So What Makes You Think
Your Dog Isn't A Carnivore?
Go to Morah's memorial page
In the fall of 1990, we brought home an adorable pup. Little did
that this tiny bundle of fur would change my entire life. She was a relatively
puppy, but she seemed low on energy and she was itchy. Suspecting fleas,
we did all the necessary treatment for her, our older male collie and the cats
with the yard and house.
The itchiness continued and lesions appeared.
We did the rounds to vets, including specialists, and around a year of age we found one who suggested food allergies were the root of her problems.
We took away the rawhides and hooves, changed to a hypoallergenic diet, and saw an immediate improvement. It took another eight months of experimentation to identify that, in addition to beef, she had an allergy to corn.
Morah loved to work and we were quite involved in competitive obedience training. She just did not have the energy to do all in life that she wanted to do. She would get sick, lose weight, or drop coat if she was stressed. Since many of her close relatives died at a young age of bloat, I always had that concern in the back of my mind also.
I tried all sorts of supplements to boost her system, but we were going nowhere fast. A friend suggested thyroid testing, which we had done at a year of age. Morah was now approaching three, so we trotted off to the vet for yet another test. The results came back low normal, and the vet recommended thyroid supplementation. There was a marked improvement in her coat and weight, but we continued to experience health problems and lack of energy.
By four years of age, Morah began to develop an eye disease called fibrous histiocytomas. We began treatment and six months later another eye disease (corneal dystrophy) appeared. Another six months and we went to an obedience trial where she could not see the jumps. Lenticular sclerosis (the beginning of cataracts) had ended her obedience career at the ripe old age of five and a half.
Needless to say, I was very upset about her. Another bitch from her line, younger than Morah, had contracted fibrous histiocytomas and subsequently died of bloat.
Shortly before Morah's eyes began to fail, she and I discovered the wonders of an annual dog camp called WIZKID. This was the first time I heard enlightened dog people talk about nutrition. Specifically, a woman by the name of Lisanne Major. She explained in shocking (to me) terms the ideal diet for our little carnivores. Though she planted the notion, I was too afraid that I would make my sick dog sicker to take her advice.
We returned from WIZKID the next year and I made an appointment with a holistic vet. He said he fed raw meat. I said, "You Dooooo!", and worried some more and did nothing. I went down to the closest veterinary school library to do research on the subject. To my surprise, there were very few books on canine nutrition on their shelves, but three of them said to feed raw meat.
One month after Morah contracted the third eye disease, a friend brought me an advertisement from her German Shorthair National magazine. The ad was for a raw, all beef diet. Now here I sit with a wonderful dog who is allergic to beef and slowly going blind. What do I do? I hop on the phone and order 50 pounds of this stuff. The fear of feeding raw meat was finally overcome by the fear of losing my best friend.
Literally one month after feeding the diet, we went back for an eye check. Morah's vet looked in her eyes, turned the lights back on and stared at me. I said, "Now What!" and she said the most wonderful thing I have ever heard -- "They are CLEARING!" We have been off the medication ever since. Not only that, we have not needed any other medication, except her thyroid pills, since the diet change.
We spent three years doing research before we found a diet we could trust. Initally, we brought in three diets and tested them at the local USDA Lab. Only one passed. We continue to routinely test for the presence of yeast, mold, and harmful bacteria common to beef.
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