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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long have you RAW feeders been feeding your pets raw?

Has anyone on this site ever experienced bacterial or parasitic infections either first hand or while working in a vet. clinic? (I would prefer real stories as opposed to "supposed" ones

Along those lines anyone personally have a pet pass on them from bone obstruction or perforation?

Sorry for the weird questions.. I have been lurking around for weeks, and decided to finally ask the remaining questions burning my mind!

TIA!
 

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We got Phoebe at 7 weeks old and strated her on raw right away, she's 11 months old now and extremely healthy and happy.
If you're worried about bacteria and parasites in raw food, think of this:
Dogs eat poo, roll in dead anilmals, drink from mud puddles, and they are fine. Their digestive systems can easily handle considerable levels of bacteria. I wouldn't give a dog obviously rotton meat, but as long as you buy your meat from a butcher and not a tropical, third-world street market, there is no way your dog will get sick from ingesting bacteria or parasites from raw meat. Phoebe eats goose poop like it's candy and she's fine, a raw chiken from the Safeway meat counter isn't going to make her sick.
Phoebe has also swallowed big chunks of bone with no problen at all. If they are too big, they come right back up, no problem. Dogs are natural masters of regurgitation, that is how wolves feed their young in the wild. The wolf pups lick at the mouths of the adult wolves, and they regurgitate chunks of meat and bone for the pups. Your dog is physiologically capable of the doing the same thing. Raw bone is easily digestible. I have also seen chunks of bone in Phoebes poop that have been almost completely digested, nice rounded corners on bone chunks that were easily passed. When Phoebe was 10 weeks old she swallowed a 4" section of a turkey neck. We thought we had just killed our puppy, but she loved it, and completely digested it as well, nothing left but a little raw food poop.
I hope that answers you questions to some extent.
 

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1. 4 years full time, a few years before that going back and forth due to storage requirements

2. no infections, in fact my dogs never go to the vet anymore unless it is for their yearly exams...

3. daughter works for a vet hospital and they have never seen a case of obstruction or perforation from bone in a raw fed dog. Several well-meaning owners who have brought home the "doggy bag" with steak bones have brought dogs in with perforations. And many dogs come in with obstructions of odd things like string, socks, chewed up toys, ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Okay thanks! I actually started my dogs a week ago, but in my constant study, keep unearthing those particular arguments against the diet.. I myself have seen dogs eat some pretty disgusting things and be fine.. I was just wondering if anyone had personally experienced any problems.. That being said you are approximately the 6th person to tell me that they have never had any trouble, one of my friends having fed it for 10 years.

Just wanted to clear up any doubt! Thanks again SO much.

Oh and for good measure.. In the last 7 days (today being day 8) I have already seen changes.. They haven't been farting or burping nearly as often - actually at all. My big boy has suddenly shed out his whole winter coat and looks great! The breath smell is already changing, and they eat with a vigor I have never seen in either of them! Onto bodily functions that are never fun to talk about..lol. Neither have had any problems with diarrhea or vomiting. Their poo was a little soft the first 2 days, there was no there was nothing else different.. Last night when I took them out to "potty" before bed. My big boy took a much smaller poo than ever before.. Didn't have to struggle as much to get it out either, and my backyard didn't get overwhelmed with the smell of fresh dog do..All that in a week, I can't wait to see the results at the end of this month!

ETA - Thanks to you to Briteday! That's pretty much the same story with all feeders I've talked to.. My boys only go for annuals right now as well - and vaccines, but unfortunatley the vet that my usual vet has working for him on the weekend must have hit something while vaccinating my pup 2 weekends ago and my fiance has to take him back to the vet to have their normal dr. take a look...ugh.. I wish he could talk
 

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raw feeding since december 2008 and loving it. i am a huge germaphobe and i was super worried about germs before we switched but after a bit i was not worried any more! we have not had any issues with bacteria or bones (knock on wood) so i hope it continues that way :)
 

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Every diet comes with risks, and there are documented (real) cases of dogs getting sick from raw meat and bones. But you have to remember that these things are not recorded very well, so the actual occurrence is unknown. Therefore learning how to minimize those risks > minimizing the concern.
 

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Sorry for the weird questions.. I have been lurking around for weeks, and decided to finally ask the remaining questions burning my mind!
Not wierd questions at all! You have some very legitimate concerns - the same concerns probably anyone who has considered feeding raw has.

Like CP says, EVERY diet comes with risks.

I can tell you that I've been feeding DJ exclusively raw for 5 months with no problem at all. He seems to love it & is in excellent health.
I've been feeding my recently adopted large dog raw chicken since adopting her 2 weeks ago & she's doing very well so far & I don't foresee any problems.

