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Discussion Starter #1
So Frankie is still having a problem with his left ear. Saturday morning, he was scratching it like crazy, poor guy. We already know that he's allergic to egg and fish, but obviously there's something else that we're not aware of. So, I decided to put him (all of them) on grain-free once again. I tried grain-free once before and had horrible poops from it (Evo). This time I'm trying
Natural Balance L.I.D. Sweet Potato and Venison formula :
http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dogformulas/VenDog.html

Started it lastnight, mixing with their old food. Everyone pooped normal this morning - YAY! :)

Any opinions or personal experience with this food? Question : Macy and Tucker do not have any food allergies that I'm aware of. This food should still be OK for them, right? Even though it's specifically made for allergy-prone dogs? Also, I don't know how to read the fats and protein stuff. Should I feed more or less of this food? Currently they're getting 3 cups a day.

:)
 

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The Natural Balance should be fine for Mace-Face and Tucker, as long as neither one of them decide they are allergic to venison.

I tried Natural Balance for my boys and they has some gaseous issues, though not real smelly and not severe. We went back to Taste of the Wild.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Jackie!! :)
 

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Also, I don't know how to read the fats and protein stuff. Should I feed more or less of this food? Currently they're getting 3 cups a day.
I think the kcals (kcalories) per cup is the more important factor. If your Labs were maintaining a proper weight on what they were eating before -- whatever the amount --then you'd usually want to feed them whatever quantity of the new food that has an equal amount of kcals.

For instance, if you were feeding 1 cup of the old food per meal and it contained 400 kcals/cup, and the new food contains 300 kcals/cup, you'd need to feed 1 1/3rd cup/meal of the new food to have the same number of kcals.

Conversely, if the old food contained 300 kcals/cup, and the new food contains 400 kcals/cup, you'd need to feed 3/4 cup/meal of the new food to have the same number of kcals.

If you're not sure how to figure out how to do this, I suggest you write down the number of cups (including any fractional amounts) of the old food you were feeding and the number of kcals/cup it has. Also write down the number of kcals/cup of the new food and take it to your friendly pharmacist and sweetly :) ask for help in determining the amount of the new food to feed that would have the same total number of kcals.

She or he will be able to tell you in just a few seconds; they're very practiced in making very similar calculations.

The kcals/cup (&/or kilogram) usually are printed on the bags. If not, call the food mfr's toll free customer service phone # -- they'll be able to instantly tell you.


 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great Bob, thanks!! :)
 

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Derby does awful on Natural Balance foods. He was fed it for 3 years, but then developed problems with it, both their Potato and Duck and the Sweet Potato and Venison, has terrible colitis with them.

How did you determine your dog has problems with fish?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He developed problems after 3 years? But he was fine up until then?

How did we determine the fish? I had him off of all egg product (I forget what food we were on at that point) and he did really well, his ears were clear for a long time. Then I read here about giving their dogs salmon, I think, as a treat. I think it was salmon...anyway, I did, and both ears flared up almost immediately. That was enough for me!! We avoid all fish product now....
 

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He developed problems after 3 years? But he was fine up until then?

How did we determine the fish? I had him off of all egg product (I forget what food we were on at that point) and he did really well, his ears were clear for a long time. Then I read here about giving their dogs salmon, I think, as a treat. I think it was salmon...anyway, I did, and both ears flared up almost immediately. That was enough for me!! We avoid all fish product now....
He was on NB potao and duck up until all the food recalls. I stuck with them through the recalls, but shortly after, he developed problems. Cost me a small fortune in vet bills, thinking he had Giardia, though tests came back negative. Finally just switched him cold turkey, poops cleared up in 2 days. Then last year, thought I would give them another chance. Tried the Sweet Potato and Venison, did a gradual switch. Within 2 days after being on the food 100%, mucus and blood in stools. I'm done with NB.

As for your Salmon treats, maybe it was something else in the treat? Where they made in China. From what I remember, one you were feeding EVO, which has some fish in it, but also had egg. I mentioned that some dogs have issues with egg. That's when you switched back to Purina.

Have you ever tried a food that did have fish, but no egg? Also, do you give any supplements such as joint supplements. Some of those contain soy products.
 

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I don't always think ear problems at this particular time of year are food related. Zoe and Zena have gotten ear problems once in a blue moon...one time since I have had Zena and only once in Zoe's life and both were at this time of year. I didn't change foods. Treated the ear and they never came back. Just a part of spring allergies around here.
You do realize you need to have them on a food 2-3 months; for some dogs even as long as 6 months; before you see results?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The salmon I gave them was pure salmon...the fish in the can. I do remember you suggested the egg thing...and after watching closely, anytime he had any egg (whether food, treats, or leftover scrambled) the left ear flared up right away.

You do realize you need to have them on a food 2-3 months; for some dogs even as long as 6 months; before you see results?
I know. :)

Have you ever tried a food that did have fish, but no egg?
At this point, I have no idea! I've tried so many different foods I've lost track.

No, we don't do supplements.

They actually did really well on Purina One Natural Blends C&R, but my store discontinued it a couple of months ago and I can't find it. I put them on regular Purino One since then and his ear started getting really bad again.

Can't stand the food game!!
 

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Since it's just the one ear that makes me think it might be something other than food - kwim? If it was both I could see thinking food again, but just one ear seems odd to be food.

Either way - glad everyone seems to be pooping okay on this one! If it doesn't work out you might try the Wellness Simple Solutions - they can be great for dogs with sensitive tummies :)
 

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Did you ever have his thyroid checked?
 

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Also, left ear means liver. http://www.consumerhealth.org/articles/display.cfm?ID=20060228185653

EAR INFECTION If the right ear is often infected , the right ear signifies the immune system. The left ear signifies the liver. The left ear is often periodic, spring and fall. The right ear will often flare up during the change of seasons, especially from winter to early summer when the temperature suddenly goes from -25 degrees to 40 degrees above F. That's very hard on the immune system. The Chinese herb for that is astragalus, which is a pretty safe herb. I quite often use bee propolis or goldenseal to kill bugs in the ear. If it's only one ear, it's an organ system that's involved.
 

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I am still haveing problems here with Gryphon's one ear. Was really syrup-like again. He has been eating grain-free TOTW. I have started getting it back under control with just cleaning it....but was thinking if this food does not help I would try Natural Balance...and if that does not work...back to the Vet.
 

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...They actually did really well on Purina One Natural Blends C&R, but my store discontinued it a couple of months ago and I can't find it. I put them on regular Purino One since then and his ear started getting really bad again.

Can't stand the food game!!
Amy, were you getting the ONE Natural Blends in Califon? I think the A&P here still has it, and ShopRite, too.

As for the NB- Caleb's been on it for just over a year now. I started him on the Venison & Sweet Potato right after it came out. I was rotating between their grain free foods until around January, and have been feeding the Duck & Potato since then. The NB has helped the ear infections, although they aren't gone totally (he gets one every couple of months). I'm 99% sure Caleb has some environmental allergies besides his food allergy/sensitivity- he's still itchy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Chronic ear infections go along with hypothyroidism.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Oh man. :( I think I'll call and make an appointment now instead of waiting....

Thanks for the info.
 

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Have been feeding NB grain free potato & venison to my rescue,
Buddy for six months. He loves it, poops are normal and no adverse reactions.
 
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