Dog just got over gastroenteritis… looking for advice

Dog Food Advisor Forums Raw Dog Food Dog just got over gastroenteritis… looking for advice

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  • #115495 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    I have a 55lb. amstaff/cattle dog male (Ronan), and a 47lb. GSD mix girl (Aria).

    Over the past two months we had been making the switch from Taste of the Wild kibble to a completely raw diet. It started out as a meal here and there, then for several weeks they had kibble for breakfast and raw for dinner. They seemed to be doing great, and I love how much they acted like they loved their food, and how long it took them to eat it (especially their favorite RMB, turkey necks!).

    Since it had been two months, I figured it was time to see if they were ready to have a full week of raw. I was doing great at balancing their food I thought (had been doing research through the roof). They were having 1oz. of liver every day, fish once a week, 1 RMB a day (chicken thighs, turkey necks, pork necks, and the like), and other things like goat milk, carrots, snap peas, raspberries, blueberries, pumpkin, etc.

    Well, that Monday they caught themselves a rabbit out in the backyard. And I foolishly let them eat it, not thinking about parasites, disease, etc… they ate the WHOLE thing. Aria got all the guts (including the intestines) and Ronan ate the top half. Later that day, Aria threw up EVERYWHERE. Probably the entirety of the rabbit she had eaten. So I fasted both of them for 24hrs.

    4 days pass, and suddenly Aria gets ill. She threw up a very foul-smelling brown sludge all over my kitchen and dining room. I didn’t know what to feed them since she was sick, so I backed up and give them both kibble. And while were were outside that morning, she was unable to poop (straining, but nothing coming out). Immediately I was thrown into a panic thinking she had an intestinal blockage from the pork necks I had given them the day before. We rushed to the vet who did x-rays, but they came back fine, other than she had an abundance of gas (but she’s always been a gassy dog).

    So we went back home with instructions to just take it easy. We went outside and she was able to poop a very small amount, but it was also a brown sludge of diarrhea with some blood in it. And then a couple hours later, she threw up her kibble breakfast. So we went back to the vet for another x-ray and the stool sample.

    Our diagnoses that day was gastroenteritis and hookworms. We were given antibiotics, and here we are 4 days later, and I finally have my normal Aria back.

    I am just shook by this entire experience, because I don’t know what caused her to become ill. Was is the rabbit she had eaten 4 days before her sick episode? Did I get her something that completely threw her off? I had given her anything she hadn’t eaten before…

    It is unfortunate to say that we are now back on kibble with the occasional supplement of goat milk yogurt, cooked chicken, and rice. I do not know where to go from here, because I don’t want to pay another $300 vet bill if she gets sick again. Perhaps I am too close to the situation. I just have no idea what I should be feeding them at this point, and even though she did not have an intestinal blockage, I scared myself so badly with the thought that day that I am now worried about it.

    If you’ve read this far, thank you… sorry to be so long winded. Any advice is appreciated.

    TLDR: Dogs were making a transition to raw. They caught and ate their own wild rabbit. Aria got extremely ill 4 days later, vet diagnoses was gastroenteritis and hookworms. I am now scared to feed raw because of my fear that it may not have been the rabbit that made her ill but I have no idea… and I am also extremely worried about intestinal blockages.


    #115496 Report Abuse

    Consider what happened a wake-up call. You were lucky that the situation was not worse.

    I feed a quality kibble as the base, about 2/3rds of the diet, I add a little chopped boiled chicken, plain chicken broth or water, sometimes scrambled egg or a little tuna or something.

    My chicken broth recipe /forums/topic/grain-free-2/#post-109751

    #115500 Report Abuse

    It sounds like it was caused from the rabbit. Wild rabbits in certain areas are known for worm issues. Ive never allowed my raw fed guys to catch rabbits for this issue. Sometimes it happens too quickly to notice

    #115511 Report Abuse

    Hi Tiffany-

    Couple things. The diet that you mentioned was not in fact properly balanced. It sounds like you were trying to do a Prey Model Raw diet, but not following the 80/10/10 rule consistantly everyday. If you want to see how to properly feed a Prey Model Raw diet follow “The Raw Feeding Community” and I also like

    Onto the sickness issue. My guess would be this is directly related to the wild rabbit they were allowed to eat. As Tyrion said above, wild rabbits/animals can carry a wide variety of parasites, hookworms included. Hookworms can and will cause GI issues like what you experienced. DO NOT allow the dogs to catch and eat wild prey again. This is asking for trouble. If you need to, I would even recommend purchasing your raw meals from a service like

    #115601 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    Thank you for responding.

