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Help for Friend Feeding Homemade Diet with some Challenges

Smiley14
January 10th, 2009, 09:56 PM
Hi guys! I'm hoping someone here can help! I have a friend that has two Bostons that have IBD and allergies. She has tried pretty much every commercial brand out there, including raw, and while something will work for a while, it eventually stops helping and she has to try to switch again. She's been trying a homemade diet for a little while now with good success. She did a lot of research and worked with a nutritionist to come up with her recipes. She just tried a new batch with very slight variations and is suddenly seeing major hair loss and other issues. She just sent me this email and as I've never done a homemade diet, I have no idea what to suggest to her. I told her I would ask around to see if anyone else would have any ideas or suggestions. Thanks!

Here is her email:

Hey Steph -

On to the next batch of food and wow, this is going to be a challenge. Lulu is porking out on this stuff yet strangely remains in her weight range. And whatever I did to this batch gave her the pink itchies so since I have so much NV frozen raw, I switched her back and voila, she is better. I can control her portions better and she doesn't get reflux from it like P. I just wanted to do one cooking project v. cooking and buying food etc, but seems that won't work for now. After almost four days she is less fluffy and way less pink.

(and btw, I should say all the poops are great, even with the switching, thank goodness)

This batch of food v. the other: I only used organic chicken and skin in the first batch and broccoli and spinach along with peas and carrots, oats, brown rice, arborio rice, olive oil, chicken broth, water, pumpkin and butternut squash. All from Whole Foods. This time I used 1 pound of organic chicken livers (whole foods) and 3 pounds of chicken thigh meat from Costco, and just spinach, squash, pumpkin, oats, brown rice (whizzed dry to break it up - which it does not....) and aroborio, and some rice bran. Both batches gluten free.

The very first bowl, she had a tiny reflux burp, but not much of anything. The next night, another one a little more substantial, and every night since, a tiny regurg burp. Nothing like the regurg before, but it is disheartening. I think the livers might have been too much perhaps.

But here is the part I need help with. Their coats are shiny enough. Lulu has always had a less shiny coat because her hair is very wiry like a terrier, but Phoebe glows in the dark. But now they both have dandruff and are itchy (dry skin I imagine) and are losing the white hair in gobs. They still have massive amounts of hair, but I have never seen it come out like this and frankly, Lulu has never had enough hair to lose, but this year she is thick with hair from the melatonin. This is just over the past week or so. I am brushing them everyday to help with the itching and I am giving them really good Omega-3 cod liver oil (Arctic naturals I think) and they get tons of olive oil in their food. Also, the multi and the calcium.

What the heck am I missing? Everything says oil, but they get plenty. Any ideas? You have to look to see it, but the dandruff is there as is the shedding. It is still winter, even here, so they shouldn't be losing that coat yet.

Also, Lulu's eyes were tearing up with the last batch of food and back on the raw, that is gone. Phoebe has a tiny bit of tearing, but it is better on the home made.

bendyfoot
January 10th, 2009, 10:07 PM
Wow, she's been through a lot with her pups!

The only think I noticed (and only because I just finished googling about it for myself this evening) is about the cod liver oil...a lot of people do NOT recommend cod liver oil as an EFA supplement, at least in "large" quantities. Apparently vitamin A is accumulated in the fish liver, which can then accumulate in the dog's liver, causing toxicity, if consumed in high quantities. Most people recommend a whole fish or salmon oil as an EFA supp.

Has she ever tried going grain-free? There are a lot of grains in that recipe, could that be causing the problems?:shrug:

Smiley14
January 10th, 2009, 10:25 PM
Wow, she's been through a lot with her pups!

The only think I noticed (and only because I just finished googling about it for myself this evening) is about the cod liver oil...a lot of people do NOT recommend cod liver oil as an EFA supplement, at least in "large" quantities. Apparently vitamin A is accumulated in the fish liver, which can then accumulate in the dog's liver, causing toxicity, if consumed in high quantities. Most people recommend a whole fish or salmon oil as an EFA supp.

