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Pat Warne

Raw Diet

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Hi folks,

 

I've been a big proponent of a balanced BARF (bones and raw food) diet for the past 5 years. However, this morning my 1 y.o. pup, Kate, was vomiting, lethargic, pale gums, and a 105 temp. X-rays showed that her colon is impacted with bones.

 

I'd been feeding Bravo ground meat/bones/veggies; chicken backs; and some kibble on a rotational basis throughout the week to keep things nice and balanced.

 

I'm beside myself with guilt and worry. Kate is stable now, on fluids and antibiotics, and perking up. But I'm getting rid of all my raw food and going back to kibble (yuck). I'd appreciate any brainstorming/support -- no "I told you so's" please. My main concern is finding a really good kibble, etc., that's not loaded with grains, etc.

 

Pat

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Hi Pat! I'm sorry to hear about your girl. No I told you so's from me, I'm a fan of the RAW diets. My girls are back on kibble at the moment for various reasons (poop pickup again... yuck). Anyway, I can imagine how scary that must be. If I had to choose a kibble to go to it would be one of these:

 

Wellness (feeding now, I like it)

Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul

Merrick

 

These are pretty available in my area. I typically feed the Wellness, though, because it has slightly lower Protein than the other two, and I like the ingredients in it's Senior and lite formulas a lot. I hope this helps.

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You have my support! So sorry to hear about Kate and I hope she gets all better real soon.

 

We all have to do what we think is best for our dogs, but I'd like for you to consider something. Ground meat is not the same as giving a dog a hunk of meat that it needs to tear and chew. This tearing and chewing gets the stomach juices flowing. Those juices help to break down the food, especially bone. Also, it takes the dog more time to tear and chew hunks of meat than ground meat, which gives the stomach more time to handle the incoming food.

 

Also, the kibble/veggies mixed in with the raw could have made it more difficult for her to properly digest her food since their stomachs were not really designed with those foods in mind.

 

So if you put her back on kibble and are not happy with the results, please consider giving her food that will take her some time to eat so that her stomach can prepare for the incoming food and digest it more efficiently. Many of us here feed raw and we all have our own way of feeding. In the end, you have to do what's right for your dog, whether any of us would do the same or not.

 

Please keep us posted on how she's doing, ok? Prayers for you both.

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Pat - I feed Bravo and a variety of RMB's, too, and I'm surprised that Kate's colon is impacted with bones. I've never had Bravo or straight chicken backs poop out with any fragments. I'm second guessing without seeing the xray, but if your vet is anti-raw (or just uneducated about raw), that might be his guess because the bones are so obvious, when there could actually be something else in there "holding the bones in place" like fabric or the stuffing from a toy, or some other undetectable-by-xray substance. Whenever I've had an xray done, my vet always comments on the bones in my dogs' gut, but when my dog had an impaction, it was not bones, but "underwear" which did not show on the xray.

Another possibility - There is a viral thing (24-48 hours)going around my area (Wash.DC/Northern VA) that causes vomiting, fever, bloody diarrhea and many dogs are getting it. It seems to hit young, and immune compromised dogs most. Resting the gut and fluid therapy seems to be curing them quickly.

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We had been feeding regular Adult Innova and I'm in the process of switching to Innova Evo--no grains.

 

The dogs like it (well, they like almost anything) and so far (4 days, up to about 40% Evo/60% Regular Innova) and they aren't having any problems.

 

I supplement with a squirt or 2 of Grizzly Salmon Oil every couple days.

 

Deanna

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I was thinking of switching mine to the Evo from regular Innova, but wasn't sure if the protein level is a concern (like 42% or something). Could that be a problem?

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Hi Pat-

 

I also feed Bravo and in the food that comes in the tubes the bone fragments are so small. Like Laurie said, is it possible that it is somthing else? You also might want to contact Bette or someone else at Bravo and tell them about your experience - maybe they have some ideas about what happened?

 

I feed Bravo or RMB's and veggies and one meal a day and kibble for the other. Someone recently suggested I try Timberwolf Organics (I think it's been mentioned on this list before). I did some research on it and I think I'm going to try it when my current bag runs out. If you google Timberwolf Organics you get lots of info.

 

I'm glad Katie's feeling better, it must have been scary!

