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  • Primal dogs?

    My parents' dog, Sunny, is a 2 and 1/2 year old Beagle. She is fun-loving, playful and energetic most of the time... her only problem has always been her disturbing habit of eating her own poop! Recently she has been doing this more and more, and the results have been bad... vomitting, diahrea, etc. And today my mom saw blood in her stool and rushed her to the hospital. She was diagnosed with Pancreatitis. So, I had a theory and did some research... is it possible that our dog is a celiac?

    It seems that dogs who eat their own poop are usually suffering from nutrient deficiencies, and therefore their bodies are starving and their poop seems more like the food they just ate because it's not digested properly. One result of Pancreatitis is nutrient deficiency, as the pancreas isn't able to process nutrients and digestion suffers. So, there seems to be a theme but I can't find a definitive link! I asked my mom to bring this up with the Vet, and we are still waiting to hear back on his thoughts... I checked the ingredient list of her dog food and the first ingredient is whole grain corn!!! Lots of other pretty nasty grains as well...

    Have any of you turned your dogs primal? Any experience with the above? I am hoping to hear something... as this can turn fatal and I am not prepared for that!! Thanks in advance...

    Edited to add: my father seems to think meat is bad for dogs... my question is when would a wild dog have ever eaten grains??
    Starting weight, June 10, 2010: 213 pounds
    Current weight, October 31, 2010: 177 pounds
    Goal: Happiness, Health, Hotness

    Screw "moderation"!!

  • #2
    I tried to do a BARF (raw food) diet with my dogs, we occasionally still throw them meat and fat from our leftovers. They tend to do better on EVO food which contains no wheat. Beagles tend to have a higher instances of food allergies. My beagle does great on the EVO food. Id say spend the extra money and opt for that or look into the BARF diet.

    EVO:
    http://www.naturapet.com/brands/evo.asp
    Natural Selection: http://ichoosenaturalselection.wordpress.com

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    • #3
      My mastiffs have been on the BARF diet all their lives. We learned that mastiffs on the BARF diet can live several more years than those on conventional dog food -- since mastiffs don't live very long, this is great news. Actually, grinding up raw vegetables and giving them raw bones all the time is part of what prompted us to start eating primal! We don't eat raw bones, but we do drink raw green veggie and fruit smoothies every morning. There actually is a great raw cookbook out for you and your dog !

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      • #4
        There is a dry kibble that is the equivalent of BARF. It's about 70 dollars for a forty pound bag, so it's cost prohibitive for me (two large athletic dogs), but it might be worth it for a single beagle. I'll try to remember the name of it, do some googling and such.

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        • #5
          I might be thinking of Innova/EVO--will check with a kennel friend.

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          • #6
            Pancreatitis is very bad news, because it can easily be fatal and once the dog has had it, he is very susceptible from then on. I've had multiple dogs with food sensitivities because I take and foster rescue mini Schnauzers. Mini Schnauzers have a high incidence of food sensitivities, and unrecognized food sensitivities are often a contributing factor to dogs ending up in rescue. The owner(s) only know that the dog has continual behavior, skin and digestive issues, and that nothing seems to help. Vets are taught that food sensitivities are very rare and they aren't usually good at recognizing them. Vet will say, "flea allergy" or something and prescribe cortizone and antihistamines or even doggie downers. These will dampen it down for awhile, but the problem keeps coming back.

            In my experience, pancreatitis in dogs is virtually always caused by people feeding simple carbs and bad fats and too much bad fat to the dog. I can't remember a case of pancreatitis where the dog wasn't being given human leftovers, like cake, chips, tater tots, cereal, etc. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but I've never seen it. People shouldn't expect to eat that stuff without adverse consequences! Also true with dogs.

            We have evolved together, and that bond undoubtedly started because we share the same dietary needs. We hunted the same stuff and did it better together than competing. It makes sense that our difficulties with certain foods should be similar, too. Ear and bladder infections, for instance, can be evidence in both humans and dogs of a too high carb diet. Corn and soy are common sensitivities for both.

            All that said, I've put dogs on raw meat diets and would probably keep them there if expense were no issue. I'd recommend one of the balanced blend frozen products if you want to try that. There is lots of info on the net on how to go about that. You could expect great results, but at a steep price.

            Before you go there, though, first make sure that the dog is getting NO human treats. Second, make sure that the food the dog is getting is totally grain and soy free. I feed my dogs Natural Balance Duck and Potato, with great results. They get chunks of fresh vegetables -- carrot, cabbage, green beans, for example -- for treats. You have to learn to read the read the labels with a totally OCD seriousness.

