I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

I like my vet, he's a nice guy, however I feel like I need to trust my vet completely to support my position on raw feeding. I am reluctant to find a new vet, but I'm wondering if there is a NON-THREATENING way I could approach or open the topic to him.

Are there any educational links that are pro-raw but also help disprove a lot of myths about raw? I want definately do not want to "bible-thump" my beliefs on him, but I want to try to see if he will open to the idea if I can approach it without raising defenses. He is young, a "new" vet so I'm hoping some useful information can reach him.
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 10:49 AM
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

I think I already responded to a similar post from you . . . I think you're best of letting it lie. My approach is to learn as much as I can so that if it DOES come up, I can state my position clearly and concisely, while making it clear that these are MY animals and *I* will be the one making nutritional decisions for them. The best way, though, is the old "proof in the pudding" thing. Every time I'm in my vet comments on my animals' sparkling teeth. I've only been seeing him a year (it took me a while--well, 6 years--to find a vet I really liked after I moved, so I was still driving way into town for a while to my old vet), and when he first saw Rachel (dog), he said, when he looked at her teeth, "Oh, she's just a youngster--less than a year old?" "Uh, no," I said. "She's 4." "Oh, wow," he said. When he again commented on Sam's (dog) teeth, I said casually, "Well, you know I switched them all to a prey model raw diet last year. Since then they're teeth have looked better than ever!" He said nothing--what's he gonna say? Stop feeding your dogs in a way that causes them to have awesome teeth like this?

And yesterday, when Lincoln (cat) was in for annual bloodwork, the vet looked at his teeth and said, "This cat is TWELVE?! He has practically no tartar!" "Yup," I responded. "Remember he's the one who was supposed to have a dental done by my previous vet 18 mos ago--his teeth were NASTY. Then we switched a prey-model raw diet and now they look like this! Never got the dental done!"

"Oh," he said, and shut up.

I am hoping that over time, he'll eventually start asking me for more info on it. Until then, I don't pressure him and he doesn't pressure me. And I keep bringing him critters w/ awesome teeth who are in awesome condition. Time will tell!

Basically, itís my opinion that vets are there to diagnose and treat illnesses, NOT to be nutritional counselors. I donít rely on them for that and I make that pretty clear. If I refused to see a vet who didnít support raw feeding I would be outta luck! To my knowledge thereís only one around here, and his clinic is dirty and out of date. I MUCH prefer my vets to be up-to-date, to have the best equipment, and to have knowledgable and educated staff over supporting raw feeding!
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

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Basically, itís my opinion that vets are there to diagnose and treat illnesses, NOT to be nutritional counselors.
I agree very much with this, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 11:17 AM
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

I don't think my vet is "pro" raw, but she hasn't tried to talk me out of it or anything. The only time it's come up is when Mak's bloodwork showed that he was ever so slightly low in potassium so she said "Hm, I don't know how you can do this on raw but he needs more potassium in his diet. Our food that we sell is all specially formulated so we know that they're getting adequate amounts, so I'm not sure how you can know he's getting enough on raw food" and I said "okay I'll look into it" and we left it at that.

Honestly I wouldn't bother trying to convert the guy. As the adage goes, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink". One person probably is not going to change his mind, even if you do approach it calmly and rationally, and he probably doesn't want to be lectured.

I would probably bring it up if he asks you directly, and if he starts to lecture say "Look, I'm not going to change my mind and if you're interested on why I chose this route over any other, then I'd be happy to provide you with the information that I learned".

Just because he may not be into raw food doesn't mean that he might not be a brilliant diagnostician.


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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

Well, when I took my cat in once, they started listing off all the vaccinations they wanted to give her. I let them know that I wanted the least amount if none at all. They got very defensive and told me that rabies was the law etc etc.
If it's the law, I'll do it, but isn't it my choice how many vaccines to give my cat?

