Friday, April 4, 2014

Alert: Round Up Ready GMO might be causing bladder & kidney stones

Do you want high-tech help for your pet who can't pee? 

Can you afford it? Can your cat and dog?  If you answered no, please read ingredient labels

Stubborn Stones

Sometimes, just like humans dogs and cats develop urinary stones. 

A few months ago we saw a case we think is worth sharing--a cute little 5-year old pooch with two stones wedged inconveniently in the urethra overlying the os penis, a rod-like bone structure within the penis of male dogs (see X-ray below ).  

While veterinarians can remove bladder stones via routine surgery--it's a different story with blockages of the urethra- the tube through which urine empties the bladder. 

Obstruction of the urethra presents a life-threatening emergency.  If the animal can't void it becomes rapidly intoxicated by the waste products remaining in the blood stream, causing build up of acid, potassium, and urea- leading to a painful death.

Urinary Obstructions are most often seen in male dogs and cats since the male urethra is longer and narrower than females' though we have seen females with a urinary obstruction (rarely) too. 

Some breeds, dalmatians, have a genetic predisposition to stone formation, and infections can lead to struvite (Magnesium Triple Phosphate) stones.   And yet other stones form for reasons we don't understand--the most common in cats and dogs (as well as people) being calcium oxalate

Here is a good overview on calcium oxalate stones by VCA Animal Hospitals and we will offer more insight VCA veterinarians aren't aware of below. 

Wait, what? We can we get kidney stones from oxa-what?   


 "What are Urinary Stones? What is Oxalic Acid and Oxalate?" Check out this link

And now,  let's get back to our lovable and very miserable  patient.

The first stone dissolved nicely with antibiotic plus acidification therapy and the dog passed it.  The second stone, unfortunately, wouldn't budge with multiple catheterization procedures performed to flush the stone back into the bladder, where it could be surgically retrieved. The poor dog's quality of life was becoming rather lousy-- living with a constant burning sensation is miserable, not to mention dangerous.

The dog's luck was starting to run out as we considered "turning him into a girl"--performing surgery ( perineal urethrostomy ) to bypass the penis. The trouble is that a newly created "vagina" often increases the dog's susceptibility to chronic urinary tract infections, not to mention is invasive and painful. 

Fortunately, for our little patient the owners were happy to drive him up to U.C.Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where veterinarians have refined laser lithotripsy. ,   a procedure in which a tiny fiber-optic camera contained within a urethroscope or endoscope is used to visualize and guide a laser to pulverize the stone ( shown in the ureteral lithotripsy link).

Here is the before image of the stone within the urethra. It's pretty obvious why we had such difficulty budging it. Ouch!

Urethral stone before lithotripsy

Laser Lithotripsy to the rescue!

And here is AFTER lithotripsy

Laser blasts evaporated the stone, and the little dog was done with pain and straining as soon as he woke up,  minus invasive and painful surgery. Yay! What a relief!

Why reading food ingredient labels is crucial

 But you are a GMO watcher. How does any of this relate to GMOs?

Round Up Ready corn, soy and beet pulp from GMO sugar beets are in pet foods

The items underlined in red on the pet food label are most likely genetically modified (GMOs). They have been sprayed with Round Up- a proprietary formulation of glyphosate with other ingredients
The image isn't posted to pick on any dog food company. Iams is just one of numerous examples of popular widely available pet foods containing these ingredients. 

Beets are in many common pet foods. In addition to beets naturally being very high in oxalate, Monsanto genetically modified them (GMO) and they are sprayed with Round Up.

Glyphosate-containing herbicides are applied in large amounts to crops 2 to 3 times per season to remove weeds and dry out grain in a process called ‘desiccation’ [22]. Once applied, glyphosate accumulates in leaves, grains or fruit. Glyphosate residues cannot be removed by washing and they are not broken down by cooking [23]. Glyphosate residues can remain stable in foods for a year or more, even if the foods are frozen, dried or processed

Round Up (glyphosate) isn't just an herbicide; it's also an antibiotic.


