Raw Diet – Diarrhea and Blood

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Raw Diet – Diarrhea and Blood

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  • #80023 Report Abuse
    Ken Y

    Hello Everyone,

    As the title reads, I am currently having a diarrhea with bright colored blood, which has been on and off twice now for about 2weeks. This is my first post and I read a few other posts on here about my dog’s current condition, but didn’t find exactly what I was looking for.

    I have a 5yo Male Boston Terrier named ‘Hammond’ who was brought up on Taste of The Wild (Fowl Mix) dry kibble. He is my dog, but my father has grown quite fond of him and takes him during the work week and I get him on the weekends. He has been allergy tested due to an ongoing itchy skin condition since he was 1yo and tested positive to an abundance of substances. The main allergens consist of beef, venison, milk, dust mites and certain grass. I recently read an article that seemed to indicate that his skin condition may be a result of a yeast infection and have since switched his diet to a carb free raw diet.

    He has been on a raw organic, no additive, low sodium chicken drumstick and thigh diet for about 4-5months now. He was about 28lbs before the raw diet and has since slimmed down to about 25lbs. His calculated serving size totals to be about 1.25lbs a day. I have found a prefered brand I like at a local grocery store and my father has been feeding him an organic brand from Costco with similar listings. He was perfectly fine with the switch with only one or two incidents, which involved bile throw up since the switch until recently. He has had about 2 separate incidents this past 2 weeks involving diarrhea and bright red blood spots. I took the appropriate steps and fasted him for a full day and gave him some rice and boiled chicken to see if symptoms improved and then went back to the drumsticks and thighs. Everything seemed fine for a few days, with the exception of softer stool than usual, but just yesterday, my father told me the diarrhea and blood was back.

    We are taking him to the vet this Sat, but I’m more than positive that the Dr. is going to tell us to switch back to a reg dry kibble dog food as most vets don’t approve of raw diets.

    Both diarrhea incidents happened when my father had him, feeding him the Costco organic chicken. Is it possible that maybe he got a bad batch of chicken? I have ordered a supply of the ‘Premeasured service’, chicken necks and green tripe from Reel Raw as recommended from this site and it will be arriving today. I made sure to list his allergens in the ground mix.

    Should I stop with the raw?..

    Thank you for the long read and any advise is appreciated.

    #80024 Report Abuse
    Ken Y

    Additionally, he is full of energy and still wants to play during the incidents. He shows no signs of discomfort and eagerly awaits his food at feeding time.

    #80025 Report Abuse

    If it was my dog I would take him to the emergency vet now/today for some testing and x-rays.
    Bloody diarrhea is an indication of something being very wrong. Maybe a sharp bone fragment has caused some internal bleeding? Why are you doing this? A lot of dogs can’t tolerate raw.
    Please do some research:

    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2011/09/integrating-myths-and-nonsense-with-standard-advice-for-allergic-pets/ (excerpt below)
    Bottom Line
    Allergies are a serious medical problem that causes a great deal of suffering for pets and their owners. Causes are complex and involve both genetic, developmental, and environmental factors, and symptoms tend to come and go unpredictably, which makes evaluating the effects of any particular intervention challenging. While there are many safe and effective therapies that can help manage allergy symptoms, there is no cure. Only complete avoidance of the antigens the individual is allergic to can eliminate symptoms entirely, and this is often not possible. No treatment that has any benefit is completely without risks, and the risks and benefits must always be carefully and rationally weighed.

    Article on apoquel and treatment options for allergies http://www.2ndchance.info/Apoquel.htm
    excerpt below:
    Food Allergies are probably over-diagnosed in dogs (they account for, perhaps 5-10%). Hypoallergenic diets are occasionally, but not frequently, helpful in canine atopy cases but you should always give them a try. Food intolerances are more common – but considerably more likely to result in digestive disturbances and diarrhea than in itching problems.

