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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:44 PM
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Ok, we're sorta starting raw...

I've had it - almost $15,000 worth of vet bills for a 20 month old dog, and we still have no diagnosis and still intermittent vomiting. So, I went today and spoke to some very knowledgeable people about diet. Tommy is sooooooooooo much better than he was, but we're still on the vomit cycle, a few weeks good and then a few days of vomit and that simply cannot be healthy for him long term. Antacids haven't stopped it, they simply cut it back a bit, and I'm tired of seeing my dog be queasy all the time. Since medicine isn't working we're exploring diet alternatives a bit more.

They gave me a couple of sample raw medallions to try (along with a ton of literature, and massive amounts of support!). I've got slippery elm, too, and we'll be continuing his digestive enzymes and probiotics.

The hardest part is going to be getting him to eat it, but once we leap that hurdle is there anything I should be looking out for? Any advice? I figured the medallions were the easiest way to go, if it turns out that raw is better for him then we'll have to look at making it ourselves since I can't justify spending that much money for what amounts to pureed groceries, lol. But it's an easy way to start.

Is there really a 'detox' period like they warned me about? If so, at what point should I start to worry that it's not detox but just not agreeing with him?

that this is maybe part of the solution... because it just breaks my heart to see him smack his lips all night and puke daily like he has this week. He's fine, he's healthier than he ever has been, and he's not losing weight - but I can't sit back and let him be like this for the next 15 years or so without trying something else!
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Old May 14th, 2008, 01:04 AM
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from In The Raw Pet Food my raw food store http://www.intherawpetfood.com/what+to+expect.html

What can you expect during the switch & for the first few weeks & months.

SOME, NOT ALL pets can experience *NUTRITIONAL DETOXIFICATION*. Detox happens when the nutrients going into the body are of vastly superior quality than what was previously being fed. The body is literally throwing out the built up poisons and toxins to make way for healthy new tissue. Don’t worry, all is well the body is curing or healing itself. Sometimes there can also be levels of detoxification depending on the overall state of your pet’s immune system when they began on the raw diet. You could notice a few signs and then none and then a few weeks or months later you could see other signs or symptoms. Learn to really” look” at and analyze your pet, some signs can be subtle. Some people keep a journal or diary.

*Some signs of detoxification:
*Runny/weepy eyes
*Itchy skin
*Excess waxy build up in the ears
*Oily coat
*Loose or mucous stools
*Dandruff
*Sausage like casing on the stools
*Body Odor
*Flatulence
*Cysts
*Bad breath
*Sores

If your pet has trouble coping with the natural detoxification process, you can aid them by supplementing some Acidophilus, Aloe Vera, Bee Pollen, Garlic or some pureed Pumpkin to name a few.*Pumpkin is Mother Nature's natural fiber, it helps to regulate the bowel function.

Copyright © 2002 In The Raw ™
I would say considering Tommy's tummy issues if he's going to have any detox symptoms they would be apparent after a couple of days but still within the first 2 weeks. If it is "not agreeing" with him it I would think it would show the first day.

Duffy only ever had a little casing on the stool, started 2 days after she started raw & only lasted a couple of days.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 06:13 AM
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I don't know what to tell you other than I have been following Tommy from the beginning and it breaks my heart that the poor little one still has to go through these episodes. I hope you stumble upon the right treatment for him soon, but it's good to read that he is doing far better than a year ago. for sweet Tommy
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Old May 14th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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Thanks Growler, that's great info!

And thanks Lukka'sma... Tommy actually is doing GREAT, 'cept for the whole vomiting thing. He looks great, he's at a great weight, you would never think anything had been wrong with him. He's not even upset when he vomits, he just goes and eats afterwards. I just figure that he's still sooooooo young, if we can keep tweaking things here and there and help him feel better now it'll pay off in the long run and he'll live a longer and happier life.

