Postings by Izzy

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Raw Food Diet > elimination diet
Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 21, '12 12:47pm PST 
Unfortunately it's not an easy fix like yeast. I wish! He's got Pseudomonas and another gram negative bacteria I can't remember the name of. We're seeing a dermatologist now and since she's pulled out the big guns (special antibiotic drop cocktail and HIGH doses of prednisone), we've managed to get the infection under control. However, his ears started to flare up again after we've stopped the pred, and that's why she wants to test for food issues. We've also run complete thyroid panels and he's been on a very low therapeutic dose of thyroid meds for borderline hypothyroidism since January. He has no other symptoms of allergy outside of the ear problems though... Or hypothyroidism for that matter.

Honestly... I'm not really sure how we'll even notice a difference with this diet since the ear infections start so slow and subtly (though it progresses into something fierce if left alone). This is a difficult case to work with *sigh*

I can only get about 10lbs of rabbit at a time locally and it's $5.60/lb, while lamb and goat is almost $8/lb when I can find it (rarely). Maybe I should go out and hunt nutria? LOL.
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Sugarbear, Sep 24 7:07 pm

Raw Food Diet > elimination diet
Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 11:38pm PST 
Ah, I forgot to mention turkey. I don't remember ever giving turkey, but if I did, it was a rare thing. I asked the vet and she said this fell into the 'poultry' category and that I shouldn't use it because it's too close to chicken to be safe for the test. Is this true? Turkey is far easier and cheaper to obtain than some other options...
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» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by Sugarbear, Sep 24 7:07 pm


Raw Food Diet > elimination diet

Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 11:32pm PST 
Hey guys! Been a while since I've been to the forums... I thought maybe you guys could help me again smile

My vet is trying to rule out food intolerance/allergies as the underlying cause of chronic ear infections in my big boy, Mason. She wants me to put him on an elimination diet but I'm running into complications with finding novel protein sources! He eats 2+lbs a day so the cost is going to murder me if I can't find a source for less than $4/lb.

His problems started nearly 4 years ago, long before we ever started raw feeding. He had not been exposed to pork until this year so I would *assume* that means if it IS a food thing, it's probably something ELSE like chicken or beef. I'd even go as far as pointing a finger right at chicken since I feed that every day as a bone source and it seems like a logical culprit (IF it's a food thing at all...). He's only been eating pork for the last 8 months now. I alternated between beef and pork every month so technically it's only been 4 months out of the year. Like I mentioned, I used chicken every day for easy bone inclusion so it's the only food that stays constant. Well... beef organs are a constant too, so I guess that could be a factor as well.

So my question for you guys... Would using pork *exclusively* for the trial be risking skewed results? I'm not sure what to do otherwise because anything else costs an arm and a leg PLUS shipping because I can't find anything 'novel' locally in large quantities.

Any tips would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks smile
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» There has since been 7 posts. Last posting by Sugarbear, Sep 24 7:07 pm


Dog Health > Ear infection... since 2009!

Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Sat May 19, '12 8:08pm PST 
Mason, my 6 yr old Rottweiler mix, has been suffering a NEVER ending infection in his left ear since early 2009. I have taken him on countless visits to 4 different veterinarians who have basically thrown every type of drop or wash under the sun at us and sent us on our way. He’s had a few sedated deep cleanings done, and sometimes they give him a pain injection, but that’s it. I even tried that homemade “blue power” stuff with colloidal silver, and last year we did the elimination diet to test for food allergies before settling on raw foods for good (lots of positive changes but nothing allergy related it seems).

In January I DEMANDED another culture, and he tested positive for bacteria. Pseudomonas was the culprit in his left, but… his ‘good’ RIGHT ear tested positive for enterobacter. No mites, no yeast, just those two species of gram negative bacteria. Vet said his eardrums are inflamed, but intact. The sensitivity test done with the culture suggested we use Enrofloxacin (Baytril) antibiotics, so my vet gave me 10 pills to give once a day. Didn’t work… Frustrated that my vet wouldn’t return phone calls after a week of waiting (before disappearing on 2 week vacation!), I decided to purchase “Zymox with Hydrocortisone” from yet ANOTHER vet, and gave it a 2 week trial. Some minor improvement there, though a day after stopping it was back to ‘normal’.

