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You may have heard of dogs “detoxing” when they first start a raw diet. This all depends on the current health levels of the dog, particularly how many toxins it has been exposed to, and this, in particular, includes the number of vaccines, heartworm medications, flea preventatives etc. they have been given. All of these things have chemicals in them that are difficult for the dog or cat to expel from the body.
With the increased health that raw provides, occasionally this build up of toxins will start to be excreted, usually through the body’s largest organ, the skin, or via the bowels. Typically, this will present itself as unexplained:
- itchy ears (with or without discharge)
- runny eyes
- muscous-y stool
- loose stool
- pee and poo may smell stronger
- the dog may smell more like dog
- itchy coat - may see dandruff or sores
- loss of fur (it will grow back even better than before!)
These are all signs that the body is cleaning itself naturally and no oral steroid or injections, antibiotics or topical treatments should be used – they are part of what the dog or cat is expelling and in fact, if used, they will suppress the detoxification process and cause it to internalize into the major organs and can cause organ disease later in life.
For this reason, they usually need to detoxify following natural healthcare methods, which will enable them to do so safely, slowly and naturally. As an alternative to steroids, consider consulting a good holistic veterinarian.
The detoxification period can be barely noticeable, or can last for months. Your pet may have outwardly appeared perfectly healthy BEFORE you switched him to raw, but the fact that he is now detoxing shows that things were not quite as they seemed.
It is a good thing to be able to rid the body of these toxins that would almost certainly have taken their toll if you had continued to commercially feed him.
For more information on this subject: