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#1
Old 02-26-2005, 04:19 PM
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Does my cat really need a $500 teeth cleaning?

While at the vet to get my cat some shots and a check up, the vet mentioned that he had fairly significant buildup of plaque and gingivitis, and that heart problems and other ill effects could result in the long term. She suggested some teeth cleaning (maybe it goes beyond simple brushing of teeth, I'm really not sure), recommending it be done every year or two. Fine. BUT when I got the estimate in the mail yesterday, I saw the procedure apparently costs $500! The dentistry itself is $85 but most of the fee is anaesthesia.

Does this seem unreasonable? First of all, anaesthesia... for a teeth cleaning? And is this whole thing really necessary--I certainly won't be paying $500 every single year for such a procedure, but how bad could it be for the cat to have junk on his teeth?
#2
Old 02-26-2005, 04:27 PM
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My cat had it done a couple of years ago, and hasn't needed it since. It wasn't $500, but it was a couple of hundred, I don't remember exactly how much. And same as you, most was for anaesthesia. Can you imagine cleaning a cat's teeth without putting them under?
#3
Old 02-26-2005, 04:50 PM
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I've never had any of my cats' teeth cleaned. Ever. It's never even been suggested. But I did just now get up and look at Harry's and there doesn't appear to be any build up at all. So maybe my cats are good brushers?

My Bassett Hound, however, just had her teeth cleaned and it was $185. About $100 was anethesia and the rest for the cleaning. $500 sounds amazingly unreasonable. I can't imagine why a cat's teeth cleaning would cost 2½ times what it cost to clean my Bassett's huge mouth full of teeth, though.
#4
Old 02-26-2005, 11:40 PM
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I would say yes, your cat DOES need to have her teeth cleaned. And as to the cost, that can vary greatly with area of the country. I just had my kitty's teeth done a few months ago and it was almost $500 (dental work, anasthesia, and blood work to make sure she could handle the procedure ok).

If the vet says it needs to be done, please listen. I waited a while with my cat beause several people told me horror stories about losing their cats after cleanings due to so much bacteria being released into their systems. Mine was finally at the point where she was losing weight and I was worried about what would happen if I didn't get her teeth done. She's an older cat, and I just wasn't sure of the best course for her.

When the vet actually got in there, he found she had a type of mouth lesions peculiar to cats...the teeth grow where they aren't supposed to and leave voids where there is supposed to be enamel. I felt HORRIBLY guilty for not finding out and getting her treated sooner.

After her cleaning, she is a whole new kitty. Energetic, more playful...you can tell she just feels better in general. Back to her old frisky, crumb-snatching self =^..^=
#5
Old 02-27-2005, 12:20 AM
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This is me restraining myself from a rant about the pet food industry and veterinary medicine.

...Long story short, yes, your cat should have its teeth cleaned if they're really bad. They would likely never get that way in the first place if they weren't eating cat food.
I took the Armadillo kitty in for some bloodwork a while back. The vet started giving me his prophylactic dentistry sales pitch before he even got to Poe's mouth. When he looked in, he actually stopped mid-sentence and was like "...uh... his teeth look... very clean for his age..." Which is sad, considering Poe is approximately three, and an understatement considering his teeth look like a toothpaste commercial, if Crest were in the habit of employing cats for such things.

There are very few things I am really zealous about, but processed pet food is one of them... can you tell?
#6
Old 02-27-2005, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiannon8404
My Bassett Hound, however, just had her teeth cleaned and it was $185. About $100 was anethesia and the rest for the cleaning. $500 sounds amazingly unreasonable. I can't imagine why a cat's teeth cleaning would cost 2½ times what it cost to clean my Bassett's huge mouth full of teeth, though.
I don't know about cats, because I'm violently allergic to them.

As for dogs, I like to go to down to the butcher shop or deer processor and get raw bones. They have to pay to have someone come and dispose of them, so they will let you take as much as you want. My dog loves them. They still have a small amount of meat still attached which is an extra treat. You will be surprised at how much they manage to grind down and ingest, but all that grinding results in sparkling white teeth.

Having lived in LA, I know how tough it is to find a butcher let alone a deer processor. But if you find one, you should be able to get some for free, or pay cheaply for 'soup bones'.

Also I understand it's best to give the bones raw. Cooking and baking weakens the bones, which might result in your dog swallowing a splintered piece.
#7
Old 02-27-2005, 01:39 AM
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Depending on the age of the cat, a substantial part of that may be bloodwork. It's irresponsible to put an older animal under without checking for underlying liver and kidney disease, anemia, or infection. Depending on her overall health, part of it might also be for IV fluids to help buffer her system against the anesthesia.

And yes, you have to put animals under for a dental. We do all the stuff that human dentists do at a prophylactic cleaning--scaling off the tartar with an ultrasonic probe and then a hand scaler, probing the teeth and gums for looseness and decay, then polishing the teeth. If teeth are in really bad shape, we pull 'em. You might be willing to shove your hand into an awake cat's mouth for all that, but most of us prefer to keep our fingers.

As for how bad it could be for your cat to have gunk on his teeth, how bad could it be for you to never get any dental care? Animals get gum disease and tooth decay just like humans do, and their teeth can rot right out of their little heads just like ours can. When their teeth are in really bad shape, it often becomes extremely painful for them and they have trouble eating, just like when you've got a toothache. And cats with dental disease are fairly prone to tooth root abcesses, where they get a big pocket of pus around the tooth root. That's about as pleasant to deal with as it sounds, plus it tends to be fairly expensive.
#8
Old 02-27-2005, 01:43 AM
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What CrazyCatLady said. Our old cat Fluffy in her last year got very sick all of sudden, and refused to eat. We took her to the vets, thinking she'd have to be put to sleep-turns out she had several infected teeth which lead to a closed up throat. After she came home, she was back to being her old self again.

We also have a cat who has had the entire top row of her teeth pulled due to a genetic gum disease-it's almost as if her gums are allergic to the teeth themselves. When they were flaring up, she wouldn't eat and she was a nasty little bitch to everyone.

Toothaches HURT. See about a payment plan, but get Kitty's teeth fixed.
#9
Old 02-27-2005, 03:14 AM
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Some cats simply seem more prone to this than others - ours is definitely one. We recently had this procedure done (and several teeth pulled) because her breath smelled so bad that you could smell her from feet away - it was a fishy, rotting smell. We could see that her teeth looked really nasty, so we asked about it at the dentist.

The total cost was around $250, and we specifically took her to one of the more uppity and attentive vets that we could find. The bulk of that was the anesthesia, but it also covered a few extractions.

Could it be that you're living in a more expensive area? When we took her to the vet when we were living in DC, they quoted us $500+ for the process.
#10
Old 02-27-2005, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MixieArmadillo
...Long story short, yes, your cat should have its teeth cleaned if they're really bad. They would likely never get that way in the first place if they weren't eating cat food.