    Intradermal Skin Tests http://www.allergydogcentral.com/2011/06/30/dog-allergy-testing-and-allergy-shots/
    “An intradermal skin test involves the injection of a small amount of antigen into your dog’s skin. This procedure is most often performed by a veterinary dermatologist or pet allergy specialist”.

    BTW: Dogs can be stoic and not show any signs and symptoms of pain and discomfort, until it is extreme.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 1 month ago by anonymously.
    #80029 Report Abuse
    Ken Y

    I feel as if your response is a little bit of an over reaction.. I appreciate the information provided and did read through some of it, but I have done plenty of research of my own before choosing to put my dog on a raw diet. As indicated, he was perfectly fine for the first 4-5mo without incidents. Are you yourself familiar with the idea and benefits of the raw diet?

    As for his condition, there’s a big difference between ‘bloody’ and ‘spots of blood’ in his stool.

    While normal stools can be many shades of brown, some abnormalities in color and consistency may indicate an underlying problem.

    1. Streaks of bright red blood and/or mucus on the surface of a mostly normal, formed stool. This is generally caused by inflammation in the large intestine, where mucus is secreted to help protect the intestinal lining. While this does not necessarily indicate an emergency, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye out for further changes in your dog’s behavior and stool.

    2. Soft-formed to liquid brown diarrhea, with or without streaks of blood. “Cow patty” and “soft-serve ice cream” are two frequent descriptors. As with the previous type, it is generally not life-threatening as long as there are no other signs of concern and it begins to improve within 24 to 48 hours. If your dog is acting normally otherwise— eating well, not vomiting, good attitude —a wait-and-see home approach may be tried (more on this to follow). Here again, red blood indicates inflammation and bleeding in the colon but does not necessarily mean that your pet is bleeding internally, as is often thought. This is a step up in concern from the previous condition, in the sense that the stool is now softer.

    3. A large volume of bloody, watery, diarrhea. This one does require immediate evaluation by your veterinarian, especially with smaller dogs, as it can be an indicator of a common condition called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or HGE. (Read more about it here: thebark.com/hge) Tissue sloughing from the intestines gives it a distinctive appearance, and it’s often described as “raspberry jam” diarrhea.”

    #80031 Report Abuse

    I don’t listen to Dr Google if I see blood…..
    I go to a real veterinarian who can examine my pet and advise me.

    BTW: I have a medical background, I don’t go to the vet for every little thing.

    PS: I had a dog on a semi-raw diet with raw bones, and I ended up at the emergency vet x 2 due to a blockage. No thank you.
    I hope your dog is well, good luck.

    #80034 Report Abuse
    Amy W

    Hi Ken,
    I’m pretty new to the site too. My dog has seasonal allergies (watery eyes and nose) and also a chronic yeast issue. The vet says they feed off of each other, compromised immune from environmental allergies make opportunistic yeast more rapid spreading. I have a French Bulldog with lots of folds, so yeast has a great place to hide. Like you, I wanted to cut out all sugars, which feed yeast, too see if it helped. I chose a freeze-dried raw from this site (TruDog) which has been less complicated from a safety standpoint. They have Turkey and Beef ( which it looks like your dog is allergic to).

    I do try to keep her off as many harmful meds as reasonable, but I have found that despite my best efforts, she still needs allergy meds during seasonal allergy times. We will see if after a good freeze, the yeast slows down with the other allergies. I regularly clean my dogs “folds” and ears, and soak her feet. That helps some with yeast.

    I guess basically what I am saying is the whole allergy/food/environment/ genetic thing is complicated, and while I personally think cutting the sugar with a raw diet seems like a good plan for dealing with yeast, I am finding that if I really want to do right by my dog, just the diet won’t alleviate all of her issues. You might check out a freeze dried raw. There are a couple on the site. A little more quality control for my piece of mind. Good luck, itchy is complicated!

