warpedellipsis  asked:

Is there a way to tell what's "high quality" dog food? Not everything has a review on the dogfoodadvisor websites. The one mine currently has is supposedly low quality, and I think switching to something better might also help with the allergy symptoms she's having. The only restriction I have is my dog needs 9% fat or less (dry matter measurement), due to pancreatitis. Could I give you the four foods/brands I can choose from and you tell me which is the better quality?

The most important factors I look for when assessing the quality of a dog food are:

  • Guaranteed Analysis vs Average Analysis
  • Specified ingredients vs ‘Meat’
  • Metabolisable energy or the amount of food that needs to be fed.

About the Dog Food Advisor website… it’s run by a human dentist. With no veterinary training, let alone veterinary nutrition training. He seem to consider himself “an authority on reading and interpreting pet food labels” based on his own reading. I would not bother stressing about it.

(And yes, I know there will be a bunch of people out there that like the website because it tells them what they like to hear/believe. I can’t take the website seriously.)

Different dogs will do better on different diets. Most dogs will do really well on a huge variety of diets, but sometimes you’ll need to try a few to get the right one.

I’m not going to give people specific diet recommendations, even out of a select few, because I don’t want to be inundated with such requests, especially when people have their own veterinarians they can take such questions to. I have enough to do, and the answers will all boil down to “If your vet says it’s ok, give it a try.”

Changing food will only help the allergy symptoms if the dog happens to be allergic to something in the food. The ‘quality’ of a diet according to someone who thinks carbohydrates are always bad isn’t going to change the fact that if the dog is allergic to chicken then it will still be allergic to chicken in all the diets.

My advice would be not to worry too much about it and feed something that works for your dog within your budget, whether that’s commercial or home made. If it works, it works. Dogs are tougher than they look.

Don’t let anybody make you feel bad or guilty over what you feed your dog if it works for her.

When Doc is sick and loses her filter...
  • Doc: It's [Assistant R]'s birthday party! We've got pizza, cupcakes, AND we're euthanizing everything in the county! *creepy stepford smile as she holds up the Euthasol syringe for the 3rd euthanasia in the last hour*

rebanndon  asked:

What's your opinion on feeding dogs a raw diet, as opposed to a high quality formulated kibble diet? I've heard if you get the balance right in raw diets the changes are evident, shiny coat, more energy, which i thought you could get from high quality biscuits anyway.

You can. Most dogs without an underlying medical condition will do fine on most foods.

I’ve written briefly about raw feeding here. Overall I don’t see any special, great improvements in it. It’s not some magic fix. It’s useful for some dogs, detrimental for others, but there are only a few specific situations where I could specifically recommend it.

Yesterday I officially became Dr. Olivia McKinley (BSc BVMS) after 6 long years of late night study sessions, hours of early morning lectures, too many exams and amazing vet school adventures.

I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of adoring partner, my family and the incredible class of 2016. I thank you all for it.

To the budding vet students out there, I promise to you that vet school is the most amazing and challenging adventure. I would 100% do it all again.

Now to bring on my next adventure as a veterinary intern at a specialist veterinary hospital in Australia!

I don't bite

…My patients do.

Hello folks. Many of you know me as Dr Ferox, I’ve been blogging on tumblr for a few years now, and blogging as Nearly-Dr Ferox years before that, back in the vet student days.

I’ve joined the ScriptX family to provide advice to writers about veterinary medicine and its many faces: animal health, animal management, zoonotic diseases, pathology, meat production, etc.

I’ve been working as a Veterinarian in Australia since 2010. I published my first novel in 2015. Veterinary medicine and storytelling is what I do.

Disclaimer: I will do my best to answer any questions asked, but I will never dispense specific veterinary advice for animals I have not examined, and such asks will be deleted.

anonymous asked:

Hello, I am getting a puppy soon and was wondering what is the difference between feeding a raw diet compared to high quality kibble? I've heard raw diets are beneficial in many ways such as coat quality and energy but keeping the balance of nutrients right would be hard? What's your opinion on feeding a dog - especially a puppy a raw diet?

