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When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

By Dr. Becker

At a 2011 American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN) symposium, three researchers affiliated with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine presented the case of a kitten with metabolic bone disease and central retinal degeneration.

This case is an excellent illustration of what can happen when a dog or cat is fed an unbalanced raw diet.

I talk often here at Mercola Healthy Pets about the importance not only of species-appropriate nutrition, but of balanced nutrition.

In fact, an unbalanced raw diet of high quality fresh meat is in my professional opinion a greater risk to your dog or cat than cheap processed pet food.

Newly Adopted Kitten Develops Lameness and Eye Problems

A 5-month old male Sphinx kitten, adopted from a breeder 11 days earlier, was taken to the vet by his new owner because he suddenly had no use of his rear legs.

X-rays showed the kitty had generalized osteopenia.

Osteopenia is a condition that often precedes osteoporosis.

It means the bones of the body have lower than normal mineral density – they aren't as thick or strong as they should be.

When formation of new bone isn't sufficient to make up for normal bone loss, osteopenia is the result.

The x-rays also showed a widening of the growth plate of the femur in the right hind leg, and a tibiofibular fracture of the left hind leg.

As if all that wasn't disturbing enough, the poor little guy also had lesions in the left eye commonly seen in cases of a gradually degenerating retina caused by taurine deficiency.

The kitten was diagnosed with metabolic bone disease, central retinal degeneration, and past or current taurine deficiency.

The left rear leg was splinted and fortunately, the kitty fully recovered after a couple of months of cage rest and a balanced diet...

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