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Discussion Starter #1
I’ll be writing Beckie’s journal here, in case it might help someone else.

Ever since she was a puppy, the first day I got her, Beckie has always had gastric problems, discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting and even pain from eating. When she was a puppy, she would cry after eating certain brands of food. After a while she stopped and I thought she had overgrown her allergies, but my guess is she just got tougher and tolerated the pain more, but it still remained.

She’s had multiple gastritis episodes and gone through various treatments at the vet. She was even found having chronic cholestasis on top of the gastritis last time (in may 2020). She also has problems with her anal glands and is licking her behind multiple times a day, sometimes causing painful irritation. Her glands have to be emptied regularly, sometimes multiples times a month. She has acid reflux.

With all that, she is very stoic, like most dogs, and looks like a happy dog most of the time, except when it all degenerates and she ends up at the vet.

I’ve tried dozens of types of food : with grains, without grains, hypoallergenic, gastro specific foods, etc. Some were from the vet, some from the best pet food manufacturers I could find.

Nothing has worked. I have seen her suffer enough and want a better life for her. So even though my vet, like most vets, is discouraging me from giving her raw food, I have decided to try it. It is the only food I haven’t consistently tried and I owe it to her to make the necessary effort to see if it will improve her quality of life.

Allergies have often been discussed with the vet, but all they have to offer is their low quality kibble that costs an arm and a leg and still make her ill.

My strategy : feeding 1 single ingredient (animal protein) at a time, for a period of 14 days (vet recommendation) if she does well on it. If not, as soon as I am sure she reacts, I stop.

The goal is to find at least 3 protein she tolerates well, to rotate them and give her the benefits of a varied and complete diet. The recommended ingredients in a raw meal is : 80% meat, 10% organs and 10% bones (in pre-made, the bones are crushed).

Once we have three proteins, I will test « dinners » from a few companies. Dinners are the same as raw meals except they are composed of 70% meat, 10% offals, 10% bones and 10% fruits and vegetables. These will be more touchy to test, because if there is a reaction, I won’t know to what so I will just discard the specific dinner completely.

So, after much research, I found 2 companies that made single protein pre-made raw. One is more complete because it also has beef green tripe (I had to take a chance with that but she does well on it). It’s called Bold raw and is the one that I’m thinking she will be on once we’re done testing.

The other one is called Big Country raw and since it doesn’t have beef green tripe, you need to add oils and supplements to it. I will be my second choice, and be used to make more variety (and save a bit of money since it’s cheaper).
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here’s what I’ve tested so far :

1- Turkey (with beef green tripe) : ok

2- Chicken (with beef green tripe) : butt licking, general discomfort.
She was given only 3 meals (2 mixed with turkey and 1 only chicken) but it took 5 days for the butt licking to stop. She had gastric discomfort after the first chicken meal.

3- Turkey (without beef green tripe, different brand) : ok

Next test :

4- Beef (with beef green tripe) : starting tomorrow

Improvements after 3 weeks (started on june 15th)
  • no more runny eyes (barely any eye boogers)
  • more energy
  • less pooping
  • much smaller poops
  • no poop eating (it’s all digested, nothing left to eat)
  • no butt licking (except on chicken)
  • no anal glands having to be emptied
  • no anal gland leaking and fishy smell
  • A nibbler no more, Beckie devours her food !
It’s a little early to talk about benefits, but that’s what it is so far. Only time will tell if it will last.
 

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Thank you for documenting this! I had no idea Beckie had been struggling so much for so long. This sounds like it could be a real life changer for both of you.

I'll be eagerly following along.
 

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I hope you've found the trick for her. I'm that will make you both very happy!
 
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I am so glad you are already seeing improvements - I hope she continues to do well. If chicken is the culprit it could explain why so many foods upset her - chicken turns up in practically all of them in one form or another.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
If chicken is the culprit it could explain why so many foods upset her - chicken turns up in practically all of them in one form or another.
When she was younger I had spotted that chicken was a problem so she was eating limited ingredient kibble with salmon and I also tried duck and probably a few other rare games. She was still having problems so I think she also has trouble digesting some of the other ingredients added. I’ll never truly find out unless maybe for a few ingredients, if I did a Nutriscan.
 

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Not legumes in our case - Sophy cannot eat turkey, but I think it is an intolerance rather than allergy. Poppy is now on a (supposedly) very strict diet, but it is difficult to manage as she grabs everything she can (this afternoon half a pea pod; most unlikely theft was a pickled gherkin; in between she digs for roots and worms and bugs). It is therefore hard to know if her now near constant squidgy output is down to her liver disease or dietary indiscretion or, as I think most likely, both. I plan on a meeting with her vet next week when he is back from a month's furlough to discuss where we go from here...

I think the exclusion diet is the gold standard for identifying issues - hard work and needs consistency and dedication, but worth it to have a list of safe foods.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
in between she digs for roots and worms and bugs)
Beckie is the same ! I wonder if it’s a natural way of cleaning their system.