    #80037 Report Abuse

    Hi, my boy does poos with red blood when he eats something that he’s allergic too, also Bone stop any bone in the diet & add grounded egg shells instead for calcuim, I went thru a Animal Nutritionist to put Patch on a raw diet, I had to start with low fat meats Kangaroo, Chicken or Turkey & just 1 protein, no bones or organ meat….. I then had to blend some broccoli, Celery, Carrot & Apple in a blender & stop just before the veggies turn to a pulp water, I was adding 1 cup kangaroo with 1-2 spoons blended veggies, freeze the rest in section in freezer for the rest of the week/month… the Nutritionist wouldn’t let me feed any pet shop meats, raw Barf diets….she said the meat is real low grade quality & make my own raw…..
    Patch didn’t last on his Raw Diet, he has IBD Skin/Food Allergies, I now cook his meals & he’s doing heaps better no blood, no jelly poos he also eats a kibble but not mixed with any cooked meals….

    #80044 Report Abuse

    I can’t answer about the blood but chicken only for four months is not good. Dogs need primarily red meats. I feed raw and mine have a mix of beef, venison, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, green tripe, goat, rabbit…

    #80046 Report Abuse
    Ken Y

    Thank you everyone for the comments. The blood spots and diarrhea has stopped after fasting him and then giving him rice. We will still be taking him to the vet to be safe, but my friend’s cousin, who is a veterinarian, stated that this is commonly caused by irritation to the digestive system and usually corrects itself.

    I received my shipment from Reel Raw, which is a variety of ground, bone-in chicken, green tripe, duck, turkey, lamb, organs, etc. I initially ordered the premeasured service meals to test different types of meat and see if he can adjust to them. The goal is to start grinding his meals at home as my father owns a restaurant and has all the equipment. I still want to minimize his carb intake.

    #80048 Report Abuse

    “We will still be taking him to the vet to be safe, but my friend’s cousin, who is a veterinarian, stated that this is commonly caused by irritation to the digestive system and usually corrects itself”.

    Second hand, third hand information doesn’t count regarding specific medical advice for a pet, unless the veterinarian has personally examined the dog, made a diagnosis and put their recommendations in writing.

    just my opinion.

    #80053 Report Abuse

    Hi Ken,

    I haven’t read through all the comments but I wanted to state that it could be the chicken causing the issue — a chicken sensitivity versus and allergy. Maybe the chicken itself OR what the chicken ate even (since it seems to be brand specific). I’m a raw feeder of multiple dogs (I have six of my own right now and foster) for over 10 years by the way. My Pom gets ulcerative colitis (bright red blood in diarrhea (her’s is almost liquid though)). Chicken is what sets my girl off (only the muscle meat – she is fine with eggs, liver, kidneys etc).

    Sensitivities can manifest after the dog (or person) has been on the food for a while. A protein in certain foods, called a lectin, can bind with the gut wall and cause disease. Initially it binds with IgA (an immune system antigen) but eventually the body is not capable of producing enough IgA to bind with the lectin and then you see symptoms. Typical allergy tests test for IgE immunoglobulins so they can’t detect food sensitivities (which are actually much more common than IgE allergies). I understand that the food he gets better on is “boiled chicken” but boiling (at least with legumes) leaches some of the lectins from the food making less for the body to have to deal with. OR possibly the boiled chicken is different than the one causing the IBD because of something the chicken ate (organic grains fed to livestock have lectins too).

    Okay, that was just one thought. The other is that the raw chicken drumstick and thigh diet is not a balanced diet. I know, I know……eye rolls and oh not one of those must be balanced nuts. 🙂 hee hee But there really is something to it. Dark meat chicken is an excellent source of linoleic acid (the omega 6 fat that is necessary for health). However when LA is over-consumed and/or not consumed in balance with omega 3 fats it can be quite inflammatory. Although a good source of LA, chicken is deficient in saturated fatty acids which the body also needs. You don’t mention organs which supply other nutrients. This may or may not be a direct cause but it certainly could be an indirect cause.

    Hope, whatever it is, you can get it figured out and get back to wonderful health.

