Author Topic: Low potassium with raw diet  (Read 3344 times)

Lisa

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Low potassium with raw diet
« on: September 09, 2011, 11:26:33 PM »
Artax just had his annual comprehensive vet exam with bloodwork.  He's in good shape for his age with arthritis/spondylosis being his only main issues.  But his blood potassium level was slightly low.  The vet suggested feeding him bananas if he'll eat them, which he will as he'll eat almost anything, or a potassium supplement.  Bananas aren't a natural food for dogs so I'd rather not feed them and would like to stick with meat if possible and not rely on pills.  What types of meat, bones or organs have more potassium than others?   Has anyone else had a raw fed dog with a low blood potassium level?
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


Lisa

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 11:31:34 PM »
Oh and last year his bloodwork was perfect, potassium not low at all and he's been eating pretty much the same type of raw diet for a few years.
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2011, 07:58:20 AM »
I was low for potassium and was told to eat bananas too, but round steak has it too.  For example: Baked or broiled salmon, dark meat turkey and lean beef also contain 500 to 600 milligrams of potassium per 6 ounce serving. 

Blood potassium levels also vary with age, so maybe that has something to do with it.  If it isn't drastically low, I would just give him the banana occasionally rather than risk raising it too much and causing another issue.

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BranwenBoxers

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2011, 10:22:31 AM »
Just a question   :)  but why are bananas not a normal food for dogs ?    I am only asking because there are dogs that live around bananas trees and I am sure they would eat them if they were close enough to get to them .      I have not fed them raw for 2 years now  :(   I just don't have the time or extra cash right now , but if i had to choose  between the potassium  sup's or banana's i would go for the fruit .   

 

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2011, 12:01:45 PM »
My crew all LOVE bananas.......
Kerry
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jinxx

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2011, 01:10:51 PM »
mine too
Z gets downright cranky if I don't share
I usually split one between the 2 of them everyday.
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BoxerPerson

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2011, 04:11:50 PM »
I buy a bunch a week for me & mine :-)

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Christina

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2011, 04:54:22 PM »
My guys love fruit and veggies. They eat them as well as meat. There are some species of wolves or foxes that eat the fruit off of a certain tree to kill parasites. I don't think fruit is out of reach of their natural diet. My guys will even eat pecans off the ground, I think they can be a little opportunistic.
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Lisa

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2011, 07:26:48 PM »
Just a question   :)  but why are bananas not a normal food for dogs ?  I am only asking because there are dogs that live around bananas trees and I am sure they would eat them if they were close enough to get to them.

Well for one thing, the bananas we eat are quite changed from what they were originally as a wild fruit so wolves/dogs couldn't have evolved with them as a natural food source.  But mainly I don't feed fruits or vegetables because I follow the advice given here:

http://www.miningcamplabs.com/raw_feeding_101.htm

and here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/261761471359/

the latter one a Facebook group associated with the very large Yahoo raw feeding group and they advise only feeding meat, bones and organs, no fruits or vegetables.  They won't even let you discuss feeding fruits or veggies.  Maybe I will ask about this there.


Baked or broiled salmon, dark meat turkey and lean beef also contain 500 to 600 milligrams of potassium per 6 ounce serving. 

Hmm, that's kind of strange because one thing that has changed with Artax's diet in the last year is the addition of about four ounces of salmon every day, and he ate his last evening salmon meal less than 12 hours before having his blood drawn.
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 09:33:03 AM »
Not too sure I buy into a wild dog/wolf would not eat fruit or veggies...I had a westie, Tyler, that would go pick a windfall apple or pear up and eat daily when they were on the ground...had a boxer that would pick the ripe tomatoes off the plant and pick ripe blackberries off the plant...Also when Hailey was alive, I never was able to pick a ripe zucchini or get a decent size carrot out of the ground since she would steal and eat them off the vine or dig them up and eat them.  Funny, molars or not, she was able to eat these things. So whoever wrote that dogs won't eat or aren't able to chew these things did not know what they were talking about IMO.
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Lisa

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2011, 09:43:20 AM »
It doesn't say dogs aren't able to eat or chew those things, but that they cannot digest them properly since they lack the flat molars needed to crush the plant cell walls.  I don't want to base my decision on what to feed them based on what they will or want to eat, because my dogs and most others will happily eat lots of things that aren't good for them.  Thanks for all the advice.
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


Lisa

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2011, 09:24:38 AM »
I asked about it at the raw feeding group, will see what they have to say, but now that I've received Artax's actual bloodwork report in the mail instead of just an email from my vet saying his potassium was slightly low, I see that it is 3.9mEq/L, with the normal range being 4.0-5.6.  So I'm less concerned now knowing how slightly low this test measured.
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2011, 09:58:03 AM »
I wonder then if this minimal amount may be due to age???
Claire-Mom to Ollie, Zoe, Phoebe, Willie & Snookie

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Christina

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2011, 12:20:20 PM »
It could just be he excreted a little more that day, or was over hydrated. Values can fluctuate so much even in a given day. That little off is not too much, but something to monitor in the future  :thumbsup:
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Lisa

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Re: Low potassium with raw diet
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2011, 01:30:00 AM »
FWIW, here is what I posted to the raw feeding group:

Quote
My nearly 12-year-old Retriever mix recently had his annual vet exam with bloodwork. He's in good health for his age (once again getting compliments on his immaculate white teeth and sweet breath despite never having had any dental work or brushing, love what those raw meaty bones can do for the mouth!), with arthritis/spondylosis being his main problems. His blood testing revealed no significant issues, only slightly low potassium. His level was 3.9 mEq/L, with the "normal" range being 4.0-5.6. He's been on a raw diet for several years and it hasn't changed much in the past year, since his last bloodwork which was all normal. I have started giving each of my dogs about four ounces of salmon per day in the last year but nothing else has really changed. And I read that salmon has a good amount of potassium. I feed a wide variety of meats, bones and organs.

Could this be indicative of an improper meat:bone ratio, are there certain meats, bones or organs higher in potassium that I should maybe be feeding him more of, is his slightly low K level too insignificant to worry about, or any other suggestions? The vet advised feeding him bananas if he'll eat them (he'll eat almost anything, though he is picky about organs, could him eating less organ meat be causing this?) or potassium supplements from a pharmacy/health food store. I'd rather find a way to supply what he needs naturally. Thanks for any advice.

And got this response from one of the most knowledgeable people there, think he might help run the group:

Quote
This would not necessarily indicate an inadequate diet. It might suggest a wonky metabolism, or:
kidney failure
Cushings and other adrenal disorders
vomiting
diarrhea
steroids

There's no reason to feed bananas if you're feeding a quality, varied raw diet. And if you're not, fix the diet, don't feed inappopriate foods. Based on your description, I'd say your vet should focus on diseases that caused low potassium, not diet.

Artax has not been vomiting, had diarrhea or been on steroids.  But the more I investigate this the less worried I am about it.  I got his lab report out of my files from last year, his blood potassium level then was 4.0 mEq/L and the vet said nothing about it.  So it's only dropped 0.1mEq/L since last year.  I'm starting to think he may just have a naturally low potassium level, and his metabolism slowing down with age.
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10