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Calcium, how to tell what's enough.....

pitgrrl
January 6th, 2008, 04:00 PM
Maybe a bizarre question, but those of you who feed raw, do you figure out if your dog is getting enough calcium (bone, egg shell, bone meal, whatever you use.....) by calculations or do you judge by what the poop looks like?

I'm just making some changes to my dog's diets and the theoretically balanced calcium content is resulting in crumbly, white-ish poop, which isn't so great.

As it stands they're eating 50% meat/veggie mix with ground eggshell and 50% meat/bone, but maybe I should just omit the eggshell :shrug:

rainbow
January 6th, 2008, 04:59 PM
I don't feed raw but I do know that too much bone causes whitish crumbly poop.

pitgrrl
January 6th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Yup, I know that, maybe I wasn't clear. Thank you though rainbow.

What I mean is, if according to your calculations you've balanced the bone/meat content, but the poop tells you you've got too much bone goin' on, do you go by the poop or the calculations?


:laughing:

luckypenny
January 6th, 2008, 06:56 PM
Our gals and guy get approx. 65% meat, 5% organs, 5% veggies, and 25% bone. I'm one to listen to what the poop tells me :o . If I notice it's too white/powdery, I just recollect the ratio of their last meal and adjust the next time I feed them the same thing.

I love feeding chicken best. I just buy it whole, approx. 3-3 1/2 lbs each, have them cut in halves, and feed a half per dog adding a chicken liver and giblets. Perfect poop every time :D .

rainbow
January 6th, 2008, 07:05 PM
Yup, I know that, maybe I wasn't clear. Thank you though rainbow.

What I mean is, if according to your calculations you've balanced the bone/meat content, but the poop tells you you've got too much bone goin' on, do you go by the poop or the calculations?


:laughing:


:laughing::laughing: Sorry....I knew I should have stayed out of here. :D

pitgrrl
January 6th, 2008, 07:50 PM
No, no, I was happy someone replied regardless...:laughing:

waste of paint
January 6th, 2008, 09:16 PM
This probably isn't going to be much help because I have a cat and I don't feed him any veggies except as treats, but... I find the easiest way to keep the meat:bone ratio in check is to feed whole prey (in my case, chicken or turkey). He doesn't eat the leg bones so I throw in an egg every now and then. His poop seems to be perfect, but maybe I'm just lucky. (Does anyone else get made fun of by their friends for paying so much attention to their pet's poop? :laughing:)

want4rain
January 7th, 2008, 07:57 AM
you know, we have kids so more than our pets poop gets attention on this end!!! :laughing:

is the poo coming out white and crumbly?? ive always figured if the poo doesnt get crunchy until a day or so later then his calcium is just fine. a raw fed is suppose to GET crunchy.

i would feed in a whole prey model in the sense that a whole chicken is balanced, a whole fish is balanced and the rest will work itself out. i should be getting some lab work done on Mister in the next month or so and then we will see if thats enough, too much or too little.

-ashley

pitgrrl
January 7th, 2008, 09:43 AM
It's comign out crumbly, clearly too much bone.

I think the problem is maybe that everything I read is telling me to feed some muscle meat/veggie meals and some meat/bone meals, but it seems like the meat/bone meals don't have enough padding, if that makes any sense.

So instead of getting consistent poop, I get some that are overly boney and others that are overly soft. Maybe I need to mix the meat/bone with the veggie/meat for each meal? :shrug:

want4rain
January 7th, 2008, 09:50 AM
what are you feeding for the meat and bones parts??

we have had perfect poops with the whole chicken idea. the whole chicken should have enough of a balance. if it doesnt, when you feed meat, cut back a touch (weight for weight maybe??) and add an egg or two without the shells? if its coming OUT crumbly then yes, it is much too much calcium, or maybe not enough meat?? shelless eggs should help with that. or you could take the back bone out of the chicken? i would think thought, that adding eggs without their shells should have a huge impact. id start with adding an egg at a time and seeing if that doesnt change the poo.

can you give me an example of a weeks worth of food??

-ashley

want4rain
January 7th, 2008, 09:58 AM
for example Misters weeks (which have changed a little since we started adding back non meat stuff a few months ago)

monday salmon and sardines and rice
tuesday ground beef with a touch of beef liver and maybe some eggs
wednesday oatmeal (or cheerios) with 'mixed veggies' cooked and a touch of flax seed crushed and yogurt and an egg or two
thursday 1/2 whole chicken
friday the weeks left overs (heel of bread, whats left of the yogurt/cottage cheese/sour cream, bottom of the cereal, what we have saved from dinners the last few days, some fresh veggies like carrots and celery)
saturday gizzards, leftover cat chicken and chicken liver
sunday other half whole chicken

only on the days he has NO meat and bones he has stinkey looser poos but on meat days they come out like perfect logs and then crumble after they dry out. some weeks are heavier on meats, some weeks are lighter on them. this is a middle ground meat example. many of the other things i feed him also have a great deal of protein/calcium/phos such as the cheese and peanutbutter and the eggs.

