My adopted 5 year old Lab was dx with megaesophagus in 2011. She generally does well with a strict management plan but we have had our ups and downs with this frustrating disease! She is currently eating Newman’s Own Organic Beef canned food (625 kcal/can) rolled into meatballs and fed while she is sitting upright in a Bailey Chair. She gets 1 can 2x per day. She cannot tolerate a lot of bulk and was found to have gastroparesis in addition to the ME during an endoscope in April of this year. I feel like it may have been partially due to the high fat diet (lots of coconut milk) I had her on. I have since cut as much fat as possible and she gets metaclopramide (Reglan), probiotics and digestive enzymes to help speed up digestion.
I am interested in the pre-made raw diets, especially Stella and Chewy’s, Primal and Instinct Raw. The Instinct seems to have the highest calorie content (520 kcal/8 oz patty) but I know they have had recalls in the past. The most calories in the least amount of food seems to be best for her.
Any other ME dog owners feed raw? Or any experience in general with these brands? Once thawed, would they roll up nicely into meatballs?
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Some brands sell their food in nuggets. I know Instinct now has nuggets. I think the patties and chubs would roll into meatballs fine as well. S&C and Instinct are extremely high in fat though, so they probably wouldn’t be the route you’d want to take if you’re cutting fat. The more calorie-dense the food, the more fat. Since manufacturers are only required to report the minimum level of fat, when you see a raw food that’s very high in calories but the stated min fat doesn’t look too high you can assume the actual amount of fat is much higher. Sometimes if you call the company they will be able to give you an actual reading from a lab analysis. Most of the low fat raw foods are pretty low in calories.
Didn’t realize that about the fat. Thank you! The dang Newman’s I have been feeding may be high fat too. But since getting her off the coconut milk and adding in the motility drugs and supplements, she has been doing better…pooping at least once a day and less bloated looking.
I am leaning towards trying one of the pre made raw diets or at least supplementing her current canned food with it. Isn’t raw in general more easily digested than processed foods? Any idea which raw diet would roll up to make the smoothest meatball? She can’t tolerate any chunkiness. In pics the Bravo looks chunky but the Instinct and S&C seems smooth, like finely ground meat patties.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Raw is digests more quickly than kibble – there probably wouldn’t be a significant difference between the digestion rate of a raw food versus a grain-free quality canned food, however. No pre-made raw I’ve used has ever been “chunky.” I’ve never used the frozen S&C or Instinct (only the freeze dried) but I have used frozen Bravo Balance and it’s definitely not chunky – it’s a finely ground uniform log.
My dog Zoe was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis and mild ME six years ago and has now developed digestive issues – some gastritis and most likely Gastroparesis. High volume meals are a problem and smaller meals seem okay until they accumulate in her stomach then voila…she will vomit. Darwin’s raw would not make good meatballs unless you cooked it. When Zoe vomits her Darwins there are chunks of bone in the vomit and I suspect those are difficult to digest in her stomach. She has also eaten in the past ….Smallbatch patties. Good quality raw. The bone seems to be ground up and not chunky and they might roll into meatballs. They Turkey patties are lower in fat than the others. I haven’t gone back to the SB brand since Zoe started vomiting. I too, are in the hunt for the perfect food. Not too high in fat, not too high in fiber and enough protein for good health. Have you had any luck with the freeze dried brands HDM suggested? My vet doesn’t like Zoe being on raw right now and wants a “cooked” food. I may tried the freeze dried option so I can cook it as much as I need to. Its been a while since your post…any luck since then? Zoe is not on Raglan…does it help? Any side-affects?
If anyone is interested in a healthy raw diet for your dog, I recommend ordering from wefeedraw.com if you want cooked, order from nomnomnow.com Personally, my smaller dog gets her food from nomnomnow.com and occasionally dehydrated beef nuggets that I add hot bone broth mixed with some water. My Shepherd eats raw from wefeedraw.com and to be sure he gets all the nutrients he needs, I do add Vital food that I buy from Petsmart refrigerator section and I mix it up between these two. I hope this information helps someone out there.
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