I’ve spent too many Summers with a full hospital of litters of puppies all with awful campylobacter diarrhoea from being fed a raw diet to ever be a fan. I’ve had breeding clients that adamantly insisted on feeding all their dogs raw, and honestly there was nothing to recommend their puppies.

In practice I don’t see any significant difference between dogs fed on a raw diet and those fed on a quality kibble. Honestly I don’t, and if a dog isn’t having any problems I don’t see any need to recommend changing either way.

But puppies have a developing immune system and specific calcium requirements.  I’ve never come across rickets in a puppy on commercial food, but I have come across it in raw fed puppies, and so do not recommend it as a sole diet. Also when and if they do get bacterial enteritis from the raw food, which was becoming way too predictable, their tiny bodies dehydrate so quickly they have to end up on fluids. We also had several develop intussusception and require intestinal surgery. 

If owners are adamant in feeding their new dog raw, then I recommend they only feed 50% raw and feed a quality commercial dry food the other 50% of the time. (Still maintaining basic hygiene rules, separate bowls for cooked or raw food, not leaving food out etc).

This way the dry food can compensate for any deficiencies in the raw food, but the dog can still get used to raw feeding before the owner considers transitioning it at around 9-12 months of age if they want to.

Why a Veterinarian isn’t necessarily the best choice for a romance hero/heroine

There is an entire clade of people who think scoring a veterinarian would be their perfect partner. They see a human who is a professional, highly educated and intelligent, compassionate and will automatically love their pets. A surprising amount of people also (wrongly) assume that we are paid like human doctors but endure less stress because our patients are ‘cuter’.

What you don’t see is the soul-sucking realities of working in veterinary medicine that make our lives fundamentally unsuitable for casting in a fluffy romance.

We are usually broke. Veterinary medicine pays extremely poorly for the amount of work and stress you have to endure. Some lucky vets that graduated in the good old days when uni was free or who have branches out to make franchises will be doing well, and if you want to write a romance about a 70yo (who is still working full time, mind you), then go ahead, but for a 20-something or a 30-something, that cash didn’t come from working as a veterinarian.

We work a lot. Days. Nights. Weekends. Our job forces us to keep unsociable hours because unless you specialize in dermatology and only see derm patients, you can’t control when your patients will get sick. We miss group social occasions all the time due to work commitments, and sometimes despite our plans for time off get called in anyway.

Exotic or remote locations make this worse. Your hero or heroine runs their own practice in an isolated, picturesque mountain town, or has the only clinic on a tropical island? What a lovely setting, for a non-vet. The unfortunate veterinary reality is that if you’re on your own (sole charge) and isolated is that you will never stop working. Normal hours. After hours. Emergencies. House calls. Farm visits. Checking hospital patients. If a dog gets bitten by a snake on the mountain and you are the only vet, you will be doing the two hourly checks until it’s better or dead, however many days that takes. Plus everything else at the same time.  If you’re on a tropical island and some dog eats a puffer fish, you’re trying to keep it going on a ventilator until it’s also better or dead, and you can’t afford to leave that unattended.

We will come to the date, or home, smelling like a barn. Or vomit. Or wearing the distinct aroma of anal gland secretions. Or the lingering musk of death. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of we show up like this or not at all. Sometimes we’re so desensitized and exhausted that we simply don’t notice.

Our mental health sucks, and you probably wont understand. Our suicide rate is the highest of any profession, and it’s not because we perform euthanasia. In short it’s a particular combination of duty, dedication, exhaustion, compassion fatigue, flight arrest, compounding anxiety and the general public’s expectations of us and our lives that don’t match our reality.

