Raw Food Problems
I've just had an experience that gave me the opportunity to look more closely at the benefits and risks of the raw food diet. My six and eight month old kittens, Flora (foreground) and Bodhi (behind), have been eating raw, unpasteurized meat meals since they came to live with us. Bodhi since October and Flora since November. They both loved the meals, were eating great and were happy and healthy until Wednesday, February 14th when I came home to piles of vomit all over the rug. Clearly their raw beef meal did not sit well. I figured the batch must have been "off" and switched them to the raw lamb. Bodhi bounced back pretty quickly, but my little seven pound Flora came down with a bad case of gastroenteritis, continuing vomiting and bloody diarrhea. After an expensive trip to the emergency vet, we tried metrinidizole, which was a terrible experience for her. There was no way I could give her a second dose because she just threw up.
So, thanks to my team of holistic vets and my homeopath, I began to treat her with lots of probiotics syringed in organic chicken broth, homeopathy and canned food. I'm happy to say, she has completely recovered. However, I have to think about how I want to feed her going forward.
Pasteurized vs Unpasteurized
As a result of Flora's experience, and in talking with my team and the shop keeper at my local natural pet food store, I have come to the conclusion that it might be safer to feed pasteurized and/or HPP (High Pressure Pasteurized) raw foods to kittens, puppies and rescues with developing or vulnerable immune systems. Although I still believe that balanced raw meals are the best choice for most (not all) dogs and cats, I no longer feel comfortable recommending unpasteurized raw meals for these populations.
As for Flora, I plan to switch her to a balanced cooked diet for a while and, if her system is up to it, pasteurized raw until she is a year old. Bodhi will get pasteurized raw and some cooked. I will continue giving both kittens probiotics, omegas and immune support. I will keep you posted on their progress and fill you in on my journey with canned, cooked and raw.
In conclusion, the gift in this scary episode was that I have valuable information to pass on to you, so you can keep your beloved babies, elders and rescues their healthiest. Please let me know if I can help you choose the best meal options for your family going forward.
With Love and best wishes to all,