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why are SO many vets against RAW?????

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
So when I originally looked into BARF, i asked my first vet their opinions and my options if i were to change over to this diet. . .

well this first vet said they wouldn't recommend it due to bacteria etc etc..... this is also the same vet that gave stoli some 3/1 or 4/1 (can't remember) between his shoulder blades......

so today I decided to take a different approach with this different vet who works well with stoli and i really like her...

i asked her if she was familiar with holistic care and if she would be able to support stoli's care with natural remedies etc.....



she quickly said yes and that she used alternative meds on both herself and her cats - BUT in the same sentence she said she disagreed with BARF and would not recommend it to a pet with a compromised immune system due to bacteria . . .(again)

now - i wasn't about to begin switching stoli all around when i'm working on getting him top notch. (PS Stoli's blood work FINALLY came back NORMAL!~) but i am seriously considering adding raw to luxor's venison/pea for his allergies.........

am i just bonkers? is there merit in what they are saying? should i just shut up and feed stoli wellness and luxor NB?

Cautions against BARF
post #2 of 66
I think you should listen to what the vets are telling you. If your pet's immune system is compromised, you need to do everything you can to keep bacteria and germs away from your cat.
post #3 of 66
i agree
post #4 of 66
I think that is going to have to be a personal decision. They are a lot of cats who are doing extremely well with raw diets. Vets don't have the nutritional training we think they do. I would do some extensive research and do what you think is best for your kitties!
post #5 of 66
I had a row (well a sensible debate, not a stand up fight!) with the vet who saw Sonic yesterday because I mentioned that I was giving him wet food, lord knows how she'd respond if I mentioned a raw diet.

Her reasoning: dry food makes them drink more water so it's better for their kidneys, dry food cleans their teeth, and wet food goes mouldy and is a health risk (er yeah only if you leave it out for ages )

Unfortunately I know perfectly well that vets get most of their nutritional 'knowledge' from dry food company reps, not from any veterinary training or journal. Basically if you feed a raw diet, you're not going to be buying sacks of dry from the vet any time soon.

I would think if a cat has immune problems it is something that should be considered carefully, if there is even a slight risk.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I had a row (well a sensible debate, not a stand up fight!) with the vet who saw Sonic yesterday because I mentioned that I was giving him wet food, lord knows how she'd respond if I mentioned a raw diet.

Her reasoning: dry food makes them drink more water so it's better for their kidneys, dry food cleans their teeth, and wet food goes mouldy and is a health risk (er yeah only if you leave it out for ages )
I'm not sure I would have been able to debate that at all, rude as it sounds, I probably would just start laughing while scooping up the cat and heading out of the examine room that is.

There's no way we can eliminate our cats exposure to bacteria, they poop in a box, lick their feet, and lick their butts. If that isn't direct exposure to salmonella and even e-coli, I don't know what is.
post #7 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
I'm not sure I would have been able to debate that at all, rude as it sounds, I probably would just start laughing while scooping up the cat and heading out of the examine room that is.

There's no way we can eliminate our cats exposure to bacteria, they poop in a box, lick their feet, and lick their butts. If that isn't direct exposure to salmonella and even e-coli, I don't know what is.
I have a few issues with our vets, but they're pretty much the same issues I'd have with most UK vets. I don't expect a vet to be a nutritionist. My own GP is not a human nutritionist either, if I want specific nutrition advice I'd go to a specialist. They are good with the cats, but they aren't feline specialists - unfortunately we don't have our own transport which limits the area in which we can see a vet. It's bad enough that my avian vet is a couple of miles away!
post #8 of 66
While most vets aren't nutritionists, the opposite is also true.
My vet (30 years of experience) commented, when I asked her about raw feeding, that BARFers were working on false premises, because feeding raw wasn't the equivalent of a cat eating its freshly killed prey, because raw meat = carrion, and cats aren't carrion eaters. That does make some sense to me.

I came across yet another discussion about raw feeding on a German cat site this week, with more than one person stating that their vets had said that domestic cats fed raw diets were far more likely than those fed commercial foods to develop kidney problems. It's interesting that the article linked to above mentions that, too.