-ash

pitgrrl
January 7th, 2008, 10:12 AM
Here's the issue, both my dogs, but one to a much more sever degree, have GI issues. Fun with littermates, woohoo.

Anyways, this means that I need to grind everything and that I need to keep their daily diet pretty consistent from day to day, meaning that I need to incorporate variety into each meal, not over the period of a week or month. I realize this flies in the face of general raw feeding knowledge, but trust me, years of dealing with this has led to these conclusions.

So, because of time I use NV pre-made raw for part of their diet, but on it's own it's too bone heavy and needs some sort of supplementation. I was using another raw mix (you add eggs, meats, etc.), and everything was great, but they went and messed with their ingredients, so it doesn't agree with my dogs anymore.

I started making a veggie/meat (muscle and organs or eggs, rotating) instead, but I don't seem to have the combo down. I'm getting some poop which is soft and dark and then others which is white and crumbly. Because of this I'm thinking maybe it's the feeding schedule, not the food?

This is what I was doing:

AM-Veggie/meat meal
PM-NV pre-made raw (which is 95% meat/organ/bone)
before bed-veggie/meat snack

Should I maybe instead just combine both foods for each meal?

I'm seriously being driven insane trying to figure this out.

want4rain
January 7th, 2008, 01:20 PM
Here's the issue, both my dogs, but one to a much more sever degree, have GI issues. Fun with littermates, woohoo.

Anyways, this means that I need to grind everything and that I need to keep their daily diet pretty consistent from day to day, meaning that I need to incorporate variety into each meal, not over the period of a week or month. I realize this flies in the face of general raw feeding knowledge, but trust me, years of dealing with this has led to these conclusions.

i dont think variety separately is all that important!! its just way easier for me to not have to prepare something, they just get it as we do. :) preparing it would be easier if we had a big freezer we could store a months or more in.

So, because of time I use NV pre-made raw for part of their diet, but on it's own it's too bone heavy and needs some sort of supplementation. I was using another raw mix (you add eggs, meats, etc.), and everything was great, but they went and messed with their ingredients, so it doesn't agree with my dogs anymore.

do you know what changed?

I started making a veggie/meat (muscle and organs or eggs, rotating) instead, but I don't seem to have the combo down. I'm getting some poop which is soft and dark and then others which is white and crumbly. Because of this I'm thinking maybe it's the feeding schedule, not the food?

maybe taking and keeping a journal of what you are feeding, who is pooping what and when they are pooping it would help??

This is what I was doing:

AM-Veggie/meat meal
PM-NV pre-made raw (which is 95% meat/organ/bone)
before bed-veggie/meat snack

Should I maybe instead just combine both foods for each meal?

maybe mixing the days food and feeding two meals instead of three? if they have continuous yucky poops then you can start eliminating things until the poops look better? also you could try feeding meat and bone by itself and then all the other stuff by itself too??

I'm seriously being driven insane trying to figure this out.

im sure its enough to drive anyone bonkers, i know it almost did me when we couldnt get our cats to keep down anything but chicken. talk about a limited diet!!!! perhaps going back to the basics? how do you feel about using different kinds of butcher meats and seeing if they have an intolerance to meat switching and then make the grain/dairy/fruit/veggie mix always the same? or even making a stable meat variety? if you took a chicken and quartered it then added a table spoon of ground beef, a table spoon of beef liver, tbs of chicken liver and a bit of ground turkey, that should be more than enough to make the difference in the chicken with the bones. basically a piece of a chicken and then a 'meat mix' of the rest of it??? then you get them all together, in consistent portions and more meat than bone. oh and toss an egg or two. feed the 'other' stuff in the morning and the meaty stuff for dinner? this would give you far more control over their meat to bone intake. if you want to feed a supplement before bed? that would be a good idea since you arent really able to cover all your bases by switching up as much as possible.

-ashley

want4rain
January 7th, 2008, 01:30 PM
another thought, maybe it doesnt have enough fat in it. from what i understand the fat is what keeps things moving. thats why dogs get the runs when eating turkey or pork. you SHOULD be able to get fat back from the grocer. we can here but you know how these southern folk are..... anyway, you can take a little bit of that (no more than a table spoon, maybe less) and try feeding that to up the fat content a little?

also, maybe its that you are feeding the meat and others at the same time? if you could feed one in the morning and the other in the evening? do you feed any supplements?

