German Shepherd Dog > Transitioning back to kibble (31 replies)
Transitioning back to kibble
by FM58 on 12 August 2012 - 15:18
|I am starting to transition my 3.5 yr old female back to kibble (Orijen), does anybody feed kibble and let say a turkey neck or chicken back in the same feeding? I know there is alot of controversy on this but I was wondering if anybody has done this with no issues? In fact I think when I was making the transition TO raw I did this. Should I do a gradual switch back, adding a little kibble to the raw at a time for a few weeks?|
by Nans gsd on 12 August 2012 - 15:25
|NO. Feed one or ther other not both at the same time. One meal kibble, other meal raw. Why are you going back?|
by TingiesandTails on 12 August 2012 - 15:28
|Yes, there are many different opinions. Do what you feel is right for your dog. In my opinion, dogs are able to switch from one kind of food to the next without transition. This should come natural, as different food sources are available in the wild, they won't always be able to only catch one kind of animal, if they would live without a human.|
Only if your dog's immune system is compromised (e.g. genetic disease, aquired illness or right after vaccination), I would not switch food unless absolutely necessary.
My dog gets different foods frequently. I personally wouldn't want to live on on food source most of my life.
by FM58 on 12 August 2012 - 15:35
|Vet diagnosed her with Secondary hyperthyroidism, the X-rays show weak bones in the legs and a little on the spine. They suggested that I was feeding too much protein and her systems was pulling the calcium she needs from her bones. They said she needs a more balanced diet with some calcium supplements, then re X-ray in 6 weeks to see if the bones are getting more dense.|
by Jenni78 on 12 August 2012 - 16:25
|I would be EXTREMELY careful with calcium supplements; is this vet highly specialized in nutrition and German Shepherds or orthopedic/skeletal concerns in large breeds? |
What are you feeding? I mean, exactly. What made you take her to the vet? Any other health issues? If you're feeding a fairly balanced raw diet, I have major suspicions that whatever is going on with this dog is not just because of diet. The body has a great ability to rid itself of what it doesn't need in its natural form- less so with synthetic minerals.
I would look into a vitamin D deficiency, some type of malabsorption issue, hereditary thyroid issues, etc. I would hate to miss something underlying by just treating the symptoms.
by FM58 on 12 August 2012 - 16:44
|I originally took her to the vet because she was limping on her right hind leg after working her. This has been on going with the vet for about 4 weeks now. They put her on rimadyl (I know not good) and a sedative to keep her down. Then the next week started limping on left front leg. Went back to the vet and this time they sedated her and did X-rays of the ACL, hips and front leg as well as blood tests. Hips are good, checked ACL no tear or even a partial tear no movement. They said by the look of her bones on the X-rays that she has secondary hyperparathyroidism, what was explained to me as low calcium even though her blood calcium levels were okay. The vet said that she is pulling the calcium from the bones to cover, the defficiancy. I was told that her getting fed raw for almost 2 yrs. was not balanced enough of a diet. Too much protein. I feed her a beef and organ blend, beef and tripe blend, venison, wild boar and for bones chicken backs and turKey necks along with salmon oil vitamin e and some pro biotics. Talked to her breeder and no health issues with parents or litter mates. I am using a all natural calcium supplement made from ground seaweed. Was told it was specially for raw feeders. I do not want to go back to kibble but her bone density must come up or else she could get a stress fracture or worse.|
by Jenni78 on 12 August 2012 - 16:54
|How old is she? I have seen this in pano, as well. I even had a dog who was biopsied to see about an odd area of bone because it didn't look like pano and was lacking in density. It was pano! Another thing to look at if she really has a density issue is bone marrow hypoplasia- I dealt with this in an older puppy one time. Was your dog ever on Tribrissen, Bactrim, etc.? They can cause this.|
by FM58 on 12 August 2012 - 17:08
|She is 3.5 The vet did mentioned pano, and explained to me that it can also be seen in mature dogs up to 5 yrs of age. My major concern is the thinning of bones in her legs and along her spine ( according to the X-rays). She has never been on Tribrissen or Bactrim or anything like that. What is bone marrow hypoplasia? What are the symptoms causes and what is the treatment for such? They are really hammering home the whole raw diet thing with me. I am going to start feeding Orijen and see in 6 weeks if her bone density has changed. They wanted me to give her tums with calcium!! No antacids for a raw fed dog in my book.|
by Jenni78 on 12 August 2012 - 17:22
|Sorry, I did see that she's 3.5 the second time around. Bone marrow hypoplasia can be caused by several things. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/10208.htm|
Of course they're not happy about the diet. If you'd said you feed Iams during your first visit, it's likely that they would've looked for another cause;-).
