4-5 month old, raw food / no bones - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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4-5 month old, raw food / no bones

So... I need to preface with my pup will NOT eat kibble. At all. She's had a bad strain of kennel cough we're trying to find an antibiotic that really fights off and has actual damage inside her nose and everything is inflamed and mucus-y inside. She basically has no sense of smell (has very minor it seems) and though will get most of it back, will not get all of it. But she will NOT eat kibble anymore. We've been going through **** since she was 11 weeks old trying to get her to eat. Every tip and trick. We even tried putting kibble soaked in stock and mixed with meat in a blender and she never even attempted to picked the meat out of it at this point. Just wouldn't touch it. Canned food mixed in, peanut butter... all the things. 4 different brands. All "5-star" food. Grain-free, meat based, etc. (She's almost 5 months old now.) She went 5 full days two weeks ago without eating, and given she's always been too skinny according to the vet ("You need to feed her more. She's too thin." -- "WE TRY. She won't -eat-") I finally hit panic mode and shifted her onto raw feeding. I've done it with two pups in the past, so I'm not afraid of it, just cautious about various risks. She will eat non-frozen raw meat. (She won't eat frozen meat either.) And hot dogs. And processed cheese. That's what we're down to now.

Tried easing in with the bone to see how her digestive track handles (or doesn't) handle it.

My last GSD couldn't digest bone. At all. No matter the kind of bone, raw or store-bought chewing bone, etc, it came out exactly the way it went in. (Same with carrot, and a few other things). We ended up in the ER with fragments stuck in his rear and blood everywhere and it was terrible. (He ended up coming out just fine - it was just terrifying and expensive).

The first few days, her poop was fine. No signs of any issues. Everything soft, etc. Today however, there was a good sized chunk of bone in her stool. Nothing seems distended / painful otherwise, and going to keep watching it closely for signs of something being wrong. Have her water actually with canned pumpkin mixed in to try to help (probably just making myself feel better) and she got no bones this morning, and I'm not going to continue feeding her bone. It's simply NOT worth the risk right now. She has enough wrong with her than take that risk. Just keeping her on raw chicken breast/thighs that are boneless, a bit of chicken liver. She's fine with turkey. Going to try beef soon. Etc.

I'm really worried about calcium. She won't eat yogurt. She has no interest in egg shells. I know the ratio of phosphorus to calcium is important, and nutritionally she's at a deficit right now. I don't know what else to try for her that has no chance of an ER visit and will get her what she needs every day that I can get into her with her sense of smell so impaired. I got her a box of vita-bones but don't even know how many of those to try to entice her to eat a day since nowhere I can find says "she needs this." And vets are notoriously bad as nutritionists. I'd much rather trust a community of GSD owners talking and possessing the amount of experience and knowledge on this, as bad as that might sound.

Just scared for my girl and trying so hard to keep her as healthy as possible. (She'll be 5 months next week and already crossed the 50lb mark, so she's doing okay with growth - I just don't want that growth to be malnourished!)

Last edited by Zayven; 04-20-2017 at 05:59 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:15 PM
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You should be worried. The way you are planning to feed her raw with no bones or other calcium source is DANGEROUS. And will lead to horrible malnutrition issues. She NEEDS calcium and other minerals.

Have you done a culture for the nose issues? Kennel cough and similar conditions can be caused by a variety of pathogens, viral, bacterial or fungal. Without a culture finding the right antibiotic can be like playing darts in the dark.

How are you feeding the egg shells? They should be ground into a fine powder and mixed in with something. Yogurt and other dairy products do not have anywhere near enough calcium to support a growing pup. Neither do the vita bone treats.

Have you tried a commercial raw with ground bone?

Worse case scenario I might try raw green tripe with a powdered vitamin and mineral Supplement like fresh oasis or balance it.
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Last edited by voodoolamb; 04-20-2017 at 07:21 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:09 PM
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Hi Zayven,
So sorry to hear of your dogs problems.

I raised both of my dogs (now 9 & 10 years old) on ground Bone Meal, and a multiple vitamin mix with a homemade meat & vegetable combination.

Different brands of bone meal require different amounts fed to dogs & cats because the percentages in bone meals are different.

