View Full Version : Saying HI - update - and ?? about raw food diet

30th December 2007, 01:45 AM
Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've visited, and wanted to drop in with a small update and say HI! I hope everyone and their doggies had a nice Christmas!

Life has been crazy-hectic for us, but it's all good. We're building a new house, among other things, so it's been exciting!

Bella is doing wonderfully and continues to be the love of our lives. She's such a good girl, we just love her to bits.

We've had a couple health issues with her, nothing overly serious, but things we need to watch. She's had an anal gland rupture twice now, which is horrible. She's not a scooter, so we don't discover it until it's too late. We take her into the vet to have expressed, put her on a round of antibiotics, then she's fine, but it's not a pleasant experience. Also, on both occasions before the gland ruptured, she got a cherry eye. The first time it happened we thought it was a fluke that both things happened almost at once - she got the cherry eye, then the following day her bum exploded.

The vet didn't think the two were related, but, this past incident - she got another cherry eye, which we thought might be due to the dry air in our house (winter time here, running furnace constantly). We bought a couple of heavy-duty humidifiers, and started using tear-gel, but that didn't help. We actually had her booked in for eye surgery to have it repaired. The following day, she had another anal gland rupture. As soon as it was expressed and she started the antibiotics, the cherry eye went back in and cleared right up. We cancelled the eye surgery.

Coincidence? I think not!

So, everything I've been reading about impacted anal glands points toward diet. This is an issue for us because she's a VERY picky eater. We've been through all the commercial foods, and the only one she'll really eat is Royal Canin Mini Breed Special 30 (for fussy eaters), so, switching up her food to see if it's going to help her anal gland problem isn't as easy as it sounds. But, I'm determined to get to the bottom of it (no pun intended!)

I was into a specialty pet food store the other day and they gave me a couple samples of some raw diet dog "muffins". They're frozen, in a vacuum-sealed package, then you just take one out, defrost it, and it's a perfect complete serving size.

I gave her one tonight just to see how she liked it. OMG. I've never seen her so enthusiastic about food! I initially gave her half the muffin, and she inhaled that, then came back to me, pawed my leg, then went back to her empty bowl and liked the sides clean :lol: So, I gave her the other half, and she gobbled that right up.

So now I'm thinking... hmmm, this may be a good thing! I've read enough to know there's pro's and con's to a raw food diet, but I'm not going to be preparing my own homebrew (I'm not that industrious, heh). But these pre-made muffins are pretty convenient, and seem to eliminate a lot of the risks of preparation and what NOT to include, etc.

Any thoughts on this??

Oh, I've also updated Bella's website and included a photo gallery, if you want to see my girl! http://www.fwchelle.com/bella/

30th December 2007, 02:46 AM
I've fed all my dogs raw for almost a year now, my cavalier has only been here 2 weeks and I'm still transitioning her over to raw, but I had the same experience as you - My picky eaters where much more enthusiastic about mealtime, and the benefits in their coat and overall health are very plain to see. I prepare my dogs' diets myself for one main reason - The biggest problem with prepared raw diets is that while they are balanced normally, they're still processed (ground), and harder to digest then whole meats. They also don't give the dogs the chance to chew on some bone and rip the meat off the bone, there for the dental benefits of a raw diet are greatly reduced. However - I still think that even a commercial raw diet over all in my opinion is still better then a kibble diet. If she likes the raw food and does well, I say go for it :) After switching my dogs to raw, I can honestly tell you I don't see myself ever going back, it is alot more work, but where I live there's alot of free-range farms, so I can get fresh meats and organs very inexpensively so for my crew, I find it alot less expensive to feed this way, however buying a premade raw is going to be compairable in cost to a super premium kibble.

30th December 2007, 06:16 AM
Hi Chelle, I am sorry to hear that little Bella had a few rought patches recently.

I moved my guys over to a completely raw diet almost a year ago and we have never looked back. Meal times are a hoot, teeth are gleaming white, coats shiny and I have the peace of mind of knowing exactly what my dogs are eating.

I do prepare their food myself, but it is surprisingly quick & easy once you have a routine. My guys get about 60% chicken necks or wings, so they just get purchased at the supermarket & placed in freezer bags or containers of the right size. I usually buy a few kilos of each at a time. I also buy meat, fruit, veg & grain at the supermarket and then just feed it all together through a meat mincer. This gets mixed up with other goodies thrown in, like eggs, cottage cheese, yoghurt, fish.... you name it.... and then I put it into managable sized plastic containers that then go into the deep freezer.

