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!