There are very few things I am really zealous about, but processed pet food is one of them... can you tell?
What do you suggest feeding cats as an alternative? You can't just make a statement like this and then refuse to elaborate.
#11
Old 02-27-2005, 04:46 AM
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Sorry.

I love animals. I have two cats. I believe they are healthy, happy, and cared for. But they are cats, not children. $500 per annum just for tooth cleaning before any other vetinerary expenses? Nope.

If, in the course of their decade or so long life, they have sevious medical problems, I'll pony up for the vet bills, based on how hard my son cries over them. But in the end, I have to pay the mortgage and put petrol in my car.... a grand a year for clean teeth for two cats? Nope.. I'l be telling my son the cats "ran away". Goodnight nurse. It's the way it is.
#12
Old 02-27-2005, 05:35 AM
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I can only assume that in the wild animals must get other creatures to give them free teeth cleaning. I would allow my cats to search out the free teeth cleaning creatures in the local bush.
#13
Old 02-27-2005, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freejooky
What do you suggest feeding cats as an alternative? You can't just make a statement like this and then refuse to elaborate.
Well, I can't speak for Mixie, but the cats in my household get their food cooked at home. There are many recipes on the web and cat (and dog) food cookbooks available.

When my sister's little male kitty started having bad bladder problems (due to his diet), she took him to a special vet who specialized in "alternative" medicine, including Chinese medicine. (This vet also practiced traditional vet medicine and was a partner in a "mainstream" vet's office.) This vet gave my sister several approved recipes to help the kitty avoid foods that gave him problems. So far, so good.

Our kitties have been much healthier since they've been fed "home cooked" food. I wish I could provide cites to the best pet food recipe books, but my sister knows more about that than I do.

And getting back to the subject of the OP, yes, the cat needs to have her teeth cleaned. I am surprised that it is $500, though. One of my sister's cats just had her teeth cleaned a few days ago, and it was under $100 (but that didn't include blood work).
#14
Old 02-27-2005, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLoadedDog
Sorry.

I love animals. I have two cats. I believe they are healthy, happy, and cared for. But they are cats, not children. $500 per annum just for tooth cleaning before any other vetinerary expenses? Nope.
It's very unlikely that you'd have to have their teeth cleaned, under anesthesia, every year. Many cleanings can be done by the vet during a regular appointment by scaling the teeth. It's only when they get really bad, or the cat needs extractions, that you have to have the "big" expensive cleaning. This might happen a few times in the cat's life. I've never seen a cat that needed a major cleaning every year (and they don't need it anyway until they are probably more than 5 years old, at the earliest).
#15
Old 02-27-2005, 11:01 AM
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I barely have time to cook for myself and my kiddo. I cannot imagine making cat food.

And yeah, I love my cat, but I won't be paying $500 for his teeth to get cleaned. Never.

When you start taking better care of your pet than you do yourself, it's time to take a look in the mirror.
#16
Old 02-27-2005, 11:09 AM
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$500 does seem quite high to me, but that might just be the high end of the estimate.

I had one of my cats' teeth done recently. They quoted me $350 but it only came out to about $280. $120 of that was just for the preliminary visit and the bloodwork, so the teeth cleaning, x-rays, and three extractions were only $160, which isn't overly expensive in my opinion. (The original quote was higher because certain teeth are much harder to extract. My cat needed her two canine teeth taken out, which normally are expensive to remove because the roots are very deep. However, in her case, one tooth was out already and they just had to get the root; the other was very loose and they could get it out easily, and the other tooth was a small loose one that was also easy to pull out.)
#17
Old 02-27-2005, 11:19 AM
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If a cat gets an abcess, it can lead to a broken jaw if the tooth is lost.

Teeth provide a significant amount of structural strength in small dogs and cats.

Not getting the teeth cleaned could work out extremely expensive, wiring for the jawbone, lots of very careful feeding etc, never mind the cost of antibiotics, blood tests, etc.
#18
Old 02-27-2005, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freejooky
What do you suggest feeding cats as an alternative? You can't just make a statement like this and then refuse to elaborate.
Sorry, I always feel like I'm about to start writing a dissertation or something, so I tend to err on the side of talking less. All the carnivorous pets in the household get a prey model raw diet. The chewing, whether it's on meat or bone, is what keeps their little choppers pearly white, but also the fact that they're not getting species-inappropriate foods like the grain and rendered fats in dry cat food.
And before anyone says "but I barely have time to feed myself!" carnivores in the wild feed themselves pretty simply, and my dog and cats eat pretty simply, too. feeding time at our house looks something like this:
1. open fridge
2. grab hunk o'meat
3. hand out to cats and dog

Except for the fact that I have to cut stuff down to manageable portions, it takes an equal or less time and energy than scooping out a bowl of kibble, and I've got critters with clean teeth, sweet breath, not-unpleasant-smelling litter boxes, of normal cat weight, etc etc. Not to mention a puppy who doesn't chew the house apart and doesn't smell like a dog.
I got a postcard in the mail the other day from the vet that said something like "80% of companion animals have gum disease by the time they're six months old!" This was supposed to entice me to bring them in for cleaning. Instead it makes me wonder why the vet community as a whole doesn't step back and think "...maybe we're dong something wrong"?
#19
Old 02-27-2005, 12:01 PM
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"equal or less amount of time and energy"
#20
Old 02-27-2005, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indygrrl
When you start taking better care of your pet than you do yourself, it's time to take a look in the mirror.
If you are unable to afford to care for your pet properly, and as a result the pet has serious health issues/extreme pain, then perhaps the best thing is to not have a pet at all.
#21
Old 02-27-2005, 09:52 PM
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I just had my 9 year-old cat in for teeth cleaning on Friday; the bill was $150. That included bloodwork, anesthesia, dental, nail clipping, her yearly exam and a couple vaccinations. Even when we bring our dogs in for dental work the bill isn't over $250. Maybe you could get a second opinion or a cheaper estimate from another vet? I think it is very important to keep your pets' teeth healthy; like others have said it can lead to severe bacterial infections if not treated.
#22
Old 02-27-2005, 11:37 PM
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I had my older cat (15 years old) at the vets for some work on her backside (renal glands?) and during the exam he showed me the condition of her teeth. He took most of the tartar off in about 2 minutes. He showed me the before and after including all the stuff he knocked off. Also showed me how to do it myself.

He originally wanted my cat to stay overnight for the gland work but relented to my request to try again because my pet would have gone catatonic with an overnight stay. The total bill was $91.50.
#23
Old 02-27-2005, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MixieArmadillo
"equal or less amount of time and energy"
Let's all please pretend this is anywhere close to grammatically correct, mmkay?
#24
Old 02-28-2005, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosemite
If you are unable to afford to care for your pet properly, and as a result the pet has serious health issues/extreme pain, then perhaps the best thing is to not have a pet at all.

