Took our 12 week old Miniature Schnauzer puppy to the vet for his first check up yesterday and, like with most vets I’ve ever met, I sure didn’t like her. I had called ahead of time and asked if the vets at this office are supportive of raw feeding and was assured that they are. Well, as soon as I told her I was feeding raw (Primal Pronto and ZiwiPeak) she gave me the spiel about contaminating the kids with his kisses and salmonella.
So Kamper has been eating grass since he got to our place. He was born in Arizona and had not seen grass at all before so at first I thought it was just curiousity. When I told the vet I was concerned about his eating the grass, she said it was probably because he was on a raw diet and that dogs can’t digest raw foods. That, like our bodies, they can better digest processed foods (she brought up how when we were cavemen we ate a lot of uncooked food and just sat around digesting it all day). Now, the good thing was that she did suggest very high quality kibble (Orijen, Acana, etc…) and not the typical vet-endorsed Science Diet or anything like that.
Anyway, it was a frustrating visit. I just wanted to know if anyone else’s vet had said these things about processed foods being easier to digest for their dogs.
I had to laugh and hard when I read that cavemen sat around all day!!! That was one of the most idiotic things I have ever heard. Dogs do have trouble digesting raw PLANT matter, but not raw animal matter. What a ridiculous argument for why processed foods are better for you.
My vet doesn’t like raw, but other than that, she isn’t that moronic.
Try adding a supergreen like spirulina, kelp, or alfalfa to your dogs food and see if that curbs the grass eating. It did for mine, but some dogs just like to graze.
Sorry you had a disappointing visit. I don’t discuss nutrition with my regular vets, only my holistic vet. They’re regular ones ask what they eat but they know not to bother talking about.
I try not talking nutrition with my vet. Typically the tech will ask what I’m feeding now and she just types it into the computer. Sometimes I get a smile, other times a beedy eyed look but since I’m not there for nutritional advice I don’t care what their opinions are on food I feed my dogs. I do know that all the vets at the practice marvel at all three of my dogs health and appearance. None of my dogs have ever needed professional teeth cleaning and one of them turned 14 years old last Septemer 9th.
I have to admit I almost woke my husband cause I was laughing so hard at the thought of the cavemen sitting around all day digesting a meal. Was she for real. How did you keep from laughing. You must have left bleeding from biting your tongue so hard. I’ve heard some nutty things said from vets and even the odd poster on this site but this beats all.
By the way, some dogs eat grass simply because the like it and for no other reason. If you feel they are lacking something in their diet then by all means follow Shasta’s advice and see if it helps.
Dori, you’re correct, the tech or the vet asks me what I food but I get that “huh” look. Most of them haven’t heard of the kibble I’ve fed, haven’t heard of The Honest Kitchen and most don’t agree with raw but they just shut up.
I still remember the time when my old vet (would never go back or recommend) asked what I was feeding. I said Wellness Core and got a blank look. So I said, “You’ve heard of Wellness, right?” To which he replied, “No”. What!? I feel Wellness is a very mainstream holistic food, but I guess not everyone is mainstream lol. I knew then not to discuss nutrition with this vet. I should’ve found another vet right away after that, but it took me a little longer. Now, with my holistic vet we discuss nutrition almost every visit….just for fun LOL!
It’s the vet tech at my practice that asks the food question. No matter what mine are eating at the moment, I always answer Brother’s. The tech thinks he is familiar with the food, but I can tell from the comments he makes that he is actually thinking of another company, like Dad’s. I just tell him no, it’s a small local company, only available over the internet, unless you want to drive to Ft Lauderdale. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve repeated that. The first time, he told me he had seen that food in Petco and they had one that was comparable, Science Diet. I laughed.
Fortunately for me (really I think it’s fortunate for them) the vet and the techs know me for quite some time so, although I guess the tech is required to put down what I’m feeding, they all know better than to discuss nutrition with me. They tired of my explaining the horrors of Hills (all products) and grocery store foods and grains, rice and soy. I’ve had this conversation with the vets also not just the techs. So we’ve all agreed not to talk dog food with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m positive that prescription diets have their place in some illnesses, just not theirs. I think they’ve convinced people that Hills is the only way to go if you have a dog with a medical condition. My objection to all this is that they would like to have all of us with animals feed that food. Why? Who knows. I choose to think it’s not solely for the money, though I know better. Patty, if I were starting with a new vet I might say what you do but I’ve been trying to pass some of my experiences good and bad to these young techs just starting out in hopes that if they go out on their own some day maybe they’ll think a little differently about nutrition.
