Seizure, want to switch to raw, now diarrhea, advice?

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Member Since
Barked: Thu Oct 11, '12 4:23pm PST 
My yorkie-poo (turning 7) had her first (i'm praying that it's the last) seizure 5 days ago. I was completely shocked. Her entire life I've been feeding her Actrium holistic dry food mixed with Beneful wet Vitalife Duck & Sweet Potato treats (currently under investigation by FDA).
I found out about the treats, threw them out, and two days later she had the seizure. I rushed her to the vet at 3am and did blood work physical and all looked good, except slightly low protein levels. The vet was absolutely no help.
Since the seizure I've discovered the BARF diet, want to start her on it, but she won't touch anything raw, and I can't cure her diarrhea caused by suddenly taking her off her old food. I tried giving her cooked brown rice, chicken and a scrambled egg, to temporarily replace the kibble until I can start introducing raw whole foods. But she had explosive diarrhea that came out in a thin stream.
I tried just cooked chicken with added multi vitamin, a little fish oil and probiotics, still diarrhea. So i reluctantly tried organic canned chicken/liver/turkey mix, and this seemed to help a bit.
She has never liked "human" food, or any food for that matter, she's 9.5 pounds. Feeding her has always been challenging. I'm afraid that if I keep shocking her system with food changes she will have another seizure. But i don't want to go back to kibble, unless it's necessary to help transition her.
She keeps pawing at the counter for her treats that are long gone, the only thing she ever liked to eat... that ended being poisonous. I'm very upset, but am determined to heal her. Sorry for the lengthy post, I'm just so worried for her!

-- Could someone please advise how to help with her diarrhea (I will try adding some pumpkin next i think), and how to introduce raw so that she might actually eat it?
-- Have the years of kibble and poison treats damaged her ability to properly digest "human" food?

Edited by author Thu Oct 11, '12 4:26pm PST


I'm king of the- world!
Barked: Thu Oct 11, '12 6:08pm PST 
My guy wasn't a fan of his new diet when I switched him to raw, either...turned his nose up at everything. It helped to sear the meat in butter, garlic powder and parmesan cheese (small amounts, just enough to add flavor). For awhile I was cooking it through, then gradually cooking it less and less until eventually, he was eating all raw.

Of course, don't ever cook bone! It's OK to sear a boney bit if you do it quickly and only the meat touches the pan for a few seconds.

Are you feeding any bone? This is what firms the poop. Duke is 90 lbs, so I have no experience feeding tiny dogs, but maybe try chicken wing tips or the soft bones in a turkey breast?

Another thought is a food sensitivity. Was her kibble chicken-based? Duke ate chicken-based kibble before I switched him to raw and did OK with it...but raw chicken? He is horribly allergic and gets explosive diarrhea, itchy skin, red eyes and itchy paws.

You could try transitioning her to raw using turkey instead of chicken. Sounds like the canned food with turkey sat better with her tummy.

I would most definitely add in a daily probiotic. It helps with digestion and nutrient absorption. There is a brand called NutriGest that is GREAT (available on Amazon). It contains probiotics, digestive enzymes and some herbs that soothe the tummy. It's kind of pricey, but for such a small dog, I bet the jar that lasts us a month would last you half a year!

A non-diet related suggestion would be to find a holistic vet and see about acupuncture. Duke had ZERO appetite last year after a near-fatal illness that required a feeding tube for 6 weeks. Holistic treatment completely turned him around...he now has a voracious appetite! A year later with regular acupuncture and Chinese herbs, he is the strongest, healthiest and most vibrant he has ever been in his life. And he's a 10-year-old Great Dane mix. A holistic vet could also consult on the seizure scare and toxic treats. I was a severe skeptic when I first took him, but no question now that I am a believer in Traditional Chinese Vet Medicine.

