Day 6 of raw feeding - disaster

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#1
We're on day 6 of switching to raw. I fasted Louis for 24 hours, and started with chicken. Following whole prey - ish. Loose stool started after the first day. Continued to get worse, even while I was feeding very bone heavy cuts. He started getting me up a few times a night to be let out. I fasted him for 24 hours again, started with a chicken back. Back to straight diareah. Added slippery elm bark and probiotics. Straight diareah. Still getting up at night. Went to cooked rice and cooked chicken (heavy on the rice). Terrible diareah with some blood. Now we're at pooping what looks to be pretty pure blood.

I am DESPERATE to stop the diareah, but at this point don't know what to do. If chicken is part of the problem, fine, but right now I don't want to switch to a different raw protein without having a straight week of solid poops.

I need help from experienced raw feeders. I am a hairs width away from calling the vet, but as he isn't actually acting sick I want to give it another day or 2 to see if I can firm things up.

What next? I'm cooking up some plain ground beef and rice, as I've given this to him in the past when he had a viral illness, and his stools firmed up nicely. Other ideas? Shall I fast him again today? Poor dog has been fasted for 24 hours 3 times in the past week!

At my wits end, and my husband thinks I'm straight up crazy for doing this, particularly given the outcome. :(
 

milos_mommy

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#2
If there's more than trace amounts of blood in his stool, I'd be heading the vet ASAP. Even if he's feeling ok that can be a sign of a serious issue.

I'm far from an experienced raw feeder, have only supplemented my dogs, but all the dogs at the rescue I've worked for were fed raw. Feeding was largely managed by other people, but I don't ever recall hearing anything like this happening. Id be worry about serious irritation or obstruction if he's pooping straight blood.
 

*blackrose

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#3
Yes, blood in stool = immediate vet visit. He may have salmonella poisoning, he could be having a pancreatitis episode, or even be the beginnings of HGE, which can be fatal without supportive care.

I would not be feeding ANY diet that caused my dog to have bloody diarrhea, whether it is "good for them" or not. If you had switched his kibble and he had a reaction like this you wouldn't continue feeding that brand of kibble, so I'd be putting him back on a low residue, easy to digest kibble until he's back to himself after seeking veterinary care.

With any luck all he'll need is some metronidazole to get him feeling better. :) That stuff does wonders.
 
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#4
You know, I seriously doubt it's salmonella poisoning etc. He is not acting unwell at all. However, I am taking him to be seen by the vet later this afternoon. I'll be feeding him a bland diet for the next while to help him normalize.
 
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I should also add that he's never done "well" on any brand / variety of premium kibble, so it's not like it's a no brainer "Oh, well, we'll just go back to what's been working up until now). He has always struggled with off and on runny poop / diarrhea and itches like crazy. This is the exact reason I wanted to try raw after a year and a half of struggling through kibble hell. I have run out of kibble options, do not want to feed a vet recommended crap kibble, and have tried every novel protein available to me in kibble form. Obviously I do not want to feed him something that give him bloody diarrhea, but here we are.
 

milos_mommy

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For some dogs who are good sensitive, vet recommended "crap kibble" might be your best option. Hills brand is obviously controversial and their regular dog food for healthy dogs is a joke, but there is a reason so many vets recommend their special diets to allergy ridden or sick dogs (and it's not all because they're uneducated in nutrition and corruption in the industry).

Otherwise, have you ruled out a chicken allergy?
 
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I now suspect strongly that he has a chicken intolerance. Likely many more.

I feed my elderly shih tzu crap kibble from the vet due to her tendency to form bladder stones.
 

*blackrose

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#8
For some dogs who are good sensitive, vet recommended "crap kibble" might be your best option. Hills brand is obviously controversial and their regular dog food for healthy dogs is a joke, but there is a reason so many vets recommend their special diets to allergy ridden or sick dogs (and it's not all because they're uneducated in nutrition and corruption in the industry).
Exactly. It's prescription because it works. *shrugs* I don't consider food that makes my dog healthy a "crap" diet, but....what do I know. My dogs eat food with corn in it.

I'm not trying to say feeding raw was a poor option, or that you made a bad decision. If I came across that way, I apologize. But, I would like to say, don't be blinded by what is supposed to be "the best" diet and look at other options that may help your boy with his food intolerances. Abrams had horrible gas and diarrhea episodes as a pup. It wasn't until I switched to a grain inclusive (aka, there is corn, and maybe even soy and wheat) that his bowels cleared up. Go figure. But he is doing fantastic on the food and I am happy with the quality so...there we are.
 

milos_mommy

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Yeah, it's the same with people...lots of people will say a (quality) vegetarian diet is healthier, which is probably true for most people, but I know if I stopped eating meat I'd be horrendously underweight and sick. Breast milk is obviously way healthiest for babies....unless your baby has a lactose intolerance. Gluten free is a huge craze that gets a lot of eye rolls, but for a lot of people (who aren't celiac), they get awful symptoms if they eat gluten.

Some people take a certain medication and it cures their symptoms, others take the same thing for the same disease and die of side effects. Everybody processes what they eat/intake differently, and for some, a diet seen as "junk" is the only thing that works for them.
 
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#10
His breeder feeds Purina. When we first got him, we continued with that for a couple weeks. He was really, really smelly, and had awfully loose poops. It's been a merry go round since then. I feel badly for him, and want to find something that works for him.
 

lancerandrara

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He has always struggled with off and on runny poop / diarrhea and itches like crazy.
I might just be another person repeating this for the millionth time, but have you gone to the vet for this specific chronic bloody/loose stool issue before to take a blood sample? It's also possible that he has been having a chronic ulcer in the intestines for awhile, which my dog has had- symptoms same that you're describing so far.
 

pinkspore

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#12
My dog is allergic to poultry. In addition to hot spots and nasty ears, chicken/turkey/duck gives him massive diarrhea. He's also allergic to eggs. Have you considered doing a serious elimination diet? It doesn't have to be complete or balanced right away, I knew someone who fed their dog pinto beans and potatoes for a few weeks before trying some different protein sources.