 Monsanto patented formulations of glyphosate with oxalate as an adjuvant for its herbicides, and farmers are spraying it in exponentially increasing amounts on GMO crops.

Even though we eat oxalate in foods like kale, beets,  and spinach, intestinal bacteria like Oxalobacter formigenes degrade it, so less is bound to calcium and is unavailable to make kidney and bladder stones. But studies show glyphosate inhibits beneficial bacteria, some of which might degrade oxalate.

 In other words, Oxalobacter formigenes helps to neutralize oxalate, thus preventing kidney stones. It isn't the only vital bacterium, as studies have shown inconsistent reduction in oxalate in people administered a proprietary probiotic called OxaDrop, that doesn't contain O. Formigenes-- which is why microbiome studies characterizing microbial diverstiy and phenotypic changes cause by glyphosate in animals are needed.

Veterinary Epidemiology of Cat and Dog stones

Veterinarians have long been puzzled by the increase in the incidence of calcium oxalate urinary stones in cats and dogs.

The increased incidence of calcium oxalate stones in pets suggests an environmental cause.

Snap. Try this link please: canine-and-feline-urolith-epidemiology 

Thanks Hannah for pointing out the broken link!

Calcium Oxalate uroliths are represented by green, whereas struvite is aqua blue.

Snap. The article moved here. 

Research shows that a recently identified bacteria (Oxalobacter formigenes) found in both animals and people, reduces oxalate absorption from the intestines-- thereby reducing risks of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones in people.

Clinical Investigation

Kidney International (2013) 83, 1144–1149; doi:10.1038/ki.2013.104; published online 27 March 2013

The role of Oxalobacter formigenes colonization in calcium oxalate stone disease

About 75% of urinary stones contain oxalate. As Oxalobacter formigenes is a Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium that degrades oxalate in the intestinal tract, we assessed the role of O. formigenes in oxalate metabolism by evaluating its intestinal absorption, plasma concentration, and urinary excretion [...] Our findings suggest that O. formigenes  lowers the intestinal concentration of oxalate available for absorption at constant rates, resulting in decreased urinary oxalate excretion. Thus, dietary factors have an important role in urinary oxalate excretion. The data indicate that O. formigenes colonization may reduce the risk of stone recurrence.

Glyphosate sprayed on Round Up Ready GMOs ---  patented as an antibiotic has been shown in several studies to suppress beneficial bacteria in animals.

I've spent months and lots of effort to find out if glyphosate also kills this fragile and vital bacteria, and I couldn't get a basic simple microbiological test from the biotechnology industry scientists to prove that it does not.

Given Agri-Chemical corporations' previous history of denying harmful effects of their products coupled with stonewalling and  refusal to do a very simple microbiological test--an MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration of glyphosate for this bacteria)
-- leads me to suspect that it does!

We know that glyphosate is primarily excreted in the urine and feces where it can adversely affect beneficial bacteria, as well as paradoxically cause antibiotic resistance.

Bottom line  message

-Studies show Glyphosate inhibits beneficial bacteria. -Beneficial bacteria like Oxalobacter formigenes help break down oxalate.-Breaking down Oxalate helps prevent kidney stones.-Monsanto adds additional Oxalate to their poison, Glyphosate, which I suspect kills Oxalobacter formigenes. -Adding unnecessary oxalate and unneeded, unlabeled antibiotics to our food will increase kidney stones.

 If your pooch is a breed predisposed to these stones -Shi Tzu, Lhasa Apso,  Bichon Frise- or your doctor diagnosed him with calcium oxalate urinary stones-the Precautionary Principle dictates avoiding Round-Up Ready crops.  Do not buy pet foods with GMO corn, soy, beet pulp, as they are likely  to have been engineered to be Round-Up ready, and sprayed with glyphosate plus other undisclosed ingredients. 

Thanks to @farmfairycrafts  for your wonderful suggestions!! :)



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