Why insist on feeding raw if your vets are so against it, and your cat already has health problems?
post #9 of 66
My vet is also against raw because of bacterial issues. And unfortunately I recently had to take my cat in because my cat had a bacterial infection from eating raw meat. So now I am in agreement with my vet and no longer will feed raw meat.
post #10 of 66
Okay, so this is obviously showing my lack of education in this matter , but what are the benefits to feeding raw? It seems like the people who do it on this board are totally into it and think it's a really good thing, but I don't quite understand (or have never been told) what makes this such a great diet. So please, educate me!
post #11 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post

now - i wasn't about to begin switching stoli all around when i'm working on getting him top notch. (PS Stoli's blood work FINALLY came back NORMAL!~) but i am seriously considering adding raw to luxor's venison/pea for his allergies.........
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so i'll quote myself - i WASN'T considering this for Stoli as he's the one with the compromised immune system.

and now - i'm considering the raw diet for luxor's allergies....... of course i don't want to compromise HIS immune system

so it seems the consensus is - correct me if i'm wrong;

don't do it if the cat is sick and i'll risk making luxor sick if i do it although it's my personal choice be sure to do extensive research.....
post #12 of 66
I don't really get the whole carrion analogy. Carrion is the defined as the carcass of a dead animal. Raw feeders are certainly not grinding up road kill and feeding it to their cats.


Both my holistic vet and my traditional practice vet support raw feeding, but both of them do stress that it should only be done by people who practice safe meat handling procedures and who also have done their homework on providing a balanced diet.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
so i'll quote myself - i WASN'T considering this for Stoli as he's the one with the compromised immune system.

and now - i'm considering the raw diet for luxor's allergies....... of course i don't want to compromise HIS immune system

so it seems the consensus is - correct me if i'm wrong;

don't do it if the cat is sick and i'll risk making luxor sick if i do it although it's my personal choice be sure to do extensive research.....
After all of that extensive research I see no harm in introducing it (raw) in small quantities, and see how he does on it. I'm not an expert, but I'm interested in this too.
post #14 of 66
Thread Starter 
so basically Nial,

i have nature's variety patties in my freezer. it says to not touch the meat with your hands as you may contaminate the meat. i was going to use clean! tongs and place a medallion onto a clean: plate and cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until thawed (dinner) does this sound ok? or am i doing something wrong?

is raw ok when trying to eliminate possible allergies?
post #15 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
After all of that extensive research I see no harm in introducing it (raw) in small quantities, and see how he does on it. I'm not an expert, but I'm interested in this too.
i just wanted to start with a little bit for a while to see how he does, but i also want to make sure that these medallions are ok to use and that i thaw them out alright.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
I don't really get the whole carrion analogy. Carrion is the defined as the carcass of a dead animal. Raw feeders are certainly not grinding up road kill and feeding it to their cats.


Both my holistic vet and my traditional practice vet support raw feeding, but both of them do stress that it should only be done by people who practice safe meat handling procedures and who also have done their homework on providing a balanced diet.
I don't know where the line is drawn scientifically, but would assume that carrion would be any carcass where the body temperature has dropped more than a degree or two, or perhaps where rigor mortis has already started/been completed? Having had both, I think dogs and cats would distinguish between "fresh" and "carrion" differently, too.
"A balanced diet" is probably the key expression. It's difficult enough figuring out how much, or what, or even if, to supplement when feeding a mixture of commercial and cooked foods. So if vets see malnutrition or organ failure in cats given raw, it might very well be for lack of accurate guidelines.
Wouldn't the degree of "domestication" also play a role? Your standard "alley cat" might have different nutritional requirements from an F1 or F2, due to adaptation?
post #17 of 66
I do agree with Nial as i have two vets that assist me in the raw feeding but at the same time also help with homecooked and canned/dry feeding.... At my house at least the rotation diet works.... I have a CRF girl and she does best on all raw but that doesnt mean all cats would do well ... My semi feral girl eats 90% dry kitten food and will kill and eat only "fresh " meat ....
post #18 of 66
I've found two sites that are, at least to my point of view, very informative. They are www.catnutrition.org which tells how to feed a raw ground up diet, and the other one is http://www.rawfedcats.org/ (still under construction but a good site). There is also information on www.rawfed.com (mostly about dogs, but some about cats under myths and such).

If you read those sites, you'll know about as much as I do, hehe. I think it makes more logical sense to feed a raw diet, and I'm leaning, personally, toward the fresh/frozen on the bone with the organ meats.. and the benefit is.. less work for me. Anyway, the two I have on it love it. The two I'm slowly switching, are starting to get into the chunks too.. and they're all really intense at feeding time (with raw), which I think says a lot about what their instincts are.