Can you email me the xrays? I have an orhto specialist friend I'd like to have take a look at them if he doesn't mind. My email is in my profile.
by FM58 on 12 August 2012 - 17:38
|Thanks so much for you replies. Yes I will get the X-rays tomorrow from the vet and email them to you. I agree about the food one of the techs even asked me if I wanted to purchase a bag! Thanks again for all your help.|
by Western Rider on 12 August 2012 - 18:19
|Your first question can they eat raw and kibble at the same time. Yes |
I have been feeding raw for over 15 years and never had a problem. Never could see what was in kibble that could possibly make it harder to digest than bone and gristle.
How many Tums did your Vet want you to feed that could possible make a difference if your dog needs calcium.
If you are feeding raw are you using enough bone in the diet.
I have a 10 and 9 year old at my feet now and if you were not told their age you would never know by the sparkle and zip in them.
Raised on raw since birth and their dam. I make my own don't like pre-made.
Be interesting to see what Jenni says about the X-rays.
I would keep feeding raw but adjust what I was feeding. Are you making your own food or using a pre-made.
by Vermont Lady on 12 August 2012 - 18:23
|I am not a vet but...the form of protein in raw is very different than that in dry kibble. Dogs easily assimilate raw protein - duh - it's what they are designed to do.|
Origen has a VERY hoigh protein level...like Evo and several others. Cannot imagine your vet suggesting to buy a high protein dry vs what reads to be a well balanced raw...??? questions arise? they should IMHO.
Most vets do not have even 1 nutrition class under their belt and are subject to dog food reps. If they want you to feed a lower protein diet and dry, then read protein levels on the back of the bags.
I have a question though - why is high protein with lots of natural calcium from necks/backs leaching out the bone calcium? I am interested in understanding the relationship if someone with a canien nutrition background can answer this.
You might turn to Monica Segal too - she's got a website- superb about nutrition.
best of luck - sounds tough.
by joanro on 12 August 2012 - 18:38
|After reading through this, it sounds to me like one more vet taking a customer for a ride. Follow Jenni's advice and Western Rider. Sounds like pano. I would want another vet opinion if was my dog. Be interesting to hear what is said by Jen's vet friend.|
by Bhaugh on 12 August 2012 - 18:45
|I am not understanding the correlation between high protein and calcium loss. Is this because after the protein has been assimilated and turns to ash, it creates an acid environment and thus the body takes from the bones to correct the ph? That would be my only guess as to why. SO changing to a kibble high in protein isn't going to really work.|
Ive read alot about calbium and bone loss and that the body cannot break down MOST forms of calcuim so its pretty much excreted through the urine. What are the kidney levels? You could try using liquid calcium or some herbalists believe in taking suppliments that will tell the body to create more bone cells and allowing the body to regulate itself. I would be looking for other reasons as to why your gal's system isnt assimulating the calcium she is fed. I personally don't feel that changing to bagged food is the answer. On the contrary, I would be feeding homecook but maybe substitute the raw for a parboil veggie or fruit.
