Prescription Dog Foods


The following items represent some of The Dog Food Advisor’s most frequently asked questions about prescription dog foods.

Why don’t you give ratings to prescription dog foods?

Due to their intentional therapeutic designs, we are unable to rate prescription dog foods.

That’s because to treat certain health conditions — like kidney or liver disease — some veterinary products have been intentionally designed to reduce the meat content of a specific recipe.

Since we tend to favor dog foods rich in meat, it would be inappropriate for us to assign a star rating to such meat-restricted prescription food products.

What about the claims of efficacy made by the manufacturer or a prescribing veterinarian?

Our reports have nothing to do with the ability of any dog food to effectively treat or cure a specific health condition.

Shouldn’t prescription dog foods be exempt from scrutiny?

Although we respect the right of every veterinary professional to prescribe what would be in the best interest of each patient, we still believe every consumer has the right to question the quality and content of these products.

Can you recommend a dog food I can get from a pet food store that’s designed to treat a specific health problem?

Unfortunately, since no one on our staff is a veterinarian and due to the biological uniqueness of each animal, it would be inappropriate for us to make specific recommendations.

In addition, due to the serious nature of many medical conditions, readers are encouraged to consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

  • Susan

    Yes, the US has the I/d Low Fat Restore wet tin, its new to Australia & has been in the US I think 2 years now, a few people feed it that I know from America with dogs with Pancreatitis & IBD….

  • aimee

    Here is an article on nutrition for liver disease. It is older and you may find something more recent but it is written by one of the top liver Dr’s in the country.

  • Akari_32

    He is great over all, not pushy or anything. You can tell he’s not used to having to explain himself, but he does take it in stride (but the looks he gets on his face when I ask him an educated question do get pretty fantastic LOL).

    I will check out BalanceIT. I saw her post about it just now, it got lost in this sea of nonsense organization lol I remember a large part of why I stopped coming on this side to post anything– everything gets jumbled up! Lol Apparently I need to go through and make sure I didn’t miss anything else, either :p

  • Akari_32

    The U.S. must not have that yet. To bad, I do like how low the fat content is compared to the other ones I’ve been looking at.

  • Crazy4dogs

    No problem Shawna. I didn’t take that from your post so it’s all good. I’ve been trying to get me taxes done, so I’ve been kind of busy with that. :(

  • Crazy4dogs

    It’s tough when you like the vet overall, but they’re stuck in their ways and haven’t really ventured outside the “this is the way it’s done” mantra. When my guy was in kidney failure, & I said what have you got besides K/D, my vet said vets don’t get a lot of nutrition training but talked with another vet in the practice (whom I also see and love) and got some of her homemade recipes and suggested the BalanceIt website. They do help with homemade diets based on the dog’s diagnosis, vet’s clinicals and bloodwork numbers. I think Shawna also suggested that site. I’m not sure if you’ve gone to the dogaware website. The do have a lot of helpful information. I found them very helpful when my dog was in kidney failure. Here’s the link:

  • Susan

    What about the Hills newer I/d low fat Restore wet tin food fat is 8.5% Protein-25.1% …in the I/d Low Fat Restore kibble fat is 7.4% Protein-25.9%

  • Akari_32

    How would I go about contacting either of these people?

  • Akari_32

    He didn’t say. He’s the kind of vet that wants to see every dog in the world on Science Diet, but he doesn’t get snotty about a dog being on another food, however, he really does know nothing about pet nutrition. I mean, he means well, but I like to know all sides of each situation and choose what I think is best for my pet. I once brought in a few of brands of the canned food I was feeding my cat at the time that kept getting UTI’s, just in case it was perhaps something in one of the foods that was causing them, and he just looked at them and said nothing, only looking at them just because I had mentioned it. So, really, I don’t even think he knows what should be changed in the diet, other than she has problems with her liver, so she should be on a liver diet. If he does know, it’ll have to be dragged out of him. He’s just very traditional, I’m a vet, do what I say, sort of vet. I like going in there now that I’ve been and worked behind the scenes at a vets office, and talking to him like I know stuff :p He’s clearly not used to it LOL Don’t get me wrong, though, he’s a great vet, and cares for his patients. We’ve been taking our pets there for as long as I can remember.

    I did ask the tech at the front desk if he could look the Purina NF up and see what he thought, if it would do what we needed, etc, and judging by the response I got (not even from the vet, but from the same tech, when she called back later), he did not do that. They “use and recommend” Hill’s, so I feel like, from her tone, they felt like I was asking them to sacrifice their first born children or something….

  • Shawna

    Wow, just reread my post (I know turmeric is safe) and it sounds kinda snotty. That was not even remotely my intent and if it does to you too, I am very sorry..

  • aimee

    What specifically(nutrient wise) does the Dr want to modify from her current diet? Copper? Zn? Vitamins? Amino Acid profile? Another thought: have your vet call Purina and have a diet case review done.

  • Shawna

    I know turmeric is safe. I’ve been using it for about 10 years. Audrey, unfortunately, did not do well on it but the other dogs (fosters and my own) in the house have all been on it regularly for as long as I’ve had them.

    They’ve tested turmeric and can not show any unsafe amount when fed. But it is known not to completely absorb. When pepper is added it absorbs better. If used daily, with the pepper, could it cause an unsafe upper level? I don’t know and haven’t seen anything on that specifically. Haven’t really looked either though.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! The package I have is wrapped in blue and gold. There might be several varieties on the shelf, if you check.
    Chicken of the Sea has one packed in spring water as well. It does have salt added, but not a lot. I do use that one occaisonally.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve not seen any research in that regard. I’ve just recently become familiar with Turmeric in the past few months. I bought it a few years ago and never used it for my old, kidney boy. I wish I had since he was on NSAIDS that upped his liver enzymes and probably helped put him in kidney failure. The interesting thing is after we removed the NSAIDS his liver levels did get back to normal.

    It appears to be safe to consume.
    Here is the National Institute of Health’s statement on it:

  • Akari_32

    I’ll have to check. I’ve seen the brand, but don’t recall seeing any in water. Maybe Publix will order me some if they don’t have it. (I work there, btw lol)

  • Shawna

    Yep, I’ve heard that turmeric works better (or rather is better absorbed) when pepper is added. The product I use does not have added pepper but does have rosemary oil and — hmm, I’m blanking now.

    Dr. Demian Dressler of the dog cancer blog believes that enough turmeric can be absorbed, even without the inclusion of pepper, to make it useful and I haven’t looked into any problems with continued and larger than normal amounts of pepper usage to be comfortable with using it.. Not to say it’s not safe, just that I haven’t taken the time to check it out. Have you seen research on humans or dogs suggesting supplementing turmeric with pepper is safe when consumed regularly?

  • Crazy4dogs

    My husband takes Turmeric (on my insistance :) ) as he was using NSAIDS for some minor pain/arthritis. I’ve not had to use it for my lab yet. He uses a natural one that has piperine added and takes it with the fish oil as I understand that’s what is needed for effectiveness. The other option is to simply sprinkle a bit of pepper with plain turmeric.
    I am under the impression that it is the same for dogs. Are you familiar with this?

  • Shawna

    Sorry, I’m not familiar with “golden paste” but based on your comment (and thinking through the name) it obviously has turmeric in it. :)

  • Shawna

    This is what Dr. Blaylock warns about — more EPA than DHA. This is just one opinion of course. Just an opinion I personally value. Others very well might not. :)

    Blaylock says he would use more EPA with autoimmune disease as he would want to suppress the immune system in these cases. In most cases though you definitely would not want to suppress the immune system. The amounts in Nature Made as well as the infrequency of use may not cause any issues at all though?

  • Crazy4dogs

    The brand I buy is Brunswick. They are spring water no salte added. My parent’s live in FL. Would a Publix or Albertson’s carry them?

  • Akari_32

    No, I definitely want to make sure I have everything sorted out before I decide to do this or not. As I said in my post a couple minutes ago, all the stuff to make golden paste is on order, and it will be used for the dogs and humans :)

  • Akari_32

    I’ve tried doing just a small amount of fish oil, still causes her to poop all over everything… I’ve yet to see sardines canned in water here. Living in Florida, I guess the retiree’s don’t care about their health *rolls eyes* They do come packed in olive oil, though. But given how fish and coconut oil work out for her, I don’t think thats a very good idea lol

    I wonder if rice could be used a replacement for potatoes?

    Shawna, turmeric is on order, as is spirulina, and cinnamon. Two pounds of turmeric, and a pound each of the others, all organic.

  • Shawna

    I would definitely check with Dr. Doods or Monica Segal. I know funds are tight but making things worse will necessitate another vet visit – which might be more than the consultation.

