Celene your parents sound SO much like mine!! Spoiled little dogs My mom has a total thing for hard luck health case rescues, which is great for them and her. Being retired her days are literally centered around their meds and swim therapy and acupuncture. They're doing very well and it keeps her busy so it's a win/win. Plus it gives my dad a chance to sneak off for cheeseburgers and play poker with the neighbors lol. My mom is pretty strict about their diets, but she's not a raw feeder I know my dad sneaks them scraps though, it's a point of good natured bickering between them. Buddy is in for good things, I bet he loves his new food if they go for it!
Post by FerretsnFalcons on Mar 2, 2015 19:57:09 GMT -5
Thank you for those links linsul, they're super helpful! I've heard some good things about apple cider vinegar. Apparently it repels parasites, heals wounds, and helps with allergies. My German Shepherd has allergies and itches a lot, so I might try putting a little in his food tonight. Has anybody ever used this, and do you know why it has so many health benefits? I can't imagine a dog or wolf running across it in the wild.
I've honestly never tried it but I've heard good things and also that it did nothing. I'm not sure since I haven't tried it, but as a helpful preventative to itchiness the fish oils and vitamin e should make a difference.
I used the apple cider vinegar and didn't notice a change for our dog, so after that bottle I stopped using it and didn't see any change again so never bothered with it. Others swear by it though, so might be worth a go. I would probably recommend introducing raw for a few weeks then add 1 supplement at a time and let your dogs settle for a couple of weeks before adding the next to see for any improvement or problems.
I forgot to mention, some raw feeders forgo the fruit and veg and feed tripe instead. It has to be the really stinky green tripe though, not the bleached white stuff. It's pretty cheap too and supposed to be very nutritious. I often fed it still frozen and fed outside, and used gloves to handle it and the wrapping. Then when my dog finished his meal I would wipe his paws and mouth before letting him back in.... I really hate the smell of it.
Post by FerretsnFalcons on Mar 3, 2015 18:49:22 GMT -5
I added a bit of apple cider vinegar to Charlie's food last night. He inhaled it. I'm going to start keeping track of how often he itches with tally marks. Then after a couple weeks or so I can make a graph and see if the vinegar is helping. So far he itched about 3 times, which seems to be better than normal. I REALLY want to get green tripe, I have been on a hunt for it, but I asked both butchers in my area and they said they didn't carry it. The problem with butchers here is that they don't get shipped a whole carcass and then butcher it up themselves. Instead, they get parts that have already been butchered shipped to the store. That means they don't have the extra organs, "undesirable parts," tripe, etc. that I really need. The butchers said that an Asian market might carry it, but why would they, if green tripe is not allowed to be sold for human consumption (right)? Last time I went to the market there was only bleached tripe. They did have pig stomachs (hog maws I think) that looked unbleached, would those be as good as green tripe? I guess I could order green tripe online, but it seems really expensive for just beef stomachs, and I'm trying to keep everything under $2 per pound for the most part. Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
Post by FerretsnFalcons on Mar 4, 2015 20:20:27 GMT -5
Riley had her vet appointment today for the dental cleaning, and we got shocking, horrible news. They had to run blood work on her to make sure she was healthy enough to go under anesthesia. The vet said her protein levels are abnormally high. Then they said that she has kidney disease, she has lost 25% to 40% of her working kidney cells. I don't know if they actually tested this, or they're just assuming (I was at school so I didn't get to go to the appointment). Obviously they didn't do the dental cleaning, they recommended that she stay at the hospital for 2 days while they put sub-q fluids in her. They also suggested that we administer sub-q fluids to her every week for the rest of her life, and we should put her on Hill's Science Diet K/D (surprise, surprise!) We were all shocked and skeptical, seen as she hadn't been showing any symptoms (excessive drinking, excessive urinating, nausea, vomiting) except for decreased appetite. Lately she's been eating a little over half of what she normally does, but then again we changed her to a better, richer, food, so I don't know if she's fasting herself or starving herself. Anyway, my mom decided to keep her at the vets; I feel so bad for Riley because she HATES it there! Right now I am in the beginning stages of researching kidney disease and raw diets for kidney disease. From what I've read, you need to limit the phosphorus (bones), make sure they stay hydrated, feed them smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, and don't decrease protein (despite what the vets say!) I am guessing that Riley's kidney disease was caused by the Hill's Science Diet, since kibble causes her to stay dehydrated and get periodontal disease. I guess I shouldn't put all the blame on the kibble, because it was my family who fed that bad kibble to her for her entire life, and never brushed her teeth. I just wish that we had known about raw diets since she was a puppy. I feel so bad for her and guilty, even though I was 4 when we got her and I had no control over her diet. She never should have even been on Science Diet, the vets prescribed it for her urinary incontinence. Well guess what? The urinary health Hill's food is not even FOR urinary incontinence, it's for urinary stones. My dad talked to another vet a month or so ago and even he said that he thought it was odd that our vet would prescribe Hill's urinary health for a dog with incontinence (her incontinence was caused by the vet too, from her spay surgery, and she's had it since she was a puppy). Anyway, if any of you have raw fed a dog with kidney disease, any advice would be appreciated. I'm feeling so terrible right now, I hope she'll be okay.
I'm really truly terribly sorry for the news, poor Riley! You do the best you can until you know better though in life right? As far as I'm concerned you had no control over this since you had no say in what she was fed, and frankly raw as a "thing" is pretty new in the mainstream. Don't feel guilty, you're doing all the research *and* making sure Riley is being taken care of at the vet, though it is rough news and not her favorite place to be. She'll be better for her time at the vets office.
I don't know anything specific about raw feeding for dogs with kidney disease, but I'll google a bit and see what comes up. They tried to put Annakin on prescription food too, it kind of made me mad when I saw what was in the stuff. You've looked at Science Diet already which is a great start since it's the vet suggested route.