    In my opinion, I was following the 80/10/10 model. I had the kitchen scale out every day making sure if it. The veggies and fruits were a very small addition to their 9oz meals.

    At this point we are back on Taste if the Wild. I had some raw beef leftover and gave them both a small hunk of it the other day, and then Aria had extremely bad gas the rest of the night. So I’m now also wondering if she can’t handle beef very well? Could that be a thing?

    I am interested in buying premade raw but everywhere I turn it seems super pricey. We currently pay $60 for a 30lb bag of kibble – is there any premade raw food that can compete with that?

    #115610 Report Abuse

    You would have to give me more detail on your meal prep for me to really be able to see what you were doing. From your statement above your dogs were getting organ meat and RMBs but fish only once a week. Muscle meat should be the 80%. Also certain organs are fed as muscle meat in the Prey Model diet. So you have to take that into consideration too.

    I don’t really like premade raw like Primal, Stella and Chewy’s etc but there is a service called that has prepared Prey Model Raw. It is not going to be as cheap as most dry food though. You have larger dogs too which always makes everything more expensive.

    #115613 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    I understand the muscle meat/organ thing.

    Our variety looked a bit like this:
    Organs: Chicken livers, chicken kidneys, beef liver, and calf liver
    Muscle meat: Beef heart, beef chunks, ground beef, pork loin, ground pork, ground turkey
    RMB’s: Turkey necks, pork necks, de-skinned chicken thighs, and turkey thighs
    Fish: Whole scad mackerel, fed once or twice a week
    Eggs: Raw + shell
    Additions: Snap peas, carrots, goat’s milk yogurt, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, pureed pumpkin, pinch of turmeric

    In the AM we did 1oz of organs and 7oz. of muscle meat, plus some additions. Typically no RMB in the AM.
    In the PM I would throw them a RMB to gnaw on in the backyard, plus some additions (but sometimes no additions in the PM, depending on the size of the RMB)

    We did whole scad Mackerel (about 5oz.) once or twice a week, accompanied by some muscle meat. Raw eggs with shell maybe 2-3 times a week.

    #115614 Report Abuse

    Thank you for giving me the extra info. I was not trying to insult you and say you didn’t know what you were doing, but you did not give me enough info to know that you did know how to balance the 80/10/10 ratio properly. I see from your further explanation that you had the right idea.

    I would continue what you are doing and just watch the dogs closely out in the yard to make sure they don’t catch any more wild prey.

    #115616 Report Abuse

    What did the veterinarian that examined and treated your two sick dogs advise?

    That is what I would go by. Not what folks on internet forums advise…..

    #115626 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    I’m not insulted, I probably didn’t explain their diets very well in the first place. We do intend to continue feeding turkey necks on the weekends since that was a hit with them, and might make the slow transition back to raw… maybe Aria’s the type of dog who takes a year to transition. If she seriously does have ill affects against beef though, not sure what we will do (I can’t afford raw lamb every day – too expensive). I found a great local butcher that sells 5lb bags of fresh ground raw dog food for $11.99, so we might check that out. If only I could afford one of those $500 meat & bone grinders… lol

    Anon, my vet advised that Aria just rest for a couple of days when she was sick and prescribed antibiotics for the upset that she thinks was caused by the wild rabbit. Aria is the only one who got sick – Ronan did not. My veterinarian did not have any ill words against feeding raw. My vet is a very well-educated lady who has always treated us and our dogs with respect. She did not tell us to change their diet.

    No offense… but why are you advising people what they should do on a online forum if you don’t believe people should listen to the advice we get here? I’m not looking for anti-raw zealot answers.