On your question about kibble affecting digestion...yes, I do believe that's true. This is totally anecdotal based on my experience, but I think a dog who has eaten kibble for years doesn't digest raw as well at first. I think their stomachs adjust to the dry, grain-based chunks, and that digestive enzyme production is different on kibble. Just my opinion--I have no science to back that up! It took Duke a full year to finally start digesting bone properly. Some dogs, however, adjust just fine.

Good luck with your teeny-weeny! hug

Edited by author Thu Oct 11, '12 6:14pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Thu Oct 11, '12 8:25pm PST 
Thanks so much for your response. No, I haven't been feeding any bone, I tried introducing a raw chicken neck, she wasn't interested at all. Maybe this is at least in part causing the diarrhea. I will definitely add calcium to her meal today.

If she won't come around to eating raw bone, I guess I will have to go with ground egg shell for a calcium supplement. And maybe start brushing her teeth if she'll let me, if she won't chew bone. The vet said her gums are currently in good condition.

Her kibble was chicken-based. And she has never shown any signs of being allergic. I have been giving a probiotic, enzymes, fiber mix called Probiotic 8 Plus.

I will also try to find a holistic vet to consult with locally.

Thanks again for your response, we'll she how she makes out in the next few days.

Danika &- Maggie

The Play Girls
Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 9:13am PST 
My three dogs are all small (8, 11, and 17 lbs.), but only one was “picky.” She just couldn’t get past the skin and membranes. Try giving her small thighs that have been skinned and slashed a couple times with a knife. If you try wings, leave them whole, strip as much skin as possible and slash them, too. Once she gets the hang of eating raw, you won’t have to do this). Remember, she may not realize raw chicken is even food! You may need to hold the end of the bone to encourage her, and help her learn how to tear the meat for a few days. It also helps if the dog is hungry. You might try skipping a meal before trying raw again (its not being mean; fasting is pretty normal for wild canines).

I’d hold off on feeding eggs. Raw or cooked, some dogs just can’t tolerate them. I’ve tried both with my dogs, and so far it actually causes them to have diarrhea. Pumpkin can help – my dogs love it (1 to 1 ½ teaspoons only), and so can probiotics. You might want to try giving her probiotics and digestive enzymes sprinkled on her food until she settles down.

Good luck!

Semper Vorax
Barked: Sun Oct 14, '12 1:54am PST 
look up a brand called sojos complete. It's a freeze dried raw pre mix, and it is a better transition from kibble to BARF. My dogs love it

for diarrhea give plain goat milk yogurt, or hard cheese. Lots of times the reason that dogs get the runs is because they don't have a healthy balance of gut flora due to being on a highly processed food like kibble. It should moderate in time. It takes a while for the flora to adjust sometimes, and the higher water content in the food is something that colons have a shock about, and the fresh ingredients are too good for the small intestines. It's like if you lived your whole life eating total cereal (fortified mmm) for three meals a day, with corn chips and corn cake as treats, and then suddenly you're introduced to a medium rare steak and steamed organic greens with a smallside of pilaf. Imagine all the trouble your gut would have then!

also, bones aren't all about calcium. There's gelatin and keratin, glucosimine and chondriotin, and all sorts of good stuff in raw bone.

Edited by author Sun Oct 14, '12 1:57am PST


the chi-weenie
Barked: Sun Oct 14, '12 6:22pm PST 
plain yogurt?

don't give up
diarrhea happens, and bone is necessary.

chicken necks are a great start, bone-in chicken breast was Cookie's first raw.
maybe try putting some Parmesan cheese on it? or whatever your dog loves.

her stomach is going to need a gentle approach, it is not used to digesting a raw diet and you have to wait a couple weeks to see how things are adjusting. But avoid feeding so many different foods at once. Just concentrate on raw chicken OR raw turkey OR pork. Let her tummy concentrate on this.

some dogs are in fact allergic to raw chicken (even if not allergic to cooked chicken) so if you want, try pork or turkey. just make sure you stick with just ONE thing until it's obvious that her system is handling it good or badly.