Good luck with the diet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks! : )
- as for the comment on risks, yes I do understand the risks in anything... Dogs choke on kibble, and as stated above obstructions can be caused by socks and other things..... So I'd like to thank you all for all the advice.. I feel a bit better again..
I also wanted to be very prepared for the onslaught of questions I know that I will get from friends and family as they find out..

Again all your replies have been wonderful!
 

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The only time my dogs have been sick from food was a McD's hamburger that took down both my dogs for a month or so. Learned about nursing sick dogs from that fun episode. That was pre raw, pre cooking.

Max has been on raw for over a year now and he gets loose poop from too much bone, too hard poop from too much bone and that is about it. He swallowed a chicken neck whole and I only knew because I checked his normal appearing poop too closely. At the very first he had some mucous and flecks of blood as his colon was irritated. More bone helped which surprised me. Oh, he loves to splash it and drink stagnent water, no problems so far.

The other dog has eaten long pottery shards, whole cup o noodle cups, smallish rags and numerous cooked bones with only a little straining to eliminate too large cooked bone. Loads of cat, rabbit and horse poop eating with this one - no problem ever. She also used to get into large bread loaves and tubs of margerine, no problem except loose stool for a couple days.
 

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Spunky's been on raw for about 1.5 years (save a period of about 3, 4 months). No perforations, no bacterial infections, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
you guys are really just wonderful.. I guess to make my dilema a little better known so you can see where my issues lie.. I had my dogs vaccinated on May 23rd. I started raw on the 24th - poor planning on my part i suppose. All is going well from what I can tell..
Anyhow - A different vet was there when i took them.. not my vet.. she gave my pup an injection in both sides of his hind quarters.. My vet never gives shots there.. no to mention a string of other weird things.. Either way today is June 2nd 11 days later and my pup is still sore, can't run, can't jump, walks with a bit of a lump at a faster pace.. Im pretty much irate.. Took him in for preventative maintenance and ended up with a dog who can't do ANYTHING but eat and poop without crying.. My fiance is taking him to see my normal vet today, and you can bet that he wont be timid and will tell me vet just how upset i am and was, and EVERYTHING that happened that day..

Onto their status my big boys poo is really small and a brighter color than normal with a hint of mucus, but really looks quiet normal other than that and being SO SMALL.. my pup has made it harder to inspect always going in the long grass, but from what i have witnessed him pass and the ones i have inspected same story, really small, a bit soft though, some light mucus cover.. looks like the bones are well digested

So in short (or not so short this is getting quite long sorry!) I supposse I was re questionsing myself because his hind right side is sore - but i know its from the shots not from the diet..
 

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Some things you may notice after swtiching to raw;
Mucus in stool. This normal apparently, all part of cleaning out the bowels.
Spots on tummy. A little puppy tummy acne, again, it's the body eliminating the toxins from a kibble diet. It clears up on it's own in a couple weeks.
Dry crumbly white poops. After a meal of mostly bone. This is a good thing as it can help clear their anal glands.
Soft runny dark poops. After a meal of mostly meat and organs. Not easy to collect in a baggie, but normal.

It's a good idea to give your dog a marrow bone to chew on prior to meal time. The action of chewing stimultes their digestive system and gets all of the meat digesting enzymes flowing. This helps them fully digest their food and get more nutrition from it.

If your dog doesn't want to eat the raw food, just take the food away, skip the meal, and try again tomorrow, if he's hungry enough, he'll eat it. If he doesn't want to eat the next day and seems lethargic, it's time for a trip to the vet. When this happened to phoebe it was just a bad intestinal worm problem and a round of heavy duty de-wormer cleared it right up.
 

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So in short (or not so short this is getting quite long sorry!) I supposse I was re questionsing myself because his hind right side is sore - but i know its from the shots not from the diet..
Well, I think that's quite normal behaviour on your part. When I first started feeding raw, I was just very unsure of what I was doing, I had very little confidence in myself. So I worried about every little thing that was different after starting to feed a raw diet. You're very lucky that you have friends that are experienced raw feeders - not the case with me, the only people I know who feed a raw diet are on line.

It does sound as tho your pups soreness is from a poorly given vaccination, poor little guy, rather than anything that would have occurred from the diet. But for your own peace of mind I'm glad you've sched a vet appt.
What kind of dog is it ... how old ... & what does his diet consist of?
I'm sure you already know this, but do NOT give cooked bones.
 

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Max did have some mucous at first. Strangely a bit more bone cleared it up. Raw fed dog poop is slimier than kibble poop. I prefer for the poop to be a little soft as it means I didn't overdo the bone. To be graphic, kibble poo is about like nearly ripe banana and raw food poop is more like cookie dough rolled into a ball and dipping into egg white and drained. Left click and roll over my light colored words if you want to read my description!
 

