Remember Eli, Parker and Whisper? When their mum sent their photos in for the 1,000 raw fed dogs gallery she explained how Eli suffered from a number of allergies and how he was the reason that she made the switch to raw.
So I was delighted when their mum agreed to write a guest blog about her experiences.
Just before we move on to Eli’s story I’d like to remind everyone again that I am always looking for stories of poorly dogs that have been helped by raw feeding so that I can share them with other people who have dogs that are also suffering. If you have a story to share e-mail me at email@example.com, you don’t need to have the whole story written in order to get in touch just let me know what you’d like to write about.
Our story began almost three years ago, December of 2009 to be exact. That is when Eli came to be part of our existing family of two dachshunds, mom and son, Whisper and Parker. Eli is a long hair chocolate and cream beauty and he has several environmental and food allergies: grains, chicken, eggs, beets, grass, pollen, flea bites, scented laundry detergent (really anything that makes your clothes and home smell good). We are discovering new allergies on a regular basis. But, I jump ahead of myself.
Eli is three years old. Up until he was a year old, he was on Wellness Puppy and doing great. His skin issues began after he turned a year old. He started scratching all the time, and his coat became dull. He and the other two doxies were on Wellness Super5 Mix. After doing some research and discovering that it is not uncommon for dogs to be allergic to grains, I switched all of them to Wellness Core Ocean Formula, no grains at all.
Within three days I saw a drastic difference in Eli’s coat. He was becoming shiny again and the scratching decreased dramatically. Even the other two, who had no issues with the grain and already had shiny, soft coats, became shinier and softer. Amazing.
Eli did well on this food for a few months. Then the scratching began again, and this time he was keeping me up most of the night telling him to stop scratching, so back to the computer I went. I found the forum on Victoria Stilwell’s web site, and it was full of information. What I noticed was that several folks there fed raw to their dogs with great success. Nope, I thought. I am NOT going there. So my searching continued. I went to numerous specialty pet stores, talked to whoever I could find that seemed knowledgeable about allergies in dogs. I tried several different top quality grain free foods with the same results. Itching, scratching and dull coat, and of course, little sleep for me.
And then one day in March of this year, I walked in to yet another pet store and talked to the owner about Eli’s allergies. She began telling me about how she switched her dog to raw. She uses the Instinct raw feeding line, which is the meat, bones, fruits and veggies ground up and made into patties. After a couple of weeks and more reading on forums, I decided to give Instinct a try … Eli did not like it.
I thought great, now what do I do? I was still holding off on going raw. I just couldn’t get over watching my dogs eat raw meat. I know, I know, my hang up, not theirs. So after no success with any of the high quality dog foods, I decided to take the plunge. This was the middle of May, 2012. I began feeding raw for dinner. I started with chicken wings.
My research had shown that if a dog is allergic to chicken in kibble and treats, there would be a good chance that he wouldn’t be allergic to raw chicken. I admit I was nervous. Ok, Ok, I was really nervous. I spread towels down on the floor and sat down with them to make sure they didn’t get choked. I had no need to worry, they loved it and except for Whisper swallowing the chicken wing whole, without chewing it, which gave me a heart attack, all went well. Whisper has since learned that she needs to CHEW the chicken, not SWALLOW the wing whole.
After a week Eli’s scratching hadn’t gotten any better, in fact it had gotten worse and his hair started coming out in bunches. He had little black scabbies all over his belly, between his back legs and the backs of his hind legs and his bum. His coat also started thinning. So I figured that he was allergic to chicken whether it was cooked or not. I then went to turkey. Beginning in June, I started feeding all raw, breakfast and dinner. He still continued to lose hair and started flaking even more. I was told this could possibly be his body detoxing and getting rid of all the yucky stuff. Gradually his itching subsided, the black scabbies started to go away, his coat was becoming shiny and fuller, and it started growing longer again.
It’s now been four, going on five months on raw. To be honest, during the first, second and even third month, I really went back and forth about staying on raw. I guess old habits die hard. But, then common sense would win over. All three of my dachshunds are doing great. They have always been excited at dinner time, but now they are like children on Christmas morning. They just can’t wait to see what “present” they are getting.
Through trial and error, I have discovered that Eli is allergic to eggs and beets as well. He also does not like liver. The other two love it. I’ve tried hiding it in yummy yogurt with lima beans. This was actually last week. I decided to try liver again just to see if he changed his mind. He hadn’t. He ate all of the yogurt and lima beans but left the liver. I can’t say as I blame him. I don’t like it either.
So I guess I can finish up by saying we pretty much have got his food allergies nipped in the bud. We are still battling the non-food allergies. It’s the change of season, which means another allergy season. Eli started his reaction to it on cue.
Some of the other benefits of feeding raw are: whiter teeth, no doggie breath or doggie odor, their poohs are a lot smaller and less stinky. Eli has always been interested in eating Parker and Whisper’s pooh, (yuck!) but since the switch, he isn’t interested in it one bit. He will sniff and then walk away. That’s amazing to me. I’ve tried the pills and pineapple to make the “pooh taste bad”. It would work for a little bit, but then he would go back to trying to eat it if I did’t get it picked up fast enough. The second benefit is with Parker. For the last four years, I have had to give him an antacid before bed time. His empty tummy couldn’t handle the acid and he would always throw up. Since the switch, he doesn’t have to take them anymore. It amazes me the many benefits of feeding this way. My eyes are being opened every day to the many negatives of commercial dog food and I’m so glad I made the swtich. Now I don’t have to worry about all of these pet food/treat recalls. A big relief!
So if you are wondering if raw is for you and your dog, do your research. Ask questions. And then go for it. I can’t see us ever going back to kibble and canned food. Not when I have seen what it has done for Eli.”