We often become reclusive. There’s nothing worse than trying to relax, or even accomplish something simple like buying groceries or going to your own doctor appointment, and having a client recognize you. They often start quizzing you about their pet (who isn’t even there!) and wont take “You need to bring them in to the clinic” for an answer. We often avoid shopping centers close to our workplaces for that reason, and rarely accept social media friend requests from clients on facebook. If we can’t avoid work, we can’t unwind.

We put on a brave face. We often go straight from a tearful euthanasia in one room to a happy puppy or kitten vaccination in the next, and we put forward the appropriate emotional response. We will smile and coddle the new pet, even if we’re still feeling sad about the old one. We’re very good at it, so you probably don’t recognize what we’re feeling. 

Our dinner conversation topics are… graphic. My unintentional favorite thing to discuss around the dinner table these holidays has turned out to be the various interesting things dogs have eaten and how we’ve removed them. I could go on and on… but my gentler friends remind me not to talk about the entire turkey carcass we removed from a 13kg dog’s stomach while we are eating turkey

Out patients can maim, scar or kill us. Animal owners are bad enough, but many of our patients are dangerous. I always have scratches or scars on my hands and arms, and usually have bruises on my legs. Some weeks it seriously looks like I’ve been beat up on a regular basis, but it’s just patients.

Work is usually busy. You can’t reasonably expect us to be available to talk to us any time you just ‘pop in’. We have surgeries going on, other patients to see, specialists to call, wildlife to treat, etc. Nor is it reasonable to assume we can always drop everything at work and just leave to go somewhere.

We are complex, educated, hard working individuals in a demanding and emotionally draining job. The darkness in our profession rarely penetrates the public perception of veterinarians, but it’s a large part of existence for us.

You don’t see the Bondi Vet at his lowest points, but don’t believe for a moment they’ve never been there.

rabid-dragoness  asked:

Having a bit of an existential crisis with regards to pet food. Everywhere we see good versus bad and I don't know what to believe. I was offered a nutrition class taught by MMI (aka Hills/Mars). Basically said anything non commercial is bad, which I don't entirely believe. However I have noticed that those that support alternative diets demonize any differing ideas. Do you know any legitimate resources for vegan/vegetarian/BARF diets I can suggest to clients with a sound conscience?

Vegan: get a veterinary nutritionist. You don’t want to mess around with that if you can help it.

Vegetarian: Royal Canin makes (or made, I’d have to check) one of the hypoallergenic diets that was vegetarian. It was largely egg based. Waltham does have a book of clinical nutrition with tables in the back for formulating homecooked diets. You can swap out the ‘meat’ component for cottage cheese or egg and you’ll be off to a good start. I often use this for dogs with renal disease since their appetite is so variable

BARF: Well, honestly if they’re already keen on the idea, they probably have researched it already. What you don’t want to end up with is people feeding only chicken frames. If they’re set on doing this, I’d send them the way of Ian Billinghurst. I’m not keen on it, but it’s better than stuffing up the dog’s nutrition entirely.

There are a lot of very strong opinions about feeding dogs, a species evolved as scavengers on the edge of human settlements that are capable of eating a huge variety of stuff. Most dogs will be fine on most diets.

By all means go to the nutrition classes by Hills and Mars. Heckle them. Also read the books from opposing views. Pay extra attention in medical lectures about how to nutritionally manage any given condition.

Make up your own mind, but be prepared to challenge that view with evidence.

There are a lot of zealots in dog food discussions. I find it best to stay out of it, because it really doesn’t matter for most dogs. I’m only posting about it today because I’ve had so many questions about it lined up.


Based on the UK vaccination recommendations. 

Common infectious diseases of Feline population

So you’ve got a half-cat, half human hybrid made in a secret laboratory. Or a race of tiger-people in the jungle outskirts. Or a race of cats that evolved a human shape on a spaceship over the last three million years.