A few weeks ago I noticed two of my Chinese crested scratching at their ears, and now I’m REALLY paranoid! Their ears are still pink and healthy looking, but I decided to treat them all with over the counter mite killer, just in case, but nothing has improved at all… in fact…

NOW BOTH OF MASON'S EARS ARE NASTY! Both ears have a strong, sickly sweet odor, and the discharge is a thick back/grey slime, unlike any infection I’ve ever encountered. The skin is red and tender, but not deformed like I’ve seen in some of my grooming clients with chronic infections. I flush his ears every day with a mild aloe cleanser and baby wipes to gently scoop out the junk, but GOBS of the gunk come back within hours… He is obviously depressed and in pain, he eats very slowly as if chewing hurts, and he won’t play…

The vets are not helping me, and I’ve spent sooooo muuuuch mooooney on this… I just want my poor baby to feel better so he doesn’t have to walk with a lean or shake his head every 30 seconds! Now I’m scared my other babies will become ill! Are their ‘ear specialist’ vets, or does this fall under dermatology? What should I do from here?! I’m desperate… I live in Mississippi, and I’m willing to travel quite a bit if I need to, so please share any referrals or suggestions….
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» There has since been 5 posts. Last posting by Taggert, Jun 2 11:23 am


Raw Food Diet > Safe handling in LARGE quantities

Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Tue May 15, '12 8:28pm PST 
The place I buy meat from is an hour away, so I buy in LARGE quantities to fill my two doggy dedicated freezers. Between my 3 cresteds and my big rottie mix, we go through about 100lbs a month, and I usually prepare at least a month’s worth of meals at a time. That means I’m dealing with between 100-300lbs of raw meat at a time, and it takes ALL DAY to cut up, grind, portion, and package up. I do not currently have a dedicated refrigerator, so I’ve been letting things thaw outside in the garage where I do the work… It can take up to 12 hours for huge cases of stuff like hearts to thaw, and that’s not including the time it takes for me to work on it.

I am concerned about safe handling of the meat, especially now that the weather is so hot and nasty! I know dogs can handle a decent bacteria load, but how much is too much? I’m not letting things get to the stinking point, but how dangerous is my current method of handling? Honestly? I don’t want them to get sick, obviously, and while I wash my hands frequently, things get messy and I’m a little worried about my own health.

Also, because I buy in such volume, I have to thaw, repackage, freeze, and thaw again for later use… some things maybe be thawed and refrozen a few times. Is this bad? Is it ok to continue working this way, or should I be thawing things in a dedicated refrigerator? I’ve been trying to save gas and time by buying everything at once, but should I buy one case at a time? (one week hearts, next beef, etc.)

I'm having a difficult time managing the sheer amount of meat we go through a month... it takes a LOT of time and energy (and quite a bit of $$) so if you all have suggestions for a better way, please share, lol! Thanks big grin
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by , May 16 9:22 am

Raw Food Diet > Bones in vomit... creeped out.
Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Thu Apr 26, '12 10:22am PST 
I feed only ground bones to my little ones, but about three weeks ago I wanted to try out whole chicken necks for other benefits. Unfortunately, both of my girls tried to swallow large broken off bits too quickly and I decided to stick to ground bone and beef RMB's that they can't break apart.

That was three weeks ago... last night, one of my fur kids vomited yellow foam and a BUNCH of whole vertebrae pieces (about 10 or more, some almost as big as a dime) that smelled like poop. Was this a blockage? That's a long time for bones to sit there clumped together like that...

