Food Problems Continue...need advice
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Thread: Food Problems Continue...need advice

  1. #1
    Robyn1313 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultFood Problems Continue...need advice

    Hi All:
    I have posted here before regarding my itchy puppy Tazzie. Our problems with getting her settled on a food that agrees with her continues. She is now 6 and a half months old. Here is a little history. When we brought her home from the breeder at 8 weeks old she was eating Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy food. She remained on that for several weeks. Her stools were very good and few but she was constantly scratching and biting on her paws. I mentioned this to the vet and he said she was probably reacting to corn, wheat or soy in her food. So off I went to the store and purchased Wellness Large Breed Puppy Food. This is chicken based with no wheat, corn, or soy. Well the itching continued but her stools became loose, mushy and frequent 5 or 6 times per day. The vet then suggests that it may be the chicken. Off to the pet store again and I purchase Wellness Lamb, Salmon and Barley. This has been horrible. The lamb caused gas almost immediately. Her stools remained loose and mushy and eventually became watery diarrhea and very frequent. In the meantime, I took stool samples in and she tested negative (twice) for any parasites or bacterial things. I had a blood test done to test for allergies and the only thing that came up positive is Whey protien. The vet tells me that this does not mean she will not "react" to certain foods and itch and have diarrhea. Thanks for telling me that BEFORE we spent the $280 on testing, vet. She also feels that some of the itching is enviormental. She has suggested Zyrtec and/or Benadryl. They help only a little. I have since switched foods again (I know, my poor puppy) to Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato. She has runny stools and seems really tired. (Tired of me changing her food!). I have had several food suggestions from people, Natural Balance, Nutro Naturals Venison Sensitive Stomach and Skin (3 people suggested that one), Natures Recipie Grain Free Salmon and Pumpkin. I am completely confused as to what to try next. I want to find something to stop this stomach and itching issue for her without having to go through many, many more foods. She is a great dog and I feel bad. Any suggestions on these foods? Also the vet has put her on Tylan Powder for intestinal inflamation for a while hopefully to help. I am wondering if this Blue Buffalo and the Wellness are just too rich for her sensitive system. Fortunately, she has continued to gain weight (currently 43 pounds) and looks quite healthy during all this nonsense.

    Help, please
    Robyn

    Sorry this is so long, but this has been an looooonnnngg journey and I am frustated (as I am sure Taz is also).

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  3. #2
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    When you changed foods, did you do it gradually? A "cold turkey" change will often produce runny stools. How long did you leave her on the food before changing it again? If you've made this many changes in the 4 1/2 months you have had her I would suspect some of her problem stems from the frequency of changes.

    Any improvement in her symptoms is going to take some time to happen. I would not expect her to show relief in the first week (or 2-3). Whatever she is reacting to needs to get out of her system completely.

    If she were mine, I would feed her a home cooked diet of boiled ground chicken and rice for several days to calm her system down a bit (or a prescription food from the vet). Then choose a food with a novel (meaning atypical) protein and carb source. Like venison and sweet potato. I would not feed anything from Nutro even if it was free. Some members on here use the Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach with success.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  4. #3
    Robyn1313 is offline Junior Member
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    Sharon,

    Each time I have changed the food (this is the third) I have done it over a 9 day period. I started with 25% new food, then to 50%, then to 75%. I took it very slowly to give her time to adjust. She was on the Wellness Puppy (Chicken) for 2 large bags. I did not wait that out any longer because her itching and loose stools were very bad. Then on the Wellness Lamb, Salmon and Barley for 2 large bags. She has not been on the Blue Buffalo very long, only a couple of weeks. Maybe I should give it a little more time. I would have left her on the Lamb longer but things were getting progressivly worse on it. She had gas and runny stools on that from the 2nd day it was introduced. I realize the itch thing will take a long time on a new food to get better, but the digestive issues seem a little more urgent to address. By the time I decided to change her from the Lamb her stools were watery and very gassy. The Vet said it was probably the lamb. I am more than willing to give this stuff more time as long as she doesn't appear to be suffering. I felt the watery stools were very urgent because she is still growing and developing. I think the Venison and Sweet Potato may be a good idea. They will be new to her and maybe easier on her. I will try to stick this current food out a little longer and see it things improve, then if not make a change.

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    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    Not all food agree with all dogs. Just a 50/50 mix of Wellness with his old food gave my Caleb diarrhea when he was a puppy. I've had wonderful results with the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient line. We've (my vet and me) have come to the conclusion that Caleb has environmental allergies as well as food sensitivity/allergies. Instead of going the expensive blood testing route, we're simply working on management- Benadryll spring through fall and rinsing, wiping Caleb down (my husband has been umeployed for over 18 months). I've even started vaccuming more often and spraying the carpet and dog beds with Febreeze Allergen Release. After he goes swimming in streams, ponds, etc, I spray Caleb down with a 50/50 mix of water and original Listerene, too. All this hasn't stopped the scratching, but it sure has reduced it.

