Health Update by Big Pupi:
Stanislaw and I have been on an exclusively raw diet (no processed, kibble or canned food) for over 6 months now, so I felt that it was time for a health update. We've also been getting lots of emails from other pups interested in our feasting habits, wondering how, or if, we've really benefited from eating raw. For starters, I'll give a quick recap about why we started this diet in the first place~
I suffered from severe food and seasonal allergies which made me itch until I bled. My food allergies caused me at one point to lose 50% of my body weight and made it difficult for me to gain healthy fat and muscle. I also was having blood tests every 4-6 months to keep track of my kidney function, which was only heading downhill with every check. My breath was stinky and my teeth all browned and yellowed, and I was headed for anesthesia and a teeth cleaning.
Stanislaw came to us a little over a year ago at about 15 pounds. He spine was visible and even his jaw bone could easily be seen as he ate and played (the body will usually try to keep fat stores around the head for as long as it can, using the rest of the body first). He had no muscle to speak of and zero stamina. He also suffered from 5-7 bouts of diarrhea per day, and could barely keep food inside long enough to get any sort of nourishment from it. Constant ear infections were another issue that required more medication, on top of all of the antibiotics, de-worming and anti-parasitic meds that he was constantly prescribed. The vets finally decided that he suffered from a "malnutrative disorder," which basically means that his body just wasn't able to properly use his food.
We were put on Canidae, which is a super good kibble and canned food, but it didn't help Stanislaw's case any and my allergies were still out of control. Desperate, my mom talked to a Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder from my agility class, who had gorgeous, muscular dogs and found out that she fed raw. Well, the quest to learn about raw began, and a few months later (there's LOTS to learn and my humans were quite overwhelmed and nervous about it!) we were feasting on our first raw chicken wing. We've never looked back.
It took a few months for the diet to completely work its magic on us, but right away my humans began to notice some differences. Stanislaw's doggie-smelling, oily stinkhead was gone and his diarrhea stopped. He began to make normal bowel movements and only twice per day. That was a first! Our teeth became sparkling white and clean after only 4 weeks of working our way through bones, and I no longer need to have my dental appointment. My seasonal allergies disappeared and my kidney function numbers swung in the opposite direction and now I fall WAY within the healthy range and have remained stable. I no longer need blood tests multiple times per year, and can get away with seeing that yucky needle at annual appointments only. Stanislaw's once brittle, dull and brown-tinged coat grew in to a thick, shiny, blue-black. There has only been one ear infection between the two of us since, and that was only in one of Stanislaw's two ears. Does it count as 1/2 an infection?
It took a few months, but eventually we both began to put on some good muscle and healthy weight. Stanislaw went from a shelter weight of 15 pounds to today's 23 pounds of beast! Mom kept photos of his progress, and after his first 6 months with us with very little change, he suddenly began to pack it on after the switch to the raw diet. His middle used to be so tiny that mom could wrap her small hand around it and her fingers would touch! You can also see his funny rib in the early photos (from an old break that healed crooked). Look for the lower rib on his right side - it catches the light just a tad. You can't see it anymore!As for me, I've finally put on that 2 pounds the vet wanted... well, it's more like 1.75 pounds, but I'm close! That puts me at a total of 21.5 pounds. I'm a small cocker boy, but I'm one lean, mean, playing machine.
So, all is well in feast-ville. This whole diet thing couldn't have worked out any better for us, but keep in mind that it's not for everyone, including my buddy Henry who is now giving a cooked diet a try (Henry suffers from epilepsy). Every dog is different and your humans need to find what works best for you. And no matter what you're feasting on, I think it's pretty safe to say that all of us bloggy doggies are very loved and very spoiled. We are certainly a lucky bunch.
Stanislaw here, and I want to send love to my dearest Paris Rain for this lovely treat. I feel the same about you, baby... and your blog. How lucky am I? Who would have thought that a beast like me would get such a nice award? Things like this you just don't take for granted.