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Okay, I don't want this to turn into a huge argument or anything but I am considering feeding my 9 month Italian greyhound a partial raw diet. I've got a weird home life now and have moved back in with my parents. I work nights so they tend to feed him dinner most nights and I know they will refuse to feed him raw so he will stay with the kibble/wet mix for that.

He is an extremely picky eater and will only eat a small amount of kibble. He has a mix of Orijen and EVO at the moment and eats maybe 1/4c a day if we're lucky. For the wet mix he gets weruva and he loves that. He is still on prednisone for an unknown illness that we have been dealing with since late May. Even though he is on prednisone, his appetite is about the same as it was before now.

We tried a raw chicken neck the other night and he loved it, once he realized it was food. I want something that is easy to do and well balanced so that I won't end up messing up his diet. I ended up buying a bag of Primal chicken nuggets and he had one of those this morning and seemed to enjoy it but I want to make sure he is getting everything he needs.

We haven't had any episodes since June 22nd and I'd really prefer to keep it that way so I don't want to mess with his diet too much. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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This is just me, but I only feed my dogs once a day now. Dog's stomachs are different and they actually digest big meals better than small. (Now, I have to go look for that link...) But, basically, the glands in a dog's stomach only release digestive juices when they are physically touched. Small meals only touch some glands, large meals touch more and so the food is digested better.

Would it be possible to just feed him raw in the morning and not worry about the evening?

I switched my dogs over to raw when a friend on a glider forum suggested it and they LOVE it. They get one meal a day, and I do fast them once a week - a large meal the day before. Their teeth, their coats, even my dog's fatty tumor have improved. It is amazing. I feed them 2% of their body weight and follow the BARF methodology mostly - 4 or 5 meals of raw meaty bones, 1 of organ meats and 1 of fish (canned.) [The organ and fish meals are sometimes combined.] I also feed cooked, ground up veggies about every other week. I aim for 6 good meals a week, and sometimes they do get fed all week. I also vary the feeding times and try not to get into a routine. :)
 

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I work nights so they tend to feed him dinner most nights and I know they will refuse to feed him raw so he will stay with the kibble/wet mix for that.
Feeding kibble along with a raw diet is not recommended although I know some people who do it with no problems. I strongly suggest you switch him to a raw diet but obviously to do that, one of two things must happen. Either you get your folk's cooperation or you adjust his feeding times to your work schedule. I don't think you should feed him one meal a day UNTIL he has gotten adjusted to a raw diet. Feeding large amounts of raw food to a dog who is not adjusted will often cause digestive problems.

He is an extremely picky eater and will only eat a small amount of kibble.
He's an IG ... he will never eat a huge amount of food. :) How is his build. That is the sole judge of whether or not he is getting the correct amount of food.

He is still on prednisone for an unknown illness that we have been dealing with since late May. Even though he is on prednisone, his appetite is about the same as it was before now.
It's time you find out exactly what his problem is that creates the need for pred. Long term use of pred is very bad. I can tell you that from personal experience with one of my dogs. If your vet can't find the problem, find one that will.

We tried a raw chicken neck the other night and he loved it, once he realized it was food. I want something that is easy to do and well balanced so that I won't end up messing up his diet.
Cool. I don't know why your folks have a problem feeding him chicken pieces. At this point, don't worry about balance. Worry about getting his body accustomed to digesting a raw diet. I think you should look at my web page listed below in my sig. I should help nudge you in the right direction.

I ended up buying a bag of Primal chicken nuggets and he had one of those this morning and seemed to enjoy it but I want to make sure he is getting everything he needs.
He will get everything he needs in time. Don't worry about it now. He, nor any other living being doesn't need a balanced diet every single day they are alive. He will get balance as time progresses and as he progresses in adjust ing to raw food.

[/quote]We haven't had any episodes since June 22nd and I'd really prefer to keep it that way so I don't want to mess with his diet too much. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks[/QUOTE]

What kind of episodes is he having? There is nothing that a natural diet will harm. An unnatural diet of species unappropriate ingredients may actually be causing his problem.
 

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Feeding kibble along with a raw diet is not recommended although I know some people who do it with no problems. I strongly suggest you switch him to a raw diet but obviously to do that, one of two things must happen. Either you get your folk's cooperation or you adjust his feeding times to your work schedule.
I've heard it isn't good to mix but there is about a 9 hour time frame between the kibble and the raw. He eats breakfast around 6:30-7am and dinner at 5:30pm or so. I leave for work at 3pm and don't get home until 10pm sometimes 11pm. I don't think I can change the feeding times to work with my schedule.

He's an IG ... he will never eat a huge amount of food. :) How is his build. That is the sole judge of whether or not he is getting the correct amount of food
He is a "biggie iggie" at 9 months he is about 16" from the shoulders and weighs in at around 15 lbs. His ribs are visible and he looks to be a good weight but I get nervous when he skips multiple meals. It was at the point where even human food (boiled chicken) was of no interest.

It's time you find out exactly what his problem is that creates the need for pred. Long term use of pred is very bad. I can tell you that from personal experience with one of my dogs. If your vet can't find the problem, find one that will.
We have seen multiple vets and even a few specialists and no one can figure out exactly what is wrong. We have been tapering the pred since mid august and he will be off it shortly. His episodes included high persistent fever (104 range) and they lasted about 3-4 days, tremors where his entire body would shake and twitch for 20 minutes or so (vets stated they were most likely febrile seizures, brought videos of it with me to all vets and this was the general diagnosis on the tremors) anorexia (not wanting to eat anything for 3-4 days) lethargic, in general he was definitely not acting like a puppy. If you want, I could list everything they have tested him for and all the results.