    #115628 Report Abuse

    I took advice from an internet forum a few years ago and ended up at the emergency vet a few times because of it. All kinds of wacky misinformation and anti-veterinarian types giving bad advice, I even listened to the homeopathic veterinarians, the most dangerous of the bunch.

    I try to prevent people from making the same mistakes that I did.

    Best of luck.

    PS: I hope both dogs were treated for hookworms, plus I think humans can get them….

    #115630 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    I guess we all have our opinions. I don’t go to a homeopathic vet. But I also wouldn’t put all homeopathic vets in a box. Maybe you just listened to the wrong one. I’m sorry for your misfortune.

    My dogs are on trifexis for heartworms/fleas/intestinal parasites, and my vet said that should clear up their hookworms within 1-2 weeks since they were only eggs so far (no adults).

    #115631 Report Abuse

    “If only I could afford one of those $500 meat & bone grinders… lol”

    Check your local Goodwill.

    That’s where I sent mine, a fancy deluxe model, I had no use for it after raw food caused my dog expensive veterinary issues. Only used it for less than 6 months.

    #115632 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    What type of issues, if I may ask?

    #115633 Report Abuse

    Bowel obstruction, shows up as calcified sludge on the x-ray, on 2 occasions.

    Symptoms: constipation, straining, PAIN, in example: panting, crying, unable to relax, agitation. Dog would scream if you touched her abdominal area.
    Chalky feces, bloody feces, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset.
    Comes on gradually.

    Broken tooth, times 2, not a clean break, required extractions under general anesthesia, both times “Raw Meaty Bones” No thanks!

    #115634 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    Just makes me wonder what causes certain dogs to react like that, yet others are super healthy on a raw diet their entire lives. I feel like my Ronan would excel on a completely raw diet (his stomach is a machine), yet I don’t think Aria handles it nearly as well (she’s dainty and sensitive).

    I hate that since the scare, they are both so disappointed to see their bowl full of kibble again. I want what’s best for them. I wasn’t doing raw because it’s a “fad” but because the percentage of dogs that develop cancer nowadays is really alarming to me (and a lot of vets link it back to what they eat… kibble). So going raw where I knew exactly what was in their bowls was great, and the dogs loved the variety and taste. I think Taste of the Wild is a great brand of kibble, but again. Boringgg. So I’m just stuck in this rut now.

    It also sucks that I saw such a detox from both of them on raw (much less shedding, clean teeth, fresh breath, relaxed after chewing, to name a few). It’s now a journey to find a happy median for us.

    #115637 Report Abuse

    I think there are meat grinders available that are still good quality but not extremely expensive. You could also check Goodwill like Anon said or even Craigslist for people selling used ones for cheap. Also The Raw Feeding Community has a facebook page. People may have suggestions for you on that page for a cheap but good grinder.

    As far as cancer goes, I don’t think its as one dimentional of a disease process as some of the holistic minded doctors are making it out to be. I know Rodney Habib and Karen Becker shout loud about how its kibble that is the leading cause of cancer, but they are missing so much of the bigger picture. Cancer is caused from genetics or environment or both. Sometimes it is genetic. That being that case, the dog eating raw isn’t going to prevent the cancer. There are also dogs on raw that will develop cancer. There is also breed disposition. Golden Retrievers are a prime example, but there is a small group of ethical breeders working very hard to breed cancer out of the breed. Our pets are living so much longer now due to vaccines and proper vet care that we are getting to see them live to older ages and see cancer develop. People say our pets werent getting cancer as frequently decades ago. But the quality of care we are providing our pets has grown a lot since then. I think it has more to do with that than kibble.

    I don’t personally feed raw to my dogs, but I am not 100% against the idea of it. I understand the concept of feeding fresh foods to pets, just as humans try to eat fresh foods. I don’t however buy into the grain free, high protein etc etc kibble trend.

