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Thursday, 6 February 2014

Water Spinach For Your Pets


A month ago, one of Malaysia's favourite vegetables took the centre stage on a grand scale. It's awkward to think that something so trivial like kangkung (also spelled as kangkong) can become such a huge social phenomenon. What a milestone for a leafy plant!! Like seriously? So famous and all, while I'm on the other hand just sitting over here picking up my dogs' poop every morning *low self-esteem creeping in*. Ok done with my emo segment lol. We all know where and how this kangkung thingy started. If you missed the whole issue, then I suspect you have that magical wardrobe which takes you to Narnia... Lucky you! Come back home soon...

Well, so many jokes, memes and photos circulated on the net after the whole shenanigans. So much so, Facebook and Twitter had never been greener. And on my part to make some money out of this entire outcry, I'm seriously considering to film this movie above...I'm sure it'll be a hit...Please support when it's out kay. :DD

All right, forget the comedy about the entire kangkung issue. What does it mean to us pet lovers? Since we know that kangkung is a food source for rabbits, turtles and tortoises, it is also crucial that we learn and understand about the significance behind the vegetable. Having said that, there's one complicated issue that surrounds kangkung, when it comes to health. Contrary to popular belief, kangkung or water spinach is not exactly good for tortoises and turtles. Apparently, the oxalic acid in kangkung reacts as 'anti-nutrients' and inhibits calcium intake. I asked few exotic pet owners, and they agreed. There were also those who insist they had given kangkung to their own pets and said, "My tortoise ok only. Didn't die also". I'm still trying to ascertain this fact from studies or reports, but alas, so far I couldn't find any. Honestly I have no expertise in the subject of this particular nutrition, and as of now, it still remains vague.

The same issue also surrounds rabbits. It is believed that bunnies should not be fed with kangkung because it has 'getah'. There are many who claim it causes stomachache and diarrhea. I asked few vets regarding this, some say yes, some say no. None of them have a concrete stance on the issue. There's also another opinion that rabbits in the wild can eat kangkung, but not the domesticated ones. So I went home and did some research, and I managed to find a study that debunks this notion. Here's the link:

This thorough study indicates that water spinach is a valuable feed resource for rabbits. It is said to provide adequate protein, energy and other essential  nutrients for growth. 

This is rather contradicting to the belief I've been hearing about the veggie. So what do you do now? I would usually believe detailed study and research evidence first hand. But, but... if you have anecdotal evidence, or observational proof that your rabbit gets sick or has diarrhea every time it consumes kangkung, then just don't feed at all lah. Yes, as simple as that.

If you're ambiguous about something you feed your pets, the easiest thing to do is, don't take the risks. I would like to personally invite those who have any valid information with regards to tortoise and rabbit nutrition, to share it with me and the readers here. Email me or drop your comments below. When I say valid information, please don't say:

"Aiya I feed my bunnies/tortoise kangkung, until now didn't die also". That's not even the slightest bit valid, nor it has any educational value in it. Bear in mind that even for dog food, there are so many controversial ingredients that can cause illnesses in the long term. It doesn't mean they're good just because dogs don't die immediately after eating them. A lot of them have long-term health issues. So let's try to churn out some genuine information regarding kangkung or kangkong or water spinach.. Be it from experience or studies. We are all here to learn eh?

Coz once you have no doubts, you and your pets can finally…


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