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Okay, so we are ready to make the leap to feeding a more raw diet and will hopefully switch over completely if everything goes well. Some of you might remember that Odie was a sick pup for awhile (diarrhea, bacterial overgrowth, etc.) and it might have been from a beef intolerance or an intolerance to something. Because she did well on duck, we decided to feed Primal duck and eventually we added in Stella & Chewy's rabbit as well.

The good news is that there is no more diarrhea. The bad news is that she still has acid reflux. I've had reflux for years and have tried medications, apple cider vinegar, probiotics, sauerkraut, you name it. The only thing that really helps me is diet (low complex carbs and avoiding trigger foods) and I've read that the same is for dogs and that a raw diet can really help or at least help figure out what proteins are tolerated.

My question is, what should I start her out with? In the past, she has had both lamb and venison ziwi and had mucous-y poops with both so we stopped feeding it. I know that red meat is important in a raw diet (or any dog diet) so I'm struggling to figure out how I could make it work. Should I go ahead and start her on chicken like everyone recommends? I was at the grocery store today and saw that they have frozen rabbit and cornish hens. The rabbit was crazy expensive, around $23 for a small package.

Raw feeders, what do you think? Has anyone had a dog with acid reflux/GERD that a raw diet cured? What would you start Odie on if she was your dog? She is super picky with food lately and has turned her nose to ALL raw pre-made patties so I'm hoping that if I slightly cook some raw meat to start that she'll warm up to it. Thank you in advance!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh and BG's new favorite (since her and Odie could be twins at times) is Stella & Chewy frozen raw Pheasant.
The problem is that I've never seen her not have acid reflux so it's hard for me to pinpoint what she can't have. I'm thinking that it has to be something that's in the Primal and S&C other than the meat which is why raw might be good for her. She doesn't have any of the cool symptoms at all (pretty much the opposite) but I like the sounds of reducing inflammation and she is eating duck and rabbit right now and having no diarrhea so that's good. Maybe I will try raw duck or raw rabbit at first and then see if I can find any of the neutral meats that aren't beef like bison or quail. I think quail would be perfect for her because she's such a bird girl. Thank you Christie! Dog diets are such a mystery!

Oh, forgot to say that we tried a pheasant sample from S&C and she loved it but she won't touch the raw patties for some reason.
 

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I started Kerri on rabbit and goat. I did it because that is what I had around when she was a puppy- but it is certainly an option. Everyone says start with chicken because it is easy but you could start with anything that has plenty of edible bone and not much fat.
Duck might also be a more affordable option to start with if you don't want to do chicken but you will need to trim a lot of fat to start out with duck.

I would not put a lot of stock into what she can and can't eat now. You may find that whole raw foods are tolerated differently than the processed food (even the raw stuff).
 

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The only way to know is to try. Some dogs seem to show allergic reactions to intensively farmed meats, which is probably a sensitivity to the diet the meat is reared on or drugs they are given rather than the meat itself. If you can get meat that is wild or generally less messed with you can avoid this problem. If she likes birds then quail, pheasant, grouse, wood pigeon etc are all great if you can get them. Some of mine are not mad keen on gamey flavours though, they can be quite strong. Really it is just a matter of what is easily available that you can tweak the bone content with. I always start with chicken, but any meat will work.
 

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First of all, acid reflux is due to a weakness in the esophageus where the tube comes from the stomach throuogh the chest. Really is not due to allergies, although some foods make it worse. My chi, Zarita, has this, and is taking 1/4 tablet of Pepcid, over the counter, prescribed by the vet. This calms the irritation and heartburn (if dogs have heartburn?) She has been on it for years. I tried many foods and nothing made it better. She still has some reflux, but it is better.
 

