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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All! My 5 y/o male Chihuahua isn't doing so hot on his new raw diet. He has been on a premade frozen raw for a bit over two months now. He is getting NV raw frozen Lamb. I tried him on Primal premade frozen rabbit a week ago but still no change. He seems VERY tired a lot of the time since being on raw..just really sleepy and tired..not necessarily lethargic, but not just his energetic wanting to play normal self..just kind of off or something, and sleeping a lot more normal then usual. (Prior to raw, he was on high quality kibble - Fromm). In the beginning of feeding raw, he was having some acid reflux/regurgitation, but that has subsided for the most part -- although he still has a lot of burping. I really want to put him back on kibble...something just doesn't seem right when he is on raw, although his coat, eyes, etc. all look wonderful, something internally seems off. Any idea as to why he has been so sleepy & tired since starting raw?? Do some dogs just really not do well on raw for whatever reason? Please do not suggest I prepare my own raw - that isn't possible at the moment. Any ideas, thoughts, or suggestions would be highly appreciated!! I just want the best for my pup :)
 

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It's possible he's still transitioning to raw. Most dogs aren't considered fully transitioned for at least 6 months as their body needs time to build up the appropriate enzymes to digest raw. Many dogs go through a "detox" period when they switch from kibble to raw and that could be what you are experiencing.

How often do you rotate proteins? Most homemade/prey model feeders feed different proteins daily or at each meal because variety is really the key to a balanced raw diet. It could be the lamb or some other ingredient doesn't fully agree with him (food intolerance?).

ETA: Lamb is also a relatively rich protein, it's usually recommended to start with something leaner and easier to digest like chicken or turkey.

The thing about premade raw is that you have no control over the ingredients or amounts of each. My first thought is maybe this brand doesn't have the right balance for him. If you're going to try a different brand I would stick with it for at least a month to see if he does better on it. Some dogs need a little more fat or a little more bone to be at their personal best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I thought it was the detox period at first too..but I read detox should last up to 2 months..I never read it should last longer then that. Hmm..he possibly could still be in a detox period. I'm just worried as he's not his normal self. I'm worried he isn't feeling well,vespecially with the regurgitation hours after eatting ( that has subsided), but he still burps a lot. Do you think Primal's premade raw Rabbit would be better then NV Lamb?? I have almost a full bag of patties of the rabbit. I have to look at lower fat content food in general because he has been known for acid reflux while on high fat foods. Primal rabbit has a very low fat content for being raw..I think 16% DMB. Gahhh, I don't know what to do!
 

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Sorry I wish I had a cut and dry answer for you. Does he eat quickly? Inhaling air while eating or drinking can also cause burking.

Detox can take much longer than two months. Often the longer the dog was kibble fed the longer the detox. I know a few dogs in their teen years who transitioned to raw late in life and it took them over half a year to finish detoxing.

That being said, if you are really concerned about his health you can always talk to a vet, of course it helps if you can find one who is supportive of raw feeding.
 

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Rotating proteins as much as possible is best. Lamb for one meal, rabbit for the next, beef the next day, etc. That way all the nutrients balance out. Rotating brands is good, too.

NV is high in bone and can cause constipation (which can definitely make you cranky and lethargic!). How's his pooping?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
He has been on kibble his whole life...so he may still be detoxing. I have yet to find a vet that supports raw feeding. I'll have to look online for vets in my area that do, and hopefully I may come up with something. He does eat fairly quickly and I do add some water to the food, so that could be why he is burping a lot.
 

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Another thought about his tiredness. How is the weather where you are? We've been having a heat wave the last week and Gally has been sleeping A LOT more than usual. He'll still perk up to go for a walk or play but he's obviously not enjoy the heat and neither are we!
 

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@willoy - he has been pooping fine..everyday, once or twice a day. Only a couple time has he had looser light green colored stools...so no constipation or diarrhea. He doesn't seem to be straining either. Him always being tired and sleeping a lot since on raw concerns me..that's not like him at all. I don't want him to not be feeling well. Could this be a digestion issue? Maybe digestive enzymes are needed?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There has been a heat wave over here in WI as well, so that could be it! Was just on vacation in Ontario Canada with him, wasn't that hot, but he was still sleepy and tired. Good thought, that could definately be a possibility. When I engage play with him, he does play, but is a bit hesitant and not as enthusiastic.
 

