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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I'm looking for some anecdotes or advice from those who have experience feeding raw food.

Watson, my 3.5 yr old Basenji pup, was diagnosed with GI lymphoma in December of last year. We treated him with CHOP (no response) and CCNU (6 months, full remission achieved in May of this year).

From the time he was born, Watson's diet has been raw food for breakfast (100% meat, sometimes mixed with raw bone) and high quality kibble for dinner. He ate this diet throughout chemo treatment with no issues.

After he was in remission, we left for a trip and Watson stayed with a friend. There was a miscommunication with the food and he was fed ONLY raw for 10 days. When we picked him up, we tried to feed him kibble but he had no appetite. He also had severe diarrhea about 1-2 times per day. These symptoms have continued over the last 6-7 weeks. My poor pup has lost so much weight and continues to have almost no appetite and have diarrhea daily. We have tried everything - chicken and rice, prednisone, cerenia, entyce (appetite stimulant), metronidazole, TMS, B12 supplements, pumpkin, probiotics, dewormer, countless new foods, but nothing has worked to improve his appetite or reduce the diarrhea. Preliminary tests do not indicate that the lymphoma is back, all blood tests have come back negative for everything except general GI upset symptoms.

We need a miracle! Anyone have advice, or an idea of why feeding only raw for a period of 10 days could have wreaked this much havoc on his GI tract? Thank you!
 

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Have salmonella and campylobacter been specifically tested for and ruled out by your vet? Many dogs can handle bacteria in raw well, but for a dog that's been ill and recently on a treatment that suppresses the immune system, the risks may be higher than they would be otherwise.

Really sorry you're going through this, will keep my fingers crossed for your little guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestions and positive thoughts!

We aren't specifically testing for salmonella or worms, but rather just went ahead with treating them to hopefully save some diagnostic costs. He has been on TMS for salmonella for 4 days now with no effect - we were hoping to see improvement within 24-48 hours if it was salmonella. There is a chance it's resistant to this specific antibiotic, but I'm also getting concerned about all these antibiotics (given that he has also been on several rounds of metronidazole) and the positive bacteria in his gut. He hates probiotics more than some of the meds :(
 

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Ah, in that case my next step would definitely be to get a fecal done to test for parasites and bacterial infections - make sure campylobacter is specifically on there, since I think it's less common. I get saving costs, especially after such a big medical issue, but it sounds like at this point you're going to spend more money with the scattershot approach than by actually figuring out what's going on and doing a targeted treatment. Even some parasites like giardia can be notoriously persistent and resistant to some broad-spectrum treatments.

Good luck! And don't be too hard on your friend - this may not have had much to do with the change in diet at all. Just one of those coincidences.
 

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Get a fecal done to rule out parasites. Raw is a great way to feed but, remember, were the dog killing prey, he would have the whole animal, that includes the contents of the stomach and intestines. As gross as it sounds to us, dogs eat that as well as the organs we wouldn't eat like lungs, spleen and such if they were to hunt for their own food.

If you only feed raw meat and bone, you're missing key nutrients. I suggest looking up either the Prey Model or BARF diet for dogs.

In the meantime, a little solid pack pumpkin (not pie filling) and plain yogurt can do wonders for loose stools. 3 Tbs pumpkin and 1 TBS yogurt per 10 lbs of dog divided and given before each meal. The pumpkin helps replace the fiber he'd get form the gut contents of whole animals and, the yogurt provides probiotics, good bacteria in a form he might like better than other means of getting them into him.

Also, leave kibble available at all times, if he is truly hungry, he will eat the kibble and, it's good if he will to make boarding and vet stays easier where he may have to eat kibble only.

All four of mine are fed raw with a kibble supplement as just 10% of their diet. (Quality kibble with meat or meat meal the first three ingredients and, NO CORN.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Bluemoods! I misspoke - he is actually getting meat + organs + bone. It's just all already ground up so I just call it meat. We rely on the 50/50 diet (raw + kibble) to cover any nutrients we're missing.

Unfortunately, we can't leave kibble out as his little sister would eat it all! But we offer it to him in his crate twice a day, morning and evening.

We've tried pumpkin in the past and he's not a fan, but I guess we will try it again! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks! We're headed to a new vet on Monday so will ask about campylobacter. Yeah, it's definitely my fault for not being more clear in my written instructions. Who knows what caused the cancer to begin with, let alone what is causing this upset. We're just focused on trying to get him better!
 

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Thanks Bluemoods! I misspoke - he is actually getting meat + organs + bone. It's just all already ground up so I just call it meat. We rely on the 50/50 diet (raw + kibble) to cover any nutrients we're missing.

Unfortunately, we can't leave kibble out as his little sister would eat it all! But we offer it to him in his crate twice a day, morning and evening.

We've tried pumpkin in the past and he's not a fan, but I guess we will try it again! Thanks!
Mix 2 parts pumpkin, one part plain yogurt and, a drizzle of honey - see if he likes that better than plain pumpkin. Mine love it that way and, like plain pumpkin but, it's better if it has yogurt and honey in it. :)
 
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