I can prepare 2 weeks worth of food for a 35 kilogram Boxer, and two Cavaliers, all in around 45 minutes. Then at meal times, all I have to do is ensure I have enough food defrosted and it is a matter of just serving it into their dishes. During winter, I give their meat a little hit with the microwave to take the chill off it, and I plunge the chicken parts in hot water for a minute also to take off the chill, but not to cook.

I have heard that there are some very good pre-made raw diets for dogs, but I have not had any experience with them, so I can't comment from that angle. If I were tempted to buy them though I would want to know whether the raw ingredients were of the same quality & type as that sold for human consumption, and I would also want to know whether the same food-handling & storage protocols were used as with food for humans.

Some years back, I purchased some chicken mince from a pet shop... never again! The smell told me plain & clear that the storage & handling was not the same as human foods sold in the butcher shop. That is why I am now so fussy about where I get my ingredients from.

Anyway, the journey is fun. So keep us posted. I've made some entries in my blog spot about our journey from kibble, to cooked, to raw, so take a look if you are so inclined.


30th December 2007, 05:49 PM
The only issue would be that the raw meat muffins won't really have much roughage that would help the anal gland issue or to keep teeth clean. Usually it is the bones side that are recommended for keeping dogs regular and for teeth. But I have my own concerns about bones, having had a serious problem feeding them. You could feed raw in conjunction with the RC as the dry RC will provide roughage and some teeth scraping and also feed items that add roughage -- like some crumbled shredded wheat, say., or raw veggies like carrots to chew. Also keep giving her chews.

To be honest I cannot see how an anal gland issue would be related to cherry eye except that the stress of having the anal gland problem might well trigger the cherry eye in the way that stress can trigger things like eye infections, cold sores etc. Repeated bouts of cherry eye point to some possible eye problems and repeated bouts of anal gland impactions indicate she may just have an opening that is too small and keeps getting plugged (this is a problem for small dogs generally -- the opening is smaller for them and is plugged more easily). For some dogs this is a permanent issue and they ultimately have to have the glands removed (a last choice option as it is delicate surgery and can cause incontinence problems). A good food like RC should not be the cause of anal gland problems -- I get really firm poops with RC for example and while I don't feed raw, I have never had an anal gland problem in four years with two dogs or in over a year with Lily.

So a raw diet may well appeal more to Bella and if you find you like feeding it, then of course do so, :) but I don't really think it will affect either of these health issues. Raw diets tend to help with allergies or stomach problems in some dogs (but in others, a raw diet can introduce or exacerbate them).

30th December 2007, 09:01 PM
When we still had Tarmac, both he and Guinness were fed tinned dog food.

Both had anal gland problems, Tarmac had a "burst" - poo for both was always a bit sloppy.

Losing Tarmac, coincided with Guinness's major ear problems which resulted in us changing to RAW.

Since then we have never had to go for anal elimination with any of our 3 - thats 2 years worth.
Some poo's come out like pellets - positively popping out!!!
We tend to keep an eye on our lads poops - as they are quite telling on their wellbeing. On occasion I have even seen lines on each side of the poo with the fluid from their glands.

We get our meat from the local farm shop - they get us packs of chicken necks and chicken wings - usually 7kg of each.

I then bag these up into a days worth, and freeze. Alternating days from one to the other.
To ensure they get their portion, I tend to chop up into more manageable chunks with a cleaver.

I have left them whole before, but sometimes they leave it after getting tired from crunching.

Then perhaps twice a week, they get a mush day.
Some veggie slop - which I make a months worth of. Thats a mixture of root and leafy veggies - pulped up in the juicer then blended back together in the food processor.

The resulting mush is put into ice cube trays and frozen - for easy dispensing later.

This is thawed with some mince (RAW) and some offal such as liver/kidney/heart. Throw in a couple of eggs, including eggshell, some omega 3 or 6 oils such as flaxseed, starflower, or cod liver. Then some alfalfa, kelp and brewers yeast.
I tend to cheat a bit and put some finely minced cooked meat - they had some cooked turkey with it over xmas.

Guinness is our star here, and loves it - Willow comes in second but can be a bit picky - until he realises that that is all that is on offer - Bailey can be slow on the uptake too.

For a special treat - such as their christmas day meal - they had a whole rabbit - and just love it.

Definely would not go back from BARF.

Merry Christmas everyone.