When you feed raw, it’s sometimes easy to get sidetracked by all of the debates and infighting that can take place in any insular community of like minded people. Arguments swirl around just what is (or isn’t) the “right” way to feed raw, with every party equally convinced that their method is the only correct method.
Then again, we sometimes run into a story that puts everything into perspective, and which makes us realize that it’s the essential core of what we’re feeding – raw, unprocessed meat, bone, organs, fruits and vegetables – that really matters.
Just before Christmas, I was contacted by a Veterinarian who had recently started exploring the concept of raw feeding. She had switched her own family dog over to raw, and he was an enthusiastic convert. She was now thinking of changing over some of her clinic cats, but had some concerns, since almost all of them had really specific health issues, two of them seriously diabetic. I told her that, while she would of course know better than I do about the medical management of diabetes, I did have numerous stories from pet owners who had told me that their own cats had experienced a total reversal of their diabetes when put on a raw diet.
Understandably, the Veterinarian was skeptical. I can be accused of having an ‘agenda’, I suppose – I don’t just feed raw, I work for a raw pet food company, and so my motives can’t be considered pure. My intent, however, was, and I did tell her that I could not claim that feeding her clinic cats would make any change in their diabetes – I could only suggest she try it, monitor their condition, and let me know about the results.
Christmas and the holidays came and went, and I received an excited phone message from the Veterinarian – she had some news for me about her cats, and she wanted to speak to me about it as soon as possible. When I returned her call, she started by telling me that she simply “stunned” at what she had seen happen with her cats since she started feeding them raw. Of the two diabetic cats in her clinic, both of them experienced completely normal blood levels within one week of being put on a raw diet.
Let me clarify something, first. Both of the cats she was telling me about had diabetes severe enough to require daily insulin. One cat was receiving seven units per day, the second was receiving eight, and even that was not adequately controlling his blood sugar. In the case of the second cat, all of the clinic staff believed that this was a cat looking at a slow but sure death sentence, since they simply did not seem able to get his diabetes under control.
In both of these cats, regular daily testing of their blood showed a stabilization within a week – one cat within just four days. Both cats, both severely diabetic, and both completely and totally off of insulin within the first week of eating raw. Both cats showed additional changes, as well – reduced volume of urine, formed stools, weight loss and glossier coats.
The changes that took place in both cats are so remarkable that the Veterinarian in question is now working on an article which she plans to submit to a Veterinary Journal. She’s been convinced of the benefits of feeding raw, and is now a vehement raw diet convert. These results – verifiable, tangible and, for the pets in question, life changing, are what brought most of us to raw feeding in the first place. It’s sometimes good to have a reminder of that.