Friday, December 11, 2009

Taking RMB Dogs to the Vet

My 10 Labrador retrievers seldom see a veterinarian.  They get annual leptospirosis vaccine, because Hawaii has epidemic lepto, and there's no sense in having them get sick and spread lepto to me and my friends.   Other than an annual inoculation, the dogs hardly ever need veterinary attention, because their diet is entirely raw-meaty-bones.

On Wednesday, five of my kids and a friend's Lab (a former puppy of mine) made the 200-mile round trip from Kona to Hilo to see Dr. Brundage.  Dr. Brundage retired to Hawaii Island, after spending her career in Honolulu as a reproduction specialist.  I suspected she actually knew how to do proper hip and elbow x-rays for certification by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the major US registry for dogs' joints.  Dr. Brundage successfully inseminated Emily and Ella last spring, so I know she knows how to do AI.  When I asked her about OFA x-rays, she said she'd done a few, by which she meant a lot.  Unfortunately, the vets on the Kona side of the island are neither skilled nor interested in AI or OFA certification.  I have had expensive, bad experiences with their incompetence in both.

So, we took two vehicles to Hilo, to keep two puppies, Cody, 11 months, and Abigail, 7 months, separated from the pack of four -- Zoe, Frances, James, and Koa -- all of whom are two years old.  Zoe especially does not appreciate new dogs moving into her pack.  She will accept them after a few growls and scoldings, but we didn't need that aggravation on a long trip.  Besides, having four Labs in an SUV with two people is quite enough.  My friend Joslyn drove my truck with the puppies.

We left at 7 AM and arrived at Dr. Brundage's Aloha Veterinary Center at 9:30 AM.  Thanks to advanced planning, with competed forms on my side and a well-oiled veterinary service on the other, all the dogs were examined, sedated, x-rayed, and mostly awake by 5 PM.  During the long day in Hilo (not a major tourist center), we went to the zoo, and found it much nicer than we imagined.  The animals have huge outdoor enclosures, beautifully landscaped, and the grounds offer many shady benches and picnic spots.  Signs said the carnivorous animals, such as the white tiger, are fed raw-meaty-bones!  The tiger gets three live chickens a day.  I don't know why they don't feed him goats and pigs, which are plentiful.  I will ask.

When we returned around 5 PM to talk with Dr. Brundage, she said all the dogs are in great condition, ideal weights for their frames, and their joints look good.  Except for Frances, who has some arthritis in her right hip.  Frances was imported from Australia at 8-weeks of age.  No one can tell that early how dogs' hips and elbows will develop.  Having sound parents is a help but still probabalistic.  I am personally and financially saddened by Frances' hip problem.  I will have to spay her and find her a pet home.

I asked Dr. Brundage about the dogs' shiny white teeth.  She chuckled and said their teeth and gums look great.  She laughed because, when I left Ella to be bred last spring, I took 5-days worth of frozen, packaged rmb for her.  Dr. Brundage accepted this deviation from their kennel practice, and she noted then how good Ella's mouth looked at age 7 years.  Seeing 6 more rmb-fed Labs with perfect teeth and healthy gums did not surprise her, I suppose, but I am quite sure she will not recommend a rmb diet to other clients.

It's odd that Dr. Brundage can accept my feeding rmb, examine my healthy dogs, and still refuse to see how other dogs will benefit.  Actually, I have heard vets' reasoning on why I can feed rmb and no one else can be trusted with a rmb diet.  They make me an exception: "you know what you're doing; other owners do not."  When I try to explain how easy feeding a diet of whole prey or rmb is, their eyes glaze over, and they give the canned lecture on "balanced and complete" food in bags and cans.

When I imported a Maine coon kitten from Australia last January, I took her for a routine exam to Dr. Brundage, who was at the time in Kona.  Her diet lecture astonished me.  She, who has bred Russian Blue cats for decades, told me that cats are "obligate carnivores" that require a carefully balanced diet of some 43 nutrients.  I must feed her a balanced and complete, commercial food.  I wrote to Tom Lonsdale at the time to express my surprise that her sentence, which began with "obligate carnivore", did not mention meat in the rest of the sentence.  Needless to say, Daisy enjoys her rmb.

Sometimes, I dream of convening a meeting of veterinarians to expose them to the rmb diet.  It would be fun to take along a few dogs to demonstrate how they wolf-down rmb -- chewing meaty hunks, cracking bones, gnawing, and consuming a meal in a most efficient manner.  I don't suppose the local vets would come to a meeting I organized, because they think of me as a lost cause.  Oh well, I have more and more puppies being fed rmb and a dozen loyal members of Kona Raw, who have switched their dogs from kibble to rmb and rave about the results.  Word gets around....


  1. WOW, I love the way you tell it like it is re: the incompetence and expense of the vets.
    They are killing our furbabies and our bank accounts

  2. How RIDICULOUS that you have a vet administer Leptospirosis vaccines to your companions. Lepto vaccines DO NOT WORK. LEPTO VACCINES will certainly NOT PROTECT YOU especially as the LEPTO vaccines do not protect your dogs from infection. The renal colonization by the Leptospira is still possible, acutally more probable. The only difference is that now your dogs will be SUBCLINICAL without any signs to alert you to their infection and thereby making it EASIER to transmit the infection to you! Our leading and premier veterinary vaccine researcher, Dr. Ron Schultz does not recommend this vaccine and does not and will not use the vaccines in his own dogs despite living in a Leptospirosis endemic area himself.....AND HE IS THE EXPERT! He also explains the Lepto vaccines are BAD, that is why they are not core! The Lepto vaccines are among the most adverse event associated. Dr. Ron Schultz has seen dogs die within 48 hours of receiving the Lepto vaccines .....that is right, the vaccine itself causes the same pathology of the infection because this is an IMMUNE MEDIATED EVENT that kills the animals and humans from Lepto. Interesting that the humans do not have a Lepto vaccine, they already know, IT DOESN'T work,,,,,they quote the failure of the dog vaccine, they list the pathology that the dog vaccine induces. I have seen tumors, cancer in dogs and puppies arise within 2 weeks of receiving Lepto vaccines, Dr. Schultz is sure to convey that the Lepto vaccine while not even able to confer antibody against Lepto for 3 months in most cases (and please don't say you don't understand that antibody production is the same as immunity or that vaccination is the same as immunization)but that injected victims of the Lepto vaccine will and can be itchy with dermatitis for 4 years!!!!!!!!! I have seen older dogs die within 2 weeks of receiving Lepto mumbo jumbo whombo combo vaccines, die of generalized mast cell tumors ffor the dysregulated immune system response to the immune ASSAULT of a BAD VACCINE. Do your research, even the vets in Bali give much better advice about Lepto to dog owners......IT DOES'T WORK and it will increase the liklihoood the dog will give YOU THE LEPTO!
    Dr. Jordan