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First of all, acid reflux is due to a weakness in the esophageus where the tube comes from the stomach throuogh the chest. Really is not due to allergies, although some foods make it worse. My chi, Zarita, has this, and is taking 1/4 tablet of Pepcid, over the counter, prescribed by the vet. This calms the irritation and heartburn (if dogs have heartburn?) She has been on it for years. I tried many foods and nothing made it better. She still has some reflux, but it is better.
Kerri struggled with reflux as a puppy- but seemed to just grow out of it. We used pepcid on a few occasions for temporary relief, but our vet at the time was pretty insistent that dogs should not be on pepcid long term, I can't exactly remember why though. Our new (holistic) vet also concurred with that.
Luckily- and I know this because of my own human family- it really can usually be controlled with diet. It is not an allergy- but if certain foods cause it and certain foods control it then it certainly is a food based issue! Sadly I believe that because vets are never going to suggest anything other than kibble they would not ever suggest controlling an issue like this with diet.
 

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Ok I have been nosing around on the internet and found a few things for you to look at:

Week 10: Cancer & Raw Diets, Early Vaccination, Reflux, Roundworms, Immune Health, Treating Allergies Holistically | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Fresh food and meat based. As simple as possible. No fillers. Ideally, gluten free (check the Honest Kitchen ingredients). I find eggs to often work wonderfully in this situation and many consider them to be nature’s perfect food. If he can tolerate them that is. I suspect that you have already tried many foods, but novel proteins are often best. Rabbit, venison, pheasant, etc. Avoid foods with high histamine levels. This includes many fish like tuna, mackerel, amberjack, etc. Also avoid high fat foods that will slow emptying of stomach contents and may predispose him to reflux.

Need some ideas. Dog has severe acid reflux. - The Shiba Inu Forum
As far as diet, we tried raw. Emma was the worst on beef. Through research, I learned that Acid Reflux is due to either too much fat and protein in the diet or not enough. For Emma, it was too much, so we went to raw turkey. It was Small Batch which is an organic and free range recipe. She did better, but still had problems. We tried yogurt - wasn't enough. We tried goat's milk - not enough. She is currently on Honest Kitchen Zeal (fish - low protein, low fat).

Our solution: We have been working with a chiropractor for a few months now on other issues Emma has (she has many). Our chiropractor started us on a new supplement: Sulfurzyme. It is all natural. Emma has been on it for a while and doesn't vomit, doesn't burp, doesn't chew on her paws, doesn't lick the wall, and doesn't take pepcid any longer.

Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer : Acid Reflex, GERD in Dogs, Cats - Natural Remedies, Causes, Symptoms

Very good article

Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Raw Honey: A sweet food for the health of your pet

Another good article on Honey

Tripe
The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Green Tripe - Spotless Dog Wash
Raw green tripe is beneficial to dogs suffering from digestive problems, sensitive stomachs, food intolerance and even leaky gut syndrome. In non clinical trials, a regimen of six days of using raw green tripe as 25% of a raw fed dog’s diet have shown marked decreases in acid reflux and irritable bowel symptoms.

http://www.petoutfitters.ca/ground-raw-green-tripe/

The Stink On Tripe | Dogs Naturally Magazine

I am NOT brave enough to try raw Tripe. I do give my kids this and they love it. I only smell it when I first open the bag not why they are chewing on it. It has helped improve everyone's teeth and I do not see upset stomachs etc.

Barkworthies - Green Tripe Sticks (7oz) - Barkworthies

Remember every baby is different so it is going to be a trail and error for awhile. I had to keep a log with Huly and watch him with different foods etc. I would only add one new thing at a time where I knew what might set him off. It could take him up to 48 hours to show an allergy or disagreement with a food. (his was mostly allergy issues)
 

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I am a huge fan of green tripe. Yes it is stinky, but it is so good for them, we have it at least twice a week. One of their absolute favourites. It seems to be much easier to get hold of in the UK than in other countries though, most pet shops over here stock frozen tripe. It is really cheap too, I pay 50p for a 500g block.
 

