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Questions For Raw Feeders

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23 replies to this topic

#1
amkuska

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Hello everyone. :)

 

My name is Andrea, and I have a 2 year old chihuahua that I just started on raw. I've taken photographs of her progress daily, and have posted her progress weekly on my blog. As you can imagine, talking with other dog owners has stirred up quite a tempest.

 

The more that I've looked into raw, the more I've found that there isn't a lot of scientific evidence about backing up raw food, or kibble for that matter. So far all I've found is a whole bunch of finger pointing.

 

I've spent the past 32 days emailing vets, pet food companies, canine nutrionists, and even zoos. I've read so much my eyes hurt, and I'm not really any farther than when I started.

 

I was hoping to find people who have fed their dogs raw long term (3 or more years, preferably over the course of a dogs lifetime) or people who have gotten hair samples of their dog examined, or blood panels done. My hope is that if there are enough people out there a genera concensis can be reached.

 

Please let me know if you'd like to share your knowledge. :)


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#2
Prey Model Raw

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Hi Andrea, 

 

We've been feeding a PMR diet for 5+ years (depending on the age of the dog). We've had regular blood work, urine checks as well as fecal tests done on our girls to monitor their health. 

So far nothing is abnormal. Physical exams have shown nothing but stellar health, blood work values are within normal ranges (a few values are "high" based on the standard because raw fed dogs will generally test high on certain values compared to kibble fed dogs- which is normal), urine has always shown high concentration and proper kidney function, never seen parasites in their stool samples. 

 

My hopes are the same as yours, to have a raw fed dog "blood work database" set up here on our forum/site for reference and "proof" that raw really works. Stay tuned for more info! 


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#3
blacksheep

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I'm in RVT school and did my last project on raw feeding.  The problem is that there is scientific research in favor of it.  However vets can't go giving out advice that might harm a patient.  In other words, the general public is stupid.  If vets went and told a client that raw feeding was good and their dog ended up with salmonella or a broken tooth, that vet could be sued.  Said vet could have given instructions on how to store and handle food and which foods to feed but it doesn't mean that people will listen.  You haven't seen interesting people till you have worked in a vet clinic.  I mean these are people that you have to explain how to apply Frontline or you could get sued (we had a lady put it in the eye once.)  Vets do the same thing with go home drugs.

 

The other problem that I have found is cost.  Most studies are done on a fairly large scale.  One paper I used for my project (from UC Davis) fed whole rabbits to cats with IBS.  One cat became extremely ill and all others were showing signs of taurine deficiency.  I used another paper (also from UCD) that stated that rabbit had the lowest source of taurine.  One of my teachers (a DVM also into home diets) told me that rats have the highest taurine of all mammals which is probably why cats find them so tasty.  After finishing my project, someone on Facebook posted a link where UCD said raw diets weren't that great.  This isn't because they agree with the statement but because they have to cover their tracks and not get sued.  


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#4
SuperPug

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Maybe we can open a thread for blood database for those willing to post their results. I plant to get a blood panel done on Emma in September during her annual.



#5
SuperPug

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I'm in RVT school and did my last project on raw feeding.  The problem is that there is scientific research in favor of it.  However vets can't go giving out advice that might harm a patient.  In other words, the general public is stupid.  If vets went and told a client that raw feeding was good and their dog ended up with salmonella or a broken tooth, that vet could be sued.  Said vet could have given instructions on how to store and handle food and which foods to feed but it doesn't mean that people will listen.  You haven't seen interesting people till you have worked in a vet clinic.  I mean these are people that you have to explain how to apply Frontline or you could get sued (we had a lady put it in the eye once.)  Vets do the same thing with go home drugs.

 

The other problem that I have found is cost.  Most studies are done on a fairly large scale.  One paper I used for my project (from UC Davis) fed whole rabbits to cats with IBS.  One cat became extremely ill and all others were showing signs of taurine deficiency.  I used another paper (also from UCD) that stated that rabbit had the lowest source of taurine.  One of my teachers (a DVM also into home diets) told me that rats have the highest taurine of all mammals which is probably why cats find them so tasty.  After finishing my project, someone on Facebook posted a link where UCD said raw diets weren't that great.  This isn't because they agree with the statement but because they have to cover their tracks and not get sued.  