    If you aren’t or haven’t already, look into giving organic turmeric (must be organic but not expensive if bought in bulk) and bromelain (an enzyme from pineapple). Bromelain has to be given away from food. Canned pineapple doesn’t work as the heating process destroys the bromelain enzyme but fresh would work – might not be able to give enough to be of much benefit though. Both turmeric and bromelain have been shown to be beneficial with arthritic cases.

  • Crazy4dogs

    The Nature Made has the Omega’s listed as:
    EPA: 360 mg
    DHA: 300 mg

    I use the higher potency as my lab is larger & has diagnosed arthritis due to ACL tears in both knees. She’s 10 and you wouldn’t know she has arthritis with the exception of her sloppy sit.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Fish oil can do that. The sardines might be a better choice or just squirting a touch of fish oil until she gets used to it. Could you substitute some other carbohydrate for the potato? I try to limit them for my lab’s diet as well.

  • Akari_32

    Thats ok lol I was thinking, could there be a good intermediate sort of choice for the liver diet? One that would not bother her joints, but also not cause me to have to give her fish oils, etc, that upset her stomach?

  • Shawna

    The only omega 3 oils I know enough about to recommend are Nordic Naturals and Carlson’s brands. Nordic Naturals has a vegetarian algae based product. Neither of these brands are budget friendly though. Sorry I can’t help more.

    Edit – I would like to believe that Dr. Mercola’s (and Dr. Becker’s) products are of absolute best quality — their krill oil.

  • Akari_32

    I was thinking more along the lines of quarters (thighs and legs, and deboning them) because they’re much cheaper. Breasts are something like $5-something a pound, where bulk (4+ pounds) quarters are $1.19 a pound.

    I’ve tried adding fish (both low dose human pills and a liquid dog one) and coconut oil to her diet before, and it’s been just enough to give her terrible diarrhea. Tried it for about a month, hoping it would pass, but it never did, so I eventually stopped. Too much fat, I supposed. Where would I find a decently priced algae based omega supplement, and how much do they typically cost? I wasn’t even aware that was a thing LOL But because of her stomach problems, it’s really made giving anything to help her joints quite a challenge (even high dose glucosamine and MSM pills weren’t helping her), which is why I ended up getting the JM food in the first place.

    Thats true about the potatoes… Maybe the homemade liver diet isn’t the best idea.

  • Shawna

    Crazy4dogs — my original source on the info for fish oils was a subscription newsletter from Dr. Russell Blaylock M.D., Neurosurgeon and Nutritional Consultant.

    I can’t post the original info but here’s another I found from Dr. Blaylock.

    “Most manufacturers compound omega-3 supplements containing more EPA than
    DHA based on one popular writer’s books. But there is overwhelming
    evidence to suggest that DHA is the essential component and is much
    safer than EPA, especially for a diabetic.

    EPA can worsen diabetic control, is associated with bleeding problems,
    and is an immune suppressant. DHA is the only component used by the
    brain, and has most of the anticancer effects. The only time I recommend
    EPA is for anticoagulation and to treat autoimmune diseases.”

  • Crazy4dogs

    So funny! We are on the same wave length. I was going to suggest canned sardines. I use the ones packed in water, no salt added. :)
    I use Nature Made often as I need to budget for fosters too. It’s sourced from Canada, encapsulated in USA & gives G/A of EPA & DHA. I also supplement with Vitamin E. A lot of people don’t realize that you need the Vit E when supplementing fish oils.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, then you’d be jealous. I got my foster’s blood work done for $35. Since I pay for some of my foster’s vet bills, I often use the low cost clinics. The funny thing is 2 of my own vets help @ the clinics. :)

  • Akari_32

    Unfortunately not. The local humane society does vaccines, and spay and neuter, and such, but the only place to get any actual veterinary care is at a vet’s office here. The closest low-cost clinic is about an hour and a half away, which makes it not worth it at that point. I get so jelous when people say they can get blood tests done for $40! It’s $138 at my vet :/

  • Shawna

    Yes, I would definitely use human products. But even then there’s only a few brands I trust. Not only is purity important but also the ratio of EPA to DHA and the inclusion of adequate amounts of vitamin E (which helps preserve the product not only while on the shelf/in fridge but also once consumed). If there is not adequate vitamin E, it will pull E from the body. This is one of the problems with canola oil.

    It’s been many years since I looked at brands and I don’t remember the ideal ratios any longer so there may be more now then before but back then, the only oils I would use/recommend were Nordic Naturals and Carlsons. I’m pretty sure BCnut and HoundDogMom found a few other good ones though.

    Edit — I use canned sardines packed in water for the reasons listed above.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Shawna, what about using human fish oil pills? I actually use them for my dogs, particularly the lab with arthritis. I pierce the gelatin and squirt it on their food. It’s generally much purer and cheaper. I buy them when they’re BOGO but only use reputable brands with no soy or additives.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Akari_32, are there any clinics that offer low cost blood tests? We have several in my state that provide spay, vaccines, dentals, tests for super low rates just so dogs can get care. They don’t even require proof of low income. I know many people who can easily afford regular vet care that use these clinics. I know several of the vets @ the one I’ve used. They are really good vets who help the rescues.

  • Shawna

    I think it would be okay to start the liver diet and keep the kibble on hand (or feed one in am and one in pm if it helps with cost).

    I would not feed chicken only even if you are rotating the veggies. The breast meat is really really low in fat. The dark meats are cheaper and have better fat ratio but the fat is predominantly omega 6 fats. Omega 6 linoleic acid is very important in the diet but we all know what happens if it is over consumed. So you’d have to add fish or algae based omega 3 oils – which can be expensive.

    Beyond a potential imbalance of omega fats, you would completely be eliminating saturated fats – which dogs need. You could add coconut oil back in but again, can be expensive if you get the stuff that has any benefit to it at all.

    Afterthought — if your girl is having joint issues, the liver diet could worsen that as a specific protein in nightshade plants (like potato) bind with glucosamine making it unavailable for the joints. If she’s on a supplement definitely give it away from meals that have potato (or gluten).

    I’m not sure how much calcium is in zucchini and how or even if the liver diet is balanced but both Dr. Dodds and Monica Segal (a licensed nutritionist) recommend it. I think Monica modifies it slightly. My understanding however is that it is intended to be used during the liver crisis stage and not as a long term diet.

  • Akari_32

    Ok, so I just had an idea! What if, I started her on the cod first, and still did some kibble for a while while she got used to it. Then as she shows signs of improvment (unfortunately blood tests are extremely expensive here, and cost litterally one of my whole pay checks, not to mention they are so stressful to her that after the one she got recently, she was in a nasty mood the rest of the day. I don’t want to put her through that again. If she were younger, it’d be one thing, but she’s 15…), I start doing chicken, and keep her on this diet, rotating through the different veggie choices offered in the recipe? I also have some left over See Spot Live Longer dinner mix from before I switched the other guys over to completely raw, so I could use that to help add in other vitamins and minerals, right? Looking at this recipe, it appears the calcium is coming from the zucchini?

  • Shawna

    Cod has a moderate / medium amount of mercury.

    That price doesn’t sound bad as you will be using more veggies than fish in the diet — three times more.. So if you had 5 cups of cod and 15 cups of veggies that would be 20 cups of food. If she gets 1/2 cup of food per meal that should last you 20 days and if 1/2 cup per day, 40 days – give or take..

    This diet would only be necessary while the liver is stressed. Once blood work is normal you can move to a different diet.

  • Akari_32

    No problem! I just like to know all my options lol The main reason I ask is that I know not all fish is good for dogs (due to the Mercury levels and such). Frozen cod fillets at Sam’s club are $14 for 2.5 pounds (5 cups, basically). They don’t appear to have anything extra added to them, looking at them on the website. Does this sound like a good price?

  • Shawna

    Others may have other recommendations for you but I would say remove and add equal amounts of prescription to fresh as you transition. So maybe remove 1 tablespoon of the JM and add 1 tablespoon of the homemade liver diet. Since she needs to gain a little weight, you have some wiggle room.

    I’ve always heard the liver diet recommendation using “whitefish”. Dr. Barbara Royal uses “whiting” in her liver support diet. I saw another that suggested Pollack. That said, when dealing with liver disease I’d want to be certain I’m not creating more work with the wrong proteins. I think I’d stick with the cod if you can… OR check out one of the nutritionists Yahoo groups. I think Monica Segal has a yahoo group and Kat Lane does as well. Kymythy Schultz is on Facebook and may have a yahoo group too. Sorry I couldn’t help more with types of whitefish!! :(

    Edit — or check BalanceIT website which can help formulate a diet for you. I’m pretty sure they work with special needs cases.. You have to pay for them but it may be cheaper than working with a nutritionist if the yahoo idea doesn’t pan out.

