Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mercedes takes matters into her own hands....

Mercedes (the one on the right) saw the Vet aka Grandpa yesterday for excessive dirty ear wax & eye discharge....she was diagnosed with allergies and put on a special diet (Natural Balance) at $1.50 per can per day...which is WAY expensive and going to kill our critter food budget, so hubby is strongly considering letting me switch at least Cedes to raw....well apparently our little mouse problem wasn't gone like we thought...she found this little guy in our office tonight.  Tiglet is the tabby who is helping.  I have a container over the mouse and am waiting for my hubby to wake up so he can do something with it as I'm not touching it lol.  I can handle touching the whole prey mice I feed the dogs but not a live little nasty critter lmbo.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Raw Food Myths

Someone on dogster posted this link about Raw Feeding...well Below is my response to it as well as someone elses.

Whoever wrote this article wasn't very informed about what feeding raw is all about. 

Although meat is a source of protein, it has very
low levels of calcium, a mineral our pets require for proper bone and tooth development. Calcium also plays an important role in blood clotting, muscle contraction and transmission of nerve impulses. But simply supplementing with calcium won't work. Mineral nutrients are interrelated. Calcium and phosphorus have a scientifically established relationship in the formation of bones and teeth, provided a proper balance is maintained. This balance is usually not present in meat. If large quantities of raw meat are fed over time, skeletal problems may develop. 

That is why it is necessary to balance the diet with 80% meat, 10% bones, 5% liver 5% other organs. That's kind of a 'duh' of course a diet made entirely of meat and nothing else wouldn't be balanced.

Liver is often thought of as a "healthy" meat because it has a high level of Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored by the body. And for humans who eat other things as well, it can be healthy. But when liver is fed to pets in excessive quantities over a period of time, Vitamin A toxicity can result. This can lead to improper bone development, lameness and bone decalcification. 

Again, whereas liver is only 5% of the diet, I think you would have to eat a heck of a lot of liver to get Vitamin A toxicosis.

Raw meat carries the threat of bacteria and parasites, including salmonella. The risk of salmonellosis is always present when pets are fed raw meat diets. Certain species of tapeworm can be found in raw meat and passed on to a pet who ingests the meat. 

Dogs systems are equipped to handle the bacteria. Clicky: Raw Food Myths Bacteria & the worms Raw Food Myths Parasites 

Raw meat diets do not replicate the diets of dogs in the wild. While it's true that dogs consume muscle meat when they eat wild animals for survival, they also consume the bones, intestinal contents and internal organs, which come closer to providing a complete and balanced diet. Wild dogs are also known to eat grasses and other vegetable matter. 

Wolves eat the stomach contents only when needed, most of the time they shake out the contents and eat the intestines.

Picture Proof
Clicky: Pictures Do Wolves eat stomach contents 

& a report from someone who observed wolves eating:
Cicky: A day with the wolf pack 

The truth is that good quality pet foods are backed by years of canine nutrition studies. They are the result of scientific studies by researchers in veterinary colleges and animal nutritionists in Animal Science programs and at reputable pet food manufacturers. They are also carefully processed to protect against salmonella or internal parasite infection. 

Well seeing as how Iams/Eukanuba just recalled a whole bunch of their kibble because of Salmonella contamination....I don't trust that it is protected because it's processed. As well as there was a report where kids were getting Salmonella from the dogs kibble bowls.

When people eat, they combine meat with vegetables, fruits, breads and other foods to give them the balanced nutrition they need. If we were to eat one particular food consistently, chances are we would become malnourished or develop health problems. No single food or food group can provide all the nutrients we need in proper proportions. 

I know VERY few people who do not offer a wide variety of meats for their dogs. I myself offer chicken, beef, turkey, fish, pork, mice, venison, buffalo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rejected for Recommending Raw

GRRR!  Just a little Vent, I am on a yahoo list where pet owners can ask questions and get help from other owners, vet techs, vets etc and someone asked what the best possible nutrition for their cat was, so I gave an honest answer.  My message didn't go through/was deleted/rejected whatever because the list owner is closed minded.  I have 20 years experience working as a Veterinary Assistant/Technician as well as my father has been a Veterinarian for 40+ years....I don't feel I was hard core pushing Raw on the person, just giving my honest to goodness opinion.

