I am posting this here due to the fact it seems not very members post replies on the health and nutrition forum. If you need to move this by all means do so.
I feel so desperate right now. It seems it has been one thing after another with Bella.
She has gunky eyes, itchy skin, and horribly bad anal glands that fill up every few days. Everything that I have read on the web has led me to believe it is the food we are currently feeding her. She is on Nutro Ultra LBP, it has corn as it's third ingredient, so I think this may be the culprit.
I went to the dog food analysis site and it lists several grain free dog foods, but they cost a fortune or are not recommended for young dogs ( Bella is 5 months).
Can anyone help lead me to a good dog food without grains that won't cost so much? We are desperate, she has been given Benadryl but that doesn't alleviate her problems so again that leads us back to the corn in the food. And her breath is so bad now too since she has been solely on this food.
Help, and thanks for your help ahead of time. We had narrowed our choice to three brands Nature's Variety, (or Instinct, but it says not to feed to pups due to high protein and calcium) Diamond Naturals, (but this has grain in it) or Wellness Core again only for adult dogs. We would like to put her on Orijen LBP but it is so costly.
Sweet Bella Mia at Zion National Park.
I'm not an expert on what grain-free foods are best for puppies, but I'm sure someone else will chime in.
I'm not sure if she has been to the vet lately, but it could be an allergy other than food, as well. I would try switching to something grain-free to see if it helps and if it doesn't, I would consider going back to the vet.
Abbey is currently fed Taste of the Wild and has done very well on it. She was very itchy before when she was on food with grains and her stools weren't too good either, but since being on grain-free, she is MUCH much better.
Also, have you considered a limited ingredient diet? Normally they have one novel protein and one source of carb. I believe the Natural Balance LDI foods are used by some people on here with success.
The vet said her anal glands were normal, but this was after I had expressed them, he got a little out and said the color was fine and she wasn't infected. I am about at my wits end to try and make her feel better. I did think about NB yesterday and I will check out it's website to see the ingredient listing. She had a fair amount of green beans last night with her dinner and that seemed to firm her stools up, so that is a plus. I just feel helpless at this point and I don't want to make her feel bad by changing her food more then this one time, so when I do make the change we will of course incorporate it slowly into her diet and hopefully it will be a good researched choice and the best one for her all the way around.
It is not high protein in the grain free foods that is a concern for growing Lab pups. Its the hi calcium. You need the right amount (no more than 1.5% is recommended) and the proper calcium/phosphorous ratio of 1.2:1.
Here is a list of grain free foods. Orijen LB pup formula is one of the only ones appropriate for growing pups.
Most grain free foods are more expensive because they have more protein and less fillers.
It could be the corn in your food causing her problems. I had a dog years ago allergic to corn. Keep in mind when switching foods it can take time to get the culprit out of the system so give the new food time to see a change.
I pray you find what works well for your girl. I know how awful we feel when our babies are not 100%
Last edited by Snowco Labradors; 10-30-2009 at 02:00 PM.
I hope you find the solution for Bella. Have you tried any of the lamb and rice formulas? I think there are several brands that have lamb and rice formulated for puppies, and while they may not be completely corn-free or wheat-free, they will have considerably less.
My lab is on Orijen and is doing very well. He has a great coat, no dental issues and is in great shape.
When looking at the cost of food try to consider the difference in costs and the also think of the $$ you might spend if she gets other health problems and/or issues food related, which you might have to treat.
Sometimes it makes more sense to spend few dollars extra to avoid such issues (that is if we have those few $$ extra, of course).
I do hope that you'll find something that works for her. Did you consult your vet? They might have a few suggestions too.
Poor thing must be miserable.
I would love to put her on Orijen, but the price is way out of our range due to our job situation. So I have found after searching that we will try Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Formula, it is in the mid price range and although we are here in Nevada we will be back home in Missouri and have found we can purchase it out there as well. However I wasn't able to locate a store that sold Orijen anywhere close to where we live in Mo. I would have to order it online. The calcium level for the NB is 1% and they have it in sweet potato and chicken, or fish even duck which I think we will steer clear of for now.
When she is full grown and our job situation has settled by then (prayerfully :-) I would love to put her on Orijen as I have read nothing but good reviews about it.
Thanks everyone your input has been a huge help! Everyone on here is so great to help out!!
Sweet Bella Mia at Zion National Park.
I was going there as well: Sometimes it's worth paying a little more to keep them healthier overall with fewer vet visits. If you can swing it, I'd try the grain-free.
We started out with Angus on Nutro, and I have kept upgrading him little by little over the years until now we're somewhere in the Orijen price range. I know it's a bit of sticker shock when you first start contemplating grain-free, but after a while I've gotten used to it and don't mind...I think it's worth the cost.
Oh...just saw your last post. My hubby was laid off this past year for about eight months, so we had to come down a little on price too. We were on Taste of the Wild (mentioned above) and that seemed to go pretty well. We have also tried NB LID, and had good luck with that too.