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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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Thank you Susan for taking the time to give me suggestions, I truly apreciate it. Your Hobson is a lucky boy having you as his mum, clearly you care greatly :)) Hobson is a lucky boy he has you and its very sad that he's lost he's much loved fur family:( I'll try the product you mentioned Susan from the United States, is it like a toothpaste? And I'll also try chicken wings. I've fed yoghurt for many years, my vet at the time of rescuing Flame gave many good diet ideas as he was practicing in the 70's when irish were at there peak of popularity (sometimes its organic sheep milk yoghurt lucky irish). Yes I'll stick to what he has been happy and gaining weight on and I'll steer clear of marrow bones as really he was never that keen. Can I ask what the suplements you use are Susan and their benefits? I'd love to know as they may help. Give hugs to your Hobson from myself and Irish. X
Hello Mel, I use to feed royal canin.... hmmmm memory lapse which one though but was extremely happy with Flames condition but as the protien was high he broke out in small sores on he's face. Since then I have messed around trying to get something that agrees and adds Kgs! The kibble I use now is an holistic US one which I'm happy with but I'm going to try the chicken wings like yourself and Susan feed, obviously it's a favourite with the Irish. I think I have a boy with just maybe underlying health problems but as I don't know he's pedigree or breeding, I'm flying blind :( it can be quite distressing at times but something I completely accept. Thank you for your help Mel. X

Being an Australian and having read the books of both Tom Lonsdale and Ian Billinghurst, I disagree with both these vets in some areas. These vets disagree themselves on whether a dog is an omnivore or carnivore. In fact, Tom Lonsdale has publicly degraded Ian Billinghurst.

My research might be incorrect but I believe bones usually contain higher protein content than meat.

Have your IS suffered GDV, Mel? If not, your comments might not be completely relevant for Flame.

The PetzLife is a wonderful product for cleaning dogs teeth. Please do not disregard this. I have told many owners of elderly dogs about this product and they are so grateful.

The omnivore carnivore argument seems to be on the physiology, that dogs jaws only move in an up/down movement, whereas omnivores can move up/down side to side.  Dogs have been shown to be able to process some starches, but I would suggest that these are complex unprocessed carbohydrates (fiber) and not over cooked and highly processed carbs which are causing so many problems for humans, let alone a species whose diet is vastly carnivore.

One of my old dogs did have GDV and he did much better on Nature Diet in the end than the prescription diet the vet provided  Nature Diet is lightly cooked meat, some veg and rice which contains bone meal. He was one of the first dogs to be fed Nature Diet in the UK in the days when ND was a very small company based in Surrey. It was very gentle on his digestive system.. It was because of this dog that I started looking into raw feeding and decided to stick with it once I had made the switch. 

My view was and always has been, that I go on the results of what I put inside my dogs, and put inside myself and adjust accordingly depending on what the outcome (literally) is.  

I have read the arguments between Lonsdale and Billinghurst. There are things to be said for both sides. Ideally my dogs would go out and  catch their own food and eat what they caught, that would  be the most natural way and probably the healthiest way.  One of the fittest and healthiest dogs I ever met live to 21 years, lived on a local farm, caught and ate his own food, and never once entered a veterinary surgery. He died peacefully at home. Unfortunately, where I live now, this is not possible for my dogs and just not practical for most dog owners.  I do believe dogs are more adaptable than Lonsdale suggests, hence the reason why they have evolved from being wolves.

I also do not believe that high protein/low protein really comes into it. Its the quality of those proteins which count. If they are highly processed, and altered by the processes, then long term, that cannot be good for man nor beast of any description.

Hi Sue, thanks for your chew suggestions....funny I envisaged my setters trying to get out of the French doors in our home with a pair of Stag Antlers lol. They sound fantastic or even the chews, I guess similar to our Kangaroo chews. Our son is a dairy farmer and he said the Kelpie and border collie working dogs absolutely adore the cow horns....I thought Yuk, my son assured me there completely natural and the dogs chew them for hours and no animal has lost it's life to feed my pooches :)) so to me they sound similar to your stag antlers, I'm going to give them ago. Hopefully our Irish don't think there too good for them lol....since the farm dogs eat them :)) take care Dianne and Irish.
Thanks Fran for your advice, the farm dog seems to always live long happy healthy life :) !. I must confess I use to cook a big pot of stodge for my dogs with pasta chicken mince, veg and rice, I thought I was doing the right thing. With changing to the fresh meat which I'll never know if that's why they are better but I honestly didn't like what I was feeding them I just wasn't sure what to change to. When Flame suffered GDV, I thought I must look for something better to go with their kibble which is a US made one, the raw meat is definitely better at this stage. I do have fresh Roo tails which are very lean meat with a more like cartilage than bone going through the middle ( not unlike a neck of a sheep ) do you think they would be ok? As the specialist who did the surgery on Flame wrote on he's release paperwork, no bones ! I am sorry too Fran that you have had to deal with GDV in one of your setters. Take care.

Those Roo tails sound really good, providing he's not showing any signs of pain, sicking up remains the following morning and what comes out the other end is looking good. The thing to be concerned about is that he is digesting them ok :-)

Thanks Mel, with all the advice I've received it seems for once I just maybe on the right path which makes me very happy. Young Ruby seems to be a little like Flame, so I guess at least I'm making some ground work with their diet and hopefully she will gain wait. It seems weight in Irish setters is discussed often on ES, at least I'm not alone. Many thanks Mel :)
Ps...just read your reply Mel. I felt exactly the same about chicken wings but I'm fine to go back to them, I really do need to put Flames ordeal behind him and myself. Your feeding ways sound great. Thank you :))
Yes the Roo tails are great, I'll give them a go with him. Thanks Fran

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