My vet says feeding raw caused his diarrhea! Is this true?

 In Announcement, Pet Health

With Spring comes the spring thaw, and with the spring thaw we love to take our dogs outside more and enjoy the great weather. One thing we forget is with the warmer weather we also see and increase of bacteria and fungus growth in our environments.

Bacteria thrive in wet, humid warm conditions. So there will have an increase amount of bacteria in our yards and outdoor space, especially with stools that were not picked up over the winter.

Since dogs love to have their nose to the grown and eat or lick inappropriate things LIKE ALL THE TIME, we typically see an increase in diarrhea during this time of year. It doesn’t matter if your dog eats a dry kibble diet or a fresh a raw diet, when we talked to our vets about this they say they see it with ALL dogs, regardless of what they feed. But some vets who are against raw automatically say it’s because of raw feeding that the dog has diarrhea, without taking the external environment into consideration.

I worked in a medical laboratory for years, my first question to any vet is, ” have you done a fecal analysis to rule out salmonella or e coli?” the answer is almost always no. If  they do a fecal test, they always tell me “we didn’t find salmonella or e coli in the stool”. If there is no salmonella or e coli in the stool, then the diarrhea is NOT from the food. In order for a dog or cat to become ill from “food poisoning” there would be a detectable amount of bacteria in the stool when they did the tests.

so no bacteria = no food poisoning.

I have great respect for our vets, especially the ones that can think outside of the box. And in their defense, they see people that feed their dogs what I consider “backyard raw” that’s what I call raw companies that sell raw from their garage, with no proper refrigeration, and they deliver to parking lots in the middle of summer, where it’s hot and bacteria can easily grow, but that is a blog post for another day! Not all raw is created equal, proper commercial companies work hard to ensure a safe product is made for consumers.

To properly diagnose a dog or cat you must have scientific based evidence, your doctor wouldn’t diagnose YOU with an illness without first running tests, and then if your tests comes back negative still say you have the disease, so why are vets, who are so FOR scientific data and research, giving out diagnosis with no scientific evidence to back it up? It’s because it’s easier to say “it’s probably your raw diet” instead of what they should say ” we aren’t sure why your dog has diarrhea” .  A vet saying its the diet even after the tests come back negative is the equivalent of your doctor telling you that you have lung cancer with the x-rays coming back negative. It’s reckless. The other dangerous thing is the over prescription of antibiotics in the vet world, just like us humans, dogs can develop antibiotic resistant bugs where the traditional antibiotics wont work, so we must be responsible when our dogs and cats are prescribed antibiotics, and make sure they are truly required.

So this spring if your dog gets diarrhea and you take them to your local vet, when they say it’s the raw food ask them to check a stool sample, and when if comes back negative and they still say it’s the food, ask them why they think it’s the food without any scientific proof.  It’s most probably something in the environment they ingested that is causing the upset tummy.

Keeping it real

Caroline

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