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Hi All,

 

Sorry I've been out of communication, but I've been having a rough week with Miss Kate. I brought her home Wed night, but she got much worse overnight, so took her to a good 24-hr care multi-vet practice that I've used for years. It was compounded by the fact that my "favorite vet" got HBS (hit by sheep) and broke her ankle ( =-O ). So Kate really couldn't be managed well by that small practice. Anyway, she's been in the hospital since yesterday AM where she can be treated and monitored around the clock. When I brought her in she was weak, somewhat disoriented, still vomiting, and had a fairly hi temp. Worry was E. coli into the abdomen from the tears in her gut and/or pancreatitis. But all bloodwork was normal, so we seem to have dodged those bullets. This morning her temp was down from 105 to 101, and her vomiting/diarrhea has stopped. She was much more alert, and they gave her access to water by mouth which she's been able to keep down. She ate about 1/3 of a can of ID at 3 this afternoon, so they're waiting to see if she keeps that down and eats more. They want to keep her till tomorrow and I agree. I'd like to have her eating and drinking before they take the IVs out and I bring her home. I'm afraid to see how skinny she's gotten. She was pretty lean to begin with. Maybe I shouldn't keep my dogs quite so "slim."

 

So now I'm surfing around trying to decide how to feed my dogs. For those of you who had asked, this was after a feed of whole chicken backs; my theory is that, atypically, she gulped some pieces down without really chewing them up and they somehow made it past her stomach's digestive process into her gut, where they did a little shredding job. So I'll be making lots of chicken stock with those remaining backs now -- not feeding them to dogs. It only takes once.....

 

I probably will still feed Bravo tubes tho, since, as someone pointed out, that bone is really ground up. But until Kate is totally healed, I won't feed her anything raw to be certain there's no "bacterial challenge" to her irritated gut. I think after all these antibiotics, etc., her own flora will need to regenerate, etc., so that the normal mechanisms are working again.

 

So thanks to all who responded on this. I miss my Kate!!

 

Pat

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I'm sorry it seems like one thing after another for you! I resisted feeding raw for many years because of hearing this type of experience. Every vet and vet tech has zillions of these stories to tell. But I finally realized that every method of feeding has risks and what it comes down to is, what works for you, your dog, your conscience, and your convenience and resources.

 

I originally only intended to feed raw to two dogs I had for whom I had trouble finding kibble that worked. The difference in Ben's and Bubo's health was so great I switched everyone else (not just the oft-quoted shiny coat, but true measureable differences as seen in the normalization of blood panels).

 

My vet hated it at first. But I've had several occaisions to have x-rays done on my dogs for various reasons and I think she's been somewhat relieved at the fact that no x-ray has shown anything bigger than a soft rounded fleck.

 

My big problem was I have a lot of crazy chewers and without the raw bones, they would be eating things like rawhide and those rubbery plastic things. I've heard many more stories about those getting stuck. Not to mention, as someone has said, the odd sock or other illicit item (my Maggie used to chew large pieces of clothing - a whole pair of pants or the sleeve off a coat).

 

One had to do what fits one's own comfort level. Pat, I hope Kate gets better. I almost lost my Rick to pancreatitis when he was the same age (pre raw days) - it's miserable when they are so young.

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i'm sorry i'm late sending my sympathy to you, i must have missed your 1st posting!

i understand why you feel returning to kibble is the best way to go, but i think raw is the best way to feed. i also think that feeding whole items of food is a safer option than ground meat or smaller items that can be swallowed whole. if you choose to return to kibble, and after your dreadful experience i wont try to persuade you not to, i hope you are able to find one without all the grain in.

james wellbeloved is the best of the bunch in the uk, but i dont know if you can get it anywhere else!

and please, dont feel guilty! you have done nothing wrong, you have tried to do the best for your girlie, no guilt to be found when tring to do the right thing by your loved ones!

love and hugs

donna

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Pat - really sorry to hear Kate is still not "right". Very scary for you! Hope she is back to her normal self soon. I remembered something I used to do with whole chickens before I switched to raw, so you could do with your chicken backs very easily. Put them in a crock pot for 12-18 hours -until they cook down to a sloppy gruel and the bones virtualy disintegrate, picking out any big bones you see. I used to add in some veggies the last few hours. You can use it as "gravy" over whatever else you are feeding. My dogs used to LOVE this stuff.

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Hi all,

 

Kate's home and is terrific. She's really back to her old self. Still on a bland diet for another day or so, but all looks normal -- oh yeah and loooooottttttssss of antibiotics for another week or so. But my girl is back. That spot on my bed is filled again. Crisis over.

