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GentleLake

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  1. 1) It doesn't matter what the cause is. What matters is figuring out how to address it. 2) Classic desensitization and counter/conditioning.
  2. So sorry you and he are going through this, @Fyfer. I'm not a vet and haven't had to deal with this sort of thing post-surgery before, but have you tried fasting him for a day to give his gut a chance to rest and recover? Maybe give him some unsalted broth or bone broth to get him to take liquids so he doesn't dehydrate. It does help sometimes. My own acupuncturist/MOM (who wanted to do AP on dogs but can't b/c he isn't a vet) suggests making basic congee (aka twice boiled rice or jook) with white rice and subbing bone broth or unsalted chicken broth for the water. IIRC he told me to boil the rice in like 2ce the amount (this is the part I'm not quite sure of) of water (or broth) you'd usually use, drain it then cook it again in either water or broth until it breaks down into a thin gruel. This article suggests a treating diarrhea in dogs with rice water so it seems to me you could start with the water you've drained off the first cook while you're waiting for the congee to finish. If you're using a probiotic, be sure it's dog specific and also contains FOS (i.e. prebiotic) to feed the probiotics. If the bloody diarrhea does restart I'd be on the phone to the vet the instant it happened. Good luck.
  3. The rule of thumb I've most often heard is to avoid the weight bearing bones of large ungulates. Essentially this mean cattle, moose, elk, bison, etc. Those bones are incredibly dense, and while many dogs seem to get away with chewing them without problems, the risk is too great for breaking teeth. A lot of it has to do with how dedicated a chewer an individual dog is. I've had dogs who'd only lick out the marrow and pull the little remaining meat and connective tissue off and really not put teeth to the bone. I've had others who'd have chewed and chewed till they surely would have broken a tooth, so I just don't offer them anymore. I will occasionally get some and remove the nutritious marrow to feed separately before using the bones to make bone broth. I'm sure there can be individual differences in tooth strength depending on a dog's genetics or nutritional history. I had one dog who broke 2 teeth on frozen chicken bones. Needless to say I thaw everything now. Beef knuckle bones, however, are the softer joints and are completely edible. Most when cut will have a small portion of the long bone it's attached to remaining at the end. I always made sure to take that part away when my dogs had consumed the edible portion and only the part part remained. Never had a broken tooth following that practice, though others' experience may be different.
  4. I actually haven't done a cost comparison. However, in anticipation of adopting a dog that I was told had sever digestive issues and could only eat certain types of dry food* I went shopping at a local chain pet store. I was flabbergasted by the cost of, as you call them, mid- to high end kibbles. I know with certainty that I don't spend that kind of money feeding my dogs! I do, however, buy much of my meat from wholesalers, travel a bit of a distance sometimes (mostly time the pickups with other trips planned nearby), watch sales and close-dated markdowns at supermarkets and occasionally score freezer burned meat that people will be throwing away. I also have 3 freezers for 3 dogs -- one ~7 cf, one ~5 cf, and one ~3 cf. It may be more efficient to have one or 2 larger ones but this allows me to have the medium sized one in the house and the 2 others in the garage and sometimes when things are low to unplug the smallest one and only use it when I need it. I also believe there's an additional savings in not having to take my dogs to the vet all the time. We still go for annual wellness exams and routine testing, but rarely have to go for anything in between. My 8 y.o.'s been testing positive for Lyme disease for 4-5 years but has never had a symptom; she cleared the infection on her own. Since feeding raw I've never had to have any of my dogs put under anesthesia for a dental cleaning, and one dog's teeth were so bad when I adopted her that the vet wanted to do it then and there. A year later she was astounded by the difference and at first thought I may have had the dog's teeth cleaned by someone else. 18 years later she still remembers this and regularly tells vet students shadowing her practice about it and that they shouldn't believe everything they're taught about dog food in vet school (her words, not mine). That dog lived to be 17 years and 10 months old. My current older purebred border collie is now between 14 & 16 1/2 y.o. according to original vet estimates and he's at least 1 1/2 years older than any previous PB I've had. Small sample, I know, and I'm sure others have had longer living dogs, so not saying this is universal (I also had a raw fed dog who died at 3, but vet. misdiagnosis and malpractice played a part in it). And with what's been recently published about glyphosate levels in companion animals (see article posted in Health & Genetics forum today), I believe it's another confirmation that I'm making the right choice. *(Said dog has been with me for about 6 weeks now and has been completely transitioned to raw and is having no digestive issues whatsoever.)
  5. Very interesting to read, especially relative levels depending on what pets are fed. Another reason not to fee grain free. (And maybe a reason for anyone on the fence about feeding raw to make up their minds.) https://www.hemopet.org/glyphosate-your-companion-pets/
  6. So, you have what you admit is an anxious dog who by this example sometimes backslides into anxious acting out . . . but you don't want to entertain the possibility that a supplement to calm his general anxiety could be helpful? OK. Your dog, your choice. I respect that. What I'm having trouble with is the blinders you're wearing. You have no way of knowing what nervousness Kevin may be constantly fighting silently. I have an anxious dog too. Sometimes it interferes with her daily life and other times it doesn't. It's not always predictable to me when those times are or what the triggers are. She's on CBD oil regularly and sometimes a supplemental calming treat in situations where I know she might have (or previously has had) an issue. She's much more comfortable in her own skin and has fewer meltdowns because of this. IOW life is better for her in the whole. Just sayin' . . .