I plan on a meeting with her vet next week when he is back from a month's furlough to discuss where we go from here...
Let me know what they say. I plan to have Beckie tested in about 6 months to see hoe her liver is doing. I might be inspired by what your vet decides to do with Poppy.

I think the exclusion diet is the gold standard for identifying issues - hard work and needs consistency and dedication, but worth it to have a list of safe foods.
Absolutely !
 

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Update : beef is out ! After 6 meals, we’re back to staring at the butt and intense butt licking. She’ll be having turkey for breakfast tomorrow and until the licking stops. If it’s like chicken, it should take about 5 days.

In the meantime I will decide which protein I try next : maybe pork or duck. It has to be something made by at least two companies and readily available. I hope I can find 3 proteins that work, as I want to make sure she has a complete diet.

I’m going away in a few weeks and I’d like to have at least two tested proteins to bring for her. I have 4-5 weeks to make it happen. Let’s hope it works !
 

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I can't remember if you have tried salmon, other than in a kibble?
 
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So glad things are looking up!

How long has she been exclusively raw fed? Her immune system might improve after a few months and you might find she’s more able to tolerate other proteins then. It might also be beneficial to see if she’s able to tolerate raw goat’s milk as the probiotics can also be very beneficial.

Looking forward to hearing more about her journey!
 

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Although, further to salmon, I am not sure about feeding it raw - probably safer cooked. I am uneasy about raw pork too, although I believe freezing pork for several weeks kills the parasites that cause trichinosis.

Lamb tripe may be a possibility for Becky - pongs, but not quite as badly as beef tripe!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I can't remember if you have tried salmon, other than in a kibble?
No I haven’t. I don’t even know if they make raw salmon. I sure would like to try it though.

How long has she been exclusively raw fed? Her immune system might improve after a few months and you might find she’s more able to tolerate other proteins then. It might also be beneficial to see if she’s able to tolerate raw goat’s milk as the probiotics can also be very beneficial.
She started raw on june 15th, so almost 1 month. Interesting to know that she might tolerate more proteins in a few months. I’ll definitely try again then !

Although, further to salmon, I am not sure about feeding it raw - probably safer cooked. I am uneasy about raw pork too, although I believe freezing pork for several weeks kills the parasites that cause trichinosis.
The brand I buy is very expensive and human grade. I know they test their production a lot and take great precautions. I’ve never heard of trichinosis but I’ll look it up.

Lamb tripe may be a possibility for Becky - pongs, but not quite as badly as beef tripe!
I might test lamb if I can find it. The green tripe Beckie eats is part of the recipe and doesn’t smell at all. You don’t even know it’s there. On a side note, I wonder why she tolerates beef green tripes but not beef...
 

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I’ve never heard of trichinosis but I’ll look it up.
Trichinosis is an illness caused by little worms that live in raw pork and can only be gotten rid of by cooking at high temps, I think. Freezing might work too, but I would check to make extra sure. Anyways, the worms settle in your joints and eyes and can cause serious, often fatal damage to the organism that is unlucky enough to be the host. I learned about it in biology as a kid and didn’t eat pork for a week.

On a side note, duck is a bit gamey, but super tasty, and apparently really good for people, protein and fat-wise. I bet Beckie would love it!
 

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I think your dog needs probiotic. Amway sells a probiotic that you can put on the dog's food. I tried it with one of my foster dogs with bad digestion problems and it worked well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think your dog needs probiotic. Amway sells a probiotic that you can put on the dog's food. I tried it with one of my foster dogs with bad digestion problems and it worked well.
Probiotics can’t hurt but in her case the allergies/intolerances are too severe for probiotics to solve the problem. She’s been on them before, and recently when she was ill.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Trichinosis is an illness caused by little worms that live in raw pork and can only be gotten rid of by cooking at high temps, I think. Freezing might work too, but I would check to make extra sure. Anyways, the worms settle in your joints and eyes and can cause serious, often fatal damage to the organism that is unlucky enough to be the host. I learned about it in biology as a kid and didn’t eat pork for a week.

On a side note, duck is a bit gamey, but super tasty, and apparently really good for people, protein and fat-wise. I bet Beckie would love it!
Here it says Canada has had no trichinosis case since 1980. It also says freezing gets rid of it. I will read more aboutit but here is the source :


Another interesting article, which makes me want to feed it :

 

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I’m not sure about Canada, but, in the US, most commercially available frozen raw food is also high pressure pasteurized (HPP) to kill off any bacteria.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I’m not sure about Canada, but, in the US, most commercially available frozen raw food is also high pressure pasteurized (HPP) to kill off any bacteria.
I’m not 100% sure but I think not.

Here’s an interesting article about allergies in dogs by a holistic vet specializing in nutrition.

 
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