    #82492 Report Abuse
    Nora L

    Hi Ken,
    Sorry to hear about your dog’s problems. I do think it is related to the food. The legs and thighs you’re getting are likely very high in fat. It is fat in the raw diet that causes so many problems for raw fed dogs. This also causes bile vomiting because bile is overproduced in dogs who over-consume fat. So that’s a clue that you’ve been feeding too much fat. You did the correct thing to fast your dog during the bout of diarrhea but there is no reason to feed any inappropriate foods like rice, cooked chicken or commercial dog food. A second day of fasting would allow the digestive tract to heal, and after that you need to find lower fat cuts of meat to feed, such as game hens with all visible fat removed, quail, buffalo, beef, pork and turkey. If your dog has problems eating meat that does not have bone (this causes loose stools in some dogs), supplement each of his meals with a cut that has bone, such as part of a game hen. A game hen leg (for example) along with 4-6 ounces of lean pork or beef would be a great meal for your dog. The advice you got third hand is correct, this condition does usually clear itself up when the proper changes are made to the diet.

    #86558 Report Abuse
    Rox B

    Anonymously: A semi-raw diet? No wonder you had problems. No one should be mixing Kibble and raw food together. Raw should be fed 100% of the time to prevent illness. I am not sure what “research” everyone is doing, but good research should tell you too feed PMRD 80/10/5/5. I cringe when I see people are feeding raw thighs, wings, liver, some piece of this or that. That is NOT a raw diet. That is a person feeding random raw foods without any idea to balance or nutritional needs. On top of that people mix these raw foods with kibble. It’s a disaster just waiting to happen. Meat, bone, liver, and organs should be fed in certain percentages. Advising to feed random raw foods, or feeding random raw foods is irresponsible. Learn the fundamentals to feeding raw. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LearningRawWithRoxane/

    #86567 Report Abuse

    “No wonder you had problems. No one should be mixing Kibble and raw food together”

    This is another myth that needs to be dispelled. You can feed raw with kibble. Obviously you probably don’t want to feed the organs and ground bones since the kibble provides the calcium and necessary vitamins. But you can definetly feed the raw muscle meat with kibble. I do it all the time.

    Seriously I eat raw steak tartar and sushi with cooked rice and yet you telling people that dog’s stomachs are so weak that they can’t handle this combination but humans can?

    Also the digestion studies I read about how raw digest quicker than kibble blah blah hence you should never feed together is silly science.

    #86571 Report Abuse

    You feed the amount of organs and bones that goes with the amount of raw that was fed. The kibble has calcium, vitamins, and minerals to balance the kibble portion. It shouldn’t have excess. Personally, I think the vitamins and minerals in their natural form are better utilized.

    #86573 Report Abuse
    Kalle S

    Someone please explain the scientific reasoning as to why raw shouldn’t be fed with kibble.

    #86579 Report Abuse

    I’m not sure it is a scientific reason, but some believe that raw digests faster than kibble causing raw to sit in the stomach longer possibly making it more likely for the body to pick up bacteria from the raw food.
    However, this belief is becoming less common these days. Take a look at this link: http://www.therawfeedingcommunity.com
    I feed my dogs raw tripe or commercial raw nuggets mixed in their kibble in all their afternoon meals with no issue.
    I also mix canned into all their morning meals with no problems.
    I hope this helps!

    #86580 Report Abuse
    Kalle S

    That doesn’t make sense though. If raw food digests slower, what difference does it make if you add kibble? And the bacteria would be there no matter what you ate at that time.

    #86587 Report Abuse

    No, some believe that raw digests FASTER, but when you mix it with kibble it slows down the digestion causing the bacteria from the raw to sit in the stomach longer. Like I said above, many, such as myself, think that the raw actually helps with the digestion process of the kibble and have had no issue mixing the two.

    I went to a raw feeding seminar at our feed store a while back and there was a very knowledgeable Nature’s Variety rep there expressing the same view that there is no issue mixing their raw food with kibble.