Amen.
#25
Old 02-28-2005, 11:06 AM
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I hope you were shortening things for the sake of simplicity, Armadillo.

Muscle meat is nothing at all like a predator's diet. Just feeding muscle (i.e. a chunk of meat) and nothing else would produce animals that are severly malnurished. Most of the time the problem shows up as rickets at muscle tissue has very little calcium, and the calcium/phosphorus ratio is off.

But only feeding meat would also not provide enough vitamins

Predators usually eat their prey's liver and internal organs including the instestines with its fill in addition to muscle tissue. As a matter of fact, muscle is not even eaten if they have enough of everything else.


So, if you're putting mice in a blender your cats may be getting a true predator diet. Feeding hunks of meat isn't even close.
#26
Old 02-28-2005, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Time First Time
So, if you're putting mice in a blender your cats may be getting a true predator diet. Feeding hunks of meat isn't even close.
My sister's vet recommended a recipe that included (I know I'm not remembering all the ingredients) salmon oil, peas and carrots (but no corn, no corn!), ground turkey, a little tuna (the fish is what was giving the little male kitty his urinary problems), and a crushed multivitamin.

I think bone meal was included in there somewhere too. I really need to ask her for the specific recipe. Not saying it would work for all cats, but it was one that the vet recommended, for what that's worth.
#27
Old 02-28-2005, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosemite
If you are unable to afford to care for your pet properly, and as a result the pet has serious health issues/extreme pain, then perhaps the best thing is to not have a pet at all.
I agree that animals deserve to be well cared for, but I volunteer at a cat shelter. Our one little shelter has almost 100 cats with no homes. They certainly aren't getting $500 dental cleanings at the shelter - although they do get excellent medical care at our shelter - and they get even less care if they're out on the street. It's far better for a kitty to have a caring home, food, a warm bed, and someone who loves them than to be given up because a person can't afford all the expensive treatments available. Will the cat have a shorter life without the teeth cleaning? Maybe. Would it have a shorter life if the owner gave it up and put it in a shelter? Definitely. Would the cat have an unhappier life if the owner put it in a shelter? DEFINITELY. Of course our shelter asks prospective owners if they can afford to care for their new kitty. But as long as the owner can provide food and litter and basic veterinary care, the rest of the stuff is not worth denying the kitty a home over.
#28
Old 02-28-2005, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by taxi78cab
Of course our shelter asks prospective owners if they can afford to care for their new kitty. But as long as the owner can provide food and litter and basic veterinary care, the rest of the stuff is not worth denying the kitty a home over.
You've got a point. Better to have someone give the cat a home than for the cat to go without the home, even if that person has a somewhat crappy attitude.

I think there's a difference between wishing you could take better care of an animal but not being able to, and saying that you'll never do that, and basically acting hostile at the whole concept of paying kind of a steep price for a procedure that is, by any definition, humane and certainly not frivolous.
#29
Old 02-28-2005, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MixieArmadillo
All the carnivorous pets in the household get a prey model raw diet. The chewing, whether it's on meat or bone, is what keeps their little choppers pearly white, but also the fact that they're not getting species-inappropriate foods like the grain and rendered fats in dry cat food.
A raw diet may well improve dental health. However, how are you ensuring that the nutritional profile of what you feed is adequate? Note also that the typical raw diet is not the cat's 'prey model' diet anyway - unless your cat is in the habit of taking down cows, sheep and chickens. He could be armed, I suppose. Also, I am unaware of any reliable sources that indicate 'grain and rendered fats' contribute to poor dental health.

It's possible to get commercial dental foods (e.g., Hill's t/d). These have been established to be efficacious.

It's also possible to give your cat routine dental care yourself - you can get cat toothbrushes and toothpaste, or use can use gauze wrapped around a finger, and dipped in saline solution. Possible ... in theory. Try this with some cats, and they will get their dental care by gnawing your finger bones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyGrrl
And yeah, I love my cat, but I won't be paying $500 for his teeth to get cleaned. Never.
So, you 'love' your cat, but if his teeth needed $500 of attention, you would let them rot out of his head rather than provide the necessary care? That sounds like an odd sort of love to me...
#30
Old 02-28-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Time First Time
I hope you were shortening things for the sake of simplicity, Armadillo.

Muscle meat is nothing at all like a predator's diet. Just feeding muscle (i.e. a chunk of meat) and nothing else would produce animals that are severly malnurished. Most of the time the problem shows up as rickets at muscle tissue has very little calcium, and the calcium/phosphorus ratio is off.

But only feeding meat would also not provide enough vitamins

Predators usually eat their prey's liver and internal organs including the instestines with its fill in addition to muscle tissue. As a matter of fact, muscle is not even eaten if they have enough of everything else.


So, if you're putting mice in a blender your cats may be getting a true predator diet. Feeding hunks of meat isn't even close.
I'm sure Mixie was just being brief but I can assure you that the rawfeeding lists suggest a wide range of organ meats along with the muscle meats/bones. On the cat lists there are usually discussions on where to find pinkie mice and/or older ones, game hens and quail.
#31
Old 02-28-2005, 07:21 PM
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Our vet told us our 10 year old (she's 10! damn, I hadn't realized she'd gotten so old so fast...) had some tartar but in general was good. If we had the funds in the next couple of years, we should get them cleaned, and that they were having a sale in April (or something).

Our dog, on the other hand, had terrible tartar and nasty breath. I found half of a tooth on the floor one morning and we had her into the vet the next day. It had broken off in a good place (not causing pain) but the bill for extraction and cleaning was something like $400.

The little one (just turned 2) doesn't have any buildup and is not going in for a cleaning unless we have to.
#32
Old 02-28-2005, 07:21 PM
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Mmmmm....mouseshake!!!
#33
Old 02-28-2005, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Time First Time
I hope you were shortening things for the sake of simplicity, Armadillo.
Of course I was. I wasn't sure if anyone was interested enough to really get down and dirty with the details. That's why I said "looks something like this" which, to the nekkid eye, is just what feeding time looks like. That hunk of meat might be half a mackerel, might be deer liver and turkey ribs, might be just a hunk of pork muscle. My critters get a percentage of meat, organ meats, and bone content that roughly approximates a prey animal. They get a Ca : P ratio of 1.2:1 which mother nature has ever so conveniently built right into the structure of the prey animal. I've actually just done complete bloodwork on all the animals to check up on this, and shore 'nuff, their Ca : P levels are perfect.

