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Need suggestions please!!

This is the place to share your best homemade dog food and treat recipes with each other! Remember to use caution if your pet has allergies and to make any diet changes gradually so that your dog's stomach can adjust to the new foods you are introducing.

  
Blaze

Born to run and- fly.
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 31, '10 6:47am PST 
We began to observe a change in Blaze's stool in November. Many factors could have caused it or could still be causing it. However there have been three stool samples done, and one treatment just in case something was missed in the samples. He was started on sulfasalazine and we began with a bland cooked diet. First started with ground turkey and brown rice. Stools improved a few days, got firmer and we seemed to be on the right track. Then suddenly they were back to formed mush, and yellow/green, and we observed what looked like seeds in the stool. He has no chance unsupervised to get into seeds of any sort or enough volume to create this amount of "seeds" in his stool. We figured out eventually it was the brown rice. So we switched to turkey and white rice, stool VERY firm, more like rabbit terds and still green. He was switched to sweet potato and turkey and was having very nice stools. Began adding cooked peas this week and yesterday we had firm stool in the evening, but it was green and the pea shell/hull was visible. This morning none were visible in his nicely firm stool just a slight tinge of green in one small segment of his stool. Trust me I poked through the entire stool with a Q-tip and saw no more pea shell/hulls. Not sure what we may get tonight. We and the vet will be reducing his sulfasalazine next week to 2 per day, and we decided to try cooking dehydrated split peas this weekend and see how that goes.

We have contemplated cooking for the rest of his life and supplementing with a very good multi vitamin/mineral and we were also looking at Sojo's Complete dog food which is freeze dried dehydrated raw, but that likely will not work if he has issues with cooked and smashed peas. Not sure which direction to go with him, but want to get him on a nutritionally complete diet again. Whether that be cooking or something like Sojo's, Honest Kitchen, Grandma Lucy's or something.

I forgot to mention during this entire nearly 4 week process he has continued to get his Nupro silver label supplement with the sweet potato and turkey and the prior fiascos with rice.

Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
We are willling to try anything, but it is obvious we need to do something and our other senior sibe has had a few recent UTI's so we are looking to make a change for them from their prior premium kibble. Silva is currently finishing the kibble and enjoying 25% cooked with it until we decide which direction to go.

Thanks in advance for any ideas or advice.
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Sassy

Princess and the- Pea
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 31, '10 9:24am PST 
Why not stick to the turkey and sweet potato then? More carb variety isn't needed anyway. They are mostly for fiber and calories as meat is more nutritious than plant foods. Sassy's food ended up being 1% fiber by dry weight and her stool was small and firm.

There could be a nasty parasite lurking, several dogsters report that hookworms and giardia are nearly impossible to detect except when they are in just the right stage. Perhaps weekly stool checks for a couple of months would be a good idea?

If I was forced to stop feeding Max raw food I would be following Lew Olson's low glycemic diet of mostly meat/organ/fish/dairy/egg and some leafy veggies with a calcium source. No potatoes, no peas, no rice, no starch!
http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/low-glycemic/

If you are determined to feed any stuff like peas or brown rice they must be super over cooked. If you cannot easily squish the grain/pea between your fingers they aren't cooked enough. I am talking mashed potato soft! Pea, corn and rice husks won't be digested anyway.
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Blaze

Born to run and- fly.
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 31, '10 1:01pm PST 
Sassy, thank-you!! Our vet was suggesting the vegetables be added for more vitamins and minerals, but I personally had forgotten that a lot of veggies also are carbs.

He likes, and had been doing well on the turkey and sweet potato alone, but I knew I needed to start working on insuring he also gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs. The website you suggested gave me an error page, but I did find the home page and will be all over that later tonight.

Could we safely consider the turkey and sweet potato and then a multi vitamin/mineral supplement? Perhaps since we have never seen a problem with different protein sources we could consider others on occasion, such as chicken, beef, eggs etc. ??? Right now I just want his intestines to be "settled down" so I will be doing no more to irritate him with grains and veggies.

Around here we have had problems with whipworms, but other bugaboos could be a culprit too. Around the time all this stuff started to happen with Blaze we also had coyotes being sighted very close by, a loose dog, and a bunch of loose and roaming farm cats. Makes me nuts, especially when I go outside and find dumps of diarrhea in my yard. Before we go out with the dogs now we have taken to walking around where we let the dogs do their business. I was thinking of maybe doing a stool sample once a week for a while due to all the animals and possibilities you mentioned about when the bugaboos may show up in a fecal sample.

