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Raw Diet? Yes? No?

5016 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ReturntoCamelot
Let start with the Background info.
My puppy is 7 months old.
he is diagnosed with Localized Demodectic Mange (I post a thread about it in this forum).

The vet recommended a very aggressive treatment of dipping him in minimum of 6 pesticide baths (mitaban). I am somewhat alarmed with all this just for a localized case. Mind you, he only have one bald spot near his front leg and a thinning patch on his chest. BTW, he also has dandruff.

So, I went to another vet for second opinion. The 2nd vet pretty much recommended me to just wait it out and let my puppy immune system takes care of the mange by itself, since demodex mite is common in all dogs. and about 80% dogs with localized case pretty much healed by itself. He told me if another patch shows up, then he will prescribe ivermectin treatment.

With a recommendation of a friend and one hollistic vet, we decided to change his diet (Nutro puppy kibble) to Taste of the Wild salmon formula because they do not use yeast and grain. The hollistic vet say that demodex mite feast on yeast. So, removing yeast completely from the diet can be helpful.
The hollistic vet also recommend introducing 25 % Raw Diet mixed to his Salmon kibble.

A month has passed and the patches start to disappear. to be quite honest, he is now a bit naughty and more energetic. and doesn't fart too often since I change his diet. his stool is usually yellow and runny when he is fed with Nutro. But, now takes on a firmer texture although the color is quite dark brown -> I am assuming this is due to the TOW salmon kibble. The kibble pretty much colored dark brown. While Nutro is light brown.

His skin looked generally healthier and he no longer has dandruff.
I am planning to increase the raw portion and decrease his kibbles.

But, before doing that, is there any of you can shed a bit light about raw diet? Pros? Cons? testimonies? anything will be helpful

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Not a lot of experience here, due to time and budgetary constraints, but whenever I've had a hound on a homemade diet, rae or not, they've always done very well - enough so that I would feed the all homemade if I could.
The hollistic vet say that demodex mite feast on yeast. So, removing yeast completely from the diet can be helpful.
The hollistic vet also recommend introducing 25 % Raw Diet mixed to his Salmon kibble.
The problem I have with many hollistic vet is they simply make stuff, that is contrary to the scientific evidence. There is no evidence that eating yeast contributes to Yeast on the skin. 1. Actual they are general very diffrent species. 2. Yeast on the skin feed on oil, not yeast, sugar etc as suggest by homeopathic vets Malassezia
As the fungus requires fat to grow, it is most common in areas with many sebaceous glands: on the scalp,[12] face, and upper part of the body. When the fungus grows too rapidly, the natural renewal of cells is disturbed and dandruff appears with itching (a similar process may also occur with other fungi or bacteria).
Why not feed a lower fat diet? That makes about as much sense, Yeast proliferation is often a immune system problem in dog just as demodic mange is. Both organisms are naturally occuring on all dogs but are general controlled by the immune system.

Now onto the blantenly false part of the statement
What is the Demodex Mite?
These mites are also often found on dogs, in which case the species is usually D. canis. Demodex mites are classified as parasites, unable to survive away from their hosts, and they can jump to new hosts through physical contact with infested areas. They feed on skin cells and oils found near the skin, anchoring themselves in place.
Along with other organisms which call your skin home, demodex mites can actually be beneficial. They help to process waste materials from your body, keeping things more tidy and sometimes reducing the risk of infections and other health problems as a result of accumulated waste.
Mites might cause mighty problems - Skin Disorders [/url\
His skin looked generally healthier and he no longer has dandruff.
This could be entire due to controliling the mites and nothing to do with the new food
from link above
When something causes the mites to reproduce at a higher rate, they can break out of the hair follicle and may cause acne, hair loss, and [various] skin conditions. In some cases, the interaction with mites causes skin to actually slough off."
I know a number of people that once touted barf diet as the be all end all for their dog, once their dog got older >7 that problems becan to show up with the extra bacterial load in a raw diet. Increased infection around the mouth, increase gastric distress ie diarrhea. I have a hard time understanding how a diet with a higher bacteria load is going to help a compromised immune system as those that advocate it insist.

The fact is there is scan evidence in regards to the healthyness of a raw diet. The few studies that are cited by raw advocates are serrious flawed to the point of being useless. There are a number of human studies that point to some harm caused by the diet, and still other that find both harm and heathy aspects to the diet.