Quote:
So, if you're putting mice in a blender your cats may be getting a true predator diet. Feeding hunks of meat isn't even close.
I appreciate the concern, but blending mice is not exactly necessary. They get meat, bones, and organs from everything from mice to deer, which--granted--is not exactly feral-cat-fare, but certainly better than what's going to be found in your average bag of dry food. Feeding whole prey is not necessary either, as long as they're getting the right ingredients in the right ratios.
For anyone listening in who's interested, it's really not as complicated as it sounds
#34
Old 02-28-2005, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Boldface Type

So, you 'love' your cat, but if his teeth needed $500 of attention, you would let them rot out of his head rather than provide the necessary care? That sounds like an odd sort of love to me...
That's kinda harsh. What does that make the going rate for for cat love? I'm trying to imagine the sign at the animal shelter that says "you must be this rich to adopt --> $$$$ <--".

$500 is a lot of money to a lot of people. It was wise to ask the question in the first place because it doesn't require anywhere near that amount to knock off some tartar. Unless you plan on french kissing your cat it is not necessary to polish their teeth for good health. Wild animals manage to do just fine without a dental plan. And yes, it is possible to do it yourself, just as it is possible to trim their nails and clean their ears.

I would define the love of a pet in terms of the time spent caring for them. There is no price tag for getting scratched the first time you trim their nails. Training them to put up with it long enough for the promise of a little loving can be a very rewarding event to a cat owner. God knows what a vet does to them but there's certainly no guarantee it was done with the same love and attention an owner can give.
#35
Old 02-28-2005, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Boldface Type
A raw diet may well improve dental health. However, how are you ensuring that the nutritional profile of what you feed is adequate?
In what way? I ensure they're meeting their nutritional needs by knowing what they are, and being certain they're getting the right foods to meet them. Are you asking how I know the chicken and lambs and deer are getting the right food? Well, I don't, really, I try to feed as much grassfed meat and wild game as possible, and really the only true 'hole' in the diet is the potential for depleted omega fatty acids in factory-farmed meats. This can be made up by feeding some salmon oil once in a while.

Quote:
Note also that the typical raw diet is not the cat's 'prey model' diet anyway - unless your cat is in the habit of taking down cows, sheep and chickens.
Uh huh, neither is "Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Flour, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Ground Rice, Natural Flavors, Beet Pulp, Lamb Meal, Rice Bran, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Inositol, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Manganous Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid." You'll note that three of the top five ingredients are grain sources completely inappropriate to the diet of an obligate carnivore. And that's a premium quality kibble, too.
I may not be able to provide a strict diet of mice and squirrels and crickets, but I'm as certain as it's possible to be that a thoughtful raw diet is a whole hell of a lot closer than what you'll find in a bag of dry food.

Quote:
He could be armed, I suppose. Also, I am unaware of any reliable sources that indicate 'grain and rendered fats' contribute to poor dental health.
I'm aware of very few reliable sources on companion animal nutrition.

Quote:
It's possible to get commercial dental foods (e.g., Hill's t/d). These have been established to be efficacious.
These have been established by research funded by Hill's to be efficacious.
You'll pardon the skepticism regarding any nutrition research funded by Hill's, Nestle, or any of their subsidiaries.
I still see no reason to feed an expensive prescription "dental food" when real food will prevent this problem and so many more in the first place. That's the mindset that drives me nuts in the veterinary field. Instead of going to the root of the issue...
Meanwhile, enough with the hijack, if anyone's truly interested in the subject, feel free to email me, I'm happy to oblige, or point you to far more experienced subjects than myself.

~mixie
#36
Old 02-28-2005, 10:32 PM
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Err, sources than myself.
#37
Old 02-28-2005, 10:44 PM
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I'm hoping that there are alternatives for people who can't afford it, so they don't simply let the animal suffer.
#38
Old 03-01-2005, 08:30 AM
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Mixie's right about commercially made pet foods. They're nasty. Our cats have been much healthier since eating the home-prepared food. (My sister tried the raw food diet, but the cats wouldn't go for it.)

A few years ago she had a cat that was on his last legs with multiple problems, one of which was constant diarrhea. Giving him the home-cooked food cleared that up, and he lived for quite a while longer. The cats have shinier coats and brighter eyes. There are a lot of cites indicating that commercial pet food isn't that great. (Food Pets Die For was one of the first books my sister got, and this cite also appears to give some interesting information.)

By the way, you don't have to cook your pet's food if you are concerned about commercial food. The second cite lists some pet food companies that offer better alternatives. We used to feed our cats Wellness for years, and the cats loved it. (We had to stop giving it because the little boy cat and his urinary problems, but it would be still be okay food for cats with no urinary problems.)

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Originally Posted by Magiver
That's kinda harsh. What does that make the going rate for for cat love? I'm trying to imagine the sign at the animal shelter that says "you must be this rich to adopt --> $$$$ <--".
But I'm sure if an animal shelter had a choice between someone who reacted angry, hostile and aghast at the notion of spending that much, and emphatically stated, "Never," and someone who acted like they would if they could—well, who would you prefer to take care of an animal? One who would NEVER pay that much to relieve an animal's suffering, or one who would (if they could), and didn't act hostile about the concept?
#39
Old 03-01-2005, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosemite
You've got a point. Better to have someone give the cat a home than for the cat to go without the home, even if that person has a somewhat crappy attitude.
Conversely, the shelter that I volunteer with will, and routinely has provided dental care to cats in our system that needed it. Once we rescue them from the E-List they get all the care they need. Add to that, we will not adopt to just anyone - we feel that our animals deserve a home where they will be taken care of and not just treated as something not worth a little bit of extra money. Our mission statement talks about affecting a culture change by which animals are perceived in our society and elavating their status. We would be doing them a disservice if we adopted them out to someone that wouldn't spend $500 "on an animal".
#40
Old 03-01-2005, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magiver
That's kinda harsh. What does that make the going rate for for cat love? I'm trying to imagine the sign at the animal shelter that says "you must be this rich to adopt --> $$$$ <--".
She did not say 'I am poor, and I would not be able to pay $500 for dental work'. She gave no indication that she would be willing to pay $500 even if she had the cash. She said 'but I won't be paying $500 for his teeth to get cleaned. Never'. As I said, a funny sort of love. Less than $500 of love, for sure.

The going rate for cat / dog / lemur love is - doing what you can, and finding a way to get the necessary care even if you cannot easily afford it. The going rate for gerbil love is something else entirely.

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$500 is a lot of money to a lot of people. It was wise to ask the question in the first place because it doesn't require anywhere near that amount to knock off some tartar. Unless you plan on french kissing your cat it is not necessary to polish their teeth for good health. Wild animals manage to do just fine without a dental plan.
But they are not wild animals, and hopefully they receive better care than wild animals. Hopefully we care for our pets more than we care for some random possum. Plus dental care is more than 'knocking off some tartar' - e.g., I doubt you'll be doing an extraction at home (grab those pliers and yer off).