  • Shawna

    LOL — my reading comprehension wanes more and more the later and later it gets. So with that said, probably time to get myself to bed. :) Have a good night all!!!

  • Akari_32

    Ideally, she should weigh about 11 pounds. Right now she’s down to around 10 (hasn’t been weighed in two weeks). She gets 1/2 cup of the JM, which I just ordered, btw. Last time it only took a couple days to get here.

    What are some other fish that can be used? Just sort of thinking what we have right in the house right now, I think we have flounder in the freezer. Would this work?

  • Shawna

    I didn’t notice how much your pup weighs but if me, I would start out with similar amounts to what you feed now and then adjust as needed. Since you will have the long transition that should give you time to see how she responds to the nutrients in the food and what amounts will help keep her in the best body condition.

    I find recommendations for amounts so difficult as they can be so different. I have two 5 pound poms. One gets 1.5 ounces of food twice a day (plus treats) while the other would become obese on that amount and only gets .9 ounces twice a day (plus treats)–both eat raw. Close in age, same breed, same weight, both spayed but very different amounts to keep them at optimum body condition.

  • Akari_32

    I’m not getting very many emails, either, don’t worry lol Just from this side of the site though. The forum side is sending me emails just fine… Also check my update up top! :)

  • Shawna

    Wonderful!!! Thanks DogFoodie!! The spray product I use, DentaSure, works really well but I’m not the best at using it consistently. It would be much easier to add something to their food… That I can be better disciplined with.

    I missed that email. I probably miss quite a few of them and recently I definitely have. Had to reset phone to factory and haven’t yet got email loaded back on it. For those of you that communicate with me off DFA – if you need me to respond to something, best to IM or text me…at least for now.

  • Akari_32

    Wow, maybe if I read it better, I’d have answered my own questions a bit sooner LOL Ok, so the only thing it doesn’t say is how much to feed. Any ideas on that?

  • Akari_32

    Hey girls. Yes, I do get the PVD at half price (more or less). The site I use is PurinaForProfessionals, and it’s for those working in the veterinary field (or interning, in my case). The 6lb bags average at around $10. That said, I only get Purina at that price. I do not get Hill’s discounted, and Purina does not have a liver diet, like Hill’s does. As I mentioned before, Ginger can’t handle higher end foods, due to her having grown up exclusively on Royal Canin. I’m not a fan of prescription diets, but perhaps for the better, owning Ginger has taught me that they can certainly have their place. If I ever have to use any of them, I’d rather it be Purina. They tend to have the best looking ingredients. Plus, Purina has a rebate program, so it works out alright in the end… lol (but yes, it is *ridiculously* expensive. JM is one of the most costly ones they have)

    I’ll have to look at the price of the fish, but I do like the idea of making her food. I already have another dog and a cat on raw, so I’m no stranger to taking a little time to sit down and put together meals. How long could this keep in the fridge? And is there a replacement for the fish (or any variations in the recipe at all? Just curious)?

    The vet called us back (well, the tech did), and they said that because they do not sells Purina, they don’t really know enough about it to recommend their kidney diet, which is fine, and I can understand that. I talked to mom about it, and for now, we’ll do another bag of JM, and probably start to move her over to the home made diet. She needs a long transition, anyways.

  • DogFoodie

    Hey Shawna,

    I’ve been using Pro-Den for a while now, too. My integrative vet was really impressed with Sam’s teeth at his visit last week. She said that was a product she used to recommend, but that she didn’t hear much follow-up from people about it.

    Sam gets two tiny scoops once daily, Bella gets one. They both eat it up in whatever I mix it in with. The scoop is 330 mg and a jar of the stuff lasts forever. My product is actually dried seaweed meal.

    Sandy and I first talked about Pro-Den in an email quite a while ago. She’s been using it for a long time. I can see a difference after about seven months of pretty consistent use.

  • Shawna

    Thanks Crazy4dogs!!

    This is where I remember reading about it — Dr. Axe. Nice to have research on dogs and cats though. Thanks again.

  • Shawna

    So true!!!!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Shawna, here is a study that showed conclusive evidence of the efficacy of this strain of algae. There are others I’ve read, but here’s one for now. :)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Even @ 1/2 price it’s still expensive for subpar ingredients.

  • Crazy4dogs

    No, I just mix it with their dinner. It’s a very small amount. I’ll look up the links & send them, but not tonight. :)

  • Shawna

    Maybe I misread but didn’t she say she gets Purina at half price?

    I HATE prescription diets but if she is going to use one she might as well be using the correct one for the illness she is dealing with. :) It would be great if Dr. Dodd’s diet worked for her!!

    I have an interesting story on liver issues. A good friend of mine in California feeds her dogs raw but was using a premix that had oats in it (and barley from memory). One of her dogs has always been sort of a wall flower – would let the others steal her food, preferred to sleep in her own bed on the floor instead of on my friends bed with her and the other four pups. She wouldn’t jump on the furniture etc. For other reasons, I convinced my friend to switch to two other premixes (Honest Kitchen and Steve Brown’s premix). She started noticing some pretty amazing changes in her wall flower but at her vet visit (several weeks after the diet change) her liver enzymes were found to have sky rocketed. LUCKILY her vet is none other than the very famous Dr. Jean Dodds. Based on the diet change, the positive behavioral changes etc Dr. Dodds told my friend to “stay the course” and come back for a recheck in three months. She suspected that the diet was making changes for the better but in doing so it was momentarily working the liver. Puppy – we’ll call her Tippy – started sleeping on the bed, protecting her food, playing with toys, running in the back yard, jumping on the furniture and other positive behavioral changes. Two or three times per week my friend would email me with more things that Tippy was doing. At the three month recheck the liver enzymes were significantly down. Not quite normal yet but just above and way down from before. There was something in the old premix that was not well tolerated by Tippy but her symptoms were so uncommon that I (who is constantly looking for things related to food issues) even had no idea there was a food intolerance.

  • Shawna

    OH, I’ve heard about that.. It’s used in humans too. I think it has some special enzyme in it..

    I did a QUICK google search but was at work so didn’t continue the search when it didn’t come right up.

    If you are recommending it then I assume you are having good luck with it? I’m going to have to try it myself. Do your pups resist you at all when you use it?

  • Crazy4cats


  • Crazy4dogs

    I just looked up the price of Purina JM on Chewy (the cheapest price I could find for it). Wow! That is one crazy expensive bag of food.

  • Crazy4dogs

    The only ingredient in plaque off (made by Pro Den) is algae, Ascophyllum nodosum.

  • aquariangt

    yeah, its been a while since I signed up so don’t remember exactly the steps I had to take-I just remember that it isn’t that intuitive

  • Shawna

    Keep her on a “liver” diet if you continue with prescription. Although the kidney diets are low in protein they also have the wrong kind of protein. When protein is broken down it becomes amino acids which then becomes ammonia. The liver converts the ammonia to urea and when the liver is not working up to par it has a harder time making that conversion. Because of this, you want a quality protein that creates less ammonia and therefore less work for the liver — foods with whitefish are a better option for liver health.

    If you have the time to make homemade and cost of ingredients is within your budget, Dr. Jean Dodds has a homemade liver diet recipe that can be used. Here’s info on the diet

    Dr. Barbara Royal created a raw liver diet that is sold through Darwins but it is higher priced. Wanted to mention it though.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks for helping. I signed up on DFA years ago. I guess I’m C4D on the forums for right now. :

  • Shawna

    One more thought — It’s pricey and can be hard to find but I HIGHLY recommend a product made by Standard Process called Canine Hepatic Support to help with liver health. Standard Process products are sold through holistic vets as well as chiropractors and such.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I guess I’ll have to just go get some work done or walk all the dogs instead. LOL!

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh man, the issues you have to deal with now. How will you cope? LOL! Good luck!

  • Crazy4cats


  • Shawna

    Watch the ingredients in the spray on plaque removing products. They are usually natural but several of them are in an alcohol base and if there’s an infection the alcohol could sting horribly. I would use a spray on product called Sovereign Silver. It is a broad spectrum antimicrobial and it tastes like water. Seriously, no taste at all and no pain when used. Amazon sells the 2oz bottle for $11.99. It would work best if you could spray it directly on the teeth but to start you might have to spray it on her muzzle and let it absorb in.

    There are other brands of colloidal silver but like some other natural products the quality can be questionable. Sovereign is a trusted and respected and old manufacturer of colloidal silver. Amazon has great reviews for it (130 reviews 4.5 stars).

    Also consider feeding organic extra virgin coconut oil. It can also help with the infection and most pups like the taste.

