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  • #47427 Report Abuse
    Liz W

    I have fed my dog, 9 yr.old GSD, 117lbs a diet of raw (various pre-made brands as well as prey style from local butcher) and a small amount of Honest Kitchen (no grain) mixed with about 1 cup grain free kibble split into two meals, raw in morning and kibble mix in evening for several years. I started looking into diet when I first adopted him from the shelter as he had Perianal Fistulas as well as skin issues (prob allergy based). The PF’s have been in remission for about 4 years now and the skin issues improve every year.
    Three weeks ago he bloated and required GDV surgery. I fear it was the dinner, kibble base that was a contributing factor so I’m paranoid about going back to that. Although I’ve always been very careful regarding feeding, no exercise around feeding, limited water at feeding time etc to prevent bloat… it still happened. He has lost 14lbs after this surgery so I need to start getting some weight back on him.
    Now we are post surgery and trying to find a diet I feel comfortable with. We travel a fair amount ( 6 months) and I had no luck finding fresh meat on the road (can’t hunt down local butchers as we need to stay to the large freeways due to the size of our RV). I can’t seem to find meat that doesn’t contain salt. (Walmart and similar is the main shopping place when we travel, just off the hwy that we can fit in the parking lot.) Thus I can only fill our small freezer from home with some pre-made raw patties (compact for transporting) and have to carry dehydrated, canned or kibble to have enough food with us until I can replenish the raw meat portion.
    I am trying to keep him on mostly raw pre-made right now. I have just tried to go from 3 feedings of about 10 -12 oz to two feedings of 15-16oz. I added a small amount of kibble 1/3 cup to his dinner portion for the last 4 days and he did fine. Last night I feed a bit larger amount of kibble 2/3cup (mixed with HK) and he slept well but seemed off this morning and tried to vomit. (nothing came up)
    I just fed him a 10 oz meal of raw only and plan to stay with 3 small meals and see if that helps.
    I give him a raw meaty rib bone once a week but have not started that yet as I’m not sure if that would be too hard on him stomach. Not sure about when I can start that at all.
    Does anyone have any experience with feeding a GSD raw POST GDV surgery? Any suggestions to bring my boy back to health and avoid another bloat episode would be greatly appreciated. I’m also wondering about starting him on some probiotics or enzymes but read mixed opinions on the need for them when feeding raw.
    Any ideas?
    Thank you,

    #47475 Report Abuse

    I have no clue how to help you, sorry, I’m just replying to bump up your post so someone more knowledgeable will see it & can help you out. Good luck!

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 12 months ago by Cyndi.
    #47485 Report Abuse

    Hi Liz

    Sorry to hear about your guy’s problems.

    I read your post and I have a couple of suggestions for you:

    Avoid Kibble and all dry or dehydrated foods because they can expand in the stomach even if re-hydrated prior to feeding.

    Stick with 3 smaller meals instead of 2 larger meals a day.

    Digestive enzymes could help prevent the buildup of any gasses due to improper digestion and could speed up digestion.

    Probiotics are usually a good idea for gut health and overall immunity. Probiotics can absorb water in the gut in higher doses so be careful and watch out for straining to poop if you use them.

    Some of the raw meats in Walmart contain a solution of salt and other things but you can wash most of that off to minimize any residual salt. Ground meats should be 100% meat and all of the meats in Walmart though maybe not the best in terms of quality are still Human-Grade. Buying meats for your dog in a supermarket guarantees you a certain quality. Even high quality raw dog food does not guarantee you that the meat is Human Edible. Raw dog foods are usually much higher in fat which leads me to believe that even though they might claim to use Human Grade meats they are using the trimmings which are mostly fat.

    Buy a premix like Steve Brown’s dinner mixes which will make a boneless raw meal balanced and complete except for Omega 3’s. You can buy sardines in water and add some a couple of times a week to his meals and this will take care of his Omega 3’s


    Keep up the good work and make sure you don’t feed him near exercise time and continue to limit water around meals and exercise but give him access to water at all other times.

    I have a question. Did the surgery include attaching the stomach to the abdomen to prevent the volvulus (flipping of the stomach)? If so then at least any future bouts of Bloat will not be life threatening.

    Give you pup a hug for me!!!