When the first episode happened on May 27th at 3:45am, I woke up to him thrashing around under the covers. I thought that maybe he got stuck and panicked trying to get out but that wasn't the case. I ran into my parents room freaking out and we rushed him to the e-vet. He stayed over night and they did a liver profile to rule out shunts, a full tick panel, neospora? distemper, ultrasound of the abdomen, and a full CBC. They sent him home May 28th at 6:30pm. The discharge paper basically said,"Mott presented having an episode of hind limb tremors as well as seeming sedate. Initial physical exam was fairly normal other than anisocoria (different sized pupils). This appears to be caused by a defect in Mott's iris and thus is not a sign of brain disease. The only significant finding was a small presence of blood in his urine. His bile acids and CBC were normal. We did send off a tick panel and will let you know the results when we receive them. He did have what looked to be a bite mark on his inner thigh. It is possible that he has ehrlichiosis. We do not know the exact cause of the tremor though heat could have been involved meaning it was a febrile seizure. We do not know if it will occur again or turn into full blown seizures. We advise you to monitor him at home and bring him in to be seen right away if he has any more episodes. Keep track on a calendar the time, any changes, what was eaten, etc."

Everything seemed fine until May 29th at 10:30 he had another episode, same things as listed above, tremors, high fever, etc. This time our regular vet was open so we took him there. He was still having tremors at that time so they gave him something to help with the tremors and kept him all day on fluids. The fever was still on the high side (103) by 8 but they tend to not keep pets overnight so they sent him home with subcutaneous fluids and put him on doxycycline if it was ehrlichiosis. He was back to himself and everything seemed well until June 22nd at 8:27pm.

I had gotten off work early since my Mom called at 6pm saying that Mott wasn't acting like himself but didn't have tremors and was running a mild fever of 102.8. At 8:27pm, he started to tremor and couldn't even stand up. This was the worst of all his episodes. I carried him with me to my bedroom and decided it would be wise to take his temperature as it felt like he was burning to the touch. His temperature was 104.5. I immediately called the e-vet and let them know. They told us to come in as quickly as possible. My father drove and I held onto Mott in the car feeding him Ice Pups (a dehydrated chicken/turkey mix that you freeze) to try and get some sort of fluids in him. They took him back and started him on an IV to try and get the fever down. His fever stayed in the 104 range for 2 days. Day 3 was down to 103. By day 4 the fever was gone and we got to take him home at 3pm that day.

During his time at the e-vet, they preformed a spinal tap. We didn't get the results for about a week after he was discharged. "His discharge papers said that he presented with a high fever of 104.7 and anisocoria. He was previously seen by us and your regular vet for seizures and high fever. Blood work came back normal as did bile acids. We charged you for a tick panel on your previous visit but were unable to find the results so we sent out for them again. Results still pending. He developed neck pain while here [they leave out the fact he developed neck pain AFTER the spinal tap...]. Our biggest concern for neurological signs, fever, and neck pain is meningitis/encephalitis (steroid responsive) You declined to have an MRI done at this time and opted for the CSF instead. This is the test of choice to screen for meningitis/encephalitis. The cytology of fluid showed inflammation but no bacteria. This could occur with steroid responsive and is treated with immunosuppressive doses of steroids. However, Mott's initial culture of his CSF shows signs suspicious for bacterial growth. This could be a true infection or a contaminate [that right there ticked me off, they charged me $120 and might have contaminated his sample?!]. We will need to wait for the final results to determine between these. Because immunosuppression can worsen infection, we are sending Mott home on antibiotics and anti-inflammatory doses of steroids. We may change the medications depending on the results of the tests. We are still waiting on the CSF bacterial cultures, CSF distemper titer, blood neospora titer, blood totoplasmosis titer, and loock tick bourne disease PCR panel. We will update you when we get the results. You can take Mott's temperature at home if you think he is not feeling well. If he has a high persistent fever for more then 4 hours, you should contact us or your regular vet. Because Mott intermittently received metacam, there is a risk of GI ulcers and upset when steroids are given. If you see any I signs, contact your vet."

I received a call later that night and they stated that they were almost positive Mott has steroid responsive meningitis and to stick with the meds he had been taking and to discuss this with my regular vet on Monday. Other then that he was feeling great and could do whatever he was up to. We ended up going to an IG party/fund raiser on the 29th and Mott had a blast.

On July 10th, I got what I believed to be the worst phone call ever. My dad came into my room and said the vet call, his test came back positive for distemper. I had no idea how he got it. He was vaccinated at the proper times and since he returned from the vet on the 26th, he had been acting completely normal. I believed that he did have distemper as this is what the vet was telling me but then I began to doubt it. He never had a runny nose, he never had "chewing gum" seizures, never had diarrhea or vomiting. I believe that since they said the CSF fluid might have been contaminated, this is what must have caused the distemper to be positive. Since then, we were able to see an internal med vet and she too was unable to find anything that account for his episodes. He also saw an opthalmologist who took a look at his eyes and said that besides the different size pupils, nothing seems wrong.

My vet is trying to think of everything possible, the next test is going to be for addison's but we have to have him off the prednisone for 2 weeks before they will test. His sodium and potassium tests came back within the normal range but they are going to run the ACTH stimulation test to see if he has acute or secondary addison's. If that comes back normal, then we are back to square one.

Sorry this turned into Mott's health problems but I don't believe kibble has anything to do with it. Not once has he ever eaten cheap kibble. He was on Natural Balance but he didn't like it so we switched to Orijen instead. After that EVO. Now he has a mix of the Orijen and EVO.
 
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