Especially as a new raw feeder, the detoxification period can be kind of intimidating. This can be doubly scary when friends, family and/or veterinarians are telling you that raw will make your pet ill or worse yet, kill them. But rest assured a period of detox is actually completely natural and is very healing.
Common signs and symptoms of detox can include one or several of the following:
Mucous in stool
Very firm stool
Expulsion of parasites
Smelly ears or ear problems
The reason these symptoms occur often is due to an accumulation of toxins that are released from the body when switching to a natural diet. Toxins can come from chemical flea and tick medications, worming medications, vaccinations, steroids, antibiotics, chemicals encountered in the environment from the air, lawn treatments and cleaners and even your very own pet food. Over time these toxins build up and are stored in the body.
When the body enters a period of detox, all these stored up toxins are expelled. The skin is the most common exit point but the mouth, anus, eyes and ears can also be exit points. This is a natural process and the body is equip to help this process to naturally cleanse the body so do not “aid” the process with medications to treat these symptoms. This will only set the detox back and further contribute to toxic load.
These symptoms will pass. Often it can take a week or two to detox but it could be months while some companions never go through a detox. It heavily depends on how much toxicity has accumulated, how often your companion has been exposed to these various toxic sources and how old your companions are.
There are a few things you can do to move the detoxification process along. Encouraging the consumption of more fluids can help as well as provide more walks during the day or extra play time. Digestive enzymes, probiotics/prebiotics can also be included to aid digestion.
The key things to remember:
This is a time of healing and regeneration.
All the stored waste and toxins are being flushed out through multiple avenues.
Stick with a species appropriate diet
The detox period will end
Watch in amazement as your pet becomes healthier than you could ever imagine.