I have a whole different relationship with my vet. My dog vet is a friend of mine and we actually discuss nutrition and what makes a good food. I’ve known her since she was still in vet school and she interned at the vet I worked at. She was indoctrinated into the ways of veterinary food, but she at least respects that I have a difference of opinion about what is good enough for my dogs to eat and she knows my education, both in school and on my own. She’s asked my opinion many times and listens to what I have to say.
If you like the vet, next time just say “I’ve done my research and I feel that this is the best nutrition for my dog, but thanks for your concern”. If the vet keeps bugging you, switch vets. I also agree with Patty, try some type of seameal supplement, I use solid gold brand mostly and occasionally swap around with couple other brands like dogzymes norwegian kelp
Thanks so much everyone for the replies! It’s not so easy for me to just “not discuss nutrition” with my vet…maybe it’s something I need to learn 🙂 I just have so little patience and tolerance for someone trying to preach to me how raw is not good (and give really ridiculous arguments as to why it’s not).
We have a more holistic-type of vet near us who also does vaccinations and minor surgeries…full-service care. But they are so much more expensive than a traditional vet. The price for the initial puppy visit (not including vax) with the traditional vet was $60. At the holistic vet, the initial consult is $200!!!
Anyway, I will try the kelp or spirulina (maybe at Whole Foods or a nurtrition store?) and see if that helps with the grass. We don’t use pesticides or fertilizers on our grass so it doesn’t really bother me that he eats it, I just don’t want it to cause him to throw up.
Thanks again for all the help!
I wish I had a vet like that. Almost all of mine have suggested I feed what they sell. One wanted me to feed a dental food; I asked what was so special about the formula; she couldn’t answer.
My current regular vet doesn’t sell much food so he makes no suggestions but has no clue about the brands I feed.
I’m sure a large part of the ease I have in dealing with my vet is that I know the language and have been to some of the exact same CE classes, so I can say “I know Hill’s says…, but this is what is going on with my dog, and that will not work for him because …” It would be a very rare vet visit that I am not the one telling them what they are testing my pet for or what I expect the results of those tests will be.
Wow. I had to laugh! Especially at “That, like our bodies, they can better digest processed foods”. Where did she go to school?
I mean, I do not know a lot about nutrition and I merely have a half-way-done MA in Education but, c’mon!
You were very nice not to laugh out loud at the comments “That, like our bodies, they can better digest processed foods (she brought up how when we were cavemen we ate a lot of uncooked food and just sat around digesting it all day)”. Please do not give in to the pressure and continue to feed your baby what you know is best for him. I’m no raw zealot, but the evidence is overwhelming. Most dogs thrive on a raw diet. I know that my two Pugs do.
Now that is funny, I don’t care who you are! You know it is a proven fact that “processed food” takes longer to digest (what’s digestable) in humans then raw fruits & veggies (which are actually fruit). I always respond/teach when they ask what I feed my dogs. In fact I like to feed chicken quarters once a week, I hope to add wild hog and deer to their plate this year.
This is hilariously crazy! LoL! This reminds me of the link Akari32 posted on how Purina’s reseach shows that dogs are BUILT to eat grains. Insanity…
So odd, I don’t even recall our vet discussing nutrition with us except one time, when I mentioned I feed grain free and got the “there’s still carbs in it though” lecture, which I knew, but was within limits and ok. I think I only will be seeing the vet and techs once a year for his shots, since he plateaued weight so we shop for his heartworm and other worm-and-flea medicine online now.
You might reconsider those annual vaccines in favor of titers. Mine get the year rabies vaccines, but nothing else. We ran titers last year at their annual wellness visits. This greatly reduces their unnecessary exposure to toxins.
I will look into that. Is the internet a good general source to learn about titering, or can you tell me more about it (like, everything. I have only seen the word, and don’t know what it entails).
