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Thread: Raw Feeding Large Breed Puppies - Bones, Calcium Levels - Please Advise!

  1. #1

    Default Raw Feeding Large Breed Puppies - Bones, Calcium Levels - Please Advise!

    Hi

    We have a pup with one lame back leg and need some advice from you: What does the raw feeding approach recommend about avoiding skeletal problems in large breed puppies?

    She might just have sprained her leg in a regular fasion, but because it did not get better by itself over several days the vet is understandably concerned about damage to growth plates, inflamation, etc. He has put her on a few days of low dose Rimadyl (NSAID) and recommended changing to Hill's Science Diet, Eukanubra, etc. Hill's is a truly awful formula that I would never give to a dog; Euk I know less about but it contains below the minimum safe level level of Calcium for dogs, which would be going in the opposite direction risk-wise. (This vet, nice as he seems, has two dogs with severe atopic dermatitis, a condition that he firmly believes to be "incurable", so...)

    I know why he advises the change - to ensure correct Calcium balance, so we could use a much higher quality kibble for this, such as grain-free Canidae, which we may do, or at least go back to 50:50 ... but I would like to know what large-breed raw feeding owners do to ensure safe and healthy bone growth in pups???

    FYI, our pup is female, intact (for now), 4 months old and 14.2kg. She has a lovely strong and balanced frame, not too fat/thin. She is a Golden Retriever X Standard Poodle, with the GR genes quite dominant.

    We started her out on 50% raw and 50% kibble. Five weeks ago we converted her to 95% raw. Currently we feed...
    • Beef mince / Chicken mince (quite fatty) - 2 cups, every day
    • Chicken necks / Lamb necks / Roo tails - most days
    • Sardines - 2 x week, snack quantity
    • Whole egg - 3 x week, usually without shell
    • 'Vets all Natural' dry mix 'Puppy' - 1.5 spoons, most days
    • Raw vegetables and/or berries - 1 spoon, most days
    • Supplement containing Vitamin C, Brewers Yeast, various green foods, Milk Thistle and a smidge of Magnesium - most days

    In the wild dogs must get huge levels of Calcium, no? All those bones. It would be way higher than the 2.5% considered the upper safe limit when feeding dry foods. The above raw diet actually has much less ingested bone/calcium than I would expect her to eat if, say, she caught a whole chicken, so I am quite confused about this whole area.

    My first instinct to improve the balance of this diet would be to give her more soft ingestible bones like chicken, not less!! Please advise!

    Last edited by Finley; 02-19-2011 at 01:02 PM.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
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    I have giants and this is what I follow.... http://www.watercubs.com/en_articles...eding_barf.htm I really have become a poop watcher, now my dogs almost have daily bones. i do not concern myself at all about that. my breeder told me to not give extra calcium anymore, as we used to do in the past an she gave me the reasons. I am just having trouble finding those, will add as I find
    The girl who has this site is the Bettina who had her dog Vera jumping out of the helicopter in Extraordinary dog #1. I think even if you e-mailed her, as I have in the past, she would help.

    I will try to help with further info.

    I have had Katy go lame once. I think from being a looney in the garden. It is not always due to diet. How often do we people go lame. be it ankle, knee or hip. We do not instantly go looking at our diet. Injuries are still likely to happen. Rest is often a good start.
    I do not trust most vets in the diet rap, because they sell certain dog food, which i know are crap.......(my opinion)

    PS you should check the whole health section on this watercubs site, very informed


    Just added
    Giant breed dogs, such as the Newfoundland, require much less calcium in puppyhood than smaller breeds. While the Association Of American Feed Control Officials recommends 1 to 2.5 percent calcium in dog foods, giant breeds should have closer to 0.7 percent. According to Newman Veterinary Medical Services, too much calcium can cause serious skeletal problems, including hip dysplasia; osteochrondrosis, or interrupted skeletal blood supply; and hypertrophic osteodystrophy, or skeletal scurvy.
    Last edited by newfsie; 02-19-2011 at 10:45 AM.
    Pets are forever

  3. #3

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    I have giants also & feed mostly raw but they do have access to dry bits.
    The only thing I would add to your dogs diet is chicken carcess & more soft type bone like you where saying. I also add chia seed, saltbush reg.
    Something my dogs do get sometime that they probley shouldn't is the milking cow bucket leftovers.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  4. #4
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    Southern NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazydog View Post
    I have giants also & feed mostly raw but they do have access to dry bits.
    The only thing I would add to your dogs diet is chicken carcess & more soft type bone like you where saying. I also add chia seed, saltbush reg.
    Something my dogs do get sometime that they probley shouldn't is the milking cow bucket leftovers.
    A lot of mastiffs in the regions they come from get fed mostly milks from whatever beast's they have, be it Yak, horse or goat. So don't feel guilty
    Pets are forever

  5. #5

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    I agree with suggestions of adding chicken carcasses. Woolies often stock them in the chicken fridge section as "chicken frames".

    Also, be cautious with the use of NSAIDs - they are sometimes necessary, but they can have other unwanted effects on digestion anyway.

    I have a mastiff x ridgeback and a growing standard poodle - they are fed raw meat (chicken, lamb, roo - not beef as a couple of mine react), raw meaty bones and premiuim kibble - Earth Born Ocean (no red meat) or Royal Canin Maxi Junior. They only get a minimum of kibble - I see it as my laziness at not being committed entirely to a home-made diet and wanting the reassurance of added nutrients. The two brands I mentioned are about the same price as Euka and Science Diet, but IMHO they are so much better. I wouldn't feed either of those brands personally - not impressive on paper or from what I've seen. Earth Born is imported from the US, btw. Also, many large pet warehouses are now stocking Eagle Pack (also US product), but my guys are doing better on the other too. I throw in rice and veges a couple of times a week and natural yoghurt, or raw egg.

    Your dog may just have an injury, as was suggested - my mastiff x sprained a toe running around like a twit and it has flared up a few times since. Also, one of my nine month old pups (shepherd rottie x) has one shoulder that will go stiff if he is crashed into on it during play or if he does too much running alongside the pushbike.

    Gather as much info from as many sources as you can and then make an informed plan of action.

    Keep us posted on your progress,

    Cathy.

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