However where it comes to dog their is one are that ther is little dispute. Contrary to prononcement made by ray advocates. raw bones have and do cause death and lacerated guts in dogs every year. So it is a real threat.

The only clear documnetable advantage to a Barf style diet is dental hygene. in that teeth remain cleaner without brush. This may not be insignifcant because many other long therm heath problems have been traced to peridontial disease. But there are methods like brush that can control the problem with much less risk.

[url=]Raw Meat: A Dangerous Fad

For me ther is not enough evidence of benefit to overcome the known risk but other will certainly disagree What is most imporant when it comes to any discussion of diet is how your dog does on it. Not all dogs react the same to the same diet.
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A note about grains/fillers in dog food especially kibble. All kibble requires a starch in the manufacture process in order to hold its shape. Currently the limit is 19% by weight. and is a patented process by Science diet to get that low. In dog foods without grain simply use another starch source like potatos or tapioca. There is nothing inherently more nutritious or better about non grain starch source, on the contrary they are less nutritious.

Grain are often site as filler in dogs food and as such bad, the same then should be said of potato and tapioca. There is some kernal in the truth that any carbohydrated source is a filler in dog food. Notice that on the nutritional information there is no line for carbohydrates on dog food like there is on human labled food. That is because carb are not recognised as required by the dog. If fact dogs in general use fat much more efficiently as a energy source than carbohydrates.

So if you want to limit carbs in the dog diet, still feed kibble how do you do it. Since carbs are not listed one must determing the carb content by other means. Seeing the other caloric sources are available we can make some inference and come up with a compareable carbohdrate percent in dog food. Inorder to compare apple to apple because of varring moisture content when comparing dry food to canned it must be in a dry matter basis, which does make calulation more difficult but given that the mositure content of kibble ranges between 6-10% we can generally ignore moiture conten when comparing kibble. Simply at the percentage of protein, fat, moisture, and fiber and subtract for 100 is is the` carb content. Keep in mind this is on a weight basis and not a caloric content basis but for a matter of comparision that is immaterial. Armed with this data you can now searh out lower carb dog food if that is your goal. Not that high protein high fat diets will be lower in carb. It is not a matter if the food contains grains or not. Ther are very high Carb diets that are non-grain as well as food that contain grains the are relatively low in carbs.

For a more percise methodology see Calculating the Carbohydrates In Kibble
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If I may ask, Mikey T, what do you feed your dogs? I still have 12 days before we can pick our little basset bundle from the breeder, but we have been puppy-proofing the house and picking up toys for him.
There is nothing inherent in what I feed that would more or less benefitial to your dogs. What works for one dog does not necessarily work for another. Given the genetics and contact a breeder would be a better source for information on what your pup is more likely to trive on.

That said For puppies I would feed a large breed puppy food. It is reduced in calories from regular puppy chow but more energy dense than adult food. Which supports a more modest growth rate which is important to prebent orthopeadic problems. Another source of ortho problems addressed by large breed puppy is lower calcium and phosphorus level which has been denmonstrated the too much is very detrimental. never suppliment with calcium/vitamin d of products that contain them i.e. dairy/milk

see The Growth of Giant and Large Breed Puppies

When it comes to adult dogs I do not feed a specific brand. IMHO there is not enough known about canine nutrition to support the notion that any dog food is complete and balance. I feed a variety of foods that meet my basic criteria, which is going to be much different than most owner because of the perfomance aspect of mine. I want high protein >30% and high fat >20% diet based on dry weight, not caloric content. It has been demonstrated high protein diets help protect and heal dogs involved in vigorious exercise from soft tissue injuries, ie pulls, strains and tears. Dogs are much more efficient a matabilizing fat for energy than carbohydrates. Fats are a better fuel for exercise in dogs. There are risk in feeding such a diet to more sedentary dogs, obeseity, high protein in an amiditlyt small study was linked to teritorial aggresion. There is in a single ideal dog food. It is a matter of trial and error until you find something that works.
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I feed raw and my bassets do GREAT on it. They are not overweight and they should never have problems with things such as bloat. My english mastiff also does great on it as well. For me-- the best benefit is less poop!! It is amazing. :)
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