But sure, home dental care is a good idea as a preventative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yosemite
There are a lot of cites indicating that commercial pet food isn't that great. (Food Pets Die For was one of the first books my sister got, and this cite also appears to give some interesting information.)
Heh. The author of Food Pets Die For appeared on Usenet a couple of years ago, and got roundly trounced, based on her complete lack of objective data to support her claims. Basically, these internet 'cites' are rarely worth the paper they're not printed on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MixieArmadillo
In what way? I ensure they're meeting their nutritional needs by knowing what they are, and being certain they're getting the right foods to meet them.
Well, the point I'm getting at is - have you established what their nutritional needs are? I fear that many people who leap onto the raw and homecooked bandwagon do not, and nor do they know the potential consequences of screwing up the nutritional balance of the food.

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Uh huh, neither is "Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, ..., Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid." You'll note that three of the top five ingredients are grain sources completely inappropriate to the diet of an obligate carnivore. And that's a premium quality kibble, too.
First, 'high quality dry food' is somewhat of an oxymoron, although not entirely due to the carbohydrate content.

Second, there is no evidence that corn gluten meal is 'completely inappropriate'. There is evidence that CGM is somewhat worse than animal-based protein sources (there are a couple of recent papers by Masayuki Funaba on this topic), such as in terms of risk of constipation, and risk of urinary blockage. However, the digestibility of CGM compares rather well with fish and meat meals.

Third, although cats do not need any carbohydrate in the diet, they can use a certain amount (c. <40% of the diet) generally without apparent distress. Also, cats would ingest a few % of carbs (grains) in their natural diet, via the stomach contents of their prey, so that a grain-free diet is not ecologically ideal. It is true that the cat is not designed for carb use and there is certainly no point to feeding carbs if there is an equivalent diet that meets the nutritional requirements.

There is some evidence that raw foods can be problematic, too. For example, Allan et al. (2000; Prev Vet Med 46: 183-196) found that feeding raw foods was associated with an increased risk of obesity. Having said that, any problems with obesity are the owner's fault, regardless of the diet fed.

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I'm aware of very few reliable sources on companion animal nutrition.
Well, there the 1000 pages+ of Small Animal Clinical Nutrition...

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These have been established by research funded by Hill's to be efficacious.
Well, they have been established to be efficacious according to the protocols of the VOHC .

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You'll pardon the skepticism regarding any nutrition research funded by Hill's, Nestle, or any of their subsidiaries.
There's a fine line between skepticism and paranoia.

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I still see no reason to feed an expensive prescription "dental food" when real food will prevent this problem
Well, a reason is that the nutritional profile of a 'dental food' is known, and (generally) matches what science currently says the profile should be. A home cooked / uncooked diet could also match the desired profile, but I wonder how many raw feeders have established that their diet indeed does...?

Although it may seem like I have a serious downer on raw / home foods, I should say that I do not have anything against them per se. However, the 'evidence' against commercial foods (and for home foods) is nearly all interwebwaffle, and the risk of fucking up the pet's diet is real, if the home-feeder does not do their homework.
#41
Old 03-01-2005, 12:56 PM
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"Does my cat really need a $500 teeth cleaning?"

No.

And if you have to ask, I have a bridge to sell you.
#42
Old 03-01-2005, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boldface Type
However, the 'evidence' against commercial foods (and for home foods) is nearly all interwebwaffle,
Does commercial food (like Friskies) use all "human grade" ingredients in its food, and if not, why not? (I don't pretend to know much about this myself, just parroting my sister and her use of "human grade.") She claims that pet foods can contain ingredients (that would not be "up to snuff" for humans) in pet food. Is this true, or not? And if you claim it's not true (and indeed these commercial pet food products contain "human grade" ingredients), could you provide a few (unbiased) cites, please?
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and the risk of fucking up the pet's diet is real, if the home-feeder does not do their homework.
This is true enough. That's why it was good for my sister's vet to recommend recipes—so the cats would get proper nutrition.

Let me ask your opinion: which do you think is better for a cat—a home-cooked diet from a vet-approved recipe, or Friskies? Or do you think that there is no difference?
#43
Old 03-01-2005, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boldface Type
Well, the point I'm getting at is - have you established what their nutritional needs are? I fear that many people who leap onto the raw and homecooked bandwagon do not, and nor do they know the potential consequences of screwing up the nutritional balance of the food.
....I'm afraid I'm not quite getting you. Are you really suggesting that it's such a difficult thing to dig up the recommended nutritional requirements for a cat or dog? And the corresponding nutritional information on various meats and organ meats? My father is a veterinarian, and I've got my own small library of veterinary texts sitting about six feet to the left of me, so I'm a little ahead of the game, but about thirty seconds of poking around google will bring them up.

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Second, there is no evidence that corn gluten meal is 'completely inappropriate'. There is evidence that CGM is somewhat worse than animal-based protein sources (there are a couple of recent papers by Masayuki Funaba on this topic), such as in terms of risk of constipation, and risk of urinary blockage. However, the digestibility of CGM compares rather well with fish and meat meals.
Stretch your credulity as far as you like, but until I see any evidence of an obligate carnivore voluntarily nibbling those little bits of gluten out of each corn kernel to satisfy its nutritional needs, I really don't grasp the insistence that I need to feed it to my own pets. There's a vast difference between "able to survive on" and what they're evolved to eat.

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Also, cats would ingest a few % of carbs (grains) in their natural diet, via the stomach contents of their prey, so that a grain-free diet is not ecologically ideal.
A few % != an amount approaching half or more of the volume of their diet, as is provided in many, if not most processed pet foods.

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There is some evidence that raw foods can be problematic, too. For example, Allan et al. (2000; Prev Vet Med 46: 183-196) found that feeding raw foods was associated with an increased risk of obesity. Having said that, any problems with obesity are the owner's fault, regardless of the diet fed.

I almost never see cats of normal, healthy cat weight. My pets are sleek and fit, with muscle definition appropriate to their physique. Very nearly all cats I meet fall somewhere in a range between "fat" and "grotesquely obese". I also almost never see really fit dogs, the dogs--and there are a lot of them--in my neighborhood, at the dog park, and at the vet's office are almost always fat, to one extent or another. Even the thinish and muscular working kibble fed dogs I know in my Schutzhund group still have a layer of fat under their skin. You'll be hard put to convince me that this is due to anything but a high load of carbs being fed to these carnivores. My husband had no experience with raw fed dogs, and he was constantly remarking for the first few months on the difference between our dog, and the other raw fed dogs we know, and the dogs we see at the park.
Anecdotes aside, I'd love to know what this guy considers "raw food" because there's a million "raw diets" out there, and I can come pretty damn close to guaranteeing the "diet" they studied was probably not what I or anyone else I know feeds. I can't say that with absolute certainty, because I haven't seen the study, but no research I've ever read on raw diets ever actually involves any kind of complete diet, and if it does, it's one of the ones that involves pounds of veggie slop and supplements and grinding and all the blah blah blah associated with those that think it's got to be such an ungodly complicated mess.

