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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Update....Houston we have lift off .... of the poo kind !!!!! I have been working with my vet but also with a GSD breeder who is VERY kind, patient and knowledgeable. I was thinking that maybe feeding him all this ground raw that was supposed to be more digestible was maybe not the right way to go and she also suggested to up the bone content. The big country raw blends are only 10% bone and it is all a very fine grind. Think the consistency of pate. I only put him back on ground because of this diarrhea flare up but now that we were a few weeks in with probiotics, tylan and also Sunday Sundae and Feed Sentials .... and he was still having loose stools I thought screw it ... maybe he needs some real food to sink his teeth and bowels into. So last nigjhts dinner was 2 chicken quarters (minus half the skin and I left the organs out for now) and breakfast was big country raw ground beef/organ/bone/veg/fruit + small chicken back and...voila ! Perfect poops ! It has been such a scary long haul that I swear to god I would frame this poo and put it on the wall if I could find a way to make it odor free !!!
ps.the 10% veg/fruit in his big country beef blend was an accident...meant to order pure beef/bone/organ but it makes no diff .. he has tried both and the bone content is not enough to firm stools.

BUT.... the bad news and this is where I need your help guys. He is very reactive to chicken. Great poops but his skin and ears have been red all day and he has been super itchy.
His inflammation is much better on beef but how can I get the bone content in ? Any kind of bone content that's not chicken ?
The breeder that I have been consulting with basically said that the 10% beef bone content in the big country raw blends is useless because it comes from ground weight bearing bones and not much of it will be bio available (and it certainly had done nothing to firm up his poops).
She also said that adding ground eggshell to ground beef would be the wrong calcium to phosphorus ratio (and again prolly not enough to firm poops)??
I have some wonderful beef neck bones that I was thinking I could let him chew in addition to beef meals ... but again the breeder suggested that because they are hard bones (he grinds them down to nothing though) that he may not be getting what he needs.
So if his bone portion of pmr can't be chicken what are my options ?
The bones need to be affordable and available. I am in Ottawa and I am in the city but I do have a car.
Also I think that because his bowels are wonky it would be better to try and balance per meal rather than meaty meals one day and rmb the next.
Also I don't know yet (haven't tried) if he would react the same to turkey (thinkin turkey necks) since I imagine that turkeys eat all the same grains and crap that chickens do.
Sorry, that was my convoluted way of asking for edible bone options that are affordable and not chicken !
Despite him itching all day (and feeling less energetic because he is inflamed-he was even half hearted about playing some ball this aft which is unheard of 馃檨) I am still doing the happy poo poo dance !!!! Hope your not grossed out but I am proudly sharin' a pic !
IMG_2361.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #24
500 mg Benadryl is a huge. Can I ask why?
Thanks for pointing out the typo . It's 50 not 500 - corrected. I assume most folks already realized it was a typo and that I wasn't foolish enough to give my dog 60 Benedryl tablets per day !!!!
There is a long history of seasonal allergies and skin problems which I mentioned in my post and honestly don't have the energy to detail right now. I am hoping that healing his gut will improve this. With having gotten him up to correct levels of probiotics I have been able to eliminate the Benedryl. He still itches but not any worse than he ever did on the antihistamines. Worse on chicken (and to a slightly less degree.. worse on turkey after todays experiment) better on beef.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
So I am at a loss.
I spoke to the GSD breeder today and she told me that:
The calcium carbonate and lesser minerals from finely ground eggshell cannot be properly absorbed/utilized.
Same goes for the calcium/minerals from ground weight bearing bones...ie. beef bone meal.
Same goes for beef neck bones- even though he can mostly grind them down and consume.

At a loss for a non chicken/turkey bone replacement for pmr ????
I was really hoping to take a break from poultry since his inflammation and itching was down and his skin was finally starting to heal.
 

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For bone: Pork, I feed pig tails and sometime pork rib, goat -ribs and head rabbit (whole) fed once didn鈥檛 like. Don鈥檛 know if turkey necks were mentioned. My guy can鈥檛 handle a whole meal of turkey but he does great with turkey necks.
 