    Answer’s Goat Milk and organic raw eggs can help the liver as they have the precursors to make the master antioxidant in the body (which is called glutathione). Milk Thistle works because it helps with glutathione. Those two foods help increase the actual amount of glutathione. The egg has to be fed raw and straight from the shell (can’t be whipped or lightly cooked or anything or it takes away the glutathione benefits).

  • Crazy4dogs

    Well, the C4D worked, but that means I would have to follow 2 threads. :( I’m hoping I can somehow merge the 2 accounts.

  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! and easier to reply to? :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Maybe try C4D, then we will all know it’s you!

  • Crazy4dogs

    So I have to pick a new username? If I try logging in it says not a valid email, which is my email & if I try to register it says my username is already taken. Ugghhhh! I tried the support team on DFA to explain & they said sorry that name was already taken. :(

  • aquariangt

    I think you have to register for the forums separately if you were registered on the review side first, though I think if you reg on forum side it carries over to review, just not vice versa

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Akari_32, I saw Dori’s reply but for some reason I’m unable to log in to the forums to comment (any advice on how to do this would be helpful).
    I do realize that Sam-e and milk thistle are Denamarin. My own vet also said it was the same. I use the separate components as it works out much cheaper. It costs me $25 for sam-e for over a 2 month supply and $10.99 for liquid milk thistle that lasts almost 4 months. So for $36 I’m getting at least double the supply. I do feed them separately as sam-e is most effective on an empty stomach and milk thistle should be given with food.
    It works for me but I totally understand that if it’s too much work or a difficulty. I foster dogs and carry most of the cost myself, so saving money helps me out.

  • Akari_32

    I’m up early this morning to see if the vet doesn’t mind talking to me, before his other appointments come in. I don’t want an appointment, just for him to look the NF over and see what he thinks about it, and maybe get another round of Baytril (uuuugh, that crap is just $25 for two weeks worth!), though he may not do that without seeing her first.

    Dori just posted on my thread of Ginger and her various problems on the forum side that her dog, who is smaller than Ginger, is getting 225 mg of denamarin, and it’s chewable! I’m paying $31 for 30 days of denamarin right now, which I didn’t think was too bad. Plus, it’s easier if I’m not around to give it to her, because mom can pop it out, wrap a little crump of pill pocket around it, and Ginger will gobble it right up. If mom has to do an exact number of drops of one thing, a pill of this, that, and the other thing, she’s either not going to do it, or not going to do it right. So, it’s probably best, for both mom and Ginger’s sakes, to just keep it simple.

    She eats once a day. She does’t like to eat in the morning. She’s pretty strict to her own set routine. She wakes up (if we don’t notice her awake, she’s bark until someone lets her out of her cage), goes outside to go pee, comes back inside, gets a nice long drink of water, climbs up to the couch, where she has a bed, and sleeps for the next about 5-8 hours. Then she gets down again, pees on the floor if I don’t catch her in time (which she may also do at several times during the day, then she’ll go back to bed), wanders around the house trying to get someone to go in the kitchen so she can try and sucker them in to giving her a treat, if she doesn’t get treats, she’ll stand at my feet or in the kitchen and bark until I start to make her food, then she’ll bark even more over the next 15 minutes, usually longer, while its soaking. She really doesn’t eat in the morning, I’ve tried it a few times, and she’s doesn’t like it. She’ll pick at it, or even outright refuse to eat it. Like I said earlier, she’s a little princess. She won’t do something if she doesn’t want to do it. She’s quite something, not like any other dog I’ve ever had lol Her stool has actually been really good on the JM she’s eating now. It’s very small, and hasn’t even been the slightest bit of runny since putting her on it. Even on Wellness her poop was bigger. Best we can gather, from the vet we got her from, was that she was on Royal Canin for her entire life, so she can’t really handle much.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I use the pet plaque off. Amazon had the best price @ the time I bought it.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Oh yeah, it’s terrible viewing this site on your phone.

  • Crazy4dogs

    You might ask the vet if you could add a bit of milk thistle along with the denamarin. The tincture I bought was $10.99 It’s on The Vitamin Shoppe website, it’s house brand and it lasts me for over 3 months. The Sam-e was $25 because I had to buy the small 100 mg size but it lasts me 2 months as well. My vet said it was the same as Denamarin and apparently your vet agrees. It actually costs me less than the prescription. The Min Pin seems to have chronic hepatitis as she had these issues in the past (she’s a family foster) so she will probably be on it for life. The thing we did notice is she has less stomach upset now that we got her numbers down.
    Just curious, do you feed her once or twice daily? It sounds like once. Maybe if you give her 2 smaller meals it would help her tummy.

  • Akari_32

    I’m back on my phone and I totally remember why I hate using the review side now…. Lol

  • Akari_32

    She gets the denamarin once a day.

    Sam-e was one of the options he recommended, but he seemed more partial to the denamarin (went more in depth in explaining it), so that’s what we went that, after some research. I will look back in it, though.

    If I recall correctly, milk thistle was just way our our price range. I may not have been looking in the right places on line, but it didn’t seem like a viable option. The biggest reason I even considered a prescription food in the first place is the major discount I get on the Purina.

    Unfortunately, A) her teeth are far past just brushing, and B) she’s so fear aggressive it’s ridiculous. I have to muzzle her for every vet appointment, nail trim, bath, when she needed ear drops. Like, her muzzle now lives in my purse. So, teeth brushing is out of the question. We talked about brushing, be we both know its not going to happen (he’s been on the receiving end of her attitude a few times). People keep talking about plaque off. I should look into that lol Do you use the human one or the pet one?

    I’ve tried even just a tablespoon of canned in with her dry, and it upsets her stomach so bad. Theres just something about it she doesn’t handle well at all (maybe the binders). Do you think, perhaps, the low protein NF would be a good/acceptable choice then?

    BUN and creatine were both tested, and are listed above (or should be). Everything was tested for, I just chose to only include the values were were messed up in some way.

    I will also be putting her on turmeric golden paste, once I have mom order the stuff for it. She already naturally stinks, so I’m going to go ahead and get the cinnamon as well, because something tells me she would rock the cat pee smell people complain about while they or their pets are taking termeric lol

    I will be asking about another round of Baytril. It seemed to help. She’s sneezing less and her mouth doesn’t smell quite as bad.

  • Crazy4dogs

    One other thing, did you ask the vet about continuing the Baytril until the infection was under control and the liver was in better shape to do the dental? That might help her out, but your vet would know best. It’s a tough call.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Is she on 90mg Denamin daily or twice a day?

    My Min Pin Foster(8 y.o.) had terribly bad breath & brown teeth. I wanted to do a dental on her but did the blood test first (never do anything without a blood test first!!!) She came up only elevated on the ALT @ 400. Rather than giving her denamarin I am using 100 mg Sam-e every morning 1.5 hours before breakfast and dosing her with 3-4 drops of a liquid milk thistle with each meal. I also found a child’s dose of vitamin b complex and split the pill which she gets 2-3 times a week. They all work together. It took 6 weeks but we got her down to 117 ALT and now she actually tested @ 67 just about 3 weeks ago (7 months later, still on the above regimen).

    Your pups B/C ratio is a bit high. Did her bun or creatinine test out of the normal range? The high platelet count doesn’t seem like a problem. I’m giving you some links on blood counts and milk thistle. I use a liquid from The Vitamin Shoppe (their brand) only because they had a liquid tincture that was non alcohol based & I could give the 13 lb dog the right dose without crazy pill splitting. Soaking the food is good. If you could give her some wet food with a moderate protein and fat content, it would help reduce stress on her organs. Depending on how bad her teeth are, brushing can possibly help. I did that with daily doses of sea kelp. It did help the min pin. I used Plaque Off. It took about six weeks to see results, but fortunately she had no infection, just really heavy tartar and some gingivitis. You could talk to your vet too. Good luck with it. She’s an older gal and you’re doing a wonderful thing by taking care of her!

    Here are some links:

    Blood test Results:

    Milk thistle:

  • Akari_32

    She doesn’t like to be kept under 75 degree’s, and above 80. She will venture out into the high 50s with a jacket and be quite happy, but she really is just a princess in that respect. She loves walks on days that the temperature is just right for her. They actually keep her moving better and in a much better mood (she can be very nasty– no idea what they did to her at her previous “home,” but they were clearly not nice to her).

    I’m certain her liver problems are cause by all the infection in her mouth, at least in part. Who knows how long it’s been going on. When I got her, she had hardly eaten in months, and I can only assume it was because her mouth so painful. She’s also covered in various tumors, both fatty, and what I think are very likely malignant, so that doesn’t help anything either.

