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Animal Doctor Articles Weekly on July 15, 2013

Question

Here's another diet change success story for you: My 12-year-old cat, Bonzai, became very ill in 2007. He stopped eating, was very lethargic, threw up and had other intestinal issues.

After an ultrasound and colonoscopy, Bonzai was diagnosed with irritable bowel disease (IBD). He was given prednisone to control the inflammation and put on one of Science Diet's limited ingredient foods. He did well for a time, but then had two recurrences of IBD within a year.

We were concerned about the long-term effects of taking prednisone, so we explored other alternatives. We started making our own raw food by grinding together raw chicken, eggs, fish oil and salt. Bonzai has not had a recurrence of the IBD since we started him on this diet in 2010. He is more active and playful than he has been since he was a kitten.

As you say: Cats are carnivores, and even limited ingredient diets still have grain products and other fillers in them.

M.A.G., Bristow, Va Jul 15, 2013

Answer

Your letter is very much appreciated, and I hope other veterinarians will read it. I know that many readers clip my columns and pass them on to their own animal doctors. I hope that people with cats will take note of your insights and read the ingredient labels on the food they are feeding their animals. So many cats, even those with no evident illness, have a new zest for life when they are taken off highly processed, high grain and soy diets.

I find it absurd that so many expensive special prescription diets contain various fillers and even ingredients that may cause allergies and digestive problems. For details, check out my book, "Not Fit For A Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Cat & Dog Food" and visit feline-nutrition.org.

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