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New to Dogster, new to raw food diet- lots of ques...

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!

  
Nerone

1299307
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 19, '13 3:38pm PST 
Hello All-
We are 3 weeks into our raw food diet change for our blk lab. He has responded beautifully in the beginning ( no diarrhea, became much more alert & happy, much less itchy overall) . He has a terrible history of allergies, allergy attacks, and quit the track record with vets, dermatologists, pills, injections, exc...
We were coming off of a terrible allergy attack, where he was put on steroids, when we started the raw food diet... within days his spirits change, he was much less itchy, and he lost alot of hair! I thought I had experienced a miracle. Come to find out, now on week 3 ( after he has been off of the steroids for 2 weeks) that his "miraculous improvement" may have been more linked with the steroids than the diet- but that is yet to be confirmed. My questions are: 1) what type of detoxification process is normal? 2) While he detoxes, would it be normal for him to get puss pockets on his paws ( or should I assume this is from his allergies & licking) 3) While living the raw food lifestyle, should we also try to ween him off of his antigen allergy medication? 4) Can I look forward to him naturally excreting his anal glands with this new diet? 5) Does anyone have a similar story to mine; with a happy ending ? ..as we will not find a cure for his allergies, I would like to keep him as comfortable as possible on this new diet - with the main goal always being to keep him as itch- free as possible.
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Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 19, '13 8:05pm PST 
"1) what type of detoxification process is normal?"

"Detox" is mostly a myth. They symptoms generally labeled "detox" are the result of change, not good zoomies releasing long-stored toxins. My long-time raw fed dogs get diarrhea from kibble. It doesn't mean they're detoxing from raw, it means it's different and their system is upset.

"2) While he detoxes, would it be normal for him to get puss pockets on his paws ( or should I assume this is from his allergies & licking)"

Absolutely not normal, and a prime example of why the detox myth annoys me so much. Definitely treat this as an allergic reaction or irritation from licking.

"3) While living the raw food lifestyle, should we also try to ween him off of his antigen allergy medication?"

Yes, but not until he is fully and well adjusted to raw, AND his allergies are under control. It's best to work closely with a vet for this.

"4) Can I look forward to him naturally excreting his anal glands with this new diet?"

Natural anal gland expression is often mentioned as a benefit of a raw diet, as it causes firm stools. However, there are many reasons for anal gland problems and many are not fully understood. It seems there is a connection between skin problems and anal gland problems, so in your dog's case it could have more to do with allergies than diet. No way to know for sure until some time has passed.

"5) Does anyone have a similar story to mine; with a happy ending ? ..as we will not find a cure for his allergies, I would like to keep him as comfortable as possible on this new diet - with the main goal always being to keep him as itch- free as possible."

Most allergy dogs I have known have seen significant improvement when switched to raw, but you're right, there is no cure. In general, once the dog is fully transitioned and the owners have eliminated any potential food allergins, the dog remains fairly stable and a pattern of seasonal allergies emerges. Once you know the pattern, you can predict treatment needs better.
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Charlie &- Zelda

Love at first- sniff <3
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 20, '13 7:19am PST 
1) what type of detoxification process is normal?

I don't think there's really any scientific reasoning behind the idea of "detox", but I consider it to be the period of time that it takes your dog to adjust onto a raw diet. We just started raw up again and are already experience "detox", where the dogs are shedding mucous with their stool. I don't believe that they're "shedding toxins" or anything like that, but their bodies are obviously reacting to the new diet and adjusting accordingly.

That being said, I think a newbie reaction to the raw diet can include: slightly loose stools, mucous in stools, bone shards in stool, and possible vomit of bone shards. It's also very possible that dogs will continue to have allergy symptoms and poor coat/skin health for several weeks before progress is made.

2) While he detoxes, would it be normal for him to get puss pockets on his paws ( or should I assume this is from his allergies & licking)

I don't think this is a normal reaction to the raw diet, but your dog's body may just need to take time to get over these symptoms. I'd clean that area regularly and make sure it doesn't cycle around as hot spots.

3) While living the raw food lifestyle, should we also try to ween him off of his antigen allergy medication?

As Vance said, wait until your dog is adjusted first. I do think it's worth trying to get him off steroids.. I hate the use of them for allergies and I've seen them do a lot more harm than good-- but it's not the time to stop unless your dog is good and stable.

4) Can I look forward to him naturally excreting his anal glands with this new diet?

I think this is more of a dog-to-dog basis issue. Zelda has never had a problem with her anal glands and continued to express naturally on raw. Charlie's gland fill up regardless of his diet. Even after 2 years of eating only raw, he still expressed them whenever he was spooked or reactive.

5) Does anyone have a similar story to mine; with a happy ending ? ..as we will not find a cure for his allergies, I would like to keep him as comfortable as possible on this new diet - with the main goal always being to keep him as itch- free as possible.

I used to help out a Malinois named Lincoln on this forum several years ago with a very similar story. He was on steroids for his allergies, and was able to ween off of them with time. I searched for his previous posts but all the pictures have been taken down frown.. he had a lot of great comparrison pictures that showed Lincoln's rashes disappearing, hair regrowing and muscle bulking up.


Hope you find what you're looking for with the diet smile. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want!

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

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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 20, '13 3:00pm PST 
Before Linc there was Moose who had severe environmental allergies. He was much better on raw as the good clean raw food took any food allergies out of the picture so the environmental allergy situation was the only issue he had.

I don't buy the 'detox' thing either. Even enhanced chicken more likely causes loose stool than itching.

I'd go back to the steroids and wean much slower. I kept Sassy on something like 1/4 a TemerilP every other day for her last couple years and she never itched enough to lick another hot spot on her leg again. You might try completely switching to a protein for a month or so to see if any bother him. Now you are feeding all chicken and it isn't working out allergy wise. Next you might work to an all pork to see if that is better, then try beef, then lamb. Most allergies are environmental though.

Sassy had monthly anal sac fluid build ups on kibble which nearly went away on cooked food. I do think improvement is possible and I don't think it had anything to do with firm stool. Her stool was just fine on kibble, larger maybe is all. I think she had some allergies, including the flea allergy, and the ultra simple and clean cooked chicken and rice diet avoided stuff that bothered her. I have absolutely no idea what, have gone over the kibble ingredients over and over and cannot pinpoint what it could possibly be. Maybe it was a combination of ingredients. Perhaps she was sensitive to contamination rather than the actual food. Mites and their poop, rancid fat, bacterial and fungal toxins and the like. One hopes the quality brands she was fed for 13.5 years had little to none of the above, simply conjecture.
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