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I have an almost 5 year old dane who has lived a life of stomach problems. She ate kibble for the first few months I had her, then I switched her to raw at about 6 months of age. She did great with it for a couple months and then out of nowhere, started having horrific problems (explosive diarrhea, listlessness, vomiting) and it seemed she couldn't handle it anymore so we switched her back to the kibble she had been on for the first few months we had her. She did okay on the kibble, but at around 20 months of age, she bloated, complete with torsion. She did survive, but after that, she had multiple bouts of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, and almost died twice. The vet put her on a prescription diet (YUCK) and she stabilized, but never thrived. Her coat became dull, she had difficulty maintaining weight, she was lethargic and lifeless. After this past winter, I thought we were going to have to euthanize her as she just seemed so miserable. I finally said enough with the crap kibble, and I put her back on raw as I felt we really had nothing to lose if she did not show any improvements on it..at least I would've known I tried.

Well, the improvements have been nothing short of miraculous. She is now running zoomies, being an "in my face" pest ;) and is showing a great interest in eating again now..where before it was an effort just to get her to eat at all.

So, my question...since she is clearly a sensitive dog, I want to make the changes in her diet gradually and with great care not to upset the awesome progress we are making. I started her on chicken leg quarters with a major part of the fat content removed for the first two weeks, then let her consume the quarters fat and all after those two weeks. I have not, as of yet, offered her any additional protein sources outside of chicken as I am sort of scared to "rock the boat". I know she needs variety, so my question is ...what protein source next for a VERY sensitive dog. Turkey is relatively easy to acquire in my area, so that is what I was thinking about for the next step.

Thanks in advance for the help. Sorry for the wall o text. :) If I've left out any details that would be helpful, please, let me know. And nice to meet you all.
 

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Turkey would be the next best thing. There have been a few other people that have asked if their dogs would be ok with just that added with livers, kidnesy and other organ meets and the concenses says that, yes, that should be fine. You do want to add variety, but especially with your dogs and the fun you guys have already been thru, no need to go too fast. Sounds like you have only been raw (again) for a month now, so you should be ok to just stick with chicken for a little while longer if you are too worried. But if I were you, I would just stick with the avian meats for now and see how things go.

I am sure that others will have more to say, but that should get you started.
Good luck! :)
 

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Thanks for the story! It helps to know the past history actually. I would say turkey is your safest bet for the next protein source. Turkey necks are very lean and a perfect size portion for a Dane. You can get whole turkeys and butcher them up into about 10 or so meals, but they are usually enhanced with salts and brine for flavoring and also have quite a bit of fat on them. Remove the skin and fat at first and cut most of the meat off and save for later on down the road. Feed only the boney portions with meat attached for a few weeks.

After turkey I would try fish. Whole tilapia are easy and cheap to find and are also well portioned for a Dane. They are low in fat and usually come gutted. You can also try to find cheaper fish at Asian markets as well, just make sure they are gutted for the beginning. Canned fish can be pretty expensive and can be packed in a lot of fat and salt that can be upsetting to the stomach for sensitive dogs.

Keep us updated and don't hesitate to ask questions!
 

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Its SOOO good to hear your dog is doing better :) Chronic illness is NO fun. I would take it REEAAALLLLY slow. Stay on chicken for another month or so. Add some chicken kidney or liver if you are worried about nutrient content and then add different meats from there. Goodluck! :)
 

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my corgi mix malia has chronic intestinal issues, mostly involving stress and certainly not as severe as your dogs...

it took a while, but we finally transitioned our dogs from kibble to home cooked to raw.....

we have progressed to the point where we can now feed turkey necks....

what i recently started doing, though.....and this has had no ill effects on her at all....is give them pieces (bite size) of whatever i'm going to cook, be it pork or lamb or beef....

that's all they get is a bite size piece....i'm probably only doing it for myself....and it may not have any benefits to the dogs, but i think it introduces them....

we are also going very very slowly.....

i'm glad your baby is doing well.....you've got time....there's no hurry to switch up proteins.....stabilisation first....we learned that one the hard way....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the thoughts and advice.

Just to clarify, she's actually been back on the raw diet now for about two months. I don't think I worded that too clearly when I was stating above how we progressed back into raw with her this go round.

She has, so far, done well with all things chicken. She's eating organ and heart as well with no ill effects.

I think I will gradually begin to add in some turkey to her diet soon. Should I start with it like I did the chicken - by first removing the skin/excess fat and seeing how she does with it, then gradually build up to letting her have it, skin and all?

Also, another question - I know a lot of "sensitive" diet kibbles have switched to more novelty protein sources such as venison...I am in an area where venison would not be hard at all to obtain, and I know many many hunters. Would venison be another good choice for her maybe after the turkey proves to be a successful addition (or not!)or is that something to save until much later? I'm not looking to give her too many different sources too quickly, just trying to get my "ducks in a row" so to speak when it comes to planning food purchases and such.

I have a couple questions regarding another one of my dogs, but I think I can make a seperate thread for that one. Again, thanks so much for the replies so far. I really wish I had kept a before/after photo progress journal with her. The results thus far are just simply amazing.
 

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Thanks for the thoughts and advice.

Just to clarify, she's actually been back on the raw diet now for about two months. I don't think I worded that too clearly when I was stating above how we progressed back into raw with her this go round.

