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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! Sorry haven't been on much to socialize, been pretty busy but will be back to my regular postings sooner than you know it. =)

Anyway I'm making a point to pop in because my beloved Kahlua is now becoming more and more stubborn with eating her liver.

She will turn her nose up to any of the available liver (we've tried beef, lamb, chicken, and pork) if it's raw, fresh, unfrozen.

So then we tried frozen hoping it was maybe just the texture she didn't like. And for a while, we could get her to eat the frozen beef if we disguised it well enough in some ground beef or something.

Now though, shes discovered she can deliberately eat around it and has avoided eating it.

So then we tried even grinding it up (which as a raw feeder knows, just becomes really slimy) and mushing it in, mixing it WITH the beef right before feeding it; even just tiny amounts at a time. No go; she can smell it no matter how we disguise it. Won't touch ANY of it if its mixed throughout.

Ok, then I started to sear it lightly in a tiny bit of butter for taste.

Would spit it out the moment she started to taste the raw part.

Tried cooking it all the way through (I figured cooked would be better than NONE) and she spits it out too.

Tried adding tiny amounts of salt, bit of garlic, anything to mask the scent. No luck.

Is there any type of supplement we can try that would help give her the nutrients that she isn't getting from the liver? Do they make like.... liver pills?? Getting her to take medications isn't even this hard; anything else I can mash up in food and she doesn't notice. Something about the liver though she can either smell or somehow sense it's there and won't touch it.

I'd be happy to hear any suggestions!
 

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Liver is one of the components of the raw diet you can't substitute anything for. It is a very small part of the diet (think 5 cents on a dollar), but is necessary.

You seem to have tried most of the tricks I can think of. Brody likes his liver seared on a BBQ grill. You might try that.

If all else fails, you'll have to pill her with it. Just take a fingernail sized piece a couple times a week and poke it on down.
 

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I make liver/kidney cubes. I take out the food processor and put in about 2 cups of liver and 2 cups of kidney, chop it all up into a mince. Then I add in about 1/4 cup peanut butter (yep, the good ol jif kind). I then plop it in little blobs/meatballs/cubes onto a buttered cookie sheet. I sprinkle the cheap parmesan cheese over them and freeze. Once frozen I pop them in a bag in the freezer. I feed pre-mades at least half the week so they get one of those at most 2x a week but you can figure out what amount they need based on how you're feeding and their weight. Even my picky eaters think they are a treat.
 

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Excellent post Kristi!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I'll have to try that!! Fingers crossed! That'll be a good way to give them all their organ servings...
 

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you can be creative what you put in the little blobs...I just find peanut butter cuts the taste for whatever reason, and changes the texture a bit too. Maybe throw in a jar of chicken baby food or something, I don't know? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just as an update... she doesn't like peanut butter enough even on it's own. =P

I'm thisclose to "pilling" her with it but I know even though it's what she needs I'd feel terrible doing it.

We have had ONE milestone. One which I need to do a little more research on, and if anyone here has any info that'd be good too.

Freeze dried beef liver. My lil' Lulubug LOVES it. The stuff is $10 for a small plastic jar of it; but we figured we'd give it a shot. And she eats it without any hesitation.
It SAYS on the container that it has the same nutritional value as RAW liver. I'd like to find a little more validation other than it's advertisement to confirm that; but if its true that freeze drying it doesn't compromise the nutrients, I may have found my solution. I have found some studies that say that with cooking liver specifically, there isn't that much of a difference in the nutritional value. If thats true, I would hope/think that freeze drying it would be even better.


Beef Liver Treats: Gimborn Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Beef Liver Treats at PETCO

The website says:
"Pro-Treat Freeze Dried Treats maintain the aroma, full flavor, and nutritional value of raw meat"

All I know is it obviously isn't that close to the raw liver or my dearest Lua would not even be going near it.... lol.
 

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I have heard others say that they use freeze dried liver and it works fine on the raw diet. I'd like to see a side by side comparison of nutrients but I'd guess that it's close enough to fit the bill. Will she eat her other organ? Kidney, etc?

I've also heard that you can supplement with just a TINY bit of cod liver oil (in place of salmon oil) and that it has very concentrated vitamins that can help with the liver requirement. But it is toxic in high doses so you have to be sure and not over do it.

Liver is such a tiny part of the diet. But it is necessary. I'm glad you found something that she likes!
 