    The blood test was done about three weeks ago, and then she was put on denamarin the week after. She’s been getting in the morning, at least 12 hours after eating, and then eating at night, at least 6 hours after taking the denamarin. She won’t take it plain, so I do have to wrap it in just the tiniest amount of a pill pocket, literally just enough to cover about half the pill, so it shouldn’t be enough to interfere with it being absorbed.

  • Crazy4dogs

    It’s hard to say if the liver problems are caused by the teeth problems, but it’s very possible. The walks might be too much for her right now. How long has she been on the denamarin? Was the blood test done prior to being given denamarin?

  • Akari_32

    She is a rescue. She’s about 15, and I’ve had her since September 2014. Denamarin was started two weeks ago, today. She hasn’t shown any improvement on it, but she acts the same as she has for the last couple months, so she’s not getting any worse. Sleep all day, only get up for potty brakes (usually on the floor…) and then later in the evening to demand dinner, where the whole dinner-making process makes her extremely happy, and she jumps into the air and runs through the house in anticipation of it. Dinner time is the highlight of her life. Every. Single. Day. It’s cute :)

    Oh, and she weighs about 10 pounds, and losing. She has lost just over a pound in the last 8 weeks. She gets a half cup of food, and that was fine over the winter with almost daily, one mile walks. Now, we don’t walk (the princess doesn’t like to be hot, and will refuse to walk if it’s above 80 degree’s, which is always in Florida), and she spends less than 2 hours awake every day, the rest is spent sleeping.

  • Crazy4dogs

    How old is she? How much does she weigh? Is she a rescue or have you had her awhile? How long has she been on denamarin?

  • Akari_32

    All that she’s taking now is a 90mg a day of Denamarin, and today is the last day of 2 weeks of Baytril.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Is she currently on steroids or NSAIDS? How old is she?

  • Akari_32

    Our vet said he would do it so long as we understood the greater risk she had at her age and health. Neither me nor mom are very comfortable with the idea of putting her under now that we’ve seen the results of her blood work. She was harping on me saying it was a waste of money to get the blood test done, but she’s glad we I went ahead and had it done, because she would have been very upset if something had happened while Ginger was under. At this point, both of us would rather focus on doing what we can to help improve her liver function, as well as help fight the infection in her mouth.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Unless you live near a dental specialist, they probably won’t put her under. I’ll go down to my laptop. It’s easier than using my phone.

  • Akari_32

    Here is a list of the values that tested abnormal. Hopefully it helps… lol

    AST (SGOT): 105 U/L, Ref. Range 15-66 U/L

    ALT (SGPT): 538 U/L, Ref. Range 12-118 U/L

    Alk Phosphatase: 845 U/L, Ref. Range 5-131

    GGTP: 13 U/L, Ref. Range 1-12 U/L

    BUN/Creatinine Ratio: 29, Ref. Range 4-27

    Platelet Count: 463 10^3/uL, Ref. Range 170-400 10^3/uL

    Her kibble is soaked in water until it’s mush, and she eats it very well. She also drinks a lot of water on her own accord. Water dishes are rinsed and refilled as needed, sometimes several times a day. Ideally, I would like to have her on raw, like the others are, but she came to me with such a horrible mouth infection, so bad that antibiotics aren’t really helping it. We got the blood work to make sure she could get a dental, but because the blood work came back so bad, mom is reluctant to have her put under anesthesia, and looking at how high some of these are, I really don’t blame her.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi akari_32, I’ve had dogs with kidney & liver problems. What are her numbers? Have you talked with your vet about feeding wet/fresh food? Moisture is a kidney & liver’s best friend.

  • Akari_32

    I don’t do it often lol Actually, it’s a bit annoying to navigate on my phone (on the computer right now), and the recent comments being it’s own page now is a waste of my data plan and too much clicking, and Discus didn’t want me to post for a while without re-confirming my email address, but it wouldn’t let me do it until the other day. It randomly decided to let me confirm my email again, so I figured, while it’s working, I’ll do it lol

    I don’t know why those links aren’t working for you, they’re the same ones you posted! Weird. I blame Discus… lol

    The JM actually looks decent, doesn’t it? I was very surprised with that, and I’ve been happy with how she’s been doing on these two bags she’s gone through. I’m pretty sure that, in theory, as far as her tummy troubles go, the KN Kidney Function should be ok in that respect. And yes, it is supposed to be low protein, to help lower the liver’s work load. It’s not something I particularly agree with in a normal case, but I do see this dog living a couple more happy years if we can get her liver problems sorted out, or at least slightly under control. I’m past the point of high quality foods with her– she just can’t handle it (mainly, again, a fat content issue), so it’s more of a “if it works” situation at this point lol But when she does get to a point where her quality of life is poor no matter what we do, we will of course make the right choice for her.

    I did think about mixing them, but then she would not be getting the therapeutic amount of either food, so I don’t think it would really do any good.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Hey Akari! I don’t think I’ve seen you over on the comments side before! :) The links to the Purina diets don’t seem to be working. Here is the description of the JM that I could find:

    And here’s the NF:

    Are those the same descriptions you were talking about?

    As for the ingredients, the JM wins by several miles, but you probably already knew that. The protein is insanely low for the NF, but it’s supposed to be, so I can’t really complain about that.

    At this point, you are probably really looking for what will help her the most. I would say that you could try the NF, but if her joint and/or bowel problems return to the point where it lowers her quality of life, then go back to the JM. Another option that you could bring up to the vet is to mix the two foods long-term. I have no idea if this is a viable option in terms of getting the benefits from both foods, or if it will work logistically/financially, but it could be something to bring up to the vet if you’re interested. So that’s my two cents, though I would definitely say to trust the vet more than me when it comes to prescription diets. Good luck!

  • Akari_32

    Hey guys, I need some thoughts! After Ginger’s recent blood test results, the vet recommended her be put on a prescription liver diet due to some *extremely* high liver enzymes values. She is currently on Purina Veterinary Diets Joint Mobility, and doing well on it, as far as joint health and tummy health goes. She has been put on 90mg a day of Denamarin, and is on week two of it with seemingly no change. But true to her dachshund nature, she has remained extremely faithful to her dinner.

    **Please note, I use Purina because I get it at less than 50% off the suggested shelf price, and cost is a huge factor.**

    (PVD JM:

    I looked for a PVD liver diet, but they don’t have one, so I checked Hill’s, and while they do have a liver diet, I/d, the fat is outrageously high, at 24.4%. It took months after brining her home last year to realize that her constant stomach issues were due to the fat content in her diet (tried various brands and varieties of non-prescription foods, and she does fine on anything less than about 16-18% fat, which was one of the biggest factors for putting her on JM, besides joint pain, not to mention the protein content made me happy for a prescription diet).

    (Hill’s I/d:

    So I checked back with the Purina kidney diet, and it seems to be very similar to Hill’s I/d, other than having the fat at a such a level that would not cause her to have continuous diarrhea.

    (PVD NF Kidney Function:

    So now, I can’t decide if I should just keep her on the JM (she’s 15 and in over all poor health, after all– she won’t be around much longer), or if I should just try the NF. I will, of course, be talking to the vet, hopefully tomorrow, and seeing what he thinks. She will absolutely not be able to handle the fat in the Hill’s I/d, so it’s really out of the question, not to mention I really would rather not pay that much for a teeny, probably 3.5lb bag of food, when I can get the Purina for about $10 for the 6lb bag…

    Any thoughts you guys have to offer before I talk to the vet would be great!

  • lexi61

    golden , most vets dont even know what a GMo is , they re just as ignorant as the general public about what actually is in the pet foods, they get kick backs to push/promote certain products , the almighty $$$$ fuels their suggestions mostly. here are some links about the gmo feed and who owns what feed companies, all you have to do is call the companies usually their number is on the product and ask them if their products are NON GMO , they cant lie to you . sorry you have a stock of it , use it up and then startbfeedinig non gmo or buy non gmo now and mix . but the sooner you get your animals off of the gmo laden products the healthier they will becomoe, their coats will show you, they will begin to GLEEM with health . everyone who listens to this suggestion they even get their animals off of prescription medication just by switching to a feed that is NOT poisoninig their animals. i dont know how much you get information from neighbors and friends , but everyones animals are dieing and getting ill at 8,9,10 years of age , when they should be living healthy and happy to their UPPER teens, it is so sad to watch this and not be able to help so many more – just get them OFF of GMO/ :POISONOUS feeds. – THE FACTS ARE IN ABOUT GMO’S – As I began to connect the dots linking this cluster of health problems with what the animals were eating, and before I had the evidence based medicine of recovery following removal of genetically modified (GM) corn and soy from their diets, I considered other possible factors. Causes or co-factors which might contribute to this cluster of common companion animal illnesses include: adverse vaccine reactions (vaccinosis); genetic factors, especially in pure breeds and their hybrids; agrichemical and food animal drug residues contaminating pet food ingredients. In my assessment, while any of these co-factors might be involved, there had not been any significant change in this ‘background’ because there had been no significant changes to my knowledge in vaccination protocols, animals’ genetic background or in the commonly used agrichemicals and farmed animal drugs.

    These animals were suffering from what attending veterinarians were diagnosing and treating as allergies, asthma, atopic dermatitis and other skin problems, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, recurrent diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, along with abnormalities in liver, pancreatic and immune system functions.

    It is surely no coincidence that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, in Oct. 2008, an 18% increase in allergies in children under the age of 18 years, between 1997-2007. Some 3 million children now suffer from food/ digestive allergies or intolerance, their symptoms including vomiting, skin rashes, and breathing problems. They take longer to outgrow milk and egg allergies, and show a doubling of adverse reactions to peanuts. Dogs and cats, like the proverbial canaries down the mine shafts, have become our sentinels alerting us to health hazards in the home-environments we share and in the products and by-products of the same agribusiness food industry which feeds most of us and them. In my professional opinion there is sufficient proof from evidence based medicine that dietary ingredients derived from GM crops are not safe for companion animals, and by extension, for human consumers either.

  • theBCnut

    Yes, it is absolutely GMO laden.

  • lexi61

    hills science diet is a GMO(poison) laden feed (made by colgate palmolive)

  • theBCnut

    Hill’s is not Purina.

  • theBCnut

    Science Diet is made by Hill’s and this product is made by Hill’s. And you know it’s GMO because the ingredients are common GMO ingredients and if it weren’t GMO they would be bragging about it. It would be a selling point.

  • GoldenSadie

    Thank you all for your input & help with my Golden girl’s diet….so much appreciated! This is truly a great site!

  • Crazy4dogs

    This is my girl.

  • Crazy4dogs

    lexi61 is incorrect in part. Hill’s Metabolic is not a Purina product. It is a Hillspet product, which also produces Science Diet. They seem to be trying to rebrand themselves as there seem to be a lot more products called “Hill’s” rather than always having the Science Diet attached to it.

    I think I posted to you on another link, but here’s the link to Hill’s metabolic details.

    She is probably correct that there are a lot of GMOs in it as it has a lot of wheat, corn and soybean in it and I believe almost all of these are GMO ingredients. If you go to the ingredient link on the link I gave you above, the ingredients don’t read very well from my point of view.

  • GoldenSadie

    This product is not Science Diet, I asked that before it was sold to me.

  • GoldenSadie

    The Hills Metobolic is made by Purina and has GMO’s? Damn it, why would my vet tell me what an excellent food this is? I still have a huge bag of dry and 1 1/2 cases of moist that cost a small fortune! I’m mixing it now with Wellness Simple that I assume is non GMO. I searched for any info about the Hills food online but couldn’t find anything on it?

  • Crazy4dogs

    She’s losing weight because the calorie count is 260 kcals/cup. Most foods are @ 350-450 k/cal per cup. She’s pooping a lot because it’s 12.8% fiber. By switching to a higher protein, grain free food that is lower in carbohydrates will give you a leaner, more well muscled dog. Of course exercise is important. Here’s the link to the G/A for Hill’s Metabolic:

    My chocolate lab was a few pounds overweight and had a torn ACL. Upon my normal vets’ recommendation we went through a rehab therapy before possible surgery. The rehab vet also said she needed to lose weight. She was on 5 star grain free foods. I asked if I should switch to a weight management food. He said “no, they don’t work. Feed her less”. I said she always seemed hungry. He told me to add green beans. It worked and has worked for over 5 years. I have never gone to a weight management food. The only difference is I carefully measure her food, stay @ about a 16-18% fat content. You can’t always go by the feeding guidelines on dog food as you are often feeding too much. Today she looks beautiful, is lean and very active @ 10 years old.

  • lexi61

    hills science diet is a GMO product there are many non gmo feeds out there , natural balance is the most reasonably priced one and give them a table spoon of PUMPKIN in their feed once a day will keep them regular.

  • GoldenSadie

    The clerk at the pet shop I went to told me Wellness Simple was one of the best foods on the market these days, no additives, but I need to call the manufacturer to find out if it’s GMO free?

  • lexi61

    & by the way your food is purina ? that is a GMO LADEN feed

  • lexi61

    pumpkin will cure an upset stomach /. diarrhea in one feeding ( large dogs give 1/3 to 1/2 can , small dogs a heaping table spoon ), plus , they love pumpkin -find it in the baking isle in the grocery store , plain baking pumpkin and call your dog food manufacturer and ask them if their feed is NON GMO – ALL name brand feeds are GMO LADEN , natural balance is a great feed and all organic and NON GMO.

  • Babslynne

    The canned pumpkin brand I use is “farmers market” the can is marked organic pumpkin, BPA free liner, non gmo verified. you can go to their web sight to find a retailer near you that carries it, you can also get it online thru amazon. I pay $2.29 in my local store. As for what it does, I had to google “pumpkin for dogs”

  • GoldenSadie

    What does the pumpkin do and how do we know if the food is NON GMO?

  • GoldenSadie

    My Golden, Jesse seems to be doing well since I began introducing Wellness Simple into her diet. Feeding her once a day using two scoops of the prescription Hills Metabolic, 2 scoops of Wellness Simple and 1/2 can moist of either Wellness or Metobolic mixed well with warm water. Since she began eating the Metobolic food the beginning of Feb. her weight went from 86 lbs. now down to 76 lbs. I started using half Wellness just recently because i thought she was losing weight too fast, plus the poor girl having to poop 4-5 times a day! She’s now going 2-3 times a day which has to be due to mixing with Wellness.
    Both of my pups love treats which we give them a few at night. Everytime I boil chicken to add to the Chihuahua’s dinner of Ziwipeak I save the broth and freeze it with diced up pieces in custard cups for the Golden and in those tiny plastic catsup/mustard containers for the Chi. They love this, it keeps them busy and it’s not fattening.
    I’m only buying quality treats these days checking the ingredients and making sure they are made in the U.S. They really get us though with the price, never thought I would pay $20. for a bag of dog treats, but of course we want only the best for our beloved babies~

  • Sue Bowler

    Hi Goldie Sadie, First few days my girl was on Prescription Diet RD, she too pooped alot. Now it’s normal. Koko, one of them on WD n Lilly on the RD for weight loss. Think I may try her on the Metabolic. Second time Lilly on RD, going now couple weeks n really hasn’t lost much this time. I too mix Lilly’s food with 1/2 WD for her bowel problem n 1/2 RD, n mix with WD dry. Keep me posted on Goldie Sadie. Hope both of our dogs improve.

  • GoldenSadie

    My girl has been on the Hills Metobolic going on 2 months now, but I went to the store to start mixing this food with Wellness Simple. The Hills diet must be loaded with fiber because the poor girl is pooping 4-5 times a day! We’re traveling in a motorhome so my husband has to clean up after her, and he said, “what on earth are you feeding this dog, she’s a pooping machine!” She lost 8 lbs. already which I feel is too rapid a weight loss, so mixing should help both the excessive potty and too fast of a weight loss.

  • Sue Bowler

    Hi I have one of my two “girls”, Shi-Zu / Poodle on Hills Science Diet / Prescription wet n dry for past couple weeks. Second time I’ve had her on this. First time, Lilly did lose weight. Now she’s back on it due to weight gain again. It works

  • theBCnut

    Blue Wilderness is a high calorie food.

    Usually, if they are sore in the morning, it’s arthritis and yes, getting the extra weight off will really help. Also, keep nails well trimmed, because with arthritis they shift how they carry themselves and sometimes feet take the brunt of it and break down. Long nails tend to force the toes to flatten out which leaves less cushioning action from the impact of each step and can cause more wear on the joints and accelerate arthritis in the feet themselves.

  • GoldenSadie

    Tossing the food wouldn’t work in my situation since her dinner consists of a dry kibble with 1/2 can of moist mixed together with warm water. Since we began traveling in our RV on the 1st of Feb. I’ve noticed our Golden seems to be slimming down somewhat already in just a month’s time. Think the combination of this prescription diet and her many daily walks a day it’s doing the trick to take off a few pounds. At 10 yrs old she is starting to show signs of lameness especially in the early a.m. hours. I know any weight gain at her age isnt helping her condition, so hopefully taking off 5-6 lbs. will make her feel better.
    Don’t think I’ll continue this Hill’s Metobolic diet once we get home in May since I can’t find out how this diet is rated nutritionally? I’ll have to look for a good quality food that doesn’t have a high fat content. We started noticing her weight gain when she was eating Wild Wilderness or something like that? Knew I had to change from this food when someone told me it was a good food nutritionally, but high in carorie content.
    Thanks for your input~

  • theBCnut

    Yep. It’s high fiber so your dog thinks it’s getting more nutrition than it actually is, and you’re scooping more. The key to weight loss is the same for dogs as it is for people. You need to take in less calories than you burn. I don’t use diet foods, I increase activity and cut back on amount fed. You can feed any food you feel comfortable with and get your dog to lose weight. Try not giving your dog her food in a bowl. While you are sitting around. toss your dog’s food, one piece at a time, across the room. She will have to run back and forth to eat it. Or work on trick training with her food being the rewards for working. Add in just 10 minutes of extra activity a few times a day, short walks, fetch, training, these all help boost the metabolism and give you a great relationship with your dog.