            (interupted by doggie business more below later)

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            • #7
              I have three pugs who eat chicken & turkey parts and chew on various meaty bones. They are 6-7 yrs old and the vet says their teeth are immaculate and they are in perfect health. I give them premium, (no grain), kibble occasionally, and sometimes cook them "stew," (meat and veggies), but they eat 99% just raw meat and bones. Its their natural diet and will allow them to live a longer and healthier life. I like their company better than most humans, so that's a good thing.

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              • #8
                Watch out for alfalfa or barley as ingredients in "grain free" dog foods. Seems obvious to me that a grass is a grass is a grass, but apparently not to all dog food manufacturers.

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                • #9
                  My Golden Retriever, Sammy, been Grain free for a over year. I switch him over to Wellness Core due to digestive issues, and he got better! I also feed him 8oz raw meat (mostly beef) as a snack! LOL! I can't go all raw due to financial issues, but I will put him on the BARF or Prey diet in the future! It is his natural diet!

                  If I am not mistaken, dogs are genetically similar to their ancestors, the wolves (so not much has change). Dogs can handle raw meat, and a wild dog/wolf will not be hunting down grains! Grains enter into the dog's diet when we started domesticated them! Go figure!

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                  • #10
                    We recently switched to buying a natural, organic dog food for our 8-year-old Siberian Husky. I think it still has some grains in it, but it has higher-quality animal products and a higher percentage of it is animal products (on the stuff we were feeding him before, the first ingredient was... wait for it....... CORN!).
                    The main difference we've noticed is that he actually enjoys eating now... before the switch it took a lot of coaxing to get him to eat; sometimes we'd even have to sit in a chair next to him while he ate.
                    I don't know that it's realistically financially feasible to feed him a 100% meat diet, but I think that even the simple switch of going organic helps.
                    (Of course, he gets the occasional pork-chop bone and whatnot ... as far as giving him stuff like cake, he doesn't get it simply because I don't eat it, so there's never any around to begin with).
                    Subduction leads to orogeny

                    My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lodini View Post

                      Edited to add: my father seems to think meat is bad for dogs... my question is when would a wild dog have ever eaten grains??
                      Your father does not know what he is talking about. It kills me to see people mistreat animals out of ignorance. It also astounds how me how ignorant people can be. Treat your dog like Grok would have treated his dog. Give him your meal scraps and plenty of extra meat, bones and fat. Dogs are natural carnivores. All commercial dog food and dog biscuits I have seen are just an excuse to sell grains or grain oils.
                      A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone for your detailed answers. Sunny is back home today and doing much better from what I hear. My parents are going to speak with her regular Vet about her future diet, and I have weighed in based on my research and your answers.

                        Originally posted by Bushrat View Post
                        Your father does not know what he is talking about. It kills me to see people mistreat animals out of ignorance. It also astounds how me how ignorant people can be.
                        Seriously is that called for? My father (and most people) having been taught CW and raised 4 dogs before this on "dog food" cant be blamed for this problem. And I implore you to stop throwing around words like "ignorance" when speaking of people you don't know.
                        Starting weight, June 10, 2010: 213 pounds
                        Current weight, October 31, 2010: 177 pounds
                        Goal: Happiness, Health, Hotness

                        Screw "moderation"!!

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                        • #13
                          You made a point of editing your post to mention his ignorance to us. And besides, ignorance doesn't have to be an insult. I'm ignorant of all but the most basic mathematical concepts, for example. I'm ignorant of the inner workings of my car. I've had the opportunity to learn, but I didn't bother. It DOES boggle the mind to consider someone that thinks that meat is bad for an animal that is basically a domesticated wolf.
                          You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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                          • #14
                            I edited my post to question whether he was misguided in his thought process. I wasn't insinuating my father is ignorant. It may boggle the mind to the few people on here who "know" the truth, but let's be honest... we are in the minority, right?

                            Either way, I felt the attack in the post... "your father doesn't know what he is talking about" is not a friendly way to open a conversation.

                            Anyway thanks to all the other reasonable and thoughtful responses!
                            Starting weight, June 10, 2010: 213 pounds
                            Current weight, October 31, 2010: 177 pounds
                            Goal: Happiness, Health, Hotness

                            Screw "moderation"!!

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                            • #15
                              hey slacker ... the kibble i have now is called "orijen," and it does have "sun-cured" alfalfa in it ... that's considered a grain, huh? the package does say it has a small amount of "grasses" ...

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