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I am lucky that I have never had a dog with food allergies, so I don't really know the answer. I guess it would depend on what exactly the dog was allergic to in the beef. I know some dogs with chicken allergies can't eat chickens eggs, but others are fine with them for example.
If the dog proved allergic to all beef products you can get tripe from other animals
Sheeps tripe is available quite commonly, but all ruminants have tripe, so you could use goat, venison, Llama, etc as totally novel proteins.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I started Kerri on rabbit and goat. I did it because that is what I had around when she was a puppy- but it is certainly an option. Everyone says start with chicken because it is easy but you could start with anything that has plenty of edible bone and not much fat.
Duck might also be a more affordable option to start with if you don't want to do chicken but you will need to trim a lot of fat to start out with duck.

I would not put a lot of stock into what she can and can't eat now. You may find that whole raw foods are tolerated differently than the processed food (even the raw stuff).
Thank you Annie! That's kind of what I was thinking too, that it might be a totally different ball game with whole raw food. She still gets the odd raw chicken neck here and there and I haven't noticed any difference in her poop after (other than being harder obviously). I'm thinking that maybe I'll try some chicken and see how it goes. She LOVES chicken so that might be a good place to start as I'm quite sure she'll go for it.

The only way to know is to try. Some dogs seem to show allergic reactions to intensively farmed meats, which is probably a sensitivity to the diet the meat is reared on or drugs they are given rather than the meat itself. If you can get meat that is wild or generally less messed with you can avoid this problem. If she likes birds then quail, pheasant, grouse, wood pigeon etc are all great if you can get them. Some of mine are not mad keen on gamey flavours though, they can be quite strong. Really it is just a matter of what is easily available that you can tweak the bone content with. I always start with chicken, but any meat will work.
Thanks! I'm going to have to call around and see what's available. I know we have quail and grouse here but I looked for it in the grocery store with no luck, I only saw cornish hens. However, I haven't tried any of the butchers here so I need to do that.

First of all, acid reflux is due to a weakness in the esophageus where the tube comes from the stomach throuogh the chest. Really is not due to allergies, although some foods make it worse. My chi, Zarita, has this, and is taking 1/4 tablet of Pepcid, over the counter, prescribed by the vet. This calms the irritation and heartburn (if dogs have heartburn?) She has been on it for years. I tried many foods and nothing made it better. She still has some reflux, but it is better.
Thanks Susan! It's always good to hear from people who have a dog with similar issues. I've been on prescription strength antacids myself and they are pretty nasty to quit, but I'm glad that Zarita has found some relief using them.

It's true that acid reflux can be caused by a hiatial hernia like you mentioned (and that can be confirmed with an endoscopy or xray) but doctors now know that another cause is low acid production which is a product of diet. This doesn't necessarily mean allergies (although it can) but more of intolerances or food that just doesn't agree with your digestive system. This is why when people eat some foods, their acid reflux is much worse. The theory is that if you avoid the food that is causing upset, you can avoid acid reflux. Some people that change their diets actually heal their digestive system and can add some of the foods back into their diet that were causing harm before and have no problems. I'm not saying it's the same with dogs, but thought it might be worth a shot! I don't want to put Odie under for an endoscopy if I don't have to as she doesn't handle anesthetic well, so I thought I would try a raw diet first to see if it makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Kerri struggled with reflux as a puppy- but seemed to just grow out of it. We used pepcid on a few occasions for temporary relief, but our vet at the time was pretty insistent that dogs should not be on pepcid long term, I can't exactly remember why though. Our new (holistic) vet also concurred with that.
Luckily- and I know this because of my own human family- it really can usually be controlled with diet. It is not an allergy- but if certain foods cause it and certain foods control it then it certainly is a food based issue! Sadly I believe that because vets are never going to suggest anything other than kibble they would not ever suggest controlling an issue like this with diet.
I know that in humans long term use of proton pump inhibitors can cause pneumonia and hip fractures. Yikes! It also changes the way your stomach produces acid and could even be potentially fatal if you were on a high dose and just stopped cold turkey. The diet thing is SO true! I was about to request a referral to a specialist when I read a story online about an opera singer who lost her voice due to acid reflux ravaging her throat. She had even had vocal chord surgery to try to get her voice back and was on PPIs long term and they started not working so she was forced to look for another method or choose to have more surgery. She went on a diet that a lot of people with reflux have success with and she totally got rid of acid reflux all together. It is a horrible diet and you can't have sugar, complex carbs or processed and packaged foods (basically anything good, haha) but I've been half trying to follow it and am already feeling so much better. I majorly cheated the other day when I was feeling lazy and had some kraft dinner and my reflux was back right away and I actually threw up. There is something to it for sure!!

