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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm pretty new to raw. I have an APBT with allergies, and before I resort to any kind of medication for her environmental allergies, I want to rule out food allergies as a major player.

I was initially feeding her Big Country Raw Pure Duck (70% muscle meat, 10% organ meat, 20% bone content). I know now that this bone content is incredibly high. She had very firm chalk poops right away. But she also pooped soon after eating, in much smaller amounts than on kibble of course, and she wasn't having problems until about three weeks in. I think a bit of undigested bone must have cut or otherwise irritated her intestines. She suddenly had bright red blood in her stool which progressed to explosive diarrhea and vomiting. The last time she ate the duck, she vomited all bone and no meat.

I wasn't able to receive any help online, so I fasted her for a day, fed her sweet potatoes, and reintroduced her old kibble (Natural Balance LID Fish and Sweet Potato). Her poop went back to normal within a week. But her terrible yeast smell came back too. At least I was able to confirm that she is definitely allergic to something even in a limited-ingredient diet. :)

I decided to start her back on buffalo (75% muscle meat, 10% organ meat, 15% bone content) since the bone is finely ground in this mix. Now she's been constipated. She didn't poop at all yesterday and her poop today only came after a very long walk. It was very wet, dark brown, and left a mucus residue on the grass. It's only been half a week, so I'm willing to be patient, but I saw immediate improvement on the duck...

Any thoughts? Might she be OK with a mix of duck (I still have some in the freezer) and something "mushier" like buffalo to balance out the bone? I'm vegetarian, so I don't handling or processing meat more than I have to, but perhaps premade blends aren't going to work for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ah, my posts finally showed up!

I've been feeding her nothing but the buffalo for almost a week, but her allergies have taken a dramatic turn for the worse, so I don't plan to feed her any more of this meat. I don't have much hope that she would tolerate other ruminants (venison, lamb, etc.) since buffalo is already fairly exotic...

I will either try the rabbit formula, which has a lower bone content, or just go back to the duck and hope for the best. Or perhaps find a different source for raw duck. She seems to tolerate it fine. (I need to keep it simple and stick to a single protein source for 4-6 weeks in order to evaluate her allergies. I can design a more balanced diet after that and look into other meat sources too)

My poor itchy baby. :(
 

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Pre made commercial raw really isn't "raw". It is heat processed, and like kibble they can change up the formulas and ingredients without notice. Just because they say there is a certain percentage of say, bone or organ in them, doesn't mean that's actually what's in them. Some dogs need more of something, some less. That's why if feeding raw, prey model is the best way to go. You know exactly how much of what your dog is getting.
 
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Yeah, also since the meals are centered around one protein they aren't (at least from a completely raw standpoint) going to be nutritionally complete so they have to add in things to make it more complete. The duck formula ingredients are this:

Duck (meat & bone), Duck Liver, Apples, Carrots, Organic Kale, Organic Spinach, Organic Blueberries, Organic Cranberries, Organic Kelp

Now, I don't know about you but I only see two things on this list that a dog should eat. My dog has an incredibly sensitive stomach and I once fed her (while she was also raw fed) too much apple bits and she had TERRIBLE diarrhea for a while. Same with carrots. If you really want a quality product, go to RawFeedingMiami and pick one of their grinds. It's honestly just the meat, bones, and organs ground up.

Also, your dog may be tripping up on the organs bit. I know my dog (again SERIOUSLY sensitive stomach) will get completely liquid diarrhea from too much organ and it won't clear up for days.

Raw helped my dog's skin clear up, if you try feeding PMR raw will help your dog too.

As an aside: I am a vegan and I commend you for seeing the light with dogs. I know that it can be really tough to buy big hunks of meat and deal with it yourself, but it gets easier as time goes on. Find a friend to help you.
 

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All the fruit and plant matter aren't necessary. Dogs have no biological need for them. They also convert to sugar as well, not good either.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies! I'm totally on board with feeding her meat only. Any extra ingredients spell trouble for an allergic dog. Like I said, I hope to stick with one protein source for 4-6 weeks (meat, organ, and bone only) and then add others to ensure that her diet is balanced and healthy.

