Side effects of detox from kibble to raw?

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Member Since
Barked: Tue Nov 1, '11 2:11pm PST 
My question is, how many people have switched their dog to raw and had the negative side affects of detox? I am scared that will happen to my dog, the oozy eyes, the skin infected, just any of the nasty side effects. How can one avoid this.?
Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Tue Nov 1, '11 2:26pm PST 
"Detox" has become one of those terms that doesn't really mean anything anymore. It's tossed around and used to excuse all sorts of issues for all different reasons, when really actual detoxification has little or nothing to do with the issue at hand.

For example, a pack a day smoker of 5 years quitting, then a few days/weeks later beginning to cough constantly, bringing up phlegm. That is detox. When you smoke like that, your lungs become so inundated with chemicals that your body can not process it out fast enough, so it just builds up until you stop smoking. There is sound reasoning there.

Getting an infection is not part of any sort of detox. It's an overabundance of bacteria in your body, and should be addressed with antibiotics. I'm sure dogs have coincidentally gotten infections during diet changes, but to assume it's related is what my buddies and I refer to as "Medieval Logic" - the crops withered after your neighbor's wife walked by, ergo your neighbor's wife is a witch.

Diarrhea in particular is sorely misunderstood. (I love that there is a context for that sentence to exist. Ahem.) It means change to your digestive system. Nothing more, nothing less. If you eat all fresh, whole foods, then have McDonalds and get sick, everyone will say it's because your system is rejecting the bad food. If you eat all McDonalds and then get sick over a fresh fruit salad, everyone will claim DETOX! It doesn't really make sense at all.

So, the gist of it is, yes, there are some side-effects from switching off of an established diet. If any of them become excessive (there's a difference between some casual soft poop, and urgent "rocket butt") it's best to consult a vet.

The only true "detoxing" my dogs did was shedding. As their bodies were better able to utilize the nutrients in raw food, more was leftover for less-vital parts like their fur. So a month or two after switching, all my dogs blew their lighter, drier kibble coats and grew in fuller, shinier raw food coats.

Edited by author Tue Nov 1, '11 2:26pm PST


Barked: Tue Nov 1, '11 3:07pm PST 
I agree with everything Ember said.

Conker had a really rough time with adjusting to raw. He's got a very sensitive digestive system and several intolerance to food and wasn't going well on kibble. It took a month and a half for him to adjust to eating raw foods to where I felt safe adding in things other than just chicken and the occasional slice of pork. But he tends to be the exception here, most dogs switch over just fine.


I'm king of the- world!
Barked: Tue Nov 1, '11 7:09pm PST 
What Ember said!

I have never really believed in the detox phenomenon. GI adjustment, yes, but detox? I'm not sure I buy it..."detox" just seems to be a catch-all for SNAFU's/unexplained reactions during the transition to raw.

With Duke, for instance, his eye goop got MUCH worse when he switched to raw. It continued to be nasty for 10 months into the new diet (far longer than the purported detox period). It did not go away until he began taking daily probiotics. The goop had nothing to do with "detox" and everything to do with GI imbalance.

Just my opinion, though; I know there are some who swear detox is real, and that's OK, too! In the end, as long as the dogs are healthy and doing well, who cares what we call it? smile

Member Since
Barked: Sat Sep 28, '13 5:05pm PST 
I have 2 jack Russell's father 8 years and son 4 years and I have changed their food to natural instincts
completely raw meat I felt a bit anxious but was told it was good for them.
After a few weeks they were scratching continuously so I gave them flea treatment which I knew they did not
need. Then something upsetting happened with the dad benji 8 years he had a fit which he has never had before so took him to vet and had all tests done and he is in perfect health then 4 weeks on he had another for a minute or so which as I spoke to vet that advised me she said its the toxins well it was horrible so I feel I ought to put him back to original diet anyone any ideas ? Please

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sat Sep 28, '13 8:38pm PST 
That is very scary! Max had occasional seizures due to stress but it has been years and years since he has had one.

NV writes that the food passes the AAFCO feeding trials. That trial is a limited number of dogs have to eat the food for something like 6 months without losing a certain amount of weight. Perhaps the food is low in some particular vitamin or mineral and your dog needs the amount that was in the food you used to feed him. Ask the company for a complete analysis of the food, the website has very little information on this.

There is mounting evidence that some dogs don't synthesize taurine as well as originally thought. Ground meat can lose a great deal of taurine during the grinding and freezing even though raw meat is a good source of taurine. Some dogs have taurine deficient related seizures. A particular type of heart disease is related to low taurine as well. I doubt the blood testing measured your dog's blood taurine level, ask the vet about this. I know those feeding cats raw will mix taurine in the food. Perhaps you could do that. I supplemented Max with taurine in case he happened to be a dog that didn't make his own taurine but no idea whether it helped or not.

I have no idea whether it is true or an internet myth but rosemary is supposed to be a seizure trigger for some dogs. I fed Max food without it just in case of course. People write diaries to try to find out triggers for seizures. It isn't always food. Max would get stressed, a scuffle over a dropped glucosamine pill caused one one time, a long walk after a bath without Sassy caused another.

And the flea drops. Did you dose sooner than the directions indicate? That stuff is powerful and dangerous, always use according to the label.

Back to the topic of the thread. Max just had yucky poop for a bit. Since I adjusted his feed daily it never got out of hand. His ears and eyes cleared up and his fur got really long and really shiny. No flakes, no bad breath.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sun Sep 29, '13 7:55am PST 
"Detox" is an easier phrase to whip out then going into the specifics of how the bowls must adjust, how the body must adjust, how EVERYTHING needs some times to adjust to being on a completely different system of living essentially.

You can say all of that with "detox" and most people will get what you mean.

And to an extent, at least in theory, there is a detox that occurs within the body when you switch off contaminated processed foods onto fresh, whole ones. Now, for dogs, part of that will depend on what they were eating originally.... obviously a dog on Orijen probably hasn't picked up the nasty residuals such as aflatoxin or arsenic that might be building up inside a dog that has been eating, lets say, Ol'Roy for the last 6 years of its life. Or who has been eating rendered foods contaminated with "pink slime", sulfa, pesticides, yada yada yada.