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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Problems with raw diet?

First off, hello! I'm new to your forum but was directed here by friends. I have 3 cats who have been on a raw diet for a year. It started when 1 was diagnosed diabetic and I did a lot of reading and found the raw diet and gave it a try. The change was incredible right off the bat in all 3! These were old fat house cats, who were now sleek, shiny, and full of energy. And best of all, my diabetic one stabilized on the food alone, no insulin required.

All has been going well. We switched from a store bought raw diet (Rad Cat) to a homemade version about 6 months in. Yes ours get the ground up version. Why? They are all pretty much toothless. 2 have crappy teeth genetically and have had most of them pulled and the other was in some sort of accident before we had him (he was a stray) and had to have most of his teeth pulled. But...about 3 weeks ago, everyone quit eating and were very lethargic. This went on for a few days before I took them to the vet, who of course is skeptical about the raw diet, but after seeing what it did for my diabetic kitty quit trying to get me to buy Science Diet!! They all had pretty high temperatures and have been on antibiotics for 10 days. Suspected Salmonella. We didn't do bloodwork then, guess we should have.

They all started eating again, and seemed a little more energetic, but 2 days ago, everyone went off their food again. Vet trip was today, and blood was drawn, and the raw food diet lecture was given by the other vet in the practice, who is convinced I've poisoned my cats. She didn't see the changes that the other vet saw, even if she did read it in his file, and now she's put some doubt into my mind.

I'm kind of at a loss as what to do. Tonight they ate some canned food, we tossed all the raw stuff we made in case we did make a mistake, so they haven't been getting that since the first vet trip. They did get some store bought raw food while recovering that they were eating with gusto, for a few days. They don't have a temp now, just not eating and lethargic again.They are indoor only, they really can't get into anything because I have baby locks on cupboards, I don't use commercial cleaners because of my own allergy issues.

The vet is making me paranoid that this is not the way to go with the raw food, even though for a year I've been a total advocate of it. Has anyone else's cat ever gotten sick from a raw diet? I know you see the articles saying it will, but are there any actual stories out there? You read tons of success stories, but I don't see any horror stories. I'm just very confused at this point, and worried about my boys

Thank you for reading this novel! I welcome any advice
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 03:03 AM
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Re: Problems with raw diet?

Boy, I sure feel for you. Sick cats. Lectures from a fill-in vet. Doubts.

I think you should have done the blood work, but that's a moot point.

I've fed raw food. And, oh yes, I leave canned food sit out all day. And never had a cat get food poisoning.

I just though I'd share this article:

http://www.cat-world.com.au/salmonellosis-in-cats

Note a couple points: many cats are sub-clinical carriers of salmonella. ie. they might even test positive and never get sick. Next point: they're not susceptible to salmonella. Another point of my own, which I'm sure you know: salmonella are adapted to the human digestive tract, and don't survive well in the feline GI tract.

As you said, you haven't seen any horror stories. I don't think there are any. Just old wives (er --- old vets') tales. A healthy cat isn't at risk from a raw diet.

Stick by your guns. You saw what it did for your cats.

Tossing the old stuff, thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting your processor, every little hole, every little crack and seam, with soap and bleach in very hot water IS a good idea......there MAY have been some other pathogen introduced. Those are all normal precautions and nothing to get paranoid about.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 03:24 AM
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Re: Problems with raw diet?

Quote:
Next point: they're not susceptible to salmonella.
I'm a little confused, because the article you quoted goes on to say how they catch it, the symptoms, how it's diagnosed and how it's treated.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 12:38 PM
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Re: Problems with raw diet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73
I'm a little confused
Easily understood, and no doubt it's a case of two people with different points of view reading the same words and coming away with different takes. Let me quote some small portions of the article, as is permitted by the Fair Use provisions of U.S. copyright law:
Quote:
Salmonella appears to be relatively uncommon in cats.
Quote:
Most cats infected with salmonella have what's known as "subclinical carrier state". This means that they have been infected but only very mildly & don't display any clinical manifestations of the disease. Salmonellosis isn't seen very often in cats & it is believed they have a natural immunity to the bacteria.
(the probability of this being salmonella are low - emphasis added)
Quote:
How is it diagnosed?
Bacterial cultures from rectal swabs or fresh feces.
(blood test is not the proper diagnostic approach; blood test may give false positive)
Quote:
If the infection isn't severe then supportive care will be given. IV fluids, ... It seems there is some controversy over the use of antibiotics to treat simple cases of salmonella enteritis (intestinal inflammation) with diarrhoea in cats, suggesting that antibiotics can actually favour the growth of antibiotic resistant strains of salmonella.
(antibiotics is not the proper treatment approach)

Yes, the cats were sick. I've had sick cats. (other than food poisoning) I know what a trial that can be. I think that the vet's assumption that it was was due to the raw food diet is unwarranted. Furthermore, laying this guilt trip on the poor OP is even more unwarranted. As with people, so with cats: sometimes you get sick. It comes and it goes and you never know exactly what the cause was. The raw food diet has been working well for the OP; I see no reason to give it up because the vet "suspected" salmonella. Even it if WAS salmonella, so what? Maybe there was one bad package of chicken meat that spoiled the whole batch. You toss out the batch, disinfect everything, and start fresh.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 06:19 PM
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Re: Problems with raw diet?

I agree with previous posters. Don't stop feeding raw simply because your vet & co tried to reprimand you for it. You aren't doing anything but the best for your kitties. As others have said, cats get sick, so what? Even if I eat healthy all day, there is still a chance I can get sick from my healthy food. You've seen the effects, you've seen the positive changes, stick to your guns!!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Problems with raw diet?

I SWEAR I posted a reply to this...not sure where it went

The bloodwork came back, and when it came back so perfect the vet started treating me a lot differently. She said for 11 year old cats, looking at their bloodwork, she'd guess they were more like 2. The only problem was one has Pancretitis (sp) probably triggered from whatever they got in the first place. He is now on steroids and got fluids on Friday, and is doing much better today. The other one, after doing some reading here, I've realized has regressed because we were literally giving them anything to get them to eat at one point, and they got some dry cat treats... So the little orange brat was holding out for dry food, and there's nothing wrong with him! He of course is my heart murmur kitty, so I worry a little more about him. Ha! I shouldn't have. We don't call him the Pookat for nothing!

So, vet is not going to give me any more trouble, in fact I was very pleased with her on the second trip in. My cats are all eating and getting on their way back to being healthy, and we have to make cat food this week, yippee

Thank you for listening in a doubting moment. It's been a long few weeks where animal health is concerned. My horse has also been having some issues and had to be rushed to the vet...but everyone seems to be doing much better. Thank you again
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 05:54 PM
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Re: Problems with raw diet?

I hear you. I had the same experience when Cheetah went to the hospital for Gastroenteritis. The first vet did not ask me to give him specific food, and is okay with raw feeding.

The 2nd vet, after Cheetah was hospitalized for a day, suggested us to go off raw food for at least 2 weeks and sold us low residue dry and canned.

My family was losing confidence in me giving them raw diet at the same time and said we should at least give them Science Diet for 2 weeks.

The 3rd vet in the same hospital told us "We do not like raw" and "Maybe raw is not for your cat".

I did the same and ask for opinions on the forum, and at the same time, when raw, canned, and dry were placed in front of Cheetah, he picked the raw. So we went back to raw 4 days after he was hospitalized.

He has been on raw since then (3 weeks) and has been doing well.

I strongly believe that raw is the best diet for my cats.


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