  7. #5
    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    I'm sorry your puppy has had such a hard time with diarrhea! I can definitely sympathize as our Charlotte had horrible diarrhea off and on for the first year of her life.

    Let's start out with the allergy issue. Food allergies are a good differential for a young dog with consistent negative parasite checks and persistent diarrhea who had been biting and chewing at her feet. (Personally I would also deworm and treat for giardia prophylactically in this puppy - as we did with our Charlotte). Blood tests, however, are entirely unreliable to check for food allergies. The only acceptable way to rule in or rule food allergies in dogs is a hypoallergenic diet trial for a minimum of 8-10 weeks to see if symptoms resolve. The two types of diets that can be used in these trials are hydrolyzed protein diets and novel protein diets. Since your puppy has already been exposed to a number of proteins, I would choose a hydrolyzed protein diet. The basic theory behind hydrolyzed proteins is that the proteins are broken up so small that the digestive tract doesn't recognize them. All hydrolyzed diets are Rx and can be purchased from veterinarians: Purina HA, Royal Canin HP, and Hill's z/d. I don't care for z/d, as it's hydrolyzed chicken, and the Royal Canin now uses hydrolyzed chicken fat in their food, so personally I'd go with the Purina HA, although HP is slightly better for growing puppies. During the diet trial feed nothing other than the food. No treats, no heartguard/interceptor (use revolution topical instead), no table scraps. It's important to give it at least 8 weeks to see improvement. If she gets better - great! You can add in one protein, cooked, for a few weeks and see if symptoms return. If they don't then you can try to find a food with that protein from a pet store.

    The problem with "hypoallergenic" diets from pet food stores is that companies often all share one factory to produce dry food (Natura has their own factory, but most others share to my knowledge). This means that maybe a chicken food was made right before your salmon food - and so your salmon food has tiny particles of chicken in it. You definitely do not want this happening if you're going to the trouble of feeding only one thing exclusively for 8-10 weeks! The hydrolyzed protein diets are either produced at a separate plant (I think it's Hill's that produces z/d solely on one line) or the machines are thoroughly cleaned and the first few runs of the new food are discarded to guarantee that no other proteins are present. Once you've established whether or not a food allergy exists - then is the time to go ahead and try more affordable and easily available pet foods (the Natural Balance line is great).

    I would also consider looking at full bloodwork +/- TLI, cobalamin, folate. Have the skin lesions on her feet completely resolved since you switched foods? If nothing else, I'd consider going back to the original food. Good luck, I know having a poopy puppy is absolutely no fun at all!

    ETA: What are you using for flea control?

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    Put her back on pro plan. Dogs usually do not develop allergies or food intollerances until 1 to 3 years of age. IF her stools were doing well, then go back to what your breeder had her on. If anything she may have some environmental issues or tis the season for dry skin. Talk to your breeder as well.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
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    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dani View Post
    Put her back on pro plan. Dogs usually do not develop allergies or food intollerances until 1 to 3 years of age. IF her stools were doing well, then go back to what your breeder had her on. If anything she may have some environmental issues or tis the season for dry skin. Talk to your breeder as well.
    Food allergies actually tend to have a bimodal distribution, with very young and old dogs most likely candidates when they present with skin/GI issues. Seasonal allergies are more apt to present at age 2-3, as the dogs need a season or two to sensitize to the allergens. It's highly unlikely this dog has any environmental allergies at this age.

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    And dogs that actually have food allergies is less than 1%. Especially at this age.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
    SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC

    Member Since 6/2003

  11. #9
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    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dani View Post
    And dogs that actually have food allergies is less than 1%. Especially at this age.
    That's an interesting statistic, I've never heard that before. As for the age, I own a food allergic dog who started with chronic diarrhea at 12 weeks and didn't stop until we started a hypoallergenic food. Even now if we reintroduce any of a number of proteins the diarrhea returns. Regardless, food allergies are very simple (and inexpensive) to rule in or out compared to other causes of chronic diarrhea and skin issues, especially in a dog this age.

    Robyn and Taz I hope you both get some relief soon

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

  12. #10
    lyvwire is offline Junior Member
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    IMO Purina of any sort is crap. I have had success with Natural Balance, I use Chicken and sweet potato. Purina uses three separate corn fillers which dogs are often allergic to and isn't digestible. I know you have switched to a grain free and didn't have any success but many dog foods have additives that are not necessary and can cause reactions like this.

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