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Discussion Starter #1
Over New Years, when I had the issue with the bad rabbit meat, I didn't have any rabbit to feed, but I did have a bag of dry kibble that I thought would work, because it didn't have any chicken of any kind in it. It was fish flavored, but I figured it wouldn't hurt if I was feeding it short term. Well, things got much much worse with the condition of their coats, and the itching. When I got the new rabbit, and was able to put them back on the raw, I withheld the fish oil I was feeding. HOLY CRAP!!!!!!! The fur looked beautiful, and they got fluffy again, the itching decreased quite a bit!

I feel like such a bad mommy, because in every single article I read, and I read MANY, they all boasted about how good fish oils are because of the omega 3's. The omega 3's are supposed to be good for allergies. I read multiple articles that said if a cat has allergies to fish, they can still safely consume fish oil because it doesn't come from the protein source of the fish. Well, not true in my case. Once I stopped feeding any kind of fish/fish oil, they are now on their way to healing.

BUT, in the last couple batches I made, I was adding in a bit of ground lamb for the needed fat. The skin gets to dry on just rabbit, and one does have some constipation issues on plain rabbit. Lamb also made them itch.
I have now started to use a bit of olive oil when I mix the feed, and it seems to be working. They each seem to need a different amount, so I put a little bit in when I make the medalions, and then supplement to those who need more when I feed.

I just feel awful! After everything that my kitties have been through, and if I had just taken them off the chicken AND fish oil all together, we would have solved this problem months ago!

It's a long process, and it's not over yet, it can take up to 12 weeks, or more, for the allergy condition to improve fully. Plus, then it's not even guaranteed they won't develop more allergies. If that's the case, I'm not sure what I'll be able to feed, because fowl, lamb, fish, and beef are off my list. My only other choice may be venison. But........let's not think about that before it becomes reality.
Now, if I can just make sure that the batches of meat I get are good quality until spring, I'll be even better. We are going to start raising a few rabbits of our own.

One point I want to mention, just in case some may not realize it, because I know I didn't until a couple months ago. Cod liver oil, and fish oil are not the same thing. Cod liver oil should only be fed in tiny amounts, which thankfully is what I was doing, because it naturally contains higher amounts of vit A and vit D. You want just plain fish oil for the omega 3's.
 

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Wow! Still ... better late than never regarding learning about the fish and fish oil. We do the best we can with the information we have AT THAT TIME. You've just learned something *very* different from what *most* people knew regarding fish/fish-oil as it relates to alergies and skin-condition. I think you did an *excellent* job recognizing the serendipitous signs for what they were, especially when common information is saying otherwise.
 

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Thanks Heidi.
I guess I should just be thankful they are finally getting healthy, right?! They are really looking good, and I'm so pleased, and relieved. I think they are too, so much less itching, and getting better everyday!
 

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Yay!! Happy dance!!
No more dry skin flakes when I brush them!!! Scratching only seems to be minimal now too! They even seem happier! Woot Woot!
 

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That is so awesome. I remember the difficult struggle you had trying to determine what the cause was so you could help them. Do you remember all the things you tried? I don't recall all of them, but I know you tried Everything Under The Sun ... and THEN SOME MORE!
Your kitts are so lucky to have you. Many other owners wouldn't have taken the time to find out what was wrong and would have given up long ago.
 

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Heidi is right, and you've done well by your cats; you've no reason whatever to feel like you're at fault for any of this. You have, in fact, immeasurably improved your cats' lives in a way they likely wouldn't have found with anyone else.

I say major kudos to you!!

AC
 

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Thank you so much, ladies, I really appreciate that! :oops: I was really beginning to think people were just sick of my situation! I know I am! :)

And, I have some news. I know some probably don't agree with this, but I feel this needs to be done, and will be the best thing. We were going to wait till spring, but an opportunity has come up very unexpectedly, and we will be picking up a breeding pair, and 5 younger New Zealand rabbits. We just can't pass up this deal that was presented to us, and unless something unforseen happens, we'll be going to pick them up on saturday.

I whole heartedly believe this will be the best thing for my babies, and if Dave is willing to do this for us, I see it as the best thing to do.
 

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I think that is awesome. You'll *know* the quality you are feeding. I wish we had a bit more property so I could raise a beef steer and possibly a hog or two for us. I really enjoyed raising my family's meat when I was younger.
 

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Thanks Heidi! I'm excited for sure for the quality reason alone, not to mention the cost! I'm willing to put in the work if it saves some money too! I found a listing for a purebred California rabbit breeder this morning on CraigsList, so we're going to take a drive to pick up a young California buck to cross with our New Zealand does......Dave's cross of choice. I'm so impressed, he has been researching this extensively.

Hopefully in the end, once we get settled in, we can even sell some to other local pet owners to pay for our costs, and to feed our own cats. Bonus!
 

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Well, secretly, between you and I, that is the plan, and hopefully it could work. Small scale mind you. I mean really, as long as we're already doing the work, why not make it pay for itself. The cost to order and ship rabbit meat to my house is just INSANE! To get rid of that will be worth the effort, seriously! This could work, and if we happen to bring in a few extra dollars to pay for the winter fuel supply, so be it! Dave and I both know what it takes to run a small business, we both have a great mind set to make this work, and we care about what we are doing, no matter what it is. I must say though, if you could see Dave, and watch him when he's researching and thinking, it's kinda scary! LOL!
 

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I must say though, if you could see Dave, and watch him when he's researching and thinking, it's kinda scary! LOL!
If it is anything like my husband researching a vehicle to buy ... no thanks!

"No, Honey, I do NOT want to look at *another* Jeep picture. They all look THE SAME to me. Just tell me what color it is and I'm good."
 
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