Raw Food & Parasites

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    Dr. Jeff
    I’ve had my 6 yr. old Yorkie on a raw food diet since March ’05. I use Prairie’s brand Nature’s Variety- (Link to ingredients list:)


    My dog has done very well on this diet until a few days ago. He has diarrhea, but very gelatinous. I brought him to the conventional vet, who wants to treat him for worms with antibiotics and panacur, even though his stool was negative.As for the cause, the vet was very suspicious of “raw meat”. Since my dog’s lifestyle doesn’t warrant easy exposure to worms, I was wondering about the raw food diet. It’s shipped frozen, but arrives thawed yet still cold, and I have to refreeze it. Could this be a possible source of the parasites? (it’s supposedly contains an antiparasidic).

    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    [quote=Patricia Trolian] He has diarrhea, but very gelatinous.
    the vet was very suspicious of “raw meat”.
    Could this be a possible source of the parasites? (it’s supposedly contains an antiparasidic).[/quote]

    Hi Patricia, and welcome to our community-

    There are a few issues here. First of all when a dog gets diarrhea with or without mucus (“jelly”), straining, frequency, urgency, blood, etc. it is almost always (99% of the time) a problem with the dog’s digestive tract, not a problem with the diet. Dogs evolved as scavengers and are beautifully adapted to eat garbage, carrion (raw, rotting flesh) or whatever they find.

    Despite this fact, most veterinarians advise feeding one commercial diet exclusively through your pets life. The rationale is that switching foods can cause GI upset (vomiting, diarrhea). The problem with this logic, in my mind, is that it doesn’t make physiologic sense. As I said above, the reality is that when a pet develops problems with one particular diet it is usually because there is a digestive problem, not because of a “bad” food.

    That being said, here’s what I would do. If your dog has never had any tendency to gastrointestinal problems and this is his first episode, then perhaps you did get a bad batch (possibly from repeated freezing and thawing and probably NOT parasites). In general, I like the Prairie diets though there are better (even less processed) ways of feeding fresh food (as opposed to processed dry and canned food).

    If, on the other hand, your dog has had other GI, allergic, or glandular (these are often related) problems I strongly advise you to consult a Certified Veterinary Homeopath. He or she will treat the internal imbalance which is causing both the mucousy diarrhea as well as other “unrelated” problems (e.g. behavioral issues, skin or ear problems, etc.).

    I strongly recommend the first few chapters of Dr. Hamilton’s excellent book to better understand this important issue. Alternatively, you can spend all day reading the homeopathy and diet links in my info center. It’s well worth the investment of time since you obviously want to do the best for your dog.

    Please let me know if I can help in any way.

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