This is what I got told was the reasoning for rejecting my message:

no raw recommending

This is what I 'tried' to reply.
> IMO, NONE of the dry foods are best for cats, cats need moisture in their
> diets, their natural 'prey' is the mouse which is 70-75% moisture, dry food
> only contains about 10% moisture, canned foods are about 78% moisture.  Cats are also Obligate Carnivores which means they NEED meat to survive, a lot of the dry cat foods out there are loaded with carbohydrates (grains/veggies etc) that cats don't need & can't utilize. The 'optimal' diet is Raw, but if you can't do that then high quality grain free canned is next best.  Here is a website with loads of information on cats & their nutritional needs:  That being said I do have 1 of my 5 cats who absolutely refuses raw & canned food (have tried every; trick in the book & then some to get her to transition), she has Cerebral Hypoplasia so pecks like a chicken when she eats, so I feed her a high quality grain free rotation diet (Wellness Core, Blue Wilderness, Solid Gold Indigo Moon) I also fed Innova EVO before they sold out to Proctor & Gamble.  The rest of my cats eat canned food and are transitioning onto raw.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ziva was 'partially' spayed today....

After much research I decided to go with the 'hysterectomy' on Ziva. She came through surgery just fine.  She also had 2 retained puppy teeth removed.  We had her uterus/cervix removed and left the ovaries. She will still come in heat just won't bleed & can't get pregnant. Will maintain her feminine hormones so won't have the weight gain issues, the urinary incontinence issue etc. I have done extensive search on it and just felt this was the best option. She is 6 months old and only weighs 4.1#, my 5 year old chi weighs 4.3#. Ziva is so tiny.

Here's tidbits from the research I have been doing. I work for a Veterinarian who also happens to be my father, so this is total foreign soil here to me as well, but I'm on a couple of natural care groups on yahoo, and they were talking about it and it got me thinking so I have been researching it for several weeks before coming to this decision.

Hormonal Imbalance resulting in obesity, cardiac stress & urinary incontinece won't be a problem.

Here is an article from the early 1970’s written by a man who was waaay ahead of his time- Dr. Wendell Belfield.

This is an excellent article talks about the importance of hormones:
Emails to Clients About Spaying « :: Food Intolerance in Pets & Their People :: Home of The GARD
A study which basically pointed out dogs with ovaries lived longer:
Exploring mechanisms of sex differences in longevity: lifetime ovary exposure and exceptional longevity in dogs - Waters - 2009 - Aging Cell - Wiley Online Library


Clip from Dr. Belfield :
I once performed this procedure on a bitch that was permitted to run loose, needless to say all of the males were tearing down fences, fighting one another to win the prize. This infuriated all human members in the neighborhood, the owner insisted I remove the remaining ovary. These are the ones I do not recommend for the procedure. As a rule, estrus alternates between the two ovaries twice annually. The first animal I performed the
surgery on was my own German Shepherd, she had a wonderful long life. It also has a tendency to minimize fat metabolism. The gonadotropic hormones definitely play an important role in immune function. Most of the dogs with allergies tend to be those that have been altered compared to whole animals. I do agree, it does offer a more normal life for the female. I have also performed vasectomies on males with the same positive results.
Wendell O. Belfield, DVM

This talks about long-term health effects of spay/neuter dogs:

On balance, it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs, especially
immature male dogs, in order to prevent future health problems. The number of health problems associated
with neutering may exceed the associated health benefits in most cases.

