Part Two of Three: After recovery from surgery, I put Soc on a homemade diet of chicken and rice. He immediately improved. I had previously used my old standby, cottage cheese and rice, without success because it turned out that he was lactose intolerant. At least now I knew how to feed our poor Socrates.
I was first introduced to homemade diets in my sophomore year of veterinary school when my gastroenterology professor, Dr. Donald Strombeck, suggested that a 50:50 mixture of cottage cheese and rice would eliminate vomiting and diarrhea for many causes of stomach and intestinal problems. To this day the refrigerator in the intensive care unit at the teaching hospital of the UC Davis veterinary school always has a supply of fresh cottage cheese and cooked white rice. After graduation I used his recipe to aid the treatment of all of my gastrointestinal cases. My employers weren’t thrilled as it did not generate income from expensive veterinary diets. My success rate with my cases eventually won them over and they used my formula for some of their tougher cases.
The problem with this system of homemade is that it was not nutritionally complete and could only be used for short periods of time. As my career progressed so did my homemade diets. I used them exclusively for the diagnosis and short term treatment of many intestinal and allergic diseases.
Unfortunately, they were still not nutritionally complete and little information was available about supplementing these types of diets so they could be used longer term. Now faced with Soc needing a homemade diet, I had no choice but to develop a system of supplementation that would work. Homemade diets require extra calcium, phosphorus, vitamins and minerals. Food alone cannot provide necessary quantities within normal calorie requirements.
Although I wanted a homemade solution for Socrates, I had no intention of starting a business. Homemade recipe books had become quite popular by this time, many authored by veterinarians that were board certified in nutrition, and had various suggestions of using human bone meal (a calcium and phosphorus source) supplement and vitamin and mineral combinations. I thought I would follow suit with my recipes and suggest supplements that could be purchased at health food stores or specialty market.
Dr. Ken Tudor,
THE DOG DIETITIAN