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Messages - shingigz

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Raw feeding / Re: TB
« on: May 16, 2019, 14:56 »
Great... my 6 lb dog eats this, and loves it.  Maybe I should switch to lamb, salmon etc...

Thanks.  I've been using Plaque Off for several months, but I don't rate it on tartar unless it is extremely slow to work.  I did notice that his rotten breath improved overnight when I started using it though.  But when I changed his diet and stopped using the Plaque Off for a couple of weeks, his bad breath didn't return.  His previous diet made him very smelly all over, but now he's transformed.

I noticed a few specks of (his) blood on the tea towel this morning after he had finished eating the chicken wing.  I think that maybe he is getting a good dental from them rather than that they may be damaging his teeth. 

I gave him his second chicken wing this morning.  It took him 50 minutes to eat it, and I was surprised that he crunched and ate the whole thing.  And again, he kept it on the tea towel.  I left him to it and listened out for any choking noises, and glanced over occasionally, and he was fine.

I have been making good progress with the toothbrush and toothpaste.  He now, in exchange for half of a small Lily's Kitchen Woof Brush, has his teeth brushed every evening.  He doesn't like it, and I can't do a thorough job of it just yet, but I can see signs that he will accept it in time as just another part of the day, and that teeth-cleaning and Woof Brush will come to mean the same thing.

I even managed to very gently and lightly scrape the tiniest bit of tartar from near his canine-tooth gum-line with my tweezers.

His teeth are looking a lot better!

I think I would worry more about him having even a one-off anaesthetic and all it entails than giving him a weekly chicken wing (and observing him carefully, but not neurotically).  An anaesthetic, to me, seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.  Both are not without risk, I suppose.  Hopefully I will eventually win the 'war on tartar' by other methods.  I think it's better to do a little 'tooth work' every day, and he may come to realise that his treat straight afterwards is worth it.

Yes, it's a bit of a worry feeling that something may go wrong (swallowing sharp pieces, blockages, fracturing teeth); and it makes me feel irresponsible that I may be putting him at risk, so I don't know if I will continue with it.  I have read enough from people to quell my fears, but not entirely.  I would much prefer to give him raw carrots, but I feel they may be just as dangerous (for a 6 lb dog), if not more so.

Do you trim any fat/skin off them?  They don't seem to have much meat on them.

2-years-and-9-months-old 6 lb intact male long-haired chihuahua...  Fed wet food in the morning and raw complete in the evening.

He came to me at 16 months old.  A few weeks later, a vet opened his mouth and exclaimed, "What is it with chihuahuas and teeth?!"  That phrase has never left me...

He was unsocialised, unhousebroken and extremely fearful, and it was several months later after working on these things with him that I could start to turn my attention towards his teeth.  He flat out doesn't cooperate with toothbrush/toothpaste, but every day now I make tiny inroads into desensitising him with this method, plus with wiping them with a damp cloth.  But his jaw is so tiny with all of those impossible-to-reach teeth back there, and he clamps it shut.  His teeth are now somewhat improved with all my efforts, but he still has some tartar build-up.

I tried Tropiclean gel (didn't work), and I have been using Plaque Off for months (hasn't worked).

I gave him a raw chicken wing (skin on) at 9.20 am today, and he was gnawing away very happily for an hour.  He was left with a two-inch piece when he let me know he was done with it.  I placed the chicken wing initially on a clean pot towel and he did keep it on there.  He thoroughly enjoyed the chicken wing.  He growled when I got within seven feet of him, to let me know I wasn't to take it off him!  I managed to build a cage around him (his 4' x 6' pen) to stop him from wandering around with it and dragging it onto the carpeted area.

When done, I put him in the sink in an inch of warm water and cleaned his snout, ruff and feet with a pet wipe and water.

I am thinking of giving him a chicken wing once a week to help with the tartar, and at £2.50 for 12 wings, this is an economical dental method.  I will still be keeping up with my other efforts at cleaning his teeth every day.

If anyone has any concerns about the weekly chicken wing, or any advice, please let me know.

I gave him the chicken wing in place of his breakfast but I'm not sure if it is enough as a meal, which is usually 50 g of wet food.

From Barking Heads (Barking Heads, Meowing Heads, AATU) to me:

"I am please to say that all our wet food whether it is cat or dog is free from carrageenan and doesn’t contain any thickening ingredients, the jelly like substance you sometimes see in the pouches is the natural juices from the meat.

We will certainly take on board the request for smaller pouches for possible future changes however did you know the food can keep fresh in the fridge for up to 72 hours?"

