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BARF - Carol?

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  • BARF - Carol?

    I began feeding my dogs on the BARF (bones & raw food) program over a month ago. Just wanted to report that there have been some amazing changes since then. Annabelle, our mantle b**tch,has always been underweight(ribs/hip bones showing) and now is finally gaining. This comes after using several different premium foods, holistic methods and nothing working in the past. Ivory, our white, up until now, has had TERRIBLE skin allergies to the point of taking antibiotics about every 3 months. Now, her skin is clear, her coat has come back in and she looks great. My chihuahua, who's 8 yrs old and overweight now has more energy and is beginning to loose the ounces. I was nervous about feeding raw food at first but now I am a believer. The positive changes the BARF feeding has made are great and this is only the beginning. No more picky eaters at our house -- they can't wait to eat their food now, even ground veggies/canned fish/cottage cheese...

  • #2
    RE: BARF - Carol?

    Carol,

    I've become really interested in the BARF diet, too. I don't think it would be wise to change Grendel's diet at his age (9 years) and condition, but I think it will be my choice for my future dogs.

    Just a couple of questions. Have your dogs had any digestive problems on the BARF diet?

    I signed up on the Barfdanes discussion board and have been amazed reading about what is fed to dogs on this diet. Raw whole fish? I can't help but think that must give their digestive track a real work out.

    Anyway, good luck and keep us posted. I'd really like to hear how things are going.

    Mary

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    • #3
      RE: BARF & disease control thru diet

      when a dog has health problems, it's of course important to find the best regime to give them the best health that can be. but breeders must remember that a diabetic is still going to pass on their risk diabetes to their children, even if they can control the disease with diet---and from allergies to enzymatic dysfunction---animals with such inherited diseases need to be identified, and the risk associated with breeding them considered. even if altering diet, etc. can be a way of humanely offering them individually better quality of life, this doesn't mean you'd necessarily want to rear another generation needing the same specialized care. control (of a disease) should never be confused with cure (of a diease).

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      • #4
        RE: BARF - Carol?

        Yea, I know. I come home from the grocery store with more stuff for BARF than I do for us. I just bought a 2 yr. old harl male that has been kibble fed since birth. I'm switching him over slowly. He loves it. I expect to see some great improvement in his condition from my large runs and raw food. I love to condition dogs. I have a loose screw. <G>

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        • #5
          RE: BARF & disease control thru diet

          [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Oct-04-00 AT 06:05PM (PST)[/font][p]To JPY:

          Yeah, I realize that the diet may not be the cure all. I don't want the "newbies" <G> to get the wrong impression. Both danes have been to the vet, actually, more than one for their problems. Guess I should have listed this fact in my first post as not to mislead anyone.

          Due to the weight problem Annabelle has and the fact she's come into heat 3 times this year, she's been evaluated by a reproductive specialist, Beverly Brimacomb. We're doing another set of tests next week. She did a culture/sensativity test and a urine test - no infection there. Did another estrogen/progesterone test - levels were normal. She wants to rule out cystic ovaries and hopefully we'll find out next week as it will be 12 days into her 3rd heat and the vet wants to see if she ovulates. She's also going to test kidney/liver/thyroid function. Will keep you posted.

          As far as Ivory is concerned, she has been skin tested for mites, mange and bacterial infections. The only thing 2 vets could come up with here are food allergies to which they prescribe antibiotics to clear up the skin and cortizone shots (which I don't want to do). At this point, I don't see any reason to skin test for possible allergies (it's $200 here and there's no guarantee they can figure out what she's allergic to). The reactions she's had before have not returned since we've been feeding BARF. Even though I fed Nutro chicken then lamb/rice, Diamond lamb/rice, Back to Basics pork and even California Naturals lamb/rice formulas in the past, Ivory was still breaking out. Must be something in the commercial foods, even though these are good foods.

          As always, thanks for your input & I'm sending you a "BIG leg up" for next week!!! Go Chroma Crew!!!!

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          • #6
            RE: BARF - Carol?

            I switched my oldest dane over at 8 yrs of age. She is now 10 and has never had any problems. She was very arthritic at 8 then after BARF it completely went away. Now at 10 she is stiff in the mornings but she walks it off after she starts moving around. I have never had any digestive problems with the diet. I give my two oldest ones ( 8 and 10) yogurt in the morning and digestive enzymes at the evening meal but the rest get nothing.

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            • #7
              RE: Allergies

              Lace--thank you for this honest & educational letter. I am sure this is the sort of post & thread that truly helps newcomers understand just how complicated making breeding decisions can be, let alone figuring out medical situations! We'll all be glad to hear of the final results on the mantle girl with the too-rapid heat cycles.
              Just one comment about ATOPY=ALLERGIES, SKIN PROBLEMS & YOUR WHITE (MM) GIRL. Whites are well documented to have a high incident of skin problems that may be directly related to their lack of pigment itself. Pigment is a structural molecule, not just 'decorative' & without a certain level of it, many white merle-carrying dogs just seem much more prone to skin problems--and it appears mayb are immune related. Also ATOPY=Allergies. Food allergies are called the "most overdiagnosed" & "misdiagnosed" problem in dogs. The data actually indicates that most allergic dogs have a vast spectrum of INHALANT allergies which show up as skin problems. Only the RAST type tests (those expensive allery tests) can tell you just what & how many things a dog is allergic too. But of course that won't help you avoid ragweed or dust mites, so may not be worth the cost. Most dogs who *are* food allergic are allergic to many, many other things. When you can remove the food-related compounds, you may bring the dog "sub-threshhold." This is the strategy for allergy control. Keep the exposure to a minimum so that the dog has less (or no) symptoms. Which is what it sounds like is working for you right now. However the problem isn't in the commercial foods; it is in the dog's inherited immune system. The dog makes the wrong kind of antibodies and makes antibodies to non-offensive substances like corn or beef. These antibodies cause the syptoms of allergies. Unfortunately as a dog matures & seasons past, it gets harder & harder to keep a dog subclinical (i.e. symptomless), especially during high-allergy seasons. But usually a combination of careful exposure (i.e. special diet and various environmental controls), combined with some immune-suppressing drugs (i.e. antihistamines & steriods) can keep a pet generally happy. Unfortunately with a white (MM) dog, it's really hard to say if the skin problems are directly related to the (lack of) color, or are a familial inheritance of Atopy (allergies). RAST testing, etc. *is* necessary to determine that, & still may not be conclusive. This is just another problem related to the breeding of whites. Are their problems *their* problems (eyes, ears & skin) or are they actually family problems? Hard to say, but a concerned breeder must find a path between throwing the baby out with the bathwater & turning a blind eye to a developing familial problem. "Breeding isn't for babies" as they say. Full of tough decisions with potentially terrible consequences! tks4the sendoff. gone to the dog(show)s. jp&the chroma crew

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