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Well, a reason is that the nutritional profile of a 'dental food' is known, and (generally) matches what science currently says the profile should be. A home cooked / uncooked diet could also match the desired profile, but I wonder how many raw feeders have established that their diet indeed does...?
You know, I've never quite been able to grasp the mindset of those who believe that it's some sort of nigh insurmountable task to figure out how to feed an animal. Dogs and cats have been domesticated for how many tens of thousands of years? And packaged, processed food has existed for, what... sixty or so? How many people get on a soapbox and insist that we as a society need to eat more packaged, processed foods? How many people feed their children "kid kibble" because we're just not smart enough to meet the complex nutritional requirements of human children?
#44
Old 03-01-2005, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boldface Type
However, the 'evidence' against commercial foods (and for home foods) is nearly all interwebwaffle
Heh, of course it is. Who funds nearly all nutrition research being done in veterinary medicine? Who's going to find a study showing actual food to be more nutritious than a bag of kibble?
It's hardly paranoia, Nestle (parent company of Alpo) just largely funded through private donations a shiny new Center for Companion Animal Health building attached to the VMII building on campus at UC Davis--not that I've really got a tinfoil hat thing going, but you can't truly believe that objective studies of companion animal nutrition can be performed when your livelihood depends on the good graces of the pet food industry, heh.
I'm not really one to put much faith in the "interwebwaffle"--it's enough for me to take a look at the diet these animals have evolved over millions of years to eat, and supply them with that.
#45
Old 03-01-2005, 02:56 PM
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Who's going to fund a study showing actual food to be more nutritious than a bag of kibble?
#46
Old 03-01-2005, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yosemite
Does commercial food (like Friskies) use all "human grade" ingredients in its food, and if not, why not?
Some commercial food does contain (only) 'human grade' ingredients, and some does not. Friskies, being among the cheapest of cat foods, does not. However, there are a couple of problems here. The first, which may be an issue of semantics rather than food quality is that there is not a formal definition of 'human grade' in pet foods, and by (FDA) definition, once food arrives in a pet food facility, it is no longer defined as 'human grade'. Some touchy-feely food companies do clarify what they mean by 'human grade', such as Active Life .

Second, cats are not humans, and feeding them human grade food does not guarantee a good diet. For example, many of the 'premium', human-grade commercial foods do not have a good nutritional profile. In many of these cases, the nutrient - esp. mineral - content suggests that relatively poor quality meat is being used, e.g., meat high in bone.

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(I don't pretend to know much about this myself, just parroting my sister and her use of "human grade.") She claims that pet foods can contain ingredients (that would not be "up to snuff" for humans) in pet food. Is this true, or not?
Yes, that's true. Then again, humans don't generally chow down on mouse sandwiches, either.

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And if you claim it's not true (and indeed these commercial pet food products contain "human grade" ingredients), could you provide a few (unbiased) cites, please?
Commercial foods that claim 'human grade' (or 'no byproducts') ingredients - there are many. Wellness, Active Life, Natural Life, Felidae, Merrick, Newman's Own (made with organic meat, no less), etc. I have no way of proving that these companies actually use 'human grade' ingredients, but they all use that label as their (not very) U USP. FWIW, I do believe that if they say the meat is 'human grade' it could, in principle, have entered the human food chain instead of pet food chain.


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Let me ask your opinion: which do you think is better for a cat—a home-cooked diet from a vet-approved recipe, or Friskies? Or do you think that there is no difference?
Well, you've chosen among the worst of the commercial foods there. But anyway, the answer is - it depends on the nutritional profile of the vet-approved recipe. Just because it's vet-approved, doesn't mean it will be good. Potentially, a home-produced diet could meet all the nutritional requirements of a cat, with the advantages of knowing the exact food content, quality, i.e., it could be better than commercial food. But 'could be' <> 'is'.

Anyway, if feeding commercial food, I wouldn't use Friskies.
#47
Old 03-01-2005, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MixieArmadillo
....I'm afraid I'm not quite getting you. Are you really suggesting that it's such a difficult thing to dig up the recommended nutritional requirements for a cat or dog? And the corresponding nutritional information on various meats and organ meats?
The information is available, but it does take some effort to find. Plus, I've not found any info on the variability of nutritional content in meats / organs. This is something I would want to know before commiting to a home diet. Perhaps this information is readily available? Or perhaps raw feeders are less concerned that I am?

Now, IMO raw feeders fall into two camps. The first are highly motivated individuals who carefully work out the nutritional requirements of their cats, and formulate a diet to suit, carrying out all research necessary to do this. The others are filled with the wooly-thinking that 'raw = good' and do not see beyond this short-circuit. In SACN, there are various examples of the sort of errors than uninformed or ill-informed home-feeders can make.

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Stretch your credulity as far as you like,
So, you find fault with Funaba et al.'s study? What do you think is incorrect in their methodology?

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little bits of gluten out of each corn kernel to satisfy its nutritional needs, I really don't grasp the insistence that I need to feed it to my own pets. There's a vast difference between "able to survive on" and what they're evolved to eat.
You do not 'need' to feed it to your pets. However, people who choose to feed CGM to their pets are feeding something that is a 'reasonable' food - not quite as good as meat meal, but not the hellish grain death the raw crowd would have us believe.

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A few % != an amount approaching half or more of the volume of their diet, as is provided in many, if not most processed pet foods.
You are speaking of dry foods. As I said earlier, dry foods are not ideal. Commercial canned foods are typically quite low in carbohydrate, and if you're so inclined it's possible to get grain-free commercial foods.

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I almost never see cats of normal, healthy cat weight. My pets are sleek and fit, with muscle definition appropriate to their physique. Very nearly all cats I meet fall somewhere in a range between "fat" and "grotesquely obese".
Yes. My cats are of normal weight, too - not because they get a raw diet or even a good diet per se, but because they get the correct number of calories to maintain a healthy weight!

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I know in my Schutzhund group still have a layer of fat under their skin. You'll be hard put to convince me that this is due to anything but a high load of carbs being fed to these carnivores.
Dogs aren't carnivores.

Obesity in pets is not due to carbs per se; just as in humans, what matters is balancing energy used with energy supplied. However, I absolutely agree that dry foods, which happen to be high in carbs, are an integral part of pet obesity. IMO, an increasing number of under-exercised, indoor cats, fed a palatable, very energy dense diet is a reciple for a lard supreme. I also suspect that (post-ingestive) satiety cues are lower in carbs versus protein sources, so that carbs might play a role in overeating.

