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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My apologies in advance for the mini-novel. I'm hoping someone will tell me I'm overreacting here, worrying is one of my hobbies ;) , BUT...

I've been transitioning both of my dogs to a raw diet for the past two months. I've taken the transition sloooowly, as one of the dogs is a recent rescue with a largely unknown medical history. The rescue was arranged through a vet's office (not my usual vet) and he was given a fairly clean bill of health. Allergies, yeast overgrowth, general neglect issues, but nothing major.

Anyway, I started with THK Force, gradually added ground Nature's Variety patties, then gradually switched to "real raw" 2 1/2 weeks ago. The only supplements I use are probiotics, salmon oil and vit. E. Both dogs have tolerated the change well. Poops have been solid and regular, good color, although I have noticed "ground up" looking bone in them.

At 7:30 last night, they both had chicken necks for the first time (with nothing else mixed in). Around 6:00 this morning, the little one woke me up vomiting. When I took her out, I saw the Dane had also vomited twice (good sized puddles). Both dogs vomited yellow bile and bone chunks with very little meat. Both dogs seem fine today, no bloating or pain when I palpitate their stomachs. Both are REALLY unhappy that I'm fasting them. In fact, if it had been just one dog vomiting, I wouldn't be too concerned. It's just that both of them had problems...

Could I have gotten a bad batch? I spent some quality time with the meat pulling skin off, everything looked and smelled fine. Both dogs have eaten skinless turkey necks with no problems. Why did it take so long for them to sick it up, if raw is supposed to digest in four hours +/-? Were the chicken necks too much bone at one sitting? I thought necks were one of the easiest beginner foods, but there was bone in the vomit. Also, regarding bone in their poop-- should I add an enzyme supplement?

I plan on fasting them until dinner, then giving some boiled rice to see how they do. Any other suggestions? Any help would be much appreciated, I'm still pretty new to raw feeding and don't yet have a supportive vet.

(Again, sorry for the length and gross details-- I just want to make sure people have enough info to form an opinion).
 

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if they had had to much bone they would have just been a bit constipated. my dogs have issues with some raw foods. duck and pheasant are really the only ones. it just causes crazy loose stools. i would just take chicken necks out of the diet
 

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if they had had to much bone they would have just been a bit constipated. my dogs have issues with some raw foods. duck and pheasant are really the only ones. it just causes crazy loose stools. i would just take chicken necks out of the diet
Me too.


I had a dog once who threw up when she ate those little Cornish hens, and one who couldn't handle poultry wings.

Necks are a little bony, but, as mentioned, it's soft cartilage-y bone.

I would just do what Steve suggests....... take them out of the rotation.

Dogs are excellent at getting rid of things that don't agree with their systems (at both ends).:lol:
 

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P.S. A dog with allergies and yeast overgrowth problems -- the best possible thing, IMHO, is exactly what you are doing: a gradual switch to a no-grain raw diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Steve and Connie. I'll ditch the necks and see how it goes...

Jeff: You big old softy. I'll be sure to let the dogs know you're keeping them in your thoughts :D .
 

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Nicole, are they chewing thoroughly? I know if I fed chicken necks, they'd just be inhaled. Being relatively new to 100% raw, one of my new favorite things are turkey wings. Not as cheap as I'd like (drumsticks I can understand, but who eats just plain turkey wings?), but even my dedicated gulper has to work on those for a while. He can literally swallow a really large chicken quarter whole. Puts my boa constrictor and my python to shame.

Connie, was meaning to ask this, but my husky/Rott mix (the dedicated gulper) just got his allergy testing results back and he is allergic to corn, venison, carrots, barley, and milk. He had been on a grain free diet like you mentioned for about two months and still had an awful yeast-y ear in the one ear that hangs. The vet called him a "yeast factory." So now no yogurt or cottage cheese, I guess for calcium and probiotics. Any other ideas?
 

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Connie, was meaning to ask this, but my husky/Rott mix (the dedicated gulper) just got his allergy testing results back and he is allergic to corn, venison, carrots, barley, and milk. He had been on a grain free diet like you mentioned for about two months and still had an awful yeast-y ear in the one ear that hangs. The vet called him a "yeast factory." So now no yogurt or cottage cheese, I guess for calcium and probiotics. Any other ideas?
Wings are good for some gulpers who will slow down with them. Some dogs' systems are not thrilled with all the skin (fatty) and bones and so little meat, except as part of the whole bird. Sounds like it works well for your guys.

Yeast: No, no grains, and I agree that you want to eliminate all foods that feed on yeast. Milk sugar and high-sugar produce are a couple of examples.

The allergies: Was this blood or skin testing?

Skin tests, with a maybe-70% accuracy rate, are the gold standard. Blood tests can help sometimes, but yield so many false positives (for several reasons) that they really have to be only a small part of a diagnostic kit. Because the scratch tests (skin tests) are usually done by a vet dermatologist, because they take a long time, and because they require some shaving, some vets don't even suggest them.