    #115671 Report Abuse
    Barbara L B

    If the veterinarian treating your dog for gastroenteritis and hookworms used a big dose of antibiotic or you are dosing daily antibiotics for a week, I suggest you watch for a bladder infection at the end of the dose of antibiotics. With my dog the symptom of the bladder infection was that pup was suddenly stinky peeing all over the house on the seventh day after antibiotics treating the diagnosis of gastrointestinal infection. He developed bloody diarrhea but had no hook worms–it was caused by stress from travelling for too long and too far. Far be it from me to argue with the vet far from home, but he insisted it was due to my feeding raw food and prescribed a food that is not recommended here at Pet Advisor, as the food he feeds his three dogs. I fed the dog this food until the diarrhea was over and skipped right back to raw Instinct with no problems before then and since then, now, two months later.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by Barbara L B.
    #115673 Report Abuse

    Hi Tiffany,
    I think you’re doing a pretty good job, you’ve had a little set back with Aria, if Aria didn’t catch the rabbit Aria would probably be doing really well now, just start all over again..
    You may of panic a little bit but after reading all the bad stuff on the net who wouldn’t panic, I would of paniced aswell actually years ago when Patch was pooing blood diarrhea I paniced & rushed him & took some of his bloody poo to the vets & waited out the front till they opened up at 8am, the vet nurses & vet were so calm & I was a mess, stressing out, I had no sleep, I’ve never owned a dog that pooed just blood all night…. he blood wasn’t from a raw diet, afterward I went thru a animal Nutritionist to put him on a raw diet.
    But you learn from these things & if there’s a next time you’ll do things different….
    Patch has IBD his vet gives me repeat scripts of “Metronidazole” that I keep in the cupboard & when something happens like Aria vomiting undigested smelly brown vomit or blood vomit or bloody poos & I see Patch isnt getting better after 2 days then I start him on the Metronidazole for 7-14 days..
    When Aria spewed the brown stuff it would have been digested food in its liquid form, then she couldn’t poo cause she probably didnt have nothing much to poo out after being fasted for 24 hrs then she spewed a meal, her bowel would have been emtpy & she was unwell with Gastritis she probably felt like she had to poo but didnt have to poo..
    What did she eat the day she spewed the digested food??
    Just keep an eye on Aria being a GSD she may have a sensitive stomach/bowel then her brother Ronan has….She might be more sensitive to certain ingredients?
    I just re read your post maybe don’t feed Aria any beef if she gets bad gas after eating beef. also beef livers are more rich, I’d start a Elimination diet with Aria, I’d feed Ronan the same raw diet as you were feeding before the Rabbit incident & with Aria I’d start feeing just 1 meat probably Chicken, Turkey & Duck & feed from the same animal so the same organ meat & same muscle meat, so feed from the same chicken or Turkey or Duck if you can, you’ll have to buy the whole chicken or whole Turkey try & find a chicken, duck & turkey farms close by, best to feed free range raw, but its more expensive.
    also maybe when she spewed she ate too much fat??
    My vet tells me, sometimes its good when a dogs spews, its not always a bad Susan lol the Gastro vet said its very easy for a dog to bring things back up, they’re not like us when we vomit, it just stresses me out a bit, I stress when Patch spews, well I dont stress as much now after the Gastro vet has explained it all to me & told me not to worry, its better out then in, also dogs have a short digestive tract & can easily vomit when they have too,
    Chicken, turkey & pork these meat are suppose to be easier to digest & the bone is supoose to be softest from the Chicken but the pork has more fat but you can control the fat amount you feed if your making your own raw diet also home made raw is HEAPS better then the Pre made raw you buy already made, when I bought Turkey BARF pre-made for my cat she wouldn’t touch it, then I took the Turkey back & they gave me samples of the Rabbit & Kangaroo Barf & they all smelt the same as the Turkey BARF, you’d think being different meats they would all smell different, well they should of all smelt different, the cat wouldn’t touch any of them, then I went to supermarket & bought fresh human grade chicken & kangaroo mince & it smelt like fresh meat should smell, totally different to the pre-made pet BARF raw formula’s, So your better off making your own raw meals, it probably heaps fresher.. find a butcher that sells cheaper off cuts..