I have definitely found that most commercial brands include a lot of random ingredients, even when they claim to be pure formulas, but I've chosen this brand because they are relatively local and have truly pure formulas. I don't use their dinner blends. The ingredients for duck are: "Duck (Meat and Bone), Duck Organ Meat (Heart and Liver)"

But the bone content in this brand is quite high. Maybe I could find another source...
 

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Thanks for the replies! I'm totally on board with feeding her meat only. Any extra ingredients spell trouble for an allergic dog. Like I said, I hope to stick with one protein source for 4-6 weeks (meat, organ, and bone only) and then add others to ensure that her diet is balanced and healthy.

I have definitely found that most commercial brands include a lot of random ingredients, even when they claim to be pure formulas, but I've chosen this brand because they are relatively local and have truly pure formulas. I don't use their dinner blends. The ingredients for duck are: "Duck (Meat and Bone), Duck Organ Meat (Heart and Liver)"

But the bone content in this brand is quite high. Maybe I could find another source...
Dont stay on one protein that long. Start with bone in chicken, and if all is well after about a week and half, move on to turkey preferably, or pork. By four to six weeks, you should already be transitioned through all the common proteins, and have started organs.
 

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If you do it that way too, you can still use process of elimination. Like, ''Well, I know she did fine on chicken and turkey, but pork made her skin break out when we introduced it" kinda thing. Also, I know with my dog when we would add in a new protein her skin would flare up a bit then go back to normal in about a week. For us we did the introduction for a week and then kept it steady for a week just to make sure there wouldn't be any issues. Again, super sensitive stomach, over here.

Again, if you're kinda squeamish, Raw Feeding Miami and Hare-Today have great selections of ground meats. Hare-Today has more variety in terms of what's in the grind. Like, RFM's grinds are usually whole animal or include organs, which is not what you want at first. Hare-Today has more of a selection of boneless ground meat, and ground bone-in cuts, then also the ground meat/bone/organ like RFM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great advice, thank you guys. :)

I probably won't try buffalo again because her reaction was so extreme. I've never seen her so bad. There's even yeast growing under her nail beds. I've read that some dogs who are allergic to beef end up being allergic to buffalo and venison as well, so I'll probably stick to rabbit/duck/fish to be safe. I want to avoid common protein sources like chicken, but turkey might be OK.

I'm in Canada, so my access to brands is different, but we're actually moving to Florida in a few months, so thanks for the brand suggestions! One less thing to worry about. :D
 

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Well, two things to think about..

1) premade raw isn't real raw, it is heat processed, and has other added ingredients. Both of which can cause a total different reaction to a certain protein. So, like kibble, just because it didn't work with premades, doesn't mean it won't with the real deal in prey model. It's worth trying again. Just too many unknowns and needless ingredients to cause problems.

2) Dogs need fat. It's where their energy comes from, plus needed for skin and coat. Duck is ok, but rabbit is very lean. Not enough fat to sustain. You really need to feed all the red meats possible for both the fat AND the nutrients. Red meats are the most nutrient rich, and dogs have the majority of them. Only real use for fish...omega3's, and those only come from WILD caught oily types. If they are wild caught from the Pacific Northwest, they are a no no. Salmon and related are bad about salmon poisoning which can be fatal. I don't trust freezing to kill it. Fish oil supplement is a better way to go. And if you are feeding enough fat, and grass fed red meats you won't even need the oil.
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't trust the pre-made raw things either, like Darwin's pet.

Also very true on the fat note. People have actually died from trying to sustain themselves on rabbit because its so lean; it's called rabbit starvation. Duck is technically considered red meat. I know RFM sells emu and ostrich, and both sell goose, goat, and lamb/mutton, if you're looking for other proteins to try. You really want to try and feed as many proteins as possible, at the very least four, to ensure you're feeding a nutritionally complete diet. For dogs, the more red meat the better. I would try beef again, but not in a pre made form, and see how it goes. You might have to go very, very slowly to make it work. I would give chicken a try, I know I have a friend whose dog is super allergic to chicken, but when she fed it raw the dog had no problem. It has something to do with the way cooking the meat changes the protein structure. Also chicken is super cheap and super digestible on the bone-front.
Also, I know that feeding too much sugar (veggies/fruits) can throw off the gut flora balance which can also contribute to yeast problems.
My advice is to get some gloves, get a good friend for support, and just start feeding PMR style. It helps to think that what you're doing is the best for your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Very true. I haven't tried feeding rabbit yet for that reason. It's just not an ideal food source. Chicken would be really great since it's cheap and widely available, but I'm nervous about her allergies. I'll wait for her current flare-up to die down before trying anything like that.