Hope Lukka's feeling good too, and that her leg is all healed up!
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Old May 14th, 2008, 07:42 AM
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My dog experienced the detox period and it lasted for about two weeks. I read that they may release it through one of their weaker parts, in her case it was through her respiratory system. There was a lot of snorting sounds and a lot of hacking. She experienced a short case of diarrhea and some vomiting. I was worried for a little bit, but stuck to it. All the research I read said that this may happen and it did. After the two weeks was over, she was back to normal, actually she was much better. I am a firm believer in raw! Good luck!
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Old May 14th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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Hope Lukka's feeling good too, and that her leg is all healed up!
Not yet!!!!!! She still limps with every step, if she runs in the yard even for a short distance, she will be heavily limping for a day or so. She seems to need more time to heal than a lot of dogs that have had this surgery. It will get better as the months go by.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 08:46 PM
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Aww, sorry to hear she's still limping. Here's hoping she'll be as good as new soon, now that warm weather is here and there is no more nasty snow and ice to strain her even more.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Well, Tommy refuses to eat the raw I got. Any tricks to help get him started? I withheld his regular food to ensure he was good and hungry, and he'll lick some off my hand, but he's totally not interested. I can't simply not give him anything tonight, since not eating causes worse tummy issues for him, but I'll give it one more try with the raw before I cave and give him his Orijen. I've simply offered the raw repeatedly today, and removed it when he doesn't eat and offered it again later. He sniffs, he licks, he walks away - not interested in any way, shape or form. I've warmed it slightly but he doesn't care.

If he continues to refuse, should I consider trying a different protein? He adores real pork and lamb (and anything covered in bbq sauce) so should I try one of those instead? Or is there something in a different type of pre-made raw rather than the patties, in case it's the texture he doesn't like?

In the past, if we've put down a plate of leftover bbq'd pork or something, he'd either eat it or not depending on whether he was hungry... but he would NEVER choose his kibble over the cooked meat. With this raw, he seems to really prefer his kibble, he actually went and found a few pieces that had fallen under the edge of the couch to eat. Is it just possible that this particular brand/flavour just isn't tasty enough for him?
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Old May 14th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Don't "starve" him until hungry into eating the raw, it could make his resistance to it even stronger.

Try "accidentally" dropping a small piece while in the kitchen at the counter or table, especially if you are cooking something else. This usually works since they think they've "stolen" something tasty

Yes, try other proteins he may just not like what you've got. Duffy loves cooked beef but won't eat raw beef she prefers bison

You can also try a tiny amount of melted butter drizzled on it, or a treat/kibble on top
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Old May 14th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Well, Tommy refuses to eat the raw I got.
no way ! picky picky Tommy ! Yes I would try some gravy on it maybe ?
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Old May 14th, 2008, 09:21 PM
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Hmmmm... he's not really big on eating things I drop or anything else (I'm probably the only dog owner who has to clean up their own spills in the kitchen), but maybe I should head back to the store and see if they have some kind of little variety pack of flavours, so I can try a few different kinds. No matter how good it might be for him, it's not doing him any good if he won't eat the darn stuff eh!

Is it bad if he eats some raw and some kibble? Normally when we give him bits of our dinner we give him a plate beside his bowls after we're done eating. Maybe if I give him his kibble like normal, and then put down a plate of raw after we eat, he might be fooled into thinking it's our food? I tried that tonight but since he already knew I'd been trying to feed him this stuff today, he was too smart to fall for it, lol. He might forget by tomorrow evening though.

He downed all his Orijen though, so he WAS hungry just not for raw - at least I got the slippery elm into him that way, I'm hoping that makes a difference for him too.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 09:26 PM
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Tommy doesn't do clean up boy

If feeding raw and kibble make sure you have about 8 hrs between the raw and kibble meals because they digest at different rates.

I mentioned the treat/kibble on the raw just as a temptation, like 1 piece to get him to taste it.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Hmmmm... he's not really big on eating things I drop or anything else (I'm probably the only dog owner who has to clean up their own spills in the kitchen), but maybe I should head back to the store and see if they have some kind of little variety pack of flavours, so I can try a few different kinds. No matter how good it might be for him, it's not doing him any good if he won't eat the darn stuff eh!