    Just make sure when they’re both eating raw meaty bones, you watch them & make sure they’re both crunching & munching their raw meaty bones & if you see a certain cut of meaty bone that they’re not really chewing properly & just swollowing, then don’t use that cut of meaty bone again… Invest in a meat cleaver & a good chopping block & go nuts & start hacking at all the meaty bones lol…
    If you join a few facebook groups you might find someone thats selling or giving away their smaller grinder/mincer they might have bought a bigger grinder/mincer?
    Dont worry about them eating bones, dogs teeth are made specially for eating raw meaty bones, animals etc, a really good Raw Canine group is called “The Australian raw feeding Community” f/b group…

    Canine Dental Anatomy

    Incisors — Dog
    There are four types of teeth in small animals: incisor, canine, premolar, and molar. Nature designed each to serve a special function. Incisors are named first, second and third; or central, intermediate, and lateral, based on their location in the mouth. There should be six incisors in the maxilla (upper jaw) and six in the mandible (lower jaw). Incisor teeth are used for shearing and grooming.

    Normally, the
    lower canine
    should intersect
    the upper lateral
    incisor and upper
    There are two large canine teeth located in the mandible and two in the maxilla. The canines are designed to grasp and tear with great pressure. Premolar teeth have sharp edges used for shearing. In the dog, there are four premolar teeth on either side of the upper and lower jaws. Dogs have four molars in the upper jaw and six in the lower. Molars have a flat surface used for grinding.
    So you dont need a grinder your dogs teeth are one lol

    #115677 Report Abuse

    Excerpt from an article written by a veterinarian that specializes in nutrition. She is affiliated with one of the best veterinary medical centers in the country.
    Hope it helps someone, if not the OP, maybe someone else reading this.

    Raw diets are another popular option on the market today. Studies have shown that 20-35% of raw poultry and 80% of raw food dog diets tested contained Salmonella. This poses a health risk for your pet, but also for humans. This is especially true for children or immunocompromised adults, whether exposed to the raw food directly, or the feces of the pet eating the raw food. Additionally, there is increased risk of other bacterial infections and parasitic diseases when feeding raw diets. And the bottom line is there is no reason to believe raw food is healthier than cooked food.
    The numerous dietary choices for your pet can be daunting but if you pick an AAFCO approved food made by a manufacturer with a long track record, odds are good that you will find a suitable food for your pet. Most of the large pet food companies employ full time veterinary nutritionists and have very high quality control standards. That is not to say that a small company cannot produce nutritious and high quality food, but you should check out their website if it’s a company that is not familiar to you. Take the time to research, and ask your veterinarian if you have specific questions or concerns.
    Please understand that this article is meant to provide basic dietary guidelines for healthy pets. If your pet has specific health issues, then your veterinarian may make specific food recommendations, which may include special prescription diets.

    #115678 Report Abuse

    Anon, you have already posted your displeasure for raw feeding on this thread. The original poster expressed that they were not interested in your post and you weren’t giving relevant information. Please don’t push buttons that you know will lead to an argument.

    #115680 Report Abuse

    @ tyrion biscuit/whatever

    I am sharing information that I think some pet owners may find helpful.

    What is your point for posting what you did?

    You are not a moderator at DFA, if you are not interested in what I have to say, just ignore.

    Thanks, have a nice day

    #115765 Report Abuse

    Regarding bones, if anyone reading this thread is interested, per the search engine:


    I hope someone finds the info helpful 🙂

    #115889 Report Abuse
    Tiffany T

    I am not upset that Anon is providing the information. Anon seems well educated on the subject and I’m not going to minimize the situation they went through.

    However, I do disagree about bones cleaning teeth being a myth. I saw a substantial difference in both of my dog’s teeth. But I also agree that it might not work for all dogs, especially if they have a tendency to gulp. My dogs are chewers, so that’s why it probably helped them.

    My final decision has already been made for the time being. We will be feeding Taste of the Wild high Sierra with added goodies (like yogurt, fruits, veggies, chicken, and raw beef, if Ari can handle small amounts). But we will also be foregoing bully sticks and other chew treats for RMB’s mainly on the weekends (turkey necks, duck necks, and other raw treats that tend to have “softer” bones which Ari has proven to be able to digest). And on their birthdays, we’ll splurge and get some lamb. I’ve also thought about adding some freeze dried food in the mix. Everything in moderation 👍

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