-ashley

pitgrrl
January 7th, 2008, 02:00 PM
They can't eat grains, at all, none, zippo, big bloated, bloody liquid poop disaster zone. Lovely, huh? :laughing: Oh, and one of them had a mast cell tumor removed, so that's just another reason not to add grain.

The stuff I was using to make them food went from using sweet potatoes to just straight up raw potatoes, which I think is a crock, quite frankly.

They are fine with different meats, as long as it's not lamb.

The meat/veggie mix is actually, muscle meat, organs or eggs, rotating herbs and supplements like carob, lecithin, etc. and a puree of veggies, mostly greens. All these ingredients I know they're fine with, along with the fish oil and joint supplements I give.

The pre-made raw I give is essentially like ground up meat and bones with 5% veggies, but on it's own it's too much bone, hence needing to add another component to their diet.

With chicken, the skin gets left on, so I'd think they were getting enough fat. I'm really starting to think I'm just not getting the right combo, since I'm getting soft poop from the veggie/meat meals and crumbly poop from the pre-made meals, so maybe I should combine?

TeriM
January 7th, 2008, 02:22 PM
I add veggies to my dogs pre-ground raw meat/bone. Lucy especially (as she ages) needs the veggies to prevent constipation. Plus she has a tendency to put on weight very easily so the veggies are a good stretcher to make her meal a bit bigger.

I wouldn't be using any veggie mix that uses regular raw potatoes :eek:. Sweet potatoes are fine :thumbs up.

want4rain
January 7th, 2008, 03:03 PM
perhaps! i would do that first since its the easiest thing to do. my only other suggestion would be to split up the veggie/fruit mix from the meat. are you feeding any dairy?

have you had any labs run on them to make sure they are getting enough of everything? iw oudl also have them check their blood calcium and see if it really is too much calcium and not something else.

-ashley

pitgrrl
January 7th, 2008, 03:19 PM
I wouldn't be using any veggie mix that uses regular raw potatoes :eek:. Sweet potatoes are fine :thumbs up.

Exactly, that's why I stopped using it, I can't even really believe they're selling such a product.

I don't think their blood calcium would be effected yet, it's only been 2 days that I'm trying this new mix of food, I think I just don't have all the kinks worked out yet.

want4rain
January 7th, 2008, 07:01 PM
oh poo (haha!) woman, i thought you were having long term problems feeding this way!!! heck yeah id just mix the two up. im sure that will work just fine and if it doesnt, go from there. splitting things up may work if just mixing them together doesnt.

-ash

pitgrrl
January 7th, 2008, 08:02 PM
:laughing: yeah, I'm a control freak maniac when it comes to the dogs, it needs to work, and it needs to work NOW...........otherwise I stay up at night reading dog nutrition books and then I'm all cranky the next day. I think I need help.:D

MerlinsHope
January 22nd, 2008, 09:02 AM
[QUOTE=pitgrrl;526541]Here's the issue, both my dogs, but one to a much more sever degree, have GI issues. Fun with littermates, woohoo.

Anyways, this means that I need to grind everything and that I need to keep their daily diet pretty consistent from day to day, meaning that I need to incorporate variety into each meal, not over the period of a week or month.


Ok, I'm going to offer you the following 'food for thought'.
If you are getting frustrated trying to figure all this out, I'd like to suggest that you follow prey model raw, rather than what you are doing now. Prey model raw, means you go to your fridge, pull out some meat and give it to your dog.

- there is no grinding
- no mincing
- no supplementing

We have been feeding this way for some time now, and hands down it beats all other methods of raw feeding, and is certainly by far less frustrating and tedious.
the diet follows the appropriate 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal. There is no added vegetables or anything else.
When I started raw I had a grinder, ground everything added all kinds of vegetables that had to be pureed. That was 10 years ago. I don't do that any more because I've learn via the Lonsdale method that it's not necessary to achieve quality nutrition.

There is a good site of recipes at:
www.rawfed.net
and good information at www.rawlearning.com

If you find that you dog's stools are white, grey or crumbly then there is far too much bone in the diet. If you stick to the above ratio you can never go wrong, and if you stick to species appropriate foods, you can also never go wrong.

Best of luck

pitgrrl
January 22nd, 2008, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the info. Essentially, I do follow a prey model ratio of meat/bone/organ, I just happen to grind it and add bit of vegetable. The supplements are, to some degree necessary for one dog's hips and the other dog's GI system. I've certainly tried leaving them out, but the dogs do better when they're included.