There are several threads with lots of great information and links. If you click on the forums tab, you’ll see the search box. Type in titers and go from there!
Gotcha, thanks, will do! 🙂
Can I ask 2 question Raylene was ur boy eating grass at ur old place on walks or where ever he could get grass or has it just started at ur new place & after eating the grass does he throw up or have any sloppy poos or diarreha?? maybe the fat content is a bit too high at the moment for his tummy.. I’d love to feed my boy raw but he needs a low fat diet so I cook instead & freeze the meals & do kibble at night…Maybe just try for 1-2 weeks lightly boiling the meat to get out some of the fats & see if he still eats grass after cooking the meat… its worth at try just to work out is he feeling off or sick or does he just like eating grass..
When I see my boy eating grass I know he only eats grass when he’s feeling off or has his stomach acid & has to vomit or when he has Colitis he’ll eat a heap of grass then 1-2 hours later he’ll poo & diarrhea everything out of his system & clears himself out..
Naturella, I do titers for my dogs. My holistic vets take a blood sample from them and send it to a lab. The lab then checks for certain things that indicate the dog has immunity for the particular thing. My holistic vet gets the report and lets me know if they’re immune and don’t need the vaccine. So far, I’ve never had to revaccinate my dogs for the regular shots. I do give them the 3 year rabies vaccine, even though I wish I didn’t have to but it’s the law.
I do exactly what Jan does.
Jan and Marie, thank you so much for the info! Come September, I will ask my vet if they do titering and how much it would be.
I did hear somewhere though that for young dogs, they need a second round of their vaccines once they turn one, and then you can titer. Is this true? Bruno was a few months old when he got his shots for the first time last September – DAPP, kennel cough, rabies, I don’t even know what else – but the full set. So does he need another full set this September (he turned one this March or April – I really should decide on a birthday for him – for some reason I am second-guessing the guesstimated April 30th that I told the vet – so he’s around 1 year old, plus-minus a month or two, lol)?
I assign birthdays to all my rescues. The last ones were a male, gray tabby and a female , torti. The male was obviously a few weeks older, but we decides that they were identical twins and gave them the same birthday(such is our sense of humor).
Naturella, I’m not sure about getting another round of shots for a young dog, I have adopted all of mine when they were older. Maybe Marie knows. My holistic vet charges around 85.00 for titers, I believe. I’m too sure, though, because I usually do other things at the same time, like stool check, exam, and buying other products.
My vet always suggests getting boosters at 1 year, after that she suggests boosters every 3 years or titering, though she isn’t real sold on the reliability of titers.
Naturalla: I don’t do this but there are people, some friends of mine, who naturally raise their
puppies and they get no vaccines, except rabies. I say this because people have this
thought that you must listen to your vet regarding vaccines. I’m not telling anyone to
listen to their vet or don’t. I listen to my holistic vet only, not my regular vets. One of them
is actually fine with me doing what I believe is correct; the other one, not so much. The
other one is a VCA owned clinic and they push everything and anything. I use them only
because of their long clinic hours. You didn’t say this but I hate reading of people who’s
told them what they had to do. It’s your (general your) dog, no one can make you give
vaccines, get them altered, etc.
So, anyway, with Boone, he had way more shots than I normally would have done but he’s 8, I wasn’t so in tune to stuff like titers. Ginger came to me at almost five months of age and she
had more vaccines than I would have given her. If I ever get another puppy, I will probably do one round of puppy shots and call it a day, titering after that. Dogs should get their immunity from their moms.
The immunity that they get from their mom wears off.
My dog was orphaned at 1 week of age.
I got her the initial puppy vaccinations and one rabies vaccination AFTER she got over being so sickly (she was almost 2 when she had her rabies vaccination).
I do not vaccinate my dogs and titering is $295, which I don’t do either. I **may** consider rabies only for the reason that IF by some bizarre circumstance my dog was bitten there is no cure for rabies, only euthanasia. I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I “could” have done something to prevent it. But again, it’s really unlikely they would ever be bitten by a rabid animal.
I also don’t treat for fleas/ticks and I do heartworm testing only (May and November), I don’t do heartworm medication.