On the positive side, neutering male dogs
• eliminates the small risk (probably <1%) of dying from testicular cancer
• reduces the risk of non-cancerous prostate disorders
• reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
• may possibly reduce the risk of diabetes (data inconclusive)

On the negative side, neutering male dogs
• if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a
common cancer in medium/large and larger breeds with a poor prognosis.
• increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 1.6
• triples the risk of hypothyroidism
• increases the risk of progressive geriatric cognitive impairment
• triples the risk of obesity, a common health problem in dogs with many associated health problems
• quadruples the small risk (<0.6%) of prostate cancer
• doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract cancers
• increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
• increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

For female dogs, the situation is more complex. The number of health benefits associated with spaying may
exceed the associated health problems in some (not all) cases. On balance, whether spaying improves the
odds of overall good health or degrades them probably depends on the age of the female dog and the
relative risk of various diseases in the different breeds.

On the positive side, spaying female dogs
• if done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common
malignant tumors in female dogs
• nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female
dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs
• reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
• removes the very small risk (≤0.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors

On the negative side, spaying female dogs
• if done before 1 year of age, significantly increases the risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer); this is a
common cancer in larger breeds with a poor prognosis
• increases the risk of splenic hemangiosarcoma by a factor of 2.2 and cardiac hemangiosarcoma by
a factor of >5; this is a common cancer and major cause of death in some breeds
• triples the risk of hypothyroidism
• increases the risk of obesity by a factor of 1.6-2, a common health problem in dogs with many
associated health problems
• causes urinary “spay incontinence” in 4-20% of female dogs
• increases the risk of persistent or recurring urinary tract infections by a factor of 3-4
• increases the risk of recessed vulva, vaginal dermatitis, and vaginitis, especially for female dogs
spayed before puberty
• doubles the small risk (<1%) of urinary tract tumors
• increases the risk of orthopedic disorders
• increases the risk of adverse reactions to vaccinations

One thing is clear – much of the spay/neuter information that is available to the public is unbalanced and contains claims that are exaggerated or unsupported by evidence. Rather than helping to educate pet owners, much of it has contributed to common misunderstandings about the health risks and benefits associated of spay/neuter in dogs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Benefits of Feeding Raw

I just wanted to share some of the benefits I've noticed since feeding raw, we have been feeding raw for 4 months now:
1- No doggie odor Zoey & Ziva do not smell, my golden's ears don't stink like they did on kibble.
2- Softer coat, their coats are so soft & luxurious, I think my goldens coat is more radiant than it was on kibble, definitely noticed less shedding
3- Better health, granted Zoey's having issues at the moment, but this is NOTHING compared to her normally getting throat infections every other week, this is the first one in 4 months which isn't bad in my book.
4- Allergies, Zoey is no longer chewing/licking herself, the white on her front legs is coming back, she is also completely off of her antihistamines & urinary acidifier, and we've been able to drop her steroid down to every 4th day now, the steroid is for hydrocephalus
5- Ziva seems to respond better to training than most of the kibble fed pups I've trained in the past, she has more focus
6- Hyperactivity my golden is an obnoxious twit sometimes, but since feeding raw her energy levels are more stable, and she's not nearly as obnoxious or hyper
7- Teeth, while I haven't seen the completely clean teeth I have noticed a difference in the amount of tartar on Zoey's teeth. She just hasn't wanted to eat bones in a while so it's hard getting that benefit.
8- Fewer collapsed trachea episodes, they don't seem to be as severe either.

What are some of the benefits you've seen with raw?

Our Weekly Menu

So I am switching up our schedule/menu a little bit, I have been overfeeding a bit on organ days since they need roughly .7 oz of both Liver & Kidney per week, I am going to start offering both the organs (liver & kidney) twice a week each that way their meals won't be quite so big on organ nights.  We will try this for a week or two and see how it goes, we will watch poops etc.  I should mention I am still having to slightly sear Zoey's organs in butter/parmesan cheese otherwise she won't touch them.

