Bulking up the poop volume
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Thread: Bulking up the poop volume

  1. #1
    Piper is offline Member
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    Default Bulking up the poop volume

    I had Piper in for her annual exam and commented to her vet that she seemed to be licking her rear end quite a bit. Her environmental allergies are kept under control with injections and we've had no paw licking, skin or ear problems, so I was quite sure the butt licking was not allergy related. I was right. He checked, then expressed her anal glands and said she was fairly "backed up". She's doing very well on California Natural L&R and produces small-ish, firm poops. We suspect her poops may be a bit too small to express her glands and I'm looking for natural solutions to bulk up her poops a bit, without softening them so much that they won't apply any pressure to the glands (which would be counterproductive).

    The vet suggested I can try metamucil, and recommended 1/8 teaspoon in her morning meal. I'd like to consider a food based fiber addition instead of the metamucil if possible. I thought I remembered pumpkin being a good fiber addition, but when I searched it here I found the advice to feed pumpkin was given to folks dealing with soft or runny stools, which is not our issue - quite the opposite. So, any advice on a food item I can add to Piper's diet to help us "bulk up"?
    ~Michelle~<br />I Love my Piper &amp; her lil&#39; sis Cassie &amp; My Twinkies<br />

  2. #2
    Labsrme is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    Pumpkin is fine both for constipation and for runny poop. It is full of fiber, so it works for both problems. You can also run raw vegetables through your food processor and sprinkle on top of the dog food. This is a good source of raw food and fiber at the same time.

    Also, I wouldn't be so sure about the anal gland issues not being allergy related. One of my dogs used to have trouble with her glands, and I was told that her glands were deeply seated and that increasing fiber or may not help, but her problem was an anatomical one. Well, when I changed her food to one that did not contain turkey all of her anal gland problems disappeared. She went from needing her glands expressed every 2 to 3 weeks to not having them done since last May, which is when I changed her food.

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    Piper is offline Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    Thanks Susan. In the allergy diagnosis process we went through a number of food trials - protein changes, eliminations, etc. Although her blood panel didn't show any food allergies, I did find some foods that trigger a flare up in her allergy symptoms; the usual suspects of wheat and corn along with a sensitivity to all things poultry or foul (chicken, turkey, duck). All of those trigger items and just about everything else has been eliminated from her diet (except for what she manages to snitch from the kids). She's eating California Natural L&R, which has a minimal amount of ingredients, which is the best food her by far. I'll give pumpkin a try - can you recommend an amount? Are we talking adding a spoonful to her food, or a cupful?
    ~Michelle~<br />I Love my Piper &amp; her lil&#39; sis Cassie &amp; My Twinkies<br />

  4. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    You might go to a health food store and get some rice bran or oat bran.

    We feed Kirkland C&R (sold only at Costco and the nearest is 70 miles away). It's made by the same company that makes Diamond and has similar but not identical ingredients. One difference is that the Kirkland has 4% Crude Fiber while the Diamond had 3%.

    That 1% made a difference in the firmness/softness of Puff's stools.

    So, when I ran out of Kirkland and wouldn't be able to get to Costco, I'd buy a small bag of Diamond and add a little bran to it.

    Did the job. Maybe it'd work for you?
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    Piper is offline Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    Thanks for the tip, Bob. I make a trip to the helath food store very other week, so this could be an easy solution for us. Rice is a food I know she tolerates well as it's already in her kibble. How much bran do you typically add when you have to feed the Diamond food?
    ~Michelle~<br />I Love my Piper &amp; her lil&#39; sis Cassie &amp; My Twinkies<br />

  6. #6
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    BTW, really cute "Twinkies"!!

    I experimented.

    Puff eats 1 cup of kibble 2X/day (362 kcals/cup). She also likes fruits so I started out by mixing 1 tsp. rice bran into 1-2 TBS of apple sauce and adding that to her kibble. (She wouldn't have licked up the dry rice bran.) Then I judged the output produced.

    The proper amount depends on your dog's weight, the amount of food at a meal, etc.

    If I remember correctly, we ended up using about 2 tsps.

    (We haven't done this for about a year when I bought a used Honda Civic 5 speed which cut the cost of making the trip to less than half. ;D )

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #7
    Piper is offline Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    Thanks. I was quite sure I'd have to experiment a bit to find just the right amount, but it's nice to know I'm to start with teaspoons and not cup measures. Could you imagine if I started with a 1/4 cup? Watch out!

    Piper also eats 1 1/4 cups, twice daily. She was also born in the same month AND weighs just a few lbs more than your Puff. What unusual parallels in two random dogs.
    ~Michelle~<br />I Love my Piper &amp; her lil&#39; sis Cassie &amp; My Twinkies<br />

  8. #8
    lablover is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    Nutmeg always had anal gland problems. She also had food allergies. The vet told me to try pumpkin about 4 years ago. I think there has only been one time the vet has had to express them since then. She gets a heaping tablespoon with her evening meal. Funny, that is first thing she goes for. Make sure you get the plain pumpkin ... not pumpkin pie mix.

  9. #9
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    FWIW, my Puff has never needed to have her anal glands expressed.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  10. #10
    Labsrme is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Bulking up the poop volume

    Personally, I would add the veggies for bulk instead of adding more grains of any kind. Most kibble dog foods are fairly grain heavy to start with, and dogs really need few if any grains in their diet. This is especially important if you dog has allergies of any kind. The veggies are a good way to add vitamins and minerals along with the fiber, and as long as you stay away from sugary vegetables you are not adding any more carbs to the diet.

    I run my veggies through a food processor and then give the dogs 1 or 2 heaping tablespoons of veggies per meal. Just look through your fridge and see what you've got, give them a whirl, then dump them on the food. I also save little odds and ends of veggies - the ends off of carrots, squash, etc., the stems of broccoli and asparagus, etc. I collect them in a bag until I have enough to grind for a dinner or two. It's a good use of food that would otherwise go to waste. If I have a lot of veggies I grind up several days worth, then keep them in a covered container in the fridge.

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