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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this should be here or in health, but-
I'm very interested in continuing school to become a vet. But I want to encourage people to feed raw and follow more holistic practices. Has anyone here been through vet school or know anybody who has that also feeds raw?
What was it like?
Did you receive any problems surrounding raw diets?
How did you communicate with peers and teachers on the subject?
What about textbooks and tests? Where they confusing on "nutrition" subjects?
Do you have clients that approve/disapprove of it?
Here in Stockton there are only vets who practice conventional medicine so I haven't retrieved much info or experience on it.
Also I just started at my local community college, and plan to transfer to davis within 2-4 years.
 

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I think one of the major issues you may face is that there is very little scientific research done on raw feeding. There will most likely be very little information about it in classes or in textbooks.

From the few pro-raw vets I know of they had to continue their own education after vet school to educate themselves more in depth about animal nutrition.

Best of luck in your schooling, getting a degree is a lot of work but it's completely worth it.
 

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I would say many veterinarians are neutral to negative about raw food diets, but just like pet owners there are vets with opinions all over the spectrum. Some are merely flexible and consider it an ok option, while others (relatively few, I think) actively promote it. It is likely that you will not really be able to promote or encourage it much while you are actually in school unless you happen to attend a school with a nutritionist or other clinicians who are flexible about raw (and there are some out there).

However, even at this stage you should be able to network with vets who have the same philosophy as you. Many veterinarians will allow pre-vet and vet students to shadow, volunteer, or even work at their clinics. I would do some internet searches for holistic vets in your area or even surrounding areas, because the networking you start now can help you get the experience to get into vet school in the first place as well as employment later.

I can't really speak to nutrition education these days. I'm too old for my experience to be relevant anymore. :p I don't actively promote raw the majority of the time, but occasionally I suggest it for food trials/suspected allergies and I've never had a client react really negatively to it. The worst I've probably heard is "yea that's not really for me."
 

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Ive seen 3 vets thus far and they have all told me to stay away from raw foods. They talk about the bacteria associated with raw foods but none of them talk about the enzymes in dog's that allow them to eat raw or they just say "I guess, but I wouldn't recommend it"
 

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I laugh when vets (or anyone) talk about the bacteria. First, if I'm trusted handling meat for myself and family, why can't I be trusted to use the same safe practices when feeding my pets? Second, hundreds of people have been made sick by handling processed kibbles. Processed food has salmonella and e coli too. People are much more aware of the risk when handling raw meat than when scooping kibble- and it's the same risk.

Though really, it's nothing to laugh at, because can and do get sick from processed foods and raw meat. There is not a single documented case of someone getting sick from feeding their pets raw. Don't be the first.

My hesitation with recommending raw to people is that I don't know if I'd trust the average person to actually feed a balanced diet. Some people do raw by feeding nothing but ground beef, or nothing but tripe and fish, or who knows what other scary unbalanced diets. People need to do their research.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I get people at work who think i'm crazy for feeding raw meat to a dog and then there are others who are completely fascinated by the idea.
I did not plan to do much while i'm in school, but for when i'm done or even interning I wanted start informing whoever I could, but at the same time I don't want to be ridiculed.
I'm going to start networking on yahoo maybe..
It is pretty weird that they say raw meat is too unsafe to handle for your pet but not for you to eat yourself; let alone all the bacteria based recalls kibble diets receive each year.
I know its a little far fetched, but if I ever get far enough and found some vets and nutritionists to back me, I would conduct my own raw diet studies.
 

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As for a list of pro raw vets in your area, check raw feeding yahoo groups for your area. I know the Colorado one has a list (though I'm not sure how current it is) of pro raw vets and raw tolerant vets.
 

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I know its a little far fetched, but if I ever get far enough and found some vets and nutritionists to back me, I would conduct my own raw diet studies.
The problem with this will likely be funding. There really is no interested party with enough money to fund a properly designed, prospective study who would benefit from results that were favorable to raw food. You might look into the legalities of trying to get funded privately through raw feeding groups/pet owners.

And for the love of god, if you do it consult with an epidemiologist and/or biostatistician to make sure your methodology is as close to air tight as you can get it, otherwise your results at best won't be valid and at worst will be nitpicked to death.
 

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Sass, I wonder if there is any liability issue for vets who might stand by raw? I imagine if a vet recommended 'their' food and something goes wrong, the vet can always let the food company handle it and the big players (Purina, etc) have the power to handle claims like that... But if a vet recommended raw and god forbid something went wrong, I can see the vet being the one who has to take all the blame?
 

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I know my vet is Pro-raw, they get all these royal canin puppy packs and they have anti raw statments in them, so my vet clinic has stickers that they cover the statments with that state that there are "many opinions on raw, talk to our vets about it" lol they also have raw food company logo's on their doors, their website has entire pages devoted to raw feeding guidlines( a page for cats and a page for dogs) and theire feeding reccomendations are in order of:1. fresh home made raw, 2. pre made raw, 3. high quality canned, 4. high quality dry such as Orijen. they sell Raw and Orijen at the clinic :p
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would think so. Even if you keep them well informed.They might even become uneasy about dogs that detox while changing to raw.
It would certainly take some backup plans and close friends to keep your career and yourself stable.
 

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Sass, I wonder if there is any liability issue for vets who might stand by raw? I imagine if a vet recommended 'their' food and something goes wrong, the vet can always let the food company handle it and the big players (Purina, etc) have the power to handle claims like that... But if a vet recommended raw and god forbid something went wrong, I can see the vet being the one who has to take all the blame?
That's exactly what I'm thinking. Imagine a vet who recommends raw, and the dog has a freak accident and chokes on a bone. It's the vets fault then. Even if vets do believe in raw I don't think they would actively promote it because of this. Too much liability is involved.
 

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Sass, I wonder if there is any liability issue for vets who might stand by raw? I imagine if a vet recommended 'their' food and something goes wrong, the vet can always let the food company handle it and the big players (Purina, etc) have the power to handle claims like that... But if a vet recommended raw and god forbid something went wrong, I can see the vet being the one who has to take all the blame?
Well it all depends on what kind of discussion accompanied the recommendation. As long as someone was informed of the risks involved, in theory they wouldn't be liable. We all know stuff like that can get tricksy, but vets make recommendations about tons of things every day that involve risks. On the occasions I have outright recommended it, there is a whole discussion that takes place about it... communication is really the key there.
 

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I don't know how liable a medical professional is for their recommendations. If your doctor tells you to get more exercise and eat healthy, can you sue if you break a leg or choke on an apple? I think some things fall under everyday risks of everyday living. But I don't know about legalities. I'm sure that would vary by location.
 
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