Originally posted by allsortsofsmeg

Whether human-cat hybrids, sapient cats or anything in between, felines of many varieties suffer ailments that differ from our familiar human population. These are a few of the more notable ones that may be useful in fiction writing.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is the viral agent that causes Feline Aids. The virus does more or less what it says on the tin; it causes an immunodeficiency similar to HIV in humans. It is from a different viral family than HIV though, which is why there is a vaccine available for FIV. However, the vaccine for FIV works by creating high levels of circulating antibodies, which means the vaccine must be boosted every 12 months to remain effective. It is spread as you would expect with sexual contact, but also via saliva coated penetrating wounds typical of cat bites. Cats are a fairly bitey species at the best of times. It’s worth noting that this virus can also cause lymphoma and leukemias. Domestic cats and bit cats like lions can all be infected by this virus.

Feline Leukemia Virus is a similar virus that can also cause lymphoma and leukemia. It is also spread by saliva, a particular issue for a species that mutually grooms. Some cats will only be transiently infected before ridding themselves of the virus. Others may incubate the virus for months or years before succumbing.

Cat flu is the most common disease of domestic cats kept in large groups. Technically it’s not one disease, but a combination of herpesvirus, calicivirus, and chamydia bacteria. This combination of diseases causes very sick cats with an awful combination of supprative conjunctivitis, eye ulcers, mouth ulcers and snot. Unsurprisingly the young and the old are worse affected by this and the inappetance it inevitably causes. Herpesvirus in particular is never really gone and may resurface in times of stress or leave the feline with chronic eye issues.

Ear mites are a common, easily transmitted parasite specific to cat ears. If your character just happens to have kitty ears on that otherwise humanoid head, they may well be prone to these parasites. They’re very easy to catch, live in the ear canal and are intensely itchy. Sometimes they look like moving dandruff.

Feline Panleukopenia is another nasty, highly infectious viral infection of cats. It basically attacks stem cells, mostly affecting the bone marrow (causing immunosuppresion) and sometimes diarrhoea. It’s caused by a parvovirus and is common in unvaccinated kittens. By contrast, human parvovirus causes a skin rash and mild stomach upset. In a hybrid species, who knows which parvovirus will be causing trouble.

Toxoplasma is a single celled parasite that infects both humans and felines. I’ve written a little about it in terms of a zombie apocalypse, but it is a fascinating pathogen that causes different symptoms in different species. In an intermediate host, like a mouse, sheep, kangaroo or human, the parasite forms cysts in tissues awaiting a feline to come eat the current host. In the intestines of the feline host, Toxoplasma reproduces and has a merry old time. Generally speaking the symptoms of toxoplasa in the intermediate host (the one expected to be eaten) are more severe than in the feline. These symptoms may include muscle pain, fever, neurological issues, blindness or even birth defects and abortion. By contrast, infected cats usually have little more than a fever and some diarrhoea. Interestingly you can sometimes see either set of symptoms in felines, so a humanoid feline could show any range of symptoms associated with toxoplasma.

Of course it’s your reality, your rules, but this list should be food for thought with any fictional feline population, whether they just have cat ears or a whole feline evolutionary history.

anonymous asked:

Hello Doc, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on products you might recommend in particular for brushing a cat's teeth, as my little guy (about 2yrs old) was just diagnosed with periodontitis. My vet recommended that I get a cat toothbrush/toothpaste (but I didn't think to ask for a recommended brand), and I was given some Purina dental health treats for him as well. (1/2)

(2/2) I feel pretty confident that I can help him acclimated to the brushing (he’s super food motivated and good with handling, so my plan is to pair the brush and then the act of brushing with getting a snack), but I wanted to make sure I’m getting the right stuff for the job. (Question tax: came for the dog breed analyses, stayed for the insight into the veterinarian experience)            

I usually recommend either a soft kid’s toothbrush or a finger brush to start. Often I use Dentipet toothpaste, but it depends what’s available near you. There’s lots of different ones.

Pet toothpaste is low fluoride so it’s safe to swallow (if you can teach a cat to rinse and spit please submit a video), and comes in nice flavors like chicken or beef.

I often use t/d dental food too, as it works as a preventative and the cats seems to really like it.