Bloody, loose stool? Please help

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Member Since
Barked: Fri May 25, '12 3:53pm PST 
With the rest of my family gone on vacation this week, I decided to transition my six year old shih tzu onto a raw diet. I figured since I'm the only one feeding him I can carefully monitor his diet (because the rest of my family is notorious for slipping him snacks). I made sure to do research before starting it, particularly on Dogster (which has been very helpful!)

We started on Wednesday, in the morning I fed him four chicken wings, which he LOVED. I hand fed him to make sure he chewed it thoroughly. He was really happy about the chicken wings. That evening, I fed him some cooked ground beef (because it'd gone a little grey and I was worried) and some Orijen kibble.

The next morning, I took him outside and he made a poop. It was really weird, the first part was light tan and covered in a membrane (which I have found out through Google is intestinal mucus) and the rest was very dark and very loose. That day, I fed him a chicken thigh in the morning, which seemed to be enough for him, and he loved it as well. Later I went out grocery shopping and found some chicken feet, and when I got home in the early evening he crunched them down. When I went upstairs later, I found that he had very messy diarrhea in the hallway @_@ (My bad for not getting home in time to let him out.) After I had my own dinner, he was still hungry, so I gave him another chicken foot. I was worried that he'd been getting too much bone, so I tried feeding him a bit of raw pork liver (which I was eating for dinner as well), but he wouldn't touch it, even when I seared it. So I put it back in the fridge and we went to bed.

He woke me up at around 6:30 this morning and I took him outside, and he had a little bit of wet poop. I went back to bed to take another nap while he wandered around the house, obviously no longer tired. When I woke a few hours later, I found he had diarrhea in the hallway again, but it was much smaller, and a few spots of blood were scattered around it. The only thing he ate today was the piece of pork liver from last night, thoroughly cooked.

I took him out again just now. His poop is still loose, but no longer diarrhea, and it's got bits of blood in it, and he seemed to be dripping a bit of blood as well. I'm really worried about this. He's asking to go outside much more often that he used to, I suppose it's because his tummy isn't feeling so well. He does seem to be a bit sluggish, but I'm not sure if it's from the diet or because he misses the rest of the family. I will be very grateful if anyone could advise me!

Tiny boy, but he- has a huge- heart!
Barked: Fri May 25, '12 5:00pm PST 
Too much too soon.

You will start with plain old bone in chicken. Not chicken feet, not chicken wings. Those are too bony and irritating to a new raw eater. Certainly no more kibble and no ground beef or cooked liver.

Start over with just plain old unehanced chicken breasts with bone. Thighs or leg quarters are OK. Don't overfeed. You can take the fat blobs and skin off for now. Keep it very very simple. Feed 2-3% of ideal adult weight. That's not much. Overfeeding can cause loose stools as can the great variety you started with.

If you have some slippery elm, you can try that. Open a capsule into a couple tablespoons of warm water and make a syrup. It's very soothing to the GI tract. Other than that, no extras at all. He should straighten out in a day or two.

You might want to do more reading on the raw diet. How to start, etc. Giving kibble, ground beef, and liver were all mistakes to a new-to-raw dog. Do some more research. Chance here has a great guide. I'll bump it up if its not already.

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Fri May 25, '12 5:02pm PST 
Loose stools are common when switching to a new food which is why it's usually advised you feed only bone-in chicken until stools are looking normal. Liver especially is very rich and can wreak havoc on stool. I'd stop feeding the beef and liver for now.

It also sounds like he's getting a lot of bone. Wings and feet are almost nothing but bone. Try some chicken with a little more meat on it like thighs and breasts. You can also remove the skin for a while if you need to.

After a week or two of chicken, gradually start introducing one new protein, like beef or pork. When you begin feed organs, give only a small sliver.

I would recommend reading through Chance's Beginner's Guide To Prey Model Raw. Lots of great information on switching to and feeding raw.

Member Since
Barked: Fri May 25, '12 5:32pm PST 
Brody and Onyx, thank you for the advice! He will only be eating skinless chicken thighs and breasts for the next while. I'll look into getting some slippery elm.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Jun 19, '12 2:10am PST 
Really though, how natural is chicken for dogs? So not what they'd be eating in the wild.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Tue Jun 19, '12 4:48am PST 
No it isn't naturally eaten by wolves.

It is bland. It has a high percentage of very easily eaten bone. It is super easy to adjust the amount of fat offered. It is cheap.

When dogs are grown and switched to raw commonly loose stool is seen. Feeding more bone helps firm the stool. Feeding less fat helps firm the stool. So easy with chicken. Very difficult with beef as most bone isn't edible. Very difficult with pork and lamb as it tends to be fatty. Most people haven't access to much venison and the bone is harder to eat than chicken bone. Rabbit is expensive for most of us but a quite logical choice with a high percentage of edible bone and easily removed fat if there is any.

As soon as the dog is comfortable with chicken move on! Most of Max's bone is still from chicken/turkey but about 3/4 of his actual diet is boneless beef, pork, goat, ostrich, rabbit rather than chicken. At the very most he gets half bony chicken and half red meat a day then the following day is a boneless red meat meal.

My objection to a chicken heavy diet isn't because wolves don't get to eat much it is from a nutritional basis. Chicken is light on minerals and vitamins compared to red meats. Max would need to eat 40 ounces of bony chicken to get his daily zinc requirement but only 12 ounces of boneless beef for example.

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Wed Jun 20, '12 2:30pm PST 
Meat is meat is meat wink
Whatever sources I can get, I will use. Chicken included.
Presley- Dillon

People should- pet me more!
Barked: Wed Jun 20, '12 4:10pm PST 
The blood in the stool is what would concern me the most, and I would monitor that very closely. He could have contracted a parasite like hookworms, or whipworms, or possibly a protazoa like coccidia, so if simplifying the protein
diet alone doesn't stop the bloody stool, I would have your vet check him out.
Good Luck