 

The general public gets sick off of anything and go they'll go sue just about anyone to recoperate their "losses" -.-


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#6
Prey Model Raw

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I'm in RVT school and did my last project on raw feeding.  The problem is that there is scientific research in favor of it.  However vets can't go giving out advice that might harm a patient.  In other words, the general public is stupid.  If vets went and told a client that raw feeding was good and their dog ended up with salmonella or a broken tooth, that vet could be sued.  Said vet could have given instructions on how to store and handle food and which foods to feed but it doesn't mean that people will listen.  You haven't seen interesting people till you have worked in a vet clinic.  I mean these are people that you have to explain how to apply Frontline or you could get sued (we had a lady put it in the eye once.)  Vets do the same thing with go home drugs.

 

The other problem that I have found is cost.  Most studies are done on a fairly large scale.  One paper I used for my project (from UC Davis) fed whole rabbits to cats with IBS.  One cat became extremely ill and all others were showing signs of taurine deficiency.  I used another paper (also from UCD) that stated that rabbit had the lowest source of taurine.  One of my teachers (a DVM also into home diets) told me that rats have the highest taurine of all mammals which is probably why cats find them so tasty.  After finishing my project, someone on Facebook posted a link where UCD said raw diets weren't that great.  This isn't because they agree with the statement but because they have to cover their tracks and not get sued.  

 

Truer words have never been said before! Some people at vet clinics are just hysterical, like I've questioned my faith in humanity as a whole based on some of the crap I've seen while working in vet clinics. 

 

I'll open up a thread for a blood work data base and fill it with my girls' blood results I have.....Database is set up! Post away! 

 

http://preymodelraw....-work-database/


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#7
amkuska

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Leia's next blood panel will be after she's been on raw food for six months. I'm actually curious to see what her liver enzymes look like because last time I did a panel they were very high. In fact if it weren't for Leia and all of her health problems I probably never would have explored other feeding options. My other two are the picture of health on orijen kibble.

 

 

We've been feeding a PMR diet for 5+ years (depending on the age of the dog). We've had regular blood work, urine checks as well as fecal tests done on our girls to monitor their health.

 

You guys are perfect to answer a couple of questions then, if you don't mind:

 

1. How old is your oldest dog?

2. Do any of your dogs have health problems, or had an illness during raw?

3. If so, how have they recovered?

4. If you have any senior pets, how are they handling old age?

 

 


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#8
Prey Model Raw

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Leia's next blood panel will be after she's been on raw food for six months. I'm actually curious to see what her liver enzymes look like because last time I did a panel they were very high. In fact if it weren't for Leia and all of her health problems I probably never would have explored other feeding options. My other two are the picture of health on orijen kibble.

 

 

You guys are perfect to answer a couple of questions then, if you don't mind:

 

1. How old is your oldest dog?

2. Do any of your dogs have health problems, or had an illness during raw?

3. If so, how have they recovered?

4. If you have any senior pets, how are they handling old age?

 

1. Emmy is our oldest dog- she will be 8 in November. Raw fed since she was 3 years old. She has horrible HD, a congenital heart murmur and misaligned jaw but other than that she's healthy. Before raw she was plagued with chronic ear infections and UTIs. 

 

Bailey will be 7 in November. She has had 2 different kinds of cancers removed within the last 18 months, nerve sheath spindle cell tumor and a grade II mast cell tumor. Otherwise healthy with no chronic problems. Bailey was switched to raw at 2 years old.

 

Shiloh will be 7 in December. She has horrible HD but otherwise healthy with no chronic problems. She was switched to raw when she was 8 weeks old. 

 

Akasha will be 5 in Feb. 2014, no health problems at all. Switched to raw at 6 weeks old. 

 

Zuri just turned 3 years old in June. No health problems at all. Switched to raw at 8 weeks old.

 

Panda will be 2 in September. No health problems at all. Switched to raw at 4.5 months old.