I don't know which one did it (4, 10, and 14lbs), but they were the only ones with access to that room all night. All of my dogs seem to be happy, normal, voracious appetites, normal poops... Is this something I need to be concerned about?
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» There has since been 2 posts. Last posting by Maxwell, Apr 26 11:42 am


Raw Food Diet > Safely restricting calories. Help!

Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Mon Apr 2, '12 7:09pm PST 
You guys are fabulous.. thank you so much!

I also think his issues are strange, considering his age... he's been suffering a TERRIBLE infection in his left ear for almost 3 yrs now, and that's about when the weight gain started too. I've been through 4 vets over the years, trying to fix at LEAST the ear infection if nothing else, so he's been treated for yeast, mites, and bacteria with all kinds of drops, sedated deep flushes, home-made ear washes etc. It wasn't until January when a friend from my grooming forum suggested I ask for a culture, so I demanded one immediately and he tested positive for Pseudomonas in one ear and Enterobacter in the one that doesn't seem to have a problem. No yeast. We had a sensitivity test done, chose the oral antibiotics, did another round of ear drops.. and back to where we started. I believe there must be something wrong with his immune system to have come down with that kind of infection to start with, and I don't think we're going to solve it until we can manage the underlying problem.

So really, I have no idea what's wrong. I know it's got to be more than just the symptoms themselves. When his ears flare up, the limping gets worse. He doesn't itch, we never have fleas, and his skin is clear and healthy, but I suspect allergies... not so much food, but environment maybe? He's only been vaccinated as a puppy, I give heartgard at 3 month intervals, and he only gets comfortis for fleas about every 2 months IF I find fleas (which is rare), so I doubt it's something I'm dosing him with. I shave him every 3 months to keep up with the shedding (that just got worse as he aged), but I've noticed patches where the hair no longer grows back, which is what prompted me to test for thyroid... I don't know if weight has contributed to his symptoms, or if whatever problem he has is really what's causing the weight gain. It seems to be a vicious cycle! *sigh* I'm trying! The vet's aren't much help at all, but on the bright side... I've learned a LOT.

Thank you Max, for going through the trouble to look that up! I actually do rotate meats, but that was an example of the most common meal he gets. Pork is next, which he gets in place of beef twice a week, but lamb is hard to find so he's only had one meal of it so far (talk about gas... phew!). I give him 4 pumps of Grizzly salmon oil daily (I didn't think to factor that into the calories...), and he also gets enzymes and probiotic powder in each meal. I've not been able to find small amounts kidney yet so I'm about to order some from my butcher... it just seems a shame to order 40#'s at a time!! How long does frozen meat stay 'fresh'?

I also feed him everything partially or completely frozen in a big block (except a little big of the ground sirloin I made up to mix his meds in), but he does finish it in less than 10 minutes... I'll see if I can find him larger pieces to work on though. You've all made great points, and I bet he would really enjoy working on a disgusting head once in a while, lol. I'll be on the lookout for chicken feet too, and maybe that will help him with what appears to be arthritis.
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» There has since been 0 posts. Last posting by Izzy, Apr 2 7:09 pm


Raw Food Diet > Safely restricting calories. Help!

Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 1, '12 4:48pm PST 
I can understand that feeding too little can slow the metabolism, so that makes sense... But at what point do I need to consider reducing portion size if feeding the 'correct' amount of about 2% causes him to continue gaining? I know his metabolism is already very slow due to age, inactivity, and thyroid complications. If he is putting on or replacing fat with muscle, it's not at all noticeable so far at 8 weeks into the diet. He is just as porky as ever!

Also, does the 2% rule factor in calories per meal? If I fed 2% poultry heavy meals vs 2% pork or lamb meals, there would be a huge difference in kcal intake. Is it more important to go by weight or actual caloric content?

I don't think I understand what you mean, Maxwell, about harder to eat meats. Does the difficulty level of a meal really contribute to the overall weight-loss of an animal?
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» There has since been 3 posts. Last posting by Izzy, Apr 2 7:09 pm


Raw Food Diet > Safely restricting calories. Help!

Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 31, '12 11:34pm PST 
Mason is a 6yr old rottweiler mix, neutered and inactive. He's about 20lbs overweight at 123lbs and GAINING monthly.

Before I switched to raw, he was only consuming a MAXIMUM of 2.5 cups kibble daily, even when offered extra. I used "Taste of the Wild" brand the most, so his daily intake was under 1000 calories. That's including small random treats! He wasn't gaining weight quickly this way, but he sure wasn't losing.

He has a much heartier appetite on raw and he's no longer self limiting, so I only give him 1.5-2lbs a day (max 1200 calories). The problem is that he's gained 3.5lbs in just 2 months! He seems to have slightly more energy on this diet compared to kibble, and his skin has cleared up dramatically, but the gaining took me by surprise.

According to various calorie calculators and weight management resources online, he should be getting between 1200-1500 calories a day to drop. Is it SAFE to feed him less than this since he's still packing on the pounds? How little can I feed him without causing nutritional deficiencies? He can't keep gaining like this, so something has to be done soon.

Exercise- He tires easily and begins limping after about 15 minutes on walks, and his playful energy runs dry after 5 minutes of running/jumping to play fetch in the evenings. Anyone have tips on getting him to move more? Maybe recommendations for joint heath and pain management?

Thyroid- He has been taking low dose thyroid medication for 3 months now with no noticeable changes, though his T-4 level HAS increased from "borderline-low" to "normal" range. His most recent full blood panel was perfect, so I'm really not sure if he just needs more time to show improvement or if there's something else going on... (My vet's recommended treatment comes in the form of a prescription bag of Science Diet weight formula, so he's no help at all!)

Just in case I've made an error, here's a sample of his daily menu:
+70% meat, 10% bone, 10% organ, -10% veggie (930 calories)
9.5oz Chicken- rotated parts of a whole
9.5oz Beef- sirloin tip roast
2.5oz Beef OR Chicken liver
2.5oz Veggie blend
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» There has since been 6 posts. Last posting by Izzy, Apr 2 7:09 pm

Raw Food Diet > Raw feeding variations...
Izzy

1233384
 
 
Barked: Sat Mar 24, '12 7:13pm PST 
My dogs are doing fantastic so far on raw (prey model with a bit of pureed greens here and there). I've taken a great interest in the subject of nutrition, so I've been doing a lot of reading to ensure I'm giving the best of the best in the right combinations, but every single resource offers different and often times conflicting information.

I've noticed that nearly all online groups, forums, and websites focus on the prey model diet with the exclusion of veggies, whereas every book I've read so far includes veggies in varying ratios, sometimes a little dairy, and even small amounts of gain in a few cases. The most recent books I've read call for supplements (zink, magnesium, vitamin B complex, etc) to fill in the gaps and strict guides for what to feed and when in order to meet the AAFCO requirements. (which I understand is not as quite as important as the commercial industry would have us believe)

One book was so precise that I'd have to formulate three completely different weekly menus because it goes by weight (Izzy is 4lbs, Garret and Anna 12lbs, and Mason 120lbs). You can't just make a big batch and portion out apparently, which I thought was really weird...

So I wanted to ask... how many of you feed JUST prey model (80/10/10 ratio)? Does anyone here use a specific formula or 'recipe' like I mentioned from a book or private nutritionist? How about supplementing the prey model with kelp, vitamins, etc? How do you ensure that each dog gets all the vitamins and minerals required for optimum health?

I know nutrition is important, obviously, but does it really have to be so exact? It's not like we calculate our own meals to perfection... Can we really cause nutritional deficiencies if we loosely aim for balance over time with a variety of meats, bones, and organs? Like I said, so far so good, but I think I need a little reassurance to help guide me though the mountains of information I've gathered!
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» There has since been 12 posts. Last posting by Crash Dynamite, Mar 26 4:28 pm

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