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Camden Cat

Camden Cat

A few months ago Camden, our much loved thirteen year old Cat became suddenly quite ill. After a few days with all the symptoms of a nasty tummy bug she refused her breakfast and an hour later we were both sitting in the vet’s waiting room on a bank holiday. 

They took bloods, gave her a vitamin injection and packed me off home with a large bill, enough antibiotics for a small pit pony and ten sachets of Royal Canin. 

Research 

She’s had digestive problems for the nine years I’ve been lucky enough to have her and as a result, I’ve done the usual poking around online reading blogs, reports and research papers on what cats do and do not need in their diet.  Sugar as you can imagine is not on the list and yet the sachets from the vet listed ‘various sugars’ as the second ingredient. I knew this before they gave them to me but to be honest, feeling stressed and willing to do just about anything to make sure she’d eat, I caved in. 

They certainly went down a treat with Camden. The first ten sachets lasted barely three days – her appetite returned with an ear-piercing vengeance as she howled for her bowl to be topped up throughout the day.  A box of twelve lasted just long enough to get her to her follow up appointment but now that she was looking so much better I was determined to get her off the junk food and back onto something more healthful. So, I asked the vet…

The conversation went something like this: 

Me: So now that she’s feeling better I’d like to wean her onto a better quality food. Any recommendations? 

Vet: The Royal Canin we sell here is an excellent brand. 

Me: Really? But it contains various sugars and is made with meat derivatives? 

Vet: Sugars? Where did you hear that? <he sniggered at this point> 

Me: Er, it’s written on the ingredients list on the packet…

Vet: Is it?  Well the Rep always says what a great quality food it is.

As he was just about to take more blood from Camden, I bit my tongue at this point – hard.  

Integrity

Now don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful to the vets who have helped all of my animals over the years, they do a job I would never want to do in a million years, but it absolutely beggars belief that such learned professionals seem to have such little knowledge – not to mention such little interest – in diet and nutrition, the one thing that we know has such an enormous impact on health. Even more worrying is the idea that once qualified their source of information on such matters comes from pet food Rep with a vested interest in flogging more products. 

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated case. I’ve heard from lots of friends who have had very similar experiences.  We’ve since changed vets but although lovely, our new vet freely admits to ‘not knowing much about pet food’ which is a bit like my doctor saying she doesn’t know much about a healthy human diet – it’s just absurd!  

Ignorance or a blind eye? 

If the veterinary profession really cares about the health of our animals they need to focus on preventative health care for our pets. Just like humans, we know that diet plays a huge part in health and wellbeing which begs the question: why are so many vets still apparently ignorant? Is it a genuine gap in their training or is there simply too much money tied up with the big pet food manufacturers to risk rocking the boat?  

What’s your experience with vets and pet nutrition?  Does your vet disprove this theory? If so, please share via the comments as I’d love to be wrong on this one, for all our sakes. 

 

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