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Diets for Animals

The Dangers Of Feeding Animals a Human Diet

Animals have very different nutritional needs to humans, their metabolism is different and they need different enzymes than humans. So diets that we humans think are so great, and may well be great - for us - are not always suitable for our pets. Many of these diets are not nutritionally balanced for pets.

Diets such as Paleo, Vegan/Vegetarian, Grain-free may not be applicable to animals. WHY?

We must remember that cats are OBLIGATE carnivores - they must have a meat diet which contain essential amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins found in meat. CATS WILL GET SICK on a vegetarian diet - very sick - in fact these diets can be lethal for cats. Blindness and liver problems can occur very quickly. As cats are very good at hiding disease and learn to compensate for loss of sight quite well, owners may not realise the cat is going blind.

Grain-free and low carbohydrate diets are often fed on the belief that the animals are suffering from grain related allergies. However most pet allergens come from meat-based proteins so the grain -free argument is a moot point.Additionally our pets are easily able to digest carbs. This is why when we discuss with owners to feed a low allergy diet we advise using ONE or NOVEL source of protein only - kangaroo meat and potatos are the best hypoallergenic home-cooked diet an owner can feed for an itchy skin dog!

Balancing a homecooked diet is difficult - so a combination of good quality commercial food with a home cooked diet, is advised. This is especially true for young pups and kittens and large breed pups where a balanced diet is vital for skeletal growth. Pups can develop Ricketts from an all meat diet that is not nutritionally balanced. The condition is completely preventable so owners need to be aware of the nutritional needs of pups.

And remember - cats and dogs are carnivores - dogs actually omniverous. Apart from being unbalanced, raw food can also cause illness through the presence of bacteria and worm larvae cysts. Bacteria and worm eggs in faeces can cause environmental contamination posing a risk to young children, pregnant women and the elderly. The classic scenario is the kids sandbox being used for a toilet by the cat or dog. Children should be taught to not allow dogs to lick their faces and to wash their hands often.

Insurance companies may not cover a pet for illness if the animal gets sick as a result from being fed anything other than appropriate cat and dog diets.

Welfare agencies take a dim view on a situation where an animal has become sick or emaciated due to incorrect diets being fed. Prosecution and fines can ensue.

"As vets we know that you like to do the best thing for your pets. However , even though you are looking after yourself with a particular diet, it does not mean that the diet is appropriate, nor healthy, for your pet."

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Pet E-books FREE!

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Ever forgot what the vet said? There is often a lot of information to absorb during a pet consultation. But don't worry - we have created a range of E-books about various pet conditions. Whether it's a simple vaccination or a complex surgery - we have loads of information to help you understand.

At the end of you consult we will email you your appropriate Ebook - so the information will be available immediately, waiting for you, before you even get home!

We will also include a summary of your pets consultation and condition for your records.

Click here for an example: "Home Care After Hospital"

My Dog has a Grass Seed in its' Paw - What Do I Do?

Grass seeds are very common foreign bodies that penetrate between a dogs' toes. The sharp seed, that is often spiral shaped, penetrates the soft webbing of the foot and can travel up the tissue layers of the foot and leg very quickly.The site of penetration will have a hole, surrounded by red, swollen and painful inflammed tissue.The dog may be licking the site constantly; cats can get them too!

So what can you do? In many cases, especially if the seed has been there for awhile, surgery will be required to remove the seed and flush the wounds. Antibiotics and pain relief will be required.

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However, if you have noticed the problem early, you may be able to treat it at home with a poultice to try and draw out the seed, or at least bring it to the surface. Quite often applying a poultice for 12-24 hours will result in the tip of the grass awl showing at the skin surface. With good light and a pair of tweezers you may be able to see the awl and pull it out. Once removed, flush the wound with dilute betadine solution. (1:10 water)

How to apply a poultice.

Materials required: Magnoplasm (from chemist), cotton wool or similar padding, elastoplast.

Method: Apply Magnoplasm onto piece of gauze and place over wound, wriggle the gauze down between the toe, then wrap foot with lots & lots of padding, as per diagram. Finish with elatoplast or Vetwrap, you may need a little sticky piece at the top to stick to hair of leg.

Most dogs will be comfortable with this sort of bandage; some may need to wear an E-collar if they want to chew at the bandgae. If poulticing does not have the desired result after 24 hours or paw is very painful, please see us immediately.

DO USE LOTS OF PADDING & REMOVE AFTER 24 HRS.

DO NOT BANDAGE TOO TIGHT - DO NOT TOURNIQUET THE FOOT, IT SHOULD BE FIRM BUT NOT TIGHT.


My Horse Has Colic! What do I do?

"COLIC!" It's the dreaded word for all horse owners! It's that moment when you see your horse down, rolling and ..... Oh No! ...... You realize it's not just having a scratch! It's rolling again - and again - and again! You grab a head collar and race out to it, the horse is sweating, anxious and not happy!

Knowing what you can do in these early moments can help you get through this worrying event. We have a detailed article on our Horse Treatment Tips page that once you have read, may help you deal with a colic a little easier.

Hopefully you will never have to say the words : "My Horse Has Colic" - but in case it does happen - CLICK HERE to read our article.

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Joan Deetman 2013