Close to giving up raw and holistic

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

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Better watch- yourself!
Barked: Fri Jun 21, '13 5:50pm PST 
Alright guys very frustrated tonight, here's my story if y'all can stick with me through this.

Sasha, 12 month old Doberman, craigslist adoption 2? months ago. Came to me looking good and healthy, unspayed but with alot of vaccines and on crap kibble. After getting her had her spayed, a wormer and switched back to taste of the wild kibble, which she had been on before apparently with no problems. A few weeks in her shiny coat was looking like crap. Massive dandruff even with good shampoo and a spray on conditioner. Also red bumps on the belly, which I believe now to be ant bites but was worried about food allergies. Anyway at her spay they said dermatitis and gave an antibiotic since she would also be recovering surgery at the same time. Me being brand new to wanting to try holistic approaches, gave it to her. Anyway, since switching to raw her coat has only slightly improved. Am giving above the labeled dose of fish oil and also apple cider vinegar. After the new Dogs Naturally in the mail yesterday, I am wondering about yeast problems. Anyone ever have that?

Also my big complaint on raw is we seem to be having problem after problem with their poops. I have been mostly blaming myself, but i'm on the second bout of pretty serious diarrhea with Dante. Dante is 18 weeks from a maybe questionable breeder. Was on kibble maybe a couple weeks before I made the switch and he didn't like kibble much anyway. Looves raw, will eat anything I put in front of him. Now Sasha always got runny poo off and on, again blamed this to me being new, but Dante's bordered on the too dry side. Adding up my meals from last week showed I needed to increase both of their organ intakes, which was worrisome for Sasha as she already had trouble, but it needed to happen so I figured even it out with the bone. Couple weeks ago they both got nasty dark green water diarrhea but got over it in 2 days with a small amount of yogurt, alot of canned pumpkin and a couple off brand immodium. (I was really worried about dehydration in Dante being young.)

Now, much more worrisome to me is this bout he is having. Started last night, weird color, some blood today which I guess is normal, but he's not eating. He ALWAYS gulps down his food, even last sickness. Not seeing alot of water this evening either. No holistic vets here so if I take him in they're going to continue to tell me i'm endangering his life by not have 5 shots already, tell me to get some kibble and a bunch of medication. But now i'm paranoid about coccidia or something.
Please help! I'm so close to saying screw this go back to kibble and the standard crap that has been ok for my dogs in the last 10 years. But I know in the long run this is better, and I do want to believe in it..

P.S. Also forgot to mention that Dante now is also showing some dandruff confused His coat at least is soft still, though that may just be his puppy fur

Edited by author Fri Jun 21, '13 5:59pm PST


The world is my- food bowl!
Barked: Fri Jun 21, '13 8:43pm PST 
Could you give us an idea of what their diet looks like on average?

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 7:18am PST 

What "style" of raw are you feeding? BARF, prey-model, something else? What ratios are you using? What proteins are you feeding and how quickly have you been adding in new components to the diet?

You say the Corso pup was from a "maybe questionable" breeder. What food was he on there, and do you have documented proof of worming/vaccination/etc? Keep in mind that prenatal and after-birth care of puppies is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, and if the mother was fed crap food during pregnancy or was otherwise NOT cared for to standard, combined with the puppies eating crap and receiving less than optimal care, can absolutely cause the sort of problems you are facing. Sub-par immune system leading to weak or delicate stomach not capable of handling change, a whole host of other issues stemming from improper or inadequate care from crummy breeders. This is why it is so, SO important to only patron reputable breeders, especially with a breed such as a Corso, who has no small number of problems as a breed in its own right.

Keep in mind that for many dogs, there is something of a "detox" period. Dogs fed crap their whole lives still have a lot of that junk muddling around in their system after switching. Many of the negative things you are seeing well could be the body purging the last of these things from itself as it adapts to the more appropriate diet. A few weeks, IMO, is not long enough to tell if its really working for them or not. As they say, things will get worse before they get better (or at least that's how it will seem).

Edited by author Sat Jun 22, '13 7:20am PST



the chi-weenie
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 1:35pm PST 
yeah, don't give up yet. Just take a deep breath and slow down. You need to back up.