Thanks for you advice and the info. Much appreciated.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 31, '10 3:08pm PST 
Add a little egg shell and he is good to go for a long time!
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/1366384/2
This is about what Sassy would have needed and zinc, copper, iron and manganese are a bit low. Riboflavin and vitamin E are the only vitamins I see that are low.
Add some fatty fish like salmon, sardine, mackerel, herring or anchovy to balance the omega 3 better and work on the minerals a little and that is about it.

Red meat is usually better for mineral content and beef or lamb is much better for omega 3:6 balance but if he is doing well with the turkey don't do anything until you are confident he is feeling better.

I *start* with 20 calories and a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of dog and go up or down from there. Doing cup measures doesn't work for me. Max gained 30% his body weight with me attempting to do cup measures!
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Blaze

Born to run and- fly.
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 31, '10 4:31pm PST 
Thanks so much for the input. I was just perusing the b-natuals website, articles, and the recipes(low glycemic in particular). We are bagging the idea of cooking up the dehydrated peas, lol, it is apparent we are carbo blasting right now. I was afraid of that. So we will slowly be cutting back the sweet potato, we'll stick with turkey as we slowly transition in some of the ingredients in the recipes mentioned. Then we can also play with the meat/protein sources. In the past he has not had issues with protein sources so hopefully no problem lies ahead with that. He's had beef, chicken, lamb, eggs, salmon, mackeral, sardines etc. Never really gave him organ meat when we cooked 25% of their diet, but it looks like we may need to eventually add that too. Also he has had cottage cheese and yogurt with no problems prior to this whole issue. Don't remember ever giving him leafy greens in the past, although he has had broccoli before and it was listed on one of the recipes.

Thanks for the vitamin/mineral info. Would it not be wise to start at least adding the eggshell real soon? I believe I saw that it was to be 1/2tsp crushed eggshell per pound of meat. Is this correct, and would it be wise to gradually add this back into the diet as I am about to cook up 3 pounds of turkey tonight? Great way to spend New Year's Eve. lol However, I would love to see our babies still lounging with us next New Years and at this point cooking for them full time will surely help make that more likely.

A few other dumb/annoying questions....I currently have brown eggs from free range chickens here at the house, I purchase them at a local butcher shop. Can I use brown eggs for the eggshell/calcium he needs, or do they need to be white eggs? I had another vitamin/mineral question but it escapes me at the moment.

Thanks very much Sassy/Maxwell, I'm starting to get my brain wrapped around what we need to do. Guess we'll take baby steps while we get him stabilized and then work on being able to give him a cooked diet with variety that has the proper amount of vitamins and minerals to support both he and Silva in these senior years.

We will take in a few more stool samples as well in the coming weeks. It lingers in my mind what the root cause of this problem could be..did he suddenly become grain intolerant and his intestines became irritated, did he pick up something bacterial or parasitic, or is something even worse going on. Either way, going this route will be healthier. He is still mellow in the house but playful and happy, and able to yank you around outside. He wants to run!!! He has a hearty appetite and has all along, in no other obvious way has he changed, and trust me, having had 6 siberians at any given time, we have maintained a diary of sorts to document observations in order to keep track of things with our furkids. He had bloodwork in June and will get more in January at his yearly check up so we will have comparisons and can also adjust from there as well.

Thanks so very much for the info and links, and thanks for answering my newbie questions. Have had siberians for 17 years but this is the first time we have encountered this type of problem. Life with dogs=a constant learning process.
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Sassy

Princess and the- Pea
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 31, '10 5:49pm PST 
I just dumped the amount of egg shell needed into the food but Sassy and Max didn't have GIT upsets. I would add a bit more each time you cook and observe. Any egg shell ought to be just fine. Baking makes them much crisper and easier to powder up but microwaving works too. I used a coffee grinder but a mortar and pestle is supposed to work. Either store in an open container or in the freezer, don't want it to go moldy from trapped moisture after all the work making it up.

If you up the meat and lower the carb/veggies do it slowly as well.
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Blaze

Born to run and- fly.
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 31, '10 6:19pm PST 
Thanks Sassy, will do, on the carbs/protein ration. We had a good night tonight. He should still be providing us with visible pea shell/hull, but none, just nice formed, firm stool, and smaller as you said earlier. We probably won't take any major steps until we see how this coming week goes now that his meds will be reduced as well. Probably just work on reducing the sweet potato slowly. I've got one eggshell drying at the moment, figuring I would add that slowly as well. This will only be probably half a tsp to 3 pounds of turkey, so that is introduced slowly too. Thanks for the tip on baking/microwaving them. Got a mortar and pestle and a coffee grinder so we should be able to handle that as well.

Truly appreciate the advice, thanks!!!
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