Thursday, December 18, 2008

Consult with Nutritionist

Yesterday I had a phone consultation with the Angell nutritionist to discuss Ike's diet.

I heard rumors that she wasn’t as “chill” with raw as I had been told by my vet. I expected her to attempt to dissuade me from feeding raw. Nope. Hooray!

First she taught me how to correctly calculate the fat content of the prepared meats I am feeding raw. Take the fat content listed on the bag (in this instance NV, Primal, and Oma’s) multiply times 4. That number is your fat content. (The reason you multiply by 4 is because most raw foods are 75% moisture, give-or-take [Primal Pheasant is 68%]. 4 gives you an easy number to work with.)

In the Primal pheasant that works out to 32% fat. For a Schnauzer my personal goal is to keep it at or under 15%. So, if I were feeding Ike JUST the patties it would be WAY too much fat.

Fortunately for Ike I do not feed him just the raw patties. He gets 1 ounce of meat with squash and cooked greens each meal. The ratio I feed him brings that fat content down to around 10%. Phew.

We discussed the lean meats. No more duck or beef for Ike, even rarely. Game meats, please.

Chicken – white meat only
Turkey – white meat only
Venison (which Ike doesn’t tolerate well, alas)
Ostrich – she recommended Blackwing Farm
Possibly Goat – depending upon the cut (leg/muscle would be preferred)
Possibly Llama – depending upon the cut (leg/muscle would be preferred)

Dr. R feels I should get fasted blood work done on Ike. If he does have hyperlipidemia that I should put him on a diet that contains no more than 5% fat. Yikes!

We discussed supplements and the calcium/phosphorus ratio. This ratio was the big concern of the vet who gave me major grief. Dr R does not feel like you can balance calcium/phosphorus ratio by making sure you feeding bone. She says the calcium/phosphorus ratio is balanced IN the bone – then you add more phosphorus with the meat. So, you should be feeding eggshells or calcium carbonate with with all meals. (This is if you are feeding raw meaty bones – not an “AAFCO” balance diet like NV, Primal, which the vets prefer). Dr. R feels that Balance IT is the best supplement available as a multi-vitamin/all-in-one supplement.

I have checked the calcium and phosphorus ratios compared to the Canine Plus by VetriScience which I currently use. They are higher in the Balance It formula. There are similar ingredients but different amounts. I e-mailed the makers of Balance IT and unfortunately unless you use one of the "recipes" there is no recommended dosage for the supplement. What a crock. At $20 a "recipe" you could buy Monica Segal's Optimal Nutrition which deals with homecooked meals and nutrition AND raw for the same amount.

Full disclosure: I used a promo code to download a free recipe. It really is a joke - I am not just being a jerk.

Dr. R feels that most supplements do not provide enough of the key ingredient to be preventative/therapeutic/effective. I asked her specifically about joint support and salmon oil.

With joint support she feels that it is very important to give dogs who are involved in performance sports joint support prior to them actually displaying an issue. She feels that the supplement MUST contain both glucosamine and chondroitin to be effective. She recommended Cosequin DS (Double Strength). I currently use Glyco-Flex Classic 600 mg. While this contains 600 mg of Perna canaliculus (Green Lipped Mussel) which have been shown to reduce joint pain, that doesn’t break down to an adequate amount of glucosamine and chondroitin to effect change.

The typical initial dose recommended is 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 of chondroitin daily for 1- 2 months. If a response is obtained, the dose can be reduced to 1000 mg of glucosamine and 800 of chondroitin or less.

The Cosequin DS contains 500mg glucosamine and 400 mg chrondoitin.

In terms of salmon oil Dr. R said that the typical product owners use does not contain enough DHA or EPA to be therapeutic. I currently use the Grizzly Salmon Oil and took it out of the fridge to work this over. Each pump is 3.5 ml. 12% of which is DHA and 9% of which is EPA. Doing the math, it works out to under a mg(.4 mg/.2 mg) of those oils! Dr. R said I would have to do about 500 pumps a day to reach a therapeutic level. Gah! I have a brand new bottle I just bought, not even opened.

Dr. R recommends 3V CAPS HP Snip Tips made by DVM Pharmaceuticals. Each capsule contains MORE than the daily recommended dose of EPA and DHA. Since the EPA and DHA will be beneficial to Ike if he does indeed have hyperlipidemia (and it is also good for joint support) I will be switching products.

All in all I found the consultation to be worth both my time and money. Now on to the fasted blood work (appt. Tuesday a.m. - same day as Carmie's follow-up eye appt.) so I can make an informed decision about how to proceed with Ikey P’s diet!


Cat, Tessie, & Strata said...

Just a couple of questions...

--I've read a lot of raw sites that say to not even consider the vegetable matter you feed when you are doing any calculations regarding the meals. Also, the Primal patties have a pretty good amount of vegetable matter already in them. Doesn't this make the veg level of his diet way too high?

--Did she suggest a reasonable glucosamine/chrondroitin supplement for beef-intolerant dogs? I know you are no longer giving beef to Bug. Dr. Rogers told me to specifically not give Tessie any Cosequin because of her beef intolerance (the glucosamine is bovine derived). So I guess I'm just curious what she would recommend for dogs like Tessie and Bug. The only product I was able to find when I researched a year ago was Glycoflex, which does not contain chrondroitin. (BTW 1 regular Glycoflex I pill contains 1000mg glucosamine which is the maintenance dose suggested.) Is that statistic listed still valid for dogs, not just people?

AmyPinSeattle said...

I really enjoyed your update with the Nutritionist.

I don't feed raw since I have too many dogs (4 of my own and at least 4+ fosters at any given time)...and to be truthful, I don't cook for myself, so I wouldn't actually "cook" for them! Add the cost, and it's just not a viable option for me.

However, I do agility, tracking and earthdog with all of them. My Schnauzer is the "head" of the pack and takes his role very seriously. All the others are Jack Russells and they completely respect him.

I was very interested in the comments from the nutritionist about the preventative measures for performance dogs.

Thanks for passing the info along!


Diana said...

Great information. Thanks for writing it all down. Diana

Jules said...

Hey Cat, I think to a lot of people that feed raw Ike’s diet would be an abomination! I have discovered over the past couple of years that this is what works for him. I started with no veggies and then that wasn’t working – his diet has evolved. He gets Primal every 4th day. The other days he gets a rotation of NV, Hare Today, meat from a local chicken farm, Oma’s (just started trying this out), and the supermarket (although trying to find a different source so my ethics don’t get all in a bunch). I am aiming for balance over time for Ike’s needs. The tendencies his breed are prone to is another reason why his diet is heavier on veggies and carbs and therefore lower on protein/fat. His diet is also VERY different than Bug’s. Different ratio, different meats, just different. Needless to say I REALLY need my own freezer.

She did not suggest a reasonable glucosamine/chrondoitin supplement for beef intolerant dogs. (Can you tell I am still getting used to having a beef intolerant dog?!) I was not aware (nor did she tell me) that Cosequin was beef derived. Bummer! In researching the company that makes the 3V CAPS I did discover that they have a low allergen (no chicken, beef, wheat, whey, or eggs) formula that looks intriguing. Synovi G3, but I am not sure it meets all the reqs.

When I was writing the post I wasn’t able to find specific dog related daily minimum studies and she quoted human studies – hence the stat.

Amy, Thanks for visiting. We are just starting earthdog and hope to check out tracking thsi year. I'll have to stop by your blog!