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kibble-related diarrhea

When I first got my 6 month old border collie I fed him kibble that was given to me. I started mixing it with better quality kibble. In about a month he got diarrhea. I put him on boiled hamburger and rice and he recovered. This happened for almost a year before I decided to feed him raw. He is now 3 yrs old and hasn't had any problems except he has gained weight. Rain gets 1/2 cup of protein (beef usually), a couple of tablespoons of sweet potato and vegetables processed in food processor twice a day. So he doesn't get a lot. He is 19" tall and about 43 lbs. His teeth are hard to keep clean also.
Do you think he may have a digestive disorder?
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Avatar universal
Whole pressure-cooked chicken with the bones does have a good amount of calcium in it, and Honest Kitchen does contain calcium and other minerals, so thank you for mentioning that.  If you feel in your gut that something is wrong with Rain healthwise, then yes, you owe it to him to pursue a solution.  I wish you the best in getting this thing figured out.  It is obvious you care very much about him.  If you do get an answer, would you please consider posting it here to help others.
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Rain was on a quality kibble and my other two dogs are eating Wellness. I also pressure cook a whole chicken and give them the mush bones and he gets Honest Kitchen Preference which has a lot of calcium. Rain does agility, trials and training. He also likes Frizbee, fetch and hiking.  Rain's teeth are much worst than my 11 year old. So I thought that was important to note. Believe me if Rain could eat kibble I would give it to him. Feeding a raw diet is expensive. I gave him less than a fistfull of kibble a couple of days ago and the next day he had diarrhea. That is the reason I posted this question. I feel in my gut that there is something not right with him. I will consult my veterinarian. Thought I would see if anyone ever heard of this or had some ideas. Thanks for your input.  
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Avatar universal
One of the medical reasons why a dog could eat very little and still gain weight is hypothyroidism.  I don't know if BC's are a breed that is at high risk.  Some breeds get it more than others.  
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Avatar universal
I don't know if Rain has a digestive disorder or not, but he's not getting a biologically appropriate diet.  The diet that you are describing has no calcium in it to speak of, and that is a huge problem.  Dogs need high levels of calcium.  Also, I second ginger899 in questioning how your dog has been able to become overweight on the amount of food you describe.  That's not very much food.  As for the teeth, most pet dogs' teeth require cleaning by a veterinarian every so often.  My own dogs' teeth usually have to be done about once every three years.  

If you are going to feed a raw diet, you might want to look into the BARF diet, which includes raw, meaty bones. There's a lot of information on the internet about BARF that you can look up.  Raw meaty bones will provide calcium and will also help to keep the teeth clean.  Whether you end up with the BARF diet or some other type of diet, it needs to be a diet that is balanced for a dog's needs.    

There are pro's and cons to feeding raw bones.  I give raw bones to my dogs once in a while, but one of my dogs did chip a tooth on a bone.  Even when their teeth don't get chipped or fractured, chewing on bones does wear the teeth down faster than if the dog doesn't chew bones.  Also, bones or bone meal can contain high levels of lead.  For those reasons, I personally do not give bones to my dogs all the time.  I use bones as an occasional treat.  Getting back to Rain, I'm really not understanding why he had so much difficulty tolerating a good quality kibble.  

I'm not thinking Rain has a digestive disorder.  If he has a digestive disorder that caused him to get diarrhea on kibble, I believe his digestive disorder would have made itself known in these two years or so that you have been feeding him the raw processed mix.  As far as I know, there's no digestive disorder that will cause a dog to have diarrhea on kibble but not on raw food.  So I'm very perplexed as to why he could not tolerate kibble, and I'm also very concerned for the lack of calcium in his current diet.  Two years is a long time for a dog to be on a diet that is that low in calcium.      

There are some great brands of kibble out there nowadays -- many of them grain-free, if you don't want to feed grains to your dog.  Any good brand of kibble should have a good level of calcium in it.  That's one of the reasons I choose to feed kibble -- because the better dog food companies do research and testing on the nutritional balance of the foods they sell.  If you can work out a way to feed a high quality kibble as your base diet, then you can still supplement it with raw foods.  IMO that's a pretty healthy diet.  I know that some of the raw food people will disagree with me, and I don't want to start any disputes here.  To each his own.  I'm only stating what I do for my own dogs and what I believe.

But if you do want to feed kibble, there has to be a way to get Rain transferred over to kibble.  That question could be a thread on its own.  There are a lot of things besides either a digestive disorder or just the notion that "kibble is bad" that can cause a dog to have diarrhea on a particular type of food.  Lots of dogs are happily eating kibble and living long, healthy lives.  Some brands of kibble don't agree with some dogs.  Some dogs just need a really, really, slow transition when changing from one type of food to another or even when changing from one brand of kibble to another.  Some dogs with sensitive stomachs do better if the kibble is pre-soaked with water to soften it.

It sounds like you could use some expert consultation on Rain's diet.  I hope you have a regular veterinarian that you take him to for preventive care.  There are additional sources of dietary information other than veterinarians, but you still need a vet for the things that only vets can do.  Please establish a relationship with a veterinarian for Rain, if you have not done so already.  I can tell you love Rain, so please utilize every source of help and information for him.

Good luck.
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675347 tn?1365460645
Border Collies are beautiful dogs!
This doesn't sound like a lot of food at all. So it makes me wonder why he is gaining weight.
When you feel his belly does it just feel "overweight"? Or does it feel distended in any way, like there is fluid accumulating? If the weight gain doesn't seem quite right, or is located in his belly only, then a quick check-up with the vet might be in order. Because his food intake seems minimal.

But are you sure he's getting the proper exercise?
A three-year-old Border Collie has to be one of the most energetic creatures alive! They are working dogs, capable of covering MILES walking each day, regularly. They are not born or bred to be solely "indoor" dogs, and their exercise requirements are more than most other breeds.
It could possibly be that he's not getting the right amount of exercise. Not just "leash-walks" but some form of exercise off-leash like chasing frisbee (for at least a half hour at a time) -swimming, or agility. These dogs are by nature the best companion you could have on a full-day's trek in the woods, or hill-walking.
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