Has she ever tried going grain-free? There are a lot of grains in that recipe, could that be causing the problems?:shrug:

Thanks Bendyfoot! I'll let her know about the cod liver! She has tried several brands: Innova, Innova EVO, Orijen, Canidae, TO, TOTW, Wellness, NV Raw, and Stella and Chewy's raw. So some with grains and some without. The nutritionist recommended she do a 60/40 ratio with the proteins and carbs for a homemade diet. I suggested Honest Kitchen for her next as I know some other dogs with IBD and allergies that have done really well on it. But she wants to try more of the homemade first. It's just baffling that they do so well at first on pretty much any brand or protein or grain and then seem to develop an allergen to it after a few months time. Or in this case, the first batch of homemade was great, but now this second batch is terrible..and they're almost the same recipe. I'm baffled!

pitgrrl
January 10th, 2009, 10:29 PM
I agree, the grains are a bit of a disaster for a dog with digestive system problems. I'd also not use NV patties if pre-made raw is going to be fed as it has a ton of extra stuff added to the meat/bone/organs, any of which could cause a problem.

I'd also switch to a fish body oil, rather than cod liver oil, and perhaps look into raw, organic coconut oil as it's generally well tolerated even by dogs who don't deal with fat well.

From my own experience, just in case she hasn't done this already, the addition of a digestive enzyme, l-glutamine and active manuka honey (for the reflux specifically) can make an amazing difference. Slippery elm powder, as needed in case of poop disasters, is also great to have on hand.

I don't know if you're friend knows this, but two pretty typical things in IBD dogs is dry skin and sore joints. One needs to deal with the primary issue to resolve the other two.

Smiley14
January 10th, 2009, 11:07 PM
I agree, the grains are a bit of a disaster for a dog with digestive system problems. I'd also not use NV patties if pre-made raw is going to be fed as it has a ton of extra stuff added to the meat/bone/organs, any of which could cause a problem.

I'd also switch to a fish body oil, rather than cod liver oil, and perhaps look into raw, organic coconut oil as it's generally well tolerated even by dogs who don't deal with fat well.

From my own experience, just in case she hasn't done this already, the addition of a digestive enzyme, l-glutamine and active manuka honey (for the reflux specifically) can make an amazing difference. Slippery elm powder, as needed in case of poop disasters, is also great to have on hand.

I don't know if you're friend knows this, but two pretty typical things in IBD dogs is dry skin and sore joints. One needs to deal with the primary issue to resolve the other two.

Thank you so much!!! I did tell her about extra virgin coconut oil; that's what I use for my dogs. I've also suggested she add yogurt or I-glutamine and slippery elm. Not familiar wiht the manuka honey though, so I'll tell her that as well! And I'll reinforce again these other things.

Does anyone know any homemade recipes with less grains? This was recommended by a nutritionist aware of their IBD. I wasn't aware of dry skin and sore joints being part of IBD though, so I'll let her know that too! I don't know if she knows that or not! Thank you SO much!!

pitgrrl
January 10th, 2009, 11:19 PM
Some good resources are dogaware.com and lew olson (here (http://www.doghobbyist.com/articles/IBDChat.html) and here (http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/gastric-problems/)).

Active Manuka Honey you can read about here (http://www.manukahoneyusa.com/active-manuka-honey.htm).

The thing about the homemade food, the kibbles and the raw patties is that they're not the simplest foods, meaning they have a bunch of different ingredients, any of which could be causing a problem or the dogs could become intolerant of. Of course this is just my experience, but simpler seems better when dealing with these types of issues.

If it were me (and it has been, I've fed every variety of dog diet imaginable) I'd feed raw, either DIY or a meat/organ/bone only pre-made food like Arusha or Urban Carnivore or I'd make a home cooked food with out grains.

bendyfoot
January 10th, 2009, 11:26 PM
I'm assuming b/c you say "recipe" that she's cooking all those things in the list?

I'd also just go plain old raw.

Smiley14
January 10th, 2009, 11:41 PM
Some good resources are dogaware.com and lew olson (here (http://www.doghobbyist.com/articles/IBDChat.html) and here (http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/gastric-problems/)).

Active Manuka Honey you can read about here (http://www.manukahoneyusa.com/active-manuka-honey.htm).

The thing about the homemade food, the kibbles and the raw patties is that they're not the simplest foods, meaning they have a bunch of different ingredients, any of which could be causing a problem or the dogs could become intolerant of. Of course this is just my experience, but simpler seems better when dealing with these types of issues.