    Did you check out this article: https://therawfeedingcommunity.com/2015/01/08/digest-this-kibble-may-actually-digest-faster-than-raw/

    Again, some are very adamant about it being a bad thing to do. I guess it depends on you and your dog. Good luck!

    #86588 Report Abuse
    Nora L

    There’s not likely to be an answer that would pass your criteria (“scientific”) because these days scientists are not studying important, practical dilemmas, they are too busy developing new drugs. And back when science was an objective search for truth, there was no such thing as kibble.
    The reason why kibble should not be combined with raw food has nothing to do with bacteria, but the speed with which various foods are digested does play a part. Kibble, being a complex mixture of different types of foods, some digestible and some not, and being mis-combined in such a way as to render some of the constituents indigestible for that reason alone, digests very slowly. Anything that is manufactured with the intent that it will be sitting on a shelf for a few months is necessarily going to be difficult to digest. Raw meat has no such properties so it decomposes AND digests much quicker, particularly when consumed by an animal biologically adapted to its consumption, like a dog. I think there are grey areas in the rule that they should not be fed together, and that’s what allows some people to get away with it. I have had many occasions where the combination caused a great deal of digestive upset to the dog, and to account for the difference I think you have to look at the types of food, what may have already been in the gut, the age and condition of the dog, etc. When people are transitioning their dogs, I highly recommend a full day of fasting between the last kibble meal and the first raw meal, because this practically eliminates the possibility of digestive issues. Raw meat sitting on top of kibble will decompose if it’s not digested and the process of putrefaction produces toxic by products that the body will attempt to eject. If the encounter happens in the stomach, vomiting may be the result and if it happens further down in the intestine, it will be diarrhea. Since it’s always iffy to combine the two I have a pretty strict policy of never mixing them for the dogs that I feed. I don’t think there’s any situation where feeding kibble is necessary, because when raw feeding is done properly it is no more expensive or inconvenient than kibble, particularly when preventable vet bills are factored in. There is more info about raw feeding and various related topics on my website http://www.NoMoreVetBills.com.

    #86590 Report Abuse
    Nora L

    That’s an interesting article, thanks for posting. It does seem to dispel the notion that kibble “digests” slower. I put digest in quotes because digestion is not just the moving of food through the body, it’s the process of the body actually converting it to fuel. Obviously a lot less of what is contained in kibble is actually digested (converted to fuel), even though it goes through and comes out the other end just like all foods do. The voluminous poops that come out of kibble fed dogs are a testament to that. I’ve transitioned dozens of dogs to raw food in the last 20 years and the experiences I’ve had lead me to conclude that it’s just wise to not combine the two. Jmho.

    #86594 Report Abuse
    Kalle S

    I totally misunderstood. Thanks!

    #86612 Report Abuse

    Decomposition is a bacterial issue. The toxins that are produced are produced by bacteria.

    I’ve been combining raw and kibble for years on multiple dogs and never had an issue in any way. My dog with gut issues definitely digests kibble better along with raw. Personally, I think the admonition to not mix the two is an old wives tail based on anecdotal “evidence.” Raw fed dogs would have gigantic stools too, if people fed like amounts of grains, veggies, etc. My dogs have very small stools since they aren’t fed the foods that have tons of fiber and other filler ingredients. Well, except for my JRT, who actually gets fiber added to her food, but that’s another story.

    #86678 Report Abuse

    There is absolutely no reason to include kibble in a raw diet but there is every reason to include raw in a kibbe fed diet.

    Yes, they do digest at different rates (raw faster in my experience with foster dogs in poor health). That said, broken down food (aka chyme) doesn’t “sit” in the stomach while the remainder of the food continues to break down. It moves on while leaving undigested food to continue digesting.

    I agree with Crazy4cats, if you look at how food is actually digested, adding raw to a kibble diet is going to enhance the digestion of the kibble.

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