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September 11, 2013


作者:Lisa Pierson

學歷:University of California, Davis 加州大學戴維斯分校獸醫系

譯者:an eccentric wino
This piece of translation work is dedicated to my Hana.

'Prescription/Therapeutic' Diets

Let's move on to the veterinarian 'prescribed' diets which are also known as "therapeutic" or "prescription" diets. 


"Prescription/therapeutic diet" is another label that is certainly not indicative of a high quality diet or one that is necessary. 


These diets represent an area of the commercial cat food industry that is very misleading.


Many of these very expensive products contain corn, wheat, and soy which have no logical place in your cat's diet.  These diets are often very high in carbohydrates and, of course, all of the dry versions are water-depleted.  Many of them also contain by-products as the main - and often only - source of protein. 

許多這些非常昻貴的產品成份含有玉米,小麥和黃豆,這些食材在貓的飲食中沒有邏輯可言.這些食物的碳水化合物很高,而且所有的乾料都是剥奪水份的.很多處方乾料中還含有副產品為其主要 - 而且常常是唯一的 - 蛋白質來源.

While by-products can be very nutritious (and this really is the least of my concerns regarding these diets), they are cheaper than muscle meat so one would think that as much as these diets cost, the companies could use a more consistent source of high quality protein.  (See by-products on the Commercial Food page for more details.)


Study the ingredient list for Hill's dry i/d while keeping in mind that cats are obligate carnivores.


This dry food is 29% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis and is, of course, water-depleted.  The ingredients are as follows:


Chicken By-Product Meal, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Powdered Cellulose, Dried Chicken, Chicken Liver Flavor


The base ingredients and composition mirror those of many dry foods found in pet stores and supermarkets.  Also, this is a very good example of the 'ingredient splitting' rule.  This rule states that ingredients have to be listed very specifically which works in the pet food manufacturers' favor.  It allows the grain fractions to be broken up into smaller components which places them lower on the list since ingredients are listed by weight.  However, when all of the grain fractions are added up, their contribution to the diet (including the protein content) often greatly outweighs the first ingredient.


I have asked many times on VIN (Veterinary Information Network - the 'who's who' of veterinary specialists from all over the world) just what makes this diet worthy of being called a "Prescription Diet for Feline Gastrointestinal Health" or, for that matter, what makes it an optimal diet to feed to any cat? I have never received an answer and the VIN threads have had Hill's representatives participating.  My questions about the quality and composition of their prescription diets are always met with dead silence.

我多次詢問獸醫資訊網VIN (Veterinary Information Network – 當中有許多來自全球的所謂名人獸醫專家的機構),想知道為什麼處方食物可以被冠上“貓科腸胃道健康的處方食物”的字樣,為什麼處方食物是任何貓的最理想食物.我從來沒有收到任何回覆,而且在VIN的留言串中有希耳司的人出現.對於他們的處方食物我所提出的有關品質和成份問題,我得到的都是沈默以對的回應.

It is important to note that most of these diets do not have robust clinical feeding studies supporting their safety for long-term feeding or even for use in treating the various diseases they target.

大部份的寵物處方糧 – 那些只能夠向獸醫購買的處方糧 – 缺乏有力的臨床餵食研究,以證明長期餵食的安全性,甚至缺乏可以使用來治療他們所宣稱的諸多不同疾病的證明.

On the contrary, we have plenty of evidence to show that feeding water-depleted, high carbohydrate, plant-based diets to carnivores does not honor their carnivorous make-up but, instead, promotes disease in this species.


It is also critical to understand that there is no independent agency overseeing these diets' medical claims.  None. Zero.  Including the FDA. 


The fox is definitely guarding the henhouse and the FDA shows no interest in remedying the situation.


The FDA has 'punted' the responsibility of scrutinizing these diets for efficacy, safety, and suitability to the veterinarian but most veterinarians are very poorly educated in the area of nutrition. This field of study is not emphasized in veterinary schools and the minimal course work that is required, is often taught by people who have strong ties to the pet food industry.

FDA 把審核這些食物的功效,安全性以及適用性等責任踢給獸醫,但是獸醫在營養學這方面的教育是很缺乏的.這個領域的研究在獸醫學校並沒有被強調,而教導這些最低課程需求的人,通常和寵物食品業有密切的關係.

These are also usually the same people who are advising general practitioners on all matters of nutrition.  After recognizing this situation, you will see an obvious and very significant conflict of interest.  In the end, the members of my profession allowHill's, Purina, Iams, and Royal Canin to dictate what ends up in our patients' food bowls.