"Thanks to the recent upsurge in interest on the matter [carrageenan], Forthglade are now trialling alternative stabilisers so I'd say that's a great result."

It's good to hear this, and it will be a great result if they actually carry through with it.  If thickeners aren't labelled, I will still have to ask the company to check if it contains carrageenan before I give it to my dog.  I have let Lily's Kitchen know about this.  Hopefully they will be feeling the heat, too.

Raw feeding / Re: Day 5 of a diet including raw
« on: Apr 30, 2019, 22:51 »
Day 12

The extra moulting was short-lived and only lasted a few days.  His bowel movements are once per meal, still tiny, dryish and not smelly.

He has had no issues whatsoever with the changeover, and I must say he eats the raw nuggets at lightning speed.  He has three nuggets per meal and I 'cut' them with the back of a spoon into four sections and spread them all out, but this doesn't slow him down much.

He's back on two meals per day now (8 - 9 am, and 7 pm).  Wet food in the morning and raw at night.

I wish there were more raw foods that came in nuggets rather than a large-ish block, as he only eats around 50 g of it per day, so I couldn't thaw a block out and I doubt I could cut it when frozen.  There's not much variety where I live.  Many companies don't deliver to islands, and he eats so little it probably wouldn't be worth it anyway.  I think I may be able to get Nutriment here but they are in blocks (I think).  At least Natures Menu have a few varieties of nuggets; the only thing is, the main meat type may differ but the other ingredients are the same or similar, so maybe the nutrition won't vary much in that case.

I found this interesting from your second link (I've just started reading it):

"when laboratory mice are exposed to low concentrations of carrageenan in their water for 18 days, they develop profound glucose intolerance and impaired insulin action."

When my dog was ill on the food containing carrageenan, when he had his episodes he sometimes developed symptoms of what looked like low blood sugar: loss of appetite, uncontrollable shaking, uncoordinated drunken appearance, racing around wildly, back arching, glassy stare - some of the symptoms look very similar to what a partial complex seizure looks like on videos I have seen.

I'm going to write them all down on my 'Ronnie dog spreadsheet', even though the info will go on the Dog Food Directory when completed.

Lily's Kitchen only has carrageenan in the organic wet dog food range.  Their 400 g dog food tins and their non-organic trays don't contain carrageenan.  They put everything on their labels, they tell me.

Barking Heads wet dog food pouches contain no thickeners at all, as I have already emailed them; but no harm in re-checking as the more people who contact companies about this, the better.  The consistency of Barking Heads dog food is like Cottage Pie meat, not solid, and is the only dog food I have seen to have this consistency.  Lily's Kitchen told me they add thickeners to make the product 'less watery'.  So I guess all solid dog and cat foods (almost all) use some type of thickener(s).

Wow, thanks!!  And thanks to Dottie, too.

This will be very helpful, and interesting. 

Carrageenan is said to be in around 70% of pet foods, and is used a lot in pate-type pet foods.

I was looking at the 'wet' dog food 'Crave' (owned by Mars) in the supermarket the other day.  That also contains carrageenan, and it says so on the label.  It may not be on the Dog Food Directory, which I think is brilliant by the way - a really useful and helpful tool!

EDIT: The 'Crave' information I can find online says they use cassia gum.  I'm almost certain I picked up a tray and saw carrageenan.  I will check next time I go and report back here.  I've also emailed them.  It could have been cat food, but I think it was dog food I was looking at.

EDIT: From the Crave website - Wet dog food - Turkey and Lamb Pate with Shreds of Real Chicken [good job it isn't artificial chicken then...]


Turkey, Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Lamb, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Heart, Carrageenan, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Dried Yam, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeasts, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Dried Pomegranate, Blueberry Pomace, Cranberry Pomace, Dried Carrot, Tomato Pomace, Magnesium Sulfate, Guar Gum, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Pumpkin, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Vitamin B12 supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin , Vitamin D3 Supplement, Rosemary Extract

I didn't see it at first as I was looking further down the list.....

It also contains the thickeners xanthan gum and guar gum.

No problem..

Yes Lily's Kitchen use carrageenan in their organic ranges, but not in the non-organic varieties - they use other thickeners / gelling agents in those and, so far, my dog has been fine on them.

I asked Forthglade (knowing that they don't have to declare carrageenan on any labels, and knowing how my dog had suffered after his first and only meal of Forthglade) what thickeners / gelling agents they use in their wet dog-food trays, and I gave them a list of examples.  Forthglade replied and said they use only carrageenan.

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