  • GoldenSadie

    Does anyone use Hill’s Metobolic prescription dog food. My vet recommend this to help my Golden shed some weight, but I don’t know how good this food is? Since she’s been on it she poops 4-5 times a day! Maybe this is why it works well to reduce weight?
    Thanks for any info you can provide.

  • Anonymous

    High protein for renal problems is actually a safety hazzard; which is why low protein diets are recommended. When the kidneys don’t adequately function, large protein molecules create more wear and tear on the kidney, decreasing their ability to adequately filter substances out of the blood (the large protein molecules make the holes bigger, in essence, which is like smashing holes in your wire sieve – these holes allow things to get through that normally wouldn’t). Restricting protein in animals (and people!) with impaired kidney function reduces this added wear and tear, making them last longer!

  • Dobra

    Blue Buffalo and Natural Balance are now owned by the Mars Co (candy manufactures). Mars just bought most of Proctor and Gambles pet food brands and seems to be trying to buy up most of the market brands. Good rule of thumb: Never buy anything for your pet from a supermarket or discount store. They carry the bottom of the barrow pet foods. Remember all kibble is cooked, and cooking takes out much of what your pet needs.

  • dontbugme

    My issue is that one of these prescription diets, which my dog’s vet recommended switching to, costs twice as much as a higher quality brand ($120 vs $65 for a 30 lb bag). The prescription dry dog food has its first 2 of 3 ingredients listed as corn products. Why should I pay almost double for corn as a major ingredient. it is price gouging and taking advantage of consumers by having these veterinarians peddle these foods.

  • lexi61

    make sure you are feeding a NON GMO diet – GMO’s are absolute poison to us & our pets – give her a heaping tablespoon of pumpkin in her NON GMO food every feeding

  • lexi61

    make sure you are feeding a NON GMO diet – GMO’s are absolute poison to us & our pets

  • A D

    I was feeding Natural Balance but I think currently it is only getting like 3 stars. Pretty low rating for the cost of the product

  • Helene

    My Lab has high protein in her urine. It is a progressive non curable disease and the only way to slow it down is through low protein and blood pressure pill.My vet had me call some of the well respected dog food companies to find out the dry matter protein ratio in their canned dog food to do a real comparison to try and find a low protein food for my dog. Well come to find out, they were all too high in Protein. I Called Honest Kitchen that makes Higher end Dehydrated Food. The company is great and they have all different formulas. I found one called Keen that has 21% protein. That is the dry matter ratio.My vet wanted her on a 20-22% dry matter protein. He did not want her to have to go on the prescription KD food. Her protein level dropped a point. So now I am trying to mix in half the prescription canned with the Keen to see if her level will drop further.

  • Pink dog

    Don’t give in to that science diet crap. I feed my dogs primal raw dog food. It’s grassfed no soy, corn, wheat or any antibiotics used in the meat source. A good quality protein. My dog used to get crystals too in her bladder. Hard to mKe your dog drink more water. But raw diet gives them plenty of moisture/water in their diet. It’s expensive but I think it’s worth it. Beats spending lots of money at the vets office. Think about it….dogs are descendants of wolves and wolves eat protein not soy not corn not wheat!!!

    There’s been studies out there that since commercial dog food has been around there are more dogs that die from cancer now than ever before. They put crap in the commercial dog food. You have to really research the dog food you are using. There are really good products but there are more crappy ones than good so be careful. The saying you get what you pay for is so true!!!

  • Pink dog

    I had a dog that had kidney issues. We spent thousands trying to save that dog. In the end we couldn’t save her since she had an auto immune problem. We adopted her from the shelter. So we only had her for 3 years. But that being said because of her kidney issues we informed ourselves exactly what causes all of it. We of course naturally in the beginning thought it was due to a big protein diet and was suggested by my vet to do the Hills KD DIET. hated it!!! It had no valuable nutrition for our dog or for anyone’s dog for that matter.

    With further research we found out the myth behind all the protein causing kidney disease isn’t true at all. The test when it was conducted was done on mice and rats which their diets doesn’t consist of protein to begin with. It’s no wonder their kidneys couldn’t take it.

    Do your own research don’t take my word for it. But the high protein diet isn’t the problem with dogs kidneys or crystal built up….it’s the quality of protein. Find a good quality protein source of dog food and your dog will thrive. I feed my dogs primal raw dog food. Very high quality grassfed beef no antibiotics no grain no corn or soy fillers!!! Dogs are descendants of wolves and what did wolves eat in the wild? Meat!!! Good clean meat that isn’t filled with crap!!

  • ruby estra

    The whole theory behind that protein is the cause of kidney problems is false. When that test was conducted it was done on rats which diets doesn’t consists of meat source. Good high quality protein for dogs is the best food you can give them

  • Trikerwomyn

    Your dog’s blood tests tell the story. It can take months to bring a sick dog back to an acceptable level. Go back and discuss the problems with a diet with your Vet. With your Vet, try different foods until you find one that works, producing good blood tests and a healthier appearing dog. If possible, work closely with a Vet. Internist, not a generalist when your dog develops a chronic disease.
    Remember, it is how a dog chemically processes food that matters, and the chemicals appearing on that label are an attempt to give the dog a balanced diet under difficult circumstances.

  • Jennifer Laschi Harmon

    My standard has battled crystalsince 8 weeks old. My vet knows I don’t want her on a low quality food. So what we’ve used is uroese (spelling?) a supplement. She’s been crystal free.

  • Lara

    Pick any 5 star food. Transition very slowly – over 14 days. If there is mass causing liver issues, no diet will change that.

  • Lara

    Good job being educated and switching her food! Honestly, it is sad that vets promote these terrible quality foods. It wouldn’t surprise me either if her kidneys improved on better food. Glad to hear your dog is healthy.

  • Guest

    Thanks for setting Drew straight. Neither dogs nor people need to eat corn – it’s difficult to digest and not absorbed by the body – that’s why the kernels end up in our poop! Most of it’s genetically modified and it’s used as filler in pet foods and to fatten cattle. It’s not part of their diet either and very difficult for them to digest. Food Inc for your viewing pleasure.

  • Petnicks

    Drew, you are wearying …

  • Lara

    I have a feeling you are a veterinarian after reading all your posts. I don’t say this in a positive light at all.

    You are misinformed that “premium food” is constituted as Royal Canin and Science Diet. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that dogs so best and thrive while eating meat. However, highly sensitive dogs (like my dogs) may be unable to eat protein that comes from animals that also eat grain. Additionally, red meat tends to lack essential oils that come from kibbles with fish, resulting in a superficially dry skin that can itch. So yes, I tried a high quality red meat kibble as well as chicken based kibble that didn’t work for my dogs. This does not mean I am going to rush to the vet and buy their terrible quality food. That doesn’t prove anything. Neither does, like I said before, their “unbiased” research. Which I forgot to mention is often sponsored by, none other than the food brands themselves. My local vet med school is one of the best in North America and their research is sponsored by Royal Canin – go figure.

  • Lara

    Oh, please like the vet research industry would ever make Royal Canin look like a bad food. Their research is sadly 99% marketing/sales and 1% “research”, AKA designing a food that won’t kill a dog but leaves them needing to go to the vet 3-6+ times a year. So yes, large sums of money into research to promote sales of cheap low grade food.

    My dogs are both allergic to grains as well as grain fed chicken/poultry. They are doing awesome on a grain-free, potato free, and chicken-free food right now. I know several other dogs allergic to grain. And yes, to many, corn is considered a grain. With a farming background, I consider corn to be a grain. Its an empty nutrient starch full sugary grain.

  • Lara

    Most, if not all, of Royal Canin’s food is garbage. If you want your dog to remain a good healthy weight, pick a high quality food and a proper portion control. If your dog is too thin, add more food. If your dog is overweight, add less food and exercise more.

    You will feed a lot less of a high quality food. For example, if you feed 1 cup Royal Canin, you will only need 3/4 cup or less of Orijen. The ingredients are better and contain less fillers. They end up being cheaper and making your pet healthier.