    #47515 Report Abuse
    Liz W

    Thank you Cyndi for “bumping me up” as you can see if you follow this thread “USA Dog Treats” has given me some very good suggestions and validated what I’ve already been trying to do.
    Thanks so much for the suggestions USA Dog Treats! I didn’t realize that even after I hydrate the Honest Kitchen and Kibble well, they could still swell more or cause bloating. Thought that by hydrating the HK the day before and keeping it in the fridge it would be fine. Something obviously was NOT fine and I too have wondered if I didn’t soak the kibble long enough or what. I don’t want to make the same mistake again.
    I started back on the three meals a day NO Kibble and NO HK for now… I may have to adjust the amounts as he has some catching up to do but I don’t want to increase the amounts too fast. I think an ideal finishing weight to keep him a bit leaner would be between 110 and 114. That is what I’m going to shoot for. I am presently feeding him about 12 -13 oz morning and supper and a lunch of about 8-10oz. I will adjust the amounts as slowly as I see if he begins to put on weight.
    I just introduced frozen fresh green tripe to each meal… so far only about an ounce or two in any one meal. He loves it and I was told it’s extremely easy to digest and will provide all needed enzymes to his stomach. Do you agree?
    I haven’t introduced probiotics at this stage as I’m not sure what to try or when… don’t want to make too many changes too quick but he just came off of an antibiotic 12 injection. I’m not sure if that’s as hard on the stomach as taking it orally but I’m sure there is some adjusting that is going on in his whole system. What do you think of using Acidophilus & Bifidus that I keep on hand in the fridge for myself as a probiotic for him?
    The meat source I have found here in Canada that I like, is called K9 Choice (www.k9choicefoods.com) They sell in bulk 40lbs which is a bit more affordable for some of what I feed but what I like most is that the balance is right (approx 80/10/10) fat % is also very good and the animals are all raised on their own farm land and are grazing, free roaming and living long lives before they are humanly slaughter in a very non-stress producing, fast, humane way… away from the other animals. I like it that all the animals get to be the way nature intended, not crammed into feedlots/pen or horrible conditions. Although they are not listed as “human” consumption, I have talked to the owner and he said he believes his meat products are far more “healthy” for man or dogs than what is being sold in grocery stores due to the condition and treatment of their animals and the way they are “processed”. I would really like to believe him.
    I will look into Steve Browns pre-mix when we travel in the States. I’ve never seen it here in Canada but I will check the website and see if they deliver here. I know Honest Kitchen also makes a premix (same hydrating issue I guess) but they did tell me to rehydrate and then refrigerate and it would not swell in the stomach. It would work for me to just take the pre-mix when I travel and then just add hamburger or what ever kind of ground meat I could get. Something I didn’t think of, so thank you so much for that tip. If I do the premix and ground meat, or on sale roasts!… how much sardines would you feed a 110lb dog? I used to add sardines and then stopped and substituted fish oil tabs that I was taking but couldn’t tolerate. (lousy fishy taste after)
    I have never exercised before or after eating… my dogs always have rest periods of an hour or more before or after even if we are only taking a gentle stroll.
    Another thing I do think you are right about… he drank too much water after his meal the night he bloated. I am now a fanatic to remove all but a cup of water because he likes to kind of rinse his mouth after he eats. Then I put out about a 2 cup bowl and freshen it up in between meals. I do believe this was another contributing factor to that horrible event.
    Yes, the vet did attach the stomach to the rib wall and explained that it should never flip and twist again. He did say bloat however was still a possibility. He also had his spleen ripped away so it had to be removed which I guess is another bad thing that doesn’t always happen. My poor boy.
    I did give him a big HUG from you… you are a saint to take the time to help me and encourage me. All I want is for this boy to have a few more good years with us.
    Thanks so much for all your help… much appreciated.
    Liz and Mr. Lou!

    #47524 Report Abuse

    Hi Liz and Mr Lou!

    You have very good instincts and Mr Lou is lucky to have you! And of course you are lucky to have Mr Lou!

    The frozen green tripe is an excellent source of digestive enzymes and should eliminate the need for adding digestive enzymes to Mr Lou’s diet. Because he received an antibiotic shot which kills the good as well as the bad bacteria I would add probiotics to help replenish his gut. I use this one from Vitacost and it looks like they deliver to Canada.


    Start slowly. Half a capsule every other day added to his largest meal. If everything is Okay after 6 days you can go to 1 capsule a day sprinkled on his food. After a month you can reduce it to 1 capsule every other day if you’d like.

    k9choicefoods looks like a good food. I couldn’t find the numbers for Protein and Fat but I like the way they raise their animals and their quality seems outstanding.

    I would stay away from kibble for multiple reasons. It is a super processed food that is as far away from raw as you can get. The quality will NEVER come close to the raw food you are feeding Mr Lou and feeding a whole food in it’s natural form without any alterations or processing is the absolute best in my opinion.

    The Honest Kitchen uses quality ingredients but their foods are too heavy in carbs for my liking. And with any food that has it’s moisture removed who knows exactly how long it takes to re-hydrate it 100% or if it is even possible to re-hydrate it 100%. I just wouldn’t take the chance if I were you. But if you do use a dry food use very little and re-hydrate at least for 24 hours.