Is it bad if he eats some raw and some kibble? Normally when we give him bits of our dinner we give him a plate beside his bowls after we're done eating. Maybe if I give him his kibble like normal, and then put down a plate of raw after we eat, he might be fooled into thinking it's our food? I tried that tonight but since he already knew I'd been trying to feed him this stuff today, he was too smart to fall for it, lol. He might forget by tomorrow evening though.

He downed all his Orijen though, so he WAS hungry just not for raw - at least I got the slippery elm into him that way, I'm hoping that makes a difference for him too.
I buy Maks the Nature's Variety. Where I go they have 1 pound packages, which is great because you get about 16 medallions at a good price and it allows you can buy different packages with different flavors and not spend a fortune on one they might not like. I don't know if this is what you are buying for Tommy, but if it is you might look for the small packages.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 04:44 PM
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That's a great idea, I'm going to look for those. I went to a store we have in town that is completely dedicated to raw feeding, and the patties I tried were samples they gave me for free to try and get started. I'll head back there tomorrow and see if they have the Nature's Variety medallions instead (I'm sure they do, they seemed to have everything there for raw feeding!).
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Old May 15th, 2008, 07:06 PM
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Cool. Even if you decide to use another brand, getting some samples of different flavors at least will let you know what he might like, and then in the future you can buy him his favorites and change them up.

Today I got his regular Lamb and some beef, as was suggested.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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Since we seem to have dogs with similar issues, perhaps the things I've figured out for Streets might be of help with Tommy too.

In my experience pre-made raw is often pretty bone heavy. I've never gotten an actual % from Nature's Variety, but other producers I've spoken to tend to use anywhere from 20-40% bone in their formulas. If one were to follow a prey model diet the recommended target amount is closer to 10% bone.

The up shot of this is that if a dog has a wonky stomach they may have trouble with a really bone heavy food. I use 50% pre-made raw and 50% muscle meats, organs and eggs (w/ground shell). This works much better for my two.

The other thing is that, although this seems totally counter intuitive, often the stomach needs to be more acidic, not less, which means that antacids are actually perpetuating a horrible cycle. Ditch them, especially if they're not really helping (which they didn't with Streets either).

ETA: One last thing, I've noticed that switching meat types can sometimes trigger stomach unease, but you also want to be feeding as much variety as possible. The best balance I've come up with it to feed one of two things for a while, like chicken and turkey, then move to chicken and bison for a week or two, then turkey or duck, then back to chicken to that the variety comes over weeks, not days.

Finally, in case you're not already doing this, a digestive enzyme can be really helpful. I'm not sure what the dose would be for Tommy, but we use about 1/2 the human dose for Basil and Streets who are 60 and 50lbs respectively.

I hope you can get him to eat the raw, switching has done nothing but good things for Streets.

Last edited by pitgrrl; May 15th, 2008 at 08:30 PM.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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Thanks, Pitgrrl... it actually hadn't occurred to me that not all raw would be the same. Our dogs do seem to have similar issues, just that mine expresses it out the front end and yours seem to prefer the back end, LOL - so I'm going to look into the bone percentages a bit more closely.

I took Tommy off the antacids a few weeks ago - they helped, but didn't totally stop the vomit, and I just can't see putting a 20 month old dog on chemicals for life that don't actually solve the problem anyway. I didn't realize that they could actually make it worse - thank you for pointing that out!

We use digestive enzymes, it's one of the few things that's ever made a difference for us, but I wonder if they're strong enough? Is there a brand that you recommend? I give him Prozyme, along with a dose of human acidophilus + bifidus probiotics.

Have you consulted with a homeopathic vet? I finally found a holistic vet here, but I'm a wee bit reluctant to call... their website has lots of really, REALLY alternative type stuff (animal communicators, magnetic forces type of stuff) that is a bit further out there than I think I believe. I might still call to see if I can get a consult for diet and herbal remedies, etc. Apparently they're also trained in traditional chinese medicine. I guess I'd just have to kind of make it clear how far I'm willing to go - traditional chinese medicine, yes... herbs/roots/etc, yes... acupuncture/diet changes/supplements, yes... communicating telepathically with my pet, umm, that would be a no.

