Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two week mark

Today marks a mere 2 weeks until we move in! Now our thoughts are turning to what we actually need to survive on move-in day. It's the middle of the week, and I have class in the morning- both of which seriously limit what we're capable of doing that day. Not to mention that Chris has his show opening at the Northfield Arts Guild on the 3rd, and I have my (very scary cumulative) Pharmacology final the day before the move. So, the things we actually get set up in the apartment on move-in day with be mainly the basics- some clothes, a bed, a shower curtain, and possibly some food (although not necessarily, we live right across from some good restaurants!). It will be interesting to see how the logistics end up working out, but I think right now we're so excited for the 1st to get here that logistics aren't super important.

Anyway, not much else to report. Natural Balance has joined the recall, taking their venison and brown rice dog and cats foods, and their venison and green pea dry cat food off the market after complaints of vomited and kidney failure. This is frightening, as none of the Natural Balance foods recalled contain wheat. Is this connected to the previous melamine scare? Who knows. Natural Balance is a company I definitely trusted, as their reps used to come into Petco and take the Natural Balance rolls off the shelf, cut them up, and eat them on crackers while talking to customers about the benefits of the food. I feed Winnie the rolls, grated onto her kibble. I don't think I'll be switching her off, as only the dry venison products are affected, but geez, all this recall stuff is plain scary.

Vets are bracing for the long-term damage that the recalls will cause in terms of nutrient deficiencies due to owners feeding inappropriate home-cooked diets (i.e. tuna for cats, boiled chicken and rice for dogs). I have nothing against home-prepared diets (although I do have a little beef with BARF), but please please do your homework before beginning! There's a great website called BalanceIt where owners can get personalized recipes for their pets, complete with what micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) your pet needs to stay healthy. Making a homemade diet is not necessarily hard, but it is easy to do it wrong, to the possible detriment of your pet. Also keep in mind that anyone can write and publish a book containing homemade diet recipes for dogs and cats... this doesn't mean the diets are healthy, and doesn't mean they aren't deficient in or contain too much of some nutrient. After all, "All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous." Some pet owners are switching to poorly-planned homemade diets with the thought that "anything is better than feeding a food potentially contaminated with melamine", but the truth is that a homemade diet can be just as dangerous if planned poorly.

On a sad note, one of our classmates dropped out of the program last week. We knew she was having some personal problems, and has missed some tests, but didn't know it was that severe. It stinks that she survived through the hardest part of the semester only to drop when things lightened up a little. She's welcome to come back and join next year's class. It makes me especially sad because her study carrel was near mine, and she was one of my first friends at the CVM. She will be missed.

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