Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ding-ding! We have a winner!

I am beyond happy to say that we have found a diet that Kane doesn't just tolerate but is really thriving on.

A few weeks ago, I shared a summary of the problems we've had with Kane and his tendency to have really unhealthy bowel movements.

At that time, we were feeding him a combination of pumpkin, sweet potato, and hard-boiled eggs. Although his poop improved on that diet, he had lost weight. His energy level also seemed to be flagging, though we thought that might be a function of his maturing. But sometimes he would bring us a toy to play fetch and then, when we tossed it, would change his mind and just stand there like he didn't have the energy to go chase it.

Isn't that sad?

Some of our friends in the dog community responded to that post and, together, we did some trouble-shooting.

One woman, with more than a decade of experience with dogs with a variety of tummy problems suspected that Kane might have either Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD; much like Crohn's) or Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI). This woman recommended sticking with the pumpkin+ diet until we had a diagnosis. Unfortunately, testing for either of these is expensive.

Meanwhile, Kane's bowel trouble seemed to have cleared up again, and we had increased the calories and protein in his home-made meal and added a daily multi-vitamin tablet and digestive probiotics. But we still wanted something more sustainable -- pumpkins are a lot of work to prepare and were no longer available in produce departments, and canned pumpkin is bizarrely expensive (two cans per day = $250/month).

Monika trimming Kane's nails at a
Street Wise Canine doggy playgroup.
Then Monika, one of our friends at Friendly Giants Dog Rescue (which is who we adopted Kane from), came to our house, gave us a "starter pack" of about 10 pounds of raw meat and a four-page handwritten get-started guide to feeding a raw-food diet, and walked us through it. She let us know of affordable sources for raw meat.

We started the next day with 1/4 pound of raw meat at breakfast, along with his usual portion of home-made food, then very gradually increased it to the point that he gets about 3/4 pound of raw meat with each meal (morning and evening) along with lots of sweet potato, pumpkin, egg, and fish.

For the first few days, we saw a little bit of loose stool, but no blood. More importantly, we saw that the amount of pudding was decreasing, not increasing. Now, it is firm but not constipated, and almost odorless. I haven't weighed him yet, but I can feel that he's gained weight, and even his fur feels softer and less greasy than it did before.

And even more significant than his poop was the fact that our little boy got his mojo back! He was playful again.

It is still possible, of course, that Kane has IBD or EPI. We will continue seeing our vet at appropriate times and will monitor his weight and energy. If we do decide to do further testing, we've been given the name of a vet in upstate New York, where veterinary charges are lower than in Canada.

For now, we will work up to almost a pound of raw meat at each meal, which is 3% of his goal weight, given that he's an energetic dog. (More sedentary dogs only eat 2%.) We're also adding vegetables, fish, boiled egg, and turmeric (for his immune system) and will start adding coconut oil.

For those who are interested, here are some of the "raw food" links that Monika gave us:
It's a slow process, but I'm optimistic that we're on the right path with Kane. At last.


  1. Great news that Kane is back to his happy self.

    1. Thanks. We're still watching closely, but I'm really happy with how he's doing.

  2. Is freezer burnt meat still good enough for dogs? Someone on a local Kijiji site asks people for uncooked, still frozen meat that they are going to throw out. She seems to think it is still good for her dog. I don't know.

    1. According to this site, freezer burn is esthetic but is still edible.

  3. I am so glad he's doing better. I've heard a lot of people rave about the raw diet. I'm glad it's working!

    1. So am I! Our vet has been rather alarmist about the food-safety issues, but we're being very careful, and Kane has responded really well.


What did you think? Any comments?

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...