The Science Diet food recommended was likely done so because the kidneys have trouble filtering toxins when diseased, stones are a higher risk for dogs with that condition. Do you know Riley's BUN and creatinine test results? I'm reading creatinine over 3 should be a no-bone situation, calcium is supplemented instead. A few different places seem to be in agreement about this.
Post by FerretsnFalcons on Mar 4, 2015 20:54:15 GMT -5
I read that too, the problem is they didn't tell my mom the exact results, they just said "Her protein is high, she has kidney disease." I will definitely ask for the exact test results when we pick her up from the vets. Won't she be missing more minerals than calcium if I cut bones out of the menu? I'm really worried about deficiencies since we'd have to cut so much out of her diet when she's on raw. Also, I asked my mom to ask the vet how much it would cost for them to test the ferrets' BG (they're not showing symptoms, just a precaution), and they said $60! Is that a lot, or am I being dramatic? I have to say, I'm not too pleased with the vet right now.
Post by FerretsnFalcons on Mar 7, 2015 19:32:07 GMT -5
So I picked Riley up from the vet's office last night, she was SO happy to see my mom and me. The vet gave us Science Diet k/d and Azodyl, a renal supplement containing probiotics that supposedly helps the kidneys. He said that they did another blood test to recheck her BUN and creatinine to see if they improved, but we had to wait. So I still don't know the levels, but I will find out soon, since he said we could call the office any time after 12:00 (It's now 4:15, but both my parents are away at my sister's soccer tournament right now). I will update you when we get the test results. Luckily, he said we might have caught the disease a bit early, and, depending on the test results, we might not have to do sub-q fluids for her yet. I have been working on creating a raw diet menu for Riley, since I don't trust Hill's Science Diet and with a homemade diet I will be able to monitor and adjust the amount of phosphorus she gets. If you want, I could type up the menu. Since it's recommended that dogs with kidney disease get 10g to 60g of phosphorus per pound of body weight daily (10g for a dog with advanced kidney failure, and 60g for a dog with early kidney disease), just to be on the safe side I put Riley's limit at 20g per pound daily, so a 700g daily max for phosphorus. Using the USDA nutrition data, I calculated the grams of phosphorus per ounce in several muscle meats, bone-in meats, vegetables, starches, and fruits and assembled the menu using those values. My goal was to give Riley as much meat as possible without going over the phosphorus limit. I was even able to incorporate some bone into her menu, although MUCH less than she would get if she were healthy (only 3oz of bone-in chicken every other day). On high-phosphorus bone-in meat days, I am planning on feeding her the low-phosphorus plant matter (spinach, broccoli, apples, cantaloupe, boiled sweet potato, green beans, etc.) She is still getting one and a half meal's worth of liver, spleen, and uterus (spread out through the week), but I'm going to have to substitute a lot of the bone with ground eggshell. Then as the disease progresses, I can completely cut bone off the menu, decrease the amount of meat, increase the amount of plant matter, and hopefully that will keep her as healthy and comfortable as possible until her time comes. Thank you for your help and support, I really appreciate it. If any of the above is confusing, I can post the menu plan.
Sounds like a great plan and well done on taking the initiative to get her a decent diet even with these problems. I think it's great you have done all the research and your parents are backing you to allow you to feed a better diet. Sounds like she really missed you both and I bet she's glad to be back home with all her family and in her own home. Good luck with everything! And please keep us posted with how she is doing, I really hope this specialised diet helps her.
Korra the Demonic Princess
Rip Mako, my brave soldier. Bolin, my snuggle bear.
Post by FerretsnFalcons on Mar 10, 2015 17:21:41 GMT -5
Actually, RedSky, only my mom approves, but that's all that matters since everyone knows she rules the roost! My dad doesn't think that raw harms them, he just says "There's no research that proves that it's better than anything else." He got that idea from a vet that he talked to once. Anyway, the vet that we took Riley to finally called us back last night, he left a message saying that her BUN and creatinine levels are now normal, apparently because of the sub-q fluids they did, but she should be kept on the diet and supplement. So that's very good, I guess we caught it early. He said we don't need to do sub-q fluids yet, but it's a terminal illness so we will probably have to do them eventually. Riley is acting completely normal, just like she had been before we took her in to the vets. No increased drinking, no increased urinating, no lethargy, and of course she loves to eat her smelly canned food. Charlie, who's stuck with kibble for now, is super jealous that Riley gets a special canned kidney health diet. He begs for some of her food and doesn't eat his kibble until he realizes that he's not getting any of the canned stuff. I'm running out of ferret meats, so my mom and I are probably going to go to the market this weekend and get stuff for the ferrets and Riley, so I can start her on her raw diet. I haven't decided if I should raise the phosphorus levels in her diet plan and give her more meat and bones, since she is not as far along in the kidney disease as I thought. Will it make the disease progress faster? Or will it actually be better for her at this point since she will be getting more meat and bones?
Made me laugh about your parents, we are similar in that anything to do with the pets I have the final say on it, my OH gets overruled. I'm really glad to hear that Riley is doing well and isn't showing any symptoms and her results were good. I really don't know what to advise about the bones and phosphorus levels in her diet. I can see points for both sides but not sure what truth there is behind it. I suppose she should be on reduced but how reduced I'm not sure. It seems like you have a good understanding of it and I hope you can find the information. Did you say earlier that it's advised to reduce the amount as the disease progresses? If so I think that's your answer, I think I read 70% of the normal bone at the start, I think maybe something closer to that than 20% but I'm just speculating.
Korra the Demonic Princess
Rip Mako, my brave soldier. Bolin, my snuggle bear.