This is something I just noticed with the chunks, as opposed to ground (which is what I've been doing..)

Anyway, good luck!
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
so basically Nial,

i have nature's variety patties in my freezer. it says to not touch the meat with your hands as you may contaminate the meat. i was going to use clean! tongs and place a medallion onto a clean: plate and cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until thawed (dinner) does this sound ok? or am i doing something wrong?

is raw ok when trying to eliminate possible allergies?
That method of handling sounds rational to me.

In the case of my cats, I place the thawed raw meat onto paper plates for the cats to consume. Then those plates are thrown away. Any un-eaten raw meat is also thrown away if it sits out longer than 15 mins. I normally don't have that problem, they usually polish it off quickly.

Luxor may decide he doesn't want to eat cold food, so you may have to warm the meat a little. Placing the medallion in a glad bag, submersed in a pot of warm water will warm the meat without cooking it. Avoid nuking it, as the microwave heats unevenly and you may cook a bone fragment, causing it to become brittle.

As to the possible food allergy, I think raw is a viable method to use to narrow down exactly what he might be allergic to. The hard part is making sure the raw animal meat you choose is not what he is actually allergic to. Chicken protein seems to be a more common allergen, so you may want to stay away from raw chicken. My suggestion, would be to try rabbit, beef or venison. Maybe even duck, but I'm not sure about the possible similarities to chicken, since both are birds.

I'd also like to mention that when you buy pre-made raw diets for your cats, you're only in control once you have the product at your home. All your due diligence can be for nothing, if your supplier isn't doing their part to make sure safe meat handling precautions were adhered to. The companies that process and package the raw diet, freeze it for shipment to suppliers. It needs to remain frozen until it's served up to the kitties.
Finding a reputable source for your raw diet is important.
post #20 of 66
Thread Starter 
thank you so much, the last two posts have been quite informative without overly passionate.

i am passionate about my cats and WILL NOT feed stoli raw food for a long time, perhaps this summer if even then. I'm glad I bought a small bag of raw incase the chicken is what luxor is allergic to. Right now i'm thinking that gluten/grains are what have been bothering luxor as the venison and pea is working fairly well. so i'll try the chicken.

i'm crossing my fingers that nature's variety is a reputable company that cares in the quality of the output of the product. paper plates sound good and i didn't have any on hand or i may have used one....will see how this goes tonight and will get some paper plates.
post #21 of 66
I would think twice since Stoli already has immune system issues. He just may not be the best candidate for a raw diet.
post #22 of 66
Thread Starter 
like i said before - stoli is not going to be getting raw for a LONG time and only if he's been completely healthy for a LONG time and not diagnosed with something.......


so - update: luxor just had a medium smidge of raw with his venison and pea and he LOVED it....it even had a TINY piece of bone and at first i didn't think he was going to eat it but he did!!!!!!!!!!! - so now we'll watch him for a while and see how he does.....
post #23 of 66
I feed a raw diet to all 12 of my cats i think its a good idea if your careful . I've seen 5 vets since i got my cats (2 retired, then the other 2 i just didn't like). Well any ways 3 out of 5 of them said raw diet feeding would be fine if your careful and do not over do things or anything and i've never had a problem and i've been feeding it to my kittens and there doing great on it.
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
update: luxor just had a medium smidge of raw with his venison and pea and he LOVED it....it even had a TINY piece of bone and at first i didn't think he was going to eat it but he did!!!!!!!!!!! - so now we'll watch him for a while and see how he does.....
Congrats! That's the first major hurdle, getting them to even try it. The fact that he loved it is even more encouraging.

I've been feeding raw for 3 years along with selective commercial foods, and I've not had any problems. I've been very pleased with the results.

No feeding regimine is without it's flaws or setbacks, so if you run into a roadblock or other trouble, feel free to PM me. I've tried just about every type of raw food.

And, to keep Stoli feeling like he's part of the equation, you could cook some of the raw you're giving to Luxor, provided that it's completely boneless and he should do just fine on it as a treat.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
The companies that process and package the raw diet, freeze it for shipment to suppliers. It needs to remain frozen until it's served up to the kitties.
Finding a reputable source for your raw diet is important.
Just thought i would suggest you check at your local butchers. Alot of butchers start with the whole animal themselves, so you can check out thier handling process. Many butchers will often also have 'scraps' which are just mean which didn't look as good to display, as well as some organs, which is fairly cheap to buy.
This is how i get my meat for my dogs. I just pop down first thing in the morning and pick it up. Means that the time between when it was first prosessed to when my dogs get it to be only a matter of minutes.
post #26 of 66
Hehe, I just wanted to warn you.. once he starts eating raw or gets more of a taste of it.. you may not have a choice *but* to feed him raw cause.. um.. the kitten (Joyeux) that came here on a raw and the Bengal (Khan) who (who kisses the ground she walks on... we think because he started getting raw when she came..) absolutely will not eat anything else with the exception of a mouthful of wet, occasionally.. when the mood strikes them.

My vet doesn't particularly like the idea, but, he also is much more amenable to it now that he knows what all we're doing. He's still got concerns about Taurine, though.. his opinion and I don't know what the basis behind it is as he's the only one I've ever heard it from, is that Taurine needs to be fed in exactly the right dosage.. not too little (which I've heard often) and not too much (which I'd never heard). That is one of the reasons I would like to get all the nutrition in the meat, if possible.

We've been feeding raw since about the end of December (when the little marbled menace came home). It's sort of a learn-as-you-go process..but I think the biggest thing is to make absolute sure that everything you use or prepare on, including the sinks, get sanitized. I found something at the grocery stores here called Lysol Food Surface Sanitizer. I use it to sanitize, and let it sit, before and after I prepare, washing it after sanitizing before I put their food on it because it worries me to have them in contact with the chemicals, even though the product says it's okay. We also use disposable dishes, plastic silverware to mix or pull it out of the baggies, and throw it all away no longer than an hour after we put it out regardless of whether there's food left or not. Nial is a little less lenient on the time frame than I am, but overall I agree with what he's posted.

Everyone seems to have a different method. The breeder Joyeux came from puts it down, and leaves it down for several hours, and doesn't put in the organ meats but does add supplement. She's had her cats on it for years, and never a problem..and her cats are gorgeous..beautiful coats, good muscle, and very few health problems (usually an eye infection or a sneeze contracted at a show).

I know this is a long post, but I did want to mention that all of the raw sites I've read, including the ones I posted earlier, say that a lot of health problems are cleared up when they start eating raw because it's the diet they're intended to eat. You may find that to be the case. I'm not sure if that in particular was mentioned on the sites or not. There is a link to the vet on catnutrition, I believe, and you may find an email address to email that particular vet. She'd probably be a good person to ask if you can access her. If not, you may also consider the yahoo group that is suggested on the other site. I need to get on that list.
post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
i just wanted to start with a little bit for a while to see how he does, but i also want to make sure that these medallions are ok to use and that i thaw them out alright.
I understand, your plan sounds good. That's great that he liked it! That would have been a bummer if he refused it. I tried the medallions out on my clan, and I had 6 out of 8 approve. I was amazed. Princess Pumpkin Pickypants and her big brother Leopold gave me a funny look, but all other paws were up.
post #28 of 66
Thread Starter 
well, luxor was fantastic last night. he tried about a teaspoon of raw mixed in with his NB. he ate it up with zeal!!! but because he wasn't going to finish the patty that night we put it down the disposal and cleaned the disposal with vinegar and lemon and water.

we waited to see how his litterbox looked before we gave him any this morning. it looked completely normal if not a little firmer than normal! so we gave him a half a medallion that we took out to be defrosted last night about 9.30pm. will the other half medallion be ok until 5pm tonight in the fridge? he LOVES the raw.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
well, luxor was fantastic last night. he tried about a teaspoon of raw mixed in with his NB. he ate it up with zeal!!! but because he wasn't going to finish the patty that night we put it down the disposal and cleaned the disposal with vinegar and lemon and water.

we waited to see how his litterbox looked before we gave him any this morning. it looked completely normal if not a little firmer than normal! so we gave him a half a medallion that we took out to be defrosted last night about 9.30pm. will the other half medallion be ok until 5pm tonight in the fridge? he LOVES the raw.

Wonderful! You can leave thawed meat in the fridge for about 3 days without concern. Fridge temp should be around 38 degrees.
post #30 of 66
Thread Starter 
great. thanks for the info - luxor has had a whole medallion today mixed in with his food. he loves it and his poop looked really good today - still a little smelly though.
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