(Quite frankly, I'm not sure I'd want to know what he would say to a communicator, anyway - I'm pretty sure it would be something like 'yeah, I growl when they pick me up cuz I just don't like it. Quit waking me up when I want to nap. I growl when they dry my paws from the rain because I don't like it. Quit waking me up. I need more of the curly type toys. Quit waking me up. Vacuum more because I keep getting hair in my mouth when I spread my cookie crumbs around. And please, quit waking me up!')
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Old May 15th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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Thanks, Pitgrrl... it actually hadn't occurred to me that not all raw would be the same. Our dogs do seem to have similar issues, just that mine expresses it out the front end and yours seem to prefer the back end, LOL - so I'm going to look into the bone percentages a bit more closely.
Streets actually has both going on. The poop we've got under control for the most part, with the exception of the weird "spring cleaning" as we've begun to refer to it, but the extreme acid reflux (for lack of a better term) and vomiting of bile has proven a bit harder to tackle.

If you're going to use pre-made raw, pay attention to the ingredients. Some use a huge amount of veggies, most, if not all have a lot of bone, etc. None of this might matter to your average dog, but it could make all the difference for Tommy. My experience is that little to no veggies or dairy and about 10% bone works best, but each dog is different.

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I took Tommy off the antacids a few weeks ago - they helped, but didn't totally stop the vomit, and I just can't see putting a 20 month old dog on chemicals for life that don't actually solve the problem anyway. I didn't realize that they could actually make it worse - thank you for pointing that out!
On the recommendation of a holistic vet I actually started using a supplement called Zymex from Standard Process which helps to rebalance to ph of the gut. It's helped quite a bit, but it's a huge pain to get in Canada.
I'm trying to find alternatives that are more easily available. I'll let you know if I find anything.

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We use digestive enzymes, it's one of the few things that's ever made a difference for us, but I wonder if they're strong enough? Is there a brand that you recommend? I give him Prozyme, along with a dose of human acidophilus + bifidus probiotics.
I use human ones. We were using one from Standard Process, but for the reason I explained above I've now switched to Organix Multi-Spectrum enzymes which seem to be doing a good job so far. Since we give another supplement which contain pancreatin I wasn't too concerned with having it in the enzyme, but I know it's recommended that you find one which does contain this. I've had NOW brand enzymes recommended and I believe the Life brand (pharmaprix/shppers brand essentially) contains this as well.

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Have you consulted with a homeopathic vet? I finally found a holistic vet here, but I'm a wee bit reluctant to call... their website has lots of really, REALLY alternative type stuff (animal communicators, magnetic forces type of stuff) that is a bit further out there than I think I believe. I might still call to see if I can get a consult for diet and herbal remedies, etc. Apparently they're also trained in traditional chinese medicine. I guess I'd just have to kind of make it clear how far I'm willing to go - traditional chinese medicine, yes... herbs/roots/etc, yes... acupuncture/diet changes/supplements, yes... communicating telepathically with my pet, umm, that would be a no.
I did have Streets under the care of a nutritionist/homeopath/naturopath and she helped a ton before she retired. I then consulted with a classical homeopathic vet, but after much discussion I decided not to pursue homeopathic treatment further (the details of which I will spare you unless you're interested in a whole blah, blah, blah about constitutional prescribing and the manner in which disease expresses itself as explained within the context of homeopathy), but he did make some helpful suggestions about supplements.

I would kill to find a vet in Montreal who practices TCM, so if it were me, I'd go for it if you have the resources available.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 10:30 PM
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Pitgrrl, thank you soooooooo much for all of the information! I hate the thought of anybody going through the same stuff I go through with Tommy, but you're an absolute angel for sharing your experiences and knowledge so much.

Isn't it so frustrating dealing with the bile vomiting? Virtually everything else has some kind of treatment that works... and Tommy no longer vomits any food... but the darn bile just doesn't seem to respond to much. I just worry that vomiting bile on a fairly regular basis is going to have some kind of impact on his health in the future... he might not have any disease they can find, but the simple act of vomiting might cause damage in the long run.

