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    1. #1
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      First year + on raw and it's not really working well for Sam (plus some questions)

      I started on raw about a year ago and for Sam, it doesn't seem to be working so well. His coat has never looked or felt worse. He shakes his head despite his ears not being yeasty. He is itchy. I took chicken out of the equation and it helped a little. I also added some coconut oil and more mackerel. I recently went back to allergy pills and that seems to help a smidge. He is five in a week and we have lived in this house for three years. I suppose the crazy weather could have been a factor. Or maybe he is allergic to the cat I got last year.

      I tried the Chinese medicine approach with the cool and neutral foods. Oddly, he did mostly well on the Canine Caviar lamb diet, which is a hot food. That said, this year he had only ONE hotspot! It was an allergy hotspot versus a collar, sore, lack of air hotspot as it was on his hip versus in his dewlap like it has been in the past. He did get plenty of hotspots on Canine Caviar (lamb and millet) so I'm thinking of going with the fish-based holistic option.

      Am I the only one with a dog that did not do well on raw?

      Linus is doing really well on the raw diet, but he also did OK on ProPlan without much in the way of sensitivities to chicken or grains, so I imagine he is a dog that can tolerate a wide range of foods. Though he did have goopy light colored dog eyes, which went away with the raw diet. So, that is a plus. He did have serious occasional diarrhea problems up until I went raw, which I had assumed was food related since his many fecals were negative. Eventually we treated for ghiardia anyway and that was that.

      Both of the dogs' weight has been pretty easy to manage on the raw diet, which has been great. Sam is lighter than he has been in a long time and Linus looks good. i did decrease Linus' food when he turned two as I could see that he was gaining a bit, just like Sam did around the same age. No more puppy metabolism, I suppose. Both dogs have been getting veggie fillers all summer, mostly raw zucchini.

      Questions:

      - Has anyone tried the fish based Canine Caviar variety?
      - Can anyone think of anything else I should try for Sam before giving up on raw?
      - If I did go back to kibble, would it hurt to feed Linus kibble maybe once a day or occasionally, as long as it was not mixed with the raw? I ask because I've got some traveling coming up, including a long trip overseas, and to have him be versatile with his diet would be a real plus.

    2. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      I started on raw about a year ago and for Sam, it doesn't seem to be working so well. His coat has never looked or felt worse. He shakes his head despite his ears not being yeasty. He is itchy. I took chicken out of the equation and it helped a little. I also added some coconut oil and more mackerel. I recently went back to allergy pills and that seems to help a smidge. He is five in a week and we have lived in this house for three years. I suppose the crazy weather could have been a factor. Or maybe he is allergic to the cat I got last year.

      I tried the Chinese medicine approach with the cool and neutral foods. Oddly, he did mostly well on the Canine Caviar lamb diet, which is a hot food. That said, this year he had only ONE hotspot! It was an allergy hotspot versus a collar, sore, lack of air hotspot as it was on his hip versus in his dewlap like it has been in the past. He did get plenty of hotspots on Canine Caviar (lamb and millet) so I'm thinking of going with the fish-based holistic option.

      Am I the only one with a dog that did not do well on raw?

      Linus is doing really well on the raw diet, but he also did OK on ProPlan without much in the way of sensitivities to chicken or grains, so I imagine he is a dog that can tolerate a wide range of foods. Though he did have goopy light colored dog eyes, which went away with the raw diet. So, that is a plus. He did have serious occasional diarrhea problems up until I went raw, which I had assumed was food related since his many fecals were negative. Eventually we treated for ghiardia anyway and that was that.

      Both of the dogs' weight has been pretty easy to manage on the raw diet, which has been great. Sam is lighter than he has been in a long time and Linus looks good. i did decrease Linus' food when he turned two as I could see that he was gaining a bit, just like Sam did around the same age. No more puppy metabolism, I suppose. Both dogs have been getting veggie fillers all summer, mostly raw zucchini.

      Questions:

      - Has anyone tried the fish based Canine Caviar variety?
      - Can anyone think of anything else I should try for Sam before giving up on raw?
      - If I did go back to kibble, would it hurt to feed Linus kibble maybe once a day or occasionally, as long as it was not mixed with the raw? I ask because I've got some traveling coming up, including a long trip overseas, and to have him be versatile with his diet would be a real plus.
      Dodger does well on raw but his seasonal allergies do leave his coat dry and his ears itchy. He also has one ear that gets gunkie which I have to clean often. Dodger won't eat raw fish, so I feed him sardines(3 meals a week) and fish oil capsules(every non sardine meal) for his coat. It helps a lot. I give him seasonal allergy meds during the summer. If your dog has season allergies, then you can't blame the raw diet. If his poops are good, and he is otherwise healthy, I would up the fish oil content in his diet and if he is thin enough and you think he can afford it, I would up the fat content in the raw you are feeding him. Often people feed little to no fat, thinking lean meats are healthiest, but the truth is they need a significant amount of fat in their diet.