When I first started feeding raw over a decade ago, I was surprised at the diarrhea. A few people told me it was normal, and then a whole lot more told me it was not normal and I needed to change things until we fixed the problem. Pooping a ton of blood is definitely not normal and absolutely something to get checked by a vet.

It really sounds like your dog doesn't handle raw chicken well. Get him vet checked and maybe even on a prescription tummy diet for a bit if it's that bad, but I would not continue trying to feed him something that does that to him. Maybe try beef or pork once his system has had a chance to rest?
 

DanL

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6 days really isn't out of the ordinary for a dog getting used to raw. How much are you feeding? How old and how much does the dog weight? Too much food can prolong issues.

It took my Dane about 10 days to get used to it. My American Bulldog still will have some issues from time to time depending on what she's fed.
 
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Thanks all.

Louis 16 months old and weighs 90 lbs. Has always suffered from itchies and soft poops, though never bloody. Yes, I've tried a million different protein sources via kibble, transitioned slow, tried an elimination diet, etc.

I was prepared for loose stool - this is not unusual for him from time to time, and I expected that any change in diet would cause it. However, I was not prepared when it turned to blood. So, off to the vet we went.

He got some metronidazole. A thorough checking over. He's bright and happy, so not dire circumstances.

I'm feeding him cooked ground beef and brown rice (have done this in the past to help him get over a diarrhea episode) for the next while. I haven't decided what my next steps are for certain, but I am leaning towards a prescribed hydrolyzed protein diet for a time to help him normalize and settle down.

We may try raw again after a time, but it certainly won't be chicken. I'm gun shy to try any poultry at this point. However, I'm viewing this as a decision for a later date, depending on how he does on a prescription diet both in terms of itchies and poop.

Thanks again. I appreciate hearing the experiences of others who feed raw.
 
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Oh, and I need to add - after only 1 week of eating raw, his teeth were cleaner. Not that he had really dirty teeth to begin with, but I couldn't believe it when I looked in his mouth yesterday and all his teeth were completely sparkling white. Wow. And absolutely no doggy breath.
 

straw

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Sorry, I didn't read all posts but... I don't think I'd be feeding him raw.

Venice was doing crap on kibble (after me trying 8 months of several different brands) and when I switched to raw and her stool was instantly better the next day. So really drastic improvement. Since you're seeing really drastic un-improvement, I might reconsider the diet for him... maybe try again with a different protein in a few weeks once his belly's calmed down, but otherwise maybe accept that the diet just doesn't sit will with him.

Give him a scritch, I hope his gut is feeling back to normal soon!

EDit: just saw he has not been doing brilliantly on kibble either. Argh, that must be frustrating for you. :( Wishing you luck in figuring out what foods work best for him.
 

amberdyan

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Thanks all.

Louis 16 months old and weighs 90 lbs. Has always suffered from itchies and soft poops, though never bloody. Yes, I've tried a million different protein sources via kibble, transitioned slow, tried an elimination diet, etc.

I was prepared for loose stool - this is not unusual for him from time to time, and I expected that any change in diet would cause it. However, I was not prepared when it turned to blood. So, off to the vet we went.

He got some metronidazole. A thorough checking over. He's bright and happy, so not dire circumstances.

I'm feeding him cooked ground beef and brown rice (have done this in the past to help him get over a diarrhea episode) for the next while. I haven't decided what my next steps are for certain, but I am leaning towards a prescribed hydrolyzed protein diet for a time to help him normalize and settle down.

We may try raw again after a time, but it certainly won't be chicken. I'm gun shy to try any poultry at this point. However, I'm viewing this as a decision for a later date, depending on how he does on a prescription diet both in terms of itchies and poop.

Thanks again. I appreciate hearing the experiences of others who feed raw.
Hugo had some serious stomach problems when we adopted him (he'd had hookworms for months) and the hydrolized protein diet saved us. His poops and stomach problems almost immediately stopped. He was so much happier. He was on it for almost 3 weeks before we switched him. I hope you find the right food for him! I just wanted to let you know that the hydrolized protein was great for him while he was on it : )
 

Torch

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Hugo had some serious stomach problems when we adopted him (he'd had hookworms for months) and the hydrolized protein diet saved us. His poops and stomach problems almost immediately stopped. He was so much happier. He was on it for almost 3 weeks before we switched him. I hope you find the right food for him! I just wanted to let you know that the hydrolized protein was great for him while he was on it : )
I've also had success with keeping one of my dogs on a bland, limited protein prescription diet to kind of 'reset' their gut flora. I was then able to switch to what I considered a higher quality food with minimal problems. I have actually had success with a few different kibbles since then and some occasional raw supplementation.
 

Romy

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#19
If cooked rice and ground beef normalize his stools, why not just stick to a beef based diet? It shouldn't be too hard to do beef based raw at some point when he's ready. Then maybe add some other red meats once he's solid with that. Like goat or venison.
 
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He's been eating cooked ground beef and rice for 5 days now. Cooked beef for training treats. 5 days of metronidazole (had his last dose this morning).

His diarrhea has cleared up, but his poop is still really soft. Soft enough to make picking it up very difficult. A lot of it stays plastered down in the grass after I attempt to clean it up.
 
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