Message Number: YG5156 | New FHL Archives Search
From: katharine
Date: 2001-07-04 20:24:00 UTC
Subject: Re: choking on chicken bones is not a wives tale

Katherine wrote:
<And it is hard to prepare a balanced natural diet
animals. Most people have trouble doing it for
themselves. :) Seriously, though, I've seen dogs
natural diets that break bones just running
their yards.<

I totally agree with all that you said. I do
wildlife rehab and actually dealt with an opossum
who developed Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) last
year. MBD is similar to rickets, causing multiple
bone fractures with very little provocation. I
had him from a tiny baby and was feeding him the
best possible "in captivity" diet, I thought. I
now follow the diet developed over 20 years by a
California veterinarian who specializes in
opossums. But, I digress. One day, he went down
in the rear and MBD was diagnosed through x-rays,
symptoms, and consultation with the veterinarian
in California. No one else in his litter
developed the disease. After several months of
weekly consultations with this veterinarian by
phone, following every single instruction she gave
me on diet and physical therapy, having my vet run
tests she asked for and sending the results to
her, he was finally released at 7 1/2 months of
age. How did this happen? Even though I thought
he was being fed the proper diet, it appears that
he was picking and choosing his favorite parts. I
was making their food bowl "pretty", neatly
putting their different foods in little piles. I
now mix everything together with yogurt, a lesson
I had to learn at Caleb's expense (though I must
admit that he was terribly spoiled).

Part of the opossums diet, once they are over
200g, is cooked chicken wings or necks, bone
included. Since I've never figured out how to
chop up chicken without it flying all over the
kitchen, I go sit in the driveway to do it. I
hack it to death because I worry about the bones.
But, they do need all of it. Nothing my opossums
are fed is raw for fear of diseases such as
salmonella, other than mice and crickets prior to
release but they (mice) are raised disease-free.

Interestingly enough, it has been determined that
wild animals do not develop MBD in the wild. They
know what to eat. We can't possibly duplicate

I think I got a little off-topic but take it for
what it's worth. My point (and Katherine's also,
I believe) is to make sure you know what you're
doing before you start feeding a natural diet.
You could cause irreparable damage.

Katharine (the one with the "a" in the middle)