Dog not digesting bones properly

Dog Food Advisor Forums Raw Dog Food Dog not digesting bones properly

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  • #91244 Report Abuse
    Anna W

    Hi guys, I am looking for folks with similar experiences (hoping for solutions of course).

    I just wanted to start with saying that I am an experiences and passionate raw feeder currently getting my qualifications in pet nutrition and someone who has been raw feeding dogs and ferrets for a few years. I needed to say this so nobody assumes that I ‘tried’ to feed my dog raw for 20 minutes and she has a digestive upset.
    We adopted our now 2.5 year old female chihuahua at the age of 1 and put her on a raw diet straight away. No issues for the first 6 months. Then these really dry powdery stools started to occur, a few weeks later painful defecation kicked in, she was crying in pain while passing stools really bad and eventually stopped going to the toilet until she couldn’t keep it in anymore. We tried every diet tweak we could think of – more veg, less bone, more offal, more muscle, nothing changed. Thousands of dollars and many tests later (blood, ultrasound, poop exams, colonoscopy) we know that she is not digesting bones properly and passing sharp shards of bones created a lot of inflammation and scarring in her colon. We know that very dry, powdery and small pieces of stool frequently get stuck in her intestines and only come out after a series of enemas. I never knew I would say this but this dog cannot digest bones properly. We still don’t really know if it’s a bone digestion issue or food digestion issue and the bones are the only ones causing pain. When she had her colon completely cleaned out from old hard stool for colonoscopy we kept her on a meat only diet for about a week and she was fine, no pain, her stools were normal size (a sausage as opposed to many small bits coming out in many attempts). Then we gave her some rabbit with bone and the crying came back. It is obvious the bones are causing the problem (and I was refusing to even admit it for a long time) but I am trying to find out WHY she is not digesting them properly. Regular vets are of absolutely no help as they don’t believe dogs should eat bones in the first place. Their diagnosis – some dogs just can’t eat bones. I am desperate to find the answer, the vets don’t even want to keep testing – like is it a digestive problem in the stomach? They already settled with their ideas. Has anyone had a similar issue before? I would really appreciate any leads. I cannot even find anything on the internet. Thanks!

    #91245 Report Abuse

    What more is there to test? Obviously the bones, even finely ground up bone material is causing potentially fatal stomach, colon and bowel obstructions.

    PS: If the dog needs emergency surgery (not unusual) caused by these feeding habits, it will cost $$$ whether the surgery is successful or not.

    #91248 Report Abuse
    Anna W

    Thanks mate, I wasn’t looking for anti raw feeding opinions. I was looking for people who might have experienced something like that before. The vet bill education was very helpful too, thank you. I wouldn’t have had a clue about how much vets cost otherwise. My dog never suffered from a blockage. She has a digestive problem. There is no such thing as a dog that just can’t eat bones, there are dogs who obviously have some underlying medical condition that is preventing them from digesting their food properly (the food they were designed to eat by nature!!!). Due to close mindness and poor nutritional veterinary education I have to look for a diagnosis myself.

    #91249 Report Abuse

    “I would really appreciate any leads. I cannot even find anything on the internet. Thanks”!

    That’s what I responded to. Maybe someone else will benefit from the information I offered.
    I shared my experience and what the emergency vets I went to told me.
    Based on what I saw I cannot agree with your opinions.

    PS: It appears that your vets have advised you already:
    “Regular vets are of absolutely no help as they don’t believe dogs should eat bones in the first place. Their diagnosis – some dogs just can’t eat bones”.

    #91261 Report Abuse

    I am a raw feeder as well. A number of years back, we adopted a dog who I put on raw. Long story short, after working with a raw feeding friend who was my go-to, we decided that this dog could not eat raw. She ate The Honest Kitchen after that.

    #91268 Report Abuse
    Jennifer H

    Do you have any holistic vets in your area? I too have fed raw for a few years and find what you are experiencing perplexing at best. I raise Saint Bernards so I don’t think I would be able to offer much insight for your particular breed. Sounds like you have tried going through the elimination process but just wondering do you feed the bones whole or grind them? I do both, some ground with their veggies and some fed whole, but just thinking maybe your little guy just needs the bones ground smaller. I wish I had an answer but encourage you to look for a holistic vet that may be more supportive as well as helpful when it comes to a raw diet.

    #91287 Report Abuse

    Hi, my boy has IBD & Skin Allergies I went thru a Naturopath to put Patch on a raw diet, the Naturopath would not allow any bone in Patches diet, I had to used a supplement instead… Have you looked into supplementing the bone with egg shell or a supplement like I used for Patch…

    #128592 Report Abuse
    Caroline S

    Hi Anna, I’m really interested in this post. I was wondering if you’d come up with anything helpful since writing this. Some dogs do not seem to be able to digest bone well and do have hard crumbly poops even when given the correct 10% ratio. have you been able to isolate the reason??? Best wishes Caroline

    #128597 Report Abuse

    Caroline, you can add boneless meat if stool is hard & crumbly.

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