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Anecdotes aside, I'd love to know what this guy considers "raw food" because there's a million "raw diets" out there, and I can come pretty damn close to guaranteeing the "diet" they studied was probably not what I or anyone else I know feeds.
The Allan et al. study was based on owner's report of their pet's diet. It was a questionaire study.

However, there are other studies that suggest raw food is not a dental panacea, never mind a universal panacea. For example, Clarke & Cameron (1998) found that feral cats had just as high incidence of peridontal disease as pet cats. They comment 'The severity of peridontal disease in the feral cats contradicts the claims of the importance of the texture of the natural diet in preventing peridontal disease'. Now, a home, raw diet may have a dental protective effect that was not present in the ferals of Clarke & Cameron, but any such evidence is purely anecdotal, AFAIK.

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You know, I've never quite been able to grasp the mindset of those who believe that it's some sort of nigh insurmountable task to figure out how to feed an animal. Dogs and cats have been domesticated for how many tens of thousands of years? And packaged, processed food has existed for, what... sixty or so?
And in those 60 or so years, the lifespan of pets has increased greatly. It's likely that commercial food, based on sound research in animal nutrition, is at least a partial reason for this.

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It's hardly paranoia, Nestle (parent company of Alpo) just largely funded through private donations a shiny new Center for Companion Animal Health building attached to the VMII building on campus at UC Davis
Indeed. Must be an Evil Ploy by the Great Devils of Pet Food. Or maybe the pet food industry hopes to improve the quality of their foods, via research? Now there's a radical idea!
#48
Old 03-01-2005, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boldface Type
The information is available, but it does take some effort to find. Plus, I've not found any info on the variability of nutritional content in meats / organs. This is something I would want to know before commiting to a home diet. Perhaps this information is readily available? Or perhaps raw feeders are less concerned that I am?
I don't know about you, but I don't spend my life carefully charting every ingredient in every food I eat to track the nutritional content, and somehow every member of my family is magically not dying of malnutrition. I find it hard to believe you're really that worried--you must spend a whole lot more time on your own diet than I do.

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Now, IMO raw feeders fall into two camps. The first are highly motivated individuals who carefully work out the nutritional requirements of their cats, and formulate a diet to suit, carrying out all research necessary to do this. The others are filled with the wooly-thinking that 'raw = good' and do not see beyond this short-circuit. In SACN, there are various examples of the sort of errors than uninformed or ill-informed home-feeders can make.
Mmhmm, which as far as I can tell, I've not disputed. I happen to be an example of the former, and there are quite a few of us around. Sooooo..... what's your issue?

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So, you find fault with Funaba et al.'s study? What do you think is incorrect in their methodology?
Did I dispute their methodology? No, I commented on the idiotic mindset of a group of educated individuals who spend SO much time and energy trying to justify feeding an animal a food they were not evolved to eat. Actually, what I really commented on is the multi-billion dollar a year companies who pay these educated individuals to justify this for them, so vets can blather on about how "efficacious" these artificial foods are.

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You do not 'need' to feed it to your pets. However, people who choose to feed CGM to their pets are feeding something that is a 'reasonable' food - not quite as good as meat meal, but not the hellish grain death the raw crowd would have us believe.
Well, no one's frothing at the mouth here but you. All I said is that I see no need to feed my carnivorous pets a food they were not evolved to eat, and that corn is an inappropriate ingredient to the diet of a carnivore. I believe "hellish grain death" is your choice of words.

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You are speaking of dry foods. As I said earlier, dry foods are not ideal.
Ah HA! Wait, let me repeat that, just to hear the sweet, sweet sounds one more time:
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You are speaking of dry foods. As I said earlier, dry foods are not ideal.
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Commercial canned foods are typically quite low in carbohydrate
Let me get this straight, you're here, posting in a thread regarding companion animal dental health, and you're suggesting canned food is the ideal diet?

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And in those 60 or so years, the lifespan of pets has increased greatly. It's likely that commercial food, based on sound research in animal nutrition, is at least a partial reason for this.
Really? What about the cushy lifestyle, involving routine medical care, little work, not living outdoors, and so on? And what about all the hip displasyia? Other health problems that are exploding? Or is that only because animals are living longer and we're more able to diagnose things? Did small breeds have hip problems fifty years ago?

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Or maybe the pet food industry hopes to improve the quality of their foods, via research? Now there's a radical idea!
Oh, now you're just being silly!
#49
Old 03-02-2005, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MixieArmadillo
I don't know about you, but I don't spend my life carefully charting every ingredient in every food I eat to track the nutritional content, and somehow every member of my family is magically not dying of malnutrition. I find it hard to believe you're really that worried--you must spend a whole lot more time on your own diet than I do.
Well, there are differences between feeding yourself and feeding your cat. If you feed yourself badly, you can probably tell and adjust your diet to suit. Mind you, plenty of people do have a poor diet and suffer accordingly. Anyway, your cat is 100% dependent on you for its nutrition. If the cat's diet is screwed up it cannot change said diet itself, and it cannot tell you it feels less than great. Plus, following certain nutritional guidelines is well established to increase lifespan.

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Mmhmm, which as far as I can tell, I've not disputed. I happen to be an example of the former, and there are quite a few of us around. Sooooo..... what's your issue?
My issue is with people fucking up their cat's diets based on an inability to correctly evaluate scientific data. Doesn't matter what you 'happen' to be, this thread is not just for the benefit of the two of us.

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Did I dispute their methodology? No, I commented on the idiotic mindset of a group of educated individuals who spend SO much time and energy trying to justify feeding an animal a food they were not evolved to eat.
And now, as well as basically ignoring or decrying the research, you are willing to leap into the researcher's heads and attribute all manner of evil intentions to 'em. You seem to miss the point that the science itself is neutral. It does not matter what the 'intentions' are, as long as the work is sound. That you dislike the results is your problem alone. And if you cannot provide any criticism of the articles, well...

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Well, no one's frothing at the mouth here but you. All I said is that I see no need to feed my carnivorous pets a food they were not evolved to eat, and that corn is an inappropriate ingredient to the diet of a carnivore. I believe "hellish grain death" is your choice of words.
Certainly there's no 'need' to feed commercial or carb-heavy diets. However, it is you alone who is making unsupported statements about the dental worth of a raw diet. If looking at and critically evaluating the science is 'frothing at the mouth' then I'm happy to be frothy.

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Let me get this straight, you're here, posting in a thread regarding companion animal dental health, and you're suggesting canned food is the ideal diet?
Again, you've made an assumption about canned food and about dry food that's not borne out in reality. First, if you're thinking that dry foods promote dental health, then realise that this has only been confirmed for a tiny subset of foods - foods specifically designed for dental health (see the VOHC link I provided earlier). Also, for these specific diets to work, it requires the cat to bite through the kibble pieces. This is not guaranteed, given that cats do not chew their food. Second, there's no evidence that wet food is detrimental to dental health - or at least any possible minor dental issues with wet food are far outweighed by the benefits of wet food.

