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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #1
Yep! I forced my brother to try raw for his incredibly itchy dog. Poor Blue has been losing hair, scratching and licking pretty much non-stop since the summer. Multiple vet visits, a change in food, changed laundry detergents, stopped using bounce sheets...and the poor dog was still licking/scratching himself to bits when he wasn't on his benedryl or steroids.

My brother was reluctant to try it for all the common misconceptions about raw. Too much money, not enough room in the freezer, germs!, too much work, too much responsibility...everything. So I took it out of his hands. I went out and bought 3 weeks worth of food, weighed/bagged/labelled it all and then dropped off the first week's batch of food Monday night.

Week 1 is all chicken quarters with turkey necks being introduced on the weekend.
Week 2 is a mixture of chicken proteins (hearts and gizzards) with some turkey proteins (neck and gizzards) but every new item is sandwhiched between chicken quarters.
Week 3 is chicken proteins, turkey proteins, and adding little bits of chicken livers to some meals. (If all goes well).

So, he's Day 4 of just chicken quarters and here are the results:
- Poop is firm. No runs, no diarrhea at all. A few soft poops the first day and little gas let out(!), but nothing bad.
- Less licking of the paws/legs. He had licked his chest until the skin was raw and oozy but that's now healed.
- He LOVES his new raw diet!! He's eating slower, licking and chewing each piece of meat very carefully and then licks the snow afterwards where the chicken was.

As for the misconceptions about raw, my brother is beginning to realize that:
- It doesn't take a lot of room. He was actually able to hold 2 weeks worth of food (probably could have held more) in his fridge/freezer.
- Money. He asked me how much it cost me and I said, $100...BUT that's enough food for TWO BIG dogs for a month.
- Germs...he's still leery about this, but is happy that Blue is a clean eater and not getting his paws, legs, muzzles covered in raw meat. Plus I bought him a jug of white vinegar for cleaning.
- Problems with digestive tract? Blue's poop has been pretty firm and my bro was blown away by how small his poops were...1/8 the normal size!

All in all...it's going great! We've got our fingers crossed this will help with Blue's itching and scratching pretty quickly!
 
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Dr. Rainheart
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Hope all continues to go well for Blue!
 

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Awesome!! Hope he thrives on his new diet and it helps his itchies!! That was really nice of you to go through all that effort to help him get started :)
 

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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys! I was just so desperate to break this vicious cycle of scratching, steroids, then scratching. Poor guy.

I just got another update and everything continues to go well for Blue! More solid poop and they think less itchiness already since for the first time in a long time, he didn't wake my bro or his gf up at night with licking or scratching!
 

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Thanks guys! I was just so desperate to break this vicious cycle of scratching, steroids, then scratching. Poor guy.

I just got another update and everything continues to go well for Blue! More solid poop and they think less itchiness already since for the first time in a long time, he didn't wake my bro or his gf up at night with licking or scratching!

Sounds very similar to my experience switching Sam to raw. I know it can take some time to notice changes after a diet switch but I noticed improvements almost immediately with him that just kept growing as time went on. Good luck!!!
 

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Pippa and Watson’s mom
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Ranger, if you ever decide to start a new career, I think you could do nicely with exactly this service. I bet there are a lot of people like your brother (and me!) who are just totally daunted by getting started with a raw diet and are spread a little too thin to do the work of figuring it out. Just think how many dogs’ lives you could improve if you partnered with a couple of wholesalers and a shipping company...:D
 
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Wonderful! I am a huge advocate for raw feeding. You did a great thing for both your brother and his dog. So many dogs suffer when they just need a decent diet- that does not consist of dry nuggets.
 

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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #9
Another update: Blue continues to do well! He's eating his first turkey necks this morning and his scratching is still decreasing. I am so glad I was bossy and made my brother do this. My bro is also getting a kick out of how much Blue loves his raw food. Blue's always been a food hound but is twice as excited about his raw meals!

Sosoprano - it's funny you mention that since that would practically be my dream job! I'd love to do something like that, at least as part-time. Maybe a way to make a few extra bucks while I go to school!
 