If it were me (and it has been, I've fed every variety of dog diet imaginable) I'd feed raw, either DIY or a meat/organ/bone only pre-made food like Arusha or Urban Carnivore or I'd make a home cooked food with out grains.

Dogaware is a GREAT site! We're both very familiar with it already. :) The IBD diets on there are actually very similar to what she got from the nutritionist, also with a 60/40 or similar ratio of protein and carbs and good fat.

Oh, and just to clarify, she does not feed the homemade diet with the raw normally. She was doing homemade with both dogs, both doing well. She made the new batch and had problems and had to put one back on raw. The other used to be on raw, but didn't do well on it (lots of regurg and vomiting) so that one is still getting the homemade, but isn't doing so great on it with this batch either.

I've never seen a grain-free homemade diet on Dogaware, but I'll look again just in case. I still think she should give Honest Kitchen a try. But she still wants to try homemade first. Any idea what would be different between the first batch and the second that could be causing these symptoms or do you think they were there all along and she's just seeing them now as time goes on? That's what I'm leaning toward as it doesn't make sense to me otherwise. SO strange!

Smiley14
January 10th, 2009, 11:43 PM
I'm assuming b/c you say "recipe" that she's cooking all those things in the list?

I'd also just go plain old raw.

Oh sorry, yes, she is doing a cooked, homemade diet after already trying commercial raw diets and homemade raw diets. One of her dogs does well on raw, but her other one had even worse regurging and vomiting on any kind of raw. She tried several kinds of proteins with the raw and had issues with all of them.

Smiley14
January 10th, 2009, 11:45 PM
Some good resources are dogaware.com and lew olson (here (http://www.doghobbyist.com/articles/IBDChat.html) and here (http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/gastric-problems/)).

Active Manuka Honey you can read about here (http://www.manukahoneyusa.com/active-manuka-honey.htm).

The thing about the homemade food, the kibbles and the raw patties is that they're not the simplest foods, meaning they have a bunch of different ingredients, any of which could be causing a problem or the dogs could become intolerant of. Of course this is just my experience, but simpler seems better when dealing with these types of issues.

If it were me (and it has been, I've fed every variety of dog diet imaginable) I'd feed raw, either DIY or a meat/organ/bone only pre-made food like Arusha or Urban Carnivore or I'd make a home cooked food with out grains.

Oh, forgot to say, thank you so much for the link to Manuka honey! That sounds so promising!

pitgrrl
January 10th, 2009, 11:52 PM
Dogaware is a GREAT site! We're both very familiar with it already. :) The IBD diets on there are actually very similar to what she got from the nutritionist, also with a 60/40 or similar ratio of protein and carbs and good fat.

Oh, and just to clarify, she does not feed the homemade diet with the raw normally. She was doing homemade with both dogs, both doing well. She made the new batch and had problems and had to put one back on raw. The other used to be on raw, but didn't do well on it (lots of regurg and vomiting) so that one is still getting the homemade, but isn't doing so great on it with this batch either.

I've never seen a grain-free homemade diet on Dogaware, but I'll look again just in case. I still think she should give Honest Kitchen a try. But she still wants to try homemade first. Any idea what would be different between the first batch and the second that could be causing these symptoms or do you think they were there all along and she's just seeing them now as time goes on? That's what I'm leaning toward as it doesn't make sense to me otherwise. SO strange!

Do you know what meat type she was using with raw? I know Streets will immediately vomit and/or have horrible reflux for hours and hours if given any beef or bison with bone. Chicken, duck, turkey, I'm guessing because the bone is easier to digest, is fine.

I noticed that the second batched used a different source of chicken. This could actually be the issue. Streets is fine on certain chicken and will react to it immediately if from other sources. I have no idea what the difference is, as they can be different brands bought at the same store, but it's happened consistently enough that I'm sure that;s the issue.

rainbow
January 10th, 2009, 11:53 PM
I have never had a dog with IBD but when I was searching for information about zinc deficiency because of Logan's problems I found this information from http://www.rottclub.ca/IBD.html ....

One very important element to supplement is zinc, zinc is often not absorbed by IBD dogs at all and to make it accessible to them it should be supplemented in the form of zinc picolinate.

