So I know a lot more about the dog side of raw feeding than I do the ferret side which is why I am asking this question.
Over on one of my raw fed dog groups we get folks that start raw and their dog gets the runs on a new protein because they added it in to fast. They then post stating that their dog might be allergic to this new protein. But everyone on that sites usually states that it's because they introduced a new protein to fast. So the person new to raw takes a step back and slows it up and introduces it slowly, their problem is always solved, their dog can successfully eat the raw protein.
Folks say that their dog is allergic to chicken or beef in kibble so they have to buy an exotic protein like rabbit. But on that site the helpful people state that even though the dog is allergic to it on kibble give it a shot in the raw protein side of it. The person new to raw gives it a shot and viola, the dog is not allergic to the raw protein. Even folks who said they have done an elimination diet and found that their dog was not allergic to any extra ingredient.
Why is it that ferrets seem to be SO sensitive to raw proteins? It seems every time I turn around some one is posting about how their ferret can't eat chicken because it got the runs. I just can't seem to wrap my head around it coming from the dog side of things. Someone help?
Ferrets are very prone to things like IBD unfortunately. And when feeding a protein they show a sensitivity to the bowel becomes inflamed over an over and over. Which in turn triggers IBD. Chicken for whatever reason appears to be the worst trigger for this. Then on the other end you have true allergies where they eat a protein and have blood filled projectile vomiting and stools.
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
I also don't know much on the ferret side of things, but I too have seen this. Regarding the dog side of it though, often the term allergy is used incorrectly. My dog has an intolerance to cooked lamb, but is fine with raw. By this I mean, if given cooked (even gradually) he will have loose stools and can be sick. He is the same with other red meats (beef, pork, venison...). That said he has allergies to beef, venison, chicken and fish - although the chicken and fish never gave him loose stools or frequent sickness. He seems to have an intolerance to pork both cooked and raw, but he is not allergic to it. It is similar to nut allergies and lactose intolerance, they are different things, which make the body react in a different way. With my dog his allergies seem to make him itchy around his mouth and anus, along with frequent skin flare ups all over his body. An intolerance just gives him the runs or sickness until he has passed/brought all the food (ie meat) back up.
(Quick note to explain that my dog has been tested for allergies and is allergic to most common carbs/grains and the meats listed along with environmental aspects such as grass, weeds and mites)
Korra the Demonic Princess
Rip Mako, my brave soldier. Bolin, my snuggle bear.
One theory as to why chicken allergies are so common is that the animals are not allergic to the chicken, but rather to the grains the chicken is fed. I would be curious to see how allergic animals react to free-range naturally raised versions of their allergens...
IBD is absurdly common in ferrets. Unfortunately if you have an IBD flare up this can CAUSE allergies as well as what Sherry was describing. When there is inflammation the immune system is on high alert. If you are feeding chicken for example, during this bad flare up, the immune system is attacking anything and everything that is foreign. IF the inflammation is bad enough, and you are feeding enough of one protein over an extended period of time during this inflammation (another reason why constant variety is good), you can end up having the body attack the chicken proteins being absorbed and create antibodies. Whoops! Now the immune system has antibodies against chicken proteins...it now view chicken as an enemy. Now you are allergic to chicken. Bummer. :/
Because chicken is an easily accessible source of meat for people, esp bones, it is often the primary protein in their diet. Another thing with allergens is that in some cases, the more you are exposed, the worse the reaction gets (like penicillin), and in others the more you are chronically exposed (cats, grass), the more your body gets used to it. Is chicken penicillin or cat dander? I don't know. I don't understand the mechanisms of all of this too well, but after immunology next semester maybe I'll have a better idea....
I DO think that the GMO, antibiotics and steroids they pump them full of, yadda yadda all contribute to the increasing number of Humans, dogs, cats, and ferrets with food allergies.