Sunday: AM Turkey
PM  Bone in Cornish Hen .35oz Liver
Monday AM  Boneless Beef or Beef Heart
PM  Boneless Pork
Tuesday AM  RMB (Beef Ribs, or Turkey Neck, or Pork Neck or Rib Bones)
PM  Whole Prey Mice & .35 oz Liver
Wednesday AM  1 Egg & Shell
PM  Boneless Beef or Beef Heart
Thursday AM  Ground or Boneless Chicken
PM  Whole Prey Mice & .35oz Beef Kidney
Friday AM  RMB (Beef Ribs, or Turkey Neck, or Pork Neck or Rib Bones)
PM  Boneless Pork
Saturday AM  Fish
PM  Bone in Cornish Hen .35oz Beef Kidney

How I feed my little dogs:

Lately I've been asked a few times what I feed my little dogs, so here's how I feed my 2 little guys.
I feed mine mostly chicken bones/cornish hen bones for their bone in portions.  My dogs only require bone 2 meals a week, sometimes 3 depending on what I feed.  The rest are boneless in which I use the beef, pork, ground hamburger, turkey & chicken as well.  I also feed 1-2 meals of fish (smelt, mackeral, salmon).   For the beef/pork I generally buy either steaks or roasts on reduced for quick sale, or I will buy pork chops as well, cutting out the bones if they have them (because they are cut, they are too sharp).  I also have started giving them beef hearts (that's something you have to work them up to as it's rich)   I also sometimes throw in a raw egg, shell & all.  When I give organs I feed a boney meal with it, that helps with any loose stools from organs.  A lot of people feed chicken backs/thighs for their boney portions.  I do also give whole prey a few times a week (mice with fur & all).  I give them pork neck bones, turkey necks, beef ribs, pork ribs for bones they can gnaw on.  They don't eat much of the bones of those but they do eat/tear/rip the meat off which is a great workout for them.  

Here is how I started:
1st 2 weeks:  Boney Meals (except Zoey who only got them for the first 4 days then we went to twice a week).  I used Cornish Game Hens, Thighs for a pomeranian I had.
3rd week: Started adding a little bit of pork in addition to the boney meals, increasing the pork amount daily until they were getting a whole meal of pork
4th week: Started adding a little bit of beef in addition to the boney meals, increasing the beef amount daily until they were getting a whole meal of beef
5th week: I added organs to the boney portions again increasing the amounts each day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Eggshells N Organs Question

We have been battling a severe throat infection/eosophagitis with Zoey, the past week it got really bad & she didn't eat for 48 hours. So Tuesday back to the Vet we went, we are giving her a different (3rd) antibiotic, sprayed her throat with a topical numbing stuff 15 min before eating until last night JUST so she would eat, and are feeding her soupy ground meats 3 times a day. She lost 3oz which is a lot for such a little dog (4#). Anyways we normally do organs on Tuesdays & Fridays, and I was going to give her ground eggshells for her bone/calcium since she can't have bone for 2 weeks so her throat can heal. Would the eggshells counteract the rocket butt from organs? She's never had a problem with organs, but I've always given her bone with her organs. Also noticed this week she is red again, would being sick/under the weather make her skin red (head/legs)? I hope it's not allergies flaring up again, she's been doing so well. Her gums/mouth is really red too, but I think that's due to the infection going on.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Are dogs Carnivores or Omnivores?

That is the question :-)  In the research I have done, based on their anatomy (teeth to cut with etc) I have to agree that dogs are carnivores.  You can look at their teeth to know that they were designed for chopping not grinding like an omnivore does.  Yes dogs can eat plant/grains but they don't 'thrive' on them and they aren't required for life.  Dogs/wolves are opportunistic carnivores.

Evolutionarily speaking, dogs are classified as carnivores:
Kingdon: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus Canis
Species Lupus
Subspecies Familiaris

Here are a couple of links to support:
The 1st 2 are written by a Veterinarian
Dogs Are Carnivores

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Does Raw Make them easier to train?

So I have been working with Ziva on training and OMG she's stubborn in some regards but smart as a whip in others. In just a few (less than 5) very short sessions, she has 'grasped' the concept of sit, down, puppy push-ups (sit/down quickly), roll over, army crawl, give me 5, other paw, & stick em up, working on smiles (she smiles & shows her teeth) & get those fleas (scratching) & army crawl. A lot of these we are just shaping with the clicker as she offers them, but she is catching on quicker than I've ever had a dog catch on. Is raw to attribute to that? I've heard lots & lots that Min Pins are VERY difficult to train as they are very stubborn.