I think I'll call the holistic vet tomorrow and at least see what we can do. I've spent so much money on this, what's one more vet visit? Perhaps we can get a better grip on some herbal supplements to try, see if we can tweak things a bit more like you have.

I'll re-visit the raw store and get some better info on them about the percentages in their foods... now that you've mentioned it, most of their packages have quite a bit of veggy in them. So, you feed your dogs mostly meat then - meat and organs? If you don't feed much veg or bone, is that all that's left? I suppose they get most of what they need that way anyway, don't they, as long as you vary meat sources a bit? I've done so much reading on this stuff but quite honestly, for everything one source says, there are always a few sources saying something else. So basically what I'd be looking for then is more just the meat packages that some companies do, and then adding my own other stuff to it, right? It seems so overwhelming, but I'll get the hang of whatever I have to in order to help this little fuzzbutt get better!
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Old May 15th, 2008, 11:47 PM
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On the recommendation of a holistic vet I actually started using a supplement called Zymex from Standard Process which helps to rebalance to ph of the gut. It's helped quite a bit, but it's a huge pain to get in Canada.
I'm trying to find alternatives that are more easily available. I'll let you know if I find anything.
My Duffy is on 2 kidney supplements from Standard Process, they are ordered in through her Homeopath vet. Since they are not prescriptions, if there is a homeopath in your area you can still get them to order it in for you.


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So, you feed your dogs mostly meat then - meat and organs? If you don't feed much veg or bone, is that all that's left?
Just wanted to point out the amount of organs also has to be watched too, if too much they may end up with diarreah, of course every dog is different so it may take a few tries to get it right for Tommy
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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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I'll re-visit the raw store and get some better info on them about the percentages in their foods... now that you've mentioned it, most of their packages have quite a bit of veggy in them. So, you feed your dogs mostly meat then - meat and organs? If you don't feed much veg or bone, is that all that's left? I suppose they get most of what they need that way anyway, don't they, as long as you vary meat sources a bit?
Specifically what they eat is Nature's Variety raw which has bone (my guess, comparing it to other foods is about 20%, but they won't say) and 5% veggies. To that I add a bit more muscle meat, a bit more organs, occasional eggs and supplements, so they do get bone and a bit of veggie, just less so than they would if they were eating 100% pre-made raw.

Tommy may not have a problem with this at all, I just thought I'd mention it since Streets seems to have a limit of how much bone he can digest before he either pukes it up or passes it in such bone filled stool that it irritates the other end

He also can't deal with bones from bigger animals. Chickens and turkeys are fine, but I tried bison patties at one point and that led to disasterous puking.

ETA: On the bone topic, I actually recently spoke to yet another naturopath who thought at first that I fed only pre-made raw and the first thing she mentioned was that a lot of them have far too much bone and that may be adding to the problem, so it seems like I'm maybe not the only person ever to have noticed this.

.......and one last unrelated thing, when Streets starts to get nauseous, Rescue Remedy often helps. I don't know why it works, but it seems to in the less sever cases, so it might be worth a try.

Last edited by pitgrrl; May 16th, 2008 at 08:31 AM.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Well, the raw isn't going so well. Tommy simply is NOT interested in any variation that I try, picky little bugger! I think he just doesn't like the texture; he's never cared for canned food either, maybe he just doesn't like mushy stuff? He'll eat meat cooked rare/medium, loves his steak and pork chops and lamb chops done that way, so maybe I have to work him into it from that end and just keep cooking his food less and less.

The people who were so wonderful at the raw store have washed their hands of me, too... they are of the opinion that I should feed chicken even though he's allergic to it (they believe that no dog is truly allergic to anything other than preservatives in dry food), and simply starve him until he eats the raw. According to them, dogs can go 23 days without eating so I should just let him go as long as it takes. I don't agree. I'm probably not headed back there again any time soon. I did find another store though where they seem pretty helpful, so if we do continue that route they carry quite a bit of pre-made raw.