The bone issue I've sorted out, it was just a bit of impatience on my part really. :o

MerlinsHope
January 23rd, 2008, 07:05 AM
What kind of GI issues do they have?
Essentially if they do, vegetables are even more less desirable then, as they contain too much roughage, are high in sugar which can also act as irritants.

The bone you can always eliminate entirely and serve calcium powder or pills, but ground meat is not any better digested than whole meat. That is a myth entirely just so you know.

We've had rescues here with entirely rotted out mouths, Chrone's disease, sloppy bowel syndrome, bacteria laden gut, even ulcerated, and we've never had to grind our food and the worse case scenario we've scene did improve.
It took quite a while, (almost a year), but it did improve to the point she was literally perfect. Of course we were not able to replace the teeth or jaw parts, but she did go on to become extremely healthy.

We have one here now with only 4 teeth left in her mouth and I can give her a large piece of meat. It takes her time, which it should, but she manages very well to rip, tear and chew. Bone included.

Best of luck to you.

Chicklet
January 23rd, 2008, 08:10 AM
Sorry for going of track here,
But Ya'll Talk about Grinding the meat and Bones,
I have an old table top grinder but I would think it to hard to use for bones? being hand done and all.
I have used one for grinding all types of meats for yrs, but never really thought of trying bones in one,
Curious what you all use to grind the bones with,
Do you use an old table top, screw on type
or something different for Bones?
32857

pitgrrl
January 23rd, 2008, 05:56 PM
What kind of GI issues do they have?

He has colitis (used to be sever, now seems 99% under control) and some sort of weird acid reflux type thing that no vet seems to be able to properly diagnose.


Essentially if they do, vegetables are even more less desirable then, as they contain too much roughage, are high in sugar which can also act as irritants.

When I have eliminated veggies (which are mostly just greens, no carrots, ect.) I've never been able to get decent stool, which is why I end up going back to including a small amount.


The bone you can always eliminate entirely and serve calcium powder or pills, but ground meat is not any better digested than whole meat. That is a myth entirely just so you know.

I don't think there is any advantage to grinding up the meat, it's only the bone that I'm interested in grinding. He seems to do best on his calcium coming from about 50% bone and 50% eggshell.


We've had rescues here with entirely rotted out mouths, Chrone's disease, sloppy bowel syndrome, bacteria laden gut, even ulcerated, and we've never had to grind our food and the worse case scenario we've scene did improve.
It took quite a while, (almost a year), but it did improve to the point she was literally perfect. Of course we were not able to replace the teeth or jaw parts, but she did go on to become extremely healthy.

We have one here now with only 4 teeth left in her mouth and I can give her a large piece of meat. It takes her time, which it should, but she manages very well to rip, tear and chew. Bone included.

Best of luck to you.

I appreciate the suggestions, I'm always open to new things, so please, if you have more input I'm totally into reading.

MerlinsHope
January 24th, 2008, 06:17 AM
When I have eliminated veggies (which are mostly just greens, no carrots, ect.) I've never been able to get decent stool, which is why I end up going back to including a small amount.

Have you considered green tripe? The reason I'm asking is because it's more species appropriate and offers Mother Nature's pro biotics, and excellent flora for the large intesting, where as any greens you might be offering don't offer anything of merit. (so why go through the process anyways?) At least with green tripe you're giving poochy something veritably good.

Green Tripe FAQ's
http://www.clubequestre.com/health/YaBB.pl?num=1196290964

You can purchase it in cans now. There are two companies which can it, (if you don't want to do raw green tripe) Tripette and Solid Gold.

Pitgirl, if your dog has colitis, personally I would avoid all and any dairy products whatsoever and any vegetable matter, because as mentioned, it offers alot of roughage and sugars that your dog does not need. (my opinion only of course)



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MEAT GRINDER - Chicklet

I'm laughing at the picture. My Grandmother had one of those and I can remember as a small child helping her on Saturday mornings make sausauges.

I guess if the bones are small enough , that grinder in the picture would most probably do some bones. The grinder that I purchased at the time, we ridiculously expensive but it was effective in doing larger bones. I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore anyways, because at the time all raw feeders needed two grinders... one for meats, and one to juice vegetable matter.

PS: If vegetables are not juiced, not just pureed, but juiced, there is no nutritional advantage for the dog. Dogs lack the enzymes necessary to break down plant cellulose, that is why I'm saying that when you add vegetables to your dog's food, generally speaking you are wasting your time. They do however, have the capcity to absorb the sugars in fruits and vegetables, pureed or not, and those sugars are definitely harmful in large amounts.


Best