 

All our dogs are on a very limited vaccination schedule (puppy vaccinations and 1 rabies), except Emmy, Shiloh and Bailey who were vaccinated on a more "traditional" schedule before Jon and I knew any better. Since then only limited vaccines. We don't use any chemicals to clean, treat anything. Antibiotics rarely for wound treatments- lets face it these dogs are accident prone LOL


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#9
blacksheep

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1. How old is your oldest dog?

13 years

 

2. Do any of your dogs have health problems, or had an illness during raw?

I believe my oldest may have failing kidneys (just had a blurp in income so he will be going for his checkup soon.)  He had a few bouts of diarrhea depending on the meat and brand (yes brand can matter!)  I wouldn't say its because of raw...hes an old man after all!

 

3. If so, how have they recovered?

You can't recover from that but I know for a fact that the food isn't hard on his system at all.

 

4. If you have any senior pets, how are they handling old age?

He thinks he is 3 every now and then and tries to keep up with my two year old terrier mix.  He takes a nap after about five minutes.  She really runs him into the ground lol.


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#10
naturalfeddogs

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1. Our oldest is in the range of 10 - 12 years old. 

 

2.We have have had no health problems feeding raw at all. Definantly the healthiest dogs we have ever had.

 

3. Doesn't apply to us.

 

4. Lucky is our oldest, a hound mix. Being around 10 -12 years old, she is sleeping more, and prefers the softer couch over her own bed, but otherwise, her appetite is awesome and she still will bounce around and run zoomies with the other younger three.


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#11
Iorveth

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We are about a year under what you had asked but I have seen what raw can do for the health of an older dog who isn't even sick or has any signs of anything wrong with him. We started feeding raw June 1st, 2011 so we have just passed our 2 year mark.

1. How old is your oldest dog?
---Dude is our Smooth Collie who will be 10 in September. He was fed Pedigree for the first 7.5 years of his life and he was greasy with disgusting teeth (see pinned thread called Dental Benefits) and was "puffy" looking. The switch to raw has trimmed him down and he is just much healthier in general. People seem to like to guess how old our dogs are and they always put Dude at 3-5 years old. He does have some joint issues but they are minor and, with a joint supplement, you wouldn't even know it. He is always ready to go and still has the strong, forward motion when he moves that you see in a younger dog. 

---Buck is our 2 year old Bluetick Coonhound who was switched to raw the same day as Dude when we brought him home at 8 weeks. Watching him grow has been incredible. He is 100% muscle and is lean and active. He can go and go and go.

---Iorveth is our 9 month old hairless, Standard Xoloitzcuintli who was switched the day he came to us at 10 weeks. At his age, many people complain about acne issues but he has nice, clear skin. We haven't had any issues with acne outside of the occasional blemish. He is a tank. He just recently started to bulk up and we have taken to calling him Thunder Thighs because he has these massive "pit bull thighs". They are a naturally muscular breed but to see a raw fed Xolo is neat because they really show their muscle. 

 

2. Do any of your dogs have health problems, or had an illness during raw?

---We have had things unrelated to raw. Dogs, like humans, can and will get sick. Buck was feeling down for a couple of days last year but, thanks to what I have learned throughout raw feeding we were able to kick it in 24 hours. We haven't had anything like internal parasites or salmonella or anything most people worry about.


 

3. If so, how have they recovered?

---LIke I said, it was almost like a 24 hour bug that took him down. He recovered just fine.



4. If you have any senior pets, how are they handling old age?

---Dude is still an active dog. His bark is a little quieter than it used to be but he is still happy and healthy and, outside of the previously mentioned joints, he looks like he is half his age.



#12
Britt0325

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I haven't feed raw for that long, only a little over a year. I don't even feed PMR, I feed premade with organic ingredients and grass fed beef or free range animals though, which I personally couldn't afford if it wasn't for the premade.

I can honestly say though that last year I thought my dog was dying. I stopped feeding kibble, fed a liver cleansing diet (cooked and homemade), and once the liver values went down switched to raw.