Smiley14
January 10th, 2009, 11:58 PM
Do you know what meat type she was using with raw? I know Streets will immediately vomit and/or have horrible reflux for hours and hours if given any beef or bison with bone. Chicken, duck, turkey, I'm guessing because the bone is easier to digest, is fine.

I noticed that the second batched used a different source of chicken. This could actually be the issue. Streets is fine on certain chicken and will react to it immediately if from other sources. I have no idea what the difference is, as they can be different brands bought at the same store, but it's happened consistently enough that I'm sure that;s the issue.

I'd have to ask her what all she tried, but I know she tried several proteins over several months. I know for sure she tried chicken (which seemed to be the best for them and is why she's using it again now in the cooked homemade), turkey, beef (they were the worst on beef), duck, and lamb. Interesting about the different chicken sources and very good to know! I'll let her know that as well. I've also directed her here so hopefully she'll join so she can fill in any missing information. :)

Rainbow, thanks for the info on zinc!!! We wondered if it was a deficiency, but weren't sure what. She currently supplements with calcium, bone meal, and a one a day type vitamin that includes zinc (but no iron) that was recommended by the nutritionist. I wonder if she needs a different vitamin source.

Smiley14
January 12th, 2009, 07:08 PM
I gave my friend all your advice, and she said to say THANK YOU! She is so grateful for all your help! She is going to try simplifying the recipe with less grains, going back to the original chicken source, and will use salmon oil instead of the fish oil. She will also slightly up the zinc and add some of the honey as well. She was able to find it today and gave her dog a teaspoon of it, but said she vomited it back up almost immediately. But she will try it cooked into the recipe to see if it helps. If she still can't get good results, she'll try Honest Kitchen next. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her!! Thank you all so much!

rainbow
January 12th, 2009, 08:09 PM
Smiley, too much calcium in a dog's diet affects zinc absorption so maybe she shouldn't be supplementing with calcium at all.

From http://www.siberianhuskyhealthfoundation.org/health_zincdeficiency.asp .....

Although zinc deficiency in Siberian Huskies occurs primarily due to a genetic defect in absorption, Laflamme points out that other dietary factors can contribute. Other nutrients and supplements, especially calcium, can interfere with zinc absorption, she says. “If a calcium supplement is being given or if a diet contains more than 2.0 to 2.5 percent calcium, it can interfere with zinc absorption. Also, diets with low digestibility may have reduced zinc bioavailability.”

Dogs susceptible to zinc deficiency would likely benefit from being fed meat-based diets in which an animal protein source is listed first or second in the ingredient list on the package, Laflamme says. Calcium supplements should not be used.



Also, I wouldn't make alot of changes at once. :)

And, IF her dog does need zinc supplements tell her to only use zinc methionine or zinc piccolinate as they are the two that are the most absorbable.

This is the supplement that I use for Logan....

http://www.nowfoods.com/Products/ProductsbyCategory/Category/M003016.htm

Khari
January 12th, 2009, 08:11 PM
I have heard from many different sources that bone meal should not be used in place of bone in a raw food diet. Bone is the best source of calcium. And if they will not eat bone then a calcium supplement or egg shells can be used. The bone can also be bashed up with a mallot. Does she feed egg in the diet? Egg has been known to cause allergies in some pets. I would DEFINATELY cut out the grains. Many pets are allergic to grains. Cod liver oil should be ditched as well. I am not understanding from the posts if she has tried the prey model diet (80%meat - 10%bone - 10%organ). Has she tried cooking the meat (not the bones) for the dog that keeps on throwing up the meat. And slowly over time cooking it less and less until he can handle the raw meat. Or warming it up in a baggie placed in warm water. He may be allergic to certain meats and some of the ingredients added into the raw diet she is preparing. A procees of elimination may be the way for her to go. It is a very slow process but in the end could be very worth while.

Here are a few sites to check out (you may have lloked at them already:shrug:)

http://rawfeddogs.net/

http://www.rawfeddogs.net/Recipes

http://www.rawfed.com/

http://www.rawmeatybones.com/

Here are some groups to join for advice
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/IBDogs/?v=1&t=search&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=group&slk=4

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9Kitchen/?v=1&t=search&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=group&slk=7

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/?v=1&t=search&ch=web&pub=groups&sec=group&slk=2


Good Luck!