  7. Actually a backsliding's a pretty common experience. Just had an entire day of it with a recently adopted dog. Training issues aside, there's definitely something triggering anxiety at these crossings for Kevin. I'd be inclined consider something to help reduce the anxiety, like some sort of calming agent. There are many treats made with various combinations of calming herbs. I've used several with success (https://smile.amazon.com/Pet-Naturals-Vermont-Behavior-Bite-Sized/dp/B07FRCY4MW/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=pet+naturals+of+vermont+calming&qid=1578927254&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-9 You can safely double the dose), also melatonin (dose can also be doubled) and CBD oil. Not all work with all dogs so you might have to try several of them before hitting on the right one that helps.
  8. Without knowing what you consider to be "everyday chewing" that's impossible to answer. From your other options I doubt your definition and mine will be the same. I do count on my dogs' everyday chewing to be enough, but my dogs are raw fed. So because they get virtually no carbs, which is what gunks up teeth, and also get edible bones more days than not, their teeth are clean. My 14 y.o. who's been fed raw since I got him at ~1 1/2 had never had his teeth cleaned and vets comment about how great they are and how they don't need to be cleaned. Up until I started feeding raw 20 years ago, my dogs were fed kibble but got fresh beef knuckle bones every week or 2. That kept their teeth pretty clean. But if you feed high carb kibble (e.g. any commercial kibble) and your dog's chewing amounts to some carb laden biscuits, synthetic nylon toys and/or rawhides, then they're going to build up plaque and tartar and you're going to have to do something about it. I have no experience with Greenies or the stuff you put in water to help prevent buildup. I have known some ppl who have and they still have had to have their dogs' teeth scaled from time to time.
  9. Here's another bright spot: https://www.thatsfarming.com/news/dog-saves-flock-from-wildfires
  10. Amid all the horror it's nice to have a bit of happy news. The poster, Andrew Frost, writes: My neighbours Kevin and family have a resident Koala that comes down for a drink when it is really hot. Down yesterday and today. Riley Stone and Olivia Stone have a dog, Rusty, who knows the Koala pretty well and they are mates (buddies for you in the US) - here they are hanging out filmed by Danielle Stone . The family has some great videos of this lovely animal. (Yes the country is on fire, climate change is real and many politicians are in denial but nice to post something smiley). We can pray for more enlightened leadership in the future! PS Been a tad of interest in this post (180K views so far) so I have updated it to get the attribution correct.
  11. Here's an easy meatball recipe you can make yourself, with no onions or garlic. You could sub any kind of ground meat. And you could make in larger quantities and freeze.
  12. ^^ This. I'm guessing from the picture that the GR might be the predominant breed and he just needs some time to mature. But every dog's an individual and you have to work with the dog you have and not expect them to adhere to expectations. Enjoy him for who he is.
  13. Go ahead and boil it for the dog if it's easier for you. Chances are the dog won't care. Baking would be another option. Also, not necessary to buy more expensive cuts of meat. The cheapest beef is probably going to taste as good to the dog as the more expensive ones and they don't care a bit about texture and mouth feel, etc. Besides, you're going to be cutting it up into tiny pieces anyway. Pork and turkey might be options. D'Elle's suggestion of homemade treats is great and offers lots of possibilities for variation and cost effectiveness. Adding some grated flavorful cheese (like parmesan or romano) or even making it your base ingredient often has huge appeal to dogs. Avoid overdoing liver because of potential vitamin A toxicity, but liver is usually a favorite. (I've seen comments about the pyramid mat treats that depending on they kind of flour used they can crumble or edges crumble off. Another option is this type: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z4PNBM6/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Available in different sizes.) Anything smelly is usually a hit. Canned tuna, salmon or mackerel are good bases for homemade treats. Another big hit I've seen trainers use is to stop at a McDonalds or other fast food joint and get chicken nuggets. The dogs all loved them! Frozen one might work well too (and be cheaper).
  14. It sounds to me like you're going way too fast. I'd repeat things at a distance until he's not the least bit nervous before moving on to a very tiny step forward. Patience is your friend if you want this to work. Otherwise you'll end up taking 2 or 3 or 4 steps backwards instead of things getting better at all. The end result could well be that he stops trusting you.
  15. The groomer I spoke to wasn't talking about dogs' responses to having things done, just that he felt border collies tended to be more nervous, and consistently nervous, than many other kinds of dogs about having their feet in particular handled. Although my own experience is very limited, especially in regard to other breeds/types, FWIW it does fit with what I've observed. But, again in my own experience, the collies don't tend to react as aggressively to what makes them nervous. Plenty of exceptions to that though, I suspect, but it's 2 different issues.
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