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Discussion Starter #1
I apologize for all of my questions and threads, but I sure appreciate direct responses to my questions!

I thought I was going to try and start raw, but I am nowhere near ready. I still haven't found a source, nor do I have freezer room (have been looking on craigslist for a freezer though).

One of my biggest concerns is really with the bones. A lot of the information I've read online about bones they seem to skip around the danger of raw bones and say how cooked bones are dangerous (I think everyone knows this). One excerpt I read from a book off of Amazon was "Can dogs die from eating raw bones?" The answer is yes, they can die from eating just about anything and people feel that the benifits outweigh the risks." - This wasn't an exact quote, but the general idea. My question is, how dangerous are raw bones, really? Can they cause a problems in the digestive tract? Puncture, obstruction, etc?

Some of you know I tried chicken quarters with me 20 month old dane and 5 month old puppy. The male (20 month old) wanted nothing to do with it and the puppy loved it. I gave her a second one the next day for dinner, but considering I'm not ready to start 100%, I'm not going to again until (when/if) I can start completely. I noticed the next day that she pooped out a whole bone (obviously the drumstick/leg bone) It was completely in-tact. I picked it up (with gloves of course!) and tried to break it, which it broke pretty easily, I could still see the marrow on the inside. It was softer than the consistency of a cooked bone I believe, and I didn't notice any "sharding" when I broke it, but I could see that it could produce sharp pieces.

What happens to the bone in the digestive tract? It was very interesting to see that the meat was metabolized, but the bone wasn't, though it's consistency changed. How was it able to come out "the right way" and what would have happened if it had turned directions? (i.e. could it have caused an obstruction?) I think I might need to get a dog anatomy book, but the thought of this rather large bone going through her digestive tract scared me a little.

Any thoughts would be great!
 

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Because your dog is new to raw feeding they haven't started producing the proper amount of enzymes needed to breakdown the bones, all new feeders will see bone fragments in their dogs poo until the dog has learned to digest real food.

I suggest that you do some real research with people who have been feeding raw for a long time and not from research backed by dogfood companies. Go to yahoo groups and there are an enormous amount of dog groups who raw feed.
 
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From what I've been reading, apparently, not only do dogs who have just made the switch not digest the bones properly, but if it's too big of a bone or piece of meat, they'll most often throw it up. Even if they don't, I would assume that, eventually, the bone would be broken down in the digestive tract if it got stuck in there, considering how their body will eventually start to produce more and more enzymes. Also, remember that this is a dog's natural diet. Even if they've been bred down from wolves for ages and ages, they still have the same digestive tract, the same capabilities of processing this meat that wolves do out in the wild.

I've heard of dogs choking on kibble. I've heard of dogs being poisoned on kibble. I've heard of dogs overeating on kibble, or dogs with consistent diarrhea who probably would have died if kept on kibble. There are risks in everything, and personally, I think that there are more risks in feeding kibble.​
 
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Discussion Starter #4
ok, well this was not a bone fragment, but the entire bone.

Thank you for suggesting the yahoo groups. I'm so bad at researching on the internet and reading a ton of info, but I guess I have to start!
 

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This is not too uncommon for a newly switched dog for the reasons stated above. Bone or bone fragment, the important thing to note is that it came out. Once your dog becomes more accustomed to the diet, you will notice the bones in their stool less and less. Your dog's stomach is going through changes to be able to work as it was meant to, not how the kibble had it trained to work. :wink:

Richelle
 

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My question is, how dangerous are raw bones, really? Can they cause a problems in the digestive tract? Puncture, obstruction, etc?
Really, not very. You notice that your pup swallowed a whole drumstick and nothing harmful resulted. It went completely through his body with no problem. I've been feeding raw for 8 years and have been on different lists that whole period. Some raw feeding lists have 17,000+ members. I read over 100 posts a day. In the whole 8 years I heard of one puncture and one true obstruction. I say true obstruction because you often hear of "false obstructions". For example this lady posted on one of the boards. SHe had just returned from the vets office where he did a $2,000 surgery on her dog. Seems the dog swallowed a whole drumstick. She panicked and rushed him to the emergency vet. The vet xrayed him and say, "yes, there is a bone in his stomach." I don't know where expected the drumstick to be since the dog just swallowed it. He did emergency surgery to remove it. If he had just waited to see what happened, the surgery would have been unnecessary. The bone would have taken care of itself most probaby by disolving. I don't call that a true obstruction.