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Has your dogs Vitamin D levels be tested?
"Muscles and nerves require vitamin D for proper function because it helps regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption." (NASC - National Animal Supplement Counsel)

You will have to "choose your battles" for your dog, since he has sensitivities.

With my raw diet, I have been feeding "edible" bone meal to my dogs for over 25 years without problems.

NOTE: If you choose edible bone meal for a RAW diet:
different brand name products such as NOW or Kal are fed in different amounts per cup or pound of raw meat.

If he is "chicken sensitive"......ground egg shells may not be the best choice.

If using Ground eggs shells, I would choose Organic, IMHO.

You can also investigate "Seaweed Calcium".

Sometimes you can find a supplier who has Fresh frozen Rabbit Heads & Duck heads.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
For bone: Pork, I feed pig tails and sometime pork rib, goat -ribs and head rabbit (whole) fed once didn鈥檛 like. Don鈥檛 know if turkey necks were mentioned. My guy can鈥檛 handle a whole meal of turkey but he does great with turkey necks.
Thank you . Some great ideas. I am just having trouble sourcing because I am right in the city of Ottawa (no farms here). I have tried phoning a few farms & abattoirs within 1 hrs drive but but they seem to get impatient and pissy because you are looking for "waste" products/cheaper products rather than an expensive human meat order. One owner never even called back after getting the message that I was looking for xyz for raw fed dog. Will keep trying.
Question: aren't pork ribs too hard ? Usually the ones you find at the grocery are side or back ribs. I've been nervous to try those since I thought they were too small and hard ?
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
Has your dogs Vitamin D levels be tested?
"Muscles and nerves require vitamin D for proper function because it helps regulate calcium and phosphorus absorption." (NASC - National Animal Supplement Counsel)

You will have to "choose your battles" for your dog, since he has sensitivities.

With my raw diet, I have been feeding "edible" bone meal to my dogs for over 25 years without problems.

NOTE: If you choose edible bone meal for a RAW diet:
different brand name products such as NOW or Kal are fed in different amounts per cup or pound of raw meat.

If he is "chicken sensitive"......ground egg shells may not be the best choice.

If using Ground eggs shells, I would choose Organic, IMHO.

You can also investigate "Seaweed Calcium".

Sometimes you can find a supplier who has Fresh frozen Rabbit Heads & Duck heads.
There is no reason to think he is vitamin D deficient...I don't think (I do have vit D in my arsenal though if needed) What the breeder meant was that she believes NO DOG can readily utilize the minerals from ground eggshell or bone meal from large weight bearing bones. I dunno. Sigh
Surprisingly ...he is fine with eggs. I think the chicken meat problem is either the grains they eat or high omega 6 ..or both.
In his blood work 2 yrs ago he had slightly low thyroid and I an not comfortable giving more seaweed. I am already giving feed sentials and kelp is the fourth ingredient. I may pm you about that.
I have no idea where to look for rabbit or duck heads around Ottawa. Do you mean from human farms ?
 

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There is no reason to think he is vitamin D deficient...I don't think ? What the breeder meant was that she believes NO DOG can readily utilize the minerals from ground eggshell or bone meal from large weight bearing bones. I dunno. Sigh
Surprisingly ...he is fine with eggs. I think the chicken meat problem is either the grains they eat or high omega 6 ..or both.
In his blood work 2 yrs ago he had slightly low thyroid and I an not comfortable giving more seaweed. I am already giving feed sentials and kelp is the fourth ingredient.
I have no idea where to look for rabbit or duck heads around Ottawa. Do you mean from human farms ?
Yes. I鈥檓 just outside of San Francisco and (through a co-op aka middle man), am able to source 鈥減arts鈥 from human farms... both duck heads and feet go over well with my dog. Duck and rabbit are also considered cooling proteins which is good for inflammation. You can also try checking in with your local butcher or ethnic grocers if you guys have them.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Just a general thank you all so much for your help and ideas :) My goal is to get him on a really good balanced home made pmr. He has been raw fed for years but I need to "do it better".
(I am adding things in slowly right now so don't get worried that all the components are not there yet)
Yesterday I tried turkey . He was moderately itchy but not as bad as chick.

