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Advice please on diet

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    I have a problem I need advice with please.
    9 year old PRT been fed RAW for 2 years now and has been thriving until yesterday.
    He was sick, not wanting food or drink and dragging his belly on the floor. I thought a bug, and he was more settled last night.
    This morning he came to me for his little gravy bone, I was in 2 minds whether to give it or not so I tried him with it. Big mistake! Within a minute he was obviously in pain, panting and dragging again. He drank water which came straight back up.
    He’s been in vet all day…..he had a blockage in his bowel. The vet managed to manually extract the mass, without operating, but Doug had to have a full anaesthetic as sedation was not strong enough for him. He’s home now with metacam, ABs and laxatives.

    The ”mass” was bone. Although the bone had been ‘chewed up’ it had reformed into a solid mass. The vet actually showed me the cuts on his fingers incurred during the extraction. He said it was full of sharp bits, but from the scan it doesn’t appear to have perforated the colon.
    He advised NOT to give bone in the future, as this could recur. 🙁

    Now my problem is…..can I continue to feed RAW without giving bones? My vet isn’t against feeding RAW but his suggestion for an alternative to bones was pigs ears or rawhide, which I don’t give the dogs, and wouldn’t be a nutritional alternative to bones would it.

    The bone in question this time was a pork knuckle bone. Dougs had them before with no problems as have my other dogs. Now I feel very nervous giving any of the dogs bones.

    Would it be possible to still feed raw and use a suppliment of calcium instead of bones? :help:


    hiya long time no chat  🙂

    ok as usual questions first

    i am right in assuming the bone was raw?  just checking…because i know butchers are putting smoked ham hock type bones in with stuff now…

    did the vet run ANY tests…analysis of internal liquids…blood…thyroid etc etc


    Yep the bone was raw.
    Don’t know about analysis of internal liquids… didn’t mention it and it’s not something I would have known to ask about.
    Doug had blood test before the anaesthetic to check his liver and kidney function.
    No thyroid check……..I did ask about a thyroid check last week when Doug was there for his ongoing skin problem, but vet said Doug showed no symptoms to suggest he had a thyroid problem.


    ok…now…this is not a bone problem as such…really it isnt….if the bone was as you described and in the colon then it had not digested…that means that there is a problem somewhere in his digestion system….the system starts at the mouth with saliva and ends …well at the other end….when these problems start in the older dog then it usually means that there is a problem with the hydrochorlic acid production and/or a disruption with the digestive enzyme production…

    a dogs system dissolves bone to a mushy soupy yukky semi liquid state…and this has not happened…ok with me?

    read very slowly and very carefully this article and you will see where i am at

    to answer your question then yes you can feed raw and supplement for calcium and phospherous etc…but….that will not stop what is likely to be a developing problem….

    what i would be doing is putting him on small meals and often of easily digestable foods ….with added enzymes….am away from home at the moment but when i get back i can put you a diet together…

    but you really need to get back to the vet and discuss getting a diagnostic run done….interesting you mentioned the skin condition….this was the start of it hun…that was the first signal…the outside acts as the alerts etc to what is happening inside…

    happy to help….dont know what your vets are like…sounds good if he not opposed to raw…am happy to chat to him too  if you want to give him my email addy…

    read the article…hope the wee boyo feels better soon….


    Oh thanks so much for your quick reply, and good to know I can still feed RAW.

    You’ve explained  the digestion perfectly……I thought at the time the stomach acids should have dissolved the bone, but then thought he must have swallowed some big chunks of bone, that his acids couldn’t cope with. :-\

    The way the vet described it was the bone had been broken up, powdered if you like, but when it reached the colon, where the liquid is extracted from the faeces, the bone had reformed into a solid mass.

    Doug isn’t interested in food tonight, but I ‘m going to start him back on boiled chicken breast…..little and often.
    I have no idea about enzymes tho’ so if you could sort out a diet plan for him that would be great……..when you’ve got time…….I know you’re one busy lady.

    I’ve asked here before about Dougs skin problem, was put down to a ”seasonal allergy” which would last about 6 weeks and then disappear till the next year. I controlled it with soothing cream mostly and we managed.
    This year it’s got a lot worse and lasted 3 months or so. I had to resort to the vet this time as I’d run out of what to try for him.
    He had 2 weeks of steroids :-[ It cleared up and within 2 days of stopping the pills it was back as bad as ever. I’ve had to wait 6 weeks for them to clear out of his system and he’s had allergy testing….results by this Friday.

    I’ll have a good read of that link and print it out to show the vet when I go back for the allergy results.
    Thank you so much for your help. 🙂


    how much does he drink? has he had a water infection? is he entire or been done?


    He drinks normal amounts, no change there whatsoever.
    He’s been ‘done’.
    No water infections.


    call your vet 2 mor and ask him what blood tests did he do…as in just the pre op ones or the full works…

    i know you said normal amount re water hun…what i mean is what is his normal…and does he drink straight after a meal


    sorry had to contact OH to get the name as i couldnt remember it  ::)

    but this is the enzyme supplement i use for my old boy  🙂


    Sorry I misunderstood. Doug doesn’t drink straight after eating just regularly through the day, normal amounts.

    I’ve got a detailed print out invoice from today and it shows they did…..
    lab vettest pre ga (6 slides)
    …….I’m assuming that’s just liver/kidney function? :-\


    that is just the pre general anth. function test…you need to get a full blood works run….


    the allergy tests will come back showing positive for all and anything …the way they do them is crazy…if you had them done they would come back similar….

    also steroids acutely affect the digestive system…they disrupt the liver enzymes…that should have been on the side effect leaflet….because clumbers are prone to liver dysfunction it one of the main reasons i wont allow my lot to have them….when he came off them was it done gradually?


    Yeah I realise the allergy tests are hit and miss and the results will probably come back as something vague like ‘pollen’ which will leave me just trying to manage his allergy as before. If they came back as something specific ……like wheat or beef……at least I could eliminate that from his diet. It was just the next step really, as the vets and myself had tried everything else.

    I didn’t want him to have steroids at all, but got ‘persuaded’ after a lot of umming and arrging on my part, by the vet. She said it was to try and break the itch/scratch cycle, and this is what really got me…….
    yes they can sometimes affect the liver, but in a dog this age quality of life is important and at the moment Doug has a very low quality of life! :surprise:
    Apart from the awful itching which was getting to the point of him breaking the skin, he enjoyed his food, loved his walks, loved life. How is that low quality of life!

    He had a course of 10 days……1/day for a week then half/day for a week.

    About 2 weeks after the steroids, his skin was broken so he was given a week of ABs to cover any infection that had set in. We’d already ruled out parasites, so after all this it was allergy testing…..then to be told if nothing specific shows up we’ll be back to controlling it with steroids. No! I don’t think so!


    My head is swimming tonight with all that’s happened today and I’ve had another thought.
    Could it be that I’ve fed too much bone and not enough liver/kidney? Got the ratios all wrong?


    it could be…that and the impaired enzyme function after the steroids…

    tell me what you fed him over the preceding 7 days…including treats and extras like yoghurt fruit etc
    as in type, quantity/volume, how often, times of day etc
    cooked or raw

    what is his weight?

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