 

The discharge vet was very balanced about this whole thing. He doesn't feed his own dogs raw and he sees pros and cons to it, just like pros and cons to feeding commercial foods. But, interestingly, he said that hemorrhaegic gastroenteritis -- HGE -- which is what she had, can be due to a broad spectrum of things. It could have been aggravated by undigested bones... but maybe not. It could have been due to feeding raw food... but maybe not. It could have been due to eating sheep poop (who, us???).... but maybe not. And the list goes on.

 

So now I'm just enjoying her and letting her eat white rice and Gerber's chicken baby food for another day or two.

 

thanks to all for your input and support.

 

Pat

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Yay! with rescue I used to buy the chicken baby food by the case. I'm glad it probably won't be necessary for Kate - :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Pat Warne:

Hi all,

 

Kate's home and is terrific... But, interestingly, he said that hemorrhaegic gastroenteritis -- HGE -- which is what she had, can be due to a broad spectrum of things... And the list goes on.

 

Pat

Glad she's home - btw, I know it's not really consolation, but my daughter's 4 year old BC also just came through a bout of HGE (bloody diarrhea, emerg. clinic, fluids for 48 hours, ID diet, etc). She has never been fed raw (eats Innova Evo), has no access to sheep poop, and hasn't left the property/house in over a year since her owner, my daughter, is in college (the dog lives with my ex). None of the other dogs at his place were ill. The only thing we can figure is that maybe my older daughter brought it in on her shoes or clothes (She works for a small animal vet that has seen a few cases recently).

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Hi! Glad to hear that your girl is home and mostly well. Just a thought...If you ever get brave enough to feed raw bones again, maybe try feeding them frozen. It might slow her down, and it has the added bonus of leaving little or no mess behind! That's how I feed my girl her RMBs. It started when I got lazy and forgot to defrost, but she likes them that way and it's more or less mess-free.

 

Michele

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Pat-

 

I read today that HGE can be caused by heatstroke (info written by a vet). Is it possible she had heatstroke? I don't know anything about HGE other than what you've written here so I'm just passing on what I read.

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Originally posted by 3crazybcs:

I read today that HGE can be caused by heatstroke (info written by a vet). Is it possible she had heatstroke?

Interesting you mention that. My Piper got heatstroke when she was a pup and since then has been sensitive to heat. Sveral times a season she will get sick - diarrhea, or vomitting. She generally recovers on her own, but I have to watch her carefully in the summer.

 

RDM

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Hi folks,

 

Not heat stroke for Kate. More and more, I think it was an unfortunate confluence of a slightly depressed immune system (approaching 1 y.o. and first heat?? stress from new dog in the house??) and challenge from the chicken backs that she must have gulped in such a way that some significant bone pieces made it past her stomach into her lower intestines. BTW, she's doing really well, and in another week or so, I'll probably be switching her back to raw. There is some really weird kibble out there :rolleyes:

 

Just want to make sure her gut is completely healed before I introduce any potential pathogens. And no chicken backs!! Of course the (*&%^ she's eating in the back woods and the state park are probably challenging her gut enough!!

 

I went on the Yahoo rawfeeding list for awhile and, altho there was some good info (which I will incorporate -- I now see the merit of only 10-15% of the diet being bones, etc.), I must say they are a intense bunch. They border on fanatic and rude (even the moderator has had to remind them to be civil). It was a creepy list -- tho there were some nice and supportive folks there, too. But I will be using larger cuts of meat with higher proportion of muscle meat to bone (e.g., chicken leg whole quarters that they have to work on rather than backs or wings). Thanks to that group for that.

 

Re heatstroke, RDM is not the first time I have heard of a dog who had heat stroke becoming more sensitive in the future. Seems to lower the dog's set point at which heat stroke is triggered. Another reason (besides the obvious) for us to be very careful about cooling our dogs down in the summer.

 

thanks to all of you again for your support.

 

Pat

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Sorry if they wierded you out Pat. I keep a membership just so that I can look something up in the archives if I need it and rarely do I post questions because like here, it's mostly already been covered. They are a bit fanatical and I'm sure you aren't the first person they've scared off but then so are we here just a tiny bit (I'm certainly guilty). When people get really passionate about something I guess they can be scary

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WE don't know ANY fanatics, do we? :rolleyes:

 

I'm definitely a "do what works for you and your dog type." I have a situation here similiar to JAck Sprat and his wife ("Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean . . ."). I've got four dogs on a completely, I guess you'd call it prey model, though I didn't really have a model in mind as I arrived there.

