3/15/2009

Amos's test results

I just realized I haven't updated about Amos. The bile acid test he had last Saturday came back completely normal. He's still on milk thistle and sam-e supplements for a month, possibly 2 and is finishing his round of clavamox. The vet wants him back between March 21 and 27 for another blood draw to check the one enzyme that was way up and make sure it is either normal or going down. Thank you to everyone who sent prayers and kept him in their thoughts. I think God has a soft spot for beagles.

I need stories!

Anyone who would like to share their journey to raw please email me at newbeginnings06@gmail.com

You may include 2-3 pictures of your raw fed pet(s) and one entry will be chosen each Sunday and posted. Send 'em on in folks!

3/14/2009

Brie loves chicken!

Started on chicken leg quarters and she's had 100% normal formed poop. I expected explosive diarrhea for atleast 2 days.

On a funnier note, I took her to the vet I was able to get a free exam and fecal at and when he asked what I was feeding her I said "raw" and I wish I had a camera to take a picture. It was a horrified, then concerned, then I-want-to-say-something-so-bad-but-I-can't look that almost made me giggle. After sputtering for a little while he finally got the words "not what I would recommend but talk to your vet" out. I said "ok" in the most genuine way I could. LOL!

Ok here's some pics.
Eating a bully stick on my foot


Playing with her BoBo (loofa dog)

All tuckered out


3/12/2009

Meet the newest addition!


She is an 8-10 week old lemon beagle puppy I just adopted from the Central MO Humane Society. I've been looking at dogs for about 6 mos and after being denied once by a rescue due to politics, and at the local AC for being "over the limit" I just about gave up. I'd called about several dogs in all different shelters and before I went to meet them they got adopted. Or I would meet the dog or talk to it's foster mom and the more time passed, the less I felt connected with the dog. Monday I seen this girl on petfinder and immediately fell in love. It wasn't just a "aww cute puppy! I want it!" type love, it was fireworks, streamers, banners screaming "that's the one!" at my heart. Amos seems like he doesn't really care about her but at the shelter there were barking dogs, thousands of smells, lots of people and unfamiliar objects. He peed on just about everything. The puppy on the other hand, grabbed his leash and tried to walk him around. LOL! She is very friendly but not over the top and in-your-face.
All in all I think she will blend quite well here. Oh and a side note, they gave me a bag of SD even when I told them I don't feed that food she insisted I needed it to transition her. Um, no. I dropped by the pet store on the way home and gave it to them to donate to our local shelter. I had to fill out a form too so SD could send me more free food for her (your bribes are useless!) and I'll be donating that as well. I think she will take to raw very quickly.

I also have not named her yet so any uncommon names (my mom insists I name her Chloe..) that you think would fit her please post them! I want a good strong name for her but still feminine and not real common. Anyway, I'll be dedicating a section to her like with Amos and Wav. It'll also be a good way to monitor a puppy's progress on raw and if anyone is going thru the same thing then maybe this will offer some support/answers.

3/08/2009

AZ raw food source

Thank you to a fellow raw feeder on a forum I frequent for informing me of a co-op in Tucson. It's being added to the Where to Buy Food section!

Tucson Raw

My Raw Journey


For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted a dog of my own. Of course living with my dad this was mere fantasy. Not that he didn't like dogs or animals, but he knew, or believed, that he would be the one who would end up caring for the dog while I went and lived my life normally. So after moving out and settling in at my new place, I contemplating living my dream and getting a puppy of my own. After a long and tedious search, I found a great breeder of Siberian Huskies and set out on an adventure that has changed me ever since. Last November, I came home with Juneau, a 7 pound, light red, bi-eyed, male wonder.

Prior to making the trip to get him, I had corresponded with the breeder about all the information a new owner (specifically a Husky owner) would need. We talked about anything and everything. I just wanted to be the best possible owner and bring him to the best possible home. Surely, because he would be spending the next decade-plus with me. So after the subject of food arose, she told me what she had been feeing the pups, along with the brand she feeds all of her dogs and I went with it. I can't recall what the food was exactly called, but all I know is that he just didn't like it. And as any new owner would say, they just want everything to work out. So Juneau would eat his food here and there, but never took serious interest in it. To really get him to eat it, I would have to scramble a raw egg and coat the food with it. So after about two weeks, he just wasn't "into" his food. He'd walk up to it, sniff it, look at me, and turn away. So we ventured to the pet store, a "green, organic" pet store and purchased some sample bags of Taste of the Wild, a grain free dog food.

