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Thread: Slightly Confused

  1. #1

    Slightly Confused

    My young cocker appears to have either a sensitive digestive system or he is allergic to a content of dry dog food. Although he is very fit and appears healthy his coat is fairly harsh and his ass is like a Mr Whippy machine. I have had full blood screening done and nothing is untoward as regards his digestive system. My vet is of the opinion he is not gluten allergic as his soft stools are not "Spectacular enough" but if you look at the content of most dry foods it would take a lifetime to find out just what ingredient he may not tolerate. Vet has now suggested a easily digested puppy food.

    During discussions with the vet we got onto the subject of feeding raw. Now this is where my confusion arises. I know of a person who owns several lurchers. These dogs are in tip top athletic condition. Fed completely raw 6 days a week and not fed on day 7. I know another person with border collies that are agility dogs. Very fit and again fed completely raw. My vets advice is dogs should not be fed raw especially chicken. His thoughts are that over the years of dog development their intestines and bacteria of the stomach can no longer cope with raw meats. He also considers that even a varied raw diet does not contain essential minerals and vitamins.

    Any comments from our vet members. I am not looking for "I feed my dog whatever for XXX Years and he works 7 days a week" I am looking for reasons as to why we should/should not feed raw.

  2. #2
    personally I have no real problem with feeding raw as long as one is careful regarding potential disease (campylobacter in raw poultry meat, tapeworm intermediate stages in other meats etc) and some variety is maintained as animals will not be eating just steaks in the wild (they will eat liver, bone, intestines including the contents etc) A raw food diet is easier to control as regards potential allergens as there is no other protein source in beef than beef! just look at the ingredients list on many commercial foods and they will contain many sources of protein, any one of which your dog may be allergic/intolerant to.

    Once you have eliminated infectious causes of loose stools e.g. worms, giardia, campy etc (this may well require lab testing etc, and how comprehensive is ultimately up to you) Then the next stage would be a diet trial.

    This is not complex but it is quite long winded and requires that the diet of choice be fed totally exclusively for at least a month. And it needs to be total exclusion, not even one schmacho or rodeo twister or boneo or whatever as this can undo everything.

    It is then a case of moving through different diets until one is found that seems to suit the dog best.

    It is sometimes helpful to feed very very simple diets, i.e. beef and potatoes or fish and rice as it allows you to identify a base protein source that doesnt upset the dog, or indeed one that does.

    It is a tedious process and one you have to stick to but it is simple. Many dogs do exceeding well on basic commercial foods others need specialist hydrolysed diets to maintain healthy digestive function and there is a spectrum in between.

  3. #3
    In similar cases I have had good success with Eukanuba Intestinal puppy food.

    I have no particular problem with raw feeding, but there are risks. I've heard of cases both salmonella and cryptosporidium in raw fed young dogs, but then I've seen crypto in commercially fed dog food.

    I would worry about calcium and phosphorus levels in young rapidly growing dogs. They will need some additional supplementation with vitamins and minerals.

    The people who seem to do the best (if they want to feed raw) mix it up with some conventional feed too. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Also you can make a home cooked diet for the dog that you know what is in there, and the risks from uncooked meat is removed.

    I feed my own dogs conventional (decent quality) dog food.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  4. #4
    Beef & Potatoes? Potatoes I would not feed to a dog along with onions, chocolate and grapes.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by deer man View Post
    Beef & Potatoes? Potatoes I would not feed to a dog along with onions, chocolate and grapes.
    I would somewhat agree with you as potatoes would seem at odds with feeding a meat eating animal such as a dog but I know of several working farm collies that live on whatever is left from the kitchen table including potatoes. Most commercial dog foods are bulked with wheat. Look at a bag of commercial dog food - beetroot, nettles, spinach, dandelion, kale, seaweed, rosemary (Chudleys working crunch), I don't doubt for one second that dog food manufactures don't spend long hours developing their brand but if you have a dog that is a bit sensitive to a certain ingredient where do you even start.

  6. #6
    Potatoes are fine. Cooked obviously and presented in such a way that any choking hazard is removed, ie crushed or similar. As for being concerned as to feeding them a meat eating animal have you not seen the cerial content of many commercial foods? Also we are not talking life long, just for a period while you identify potential allergens.

    if you suspect dietary allergens then you need to strip the diet back as much as you can and gradually add things back in until you find something the dog is intolerant to, as I said a long process but there is not really any other way to sort it long term. My dog is allergic to pedigree schmachos, if she gets even 1 she will be scratching within 10 minutes

  7. #7
    We have cockers and they all have the squitters after exercise. The first crxp is usually normal. Raw chicken occasionally does them no harm at all as long as its the type you would eat yourself. The raw chicken bones are not a problem.
    We feew chudleys original always. There is no need to starve the dogs one day as they have also moved on from hunting themselves with no guarantee of a catch.
    Raw beef bones will harden the stools. Much as I dislike it have you tried tripe.

  8. #8
    How young? If he's a hyperactive typical cocker, you might just be dealing with a dog that burns off all his calories. It's common and if a dog is in full health, there's no weight loss, there's no blood or mucus in the faeces, then I tend not to be concerned by the shape or consistency of the poo.

  9. #9
    I have recently changed over to raw as a prefer it because you know what you are feeding your dogs.

    No offence to any vets but from what I have read they only get a few days training on food when studying. what I am sure is a very long and hard course to do.

    I think that we are force fed rubbish from advertising and scaremongers to get our money and it's easier to feed and quicker so a lot of people just got with the flow.
    i introduced raw slowly by giving small tips for positive work. Then gave it in a small meal then brought it. In more until the eat only raw I mix it with carrot,apple tripe, venison,rabbit ,chicken and green leaf veg spinach,broccoli and others. Plus flax seed oil and fish of the oily kind sardines EG.
    I looked at this for a long time and a good book to read is "give your dog a bone" by dr Ian billinghurst who decided to study this way of eating.

    Each to their own. feed what best for your dog.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by M55 View Post
    No offence to any vets but from what I have read they only get a few days training on food when studying. what I am sure is a very long and hard course to do.
    Whilst strictly true (we had a module in first year on the principals of nutrition in all species and then I think it was 2 or 3 days later on in the course about feeding dogs and cats) there are many things I am very good at that I spent less time learning about at college. It's a damn sight more formal training that the great majority of 'raw' feeders have ever had, built upon sound scientific foundations (both in A levels and the rest of the undergraduate vet course). The clinical course was sponsored by Hills, but a lot of the conferences and meetings we go to are sponsored by industry and we are bright enough to sort the facts from the commercial spin. To suggest that the veterinary profession has been indoctrinated by the pet food companies is almost as daft as some of the conditions the raw advocates claim commercial food cause.

    The reason why most people feed commercial feeds is because there is consumer demand for commercial feed! It's economical, cheap and convenient. There is massive variation in quality. Dogs now are living so much longer than they ever used to and in part that is down to the much better commercial diets that in the 'olden days' when the dog was fed home-made feed and table scraps. Comparing dogs to wolves is stupid as they are far removed these days after hundreds of years of selective breeding and they have different dentition and different digestive systems.

    As I said above, you can feed raw food and the dog can do well from it, but there are ever present risks that are not there with quality commercial food. The biggest bug bear with the raw advocates is the way they see it almost as a religion and throw all the silly arguments at commercial food.

    Some of the healthiest dogs we see are working dogs living off sacks of cheap working dog food and some tripe.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

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