I think we're going to have to put this off for a bit though because we've had a whole weekend of doggy vomit all over the bed. I had to resort to using some pepcid just to give him a bit of a break yesterday, I was worried we'd end up at the e-vet due to dehydration. I have an appointment with a holistic vet to look at some traditional chinese medicine ideas next week, I think I'm going to hold off on any other changes right now until we meet with her. I don't want to upset his tummy even further at the moment, I just want to keep him hydrated and eating as much as possible for the next week until we see what she has to say.

Wish me luck - I'm really interested to see what the holistic vet has to say about all of this!
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Old May 20th, 2008, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tommysmom View Post
He'll eat meat cooked rare/medium, loves his steak and pork chops and lamb chops done that way, so maybe I have to work him into it from that end and just keep cooking his food less and less.

I should feed chicken even though he's allergic to it (they believe that no dog is truly allergic to anything other than preservatives in dry food), and simply starve him until he eats the raw. According to them, dogs can go 23 days without eating so I should just let him go as long as it takes.

Wish me luck - I'm really interested to see what the holistic vet has to say about all of this!
Well, if he likes his meat cooked and does okay like that, then that's got to be better than feeding him food you aren't sure about. Maybe just give him that and like you said little by little cut the cooking time.

I can't believe what those people said to you. So your dog should starve until he's so hungry he'll eat anything?

You should have said to them "Well if you don't like something and it's fed t you do you starve until you can't take it anymore and eat it?"

That's just insane troll logic!
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Old May 20th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Isn't that crazy? I mean, she just kept repeating the 23 days thing - would ANYBODY let their dog go 23 days without food? Come on. Not a chance!
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Old May 20th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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I feel bad for their pets.

Heck, if I see my guys not interested in their food by the second daily feeding, I'm looking for something I know they will like.

And yeah, we've all read that raw is the ideal way to feed, but if your pet isn't into it why are you going to force them? I think you are doing psychological harm to just think "He's going to like it or starve."
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Old May 20th, 2008, 07:38 PM
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A dog can go several weeks without eating as long as they have water but I don't know why anybody would want to intentionally do it.

I think the appointment with the holistic vet is the best route to go for Tommy ......good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 07:39 PM
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i believe ADULT dogs can go quite a few days without eating but i would imagine it would be quite bad for a younger dog.

have you tried a whole chicken back?? you mentioned he may be allergic to it... but would you feel comfortable giving it a try?? Mister doesnt mind eggs if they are mixed in with ANYTHING to give it some consistency but will not eat it straight up.

-ashley
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Old May 20th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow View Post
A dog can go several weeks without eating as long as they have water but I don't know why anybody would want to intentionally do it.

I think the appointment with the holistic vet is the best route to go for Tommy ......good luck and let us know how it goes.
Exactly... I've had enough issues with getting Tommy just to EAT, and now that he eats his other food I'm not exactly about to start trying to starve him out. Nice to know they can survive, but I'm not going to test that theory. I certainly hope that other customers of theirs take that with a grain of salt, too.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by want4rain View Post
have you tried a whole chicken back?? you mentioned he may be allergic to it... but would you feel comfortable giving it a try?? Mister doesnt mind eggs if they are mixed in with ANYTHING to give it some consistency but will not eat it straight up.

-ashley
I wish I could, since chicken is the cheapest and easiest thing to find! He really is allergic to it though - in kibble, cooked, and raw forms. Anything related to chicken and chicken fat makes him quite ill in a very different way than his usual pukeys.

He does love other meats though, but I think I'll end up having to cook them and slowly wean him off the cooking, just keep making them more and more rare until he gets used to it.

I'm sure the holistic vet will give us a bit more guidance on some of this, too (hopefully, since they cost so darn much... although just as I typed that, he jumped up on my lap and stretched forward to give me kisses, so I guess the money is well worth it).
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Old May 20th, 2008, 09:36 PM
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are you just feeding the pureed medallions?? maybe he wants a whole piece to chew apart?? duck, pheasant... they all should have soft enough bones right??

-ash
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