Morning snack after exercise (we play ball and I go by what he is able to do-not pushing it) -1cup beef bone broth with 1/2 scoop added l-glutamine
meal #1 - 1.5 lbs ground turkey (with 3/4 tsp finely ground eggshel - maybe he's getting some calc/minerals out of it?)
meal #2 - 1.5 lbs ground turkey (with 3/4 tsp finely ground eggshell) + (about half the palm of my hand size) pork kidney + 1/2 tbsp beef liver.
*I would have liked to keep all the proteins/organs the same per meal but couldn't find turkey gizzards at the grocery.
*The meals are generous right now because he is gaining back weight.
evening snack - 1 sardine ( was just trying because he has turned his nose up at fish but he liked it last night ! yay)
a small meaty beef neck bone. This particular one was harder so he didn't consume much bone
Supplements/meds:
1/2 scoop l-glutamine (amino acids) in a.m (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Tylan 1/8 tsp bid with meals (regular vet approved)
Pet Factor b12 intrinsic + folate bid with meals (regular vet approved)
Sundae Sunday (digestive enzyme) 1/4 - 1/2 tsp 15 min before and after his 2 meals (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Feed Sentials 1 tbsp bid with meals (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Garden of Life - Primal probiotic - 1 scoop bid between meals (in plain yogurt) (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Bio-84 - as needed if it's a bad eyes/ears/nose type of allergy day outside (homeopathic veterinarian approved)

This mornings poop result
IMG_2363.JPG
I think that's decent ??? He seems not too bad with whole "real" food but raw dog food from Big Country Raw gives him looser stools...even with an added small chicken back.

I want to get him on a decent rotation of :
proteins/organs/rmb or bone meal depending on the protein
(no chick, limited turkey)
eggs, salmon, sardines (don't know if he likes mackerel)
dairy like yogurt/cheese (treat)
bone broth
recreational teeth cleaning beef neck bones
Hemp oil (with beef meal)
Camelina oil - apparently more stable than flax (with turkey meals)
Salmon oil (general supp)
digestive enzymes
b12
probiotics

BUT... i am wondering what else you guys would supplement in the way of vitamins/minerals/amino acids/anti oxidents or whatever to build up his system and help heal his gut ?
I am told that Feed Sentials is the "everything else" needed to support good health but I have concerns about the kelp (iodine) in it considering my guys thyroid function is questionable. Slightly low 2 yrs ago but I think it's gotten worse.
I want to make sure he gets everything he needs - if I stop Feed Sentials.... what other supplements should I give ?
Please don't suggest a pre mix of fruits and veggies... the last thing an itchy skin/yeasty ear dog needs is a lot of carbs converting to sugar! That said I am not opposed to a small amount of the right fresh fruits and veg.
I was thinking more like do i need:
vit a,d,c,e
zinc or other minerals beyond calcium
b complex
joint support (he's almost 11 now)
etc
Thanks again. Sorry I'm long winded
ps. I am going to get his full blood panel + thyroid done again soon - just complicated right now with covid. He is terrified of vet and needs to be knocked out but I need to hold him/manage him and vet is not allowing owners in- just coming out and bringing pet in the clinic which totally won't work.
I think I will ask about testing vit/mineral (?) levels also.
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Just a general thank you all so much for your help and ideas :) My goal is to get him on a really good balanced home made pmr. He has been raw fed for years but I need to "do it better". He has always gotten the pmr ratio of muscle meat/bone/organ + eggs, salmon oil, coconut oil .... but what I mean by "do it better" is that my guy was not well bred and and has always struggled with allergies/ear infections/weight gain. I feel he just needs more support than the basics if you know what I mean.More supplements to support overall health and more nutrient dense varied food.

(I am adding things in slowly right now so don't get worried that all the components are not there yet)
Yesterday I tried turkey . He was moderately itchy but not as bad as chick.