My dog just had blood work done and it was better then previous blood work he had when he was on kibble before he had ever been sick. The vet called me up and literally told me that he personally wished his own blood work was as good lol. I couldn't be happier. My dogs health is better then ever before. He had severe skin allergies that completely cleared up. It's honestly amazing and I couldn't be happier to have made the decision to switch to raw.
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#13
amkuska

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Thank you, I appreciate all the replies. :)

 

Iorveth - Are those photos completely from raw food? Did you brush his teeth at all, do dentals or anything else in between?

 

Britt - How does one do a "liver cleanse" for a dog? One of the reasons I'm doing a raw food diet is that my dogs liver enzymes are up and there is no explainable reason or treatment thus far except trying various food trials until we find something that works.


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#14
Britt0325

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This is the liver cleansing diet I used:

 

http://www.canine-ep.../liver_diet.htm

 

It's formulated by Dr. Jean Dodds, who is more commonly known for the limited vaccine protocol a lot of people like to follow.

 

I pretty much just ignored everything else on that page that didn't deal with the diet itself and pretty much the only thing I needed to know was that it needed to be 25% white fish and 75% veggies and potatoes,  Also the fact that 25-50% more food needs to be fed than kibble. The amounts giving should equal to about 8 cups, just mix everything together in a big bowl, freeze anything that won't be used in at least 3 days, and feed the amount needed to your dog in small meals throughout the day. Large meals are too much for the liver... has to be small amounts. My dog threw up right away, well actually regurgitated the food, if I gave him too much at one time.

 

Doesn't really go with the whole PMR belief that veggies shouldn't be fed, pretty much quite the opposite, but when a dog has liver problems protein can cause to much strain on the liver trying to deal with that so the less protein the better. 

 

I honestly don't know what would have happened if I just switched right over to raw. He might have gotten better just the same but that diet is what I used and that's what worked. 

 

His whole digestive system was a mess. I took him in to the e-vet because he was throwing up and couldn't hold down food or water. Had a small intestinal obstruction that got cleared up but his gallbladder had sludge and his liver was enlarged. His levels were outrageous. The e-vet I took him to had me try giving him that science diet prescription diet and he wouldn't eat it, it's horrible for a sick liver to not get calories, so when I took him to my regular vet his levels had gotten even worse and my vet said it looked like he was in extreme liver failure.

 

So I looked for something he would eat and that's what I found and he started eating and his levels started going down. I don't know how much that diet specifically is responsible, if it was just the fact he was finely getting calories, if it was that food and all the meds he was on (milk thistle, SAMe, stuff for his gallbladder and bile production, antibiotics), or if that food specifically is just generally good for the liver. I did read that white fish has something in it that helps a liver heal though which was interesting. 

 

All I know is that his values went went down and he's healthy now. That experience was what I needed, the slap in the face, that finely got me to change my dogs diet for good. I switched his diet to raw right after his levels went back to normal and I haven't looked back since. He's healthy, he acts healthy, his blood work shows he's healthy, and his physical appearance shows he's healthy. I wouldn't ever go back to feeding him kibble, whether that had anything to do with his sickness or not, there's just no reason for it. 



#15
SuperPug

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I read at one point that a cup? of cliantro is either detoxifiying or cleanses the liver. Me, personally, I'd perfer to give a bit of cliantro(if it's true) than that many veggies. I will try as much as possible to not give my dog that much plant protien.

 

Here are a few articles on the topic

http://www.naturalne...ural_detox.html

http://www.naturalne...avy_metals.html

https://www.replenis...ves-your-liver/



#16
Britt0325

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See, I've heard that for Kidneys but not the liver. If anything, milk thistle and SAMe.

Also, the low protein diet had been said to be the best thing for kidney failure as well. Now though, there's some people saying it's not about the amount of protein but the quality.

I haven't heard that about the liver but it could be the same thing. If I had to do it over again I think I would have tried adding more white fish and less veggies but at that point I didn't really know any better. That diet was my best bet and I went with it and thankfully it helped, or at least gave him something that he would actually eat so he got the calories he needed.

http://dogaware.com/health/liver.html

Dog Aware has a lot of good information and she mentioned another diet similar to the one I used but with more protein.

http://www.minschnau...diet/sunny.html

She does mention that fiber is important because it can help remove ammonia from the system since that can build up with a damaged liver. So soluble fiber, less protein but high quality like fish and eggs, and enough calories is important. I don't know how else you're going to get low protein and enough calories unless you feed veggies.

