Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obsessing with Symptoms

Many of my dear clients work from home and enjoy the special benefit of hanging out with the pets all day and into the night. Some are very observant and detect aberrations of behavior due to the fact that they are apparently eagerly distracted by the beauty and wonder of their babies.

Unfortunately, certain negative behaviors and occasional symptoms of disease occur and the owner feels they must react to "right a wrong". Experience in the medical arts universally demonstrates that 90 percent of what ails us goes away on its own. I emphasize the word "occasional" to get the point accross to one of my dear clients., the guardian of Martha and Monte (not their real names). She was concerned about Martha's weight and Monte's occasional blood in the stool.


The whole thing with cat diets is you have to look at the individual body type: ectomrph: thin, mesomorph: medium, endomorph: large.

Let's say for the endomorph Martha. I gave her a body score of 6 out of 9. 1 being emaciated, 9 being grossly obese. She needs to watch her caloric intake. True. But she will never be thin or even a medium sized cat unless you starve her or some disease takes over. R/d is low calorie designed for weight loss but is not a "forever "diet. W/d is good as any high-fiber, low calorie food. This can be given forever.

For Monte, I gave him a body score of 5/9. But he is an active male with a history of gastrointestinal disorder. I want to tell you that occasional blood in the stool DOES NOT worry me. Don't we all? Persistent blood in the stool accompanied with weight loss, lethargy DOES concern me. It is reasonable to be strict with diet and use easily digested foods. I/d is a good choice to try. If the blood re-occurs, well there you have it. He has occasional blood in his stool and there's no reason to try and fix it. He's maintains weight, has a happy existence. We could always do a $2000 procedure and look up his colon!

Please do not compare other people's pets with your pet's situation. They can never be the same.

Please do not read information on the internet and try to make it fit your pet's situation.

BE vigilant in a change in behavior or attitude that persists for more than 3 days.

Much love,
Dr Steve

Moral of the story:

Don't Micromanage... Macromanage

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