I also don’t do lepto, kennel cough, etc. I don’t believe in poisoning my dogs.
I have a dog that was vaccinated for rabies twice in a 2 week period in error (no longer go to that vet). I believe he now suffers some ill effects from that.
I don’t buy into the vaccinations.
Jan, Marie, Patty, Carolyn – thanks so much for the advice and input. I am now going to have to consider between the 1-year boosters or go the titering way from this year. I will consult with the vet and the hubs. Also with the price, lol. But yeah, Bruno’s birthday and early history are very unknown, so I don’t even know if he had access to his mom’s milk, or for how long. It is possible that he may have come from a breeder because I once saw a dog approximately his age, looking JUST like him, in a PetLand, where most dogs come from breeders. I don’t know what that may mean for him though regarding being with his mom and immunity. Also, Bruno was found by some house in bushes, with serious fleas and an infected cherry eye. My hypothesis for his early life is that he may have come from a breeder and either been born with a cherry eye or gotten it early on, and thus been let go on his own once he reached a decent age to have some minimal chances of survival, because he would have a low likelihood of being bought with a cherry eye… IDK, this is a total guess, he may have come from anywhere really.
But yeah, I will abide by the law and vaccine for rabies when I need to, and I really do want to titer, I just need to see if I will start this year or next – I don’t want to give him unnecessary vaccinations, just the bare minimum he may need, so we shall see.
But thank you all once again – you all have been so helpful!
Gee dont yous have the Parvo virus in America, here in Australia we seem to have the Parvo virus real bad, alot of puppies die from Parvo, it just spreads..we don’t have Rabies & dont need Rabies shots… I believe dogs & Cats should be vaccinated for the first 2 years of their life, all it cost is $70 to visit the vet & have the C5 vaccination the vet visit is free, thats very cheap, if a dogs gets Parvo its cost around $1500 – $2000 to save their lives…
Patty: that is why you titer and not over vaccinate or in my friends cases, titer to see if vaccination is necessary.
Sue66b, do you treat the area where the puppies will be with anything pre/post birth?
Hi Sue, yes, we have Parvo. Here in lives in the soil, so your puppy shouldn’t even touch the ground until it has its first shots.
Marie, the immunity received from the mother interfers with the immunity received from vaccines. That’s one of the reasons that so many vaccs are given to puppies. Some types of immunity from the mother wear off faster than others and different pups lose that immunity at different rates. Titers tell you that you have some immunity, but they really don’t indicate how much. High numbers don’t necessarily equate to high immunity and low numbers don’t necessarily equate to low immunity. So because maternal antibodies can interfer with early vaccines and titers don’t really indicate the actual level of immunity, vets usually recommend booster at one year and titering after that. Or they just skip titering all together, because they don’t tell you how much immunity the dog has, they just make you feel good.
Hmmm…. So, theBCnut, it is better just to go ahead and vaccinate anyway because titers can’t really show you if your dog is immune?
All I know is that I trust my holistic vet and I do titers now. I feel much better than with my old vet who wanted to vaccinate yearly. So far, my holistic vet has said that everyone has enough immunity with every titer I’ve given.
My opinion is that you should get the initial vaccs, including the one year boosters, unless your dog has issues. Titer once after that, because it does show that your dog had an immune response, so you hopefully will know that you have or do not have a non responder. Then only revaccs as required by law or as infrequently as you are comfortable with.
I do core puppy vaccs and 1 year boosters. I also do lepto because we have had cases of it yearly right in my area and it is one of the serovars that is covered by the vaccs, I titer at 2 years to make sure that my dogs have had an immune response and I give rabies every 3 years as required in my state. I give the other core vaccs every 6 years, because I’m not comfortable from what I have read with never giving them again.
Jastech, My boy or none of my dogs have never had the Parvo virus but when I was helping in dog Rescue alot of the puppies that were surrendered to pounds had or got the Parvo Virus, last year a lady in the park just got a pup, I said to her has he had his shots for Parvo she said no not yet, then about 2 weeks later a man was telling me about the poor little puppy was real sick & on a drip at the vets & I thought to myself if only she listen & had him vaccinated he wouldnt be so sick & the park wouldnt have the parvo virus in the ground, its cost them $1500 to save his life. Once my dog & cat are 5 I dont get their vaccinations no more, I believe that they build up an immune against Parvo & dont need their shots no more, there the C-3 vaccination & they only have to be vaccinated every 3 yrs, Patch just had his C-3 about 2 months ago now I wont bother having him Vaccinated again.. Ive read alot of bad things about over vaccinating..
