I have a 14 y/o bRat Terrier whose has been on Stella & Chewy’s frozen patties since late last summer. Since switching her to raw, her Trygycerides have been rising, but I was alarmed when they doubled on her last blood panel (they are now at 2200). The rest of her blood panel is normal, aside from an elevated Liver ALP (now at 174…but that is down from 600 about 4 years ago, thanks to a daily dose of Denamarin).
Her weight fluctuates between 18 and 20 pounds. She is sedentary for the most part (sleeps most of the day while we are working), but otherwise has tons of energy and always happy to go for walks (thankful that Chicago weather is finally breaking and we can get some exercise again).
She has always had a heart murmur (around a Grade 2 for most of her life)…about 3 years ago we were told it was a 3 borderline 4…last summer she started coughing and the vet told us her murmur was a 4 borderline 5 and she was in the early stages of Congestive Heart Failure. She was put on a daily dose of Enalapril (2.5mg twice per day) and Vetmedin (5 mg. per day split into two doses). That was also when we switched her to a raw diet, and within weeks her cough disappeared. That was last September…at her visit this past week, she no longer shows any signs of CHF and her murmur is now at a 2 borderline 3…the vet is shocked and amazed that her murmur has improved and told us that he wouldn’t believe us if hadn’t seen it for himself…he says murmurs NEVER improve. He is skeptical of the raw food, however, I attribute her improvement to the change in diet more than anything (not to say the meds haven’t helped…I have no doubt they have).
This is a dog who shed like crazy until switching her to Raw – now she barely loses any hair and her coat is thick and shiny. The muscle mass along her spine was deteriorating (you could see her pointy spine bones sticking up along her back) and she was developing spondylosis…with a “clicking” sound that you could also feel along her spine. After a month on raw, her bones no longer protruded through her back and now she can once again race up & down the stairs and on the furniture (to my dismay)…the clicking is gone. Raw had done wonders for her health, and I’m sold on it being the best for her.
She is, however, sensitive to birds…no chicken, duck, pheasant or we start dealing with itching along her lips and paws that quickly devolves into infections. We have been rotating her on beef, venison, lamb & rabbit (tho I have my concerns about the rabbit being an issue with her lip…so lately I’ve avoided feeding it to her).
She is fed strictly 2 1/2 small patties of Stella & Chewy’s twice per day, 12 hrs apart…and her only treats are carrot chips. I keep a bag of Taste of the Wild Lamb on hand…I leave handfuls of them in her bowl to eat at her leisure if she get’s hungry between meals, but she rarely touches it (unless I’m late with a feeding).
Because of her high triglycerides, my vet would like to get her onto a lower fat diet. He suggested kibbles & prescription kibbles…but I will not go down that road again…Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein nearly brought her to the brink of a malnourished death prior to Raw…no way I will go back.
So…any suggestions on how to lower the fat content while still keeping her on raw and not feeding any “crap” foods?
My working theory is to use SOJOS grain-free fruit & veggie mix (the kind you rehydrate with water) and combine that with 1 Stella & Chewys patty per day (half 1.5 oz patty at each feeding). I am having a difficult time working out how much of each to feed her while keeping the fat under 15%, the protein and fiber in a higher range, and the calorie amounts appropriate for her size/age & slower-pace lifestyle. Would love to see all of her blood panel numbers in the normal range at her next test…not just for her sake, but to prove to the vet how beneficial this raw diet has been.
ANY suggestions or help would be GREATLY appreciated!!
Hi, I don’t know many American raw diets… Barf has their Kangaroo 3% fat, 11% dry matter (kibble) that’s low in fat & a new one has just come out called Barf lite or Honest Kitchen ZEAL is suppose to be good.. http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/dog-food/zeal
I am always on the lookout for average to low fat commercial raw foods. I find most recipes too high in fat. Good or bad fat it’s in there and I want the majority of my dog’s calories to be from protein not fat. Here’s an article on fat in commercial raw foods:
From my list I only have one food that may fit your needs Primal Frozen Venison. On a dry matter basis using the numbers from their site it is about 16% fat. Their Frozen Rabbit recipe is also low fat (17% DMB), but you mentioned rabbit might not agree with your dog.
You might consider making your own raw if you are unable to find a suitable commercial diet. Here is a list of books for making raw and home cooked diets:
Since your dog is not too thrilled eating TOTW kibble maybe try another brand or have you ever thought about supplementing with canned instead? Here are some low-fat canned foods I feed Wellness Core Weight Management, Innova Large Breed Sr., and Weruva’s Marbella Paella, Paw Lickin’ Chicken, and Bed and Breakfast recipes. On Weruva’s site they list their nutrition information in dry matter basis. Other low-fat canned foods I want to try are Fromm’s Four Star Shredded Chic or Beef and Petsmart’s Simply Nourish bisque or stew foods.
Feeding a balanced diet is important, however if my dog had a health issue it would definitely be priority for me. Regarding Sojos foods and mixes there have been comments posted on DFA about the vegetables coming out of their dog as they went in and lack of info on their labels. Some posters suggested grinding the mix before feeding it. You can do a search for comments on Sojos here’s one thread:
Concerns have also been posted about The Honest Kitchen foods and mixes. Posters have commented on digestibility issues, label accuracy, feeding recommendations, and questionable information provided by customer service and the owner of the company. Check out the comment sections on the review side for more info:
Thanks to both of you for your suggestions…I’m intrigued by Primal Venison.
I’ve been doing the Sojos with Stella & Chewys combo for the past few days…she loves it, but noticed that she needs to make frequent bowel movements – normally it is twice per day. No stomach upset or issues, just doesn’t seem to all come out at once.
I wish dog food labels were the same as labels for human. All the conversion makes me crazy!!
You are welcome! At least you are ahead of the game with the conversions. Knowing how to do that really can help a pet owner avoid a health crisis! I hope at the least you are able to give Primal Venison a try.
BTW I just noticed some of the low fat canned foods I posted have chicken in the recipes, sorry. I don’t know if you were interested in them anyway I was just throwing the suggestion out there. I have his low fat canned foods memorized and I posted without thinking which recipes would fit your needs.
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