Hello. My 2 labs both have developed some sort of allergy that we are trying to figure out what it is from. The vet said we should try a special allergen-free dog food to see if it might be something in their food. So he has them on Hill's Prescription Z/D Ultra Allergen-Free Formula. It's been about a month since they switched and their bowels are finally returning to a more normal state and they always seem STARVING. I am feeding them 1.5 Cups twice a day. They are not skinny by any means and they are only a low-moderate exercise level (one walk per day & 1 or 2 "good fast runs per week). The main thing I am concerned about is the protein and fat percentages. It says: Protein is Min. 14% and Fat is Min. 10%. I am pretty sure these numbers are extremely low. Any insight on this?
We used to have them on Eukanuba Large Breed Adult food. They are 14 months old. One is smaller than the other (they are 70 & 85 Lbs.) Am I under feeding them? The back of the bag says to feed an 80 Lb. dog 4.5-5 Cups per day. I am afraid that is WAY too much for my dogs. My vet just tells us to read the dog food label for how much to feed. From what I have heard, the dog food labels tell you way TOO much just so you'll go thru it faster. Is that correct?
So the allergy they have is like a reddish rash that they scratch and bite at a little on their feet, legs, belly, bottom and also an irritation/infection in their ears. I really don't think the food is even making a difference. They slowed down on the scratching a little when we first switched food, but they are starting to increase on the scratching again. Does anyone else have the same kind of problems with their dogs?
Any insight or suggestions will be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks SO Much!
My sisters dog is 12 and she's always had the worst allergy problems they tried several foods over the years and medications with very little luck. Eventually about a 1 1/2 ago it really got bad where her belly and feet were raw and leathery almost it looked horrible and she was constantly itching. Finally the vet put her on the Z/D food I beleive she was eating 2 cups a day and she's only about 20lbs (cocker spanel/rat terrier mix). Within a few months it cleared all the way up for the first time in YEARS! It's been at least 6 months now and the hair has grown back and she's till doing awesome. They have started to switch her back to a regular food to see if they can keep it cleared up if not they will keep her on the Z/D. I would give it another month at least to see it it helps. Are you giving them benedryl or something for the itching?
I am normally NOT a fan of any Science Diet/ Hills food but after seeing the results on Jessie I'm a beleiver in trying because it did help her A LOT!
I could also be environmental do you use any special cleaners, fabreze, laundry detergent on their bedding, fertilizer in the yard....
I agree that the protein of 14% not being high enough for 14 month old pup. Nor is the fat as dogs draw their energy from fat.
Can you post the ingredients of the food and maybe you can find another food very similar with a better protein.
If you stay away from corn, soy, wheat, sorghum you will have a better chance of not having food issues.
Perhaps trying a grain free food would help? My dogs do great on it and have pups from last litter from age 1 year on it as well (now 17 months) and all doing good.
I think I would try California Natural before using the Z/D. Also you may want to try adding this supplement to the food:
I just recently put one of my dogs on it that has been a constant shedder and there was a big difference in the coat almost immediatly. I did not tell my hubby what I was doing and he finally made a comment to me about the boy must be getting his winter coat...
You can order it from here http://handcraftcollars.com/index.ph...42ca10b2c08faf or here http://phdproducts.com/cart/products.asp?ID=3
Bonnie ~ Ellsworth Labradors
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How much blood work has been done on this dog? How extensive was the allergy testing (if any were done)?
I appologize for my bluntness but I am just not a fan of vets going straight to the Hill's (that was my old vets answer for everthing) and masking the problem instead of finding a source.
Took me 5 years to give my gal some relief and after all that there is NOTHING food or airborn or allergy related at all going on with her. We have no name for it, we just know she has something along the lines of an autoimmune disease that we ended up controlling with pred. We found out about a year later show also now has hypothyroidism(she had NO typical symptoms).
I think all the changes we put her through over the years comprimised her immune system and made things worse. In her case, she is just a misfit.
But I no longer place first blame on diet and allergies. She is doing WONDERFUL on Pro Plan Senior, Pred and Soloxine.
I just would find it odd that two of your dogs have "developed" them and have them both be food related.
Now my opinion on the diet is that NO that is not enough prot. and that would make a lab feel starving.
The Z/D can be an excellent diagnostic tool, and I think it's better to look at is as such, rather than as an everyday food. If a difference is noticed, "real" foods can be added back into the diet. It's a little higher in moisture content, so by dry matter basis, protein is 19%, fat 14%. Calories per cup are very low, at only 254 per cup, so you'll definitely have to feed more cups/day than with most foods.
3 cups/day is only 762 calories, and that's not nearly enough for most Labs.
That said, allergies are more likely to be environmental than food related.
Google...Originally Posted by kk4389
Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Soybean Oil (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), Hydrolyzed Chicken, Powdered Cellulose, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Ethoxyquin (a preservative), Beta-Carotene.
The ingredient list to me says that it is not a very healthy food. This is not very much meat- and is a lot of junk- and with allergic dogs, you want very little junk.
My boy Maverick was on a prescription food for years. Turns out that the prescription food was aggravating the allergies. You need to keep in mind that vets are mainly educated about nutrition by the pet food companies that can afford to send reps to them and that they make a TON on prescription diets (how much do you think it actually cost them for that bag of Hills?)...
I agree with the recommendation for a higher quality or grain free food for allergic dogs.
It's not meant to be a food, and if the vet wants you to feed it long-term, then I'd be looking around for a new vet. Just like x-rays aren't exactly healthy for you (as a general rule, it's wise to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure), but it's a darn good diagnostic tool. Like everydog mentioned, Science Diet Z/D isn't the best food in general, but it's a good diagnostic tool since it breaks down the proteins into small chunks. Proteins are, almost always, the source of the allergic reaction. If the symptoms disappear on the food, you're probably dealing with a food allergy, if not, probably an environmental allergy. For that function, this food serves it's purpose rather well.
You can pick the food apart using a normal food analysis, but I don't think that's the proper analysis when looking at prescription diets. If you can figure out what the source of the allergy is, it will allow you to pick a better food later.
While this may hold true in theory, I think the reality is people tend to get on prescription diets and stay on them- whether they are told to by the vets office, or because it is working, or because it's easier. Because it then becomes a long-term diet, it should be analyzed under a normal food analysis. For example, my parents' vet had Maverick on Euk. Prescription food for 5 years. I don't see any plans in the O/P's post to use it as a diagnostic tool- it seems to be food of choice from their vet. In situations like those, it really should be analyzed as a regular food.Originally Posted by Nick