 

Then I've got three that need cuts of meat so exotic that I can't afford them (rabbit, duck, goose, lamb loin cuts), or pounds and pounds of regular meat. So they get carbs - oatmeal and fruits and vegs, plus ground meat and salmon. No, that's not what dogs eat in the wild, but I'm guessing Don, Ann, and Jen would be one of those dead wild dogs. Their metabolisms are jacked up so high they'd never scavenge/hunt enough to keep up with their nutritional needs.

 

Then I've got one other dog (a rescue) on an elimination diet. I have a feeling she's actually got terrible thyroid problems but I'm trying the diet approach first. She eats ground (wild CWD free) venison with ground bone and a balanced fatty acid supplement. This is a short term diet so I have other worries than absolute nutritional completeness or ovedoing something over time.

 

Ollie just went to a home with a former vet tech. He seemed rather squeamish about the whole raw thing, so I highly recommended Canidae and he's cool with that. He was a perfect fit for Ollie in every other way so I wasn't going to sit around waiting for the next guy that was jut as perfect AND sold of the raw idea.

 

In fact, my super high metabolic weight dropper went on Canidae herself a couple days ago. Jen's daddy was out of town, I had worm for tapes, AND I added two new dogs to the pack in one week (and took away her buddy Ollie). Jen actually does better on Canidae (and only Canidae) under stressful circumstances. Again, I could probably get the same results with whole high-fat poultry (maybe). But Canidae is cheaper. I forgot to put her on it when Daddy left Sunday and POOF she lost about 15% of her weight. Yup, three pounds off a nineteen pound dog really bites.

 

On the other hand, I can't let Maggie, Doug the Dog, or Ben even smell kibble for a variety of reasons. Doug's an "easy keeper" and HAS to stay slim for his hip's sake. Ben's allergic to the world in general. And Maggie porks up if she even watches the others eat kibble.

 

The most attractive thing to me about any holistic nutrition approach is the flexibility and the empowerment. Imagine my being restricted to what a pet food company offered. Ben would be on some crazy duck and potato canned food (kibble of any kind sets him off but he can eat canned food, probably because more stray allergens get mixed in the kibble). Maggie would have to eat like three kibbles of a senior diet. Ann would be on a large pup formula and Zhi a small puppy formula. I'd hae to find something that kept weight on Don and Jen (Canidae is actually pretty good as I mentioned). And so on.

 

But I think you just do what you can. That's empowerment.

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Originally posted by muggs:

I was thinking of switching mine to the Evo from regular Innova, but wasn't sure if the protein level is a concern (like 42% or something). Could that be a problem?

*******************

From what I've read, no. The issue seems more to be the calcium level, which can be moderated by including raw meats in the diet...and/or processed veggies if one is so inclined.

 

K9Nutrition on Yahoogroups addresses the whole gamut of dietary possibilities...some of which I buy into, most of which I think are excessive. However! The list has tackled EVO in detail, so you might want to do some reading there.

Chris O

 

Oops, plus--a species appropriate diet consists of fat and protein. Whatever carbs are ingested are not meaningful dietary factors--unless of course they're fed in excess. So a high percent of protein means there's more in EVO of what should be there.

Chris

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Thanks Chris. I've been wondering about EVO for awhile and couldn't get much of a response from my vet. I'll check out K9Nutrition.

Margaret

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I just switched Nellie and Ben to raw food, but we're having a little problem. We started Sunday night with frozen turkey backs - Nellie and Ben were ecstatic. Monday I served chilled (but not frozen) chicken thigh quarters. Nellie was thrilled again, Ben picked at it but didn't eat it. I didn't worry much because he had slightly soft poops and figured he might have a little tummy upset from the switch. Last night, he didn't eat the chicken again so I fed him his regular kibble which he ate just fine.

 

Could he have refused the chicken because it wasn't frozen? Or could he really have that big a preference between turkey and chicken? Has anybody else seen a dog do this? I will try to get frozen turkey backs and try the experiment again. I only have a dorm room sized refrigerator with tiny freezer so we're just doing the best we can and visiting the grocery store every day or two. Any feedback you guys have would be appreciated. Meanwhile, Nellie's enjoying Ben's share of the chicken.

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