shatter into numerous tiny, sticky particles as soon as the carnivore's sharply pointed teeth bite onto it, so the old thoughts of dried food causing less accumulations on the teeth than wet food are inaccurate.

      In fact, from Prof Chapple's work, it seems that the sugar in the food causes a generalized systemic inflammation, which is clearly visible in the periodontal tissues. This inflammation is easily prevented by dietary change, eliminating refined carbohydrates and increasing naturally occurring antioxidants and other positively beneficial micronutrients, for example, by adding Pet Plus or Juice Plus to the diet.

      In 1996, no-one had studied the effects of adding active micronutrients to both wet and dry foods to see if it was these that played a part in the prevention of periodontal disease, regardless of the consistency of the food. When 15 out of 15 showed positive benefits, we felt our job was done. When you have a 100% result even of a smallish sample, it is a good indicator. Our plan was to set up a much larger study, but we have never managed to find the time. Instead, numerous vets and thousands of dog and cat owners have been using Pet Plus since 1996 and telling us of their remarkable results.

      The improvements in overall health are certainly not restricted to the oral cavity either, as you have probably gathered from the rest of the web site!

      These results are also reflected in the human equivalent nutritional supplement, called Juice Plus. There is now a huge amount of science showing the dramatic effect this raw fruit, vegetable and berry whole food supplement has on overall health. For example, a 66% reduction in DNA damage after just 80 days; a vast increase in serum antioxidant levels with a concomitant reduction in serum lipid peroxides (a measure of free radical damage); an increase in the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells, which kill cancer cells. There is much more! You're welcome to follow the links to the relevant web sites.

      I hope that's answered your query.
      Thanks for asking.

      Suzi

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