Any advice on where to buy non-processed meat for dogs? I've never bought meat before this, haha. But since I'm moving to a warmer climate soon, perhaps I can create a murder-table outside and feed her out there to keep things clean. :)
 

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You could always order online from http://rawfeedingmiami.com or hare today, gone tomorrow( I don't know the site address right off). They are non processed as far as no additives added, and grass fed. Those are your best bet for that. You can also get aquatinted with some local farmers. Sometimes you can get good stuff from them if they lose an animal. Butchers in your area are another idea.

Otherwise, you can just look at the supermarket for good deals, but try to find meat either not enhanced with sodium solutions, or as low as possible. No more than 75 mg. listed on the package.
 

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Yup make good friends with a butcher, if possible. Also just the store works too. We actually have memorized the best places to get what around here, so look at multiple stores and see what is good there (example, our Meijer has great prices on pork and lamb, Payless has the best chicken, Fresh Thyme has the only turkey we can feed her everything else is too high in sodium, and the Walmart has best discount prices).

Also, if you have the option, make friends with hunters and ask for their scraps. Most of the time they just take one or two cuts of meat and leave the rest of the animal behind. Half my freezer is full of wild game!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just an update: I'm transitioning to prey model raw now. It's actually better for me because I can leave most of the nasty work to her... :) She loves crunching up turkey legs. I'm going to try chicken tomorrow. Hopefully she can tolerate it. After that I'll try to find some good organ meats.

Her allergies are definitely better than on the kibble or on the buffalo, but she's still scratching herself constantly. Hard to say if that's due to environmental allergies (it's springtime) or a protein allergy. She's definitely digesting bones a lot better!
 

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Rarely do dogs have true allergies to a protein. Usually, it's with kibble and not even the protein. Some other unnecessary ingredient all together. In your case, with raw it's more likely an intolerance. But, that could change once you get into raw good a couple of weeks or so, and the toxins work their way out of the body.

You can have allergy tests done as well to see if it is food or environmental, should it keep on.
 
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Yeah, it's super hard to tell what causes the allergy symptoms. It could be environmental allergies, or even just the stress that she experienced when a strange dog moved in next door. I'm hoping that her skin calms down soon. She loved the chicken today!

I've heard that blood tests are not very reliable when it comes to identifying allergens... but perhaps it could help narrow down the best proteins to feed her.
 

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Honestly, don't sell yourself short yet. Just see if anything makes it worse. You don't want to restrict yourself if you don't have to. Also, I might have said this already but, I know when introducing a few new meats like turkey and pork, our dog's skin flared up pretty badly but then went back to normal. Her skin is the most pristine we've ever seen it now!
 

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Thank you for the encouragement! She's mainly eating turkey, chicken, and duck right now. I'm introducing organs as well. She was disgusted by raw chicken liver (I don't blame her) but I slapped some on a duck leg, froze it all together, and she didn't seem to notice. :tongue:

Unfortunately, she's still having digestive problems. There was another scare with her suddenly puking bone and pooping blood drops, but I didn't panic this time and simply continued with the raw diet, and she seemed much better the next day. I will try to balance her intake more in the future since poultry has around 20-30% bone content.

She's having skin problems with itchy hives as well. However, I was reading another raw forum where someone had been seeing allergy-like symptoms with a poultry-heavy diet. Eight months later, that person saw total improvement after including more red meat. My dog could be experiencing a similar issue. Her diet has been pretty unstable and unbalanced for the past few months. I'm nervous about red meat after her severe reaction to buffalo, but maybe I will try lamb?
 
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