Hawkesbury, April ,2002 -

Hawkesbury Gazette 'Our Town'

Vol 4 No 4 Autumn 2002

Raw Power

Gail Knox discovers a Bligh Park vet's consuming passion.

If like most pet owners you're feeding your beloved animal friends plenty of processed pet food, a Bligh Park veterinarian wants you to think again.

Dr Tom Lonsdale claims your favourite moggy or pup doesn't need a regular diet of pre-prepared meals - along with all their added vitamins and minerals. All our four-legged friends need for good health and well-being, he says, are raw meaty bones straight from the butchers' chopping block - plus a few table scraps.

"Ideally we should be feeding our animals a whole carcass," he says. "But the next best thing in the domestic situation is large pieces of raw meaty bone such as chicken necks and wings for small pets, and chicken carcasses, lamb flaps and kangaroo tails for larger dogs."

Dr Lonsdale says he used to watch his animal patients falling apart before his eyes.

"I couldn't understand why I would see healthy puppies and kittens, then watch them develop severe degenerative diseases and prematurely age - yet I gave them the highest possible care."

He would see well-loved pets suffering "dog breath", sore and bleeding gums, and rotting teeth, along with others problems such as diarrhoea, skin itch, flatulence and even twisting of the stomach.

And - as oral disease problems grew - he also witnessed the vet dentistry industry flourish, resulting in the regular removal of pets' teeth.

Gradually throughout his many years of practice - including surgeries at Richmond, Riverstone and Bligh Park, Dr Lonsdale says he realised the problem.

"The exquisite mechanism of teeth and gums designed by nature to be cleaned, massaged and stressed by chewing bones, was left to rot," he says. "Just imagine having a toothache for a lifetime."

But when he first spoke out about his discoveries in 1991, he says the pet food manufacturers tried to silence him and his own professional body spurned him.

More than 10 years on, he has encapsulated his findings and battle to be heard in a newly published book "Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health".

Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health is available for $39.95 from Wisemans Books, Bligh Park Veterinary Hospital and Jackie's Pet Food at South Windsor. You can also visit www.rawmeatybones.com