The Dangers of Raw-Feeding a Dog, or What Could Be More Gross Than Five Kids?

Oh, I know, I know! Five kids plus a dog with — I’m not even going to share what it is until the end of this blog, because you may not want to know, and I want to give you the chance to skip it if you’re easily grossed out.

Sure, I’m happy to talk about my fistula, but when it comes to The Dog Without a Downside — who shall henceforth be called Dog With World’s Biggest Downside — I’m a little more demure.

I’ve had a lot of drama with this dog. She is a beautiful looooooooooooooong Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sold to me on a show contract. Yes she’s a fancy schmancy American Kennel Club dog (er, bitch), with amazing champion bloodlines. The breeder suggested that I could show her — and I could have, she’s truly a gorgeous example of her breed — but I only did a few dog training classes with her. Showing is time consuming and expensive, and if there’s two things I have none of, it’s time (besides the time I waste on the interwebz) and money.

The breeder fed her a grain-free kibble and raw food, and we have always fed our dogs a raw diet, so we continued that. It consists of mainly Raw Meaty Bones (chicken backs or necks), Organ Meat, Vegetable Slop, Eggs, and sometimes Tripe. Tripe is so awesome, it’s raw, undigested cow stomach. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!?!? Vomit. It’s also expensive. Winning!

Anyway, then the dog wouldn’t eat much. She was also ridiculously active, running all over the backyard, herding things, herding us in the house, running around in circles, and getting taken on walks. And as such with what happens when you burn more than you consume: She got skinny. (Or so they tell me. I’ve never burned more calories than I consume.)

Some busybody at the Kennel Club where I took her to obedience class, got wind of her size and contacted the breeder, telling her that my dog was SKELETAL. My breeder went apeshit and told me I was a bad dog owner and threatened to take the dog. (*Note: My experience with professional dog people is that they are fucking CRAY-CRAY. Go to the Humane Society. Or be willing to pay a fortune and deal with the cray-cray. But don’t worry, it’s all for the good of the dog. Too bad the dogs can’t talk.)

After that, my life began to revolve around Getting Dog Fat and as such I made her raw things like Fat Balls, which included 80/20 ground beef, peanut butter, and canola oil. More tripe. Pre-made puppy raw, which has a higher fat content than regular raw.

It took forever because she’s still not a big eater, but the dog finally got to a “normal” size — and then exceeded it. I took her to the vet yesterday and she weighs 35lbs.

Why was she at the vet?

Funny you should ask! She threw up recently and it looked… strange. I took a picture of the vomit and compared it with Google, MD, and decided she had some kind of worms. I handled it as calmly as I handle anything else that involves insects and dogs and possible diseases that can get passed to my children: I ran around the house screaming and washed everything in my house on the Sanitary Cycle of my washing machine. Then I took her to the vet.

And the vet determined — stop reading now if you don’t want to know — that my dog, who still doesn’t eat that much, and often leaves her raw chicken untouched, had consumed maggots.

There are a multitude of ways that she could have gotten into maggots. (1) She left her chicken untouched, it got maggots, and then she decided to eat it (2) she took her chicken to a corner of our yard, where it was left untouched, it got maggots, and then she decided to eat it (3) she ate something out of the compost that had maggots. (3) is the least likely, because we don’t put any fat or dairy into our compost. But still. She can’t talk. I have no idea what happened.

The vet gave me a RX for Flagyl, which is what I use when I have problems with my lack-of-intestines, and reminded me to use anti-flea medication and a heartworm preventative every month, and sent me on my way. I am totally grossed out.

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