      Are you feeding a pre-made raw diet? or Prey model raw? I would forgo the veggies and feed tripe? do you feed green tripe? Do you feed some raw eggs?

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by krosen View Post
      Dodger does well on raw but his seasonal allergies do leave his coat dry and his ears itchy. He also has one ear that gets gunkie which I have to clean often. Dodger won't eat raw fish, so I feed him sardines(3 meals a week) and fish oil capsules(every non sardine meal) for his coat. It helps a lot. I give him seasonal allergy meds during the summer. If your dog has season allergies, then you can't blame the raw diet. If his poops are good, and he is otherwise healthy, I would up the fish oil content in his diet and if he is thin enough and you think he can afford it, I would up the fat content in the raw you are feeding him. Often people feed little to no fat, thinking lean meats are healthiest, but the truth is they need a significant amount of fat in their diet.

      Are you feeding a pre-made raw diet? or Prey model raw? I would forgo the veggies and feed tripe? do you feed green tripe? Do you feed some raw eggs?
      I think it odd though, that he would suddenly have seasonal allergies after five years and living in the same spot? Weirder things have happened, but changing food, allergy pills, adding fish, taking out grains and chicken just has not helped.

      The fat content is relatively high. Coconut oil, pork (not lean cuts) some ground beef when it's on sale, occasional steak from the half-off bin, raw eggs (duck and chicken -- as I have both and the dogs get most of the eggs), ground flax, some venison fat (I had 50 lbs of scrap from hunting season last year) and when he was eating chicken it was mostly thighs.

      I am not feeding pre-made and mostly prey model with the veggies as a filler and since they are laying around not getting eaten (I have a large garden) and the boys tend to gain weight but are always hungry, so I feed it as to help them feel full. I feed raw ground green tripe quite a lot. I'd say that they each eat about 2.5 lbs per month (I go through a five lb chub monthly).

      I am not sure what else I can do.

    4. #4
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      Did you feed ground flax prior to going on raw? I know a lot of people are of the mindset that you shouldn't feed anything at all other than meat/bones/organs, not even as treats. I am not of the same mindset but do feel that there are probably some dogs who can't tolerate certain things outside of the realm of what makes up a PMR diet. I know you talked about feeding mackerel, do you give fish oil? Ideally a dog on raw would be eating all natural grass fed red meat, to where adding fish oil isn't really a concern b/c the meat is healthy and natural enough to contain omega's when it is grass fed. However I don't even buy grass fed meat for myself, and can't afford to supply it to my dogs. So instead I am sure to add fish oil to every meal, to make sure everyone gets what they need Omega wise. I think that sadly a lot of grocery store meat is just not as nutritious as it should be, for people or dogs. It is ideal to be feeding meat from hunting or from small family farms, but it is also not realistic for most people to make that kind of meat the majority of their dog's diet. I know there is also the debate of giving Vitamin E with fish oil, and whether or not it is necessary. I throw a capsule of that in their meals a few times a week. They do also get coconut oil. Back to the mention of flax, I would maybe try fish oil instead of flax, I do think it is more natural for dogs to eat. And give it with every meal. My dogs have been on raw for four years now this month. They were never in bad shape pre-raw, Tux did have allergy issues though and it took a couple of years of being on raw for me to see significant improvements. And oh my gosh, their coats are so soft and shiny. I have strangers and family talking about how super soft they are. I do get most of my food from hunters and from My Pet Carnivore which sources from small farms. Occassionally I will buy pork on sale at the grocery store, but not super often. Really the main things I buy at the grocer store are chicken quarters, turkey necks, and I bulk order beef hearts from them on occasion. I do think the quality of the meat and where it comes from makes a difference.

    5. #5
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      What a disappointment. Here I am hoping we can go back on raw, Oban did so well, looked so good on it. He didn't itch on it either, BUT, now he's on kibble again and still not itchy, well, maybe a wee bit. However his coarse, harsh coat was glorious on raw and it's not now, though it's better than when on our first kibbles and EFAs.