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I caved in and bought a bag of his food he was previously on, Fromm pork and applesauce. Gave him that for dinner. He already seems to be back to his normal self for the most part..very weird. I'm thinking the raw is causing digestive upset or some type of immediate problem where it just isn't settling well with him. Would it be a good idea to keep him on kibble in the morning and raw in the evening? So torn on what to do...I really think its is acid reflux flaring up on the raw..any suggestions on how to keep that at bay without Pepcid?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I did 2 wks half kibble half NV raw..Kibble in the morning, raw in the evening. After the 2 wks, it was all raw. I don't think it's pasteurized...they spray it down with water I believe..or something like that.
 

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http://www.thecatsite.com/t/246416/high-pressurized-pasteurization

Read the first post and the part about enzymes. Basically what I would do is start over. You should start with chicken first then work up to richer proteins like rabbit. Being 5 years old he could very well still be detoxing. Some dogs detox for 6 months or even more. I'd also switch onto just meat before you add in veggies, fruits, etc. if wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ah, I see..pasturization makes sense. After reading other forums as well, it seems chicken is the way to go as far as starting out. I don't want to buy a premade raw chicken formula since I've spent enough money on premade raw for now. Would store bought chicken work? Is it ok to just feed a certain part of the chicken for now until he gets use to the raw? How long can I feed chicken before its not ok (because I don't think it would be a balanced diet feeding just chicken thighs or whatever). What part of the chicken do you suggest? I don't feel comfortable letting him eat and chew whole bones. Sorry for all the questions. :/ I would like to feed him just the chicken for a bit and then get him back on the premade raw since I'd be more balanced. Should he be on the chicken until the detox period is done with?
 

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The only balance needed is 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ. If you want you can add a multi vitamin, I might. If you don't feel comfortable with bones ground is the way to go. I use Blue Ridge Beef.

Here's a link www.preymodelraw.com it answers practically every question possible.

If you can handle whole pieces necks, drumsticks, or wings are good to start out on.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I will check out the link. I've heard your not suppose to add in organs until the 6th week or so of feeding just chicken backs, thighs, or whatever. I feel like I have a lot of research to do, and I've already spent hours and hours and hours researching everyday. For now, I'm putting him back on kibble until I get this situated. Thank you again! Rio appreciates it as well :)
 

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The only thing is you shouldn't feed chicken for 6 weeks straight, but you'll see about that in the link. Good Luck!
 

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We started with a premade as well, Oma's. While the quality was fine - it gets expensive fast. Personally, I follow a Prey Model Raw Diet - but I add supplements and berries. Occasionally, I'll throw in some cooked and pureed veggies as well.

Don't be nervous about feeding bones - your dog was made to eat bones. His teeth are those of a carnivore and even though he has a small jaw, I am sure he can handle chicken bones. They are very soft and pliable.

In my experience, I had firm stools in my dogs the first week of feeding raw. I didn't fast mine, but I did give them a period of 8 or more hours between transition from kibble to raw. At first, I noticed a decrease in energy. After a lot of thinking and reading about nutrition, it occurred to me that this could be the bodies form of detox - their bodies were removing the carbohydrates. If I put them back on kibble, it is likely that something similar would happen, but not for the better in my opinion.

In my opinion, you switched too quickly and didn't give the dogs body time to detox.

BTW, be careful with Nature's Variety if you are feeding rabbit. Their rabbit comes from China.
 

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@ Mheath - Thanks for the input :) Quick question...he is 8 lbs..feeding him 2.5% of is weight for the Prey Model diet would be 3.2 oz total a day. So, this would be 0.32 oz of bone, 0.32 oz of organ, and 2.56 of muscle meat a day, correct? I would like to measure everything out on a digital scale...I want to make sure my portions are correct. I'm worried about giving him a chicken thigh or something, and him getting too much or too little. I think i'm going to do the ground bone, just because it makes me more comfortable.. so i guess that would make it easier in measuring stuff out? If i didn't do the ground bone, how would I know how much to give him??
 

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The 80,10,10 rules is really more of a guideline. The key is balance over time and to find the right balance for your dog. Some dogs require a little more or a little less bone for example. Most dogs need quit a bit more bone during transition. Most people, once their dog is fully transitioned, aim for balance over a week, so that may mean one bone in meal a day or one every other day and a few organ meals a week to get to the right amounts.

It's your choice on the bone but you are loosing out on the great health benefit of teeth cleaning by grinding the bones.
 
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