I'd give each new food, whether it's a new protein, organ, etc at LEAST a week for their body to adjust to the new food. It can be a slow process for a lot of dogs.
probiotics can help (plain yogurt is great, make sure there's no sugar).

If you are feeding them all this stuff in just a few weeks you just got to slow down and start over. Usually people start their dogs on just bone-in chicken, no organs. Don't worry about balancing the ratios in the first month. Let them adjust. Then slowly introduce organs, a tiny bit at a time.

if Coccidia is a real worry for you, then have a fecal examination at the vet. Just get them to tell you if they have it or not, don't let them force you into doing things you don't want for your dog.

Better watch- yourself!
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 1:46pm PST 
Charlie, i'm about to make up a weeks menu idea to stick with so I can be sure they are getting their balances. I understood that it was best to vary the diet as much as possible so I've been trying that with keeping a journal, however it looks like I need to clean that up. This past week has been-
Sun- 19oz chicken breast, 12oz pork neck, 3oz liver
Mon- 22oz chicken quarter, 18oz chicken breast
Tues- 1lb ground beef, 1lb chicken, 4oz kidney
Wed- 1lb pork loin,approx. 17oz half a rabbit
Thurs- 1lb chicken breast, 1lb 7oz chicken quarter, 2oz liver
Fri- 1lb ground beef, 1lb pork loin, 4oz gizzards
Sat- 12oz pork chop, 9oz pork heart, 13oz pork rib tip, 4oz liver

I haven't added everything up this week yet, this was my first try at adding more organs, I was really attempting the balance between bone then organs but pretty sure I failed. Also went shopping today for more bone sources, relying too heavily on the chicken quarters right now. Mind you everything I get is from the supermarket and a small german meat store for the organs so i'm struggling.

Mulder this was attempting to base it off the prey-model diet, with maybe 1 cup of the dehyrdrated dog veggie mix I had bought, cuz with all the debate on green or no green, I figured a little on top here and there won't hurt them. Now the breeder situation- kicking myself up and down on this one, especially coming from a dog career background, but everyone messes up I guess. The dogs are well cared for, on taste of the wild supplemented with raw at night. They are healthy well cared for etc, the "questionable" aspect was more along the paperwork lines of things, haven't actually seen the OFA from the parents, and don't see her info on the ICCF website like I would a good breeder. However there is the health guarantee and she says she stands behind her dogs so we'll see. Anyway have the worming and vaccine info, his 10 week was the last shots he got and had his titer done about 12weeks looked great. Compared to Sasha he has been much much more adaptable to the raw, usually solid round poop and eating absolutely anything I put in front of him.

So my plan for today was write up a week plan to follow, maybe something like
Sun- chicken with bone, gizzards
Mon- chicken breast, liver
Tues- beef with bone, tripe
Wed- ground beef, liver
Thurs- pork with bone, kidney
Fri-pork loin, liver
Sat-whatever splurge meat I can get, rabbit lamb goat whatever with more tripe

What do ya'll think of that? Obviously i'll have to crunch the numbers to figure out how much of each. Needing almost 3% for Sasha it looks like, so was trying to come up with an average 2+ pounds a day, Dante is about at 3. But does anyone else have a set meal plan like that or are you able to vary more? Oh and Mulder I sure do hope it's detox still! Just would have thought that would be over by now thinking

Better watch- yourself!
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 1:51pm PST 
And thanks Cookie, I've calmed down a bit more today. I just feel terrible for Dante spraying pure water out his butt frown I worry so much about making sure they're getting a full balanced diet maybe I've overdone it? I just have all this meat in their freezer now i'd hate to start ove,r but absolutely i'll do it if I need to. Just got more pumpkin today, and they get pretty regular yogurt, at least every other day, and tripe.

Oh also to my above huge long post ^^ Just picked up a couple more chubs from the dog store that have the bone in the meat, so there is that option as well

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sat Jun 22, '13 3:41pm PST 
Maybe the bug the dogs picked up isn't gone?