I read on rawfedcats.org (if I'm remembering correctly) that cats on a raw diet shouldn't need so many vaccines because they would build up a stronger immune system naturally.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 12:33 PM
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

First, while rabies vax are technically "the law" in many places, often "the law" really says every 3 years, not annually, but vets still tell clients they have to do it annually. This is the case in TN, for example. TN is a 3-year state, but you wouldn't know it to talk w/ most vets in the state! They all either think it's a 1-year state (it's not), think their county has a county law that is 1-year and trumps the state (none do), or KNOW the law and lie about it. <sigh>

That said, I don't much care about the law re: indoor cats. My dogs are vaccinated against rabies and nothing else b/c there is a SLIGHT chance that they might be exposed to it and a SLIGHT chance that the might get out when I'm away from home and, being lost and afraid, bite someone. Even then, since they're microchipped and covered w/ ID, the worst that would happen would be quarantine if I could not prove that they had been vaccinated according to state law. They are now being vacc'd only once every 3 years (after a great deal of work on my part to "prove" to my vet what is clearly stated in the code of TN), and my older dog (12) will not be vaccinated again. They receive no other vaccinations.

My barn cats are vaccinated against everything b/c they are outside and at risk.

My indoor cats arenít vaccinated at all. The 2 older ones were vaccinated by the shelter before I adopted them; Jonah has never been vaccinated. I will probably get ONE rabies vaccination for him and thatís it. They are microchipped, so if they got out and bit someone, the authorities would find me and the worst that would happen would be quarantine.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 03:48 PM
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

My vet actually support raw but he only supports "right raw diet". According to him, most cat owner want just to give meat to cats, and that's it, and this is what he is against.

If any vet would tell me something about how to feed my cats I'll ask him where he learned nutrition, how many classes, was the professor the employee of a commercial pet food company, which researches does he base the information on nutrition on etc. and let him answer those questions.

I totally agree with previous posters that a vet can be a brillian diagnost and wonderful person and a cat lover and that he just doesn't need to be a feline nutritionist.

Re. vaccinations - just recently I did very thorough research on that and decided I was not going to vaccinate my cats against anything - and they are show cats, and go to shows and stay in hotels etc. It's not vaccines, it's their immune system that protects them.

I'm very confident in their immune system and I'm sure that if they ever get exposed to virus they will not get sick, and even if they will get sick they will recover and become stronger. FIP is considered to be a deadly virus but again, if a cat's immune system is strong, he will not get it and if he gets it, he will not die. And there is no vaccine against FIP.

I do not think it makes any sense to vaccinate against herpesvirus and calcivirus - if my cats get cold (and I'm sure they won't), they will recover - why would I mess up their immune system because of simple cold? And also, from experience, vaccinated cats still get cold and more often and with worse system than non-vaccinated ones.

Why would I vaccinate my cats against FIV if only 2% of feral cats are at risk? My cats are not feral...

What I am afraid is cancer but according to some researches vaccines contribute to cancer, not the other way around.

Actually, I hope (fingers crossed) that I will not need any vet for my boys simply because I plan to keep them healthy. I used vet in the past because I got a sick cat from a breeder, but since then... no need for vet.
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 04:00 PM
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

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Originally Posted by Vanessa
Actually, I hope (fingers crossed) that I will not need any vet for my boys simply because I plan to keep them healthy. I used vet in the past because I got a sick cat from a breeder, but since then... no need for vet.
But . . . that's kind of my point. I think it's ESSENTIAL to maintain a good working relationship w/ a vet b/c eventually you WILL need him/her and that's not the time to realize that you have no working relationship! I assume from the first part of your post, though, that you still go in for checkups? Please continue that. It's not only good to make sure your cat is healthy, but it also results in your being a good, regular client. One can't really expect a vet to go the extra mile for you if you haven't been a regular good client over the years.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 11:03 AM
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

Sorry but why would I need a vet or "check-ups" if my cats are obviously healthy? I have a friend whose cat is 16 years, not neutered (she is in Russia), has excellent teeth and gums (checked this myself) and has never been to a vet, just no need. The cat is on a raw diet (who doubted that? lol), very active and plays like a kitten and full of energy, and he is a "real" purebred persian, the best kitten from the litter of persians with all possible show titles (the sire was my cat). My own experience and experience of my other friends whose cats are on raw diet is similar - no vet needed.

