Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 182- The Magic of Raw Feasting

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.

Big Pupi

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.



Petey said...

That was a very interesting post indeed! I'm a bit embarrassed that as a Cairn terrier, I outweigh both of you! The breed standard for the show ring is 14 lbs for males, 13 for females. I weigh in at around 25 pounds. But I'm not fat! You can feel my ribs and I'm very muscular, I'm just a big boy.

More to love, that's what I say!

Your pal,


Hero said...

Wow! The both of you have made such great improvements! You're both so lucky to have such well informed and loving parents who are dedicated to keeping the both of you in the best shape possible. My mom has been trying to get me on a raw diet for the past couple of months, but I have some issues with uncooked meat. I've gotten to the point where I'm willing to eat bloody rare meat, but I still like to have it browned a bit in the pan. I also still have problems with my veggie mush even after my mom tried spicing it up with honey and apple cider vinegar like you suggested. I'm a really finicky eater -whenever I actually decide that maybe I should eat a bite or two - so sometimes my mom wishes that I loved feasting as much as you and Big Pupi.

Fenway said...

Sweet Sufferin' Seabiscuit. I had no idea you guys came from a death camp and were in such bad shape. Well, you kind of explained it, but until I saw those photos I couldn't appreciate your dire straights.

You two aren't just eating, you're feasting for health.

Me? I'm doing fine with whatever. Last night I was such a bark screamer at agility class that Ms. Alpha overfed me dried liver treats. They went down easy, but came out in a real sh*tstorm at around 4 am. The deluge continued this morning and I have had my hinders cleaned up many times.

I'm now thinking of being a good boy for a while so that I don't need so many treat bribes. Even though they are all natural, too much of a good thing is too much!

Mom's at work on-site, so I am hoofing around with Father Dog. Man Days are the best. We secretly watch TV all afternoon, in between frisbee and ball chase. I still miss Mom, though.

Petra said...

Oh, Stanislaw! Love is in the air! And I must say that Paris Rain is a fine catch.

I'm so glad you two are putting on weight and muscle and are kicking up your heels, enjoying life as you should!

Niamh said...

You guys are the poster boys for the raw diet!! I am so glad that you are healthy now and getting all the excellent feasting you deserve.

I'd love to have a raw diet. I get some raw bones during the week but mostly it is solid gold kibble and canned. My person tried a raw diet with Selkie but it didn't work well for her so she was on home cooked. I am having an operation on Thursday to keep me from having puppies. Maybe after I recuperate from that we will try the raw feasts.

Your friend,

Mack said...

Paris Rain here!
You guys sure are looking good on your Barf diet! Wow - it has done wonders for your health! I wish my mom would try it on us!!
And your welcome my Stanli!

Louis Reginald said...

Fellow Raw Feasters Unite!

Wishing you many green tripe and marrow bone years filled with health and happiness.

Whenever my mom or dad annoys me, I remember that I am super lucky to have humans who feed me beastly raw meat rather then kibble....

Barkin' at ya!

Louis Reginald

P.S. My frog hunt helped my hunting prowess - yesterday I got a gecko! Talk about raw yummy in the tummy!!

FleasGang said...

Big Pupi & Stan, you guys really had it ruff! How cool is it that you both started out in the hole and are now feasting like kings. It's really amazing how much of a turn around you guys made by changing your diet. Thanks again for all the cool information.

The FleasGang

Scottie the 'cutie' said...

Wow...thanks for posting that update, Stan and Big Pupi! Mom is really awed by the benefits of raw feeding. She really does want to start me on it, but it seems she can't really find those ingredients that your parents get for your feasts. =( Still, she said she will continue looking,and in the mean time read more! You guys look SOOO good, Mom is envious of your shiny coats!


Agatha and Archie said...

Oh boys you are sooo lucky to have had your problems all figured out by your PL's!!!! PL2's last puupy sounded like you guys and they converted over to real food and had the same affects. SO when they got us they said..nothing but real food for you guys!! We have ours a little cooked,but we get raw bones to munch on! And we have never had an ear infection!! So yippee for real food!! Love A+A

Clover said...

Thanks for the update! I am happy that you guys are so much healthier and that you have food that doesn't make you feel bad.
Love Clover xo

duo_disaster said...

Great Improvements!

Stan, I think I weigh about the same as you -- I'm about 10.2 KG (which converts to 22.5 pounds).

We're so Sorry Mum had been so busy with everything (our blog is sometimes pre-written before the date, Blogger has this new feature, LoL!) as for our feasting... Darn, she kept forgetting to snap peeps of our BARF diet because her hands are messy usually. We're having HCF with kibbles for the time being since we last mentioned to you Rudolf is having troubles with bowel and boy he farts!

Nonetheless he is progressing, but so ever slow. We're keeping this on because Mom felt bad removing the BARF diet in the first place.

Slowly & Steady,
Goofy & Rudolf.