Morning snack after exercise (we play ball and I go by what he is able to do-not pushing it) -1cup beef bone broth with 1/2 scoop added l-glutamine
meal #1 - 1.5 lbs ground turkey (with 3/4 tsp finely ground eggshel - maybe he's getting some calc/minerals out of it?)
meal #2 - 1.5 lbs ground turkey (with 3/4 tsp finely ground eggshell) + (about half the palm of my hand size) pork kidney + 1/2 tbsp beef liver.
*I would have liked to keep all the proteins/organs the same per meal but couldn't find turkey gizzards at the grocery.
*The meals are generous right now because he is gaining back weight.
evening snack - 1 sardine ( was just trying because he has turned his nose up at fish historically but he liked it last night ! yay)
a small meaty beef neck bone. This particular one was harder so he didn't consume much bone
Supplements/meds:
1/2 scoop l-glutamine (amino acids) in a.m (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Tylan 1/8 tsp bid with meals (regular vet approved)
Pet Factor b12 intrinsic + folate bid with meals (regular vet approved)
Sundae Sunday (digestive enzyme) 1/4 - 1/2 tsp 15 min before and after his 2 meals (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Feed Sentials 1 tbsp bid with meals (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Garden of Life - Primal probiotic - 1 scoop bid between meals (in plain yogurt) (reco'd by gsd breeder)
Bio-84 - as needed if it's a bad eyes/ears/nose type of allergy day outside (homeopathic veterinarian approved)

This mornings poop result
View attachment 559716
I think that's decent ??? He seems not too bad with whole "real" food but raw dog food from Big Country Raw gives him looser stools...even with an added small chicken back.

I want to get him on a decent rotation of :
proteins/organs/rmb or bone meal depending on the protein
(no chick, limited turkey)
eggs, salmon, sardines (don't know if he likes mackerel)
dairy like yogurt/cheese (treat)
bone broth
recreational teeth cleaning beef neck bones or other bones
Hemp oil (with beef meal)
Camelina oil - apparently more stable than flax (with turkey meals)
Salmon oil (general supp)
digestive enzymes
b12
probiotics

I am told that Feed Sentials is the "everything else" needed to support good health but I have concerns about the kelp (iodine) in it considering my guys thyroid function is questionable. Slightly low 2 yrs ago but I think it's gotten worse.
I want to make sure he gets everything he needs - if I stop Feed Sentials.... what other supplements should I give ?

ie. do i need:
vit a,d,c,e
zinc or other minerals beyond calcium
b complex
joint support (he's almost 11 now)
etc etc..

What supplements do you guys give and why ? Especially if you have had an older dog or one in poor health who needed to heal his gut and build up his/her health ?

Thanks again. Sorry I'm long winded
ps. I am going to get his full blood panel + thyroid done again soon - just complicated right now with covid. He is terrified of vet and needs to be knocked out but I need to hold him/manage him and vet is not allowing owners in- just coming out and bringing pet in the clinic which totally won't work.
I think I will ask about testing vit/mineral (?) levels also.
 

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I feed the pork back or baby backs but I look specifically for the bones that are more oval and flattened rather than round. They seem easier for him to chew and break up.
 

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There is no reason to think he is vitamin D deficient...I don't think ?

What the breeder meant was that she believes NO DOG can readily utilize the minerals from ground eggshell or bone meal from large weight bearing bones.
There is no reason to think he is vitamin D deficient...I don't think ?
I would definitely test for it considering his change in diets and health issues.

"What the breeder meant was that she believes NO DOG can readily utilize the minerals from ground eggshell or bone meal from large weight bearing bones."
Well.....the breeder and I would have to agree to disagree ;) .
I and many people have raised dogs on this particular raw diet (from a vet) with bone meal.

