Archive for July, 2008

Gotta Have Faith

I gotta have faith… or do I?

Faith in veterinarians, that is.  Something foremost in my mind again, because of a couple of comments/emails lately.  One from a woman inquiring about raw diet and feline hyperthyroidism who said something to the effect of “I feel like I learn everything from an [internet forum] and you guys, and then have to turn around and teach my vet!”

I’ve sometimes felt the same.   For years, I just blindly followed the vet’s advice.  They went to school for years to learn just how to care for my cat, right?  Well, that was pretty naive of me.  First of all, we all know professionals in every industry imaginable that just aren’t that good at what they do.  Ergo, there must be veterinarians who aren’t the best as well – and how do we, the lay people, know whether our vet is the best or the worst or just somewhere in the middle?  If we’re not proactive and do some of our own research, we’re relying entirely on their “bedside manner”.

Secondly, vets generally get a four-year Bachelor’s degree in biology, then attend four years of veterinary school.  Do we really think they can learn absolutely everything about every animal species in four years?  Really?  As I often say, I’m sure I have less than 5% of the knowledge of most vets – I know next-to-nothing about any animals other than cats.  (Cows are the ones that say “moo”, right?)  I know little about feline parasites and next-to-nothing about surgeries and probably can’t name more than one or two bones in their little furry bodies and struggle with most terms, and have to think (hard) to remember which end is proximal versus distal.

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Among the miscellaneous junk mail in my mailbox this week, was a bright yellow envelope from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In huge bold print across the envelope it stated:


New findings from America’s most respected veterinary school reveal the ONE food you should feed your cat for optimal health!

They were soliciting subscribers for their newsletter, Cat Watch, but out of curiosity I looked inside to see what this magical food may be. Among other tips inside it stated:

What’s the one food you should feed your cat for optimal health? Wet food. Feeding your cat wet food, and not letting her eat from a dry food dispenser, could be the single greatest thing you do for her health and longevity. (New research shows wet food helps prevent diabetes, heart disease — even feline arthritis!)

Now, this isn’t news to me. I’ve written in the past about the dangers of dry food. I discovered most of the issues with dry food back in 2004, when I was struggling with cats that were obese, diabetic, and had gastro-intestinal disorders (such as IBD). Honestly, I would have liked to hear this cat food alert from Cornell back in 2004 – or earlier. However, I suppose it is “better late than never” and for once I hope a LOT of people were given this piece of “junk mail”.

Now, I wish Cornell would update their brochure on “Feeding Your Cat” to reflect these “new findings”.

Scanned copy of the Cornell mailing:
CatWatch mailing

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