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Max did have some mucous at first. Strangely a bit more bone cleared it up. Raw fed dog poop is slimier than kibble poop. I prefer for the poop to be a little soft as it means I didn't overdo the bone. To be graphic, kibble poo is about like nearly ripe banana and raw food poop is more like cookie dough rolled into a ball and dipping into egg white and drained. Left click and roll over my light colored words if you want to read my description!
:D great description!! only i would have to say iorek's kibble poops were more like chocolate pudding!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh man the descriptions are wonderful! I am to call my vet today to tell him EVERYTHING that happened at my original apt. He lookat at my pup, and thinks it was a very BAD giving vaccine and was very upset that no one had told him i called to complain... Either way he gave us some Previcox for inflamation and pain.. told us to take him on light walks to help strech (if he can handle it) , but keep him a bit more restrained than usual for the next little bit...

As far as diet.. this is day 9. So they are getting chicken necks (but I will be changing that to backs or perhaps whole chickens quarterd like I've seen mentioned here..as necks are too small, although my boys seem to cruch and tear them up enough) and chicken meat varrying forms of all the body, they ate the split breasts bone and all, thigh meat (not sure about that bone being good) and drumstick meat (no bone im to leery of that cut).. I was hoping this weekend to add more organs/ muscle (heart etc.) in and then maybe egg.. then move up.

My pup is a lab pit mix at 69 lbs and 2 years old
My big boy is a lab newfie mix at 130 lbs and 3 years old.

They ate nutro ultra holistic large breed adult before the swap..

My pup loves the switch and loves tearing his food apart. My Big boy likes it better chunked up.. but him taking so long to eat i feel is good as it helps prepare his tummy, and its sorta like playing with his food! haha
 

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i would probably wait on the organs. it is usually better to go at least 2 weeks before adding the organs in at first as they can cause digestive upset.

on a side note: i LOVE newfoundland dogs! i want one sooooooo bad! maybe if i am lucky i will find a mix at a shelter somewhere soon... do you have pictures of your dogs posted on here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
okay i cant get them up so let me dig around and see if i can find somewhere to post them! check my albums

okay so for the first 2 weeks just stick with chicken parts, but no organs?
 

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okay so for the first 2 weeks just stick with chicken parts, but no organs?
that is what i did. i think that i feed only chicken backs for the first 2 weeks, or maybe it was 3 weeks, i can't remember for sure. it is probably best to do it that way.
 

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At the feed store I work at, one of our main focuses is educating customers about raw feeding and how healthy it is for their dog/cat/whatever (we have one lady who feeds it to her turtle). We sell more of the commercially available raw foods (I don't know much about the home prepared stuff, but it's basically the same just cheaper). A lot of people are skeptical about switching their dogs over to raw food because they are afraid of bacteria harming their dog, themselves, etc.

Dogs and cats have highly acidic stomach juices and much shorter digestive tracts that can handle a lot more bacteria than a human could. Basically, if the stomach acid doesn't kill the bacteria (if there's even bacteria in the food), their digestive tract isn't long enough to let the bacteria establish in the body and give them any problems or make them sick.

If you're worried about bacteria being on their face after eating it and them transferring germs to you or items in your household via sniffing/licking (highly unlikely), you could always invest in a commercially available raw food (such as Nature's Variety) just to give yourself the assurance of a pathogen free product. The FDA has a zero tolerance for salmonella/e-coli/listeria in raw meat marketed as pet food. There is more of a leeway with raw meat available for human consumption because the FDA assumes that there is going to be a kill step involved (the human is going to cook the meat and kill the bacteria).

Anyway, I feed my dog raw the Stella & Chewy's brand of commercially available raw food (I like them because they are a small Wisconsin-based company and own all of their own equipment and very good quality control) because quite honestly I'm too busy/lazy to prepare it on my own. My dog is 14 years old and doing great. As she got older, she developed problems with her digestion and couldn't keep down any of the dry kibble I had her on...either barfed it up undigested, or had runny/soft stool. Ever since I switched her to the raw her joints have been doing better, her stools are small and hard (and she doesn't poop as much because she can digest her food easier), and her allergy and skin issues have gotten better. Although her teeth and breath are still pretty nasty no matter what I do, they drastically improved when I put her on the raw. Since the raw has a lot of natural sources for glucosamine/chondroitin and omega 3/6, it also requires little to no supplementation. I've NEVER had a problem with bacteria. I've never had any of the customers I've helped switch their dogs to raw food have a problem with bacteria either. And the kicker is that I really am spending less money feeding her this way because I haven't had to take her to the vet for a skin or ear problem in months.

Goooooo raw!!!
 
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