Raw and Healthy Pet Food in Boca Raton! Holistic Pet Cuisine 561-241-9151

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See how a raw diet for your pets will assist them in boosting their immune systems and help them live a long and healthy life!

Nature’s Variety

Case Study of the raw diets

This case study was done by

Nature’s Variety

Please contact Natures Variety if you have any questions regarding any information that is associated with this case study.


Case Study #09-01


Dates of Study:  5/23/09 – 10/23/09

Breed: German Shepherd Dog

Age: 10 months (DOB 8/08)

Gender: Female, spayed

Chief Complaint(s):

  • Chronic diarrhea and loose stools
  • Failure to gain weight (BCS of <3)

Before, May 2009


In February of 2009, Josie presented to her veterinarian with a low body condition score (less than 3 on a 1-9 point scale) and soft stools/chronic diarrhea (score of 2 or less; stools were scores based on a whole number scale between 1 and 5 with 1 being nearly liquid and 5 being hard and firm).  She was not gaining weight; ribs and hips prominent.  Her coat was in fair to good condition, though not glossy.

Initial blood work-up on 2/28/09 indicated a low serum B12 combined with high serum folate, suggesting that Josie had a small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) possibly due to some form of pancreatic dysfunction.   It is not uncommon for dogs with pancreatic dysfunction to have a secondary SIBO due to the low or absent pancreatic secretions in the upper small intestine.  However, her fasting Trypsin-Like Immunoreactivity test (cTLI) showed a numerically low but normal value of 6.8 ug/L (range 5.7 – 45.2 ug/L), effectively ruling out Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).

Differential diagnosis suggested Josie most likely suffered from either primary SIBO (a form of antibiotic responsive diarrhea or ARD) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), both common diseases of German Shepherds, as opposed to pancreatic dysfunction such as EPI.  Bacterial overgrowth will not only damage the intestinal mucosa leading to increased intestinal permeability (i.e. leaky gut syndrome) and nutrient malabsorption, but will also produce toxins, bind cobalamin and synthesize folate.



Beginning on 4/1/09, Josie was treated with weekly B12 injections (0.8cc) and twice daily doses of tylosin (10-20 mg/kg) to control the bacterial overgrowth.  Presuming that Josie perhaps had IBD as opposed to SIBO/ARD, she was also switched to a new diet of novel proteins – daily intake of ~240 kcals (8-9 oz) of Hill’s Prescription Diet® d/d® Duck Formula canned food mixed with ~1350 kcals (4-5 dry cups) of Royal Canin Veterinary Diet® Duck and Potato Formula™ kibble.  She was fed occasional Hill’s Prescription Diet® Hypoallergenic Treats, supplemented daily with enzymes (ProZyme®) and given an occasional 1 gram packet of Purina Veterinary Diets® FortiFlora™.  Total daily caloric intake based on food amounts reported by owner was ~1550-1700 kcals.

After 6 weeks (5/8/09) on twice daily tylosin and weekly B12 injections, Josie’s stools were improving, though they were still soft (score of 2-3 on a 5 point scale).  She was still not gaining weight (BCS still less than 3).   The change to a novel protein kibble and canned diet did not appear to be working, evidence that Josie likely did not have IBD.  It was decided to stop antibiotic treatment and reduce B12 injections to bi-weekly to determine if she indeed had SIBO.

Two weeks after stopping the tylosin (5/21/09), Josie’s stools reverted back to a score of 1-2, triggering the owner to bring Josie back to the clinic.  Josie likely suffered from ARD based on the fact that after stopping tylosin treatment, stools did not improve but actually worsened.  The attending veterinarian decided to enroll Josie into the Nature’s Variety® (NV) Raw Diet Feeding Case Study, hoping that a nutritional approach would alleviate her chronic loose stools and sub-optimal weight gain.  Josie was placed on a raw diet for 153 days (about 5 months beginning on 5/23/09).