Food allergies are not accurately diagnosed by either one, unfortunately. Food allergies need a strict elimination diet.

I would accept those positives, since a couple are very common in the canine food allergy world anyway, and because I'd rather accept a possible positive.

But I would not accept them as complete. I'd start an elimination diet (a strict one, encompassing supplements, meds, and treats).

Has the ear ever cleared up completely? Is is a yeast-bacteria combo (often the case)?
 

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He can literally swallow a really large chicken quarter whole.
Have you tried giving your dedicated gulper the meat partially frozen? I do this all the time with my dogs, the outside is thawed but the inside is still a little frozen. It limits the flexibility of the piece and they have to chew it it up before they can gulp it down. Even if they don't chew it up really well, it forces them to chew it so the bones/meat are broken up into smaller chunks.

My dogs will chomp even a chicken neck a couple of times before swallowing if it's 80% frozen, but they will just gulp it down whole if it's 100% thawed out.
 

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hell i feed my dogs everything almost frozen. to help form them gulping it down
 

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I feed a lot frozen, too. My boys will lay down with just about everything and gnaw on it for quite some time - even smaller parts like necks and backs. Thawed, they still chew, but really only enough to mash it - not enough to tear it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You know, that didn't even occur to me :oops: . They eat almost everything partially frozen (food doesn't defrost well in my fridge), but the necks were completely thawed and the dogs just slurped them down. Is there an emoticon for "smacking self in head"?
 

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Thanks guys, sorry I haven't responded. Been sick for a couple days (threw up for the first time since high school, ick!). Anyways...

Connie: he got the blood test done. According to that, he is allergic to venison, corn, brewers yeast, milk, barley, carrots, and alfalfa, is borderline allergic to peas, and is almost borderline allergic to poultry and wheat. His best protein sources seem to be rabbit, eggs, and fish. Beef, pork, duck, and lamb are closer to borderline. And yes, he hasn't had any grains and very few veggies or fruits since I switched to 100%. The printout I got said rice and white potato (though didn't mention sweet potato) were okay. They don't really get rice very often at all as I'm more of a bread person than a rice person, but they may get some sweet potato if I'm feeling ambitious enough to cook some. The yeast infections do seem to go away with the drops the vet gave me (don't have them with me on hand, so I don't recall what they were called). It's really annoying because due to a hematoma in his ear when he got brought into the shelter which now makes it hang (it was the worst the old shelter vet had ever seen), he only gets them in the ear that hangs.

Kadi: I can feed him a chicken quarter that is frozen solid as a rock and he'll still try to swallow the whole darn thing. :roll: I usually end up just having to hold it and let him at least partially gnaw it down. His eyes literally dilate while eating. He gets in this zone and doesn't worry about chewing. Beef ribs and a whole tilapia (eaten only outside, thanks!) seem to be chewable at least. He now gets a lot of ground turkey, beef organ meat, and canned (like Innova Evo and Wysong rabbit and duck and Solid Gold beef green tripe) as I'd hate to have to bring him to the ER for an obstruction and hearing my raw diet nay saying vet say "Told you so!"
 

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1. True food allergies are almost always to proteins, whether it's in meat, soy, grains, dairy....... it's a protein. (Sensitivities, of course, are broader.)

2. Blood tests (RAST or ELISA) are still sometimes done for food allergies. Even scratch (skin) skin testing is sometimes done for food allergies. *But* they do not work for food allergies.

There is NO evidence that blood tests are accurate for IDing food allergens, and this has been widely known in the canine allergy world for years.

(What I'm saying is that maybe your vet was looking for environmental allergies and gave you the whole printed list of results without mentioning that including food items in it is a waste of time.* Also, I hope it was made clear to you that the blood test, while much cheaper and faster than the skin test, is nowehere near as accurate as the skin test -- and again, this is for environmental/inhalant allergies, and NOT food allergies.)

The intradermal tests are the gold standard for environmental/inhalant allergies (even though the accuracy rate is only around 70%), but it is no better than the blood test for food allergies.

THE ONLY ACCURATE TEST FOR FOOD ALLERGIES is a strict elimination diet.

What I would do with this dog would be to start a strict elimination diet (no ingredient that the dog has EVER eaten before), and stick with it for a full month. Recent research has showed that some dogs need 10 weeks before provocative ingredient challenges are started.

I'd eliminate ALL grains for the yeast problem, including rice, and also all sugary and starchy produce (carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, etc.), dairy, etc.

I'd up the fish oil (and no land-plant Omega 3s..... just marine) to a gram per ten pounds of dog-weight, daily.

I'd look carefully at all supplements, etc., for flax, sugar coatings, etc.

And I'd keep a very close eye on that ear, because often you can catch it in the inflammation stage, when you see debris or redness or smell yeasty odors, and not have it go to full-blown infection.