Any way you did fine getting through the bad poop before, you can do it again! Did you go back to plain chicken and take the skin off as well as offering pumpkin and yogurt? He may have a parasite that is really tenacious like giardia or coccidia and medical treatment is the best way to go.

If he won't eat don't try to make him eat. Just offer broth or water or maybe water spiked with a little yogurt. My dogs skip a meal if poop is nasty or they are vomiting and get clear fluids for that day instead. No point in pushing food in a system that is just going to reject it, just makes for more irritation seems to me.

I adjust Max's diet constantly. Sometimes he gets extra to clean out the bin that hasn't been through the dishwasher for far too long, sometimes he is a bit porky or scrawny, sometimes I messed up and he needs to take it easy on the organ or fat or bone. I try to pack up 2 day bins for him but I do also keep things separate in case I need to feed a bit differently for a couple days. Since plain chicken is the raw diet's version of a bland diet makes sense to keep some around that isn't packed up.

I am firmly committed to fresh food for my pets but I will cook it or stop feeding bone or supplement it if needed. If a problem goes on for too long I will go to the vet and get help.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 7:45am PST 
How quickly did you introduce the organs and all of the addition proteins you've been adding?

If it were me, I would back both dogs off to the bare basics. Find a size appropriate cut of a good bone inclusive meat (I'm thinking chicken leg quarters would be perfect for your two), and just do that for a week or so. One week wont hurt them to be off kilter, but if you are worried add your veggie mix. Give their bodies time to adjust to something simple before throwing such a large variety at them.

Once they can eat the chicken/whatever protein you pick, then slowly start adding in organs. You may want to boil them a little at first, just to get the guts used to them, as organs can be very rich. Once they are good on that, then start adding in additional proteins.

Too much too quickly can easily overload the dog's system, so starting slow is usually best. If you need help keeping the stools firm for right now, add something like canned sweet potato or pumpkin to the diet to help firm them up during the transition.

Momma is the- center of the- universe...
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 11:37am PST 
Green or brown watery diarrhea is not a food problem. The dogs are sick and need to see the Vet.
If a dog isn't digesting food well, and has diarrhea, of course much of the nutrition is lost to the lawn. confused

It may be coccidiosis or parasites. Either way, treatment by a vet is imperative.

Once off antibiotics, you should add a spoonful of plain cultured yogurt to their food to add back some healthy bacteria to their gut.

Better watch- yourself!
Barked: Sun Jun 23, '13 4:28pm PST 
Hey everyone thanks for the posts. After the thoughts I went to walmart today and got just straight chicken. Chicken breast, thigh, some drumsticks for dante, and of course their favorite the chicken quarters. You're right Mulder, that's been a favorite for weeks. Also have some gizzards and liver for when I start to add the organs.

Max if it was Sasha missing a day i'd be ok with it, as I plan to incorporate a gorge than fast one day a week. I just worry so much with Dante being young and me already needing to increase his food intake, he leans out very quickly. You're right though I did it before I can do it again. Last time it was the pumpkin that fixed them almost instantly. It's firmed him up some just not complete yet. And we had ran out of yogurt but that's back now. But anyway you do make a good point of adding more irritation to the system.

And not to worry Snickers (and Max), if he still has it tomorrow i'll be calling the vet to get a fecal exam done. From everything I've read coccidia seems to be a younger puppy worry, however he stresses on car rides and who knows what is at this dog park. I had alot of trouble back in San Diego with giardia, so I wouldn't be surprised. Although it wasn't green or brown, the first day was gray (weird), now getting pretty orange with the pumpkin. But also looking like poop and not pure water so tomorrow will be decision day for the vet.

Anyway, straight chicken for at least a week for both? Start adding some organs after that, if that does well, start adding new proteins? Some beef along with the chicken? Thanks so much for the help and input guys, I have absolutely no one to talk to locally, and I want to do the very best by my dogs. And also not have to worry about coming home to that nastiness =/ But chicken it is, maybe the veggie once see how that goes over. Have canned pumpkin, yogurt, and a tripe roll to add in there again eventually. Any other thoughts always greatly appreciated!
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