Why would I want to "maitain" relationship with a vet for let's say 15+ years "just for the case"? As we used to say in Russia "we wil treat hemoroid when it comes up", lol.

My point is that if a cat is healthy - looks healthy, acts healthy, eats healthy, then he probably is healthy. Why pay money to somebody (vet) to tell you that???? .

I have a friend here who has cats the same age as mine and she takes them to the vet all the time - check-ups, vaccinations, boosters, blood work, whatever. And she gives them Revolution treatment every month "just for the case". And she keeps her cats in a tent when we stay in hotels at shows - so that they are not exposed to any bacteries or germs and won't get ear mites. And she uses medicated shampoo after each show just for the case cats may pick up a cell of ringworm.

Differ from me she invests tons of money into her cats (vet bills), and does it make her cats healthier than mine?. Sorry but I think she messes up cats immune system and may need more money for vets in the future (JMO). I also think that she is a "dream customer" for any vet, LOL.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 11:25 AM
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Re: I like my vet, even though he is not pro-raw...

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Originally Posted by Vanessa
Sorry but why would I need a vet or "check-ups" if my cats are obviously healthy? I have a friend whose cat is 16 years, not neutered (she is in Russia), has excellent teeth and gums (checked this myself) and has never been to a vet, just no need. The cat is on a raw diet (who doubted that? lol), very active and plays like a kitten and full of energy, and he is a "real" purebred persian, the best kitten from the litter of persians with all possible show titles (the sire was my cat). My own experience and experience of my other friends whose cats are on raw diet is similar - no vet needed.

Why would I want to "maitain" relationship with a vet for let's say 15+ years "just for the case"? As we used to say in Russia "we wil treat hemoroid when it comes up", lol. ).
Well, here's why.

(1) Once a cat reaches middle age, annual bloodwork should be done. Many conditions which are treatable and even curable if caught early are NOT treatable if caught later. The ONLY way to diagnose these conditions early on is labwork. Having labwork done when the cat is younger (2-4) is a good idea so you have baseline "normals" for that particular cat. The lab's normals are an average of the results for apparently normal cats, but your own cat's normals may be different. For instance, raw fed cats often have higher normal BUNs than kibble/canned fed cats due to higher protein content. Knowing that your young, healthy cat, with normal creatinine, has a high-normal BUN will mean that when the cat is older you will have something accurate against which to judge his bloodwork.

The conditions which are most often found early thanks to labwork in outwardly normal-appearing cats include kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and liver disease.

(2) Even young cats can develop problems, and you may not see them but the vet may find them on abdominal palpation or other parts of the physical exam.

(3) We get people on this forum all the time who are having a major veterinary emergency and who cannot pay for it. Usually they do not have a regular vet who knows them and trusts them, so the vet is reluctant to extend them credit. I have never had a vet who was unwilling to extend me credit, but thatís b/c I go out of my way to establish a relationship w/ my vets. It is more than worth $30 per animal for annual exams to ensure that each animal has an up-to-date record w/ my vet, that my vet knows and trusts me, and that my vet knows that I pay my bills.

(4) The simple fact is that if we want vets to stop pushing annual vaccs for everyone, the ONLY way they can do that and still stay afloat financially (so they will BE there when we need them) is if we go in for annual exams even though we donít need or want annual vaccs. My vet has bills to pay and a family to feed just like I do, and I want him to not only be there when I need him but also to have a high-quality, well-staffed practice with the best equipment. Why would I NOT want to pay for that?
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