If you would like the specifics, I can PM them to you.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:43 PM
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We have had periods where we couldn't feed bone either. I keep powdered bone meal on hand. Just mix into or sprinkle on the raw meat. Calcium and phosphorus needs are meet.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:01 PM
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Can you find a good source of premade ground raw and tripe? The premade ground would stop the worrying about bones and the tripe stinks enough she will probably eat it. You need to get this dog eating.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, we've dropped the $2100 on tests and diagnostics. We're currently waiting on the biopsy results of the damaged tissue and the results of the mucus in her lungs. They've altered her antibiotics in the meantime to the specialist's best guess and she's back on 'bedrest' sort of deal while we wait again. The initial culture done on her nose wasn't helpful when she was a little snot-monster and the xrays just showed some indiscriminate blockage and so we went through the referral to specialist, etc. We got through all of that finally and now we're just waiting on the hopefully final word about what is wrong. The kennel cough strain is the current best guess after full rhinoscopy / flush / looking inside her lungs / examining slides / etc. Trying to feed her can't wait on those, though.

I can safely say I don't need "motivation" for worry. >.>;; I can't make it any more clear there is and has been a lot of worry and struggle and not knowing what's wrong and why she won't eat and how to get her to do so. We didn't automatically know it was her sense of smell. (She's never been "food motivated".) I'm just presenting the most immediate things related to this issue and not everything in her history

What sort of store do I get ground bone meal from? I checked in with the butcher at the local market and they don't do tripe, but did recommend a hispanic market on the other side of town that does. Going tomorrow there. How much should I be feeding her of the bone meal and/or green tripe? She's eating ~ 2.5lbs of meat a day right now. (She's expected to be around 85lbs at best guess.)

More than happy to talk in PM's, thank you all
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:23 AM
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Can't help you with the diet, but I am just so sorry that you and your poor pup are going through this. I hope you get some answers soon and the problem resolves itself.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 06:51 AM
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If you can't find green tripe locally, the company I purchase items from has a 1 pound chub of green tripe mixed with spleen for $1.99/pound. You'll need to refer to the others on the quantity per day to feed.

Here are other places to source it:

Darwin's Pet, Tripe page: https://www.darwinspet.com/product/green-tripe/
Raw Paws Pet Food and Vital Essentials Raw.

Just to give you an idea, until Voodo or Ihczth can respond to amounts to feed your particular dog, here is a chart provided by Raw Paws:

up to 30 lbs : 4 oz for every 10 lbs
30 - 100 lbs : 3.2 oz for every 10 lbs
over 100 lbs : 2.8 oz for every 10 lbs

I will PM you the Bone Meal info.


Last edited by Momto2GSDs; 04-21-2017 at 07:00 AM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 07:11 AM
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Does your vet have her on a Probiotic because of all the antibiotics?

If not, she definitely needs to be on one to repair the gut from all of the abx.

Over 70% of the immune system lies in the gut so it is VERY important to keep it healthy.

You would give the Probiotic at least 2 hours away from the abx to be effective.

Here are some high quality Human Grade products (purchased over the internet):

Sunday Sundae (Digestive Enzyme & Pro-Biotic Combo: http://www.feedsentials.com/
Gut Sense (ProBiotic): http://dr-dobias-natural-healing-usa...ducts/gutsense
Digest All Plus: (Digestive Enzyme/ProBiotic combo) Wholistic Digest All Plus? - Digestive Support - Canine
Animal Essentials: (Digestive Enzyme/ProBiotic combo)Plant Enzyme w/ Probiotics 3.5 oz 100 gm - Animal Essentials

Also, Raw Goat's Milk would be a great choice as it has many benefits. You can read about it here:

Answers Raw Pet Food Company: ADDITIONAL - Raw Goat's Milk

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:13 AM
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If you just want her on meat -- nothing else -- Primal makes a "Grinds" line that is 80% muscle, 10% organ, 10% ground bone with NOTHING else (no vitamin mixes even). It's not labeled as "complete" because it has no vitamin mix. It's still probably better than not getting calcium though.

You might want to look into a base mix too, if she'll eat it. Local, independent pet supply shops likely have sample packets they could share to see if she'll eat it. A base mix would balance out what she's currently eating to create a complete diet -- The Honest Kitchen makes several that are excellent, Sojo's makes one with grains in it (much more economical than THK), Volhard Nutrition, Dr. Harvey, and several others have them too. These are deyhdrated products that reconstitute into a porridge to which you add your own preferred meat.

With sick, anorexic dogs, I've had the best luck using cooked liver to entice them to eat (beef or chicken, doesn't matter). It's the intense smell from the cooking that helps here. Boil it, and save the cooking water (let her have that too--you can soak other food in it). Warm up the liver before feeding it so that the steam spreads the stinky smell. If she has any sense of smell left, this should break through. Again, not a complete diet -- but a nutritious enticement!
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