Don't forget that estrogen plays a big role in strong bones. Is your gal spayed? Do vets even offer HRT?
by Nans gsd on 12 August 2012 - 20:25
|You could ad some type of greens; romaine lettuce, (NO iceberg) any greens like kale, spinach, mustard greens, have tons of natural calcium or do a combo of greens for her, I just give whole leaves, mine love all the greens, dandalion (sorry about sp) also is really good; I too am suspicious of all this and they tried to sell you a bag of dog food.|
Take your blood/urine/bone density info and get a second opinion. I would not change a thing in her diet but add some a cup of orijen if you want. I would contact a natural nutritionist, or holistic vet with all your info. Probably the Tums is OK as well as your raw feeder calcium sea based supplement. Don't over supplement though, can cause some definite skeletal problems.
Orijen is not the be all, end all though, I read a definite out of balance report done by a breeder of hounds that was very interesting to say the least. I will try to forward you this info. Best of luck with your girl, Nan
by Jenni78 on 12 August 2012 - 21:11
|I'm curious; when you brought her in, was she diagnosed before or after finding out you fed raw?|
by FM58 on 12 August 2012 - 21:37
|Okay I have a lot of questions to answer, let see, the vet has known she was on raw since she was around 1 yr old he has been our vet since she was a pup, and I thought he was okay with the raw diet. I have just been adding since yesterday about a 1/4 cup of the Orijen 6 fish to her raw diet along with the seaweed calcium supplement. I have also cut back on the bone. I don't want to over feed since her activity level has been cut to just short walks. She is spayed (done at age 2) The vet said she should get 8 tums a day or 4 of the tums ultra. I didn't think tums were good for dogs eating RMB's? I am buying the raw from a packing house that makes the beef blend with organs and some fat added also they make wild boar and a beef and green tripe blend. I feed a chicken back and a turkey neck (not a very big neck) with every meal (twice 6am and 6:30 7 pm) Maybe too much bone? Her poop is nice and formed sometimes a little dry then I will add alittle more organ. I was told that the bone I am feeding is dead bone and she is not getting any calcium from them, which I thought was odd. I also really don't like keeping her sedated but the vet said she must stay down no running or jumping he does not want a stress fracture, he said hard to heal with her bones thin like the are.|
by Jenni78 on 12 August 2012 - 21:53
|"Dead bone?" As opposed to live Tums? |
I am really curious to see these xrays.
by swingfield on 12 August 2012 - 21:56
|At this stage .. at her age.. is it even reversible ?? I am soooo curious about the whole raw/kibble diet.. My 7 mos old import couldnt hold down Orijens,, nasty runny stools and had to grain it up a bit to get her to gain wieght and stop the diarreah !! so I am following this thread.. also.. isnt the thyriod issue a blood test?? I personally have hypo and have to get monthly TSH/TSA tests.. due to it getting over 150 and a stroke ensued.. but does that have anything to do with thinning bone?? I may be reading or understanding it wrong !! :) thanks.. sherry|
by Abby Normal on 12 August 2012 - 22:40
|I am fascinated by that term 'dead bone'. It doesn't honestly sound as if they know what they are talking about in terms of calcium/nutrition. That would be akin to saying you are feeding dead protein as opposed to live protein. Makes no sense.|
I second the other posters, get a second opinion - always get a referral to an orthopaedic specialist if you can. With what you have been feeding there should be no lack of calcium. Not saying that it couldn't be a correct diagnosis, but it would be way, way down the list of likely suspects IMO (I am not a vet either).
I cannot see a kibble and calcium supplement correcting a calcium deficiency if this is what this is. You have been feeding a diet naturally rich in calcium. There may be more to it than this. I have just had xrays of my 10 year old for her hips which are not good (which I knew) and did spinal xray at the same time. She has been raw fed all her life, and the vet commented what a beautiful spine she has (shame about the hips!) My point is, that if raw feeding generally caused calcium deficiency we would have a hell of a lot of dogs with this problem by now and we haven't. So look deeper, if this is the problem look closer for the cause and don't just settle for raw feeding being the answer.
Good luck with your girl, and I hope you find the solution.