When we got back home, I opened one of the bags and emptied it into his bowl, and watched him devour it. I figured we had a winner here. But that wasn't to last. For about two months, Juneau was eating Taste of the Wild with absolutely no problem, I'd even top his food off with Grizzly Salmon Oil. He had the life. Sleep, eat, play, eat, sleep. Repeat. In January it all started. He developed serious diarrhea. Not just the runs, but a tail-lifting faucet-type diarrhea. I figured maybe he ate something off the ground and upset his stomach. I let a day go by to see if it would get better, but to no avail, he was still having the worst diarrhea ever.

Now I'm thinking that he may have been sick so I took him to the vet and they ran their "tests" and recommended feeding him a "bland" dog food. They pushed their Iam's dog food on me. Being an amateur, I obliged and went with their recommendation. It helped for maybe a day or so, but then it acted up again. Took him back to the vet, prescribed some stomach medication, but that didn't do the trick either. So finally, I figured it was the food and switch him to Timber Wolf. Didn't help. Then we went on chicken and rice, which did help. So I thought to myself, it must be the food not agreeing with him. Yet again I found myself going back to the pet store and buying a different dog food. This time it was Canidae. So after weening him back onto the dog food from the chicken and rice, he once again had diarrhea. That was the last straw!

This brings us to the exciting portion of the story. Prior to picking up my pup, I had read a few books on the breed and I noticed that some advocated feeding raw food. I asked the breeder but she didn't know much about it, so I kind of put that on the back burner. He wasn't a science experiment and I didn't want to treat him as such. But after going through all the dog foods, vet bills, and diarrhea, I figured trying wouldn't hurt. I bought an 5 pound chicken, hacked it up into quarters, and placed it on the floor. After watching him lick the meat for a few seconds, I hear "cruuuuunch". I watched in awe as my little guy was eating his first chicken quarter. With amazement he looked up at me after he was done, paws bloodied and looking like he was an actual wild-wolf, he wanted more. The next day, he ate with such passion and joy. Ripping and tearing the flesh of the chicken, crunching through the bones. After two days of feeding raw, his poop was normal. No diarrhea. He was cured!

The vet did a follow up with me and I took him in and told her I cured him. She asked how, I said I feed him raw food. Her jaw dropped. She told me about the diseases, the salmonella, the e-coli, how it would make him sick.. All the usual jibberish that you would expect. She tried to get me to switch to a puppy kibble diet. I told her that was out of the question. Just a little side note - during his 20 days of diarrhea, he did not gain a single pound, in fact he lost almost one pound and for this person who were are supposed to trust with out dogs, to try to frighten me by using scare tactics, after getting him back to gaining weight, was just totally out of the question. I haven't been back to the vet since. Except to weigh him!

Juneau's coat is marvelous. He has pearly-white teeth. Never having to brush his teeth at all. His breath is amazing. All traits that you don't find with kibble fed dogs. Not to be elitist or anything, but their is such a difference between a raw fed and kibble fed dogs. He has a waist line, he is never bloated. All things that you find with kibble eaters. And I'm not one to push my views on anyone and tell them how to feed their dogs, but when people tell me how good my dog looks and when we get into conversations about dog food, I let them know. I also don't have to worry about him chewing on anything, although, if he gets bored and doesn't get his exercise, he can get quite mischevious. But the most important thing to me was that this solved his diarrhea. I didn't have to be a worrisome dad any longer.

So fast-forward to today. Juneau has been a raw-fed Siberian Husky for over one year now, eating everything from lamb, goat, rabbit, chicken, beef. You name the animal, he'll eat it. Fish is really hit or miss with him. But he does love salmon and tuna.. But without websites like yours, the kind people on the yahoo group rawfeeding, the other numerous information websites about feeding raw and the dispelling of all the "myths" and disinformation that is put out on the web (and by those who are to treat our animals) so that the dog food companies can make a quick buck, I don't know where we'd be right now.