Josie was transitioned gradually over the course of four weeks to a NV raw diet, starting with about 5-10 oz of Nature’s Variety® Raw Frozen Chicken Formula.  Eventually she was consuming about 25 oz of raw diet once successfully transitioning to 100% raw (~1625 kcals/day).  Since Josie was perceived to be a finicky eater and desperately needed to gain weight, rotation feeding within the raw frozen line was recommended.  Rotation of protein sources is a feeding philosophy advocated by Nature’s Variety®.  Feeding a variety of protein sources and even food forms is thought to reduce the development of food-related intolerances and allergies, prevent boredom, and improve interest at meal time.

It became apparent to the owner that Josie preferred to eat the Beef Formula and Venison Formula and was offered those proteins more often than others.  Treats comprised of NV Freeze Dried (FD), Pizzles, and Raw Frozen Bones.  She continued with enzyme supplementation and occasional probiotic doses.  Her owner kept a daily log of raw food intake, protein source, supplements, interest in food, and stool score based on a 1-5 point scale.



After fully transitioning to raw (6/21/09), Josie’s appetite increased and she appeared to be interested in food once more (though at times she was finicky about which flavor she wanted to eat).  Her daily food intake was on average 25 oz per day comprised of 100% raw diet with FD and raw bones as treats on occasion.  Her estimated daily caloric intake was about ~1625 kcals.

During the 30 day transition phase, her stool improved from a score of 2 to a score of 3, increasing in firmness over time until after just 60 days it was a well-formed, normal stool (score of 4).  Stool volume was noted as being much less also (6/17/09).

After 153 days (10/23/09), the owner noted that stool volume decreased and more importantly, Josie’s chronic diarrhea had ceased such that her stool consistency improved 100% (score of 4).  Josie also gained weight – her ribs and hips were no longer prominent (BCS of 4).

After, October 2009

During the follow-up exam on day 153, the end of the case study period, the veterinarian noted that Josie’s coat had begun to shed in a normal manner.  Her weight increased approximately 16.6% over her initial pre-raw feeding exam weight (total gain of 9 lbs).  Josie weighed 63 lbs, closer to the ideal weight of a mature German Shepherd dog of 77-84 lbs.



This case study documents the successful holistic treatment of an EPI-like condition concomitant with suspected bacterial overgrowth (SIBO/ARD) and nutrient malabsorption using simple dietary intervention without resorting to pharmaceutical modalities.   After 153 days of feeding NV Raw Frozen Diet, the underweight diarrheic patient was able to gain weight and pass normal stools.  Despite being a finicky eater, the veterinarian commented that feeding a raw diet was a highly successful treatment option for treating a suspected case of SIBO/ARD.

The data shows that chronic disease such as SIBO/ARD commonly treated with long-term antibiotic administration can be managed successfully using diet alone.   When a complete and balanced raw diet based on the type of foods likely consumed by wild, ancestral canines (raw meat, bones, organs, and whole fruits and vegetables) is fed to our modern pets, it is an effective and viable treatment modality for certain conditions when compared to conventional therapies.  Further, this study suggests that when dogs are fed foods complementary to the ancestral origins of their digestive physiology, the body more effectively extracts the nutrients from the food, restoring intestinal balance and whole body health.

Interestingly, this study demonstrates that a raw diet, often misinterpreted as potentially harboring enteric pathogens, can successfully manage and alleviate the symptoms of a disease considered traditionally to be caused by the overgrowth of enteric pathogens.  Raw diets are not the cause of bacterial overgrowth as if often presumed and may in fact represent a non-pharmaceutical treatment option.  Clearly, raw diets are a less invasive and less expensive therapy when compared to the cost of purchasing antibiotics and all the potential drug related side-effects including stress to the patient and client.

This case study was completed by Natures Variety and not by Holistic Pet Cuisine and Market.

If you have any questions please contact


We sell a large selection of Natures Variety raw dog food in Boca Raton, Florida. Come in and let us help you find the proper diet for your cat or dog.

Come into Holistic Pet Cuisine and feel free to ask us questions that might concern you regarding raw dog and cat food. We offer the largest selection of healthy and nutritious raw diets for dogs and cats in Boca Raton, Florida and the Palm Beach Counties.

Where nutrition is key!

Holistic Pet Cuisine

1000 Clint Moore Road

Boca Raton, Florida 33487




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