Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Surprise: A vet agrees with me

I can’t believe it. The vet columnist of my local daily paper has 3 times in a row now expressed the same concern about his colleagues as I am doing already for a long time. Here is what he had to say:
Last Tuesday a reader was talking about her 6 year old black & white domestic cat. The poor thing with 22 lbs body weight is definitely having a weight problem. She tells her story, how she went and picked it up 5 years ago as a 1 year old, thin, let’s just say “normal” or better “healthy weight” cat. Over the years she has been through 3 vets. They all tried to cure the problem with an XYZ prescription diet. Strange enough, all three of them tend to agree on exactly the same cure. The owner insists that she feeds her cat ¼ cup twice daily. I don’t know, my dear cat owner, are you sure you are telling us the entire story and nothing but the truth? For some reason I really just have a hard time to believe that the amount you feed causes the cat to be that much overweight, regardless of whether the diet is right or wrong. But here is how Dr. Vet answered:
“Since three veterinarians prescribed the same special diet for your poor cat and they have not worked, there must be something else wrong with your cat, right? Wrong. What’s wrong is that these veterinarians (and countless others) are ill informed on basic cat nutrition and on how to help fat cats get well. Being overweight is a cat’s first step toward obesity (M comment: I thought overweight and obesity were the same!? Yes/No?) and a host of other problems, including diabetes and fatty liver disease. You need to…” and he goes on to make some diet recommendations based on brands he believes in.

Then on Saturday, another woman was writing about her 6 and 17 month old Lab puppies. She too is observing extra ordinary weight gains, while she is feeding VWX. Her vet told her that this indeed would be a fatty food. However, he did not simply prescribe anything else, he just sent her on her merry way continuing to look for the right solution on her own.
Dr Vet says: “Your two dogs need to get on a more healthful diet. The high fat and high protein puppy food should not be given to most breeds after 6 to 8 months of age. And for some breeds, especially Labrador pups, such a diet is actually harmful. Studies indicate this diet can make developing hip dysplasia significantly worse and lead to weight control problems. Many factors could be making your older dog gain weight, become less active and begin to decline in health. Aside from the often dubious ingredients in processed and animal junk foods and the nutrition and pesticide contamination of conventionally grown pet foods, we have environmental chemicals all around us.” And then he gets carried away on another subject, which I do not want to discuss at this place and time.

Finally today, a third female pet owner is sympathizing with another reader. She, owning a Beagle too, has dietary issues as well. Or better, her dog has. She is dealing with a scratching and itching animal. She too has spent a fortune for vet bills without making any progress. And she finally listened to her sister, who recommended a “natural” lamb and rice brand. Since then, the problems are gone. The excessive scratching and biting has stopped, the redness disappeared and the dog’s hair has grown back. Congratulations from the Pet Food Examiner. And Dr. Vet says: “ receive many letters from people whose dogs are scratching…. And the attending veterinarian does not attend to the possible cause. With the number of letters like this having significantly increased over the past years, I surmise that genetically engineered ingredients in pet foods are a major culprit. For documentation …” and he recommends reading his newest book.

I am speechless. Dr.Vet and me, both of us on the same wave length? What happened? You think he is secretly reading my comments on this blog? Just kidding. Seriously, I think it is great that he speaks up and is not afraid to criticize his peers. I 100% agree, it’s about time for a change, every vet should see that. And if the increasing amount of pets with diet originated illnesses is not inspiration enough to make that change, then I don’t know anymore what is required to initiate the revolution..

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