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I quietly read as you all wrote off and on about your setters diets. I desperately wanted to get some weight on Flame after he's surgery but knew it would take time. Ive always fed a top end kibble which I'm extremely happy with the one I have the Irish on now and always added yoghurt, sardines and egg. After reading all your suggestions to other ES members I'm adding raw Kangaroo or a Blended high protien mince direct from the supplier. I am so happy with Flames body condition for the very first time in he's eight years :))) and hes coat looks great too. So ES friends, if it hadn't been for all your wonderful advice you had been giving others I never would of tried raw meat. I feel it blended with the other things I feed has made an absolute world of difference. Please all take my heartfelt thanks. Take care Dianne and Irish. X

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Wonderful to hear flame is a fatter boy for you Dianne. I know how over the moon you must feel. Give him a hug from us.

Hi Dianne...so pleased for you and Flame...dont know if you know but there is a good raw feeding group on ES if you need any ideas on what else to feed...:0)

It's for reasons like this that we all love ES, glad Flame is improving (",)

Brilliant.  Its amazing what raw food can do, and the support it gives to poorly dogs too.  It gives them all a serious lift even when its not the complete picture as to what's going on. It makes a big difference.

Hi Dianne, so glad that Flame has responded so well to the raw food...I changed two of mine to raw some time back, I use natural instinctas a base, and they absolutely LOVE it....the puppy was weaned onto raw and wont touch it now lol!!! He will eat raw chicken wings and a heart very ocassionally but only because he sees the others having one....if anyone has any advice on how to get him back onto the raw diet I would love to hear it as i am a firm believer now!

Thank you all for such well wishes for Flame :)) such a great network of friends that offer support. Your right Rhonda, Flame is very special to me :)) thank you for mentioning the raw feeding group too Jennie I'll have a look. I think what frustrated me the most, I had the mince just down the road from me, yet it was been processed and traveling all the way to melbourne and then I was having a friend freeze it and bring it to me!! Now I order 25kgs on a Monday and pick up fresh Thursday.....gee I was happy when I found out it was so close. :) and no middle man. Ruby and Poppy have it to? I didI have to microwave it for those two little fussy girls lol to take the chill off it and you guessed it they wolf it down. So thank you everyone and yes Rhonda he is a little fatty at the moment for the first time our daughter said..think you better cut Flames food back!! Lol

Hi Dianne, I am very pleased to hear that Flame has improved. Most ES members really do try to help each other.

I have been feeding my dogs a natural diet (not the same as a raw food diet) for more than 20 years. I also feed my horses a natural diet. My view is that I don't like to eat processed food so why should I feed this to my dogs and my horses. I have fed a little dried food to my dogs at times but always preservative free and preferably with organic ingredients. 

I do not think it is a coincidence that since I commenced feeding my horses a natural diet which contains herbs 11 years ago, none of my horses have suffered colic (touch wood).

The one time I allowed a vet to change my approach to natural healing and natural food resulted in my English Setter, Hobson suffering GDV.

Since Hobson suffered GDV he will not eat raw meat except for chicken wings and sometimes he will not even eat these. I have had to lightly steam his meat. Recently I found a butcher who makes chicken rolls which contain the carcus, bones, meat, etc. which he binds with bran and then lightly steams. I also give this to Hobson because it contains more bone.

My English Setter, Rose also could not tolerate raw meat. She came to live with us when she was 7yo. I successfully treated Rose's elevated liver enzymes with homeopathic remedies to detoxify and strengthen her liver and a natural diet specifically related to liver problems. At the time I was having a break from vets and treating my dogs myself. I wish I had stayed this way.

Each dog is different and I believe they will tell you what they need to eat if you give them options. Sometimes it is not possible to feed raw but it is always possible to feed natural.

I sincerely hope Flame continues to improve, but I am certain he will.

Thank you Susan, I think your right the do tell us in a roundabout way what their dislikes and likes are. As Flame has suffered GDV to like Hobson Susan do you still feed him beef bones? The paperwork from AEC here in Victoria where Flame had he's GDV surgery said I shouldn't feed him bones anymore :( He wasn't a big fan of them but I worry about dental health a bit now. I do have some lovely Roo tails that are fresh I could give him, they are more like a carriage with lots of fresh meat. I also. use to feed him a thin like chew as a treat, they are called pup chips he adored them but now I'm not sure about them either. What's your thoughts Susan or any other ES friends? I take everything on board and your probably reading thinking....poor Irish what a worry wart of a mum lol.