    The water you understand so just keep up the GOOD WORK and keep drinking while eating or after exercise to a bare minimum. There is mixed evidence on raised feeders but I tend to agree that if you use raised bowls it will allow more gulping or air so I don’t recommend them.

    Sardines contain the fish oil you are looking for in a whole food form which is always better than a supplement. Mr Lou is a big boy so after starting really slow a 3 oz tin (packed in water) once or twice a week should be good. If Mr Lou doesn’t like sardines then 2 fish oil capsules daily should be fine.

    For supplementing plain raw meat I would use Steve Brown’s dinner mix and not a dehydrated food like Preference by The Honest Kitchen (carbs and re-hydration again)

    Here’s to a healthy and happy life for both Mr Lou and you (it rhymes)!!!!!!!

    #47525 Report Abuse

    Liz & Mr. Lou….. you’re in good hands here! 🙂

    #47737 Report Abuse
    Liz W

    Hi Cindi… yes, you are correct… in VERY good hands!

    Hi USA Dog Treats! Thanks again for the great advice.

    Tried ordering the probiotic you recommended but shipping adds $10 to the cost so I’m going to print off the label and take it to my local health food shops and see if I can’t find similar for around $20, if I have no luck, I will then order from their on line site. Thanks for the recommendation.

    As for the K9 Choice foods I will be receiving a print out of the nutritional values but from what I recall, they were all decent. I’m leaning to the ones that are a bit lower in fat. I found another raw source made here in Manitoba which may be a bit more in line with what I’m looking for and also a little less $… haven’t finished my trials on that yet.

    I am worried that the Honest Kitchen combined with the Kibble was the tipping factor in him bloating. Can’t be sure but I don’t want to risk that again. I may have to wait until I get to the USA to find the Pre Mix (Steve Brown’s) that you referred to. I can’t find anything like that here in our Pet Stores in Manitoba. I will keep digging to see if I can find something similar. Traveling and trying to feed exclusively raw is going to be a major challenge both in terms of cost and finding it when I need it. Actually I’m finding feeding a 110lb dog raw exclusively is going to be a real challenge to the dog food budget… oh well. We may have to put off getting him a little buddy for a while anyway while we “recover” from all the expenses of this experience.

    I haven’t been to the grocery store yet but sardines are on the top of the list to start adding for the boy. Haven’t returned to the capsules yet… adding back to “normal” very slowly.

    I must say he is “crazy” about the green tripe!!! First thing he dives for in his bowl and since I’ve been feeding exclusively raw he is excited at every meal. Maybe he is just feeling a lot better but it is sure nice to see him snapping his jaws in excited anticipation of his meals! 🙂

    Thanks for answering my plea for help… I was feeling very alone as a mommy of a GDV recovering dog and trying to feed raw. There is not a lot of info or advice out there under this subject.
    Wishing you the very best from myself and Big Lou! 🙂

    #48106 Report Abuse
    Kat W

    My 5 year old weim Nina just had it done yesterday, vet told me to feed Chappie food, I disagree with ready made dog food, due to the fact of my GSP was on home cooked food sometimes raw and she was in good health for 17 years (!) I am analysing what could cause it and one thing is – dehydration, hot weather, and eating rubbish outside…. Wonder is the foam on dogs mouth while exercising could be and indicator for amount of swollen foam and that will create air lock. :/
    Vet told be to rise her bowl for 6 ” …. But opinion says if the dog is healthy don’t rise it- I do have her sister as well…. Feed and look after on the same way…. “Touch wood ” no concerns with her…. And water control amount intake …. It will be a day when they have to stay at home alone and what? I am freaking out at the minute, just joined this forum …. Love the great answers and ideas …. Which I do agree with as they are logic. Ninas vet said that raw diet can lack in fibre, but that can be replaced with blended vegetables …. I believe… Plz let me know what do u think about all of that …. Thank u.

    #131571 Report Abuse
    Heather M

    Hi Liz,
    Our 6 year old Borzoi had surgery a week ago for bloat. He had a Gastroplexy, and they removed his spleen as several nodules were found. He still has a hollow cough which we worry about. But the vet says he is O.K. He is on various mediations. He was fed a raw diet, with meaty bones and added sardines and eggs, with a little greens. We are now feeding him a mixture of minced beef with a little veg. and add sardines and eggs as necessary. We put a small amount of natural yoghurt on top. We feed him three or four times a day and, if he does not want to drink, syringe a little water into his mouth at intervals. We are still concerned about the cough, though. Has your dog got a cough?

    #131580 Report Abuse
    John h

    Plz let me know what do u think about all of the dog disease.

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