      I have to credit the TCM, the only constant, for the improvement in itching. This is the second summer without allergy meds and you all know, allergies tend to get worse, not better. Yes, I believe it's quite possible allergies have just cropped up for Sam. That's apparently what they seem to do but thoughts are it's prolonged exposure that provokes them.

      Maybe you should consider allergy testing? Skin scrapes, blood draws, inoculation, Nutriscan, Glacier Peaks, you have several options.

      Another idea, the use of cooling or warming foods surprised me. Oban really feels the heat, I thought he would need cooling foods. Uh, un, the new Holistic Vet said his dietary upset indicated he had a cool gut and needed warm or neutral foods. Not cool.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      I think it odd though, that he would suddenly have seasonal allergies after five years and living in the same spot? Weirder things have happened, but changing food, allergy pills, adding fish, taking out grains and chicken just has not helped.

      The fat content is relatively high. Coconut oil, pork (not lean cuts) some ground beef when it's on sale, occasional steak from the half-off bin, raw eggs (duck and chicken -- as I have both and the dogs get most of the eggs), ground flax, some venison fat (I had 50 lbs of scrap from hunting season last year) and when he was eating chicken it was mostly thighs.

      I am not feeding pre-made and mostly prey model with the veggies as a filler and since they are laying around not getting eaten (I have a large garden) and the boys tend to gain weight but are always hungry, so I feed it as to help them feel full. I feed raw ground green tripe quite a lot. I'd say that they each eat about 2.5 lbs per month (I go through a five lb chub monthly).

      I am not sure what else I can do.
      I didn't realize the allergies were sudden. You can go back to the basics, 1 meat at a time for a few weeks and see if it helps. Then you can tell which meat might be the culprit.
      Note that seasonal allergies can start anytime, and then there is the cat issue that may be a factor.

    7. #7
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      My 2 eat raw, kibble and home cooked. I don't have any problem mixing things up. They pretty much get something different each meal. I would think Linus would be fine eating kibble, as needed.
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    8. #8
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      I think Shellbell is onto something with the grass fed thing! Perhaps that is why he seemed to do well with the mostly fish diet when I bought too much and was feeding it too often? Or perhaps it was the fish oils that helped him? The chicken is really awful as far as meat goes (unless it's pasture raised, no grain, etc.) and I know that non grass fed animals can throw off the omegas.

      Regarding the flax, that was a once in a while thing, not daily or even weekly. Mostly when what I was feeding him was low fat. I read so much bad info on fish oil, I'd just rather feed it fresh. Honestly, it's cheaper for me to purchase 25 lbs of wild caught mackerel than fish oil, and I imagine it is healthier, overall.

      I suppose it works for dogs up in the Tundra, but I don't feel comfortable feeding a fresh fish-only diet. So, I bought the fish based Canine Caviar holistic food. I'll keep him on that for a month and see where we're at, then possibly go to one raw meal a day (fish and maybe eggs -- we'll go slow). Meanwhile, I'll start feeding a meal to Linus as well, of the kibble. Perhaps a smaller meal of kibble and a larger meal of raw.

      The other thing is that both dogs seem to have lost a bit of energy since going raw, but that could be an age/maturity thing.

    9. #9
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      I'm giving coconut oil, grizzly salmon oil, and vitamin e. Mia's coat has always been nice, but Maverick's was gross. It felt gross and coarse and it was dull. Those three supplements have helped beyond belief. I did read that the coconut oil was based on weight and I am way under-dosing for weight. The reason for that is that one of the side effects was diarrhea.....Anyway, what kind of coconut oil are you using. It should be all natural virgin coconut oil as it retains the beneficial properties of the oil. Also, I know some people microwave before feeding but I believe that will strip it of nutrient so I just plop a giant spoonful into their bowls and stir it all up.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Meeps83 View Post
      I'm giving coconut oil, grizzly salmon oil, and vitamin e. Mia's coat has always been nice, but Maverick's was gross. It felt gross and coarse and it was dull. Those three supplements have helped beyond belief. I did read that the coconut oil was based on weight and I am way under-dosing for weight. The reason for that is that one of the side effects was diarrhea.....Anyway, what kind of coconut oil are you using. It should be all natural virgin coconut oil as it retains the beneficial properties of the oil. Also, I know some people microwave before feeding but I believe that will strip it of nutrient so I just plop a giant spoonful into their bowls and stir it all up.
      I thought it was believed that the fish oil was great for the brain and the joints and it was really coconut oil that was good for the skin/coat? It's all so confusing. I'm thinking that no one really knows! The coconut oil is virgin, organic, etc. I do not microwave it. They love it anyway they can get it.

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