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Pippa and Watson’s mom
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Sosoprano - it's funny you mention that since that would practically be my dream job! I'd love to do something like that, at least as part-time. Maybe a way to make a few extra bucks while I go to school!
I think it could be done, I really do. And you know what they say about the best jobs: Find something you love to do and figure out a way to get people to pay you for doing it :D Go for it!
 

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Loving Flyball
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That is awesome, glad it is going well for him!! It was very nice of you to do that for him!! Wait until he see's the difference in Blue's teeth, and gums! Raw feeding really is pretty simple, that is what is so great about raw, it is just so much easier than people think! It only has to be complex if you choose it to be so!

This past week I bought 5 whole chickens for only $2 each!! 4 of which were already cut up! I don't have recorces for buying necks and stuff locally, so I just shop the sales, and reduced bins the same as I buy for my family! I do feed kibble, as I get Fromm straight from a distributor, but my dogs do also eat raw, and I make all my own treats:)

Glad to hear you converted him!!
 

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Good to hear all is going well and maybe Blue can stop scratching - poor guy. Hope this all works out for him, long run. Must be very satisfying to know the healing process has begun!! Congrats to you for being persistent and your brother for taking the plunge!
 

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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #13
So Blue came over for a sleep over last night and he's doing sooo good! Before, he'd constantly stop when walking and scratch his belly with his back leg. If you tried to scratch his chest, his back leg would start up. If you scratched his neck, he'd almost fall over leaning into the scratch. He'd be licking his paws or his legs or chest whenever he thought someone wasn't watching him...

Last night, he barely scratched at all! And when he did it seemed like 'normal itches'. One time he quickly turned and chewed a little on his haunch then stopped. He rubbed his face after eating, but then stopped on his own. I was gently scratching his chest and there was no back leg motion and not once did he stop walking and try to scratch his belly! The skin is way less red on his missing fur patches, too!

So he is doing well! Best of all, he seems to be holding his weight steady after 5 whole days (11 meals) of around 1.5 - 2 lbs of raw, so he won't be insane to feed. He has such a high metabolism that he usually gets 3 cups of high calorie food. I'm so happy it's a normal amount of food so it won't be too expensive to keep feeding him raw. He also had new protein yesterday (turkey necks) and did great on it! Poop still firm!

Whew. What a relief. Especially for him! It must be so nice not to be soooo itchy anymore, poor guy!
 
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Knife Swallower
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Discussion Starter #14
Another update:

Blue has made the full transition to a raw diet! He's been introduced to pork, beef, elk, turkey, chicken, duck, and lamb. He's eaten all sorts of nasty items in all these different proteins, such as tongues, livers, spleens, kidneys, hearts, gizzards, shoulder, rump...anything we could throw at him. He only soft poops once when I had to give him a bag of Ranger's food, which was a mix of livers, chicken feet, and hearts. It was a wee bit too rich for him to have 3 meals in a row like that but even so, it was only soft for one poop and then he was good.

We started him on an anti-microbial spray and salve regime, as well. Even though the food helped immensely, his skin was still so red and inflamed that he'd scratch it and then cry. :( BUT, two weeks of getting sprayed and salved twice a day has healed his skin! It's no longer hot, no longer red, and it's healing up nicely. The not-as-bad-parts like his front legs have now grown hair all back in. The really bad parts, like his groin area and flanks are still flaky, but not red and not hot. So he's getting there!

The best part is he LOVES his raw diet! He's always been a food hound but he goes insane in anticipation for his meals now. Spinning and dancing and growling in excitement! Now both dogs know the noise of a plastic bag crinkling and the freezer door opening means food!
 
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I love how a raw diet can turn around a dog. I wish I could still feed mine raw. I really miss it. Not sure why but after eating raw for a year he started back up with the itchies, then he got the runs even with a lot of bone added. So I gave up

It was instant with mine. When I first put him on raw, two days later he stopped scratching!
 

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Not to mention dogs on raw diets have very healthy and shiny looking coats (at least mine does) without needing supplements.
 

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Under Napoleon's Rule
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What a great thing you did for your brothers dog...he must be so much more happier not scratching all day ..I tell everyone about raw feeding (that will listen, that is) lol
 
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