Riddle Me This….

Can someone explain to me, in words that my simple mind can understand….

Scenario 1:

You take your dog to the vet for a regular wellness check.  He gives your dog a physical and suggests a blood draw to view the over all wellness of your dog.  You consent, blood is drawn, and the results come back.  Some values aren’t exactly within the range of normal, but they’re pretty close and your vet tells you there’s nothing to worry about.  Your dog passes his wellness check and the angels sing.  You wrote on your intake form that your dog is fed a commercial dog food.

Scenario 2:

You home-make your dog food, and indicate as much on your intake form.  You run the same blood tests as would be done in a ‘regular’ wellness screen, but request the addition of other values to be tested as well.  Your results come back, and every single value falls within normal range.  Even your sporadic elevated eosinophils are within normal range.  Rather than receive the same passing grade on the wellness check, you are warned that continued feeding of a home made diet is a recipe for disaster (the word ‘recipe’ was used), even though the vet has never even asked what it is you feed your dogs.  That this was the 3rd blood draw, the 3rd showing gold stars across the board, irrelevant.   This was the first time the vet saw the dog, but he was made aware of the results of the prior blood tests, and their results at the original consultation.

What am I missing here?







28 thoughts on “Riddle Me This….

  1. If I had to guess, I would probably say the difference is due to the fact that most people the vet sees don’t know how to give their dogs a properly balanced homemade meal. To those people, that means giving them table scraps. As such, he gives you the same warning he gives all of them.

    1. I used to think that was the case, however, in this instance, the place to have said that was in our private consultation a few days earlier, or when the lab results were received, not a few days later when I was at the front desk for a completely unrelated matter!

      As it turned out, Scenario 1 in this post was standing at the counter and was quite mystified as to why she paid good money for recommended blood test when the results seemed arbitrary. Her’s was the dog whose results came back not perfect, but was told all was swell. To hear the vet explaining why my results, all withing normal range, meant nothing – let’s just say she was not a happy client.

  2. 1 The “Vet” is a Grad Student escapee from Stamford and not really a Vet.
    2 The “Vet” is on a retainer from some commercial dog food company
    3 Have long serious conversation to show “Vet” the error of his ways
    4 Find a Vet who has some idea of animal food and nutrition

    1. I’ve been to now 5 vets who list as their services nutritional consultations. None has ever asked what I fed. 3 wouldn’t even take my recipes/diet plans/calculations, 1 accepted the papers but made it a point to set them aside without even looking at them before telling me there was no way I could possibly be able to meet the nutritional needs of a dog, and the 5th, well, in our discussion, for fun, I tried to discuss how I met the requirements for the ‘7’ essential amino acids, and she didn’t even blink (there are 10). I didn’t bother trying to get her to look at my work on paper…

      All 5, incidentally, strongly recommended I purchase the brand of commercial food sold in the office, or their personal line of supplements.

      I’ve come to the conclusion, at least in my State, there are no vets with nutritional knowledge outside Small Animal Clinical Nutrition by Hand, et. al., THE text book on nutrition in vet school, published by none other than Hills, the makers of Science Diet…

    1. I would SOOOO be all over raw if I weren’t paranoid about the chain of custody before the meats made it to the grocery store. If I had the ability to get meats direct from the farmer, at a price I could afford, all of the Run A Muck Ranch dogs would be on raw. Fortunately, there have been extensive and repeated studies, in many different countries that measure available nutrients after cooking, so I’ve been able to formulate based on cooked meats. Some day though, it would be nice to find a safe and reliable raw source.

  3. Lunacy, lawyers and lobbyists. Those 3 words seem to have a stranglehold on the mentality of vets, critter healthcare and the commercial dog food biz. It is beyond frustrating that allopathic solutions are the only ones considered in the treatment and wellness of our pets (and probably ourselves, too). Ugh.

    1. 20 years ago when the ‘freaks’ were crying foul over annual vaccinations, everyone called them crazy. Today… turns out they were right! Over vaccination has caused many a health problem and now the trend is 3 year boosters.

      I consider myself a contemporary ‘freak’ with the issue being the negative effects of over processed dog foods. The difference between food and vaccinations… where the makers of the vaccines didn’t know, or at least weren’t sure, over vaccination came with health problems, the commercial dog food manufacturers, they know there’s a problem with the food. Not a reputable (emphasis on reputable) company out there will deny that a “Complete and Balanced” food for “All Life Stages” is, in reality, an impossible goal to reach. Don’t believe me? Look at the increasing number of splinter brands under the term “Targeted Feeding”. It took AAFCO 8 years to incorporate the 2006 NRC protein requirements into the current guidelines. Something tells me when all the major players have their target feeding markets cornered, AAFCO will change it’s mind and remove “Complete and balanced for all life stages” as a labeling possibility!