I've attached a picture of Juneau - one is a candid close up and the other is him enjoying a whole rabbit. He is currently 17 months old, 50 pounds, healthy and thriving on a raw food diet. I can't say enough about the wonders it has done. I mean they are carnivores!

Keep Up the Good Work -

Juneau and Chris

3/07/2009

How to hide pills...

You may be asking "what IS that?" but it's really quite genius. I have to give Amos some liver supplements and an antibiotic now but I hate the ingredients in commercial pill hiders. So, I bought some cheap ground beef tonight and rolled out little balls, enough to cover his 4 pills per day and that is them sitting in the freezer on a California Pizza Kitchen box. They are freezing individually so I can just reach in the bag when they're done and pull one out without having to cut off a chunk from a frozen slab.

Much cheaper and healthier than buying something at the pet store and Amos takes these better (I imagine most dogs would) than anything. It's also easy to mold the ground meat over the pills vs before when I was cutting slits in meat chunks.

3/06/2009

Home Butchering link

This isn't really suited for new raw feeders (so don't click it if you don't want to do your own processing) just getting over the idea of going to the grocery store and buying a chicken but for those ready to buy whole animals, I found a great link on how to process. You may be putting your own animals down or you may have the farmer do it but this site has a good pictorial and descriptions. I'm adding it to the Getting Started section, though like I said, it's probably not for newbies. I wasn't going to start another link section titled "Advanced" or anything so I'm sticking it in the already established area.

Home Butchering

3/03/2009

Prayers for Amos

Amos had a seizure this morning. The vet thinks it might be epilepsy but it could be that he had this one and never has one again. Or it could be more serious like a brain tumor. He was rushed to the vet and kept for observation for a few hours and did not have another but he was so stressed out the vet wanted him home ASAP. She is running tests on urine, blood and feces to hopefully pin something down and he's on watch for 12 weeks. If he has 2 more seizures he will need to go on meds unless they are violent seizures and then we may have to look at other causes. If you pray, please say a prayer for Amos and if you don't pray, keep him in your thoughts. He is at home now sleeping and I've taken the next 6 days off work to be with him. This is very scary for him and our family so here's to hoping there are no more seizures ever again.

UPDATE 3/7/09
The results of the blood test came back with some elevated liver enzymes, one in particular was 4-5 times higher than normal. Amos went back for a bile acid test today and by Wednesday we should have the results. The vet said nothing of possible liver failure but is more concerned he got into something he shouldn't have and that is what caused his seizure. He did vomit up something like cream of wheat color/consistency and alot of it. Very far from what venison ribs would look like vomited up. I'm not sure what it was or where he got it but he's been steadily recovering. The vet put him on antibiotics for 10 days and a milk thistle and sam-e supplement for a month. I'll update with the bile acid test results next week. The vet doesn't seem worried so I'm trying to keep my cool as well.

3/01/2009

Raw food beginnings- Kelly and Kip


Why raw? There are many reasons, but to sum it up - I am tired of not trusting the food I am giving to my dog. You research, you read labels, you talk to other dog owners to see what they feed, and you find a food you are comfortable with. You find a supplier (one in my case was a 30 minute drive away), pay through the nose ($40 for a 13 pound bag!!) - and just hope the food isn't going to be in the next recall or lawsuit. Then there is the whole debate of protein levels, food rotation, grains, carbohydrates of any type... and all of this for a food that I still do not trust.

I have thought about raw for a long time - close to a year. I started reading about BARF vs. prey model, meat choices, etc. This is the type of person I am - I analyze, research, read, discuss, plan.. and one day, I get tired of it all, and jump in with both feet. So, Kip had his first meal of raw chicken last night. I've jumped in. We are doing it. If we can do it, anyone can. The hardest part? That first meal. The "Oh, I just gave my dog chicken bones!" feeling. But, you have to keep in mind that this is what dogs are supposed to eat. This is what dogs have lived on, and thrived on, for centuries. And, once you get past that "bones are bad" myth that has been drilled into your head, the sound of your dog crunching into real food is the sweetest sound in the world.