Why is it that i seem to cause the most damage when i try to do the most good? Since switching our Corgi, Pocket to a raw diet i have watched her flourish: she’s a long muscle machine, finally keeps healthy weight on, loves eating (hard to believe she’s a corgi who didn’t like food!), has clear eyes and ears and only itches from nasty fleas and dusty grass instead of allergies. Watching her tear at a rabbit carcass is great fun for us all and i feel really good about feeding her a natural diet vs processed kibble junkfood. I don’t feed the humans of the family out of boxes or bags, why would i feed a processed diet to my dog? Sadly, i didn’t have the best information when i started her on the diet, and it’s had some repercussions.
Raw meaty bones. Raw feeding. Natural diet. Whatever you want to call it: a balanced diet that wolves would eat in nature is what i’m trying to emulate. I’m lucky that i live in the country, surrounded by livestock and many species to butcher or purchase to feed myself and my dog. Feeding in this way is inexpensive and it allows me to waste nothing of the meat i buy from the store or local farmers, or butcher myself. Despite their appearances, dogs’ guts are still the same as wolves and should be fed accordingly. Have you ever seen zoo animals fed kibble? Why feed a dog something you wouldn’t feed a zoo bobcat or wolf? Unfortunately, there were a few details that weren’t included in the reference materials i started out with, and have since learned after joining a raw feeding forum:
- do not feed load bearing bones
- do not feed large bones from large (or old) animals (pig’s feet/marrow bones/soup bones)
- take the bigger bones away after your dog has torn most of the meat off, and they’ll soon learn to stop when they should
I learned the hard way: Pocket broke some teeth. I’m pretty sure those ram bones are to blame and wish i’d listened to my gut and passed on the offer to take that meat, sticking to rabbits and other small critters instead OR cut the meat off the larger bones for her.
We have a doctor’s appointment on the 12th and she may have to have a tooth or two either pulled or root canalled in order to prevent dangerous infections/abscesses in her mouth. If we pull them, a 2 and a half year old dog will be missing the two largest and most important chewing teeth for the rest of her life. If we root canal, we’ll have to be very careful about what bones/toys she chews on and will be faced with a bill of at least $1500. I am ready and willing to do whatever the vet advises as being the best course of action to give her the most years as my best buddy. Dogs on a raw diet have been known to live healthy years beyond their kibble fed cousins, though having all their teeth is certainly helpful for chewing! As a warning to other corgi moms and dads: they think they have big teeth to go with those strong jaws: do NOT feed load bearing or large spine bones, take the bones away early to help them learn self control and prevent breaks and stick to smaller critters suitable for their little heads, despite their big dog personalities.
** UPDATE** After shopping around with Pocket’s new primary vet and the vet who did her spay earlier this year, we’ve found some more reasonable prices! Pulling this large and healthy tooth is difficult and scary, but it appears we should be able to have the procedure done for less than $500. That”s more like it! After many kind words and much encouragement from raw feeders, corgi owners and others experienced with dog dentistry, i’ve been advised that pulling the tooth/teeth is a better option than a root canal, so i’m going that route. Thank you ALL for your advice in this crazy matter. Thanks to Facebook for such wonderful connectivity with a caring community.
Sigh. I am so distraught about this turn of events. I’m also distraught to reach out to the corgi/online community to ask for help. I do not like asking for help, especially in the form of money. Despite the ugly feeling it gives me in the pit of my stomach, i started a ChipIn event asking for some help for Pocket’s procedure. My husband works full time and i work both part time and as a freelance artist and soapmaker, yet we live a very frugal life on limited funds. We do have the savings to cover this event, but a large expense such as this one comes at a difficult time with the impending purchase of our farm and all the expenses that will acrue. You can find the link in my sidebar and i thank you SO much if you feel inclined to donate a few dollars to the cause. Rather than offering charity, perhaps you’d be more keen to purchase something from my Etsy or Natural Soap shops and get something awesome for your money, beyond just the feeling of helping someone out. I would much rather work for my money, but am so thankful for the help i have already received from kind hearted readers. (PS, all contributors WILL receive something tangible for their donations. Watch for a special gift from me and Pocket in your snail mail box).
Pocket is the love of our life. She’s the center of our family. She’s a two person dog who is NEVER at ease without her entire pack together in one space. She is a joy to be with and to watch catch a frisbee in mid air or vault off a boat dock into the water. The thought of surgery at all scares the bejeebers out of me, especially since she responded so hard to the anesthesia when she was spayed. If you can afford a few dollars to help us better afford whatever operation she needs, you can feel great knowing you’re helping the best little corgi in Philomath. I am so sorry to ask for charity and will not mention the request again. If you can’t contribute a few dollars – please consider leaving me a comment with any info you have on dog dentistry, or just a kind word of encouragement for us in this scary time. The little stinker acts like nothing is wrong, so i’m hopeful that her positive attitude will get her through the ordeal, whatever the results. Pray for our little Pocket. Pray for me, the causer of my fur-baby’s ailments. Send some good vibes our way and stay posted for updates in the next few weeks.
Miranda, Andy & Pocket