I sat down and figured a few days ago how many meals of chicken I have fed my dogs. I don't remember now but seems like it was over 8,000 meals and not one incident.

Some of you know I tried chicken quarters with me 20 month old dane and 5 month old puppy. The male (20 month old) wanted nothing to do with it and the puppy loved it.
My Thor was eating chicken quarters at 12 weeks. He has never had a problem.

I gave her a second one the next day for dinner, but considering I'm not ready to start 100%, I'm not going to again until (when/if) I can start completely.
I think that was your main problem. When you switch your dogs completely, their stomach juices will become much more acidic and a bone like that will disolve in their stomachs. Sometimes one of my Danes will steal a drumstick from one of the cats and swallow it whole. It has never caused a problem and never come out the back end. They always digest completely.

What happens to the bone in the digestive tract?
Normally, it digests completely. Don't know for sure why that didn't happen in your pup.

How was it able to come out "the right way" and what would have happened if it had turned directions? (i.e. could it have caused an obstruction?)
I

I strongly suspect that which end came out first had no effect on the process.

think I might need to get a dog anatomy book, but the thought of this rather large bone going through her digestive tract scared me a little.
Obviously it caused no problem. I woudln't be concerned about it. 999 times out of 1000 its gonna completely digest. Possibly kibble in the stomach kept that from happening the way it should.
 

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It is true...that you will see bones in your dogs stools until the enzymes build up, however I can understand how seeing a whole drumstick come out your dog's rear end can be disturbing. :eek:

Might I suggest that when you fully switch over that you hold the food while your dogs are eating it until they learn how to chew it correctly. This will force them to have to crunch through the bone, and will result in no crazy poos. :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again everyone for the wonderful replies!

Just a quick question, is there any good "Book" on the basics of raw feeding?
 

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Have you checked the link in Rawfeddogs signature, there is the base of info that I learned to feed my dogs from, I went back and read and reread it often when starting out and came here often for questions, this group is great for a sounding board and Q&A.
 

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WHITELEO- Thanks for the suggestion, yes I have read the link, and I'm sure I will many many times again!:wink:
 

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There are books that RFD suggests people read when they really have a concern and I think they are posted somewhere in older posts, I can't off the top of my head remember them but I'll see if I can find them for you.
 

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Thanks again everyone for the wonderful replies!

Just a quick question, is there any good "Book" on the basics of raw feeding?
There are two books that most of the raw feeders here follow. There are plenty of books on raw feeding but I feel that these are the best, or at least what I follow and many of the other members here.

Below is the fact dense and very well cited text by Dr. Tom Lonsdale, DVM. I really liked this book and especially liked that this book is based on cited/documented studies and research (I like books like this to be backed up with real studies and facts that are referenced in the back of the book so you can go and see where the primary research was done). Although its fact dense, I found it to be an easy/moderate read. Its not like reading a text book, although in parts its like that.

Amazon.com: Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health (9780646396248): Tom Lonsdale: Books

If you don't want the fact dense version, Tom has shortened his "Raw Meaty Bones" book into a "raw for dummies" version. Its also a good read, and it is super easy to follow. It highlights what is said in the first book, but without a lot of the science mixed in.

Amazon.com: Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones (9780975717400): Tom Lonsdale: Books

I recommend that you read both, but if not either one is good! Good luck :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Natalie-

Thanks a bunch for the book recommendations. I ordered 3 books off amazon before I saw this post, one of them being the "Works Wonders" by Lonsdale, as well as Natural Nutrion for Dogs and Cats by Kymythy Schultze and Raw Dog Food: Make It Easy for You and Your Dog by Carina Beth Macdonald. I just sort of grabbed a couple that seemed basic and easy, though now I wish I had gotten the Raw Meaty Bones by Lonsdale as I'd love to read all the scientific stuff! Maybe I'll have to make another order (or if you think either of the other two aren't great, return them and get the other)

Thanks again.
 

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You will most likely get differing info from different books, just keep that in mind. A lot of the raw feeding books out there support the notion that dogs are omnivores and need fruit and veggies in their diet. While this is not correct, its not harmful to do in most cases. You just have to come up with what you think/believe is best for your dog and go with it. I feed my dogs nothing but raw meat, bones and organs and leave out the fruits and veggies and grains, which is what I feel is best and appropriate for them.
 
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