"Proteins normally help the body repair tissue. They also prevent fatty buildup and damage to the liver cells.

In people with severely damaged livers, proteins are not properly processed. Waste products may build up and affect the brain. Restricting the amount of protein in the diet can reduce the chance that toxic waste products will build up"

-http://www.nlm.nih.g...icle/002441.htm

That's for people but it's the same concept for dogs. A damaged liver doesn't handle proteins the same way a healthy liver does. As much as I think feeding a raw diet is the best thing to keep a dog healthy, in certain cases... With certain diseases, it's just not always the case.

In sorry I just can't tell someone to not feed veggies when there's the possibility that then feeding to much protein could cause more problems for their sick dog.

I should clarify that it depends on how serious it is. My dog was bad, his levels were over 2000 and the upper limit is in the hundreds. So if it's only a little over I wouldn't worry about it too much. Restrict protein only if it's really something you consider serious Amkuska. If the values aren't that serious you could look into feeding a raw diet of high quality protein and give milk thistle and SAMe. If anything I would try that for at least three months before giving up and if that doesn't work then it might be best to try one of the more restrictive diets like I mentioned above.

#17
GimMom

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This is all good stuff to know. My question is that since Gimli has only been on raw 5 weeks, when should I be getting his blood work done? I'm embarrassed to admit he hasn't seen a vet since spring 2012, mostly because I was the only income in the family and really couldn't afford it. Shane is only now working, hopefully this will be steady so I can take Gim in to get checked, hopefully by October. I haven't gotten him vaccinated since last year, either. Rather hard when there just isn't extra money :(

#18
SuperPug

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well if it's quite obivious that my dog would be affected negatively from a meat only diet, then I would adjust accordingly to make her healthy. But I based my choice of what to primarily feed my dog(s) on the research I did about the biology of the dog.



#19
Prey Model Raw

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This is all good stuff to know. My question is that since Gimli has only been on raw 5 weeks, when should I be getting his blood work done? I'm embarrassed to admit he hasn't seen a vet since spring 2012, mostly because I was the only income in the family and really couldn't afford it. Shane is only now working, hopefully this will be steady so I can take Gim in to get checked, hopefully by October. I haven't gotten him vaccinated since last year, either. Rather hard when there just isn't extra money :(

 

I would wait until he's all the way through the transition and has been on a good rotation of a variety of different protein sources for at least 2 months. So, it could be like 4-6 months from now that you'd do blood work. 

And don't feel bad about not going to the vet.....really a lot of it is just to push vaccines. I do recommend a physical exam and blood work/urine/fecal checks done annually. 


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#20
amkuska

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I hope you weren't feeling bad from my reference to Leia's blood panels. Leia has her blood checked regularly because she has had severe GI issues since I got her as an older puppy. I paid it no mind when I first got her because she was on pedigree, and I figured once she switched to Evo she'd be fine.

 

Well she stopped itching at least, but she started belching. Not talking cute little gurgles here. Her burps could shake the house. Then the belching turned into vomiting, and then she started vomiting 5-6 times a day. Blood panel showed that one of her liver enzymes was up, and we've been doing blood panels since to monitor the situation.

 

I tried switching to Orijen, having her treated for a stomach infection, and then at my vets suggestion a home cooked diet. The home cooked diet stopped the vomiting but made her feet turn into huge red, bald pancakes of Doom.

 

At this point my vet told me that my best bet was to continue doing food trials to try and find a combination that didn't do something ghastly to her, and suggested I see a canine nutritionist, who in turn suggested I try raw.

 

And here I am now, trying raw. :P

 

I'd really like to know what's going on inside her guts, and I wish there was a better measure of internal health than what can be gathered from blood pannels. She hasn't thrown up in 40 days, but her feet seem to be going back and forth, and her breath still smells like somethings rotting in there. :-/


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