Posted : 9/27/2006 3:59:17 PM
Thank you everyone for the advice. I'm the friend Nikki_Burr started the thread about. [
First I'll give you a little background: I adopted Axl (bulldog in question) from the local animal control four years ago. He was considered a "pit bull" (America/English bulldog cross is more likely, but whatever. He's a mutt.) and because of it was immediately labeled "vicious." No one wanted him because everyone at the shelter would go on for hours about how he bit, he couldnt be handled, you wouldn't want him around children/other animals/etc. I spent 5 minutes with him and knew all of that was crap. When I got him he had a raw spot around his neck from being chained, bad callouses on his elbows from lying on concrete, and many of his teeth had been pulled and the tips of his canines filed off. My best guess is his former owners were afraid of him for some reason, toassed him outside, filed his teeth, and ultimately dumped him at the pound. Who knows.
Either way, he's by far the greatest dog I've ever had. Nothing they said about him was true and he's perfectly behaved. I have honestly never met as well behaved as he is, and as for being "vicious"...well, ask my pet rats, cats, ferrets, and various other animals that poke and prod him and look in his mouth and use him as a jungle gym just how "vicious" he really is. [
Anyway, at this point I was 16 and living at home with my parents. They bought the dog food, and they fed him whatever was cheap- Kibbles 'n Bits or Ol' Roy or whatever was on sale. I tried to talk to them about it for years, they didn't care, so finally I decided to start buying his food and I switched him to a raw diet. For a while, he was fine- even chicken bones bothered his gums, but he got over it and ate them. Then he discovered a faster, easier way to eat: gulping and vomiting.
He takes a RMB, crunches it *just* enough to force it down, and then immediately regurgitates it. Then crunches it up a bit more, swallows, and regurgitates. He keeps this for a good 20 minutes or more, until he's satisfied that its been thoroughly crunched. If this method worked well for him, I wouldn't really care- but it doesn't. Already he's gotten bones lodged in his throat while regurgitating, several times, and sometimes partially chewed bones cut his throat and cause him to bleed. His throat swells and any sounds come out hoarse and painful. So, I've tried hacking up bones with a cleaver, and it didn't make a difference. He's learned to eat RMBs this way and he thinks its the only way how.
Now, if this were the only problem, I would find some way to keep him on raw...but it isn't. His coat sucks. He sheds constantly, and everything is dull and oily. He's never been the most active dog, but now his energy level is nil. He's horribly gassy. He was overweight, and he's lost some- but he lost muscle mass too, and now he's saggy and flabby. He just looks old all of a sudden. He's also got a fatty tumor or two and he's been getting *more* since switching to raw. I just don't think raw is right for him anymore.
Now, my chihuahua and ferret are doing beautifully on a raw diet so I know this isn't a case of me not giving him the proper foods. My chihuahua, who was always dull and smelly and hyperactive on kibble is a different dog on raw. Same with my ferret. It's just Axl who has these problems.
When Axl was on kibble he was a bit chubby but he was always shiny and muscular, and ALOT more active. He also really seems to prefer kibble to raw...he goes after my cat's dry food constantly which is something he would have never even thought about doing when he was on kibble. So, I think I'm going to switch him back...but to a good quality kibble, instead of the store brand crap my parents fed him.
So. I've been researching it online and I'm leaning towards TWO, probably Timberwolf Bison Canid Formula since it's supposed to be good for weight management. I'll probably mix that with a canned food...right now I'm leaning towards Eagle. I haven't made my final decision yet. Thanks again for all of the advice, and of course any more is welcome![