    1. Not thinking my pro-active approach is welcome at any vet, ergo, I’m on my own as far as nutrition for my dogs. Acute matters, of course I will seek vet help, but as far as the food, I give up.

  4. Well all I can say is that there would be no dogs in existence today if the pet food industry had not provided their ancient ancestors with ‘top quality manufactured dog food’ .. you know the ones… ‘Prehistoric Pal Dino bites packed with essential homosapien bones’ 😉 keep on keeping on..healthy dogs do not lie.:) hugs Fozziemum xxx

    1. OMG!!!!!! You saw that documentary too??????? I was seriously impressed with how the Neanderthal Corporation was able to find such good use out of the carcasses of those pesky dinosaurs! I was always lead to believe the extinction of dinosaurs was caused by a single event or climate change. Turns out, they were hunted to extinction for prehistoric commercial dog food! 🙂

    1. Yup, that about sums it up!

      I had Vito at a vet, trying them out for size over his seizures. The first vet actually read the intake and said the seizures were due to the home made diet, and that conversion to the prescription diet (Royal Canin), sold by the office was directed poste haste. She then drew blood for the profiles we were running.

      For what ever reason, they required a second visit to get the results of the blood work. The original vet was on vacation, so I met with another vet from the office. I have no fun in my llfe, so for giggles, and because he clearly didn’t read Vito’s file, I expressed my chagrin over Vito’s apparent liver problems when he was a card carrying Royal Canin Small Dog Maintenance food dog. The vet’s response: Seizures are often genetic. BTW: Did I convert him to the Royal Canin Hepatic diet as pre-instructed?

      Turns out, Vito’s seizures have nothing to do with his liver as confirmed as of today by the second internal specialist….

    1. Oddly, that’s not entirely the case. Originally, I ran blood tests (and later fur analysis) to in a sense, prove I’m wrong (the best target of experimental design – if you fight for the result you don’t want to see but can’t get the result you seek, then, chances are, you might actually be right – think about it). Then, when I couldn’t prove it wrong, I wanted to understand why I was right. Problem was, I had no one to discuss it with.

      The diet plan (it’s not a single food) works, but I don’t know why. That ain’t right!

  5. the vet is a shareholder of Mars or Nestlé? we solved that problem with a food plan made by Easy’s breeder, she is a vet and if we have to see our vet or a substitute, they see our home made food relaxed. otherwise they had to pee on a colleague ….and that’s always a little complicated :o)

  6. We think like most everything else now days it comes down to greed and politics. Hugs and nose kisses

    1. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s more a case of over work and brainwashing at the vet school level.

  7. Your other commenters have said what I’ve been thinking. I thought that the vet might have been over-cautious about home-made dog food because of his/her experiences with people making up unbalanced diets. I guess that, with a reputable commercial brand, you know it’s going to be balanced.

    Having said this, I’m sure you know what you’re doing with home-made food.

    1. I’ve been an obsessive formulator for a while now. It would be nice to get veterinary input to shore up any holes in the system, but I’ve officially given up.

  8. you are thinking ‘outside of the box’ – – most folks can barely comprehend that there is a box at all! – -and you have the determination, ability, gut instinct, and have gained enough education to know WHY your homemade food’ is better! – – – Vets – also human doctors, rarely come up against with anyone with enough smarts to formulate their own answer to anything! – –
    I remember some web page about creating a ‘vegan’ diet for your cat!?? — Felines are among the most perfectly carniverous of land mammals. Imagine the vet trying to talk to the owner about the lack of wisdom in giving the cat a fruit, veggie and grain diet!
    anyway – – – keeping my Sidetrack from the grain based and more processed foods and treats has helped a lot with Sidetracks ‘itchies’ – – Dogs by heredity eat MEAT – also cartilage, skin and bone, they will eat certain berries, fruit and veggies,even grass, when available, – – -my story has gone on too long! – – it is so hard to find a professional that will logically analyze the evidence! – – and look at the truth of the matter – –

    oooops – gotta get outa here – gettin’ WAY TOO PHILOSOPHICAL! – – Hugs to you and DASH! – Hector, Vito and Willey!l so happy Willie is enjoying the current and BETTER stage of his life!

    1. Am I to assume that with the words you uttered that you are indeed adding the fresh foods I recommended to you a while back to your dogs’ bowls????

  9. additional note – – propylene glycol is not a food product – – check your labels folks! – – it may not be a poison, but it IS NOT A FOOD either

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