Next, cats are relatively prone to certain types of peridontal disease that occur regardless of diet, and even if the owner gives proper dental care (i.e., brushing). So, regular dental checkups are necessary and there's no evidence that a raw diet protects against such disease. A raw diet might aid in limiting calculus accumulation, although this is a lesser problem than peridontal disease, and a raw diet does not prevent calculus.

Basically, the dental benefits of a raw diet are certainly lower than the interweb gurus say, and the problems with a home-prepared diet will probably outweight the benefits for most pet owers.

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Really? What about the cushy lifestyle, involving routine medical care, little work, not living outdoors, and so on?
All factors, yes. Although the 'cushy' lifestyle is almost certainly a factor in pet obesity. Cats can't have their kitty-cake and eat it!

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And what about all the hip displasyia? Other health problems that are exploding?
Hip dysplasia is associated with a very limited number specific cat breeds (e.g., large breeds such as Maine Coons). AFAIK, no-one even suggests this is diet-related. If hip dysplasia is on the increase - and I don't know if it is - then I would suspect poor breeding practices, not diet.

Other health problems that are 'exploding'?

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Or is that only because animals are living longer and we're more able to diagnose things? Did small breeds have hip problems fifty years ago?
I'm sure that as cats live longer, they will suffer from the problems of old age. And, as diagnostics improve, more problems will be detected. I don't know how long breed-associated defects have been in evidence, but if there is ongoing breeding from susceptible lines, then problems would be expected to increase over time.
#50
Old 03-02-2005, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boldface Type
Well, there are differences between feeding yourself and feeding your cat. If you feed yourself badly, you can probably tell and adjust your diet to suit. Mind you, plenty of people do have a poor diet and suffer accordingly. Anyway, your cat is 100% dependent on you for its nutrition. If the cat's diet is screwed up it cannot change said diet itself, and it cannot tell you it feels less than great. Plus, following certain nutritional guidelines is well established to increase lifespan.
I'm beginning to believe that perhaps you're either being deliberately obtuse, or maybe you're just so blinded by this need to argue with me that you're not reading what I'm writing.

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My issue is with people fucking up their cat's diets based on an inability to correctly evaluate scientific data. Doesn't matter what you 'happen' to be, this thread is not just for the benefit of the two of us.
So... again, what are you so hyped up about? You keep saying that just because it's "raw" doesn't mean it's a nutritionally complete diet. I am agreeing with you, and I have not once disagreed with you. I've spent an awful lot of time on this topic and am constantly admonishing people to do their homework and be sure that they're providing a complete diet. You have acknowledged in several posts that a well-planned raw diet can be better than prepackaged food, and you replied to me that dry foods are not ideal. What's the argument?

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And now, as well as basically ignoring or decrying the research, you are willing to leap into the researcher's heads and attribute all manner of evil intentions to 'em. You seem to miss the point that the science itself is neutral. It does not matter what the 'intentions' are, as long as the work is sound. That you dislike the results is your problem alone. And if you cannot provide any criticism of the articles, well...
And again I think you're getting a little hysterical over this. Who's ignoring or decrying anything? I'm not saying anyone or anything is "evil"--those are your words. I just think it's borderline idiotic to spend all that time, money, and energy "proving" that cats can survive on vegitative matter. I am not disagreeing that cats can survive on vegitative matter. Millions and millions of cats eat corn all day long and survive. Yippideedoodah. Someone could provide me with a very well performed study that says we can feed sheep to cattle and they'll survive with only minimal health problems to show for it. Doesn't mean we should start mixing meat and bone meal with our cattle feed does it? Oh, wait...

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Certainly there's no 'need' to feed commercial or carb-heavy diets. However, it is you alone who is making unsupported statements about the dental worth of a raw diet. If looking at and critically evaluating the science is 'frothing at the mouth' then I'm happy to be frothy.
Take a deep breath for one second, and let's go back to square one, or maybe it was two, or twelve, I can't remember at this point. Didn't we already go over this, several times? Of course there's no research to support raw diets of any kind. Who's going to pay for it? Shall I repeat myself? And here, I'll go even further and give you something else to pee your pants over. Hill's and Ralston-Purina fund the majority of nutritional research for companion animal health. They are in the business of selling dog and cat food. They are not going to fund any sort of study that says anything other than their food is the tippity-top a-number-one choice to feed your pets, whether it's for dental health, growing puppies, or purple-tongued-curly eared kittens. Furthermore, Hill's funds very nearly all nutrition education for veterinary students, aside from providing them with all the food they can feed their pets at free or no cost, and market themselves exclusively through vets. Vets spend a lot of time verbally orgasming over this stuff, and it's one of the crappiest "premium" foods on the market. Having grown up my entire life in and around the veterinary industry, and spent the majority of my adult life at UC Davis, I can say with great certainty that many vets--not all, but many know fuck-all about small animal nutrition other than what Hills tells them. You may be one of the good ones who does their research and teaches themselves about nutrition, but you're so deafened by your need to argue with me that it's really getting hard to tell.
There are a whole lot of other ways to answer a question than to look for published studies to answer the question. For example... my pets get a bit too much soft food, say organ meats or tripe, and their teeth start to look a little gunky. I give them some bone, say a chicken back for the cats or a deer leg for the dog, and their teeth are sparkily shiny again. Question answered.

[quote]Again, you've made an assumption about canned food and about dry food that's not borne out in reality. First, if you're thinking that dry foods promote dental health, then realise that this has only been confirmed for a tiny subset of foods - foods specifically designed for dental health (see the VOHC link I provided earlier). [quote]
*snicker* Okay, so now we've established that you haven't read a single word I've said.



Again, I'm begging you. Pleading, even. Listen to this:
I am not now claiming, and never in my life have I claimed that any raw food is better than any packaged food, or that people should run out and feed their cats hamburger patties rather than dry food. Incomplete diets can lead to some nasty health problems. Half-assed home feeding leads to nasty health problems. I'll be the first one to tell someone that.

All I'm saying is that a well-thought-out raw diet, one that completely meets the animal's nutritonal needs is better than processed dry food. Furthermore, if that diet involves edible bone matter, it will tend to keep the animal from building up huge amounts of nasty crap on their teeth that cause them to rot and fall out.
I have no published material, because I cannot afford to fund a study. If you'd like me to provide you with a couple thousand names and email addresses of people who've had similar sucess, then I'll be happy to do so. End of story.

You can continue the hijack at your own leisure, but since you seem to be creating an arguement where one doesn't exist, I won't be participating.
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