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That is a fantastic suggestion, Kristi! I'll have to remember that! My pack LOVES peanut butter!

Tracy, have you really heard that freeze dried liver would be an adequate substitute? A friend of mine who has huskies had asked me if she could sub freeze dried liver for fresh raw liver and I told her that I didn't know but I wouldn't feel comfortable using freeze dried exclusively to fulfill the liver requirement. Maybe what I told her was wrong? I give freeze dried organ to my dogs all the time but didn't think that would be good enough on it's own.

Just to clarify, my dogs do get fresh raw organ too. I just also give them freeze dried organ as treats in addition. ;)
 

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That is a fantastic suggestion, Kristi! I'll have to remember that! My pack LOVES peanut butter!

Tracy, have you really heard that freeze dried liver would be an adequate substitute? A friend of mine who has huskies had asked me if she could sub freeze dried liver for fresh raw liver and I told her that I didn't know but I wouldn't feel comfortable using freeze dried exclusively to fulfill the liver requirement. Maybe what I told her was wrong? I give freeze dried organ to my dogs all the time but didn't think that would be good enough on it's own.

Just to clarify, my dogs do get fresh raw organ too. I just also give them freeze dried organ as treats in addition. ;)
I think raw is BEST. Hands down. I would only use freeze dried if there was NO other alternative. I tend to think as you do, and that I wouldn't want to recommend freeze dried liver to exclusively fill the liver requirement. I would be apt to freeze it, slice off a dime sized piece and 'pill' it down the throat. ;)

I did find this list of nutrients comparing raw and cooked liver ....

Comparison of Vitamin Levels in Raw Foods vs. Cooked Foods

I haven't found a source listing the nutrients of freeze dried liver.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My little Diva has a HUGE list of things she will not eat, including green orange or purple freezey pops, McDonald's french fries, catfish, Beggin Strips, (Unless toxic I admit I often give lil tiny pieces of whatever I'm eating (beggin strips not included lol) to her; what can I say I learned to share!) and she will absolutely refuse to go near them.

Liver is her most recent addition; and frankly the only one that I care that she doesn't like haha. I'll embrace her individuality but mommy will not compromise in this aspect lol.

Luckily she loves beef, turkey, lamb, chicken; in any form (muscle, bone, and kidney.) Liver though; nope, no chance. 'Cept for this freeze dried stuff. I even reached a point where I was trying the same things in different bowls; because she eventually learned that I kept trying to sneak her liver in the peace sign doggie dish (and they usually don't eat on dishes.) and would just walk away if she saw me pull it out in the kitchen!

My little princess. I swear if she sees me typing this she's gonna stop eating it too just out of spite....
 

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Well thank goodness that liver is only 5% of the diet! Five cents on the dollar is NOT much. So I'm betting that the freeze dried liver will probably suffice. But I would still keep trying! Coat in peanut butter or whatever you have to do. ;) You could even blend it into a slurry and then mix it with tripe or something else irresistible and if it's pureed, she won't be able to pick it out.

I did find this one table on the nutrient changes when raw foods are cooked, frozen, or dried. It certainly does deplete vitamin C, but that is pretty common in the raw diet, so I would guess there wouldn't be long term effects from using freeze dried versus raw. But I would STILL keep on trying. :)

Nutritional Effects of Food Processing – NutritionData.com

Edit: one other thing I just thought of... you've tried different kinds of liver right? Brody HATES chicken liver. But he willingly eats both beef, bison, and calf liver. (Haven't found pork liver to try that). So you might branch out and try different animal livers if chicken is the only one you've tried.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, we feed raw so I don't know if there's any canned foods that have it in there. Most canned food is processed or cooked.

But yeah, we've tried all the liver's we have available to us; which is chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. No go on any of it. =( I haven't successfully found a food that is irresistable enough to her to use in a puree. Gonna try with just regular ground beef + liver. But she doesn't even like peanut butter. She's so apprehensive with any new thing I give her now, I think she's convinced that everything I hand to her has liver in it. Which okay, admittedly that has been true recently but I don't want to give up LOL.
 

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Ya I feed raw too, but I have seen liver as an ingredient in some canned foods in the passed. Just a thought. My dogs are very difficult regarding liver too. I rinse it off (they hate the extra blood) then half cook it in a pan with a tad water and melt some cheese on top. They take it that way. (Avery, my sharpei is evem worse with it than Audrey, my chi)
 
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