Grate Dane with IBD

Dakota is a rescued eight-year-old Great Dane mix with a history of inflammatory bowel “disease/syndrome” and secondary lymphangiectasia.  Throughout the course of our seven and a half years of being Dakota’s guardians, we have fed him countless (read: 20-plus!) brands of commercial pet food — in all forms! — and finally had the best results with almost 11 months on a homemade raw diet (which we had to warm up prior to serving, or he would vomit due to his “chronic” inability to digest cold food).  True to form, Dakota told us when he could no longer tolerate this latest diet, which we saw coming a few weeks ago when he was beginning to take more time at meal times.  Our top concern was the transition period, as it has typically been rather rough despite careful efforts to follow manufacturer instructions, and take it slowly.  Every time, bar none, we waded through many days of gas, burping and soft stools, sometimes with mucus and straining.  It was so hard to see Dakota go through these transitions, and now that he’s older we were hoping to avoid any belly issues, but we knew it was time for yet another change.  After a great deal of research, we decided to try Steve’s raw frozen beef patties.  On Day One, we offered a few bites of a warmed up patty during “training time” rather than meal time, in an effort to isolate the food and see how he took to it.  Again true to form, Dakota threw us a curve ball.  He gobbled up the bites of Steve’s even with FedEx truck distractions, and was an A+ “obedience” student — rare for this goofball.  (We are usually happy with Bs and B-minuses.)  Anyway, once training time was over, Dakota followed back into the kitchen, and put his head through the missing bowl hole in his feeder.  We caved, and he got the rest of the patty and obnoxiously slurped the sides of the bowl, lifting it out of the feeder.  We made him wait until dinner time before he got any more, and he promptly picked out the what-we-thought-was-carefully-mixed-in Steve’s food and left our homemade in the bowl.  We added a bit more Steve’s, and he did the same thing.  On Day Two, we tried a 50-50 ratio, after a gas-free, diarrhea-free night.  Same deal.  Poops were normal.  No bloating, no gas.  Needless to say, on Day Three, Dakota was fully transitioned to 100% Steve’s and we “gifted” a raw-food-feeding friend with Dakota’s 12 pounds of grass-fed beef homemade diet castoffs.  This has never happened before, and we are crossing our fingers that things can only get better from here.”

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