Ok I have been nosing around on the internet and found a few things for you to look at:

Week 10: Cancer & Raw Diets, Early Vaccination, Reflux, Roundworms, Immune Health, Treating Allergies Holistically | Dogs Naturally Magazine
Fresh food and meat based. As simple as possible. No fillers. Ideally, gluten free (check the Honest Kitchen ingredients). I find eggs to often work wonderfully in this situation and many consider them to be nature’s perfect food. If he can tolerate them that is. I suspect that you have already tried many foods, but novel proteins are often best. Rabbit, venison, pheasant, etc. Avoid foods with high histamine levels. This includes many fish like tuna, mackerel, amberjack, etc. Also avoid high fat foods that will slow emptying of stomach contents and may predispose him to reflux.

Need some ideas. Dog has severe acid reflux. - The Shiba Inu Forum
As far as diet, we tried raw. Emma was the worst on beef. Through research, I learned that Acid Reflux is due to either too much fat and protein in the diet or not enough. For Emma, it was too much, so we went to raw turkey. It was Small Batch which is an organic and free range recipe. She did better, but still had problems. We tried yogurt - wasn't enough. We tried goat's milk - not enough. She is currently on Honest Kitchen Zeal (fish - low protein, low fat).

Our solution: We have been working with a chiropractor for a few months now on other issues Emma has (she has many). Our chiropractor started us on a new supplement: Sulfurzyme. It is all natural. Emma has been on it for a while and doesn't vomit, doesn't burp, doesn't chew on her paws, doesn't lick the wall, and doesn't take pepcid any longer.

Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer : Acid Reflex, GERD in Dogs, Cats - Natural Remedies, Causes, Symptoms

Very good article

Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Raw Honey: A sweet food for the health of your pet

Another good article on Honey

Tripe
The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Green Tripe - Spotless Dog Wash
Raw green tripe is beneficial to dogs suffering from digestive problems, sensitive stomachs, food intolerance and even leaky gut syndrome. In non clinical trials, a regimen of six days of using raw green tripe as 25% of a raw fed dog’s diet have shown marked decreases in acid reflux and irritable bowel symptoms.

http://www.petoutfitters.ca/ground-raw-green-tripe/

The Stink On Tripe | Dogs Naturally Magazine

I am NOT brave enough to try raw Tripe. I do give my kids this and they love it. I only smell it when I first open the bag not why they are chewing on it. It has helped improve everyone's teeth and I do not see upset stomachs etc.

Barkworthies - Green Tripe Sticks (7oz) - Barkworthies

Remember every baby is different so it is going to be a trail and error for awhile. I had to keep a log with Huly and watch him with different foods etc. I would only add one new thing at a time where I knew what might set him off. It could take him up to 48 hours to show an allergy or disagreement with a food. (his was mostly allergy issues)
Thank you Christie!! I'll have to take some time to go through all those links. I've been keeping a diet too but a lot of good that is doing! Haha. The good thing about reflux is that if it's triggered by food it usually happens right after you eat so that makes it a bit easier. I'm only going to add one new protein and give it some time so I can keep track of changes in her poops. I'm hoping to see less scooting too!
 
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