She has, so far, done well with all things chicken. She's eating organ and heart as well with no ill effects.

I think I will gradually begin to add in some turkey to her diet soon. Should I start with it like I did the chicken - by first removing the skin/excess fat and seeing how she does with it, then gradually build up to letting her have it, skin and all?

Also, another question - I know a lot of "sensitive" diet kibbles have switched to more novelty protein sources such as venison...I am in an area where venison would not be hard at all to obtain, and I know many many hunters. Would venison be another good choice for her maybe after the turkey proves to be a successful addition (or not!)or is that something to save until much later? I'm not looking to give her too many different sources too quickly, just trying to get my "ducks in a row" so to speak when it comes to planning food purchases and such.

I have a couple questions regarding another one of my dogs, but I think I can make a seperate thread for that one. Again, thanks so much for the replies so far. I really wish I had kept a before/after photo progress journal with her. The results thus far are just simply amazing.
i am not as experienced as others here regarding raw.....but i do know what i had to clean up when i went too fast LOL

ours aren't even up to organs and heart, so you're well ahead of us....

we started with turkey necks....for turkey....and turkey breast....

my dogs aren't big enough to eat alot of the other bony parts, and wings just aren't readily available right now....

but, we will be removing skin and fat for any new protein and then gradually add it back in, mainly because we feel it's just fine to move slowly....

i NEVER want a repeat of the first time we did raw

I've read up on venison....it almost seems like the perfect protein.....so if i could get it, i'd add it in a heartbeat...but there are more experienced raw feeders here, so i'll shut up now :)
 

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Venison is a wonderful thing to feed. If we could only feed one protein source it would be venison. It is a richer meat than chicken and turkey do it would be best to add it in very gradually. Like adding a small cube of venison to a chicken meal at first and slowly adding more in. Eventually you should be able to feed a completely boneless meal one day and bone in meal the next and not see any diarrhea.
 

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Venison is a wonderful thing to feed. If we could only feed one protein source it would be venison. It is a richer meat than chicken and turkey do it would be best to add it in very gradually. Like adding a small cube of venison to a chicken meal at first and slowly adding more in. Eventually you should be able to feed a completely boneless meal one day and bone in meal the next and not see any diarrhea.
that's what so many people say about venison....my problem is i have no source :(
 

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There's gotta be hunters near Seattle...have you tried searching on craigslist for any hunters. Try also a google search for meat processors or butchers in your area.
 

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one would think, since we also have deer here.

i will talk to the two butchers here and i'll ask on my co op....

haven't tried craigs list yet, but will do.....

i wonder if venison is seasonal, like copper river salmon coming in for may and june only.
 

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I know that here in CO venison has to be USDA inspected to be sold. Meaning it has to come from a deer farm.
 

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we googled deer for sale and came up with deer farms....so i would guess, natalie, that you're right about the usda....i'm sure you're right, actually...anything consumed by humans that is sold retail would have to be...even the no roll that i was talking about from this place we get turkey necks is usda inspected...just not graded...
 

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Shadowfacedanes, have you ever wondered if, perhaps, your dog has an allergy to a certain protein source? I'm not an expert, but I've seen it a couple of times on here, where dogs have had an allergy to a certain protein source and can't have it. I know one person has a dog allergic to fish protein.

On a side note: we find out if Adam gets a hunting tag for venison or antelope on June 1st. That'd be an awesome wedding anniversary gift (especially if he got both)!!! XDDDD
 

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I was driving the other day and saw a dead deer in the road. It actuallt crossed my mind to stop and pick it up for Diesel! Lol.

My husband has been trying to have me get my hunting license so I can hunt with him. I will now get it so I can provide my babies with different meat. I havent told him why I am now interested!
 

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I was driving the other day and saw a dead deer in the road. It actuallt crossed my mind to stop and pick it up for Diesel! Lol.

My husband has been trying to have me get my hunting license so I can hunt with him. I will now get it so I can provide my babies with different meat. I havent told him why I am now interested!
i have a friend who would pick up roadkill...not to eat, mind you, but she would tan the hides and make doilies and chair covers and all kinds of things.

i swear, give her a toothpick and a match and she would have a house built and food for the Russian army made by 6 p.m.....:)
 

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Be careful with roadkill. In many states (including Washington) it is illegal to pick it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just to update -

I started adding in turkey necks to her chicken meals, and she's doing just fine with them. No signs of any change in her poops, no vomiting, no signs of problems adjusting whatsoever.

Yay!

Even the DH, who is very skeptical about RAW (because he's a squeamish nerd who thinks kibble is much easier lol) is admitting that the changes in Hannah are astromonical.

Her back has had problems ever since she bloated/torsed because of some complications from her being on her back on that hard surgical table for so long..we've tried flexicose, Dog Gone Pain, prescription medications from the vet, etc etc etc but nothing ever seemed to help her. I think the diet is giving her every thing she needs because she no longer seems to be in any pain, and she's now running around like a puppy again.

The most convincing part to DH was the other night. We took Hannah for a ride and she usually needs some help getting into and out of the van. This time, she lept up all by herself, unassisted, and then when we got home, she got out by herself and proceeded to do zoomies around the yard. DH's jaw almost hit the ground. He couldn't believe it.

:smile:
 
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