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February 20, 2009

What’s For Dinner?

Filed under: Raw Food Diet, Uncategorized — myminizoo @ 9:20 pm

A few months ago I did an extensive post on raw food diets for dogs and cats. If you haven’t caught that yet you can do so here : https://myminizoo.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/about-raw-food-diets/

I feel this is the healthiest diet for pet companion animals, but I realize that it can seem quite daunting to those that have never done it before. I remember when I started… I was always worried if I was using the right ingredients in the right ratios. Should I feed supplements? How much do I feed?  Am I feeding enough meat/organs/ eggs? How do I know if my menu is balanced?? etc. etc.

So to simplify things for you I decided to post a little tutorial. This should give you a bit more of an idea should you decide to take the plunge.

 Note: This is just what works for me, there are many different diet variations. You have to take what I say and use it as a spring board. I encourage anyone who is interested in starting their pets on raw to do their research. It’s a lot of work in the beginning but in the end you will have a very good understanding of your pets nutitional needs.

This post is not for the faint of heart!

Tulip Roxy and Alaska waiting at the kitchen door for supper!

Tulip Roxy and Alaska waiting at the kitchen door for supper!

The Basic Diet for the Dogs is:

60-70% Raw Meaty Bones ( chicken necks, backs, or carcasses, turkey necks or wings, pork riblets, lamb riblets etc.)

20-30% Meat, Eggs, Organs, or Yogurt ( I try to vary the types of meats and organs as much as possible, and I only feed yogurt ocasionally)

5-10% Veges ( These are really optional. Many don’t feed them at all and have very health dogs. I choose to include them usually closer to the 5 % mark. The veges are raw and pulped to better mimic the stomach contents of prey)

Supplements (Optional, some feed them to offset what they feed is lacking in the diet)

Basic Diet for Cats:

50% Raw Meaty Bones

50% Eggs,Organs or Meat

Supplements

The menu for today is:

Fresh Chicken Carcasses

 Fresh Chicken Carcasses

Fresh Chicken Carcasses

Fresh Chicken Gizzards
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Fresh Eggs
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Pureed Vegetables

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Supplements – I use Salmon Oil ( Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Vitamin C & E ( Antioxidant vitamins) and Kelp( Trace Minerals and Iodine)

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I measure out a certain amount of each ingredient according to which diet model I am following.

Amount to feed per day

2-3% of each pets body weight in food per day

Take your pets weight and multiply it by 16 to get his weight # in oz.  Then multiply that number by .02 or .03 to get the # of oz to feed  per day.

Then multiply that # by .70 to get the percentage of Raw Bones to feed, .25 to get the amount of meat to feed and .05 to get the amount of veges to feed.

Example:

Roxy weighs 22 lbs X 16 = 352 oz

.o3 of 352 = 10.5 OZ total per day

10.5 X .70 = 7.4 oz Raw Meaty Bones per day

10.5 X .25 = 2.6oz meat or extras per day

10.5 X .05= .5 oz veges per day

Sounds super complicated but its not. I am horrible at math so if I can do it you can too!

I use this as a rough guide, some days they may get a little more or a little less of something. It’s all about balance over time.

This can be closer to 1.5 if the pet is chubby, or up at 3 if the pet is very active.

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It requires a bit more effort than opening a bag of the crunchy stuff, but I think the time is worth it. My pets have never been healthier or more excited about meal times!

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February 11, 2009

Health : Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

Filed under: Health Care, Uncategorized — myminizoo @ 6:25 pm

This week has been a tough one for my sister’s cat Cassis. He was hospitalized last thursday as he had a blocked urinary tract. He was put under anesthetic , deblocked and flushed out. They kept him for a few days with a catheter in to monitor him. But, when they brought him home he was still peeing blood and in very small amounts. So, he went to my school on Tuesday to continue treatment. ( I’m currently studying to be a vet tech) We’re all hoping he’ll pull through!

This prompted me to write a post on urinary tract problems. I will discuss symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment. I think its important that people realize that this is a very common and sometimes preventable problem.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease is a broad term that covers a wide range of problems. Most cases involve bladder inflamation ( cystitis) , with or without bacterial infection, and with or without either struvite or oxalate crystals.

The symptoms of FLUTD vary but usually include one or more of the following:

  • Innapropriate elimination ( ie peeing all over the house) or frequent litter box trips that only produce droplets of pee
  • Painful or difficult urination ( dysuria)
  • Crying or yowling while trying to pee
  • Blood in urine  (hematuria)
  • obsessive licking of the genital area

If you notice any of the above symtoms you need to get your cat to the vet right away! This ia a critical condition as if the cat is blocked the urine cannot exit the bladder and can cause swelling to the point of bursting.

At the vet they will take blood tests to see if the cats kidney’s are functioning well. They will also do a urinanalysis to check if there is infection, and also examine the urine under the microscope to check for crystals.

If the cat is not blocked the treatment will vary due to the type of crystals found and the presence or absense of a secondary infection.

If the the cat is critically blocked the vet will put the cat under anesthetic, insert a catheter and  flush out the bladder. They will usually hospitalize the cat for a few days and keep the catheter in to give the bladder a chance to flush out and heal.

There are serval things that predispose your cat to getting urinary tract problems.

First of all there are two types of crystals that commonly occur in cats. They are struvite and calcium oxalate. Struvite tend to form in an alkaline urine PH( >7.0), while oxalate tend to form in very acidic urine PH(< 6.0). Struvite crystals are far more common in cats than oxalate.

  • Male cats > Female cats-This is because the male cats urethra is much smaller and shorter than the females, so if crystals form they are more likely to block.
  • Stress- usually due to sudden changes in the cats life
  • Obesity- Yet another problem that caused by letting your cat get fat!
  • Genetics- Vets think that genetics may play a role as well
  • Diet-  Cats fed a dry diet versus a wet one are much more likely to develop problems with struvite crystals.   This is because a dry diet causes the cat to produce a concentrated urine. Cats tend to not drink a lot and rely on thier diet to provide them with the water they need. When the cat is on dry food his bladder empties much less and this allows the mineral that form the crsystals to be able to get together easier, and it is also an ideal environment for bacteria.
  • Dry food is also high in carbohydrates which promotes an alkaline PH which is the enviroment that struvite crystals prefer.

Since you can’t do much about your cats genetics I think its important to focus on what you can control in your cat’s life namely diet and stress.

In my opinion all cats should be few either a canned food or raw food diet. Cats are obligate carnivores, they are not designed to eat cereal based dry food which is usually 40% grains. This causes a whole host of problems such as obesity, diabetes and of course FLUTD.

Raw food is the ideal diet as this will manage the PH so crystals don’t form and also be high enough in water content so that the cat is not dehydrated. This diet will also prevent obesity, as it is low in carbs which cause cats to gain weight as they can’t digest them properly. In addition it will promote good dental health.

If you don’t feel you can go to raw then at least feed a good quality canned diet. The canned diet will also prevent crystals as it is low in carbs and high in moisture. The only thing it doesn’t do is clean the teeth, so they will still have to be cleaned professionally.

Remember you have control over what your cat eats, so feed him a healthy diet and you’ll have many more years together!

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