I see… Thanks, all! I think I have it figured out for myself pretty much – probably will do shots annually until the next time Bruno is due for rabies vaccination, get him that, then after that probably give shots every 6 years – pretty much every other time he need the rabies one, he will get a full set. Of course, I will be seeing how he’s doing through titering and I will also consult with my semi-holistic vet, but this is what hubs and I kind of decided on… 🙂
I know this topic is ancient, but I just want to chime in about vaccines. When I first adopted Lily her vaccine history hard to find, because she has had two different owners and was first vaccinated at a Petco. We opted for rabies, the parvo/distemper/hepatitis/whatever else they throw in, and bortedella. Lily’s grooming facility requires the bortedella vaccine, so we didn’t really have a choice for that. I’m not sure if it is required ever 6 months or every year, I will opt for the least often. Both rabies and parvo/distemper are listed to be every 3 years by the vet. We will definitely go ahead with the rabies vaccine, but we might get a titer for parvo/distemper. We did not get vaccines for lepto, lyme disease, or rattlesnake bite do to low risk factors in our area.
Dog Obsessed, rabies is smart every three years but you are smart to titer her. I hate reading when people say they have to do vaccines because the vet said so. We are the owners, we make the choice. glad you are!
my vet doesn’t feel titer tests are reliable yet either. I have one dog with an autoimmune disease that affects her nails. Our vet does feel that vaccines could trigger the disease so at least in her case, we only do the rabies (3 years and required by law). She had the vaccine a year before diagnosis so we can wait another year.
We vaccinated according to the protocol and now with all the things I hear, I get nervous about vaccines. After a discussion with our vet, we decided to just vaccinate with what could actually kill our dogs…rabies, distemper/parvo. That’s it. At least that’s what I remember we talked about. No more Leptospirosis or lyme disease vaccine especially since we make sure ours are on year round heart worm and flea/tick preventative.
Sarah: you can tell your vet you want her titered anyway but if I was you, I’d find a holistic vet. Thats what I did. My vet doesn’t believe in titering but said he’d do it….for me, I wanted a vet who believed in and understood titering. So, I found a holistic vet and she does this for me when she feels it’s warranted.
At one time you could have your traditional vet run titers, and send the results to Dr. Dodds for consultation. I’m not sure if she offers the service now.
Sadly, I just lost a dog to cancer, but I was taking him to one of the top University Veterinary teaching schools/hospital for chemo treatment. The chief of oncology told me that my boy could never have another vaccination as long as he lived. I asked about rabies, and the doctor told me not to worry, that she would give him a medical excuse to abide by our state law. She told me that she and the staff were vaccinated for rabies, and they run titers on themselves all the time. She said her vaccine has lasted a very long time. My point is…if the University doctors test themselves through titers, I would think they are reliable. Honestly, I think some vets really need to go back to school!!!
I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s interesting that the vets there titer themselves, it is a good thing. It kind of reminds me of these pictures of dogs wearing cones. 😀
- This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Dog_Obsessed. Reason: I forgot to capitalize one letter i and I'm a grammar freak. Which is odd because I stink at grammar
Any vet handling wildlife, including feral cats, and their staff should be vaccinated against rabies. Down here it is done commonly and in many vet schools they are now encouraging the vet students to go ahead and get vaccinated. After getting vaccinated, every few years, you get titered instead of getting boosters for your vaccines. The human rabies vaccine has a high incidence of allergic vaccine reactions. The vet I saw the other day was due to be titered. She was vaccinated 10 years ago and her last titer was about 5 years ago. It’s been 20 years since I was vaccinated. She seemed to think that my immunity would probably still be pretty decent. Back when I was first vaccinated, they thought that full immunity would only last about 3 years and if you had a rabies exposure, if your titer wasn’t high enough, you would need a decreased number of shots to bring your titer back up.
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