Friday, March 12, 2010

Natural Pet Care

I took my new cat to a new veterinarian a few months ago and both she and I had a terrible time. It's probably not too surprising that my poor little cat didn't have such a great time at the vet, but I did find it surprising that I had such a bad time. Mainly, I felt frustrated by a constant negotiation I had to have about the services and medicines I was willing to pay for. The vet insisted my cat needed various vaccinations and preventative medicines I've never in all my cat-owning years needed. The explanations offered when I questioned these things weren't reasoned or even particularly rational and she kept saying things like "because your cat will die". I am no veterinarian, but I am happy to report that, even though I did not take her up on her offer of a number of medicines and treatments, my cat is still alive.

I had never had an experience like this at the vet and shortly after the experience, I began to worry that I was some kind of terrible person potentially allowing my cat to die. I turned to the library for help and started checking out some books on natural pet care and veterinary medicine. I found a real gem, Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, that really helped me figure out how to make decisions on my cat's care. Just being a regular Joe, I was surprised at how much of her care I could take into my own hands and I was shocked to learn about a few standard, legal practices such as the use of euthanized cats and dogs, road kill, dead zoo animals, and other meats not suitable for human consumption in many major brand dog and cat foods. I'm slowly learning to make my cat her own food using ingredients I can find in my own kitchen, and I'm even more slowly figuring out how to get her to like it. Her health has noticeably improved and I did not have to spend hundreds of dollars to do it. Just one of the billion reasons, I'd never be able to live (economically, anyway) without the library!!

Forgive me for the silly picture - I just couldn't resist using a lolcat. Never heard of a lolcat? Check out the Wikipedia article.


ASPCA Complete Dog Care Manual

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats
There is a newer edition of this book and it is on order for APL. Keep your eye on Findit and you should see it in the next few months; however, this edition is still quite good and informative.

Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food

The Humane Society of the United States Complete Guide to Cat Care

The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health

Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life

Vet Confidential: An Insider's Guide to Protecting Your Pet's Health

Whole Health for Happy Cats: A Guide to Keeping Your Cat Naturally Healthy, Happy, and Well-Fed


Anonymous said...

IMHO as a long-time pet owner, vets have been overmedicating and overvaccinating animals because owners could afford it, not because pets need it. When I was a kid, we got our dogs rabies shots and that was that. And I don't remember them getting sick, either.

Vets are going to get it pretty quickly, I think, that the economy has screeched to a halt and that vaccinating animals is becoming a luxury. In a good year, I don't spend as much with my human doctor as my vet wants me to spend on routine care for my dogs.

Animal Trustees is less expensive and non-profit:

Ragged Robin said...

Thank you so much for pointing out the Animal Trustees! I was not familiar with this organization.

Anonymous said...

was it the south lamar animal hospital by any chance? those guys are like used car salesmen.

i moved on from them to riverside vet clinic, which i like a lot better.

Liz Allan said...

This is a great article - thank you. I think we should question vets a lot more than we do currently - don't get me wrong, I think many are very good, but I think some capitalise on the fact that people want to do the best for their pets and, in some cases, recommend treatments etc. that really aren't necessary.

One recent example from me to illustrate the point - the vet said my cat needed a tooth extracting as it was "covered in tartar and beyond saving." He gave me all sorts of warnings about the consequences if I didn't get this done really quickly. I looked at her teeth myself and didn't think they were in bad condition at all (I had them cleaned a couple of years ago), and I couldn't see any that were covered in tartar. I took her to 2 other vets who both said her teeth were absolutely fine. Needless to say I've now permanently changed my vet.

Ragged Robin said...

I'm glad to know it's not just me then! I really considered after that visit that maybe I should quit acting like a big know-it-all and take the advice of a professional.

I know it's definitely not all vets because I've seen a few (one when I was living in North Carolina and one here in Austin) that have been caring and concerned and still managed to keep my trip affordable. I'll never show up blindly to a vet I don't know anything about again, though, that's for sure.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences!

gesundes Katzenfutter said...

I have not heard about Trustee,the picture which you have use in your blog is so interesting hows the pet live like that.