Here is an excerpt from the "Veterinarian-Prescribed Diets/OTC Options" paper that I am working on:


'Prescription Diet’ trademark - marketing tool creates false perception

“處方食”的商標 - 製造錯誤認知的行銷工具

As an example of the serious lack of regulatory oversight, Hill’s secured trademark status for the term “prescription diet” in 1990 thus reinforcing the perception that, like prescription medications, their diets are subject to intense scrutiny and testing.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.              


There is a strong argument to be made that no trademark protection should be granted for any marketing label containing the word “prescription” given the strong potential to seduce the buyers of these products into a false sense of security growing out of the assumption that anything labeled “prescription” has been put through multiple layers of regulatory and testing paces.                


If any product - including food - is allowed to carry a “prescription” label, it needs to be held to the same standards as a prescription medication.  Otherwise, the word “prescription” becomes no more than a marketing label, and as such, should hold no more credibility than any other marketing slogan.


To quote the FDA/CVM (Center for Veterinary Medicine) Communications Staff Deputy Director:              


“‘Prescription diet’ is an industry-coined term and holds no legal meaning.”              


In other words, these diets contain no ingredient that actually requires a prescription.  The trademarked term “prescription diet” is simply a clever marketing tool between Hill’s and veterinarians.  The sale of these diets is restricted (by Hill’s, not by law) to veterinarians only.  In return, Hill’s enjoys a boost in perception of quality brought about by this profession’s endorsement of their products.  However, this perception of quality is undeserved and this incestuous relationship jeopardizes the integrity of our profession.


End excerpt

I want to make it clear that probably 99% of all veterinarians who 'prescribe' these diets truly feel that they are doing the best for their patients.  The companies (Hill's, Purina, Iams, Royal Canin) that manufacture the 'alphabet' diets have done a wonderful job marketing their products to veterinarians, making it difficult to refrain from falling into the trap of using them.


These companies make it very easy for us.  If a cat comes in with kidney disease?  We can just grab k/d, or NF, or LP without any critical thought.  If a cat comes in with a urinary tract problem?  Easy - take some c/d off the shelf.  Given a veterinarian's busy schedule and stressful life, one can see just how seductive the use of the 'alphabet' diets are.

這些公司為我們獸醫把事情簡化了.如果貓得到的是腎臟病,我們獸醫只要拿出 K/D(希耳司),NF(樸瑞那)或LP(法國黃家)即可,不需要注入任何臨床思維.如果一隻貓得到泌尿道疾病呢?很簡單,從架上取下一些c/d 就行了.獸醫的工作忙碌而且有壓力,你可以看出這種字母食物多麼具有吸引力.

However, contrary to what is often believed by both the veterinarian and the client, the 'therapeutic/prescription' diets sold in veterinary hospitals are not formulated for optimal health of a carnivore and, in many cases, are actually detrimental to the patient's health.  In addition, they are simply not necessary in most cases and do not optimally address the problems they claim to treat.


Add to this the very high price tag on these diets and we have what I consider to be a very big 'black eye' for the profession. 


The only time I ever use a prescription diet (canned s/d) is discussed here on the Urinary Tract Health page. Canned s/d is occasionally used but only temporarily (~3-4 weeks) pending re-evaluation of the patient.




Instead of defaulting to the 'alphabet' diets, I can always find an 'over-the-counter' diet or formulate a homemade recipe for my patients that leaves more money in the client's wallet and much better nutrition in the cat's food bowl.



註1 – chicken by-product meal 雞肉副產品餐
Chicken by-product meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.
如果你可以給你的貓吃雞肉,為什麼要去吃這種所謂的“雞肉副產品餐”.這是一個多麼奇怪的名稱!! 不過是一個美麗的名稱來包裝很糟的食材罷了.我覺得這個名稱十之八九是寵物食品製造商創造出來的.

再次提醒你, 換食請慢慢來, 不要心急. 百吉的醫生說用 2-3 週的時間改變食物, 給大家做參考.
註2 –Brewer’s rice 釀酒用碎米
Brewer's rice refers to the small pieces of broken rice that remain after the milling process is complete.
As the name suggests, brewer’s rice is often used as ingredient for beer brewing.
In rural areas, brewer’s rice has a variety of uses and is commonly ground into rice flour.
註3: corn gluten meal 玉米麩
the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.
註4:纖維素粉末 Powerded cellulose
Cellulose powder is a white, odorless powder derived from the fibers of plants. Cellulose powder is insoluble in water and many other liquids; instead it tends to absorb water and other liquids and helpshttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/lb_icon1.png to flush impurities from the body. It is most often marketed as a powder, is reasonably priced and can be found at most health food stores.



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