Hi Dianne, 

Hobson has not eaten beef bones since Jessie died on 1 May 2005. I believe the only explanation for this is because Hobson felt guilty after Jessie died for taking her bones. After Jessie’s death, Hobson would only eat chicken wings and necks. It is easier to buy organic food now so I only purchase organic chicken wings for my dogs.

After Hobson suffered GDV in 2009, the vet specialist did not say not to feed Hobson chicken wings because I had reduced these to 2 wings most days of the week, not every day. I used to feed Hobson about 4 wings most days of the week. Rose rarely ate bones. Hammer would eat everything.

The vet specialist also agreed that Jalna yoghurt was good for Hobson's digestive system. I notice you are giving yoghurt to Flame.

I would be careful feeding Flame bones. I have only been feeding Hobson the chicken rolls from the butcher for a short time to try to feed more raw even though the butcher lightly steams the rolls. As it turns out, Hobson had an upset tummie during last night and because of his faeces this morning I am now starting to wonder if there is too much bone in the chicken rolls. I am going to reduce the rolls and re-introduce likely cooked chicken meat again.

Even though some holistic vets claim that meat should not be cooked (others have a different view) I believe if you purchase high quality, human grade meat and only lightly cook the meat, not all, if any of the nutritional content will be lost. The bottom line is that some dogs cannot eat raw meat.

I give Hobson many daily supplements. I used to give Hammer and Rose daily supplements too because Rose was 7yo and Hammer was almost 6yo when they came to me.

I do not feed raw offal. I feed preservative free dried lamb liver instead. I purchase high quality, preservative free treats from the Pet Deli on the Gold Coast. The Pet Deli have advised me that there is some preservative in Kangaroo meat so I only feed Kangaroo in the form of dried treats I purchase from the Pet Deli. However, if Flame likes the fresh Roo tails there is no reason not to feed these to him. It is a matter of trying different things and waiting to see how the digestive system copes. Each dog is different. If Flame is doing well on what you are feeding him, stick with this. 

Hobson’s health deteriorated to the extent that it did not matter what I fed him, his food was going straight through his system. He lost an incredible amount of weight. This was not only because of the GDV. He also had a sertoli testicular tumour which the vets would not do anything about even though his nipples became enlarged and his groin turned black. The deaths of Hammer, Rose and Annie have not helped Hobson.

I also have the same problem with Hobson's teeth but purchased an excellent product online from the USA called PetzLife. I gave this to Rose too. It is an amazing product and it works. It is 100% all natural. It is cheaper to purchase directly from PetzLife than a pet supplies shop in Australia. I recommend you consider purchasing this for Flame. Susan

Mel, why RC German Shepherd? What is special about this one?

We use RC Junior Maxi, among other RC products for Mac, mixed with pate or chicken or the like. Darwin has a liver ailment, possibly an internal shunt, so he is on the hepatic version. They get chicken wings too..

Dianne can you get stag bars out there or my preferred antler chews. Totally natural, don't splinter and the dogs just love them. Great for health and dental health specifically. We get the extra large ones. They're not cheap but last well if not left down all the time.

Hi Dianne

I will get back to you on this when I can. I do not want to rush my reply. We have just survived the worst cyclone in the 16 years I have lived on this property. We have not had power or water for 4 days. My property is a battle ground with uprooted trees, trees split in half, branches everywhere. Hobson has really struggled because this is the worst time of the year for him with the high humidity and I have had no power to cool him and no water to bath him. He needs to be bathed every 5 days or less. I have not seen my white faced heron bird friend, Sam since before the cyclone hit on Sunday. I am so worried about him. My baby butcher bird was killed. I have a lot to do in the next week. Also, one of my very best friends died last Saturday.

What I've noticed a lot about ES forum topics is that some members do not read the topic properly. Flame might be different from Hobson but I have to be very careful giving Hobson bones, even organic chicken wings. I think I said this in one of my responses. Hobson will tell me though because he will not eat these wings. Hobson had been fed a natural diet his entire life and he used to have a strong digestive system until GDV.

What I've learned the hard way is to trust my own intuition and my knowlege of my dogs and horses. Go with your own instinct with Flame but keep everything natural to ease the load on the digestive system. He also needs help with his immune system. When I purchased my long haired dachshund, Benmore in 1984 the breeder told me to give him an Ester-C 625mg tablet daily. I have tried other forms of Vitamin C but have always come back to this. I would give this to Flame. I will get back to you about the supplements. Susan

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