Monday, February 4, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 3- My Tummy Hurts

I'm not sure if it's the crushing loss the Patriot's suffered last night or my new raw meat diet, but I am feeling sick to my stomach today. I mean, the feasting has been going great. Last night I ate a raw femur bone during the game, as well as some blended-up veggies and raw beef. It was delicious. I did a late-night poo in a snowstorm that was very solid in its consistency. Then, my brother and I went to bed in our crates, happy with tummies full of raw meat.

It was around 2AM when I heard my brother whine and try to break out of his crate for a bathroom emergency. My mom let him out and he had diarrhea all over the living room. Unlike myself, this late-night crying is very rare for my brother who is a mature and obedient boy. I too realized that my tummy wasn't feeling so well, but I was exhausted from a long day of feasting so I went back to bed. When my brother and I woke up this morning, we both did diarrhea poos outside -- very different from the solid, 'grade A' poops I have been doing since starting the BARF diet a couple days ago. Feasting on raw chicken wings for breakfast made me feel a little better, but soon after I suffered from more diarrhea that I let loose all over my kitchen floor, making this the first inside accident I've done since being on my raw diet. Don't get me wrong, I love eating raw meat, but I am a little concerned if it may be the root of my sickness.

So, I plan on taking it easy today. I probably won't go running around the lake. I'm just going to lay back and watch some Animal Planet with my brother. I'll check in again tomorrow, hopefully with a better tummy!


Bro knows:

It is not uncommon for a dog that is at the start of their BARFing experience to go through "detox." This is the body's way of cleansing itself, getting rid of the old and making way for their new. Detox symptoms are not the same for all dogs. Some dogs might vomit, suffer from diarrhea, have dirty ears, itching skin, eye discharge... It is not uncommon for an animal that had ear issues to begin with to have related detox symptoms. Just tell your human to keep a close eye on you when you're not feeling well. If you are vomiting or having loose stools, make sure that you drink plenty of fluids. Have your person pinch up a fold of skin between your shoulders and watch how it moves back into place -- if it falls right back down, your fluid levels should be okay. If it stays up or moves back into place slowly, you need to make a trip to the vet ASAP for some fluids. As with any illness issues, if your person becomes very concerned they should take you to the doctor just to make sure you're doing fine.

Tummy problems should not continue for more than a day or two in a stretch. There are some good ways for your human to help you through these times, if you are in the middle of one of those days. Tell them NOT to give you Pepto Bismal, even though this is commonly recommended to ease diarrhea. Pepto Bismal contains an asprin-like ingredient that can actually exacerbate intestinal bleeding. Instead, have your person give you some canned pure pumpkin (plain, NOT the pie mix). Too much pumpkin can cause loose stools, so tell them to go easy on it. Also, plain yogurt with active cultures can help keep your intestinal bacteria in check. You should get about 1 heaping teaspoon per 5lbs body weight at each meal to aid in digestion.

My mom found that my brother and I do better with the help of digestive enzymes. Ideally, these enzymes should be animal based, and any enzyme mix is best to include pancreatin, pancrealipase, and betaine. Make sure there aren't too many fillers in the pills or powder. Some dogs need a little extra help when starting this diet, some do not. This is pretty easy to figure out as you go along.

Another reason for consistent diarrhea and/or vomiting could be a food allergy. If this is suspected, I would recommend following an elimination diet in order to pinpoint what food or foods might be causing the problem. It is probably best to consult with a holistic vet before embarking on a very limited meal plan, to ensure that you are doing it as effectively and safely as possible.

Finally, it may be a wise choice to start this diet with super bland meals. Don't start veggie mash until you are processing your "intro protein" well. My brother and I began with chicken wings, and we're sticking to those and ground turkey until we're up and running a little more smoothly. Some dogs have iron stomachs and can handle the change well, while others, like my brother and I, are a bit more fragile and need some more easing into things. Feel it out as you go along, and have your human keep a close eye on you throughout your tougher times.

Happy feasting!

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