Before I get to the main reason for this post I thought I would first give you an update on Leroy’s ear infection situation.
We continue to treat Leroy’s right ear. The ear is 75% better and I am happy with that progress. It’s been tough because he’s getting very good at knowing when it’s time to medicate his ear. Besides a few runaway attempts, he is handling everything like the champ that he is.
However, earlier this week he was shaking his head a lot and he had an obvious head tilt to the left side.
He now has an infection in his left ear, and it’s a pretty good one. Of course we started treatment in that ear right away and it’s getting better. The head tilt is gone for now.
For those who are following Leroy’s ear issue and are curious what treatment we are using, we are battling the infection with a Synotic/Baytril combo medication twice a day and a TRIZ-EDTA/Baytril combo ear wash every two days.
I have to say, we’ve seen better results with this combo than any other treatment that we have tried over the last year but the fact that it is still fighting us has made me want to start his food trial sooner than later.
Which brings me to the whole point of this post.
Finding a food has been very exhausting.
Currently we feed Acana Pacifica. A grain-free fish based kibble. Besides for a few months last year, Leroy and Sherman have been on this food for the past few years and I really like the food.
However, we have been advised to switch proteins and stay away from fish, chicken, beef and lamb, and any other protein Leroy has ever been on until we can get his ears under control.
Which still leaves us with plenty of proteins to choose from, bison, duck, and kangaroo. We have to skip the venison because Leroy was on that for a few months last year.
Finding a new protein isn’t a problem.
Staying away from the fish is the problem.
I have come to find that there are very few dog foods that don’t contain fish in some sort of fashion. Even most veterinarian prescribed allergy diets have fish or salmon oil in them.
I have verified with the dermatologist that she wants us to stay away from anything with fish in it, even fish oil.
I searched and searched and finally I found 3 foods that don’t contain any fish, what so ever.
California Naturals makes a Kangaroo and Lentil diet. Acana has a new limited ingredient diet Duck and Bartlett Pear and Natures Variety Instinct has a Limited Ingredient Duck.
That’s it. 3 foods with no fish and believe me, those diets also come with a pretty hefty price tag.
Of course Leroy is worth it and I’ll pay the money if it means it will help his ears.
Am I 100% convinced that his ear issues are directly related to fish?
But at this point I don’t have time to play around with it.
So in my search for a food for him I really started to think about a raw diet. I’ve thought about switching to a raw diet before but to be honest it’s kind of scary for me for a few reasons.
1. I am in no way a nutritionist and I wouldn’t even know where to start with making sure that the boys were getting the nutrition that they need, however now that I have learned that you can buy prepared raw diets for your dog I am more comfortable with the thought.
2. Raw sounds expensive to me. I haven’t quite broken it down yet but I honestly don’t know if I can afford to feed them both a raw diet. However, with the amount that I could potentially spend on treating his ears it may even out in the long run.
3. My vet does not recommend a raw diet, we’ve talked about it before and I respect where she stands on it, however, she also respects the fact that if I choose to go this route I will do it educated.
I’ve asked around and I’ve gotten some really great feedback from people that I respect and value opinions from who feed raw diets and they all highly recommend it.
At this point I am not 100% ready to commit to a raw diet for several reasons, but I am defintley open to the idea and learning as much as I can about it for the future.
Which is why I would like your feedback.
Do you feed a raw diet? Do you do it all yourself or do you buy prepared raw diets. If you prepare it on your own, explain. If you buy it prepared, which one and why? Do you feed all raw or do you mix raw and dry kibble? I want details!
If you don’t feed a raw diet, is there a reason? Is it to much work? Lack of knowledge on raw diets? Your vet doesn’t recommend raw? You are perfectly comfortable feeding a dry kibble and see no benefit of feeding raw? Tell me!