I have raised 3 from birth on it. One is 13 1/2 right now, one of them is 2 years old, and we lost our 9 year old to Hemangio 2 years ago. My 3 year old dog has been on it for 2 years.
2 of my other dogs were on the same raw diet with bone meal for 10 years before they passed. None of my dogs have ever had problems or panosteitis from being on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
There is no reason to think he is vitamin D deficient...I don't think ?
I would definitely test for it considering his change in diets and health issues.

"What the breeder meant was that she believes NO DOG can readily utilize the minerals from ground eggshell or bone meal from large weight bearing bones."
Well.....the breeder and I would have to agree to disagree ;) .
I and many people have raised dogs on this particular raw diet (from a vet) with bone meal.
I have raised 3 from birth on it. One is 13 1/2 right now, one of them is 2 years old, and we lost our 9 year old to Hemangio 2 years ago. My 3 year old dog has been on it for 2 years.
2 of my other dogs were on the same raw diet with bone meal for 10 years before they passed. None of my dogs have ever had problems or panosteitis from being on it.
That is great to know. I f he has leaky gut he may just end up eventually itching from beef anyways..... but in the meantime it would be really great to give him a break from poultry and hopefully let his gut AND skin heal. :)

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends that adult dog food provide 500 IU of Vitamin D per kilogram of food. The most common sources of Vitamin D are liver, fish and egg yolks, but it can be found in beef and dairy too.

Until this diarrhea the last few weeks this dog has been either fed ground blends of raw including bone and organs inc liver in the blend (from commercial raw dog food companies) or homemade frakenprey with the more common meats such as chicken, beef and pork again including bone and organ + liver in the right ratios. He has also historically gotten raw eggs (1 egg almost daily in the warmer months when he is exercising more) and and 1 or 2 times per week in winter.

Are you thinking maybe he is low in D due to malabsorption ?
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Some pics. Wish I had taken before pictures. He's filling out a bit (pic from above).A few weeks ago his ribs and hip bones were visible and his skin was much redder and raw .Before you ask re:skin .. we have seen 3 different vets - 1 specialist- and spent thousands on tests and tried multiple antihistamines/meds/medicated shampoos/topical ointments with no definitive answer or little to no improvement. Skin itching/inflammation has been ongoing for almost 3 yrs. The first time I have really seen any improvement was the last few weeks on antibiotics, probiotics and primarily beef meals. This is why I am thinking his skin/inflammation may have a lot more to do with gut health/leaky gut than any true "allergy".
He still has a ways to go but he looks better than before.

IMG_2366.JPG IMG_2368.JPG IMG_2374.JPG
 

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I am going to get his full blood panel + thyroid done again soon - just complicated right now with covid.
Since you're going to get blood panels done, why not add the Vitamin D testing just to be sure his levels are adequate?
This is where your vet can send a sample for testing: Wellness Panels

Are you thinking maybe he is low in D due to malabsorption ?
It's possible.
"Vitamin D is essential for calcium and phosphorus utilization. Prevents rickets. Needed for normal growth of bones and teeth. Helps regulate heartbeat. Prevents cancer and enhances immunity. Aids thyroid function and blood clotting.
Vitamin D鈥檚 best-known role in the body is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
If you feed home-prepared raw, unless your meat is from grass-fed animals or you feed pastured eggs, you鈥檒l need to feed fish or supplement for your dog to get enough vitamin D. But be careful if you feed a pre-made raw diet as some have added vitamin D
(or D3) already." (DNM)

I am told that Feed Sentials is the "everything else" needed to support good health but I have concerns about the kelp (iodine) in it considering my guys thyroid function is questionable. Slightly low 2 yrs ago but I think it's gotten worse.
This is why you need to get the testing done.

The nutrients should be sufficient if you are feeding ALL of the "Feed Sentials" components. There are 5 different products.

You shouldn't add anything else unless testing shows otherwise, taking note that, your dog has not been on the Feed Sentials very long.

If you are not going to feed the Feed Sentials, you need to get a consultation with a vet that is well versed in raw feeding and supplements.
You should not just give a mix of different vitamins and minerals.

You may also want to take a look at the Leaky Gut Repair Kit from DNM: Leaky Gut Repair Kit
 
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