I'll send you a link to a detailed discussion of the merits of the two types of tests for atopy.

*That's the best interpretation I can come up with for your vet doing a blood test for suspected food allergies. JMO.
 

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P.S.

QUOTE: There is no reliable diagnostic test other than a strict food elimination diet. Serologic testing and intradermal testing for food allergens have proved unreliable. END from
the Merck Vet Manual, 2006

QUOTE: Diagnostics: The ideal method of diagnosis is the feeding of an elimination (“hypoallergenic”) diet. The experience of the author and of other researchers has been disappointing in the use of serologic or intradermal skin tests to diagnose food allergy in pets in North America.END from
http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Proceedings/PR05000/PR00093.htm

QUOTE: To determine whether or not a food allergy or intolerance is causing the skin problem, a "hypoallergenic diet" is fed for a set period of time. END from
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_food_allergies.html

QUOTE: The first step in diagnosing a food allergy is to eliminate all possible allergens and feed ONLY a homemade diet with ingredients the dog has never eaten before. END from
http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/medical/canine-allergies.html

QUOTE: How do you diagnose food intolerance (food allergy)?
The patient is fed a hypoallergenic diet for 60-90 days. END from
http://www.crvetcenter.com/foodallergy.htm
 

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Well, bummer...glad to know I paid $130 and waited a week and a half for some possible false positives. However, I have eliminated yogurt and cottage cheese from Buck's diet and it does seem to have helped as his coat is not looking as flakey. Giving him a true elimination diet would be difficult indeed as he's had venison, bison, duck, salmon, rabbit, etc along with the usual protein sources. I'd have to find something really exotic like emu or beaver or something. Unfortunately, he's showing more and more signs of canine cognitive disfunction (the dog equivalency of old age dementia) and he snapped and growled at me last night for almost no reason. He's also getting increasingly incontinent in the house, including in his crate. He might not be with me too much longer anyways. :(

Anyways, thanks as always for all the links, Connie. It's never too late to think about being a holistic animal nutritionist. :)
 

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so, if one had a dog like Buck, who's been exposed to almost every protein source in N. America already, what would be the most benign place to start an elimination diet? catfish?
but seriously--where would you start?
and maren--give the old boy a scratch somewhere for me; i've got 2 seniors that i'm dreading having to make the "decision" for. fortunately, they're both in good health at the moment.
 

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so, if one had a dog like Buck, who's been exposed to almost every protein source in N. America already, what would be the most benign place to start an elimination diet? catfish?
but seriously--where would you start?
and maren--give the old boy a scratch somewhere for me; i've got 2 seniors that i'm dreading having to make the "decision" for. fortunately, they're both in good health at the moment.
Ostrich (readily available in California, anyway), buffalo, white fish, eggs, kangaroo, pheasant and other game.......


But I have learned to reserve protein sources for this eventuality, because the alternative would be to test a protein the dog had had only rarely and not since the allergies presented, and do an elimination diet with it as if it were novel, then starting over if it proved to be an allergen.

There are also denatured proteins, which I think of as the last of the last resorts.

Within the parameters of reserving a couple of novel proteins, variety can help prevent the development of both food allergies and food sensitivities.

But it's a good thing to remember that true food allergies are not the most likely allergies in dogs. Flea hypersensitivity is number one by far, then environmental/inhalant allergies. Food allergies trail behind.
 

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Don't forget, bison=North American buffalo. ;-) Bison (which he's had...they now occasionally have ground bison at Wal-Mart around here for $4-5 a pound) is actually the more correct term as they aren't all that related to the true buffalo like water buffalo and the like. *biology nerd steps off her soapbox* He also has had whole ocean fish (loves whole tilapia) and his fish oil capsules likely are a mish mash of different available ocean fish. God help us if we have to import some kangaroo or penguin or yak or something. :D The no dairy thing seems to be helping, so we'll proceed with that for the time being.

I'm also going up his dose of ester C to 2000 mg a day and try not to forget his 400 IUE of vitamin E. Seems keeping up a higher level of antioxidants can be helpful in slowing some of the symptoms, but like human Alzheimers and dementia, there is no "cure." Buck is anywhere from 8 to 12 years old, I'd imagine. He gets around pretty well still and will still run at a slow gallop for a bit (he'll start to drag after more than a 15-20 minute walk), but the more I read about the dog equivalent of dementia, the more I see in him. I think the Rottweiler in him is making him age faster than the husky.

And thanks for the kind words, Ann. I was really sad about it last night as just a few minutes after he snapped and growled at me with his eyes all dialated, he came right back to me like three minutes later submissive and wanting to lick my hand. He's also randomly attacked my current Siberian husky foster twice just for barking (and not even at him). It's like you want to be angry, but his bad nerves combined with this (if it's not a brain tumor or something) makes it hard to be. But full blood panel and everything was run less than two months ago and nothing out of the ordinary except one type of white blood cell count indicating he was probably suffering from allergies.
 
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