    Foods I can suggest: Orijen, Acana, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Wellness Core, Taste of the Wild, Canidae Pure, I and Love and You, Wysong Epigen, Natural Balance.

  • Lara

    This is the major reason I chose not to be a vet tech. I refuse to sell a product that will make animals sick. The sad thing, that you stated, is that people believe so heavily in these foods. It truly is sad that vets continue to sell these foods – mainly because they make a huge profit from doing so.

    I did however work in a high quality pet store, that I LOVED. I saw people come in everyday interested in improving their dogs health by upgrading their food. I have seen anything from heart illness, frequent UTIs to severe allergies cured with the proper food.

  • LabsRawesome
  • Bobby dog

    Thanks, I am going to check it out.

  • Gin

    You are welcome. Yeah, I love reading all kinds of things too. Vets do their thing, I do mine. Like you I want to give my one with the cheeks sardines too. I love them, and he goes nuts for it. I am waiting till he’s thru with HW cuz his stools are still not firming too well. They look firm, but they are soft. After the meds he should be ok.

  • Gin

    Gaia, I would pop them and just spread on her skin. Looks kind of like motor oil/thick and green.

  • Bobby dog

    What brand of olive leaf extract do you use?

  • dchassett

    Thanks for adding the site to your post. Very interesting and informative but most of all I’m thrilled to have a list of the large companies and what dog foods come under their umbrella. I avoid feeding foods that have been recalled and then go so far as to avoid any foods the companies also produce. Again, thanks.

  • LabsRawesome

    Thanks, that’s my 8yr old son. Good info on your link. I knew about all that stuff though, I am always interested in reading about dog related news/articles. I am signed up for news/alerts through just about every site. Lol. My dogs love Merrick, but it is pricy, so that is why they only get it occasionally. Your dog is so cute!! I just wanna pinch his cheeks.

  • Gin

    I LOVE Merrick! As a matter of fact we used to sell Merrick and Wellness here 8 yrs ago when we started. I didn’t like when Wellness changed, I do use it for cats though. Merrick was too pricey for many around here. I was thinking of starting the Bully that is HW positive on Merrick. My vet said wait until he is completely done with treatment, he should start gaining.

    This is pretty interesting. See page 10 about Merrick. Those are one of the few treats we sell here, Merrick Sarge and Hooves, pizzle sticks.

    Cute little boy!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Gin, sounds like you’ve got a really nice boarding kennel. If I ever boarded my dogs, it would definitely be in a place like yours. Luckily my Mom lives nearby, so my dogs just go to Grandmas house when I’m not home. You are using good foods. I use Victor grain free and I mix in Kirkland (cuts in gravy) and 4health, occasionally some Merrick canned. My dogs really love the mix. I also give them eggs, sardines, mackerel, ect.

  • Gin

    We feed Natural Balance Ultra, Canidae All Life Stage, and Natural Balance Fish & Sweet Potato. I have always fed my Olde English Bulldoggues & Pit Mix this and the bullies lived to be 14 & 15, Pit Mix 17 yr old.

    Adopted two English Bulldogs in September. One had yeast, missing hair under chin, infected tail, needed cherry eye surgery, and heartworms. His hair is all filled in, no more yeast smell, shiny coat.
    The female had bacterial problem, missing hair on top of back and ears that looked like elephant ears. We thought we’d have to live with the funky ears, but hair is actually growing back. Of course they had ran the gamut with Clindomycin and other meds at shelter. I started using Olive Leaf Extract and Virgen Coconut Oil on her back and ears, stopped the meds. She is now a healthy dog WITH hair, ears are looking pretty good too. I bathe them with Chlorhexadrine and the male every other week with Micanozole from Davis. I still think the food helps with many of the problems. Just like humans with exzema, and other autoimmune diseases.

    I would not feed corn food to dogs boarding with us, cheap food makes all the difference. Drew below talks about less healthy environment, we are not one of those kennels. I designed the bldg and there are 2 sections with only 6 indoor only runs, one wiith 3 (those have tvs, twin beds, music), so you get the idea. It’s home away from home. Out of thousands I have boarded, I’d say I experienced colitis only 3 times or so. It is quiet, peaceful, dogs have 20 x 25 and a yard that’s 60 x 65 for runners. They interact 5x a day with us. We personally take them out each time. So Drew might be talking about kennels back 20 yrs ago.

  • Gin

    Love this…the hubby thing

  • dchassett

    Wow! That’s a new one on me. Believe me, I have an auto immune illness and am allergic to all sorts of things and so is my Maltipoo, Katie so it’s always been a joke with my family and friends that katie’s in good hands because if I don’t know how to deal with allergic reactions who would. But allergic to human dander? I don’t know what to say. Though I do sometimes tell my hubby I think I’m allergic to him so PLEASE turn the t.v. down and go to another room. lol. He knows better and just ignores me. Gotta love a guy that knows you well after 35 years of marriage and ignores your wacky ways.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Gin, what food do you use, for the dogs you board?

  • LabsRawesome

    OMGoodness I’ve never heard that one before. A dog that is allergic to Humans? Poor guy.

  • Gin

    I totally agree with you. I just posted about one of my customers. She was paying over $40 for 8.8 lbs, switched and now paying under $40 for 15 lbs and her dog is doing wonderful on his new food.

  • Gin

    Thank you for adressing him Mike. I saw some of these remarks yesterday, after we had a conversation (that would not end) and just decided to not respond further to drew. I always liked it here just discussing situations. I am a kennel owner and have rescued many dogs with skin conditions. Some food works others don’t. I had one customer that switched and switched. After allergy testing, the vet said allergy problem is human dander.

  • Gin

    One of my customers was eating the
    Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein and paying over $40 for an 8.8 lb bag. She switched to Natural Balance Fish & Sw Potato, sometimes uses Potato & Duck, and her dog has been fine for over 6 months. The difference in cost is for under $40 she gets a 15 lb bag. No allergy problems.

  • Shawna

    “I notice each time I say “you can’t conclude x with just the information
    you’ve given, you need to know y as well” you reply with “oh we did y
    too, it was normal.” First it was diagnosed based off bloodwork”

    Yes drew, my vet did the blood work along with a urine specific gravity, urine culture etc. The vet diagnosed kd. And yes, I didn’t mention all that to the original poster. I imagine she wouldn’t have cared much. Nor do I mention all those when I discuss Audrey in other posts. I think you simply could have asked those questions rather then immediately going on the defensive though..??

    And for what it’s worth, I didn’t say renal diets don’t work. I know they do but in the early stages of the disease when uremia is not an issue and phosphorus is not elevated and proteinuria is not a concern, they are not necessary. And in the later stages of the disease when it is necessary to control phosphorus and may be necessary to limit protein, there are definitely better options than the prescription diets sold at most vet offices.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I believe Hound Dog Mom is correct and it was RC. I wasn’t saying that it was CAFH, and I can’t remember if the reaction occured 45 minutes or 2 hours later. It didn’t resolve quickly at all, as the dog never stopped itching, it just got acutely worse a set amount of time after eating the vet prescribed food.

  • Mike Sagman

    Look at the way you just replied here to this nice person. Your condescending and arrogant tone is visible to all and serves as a lasting testimonial to the kind of professional and human being you truly are.

    I can only imagine what your clients would think of you if they only knew your real identity and were to witness the way you interacted with others here.

    If you every do decide to return, please check your superiority complex and arrogance at the door before you post any future comments. Otherwise, you will not be welcome here.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Probably so.

  • Shawna

    PS — my vet didn’t know anything about nitrogen trapping.. I learned that one on my own. Vet wanted me to feed kd kibble even though numbers indicated early stage kd. I learned on my own that protein restriction is not necessary, or even advisable, in early kd. Vet recommended KD kibble even though they sold canned which would have been a better option. Something they did not tell me but I had to learn on my own. My holistic vet recommended a home made diet with grapes in it. I had to call her to question the inclusion of grapes… I could go on… :)

  • Shawna

    You are REALLY REALLY good at those subtle insults drew!!! :) What is it specifically you want to know from that original conversation with my vet.. Yes it was on the phone and yes I was in shock from the “diagnosis” I was given but…..

    To sum up what I know — a urine specific gravity was done and abnormal (I have the results on paper at home). Her phosphorus was within normal ranges and her phos to calcium ratio was normal. I don’t recall the BUN/Creatinine ratio. A urine culture was done – came back negative. Follow up blood evals were done every three months for a year. The vet opened her up a bit wider during spay procedure to get a look at the kidneys. KD was recommended. An ultrasound was recommended but I was told it may or may not help in determining a cause and that it would not help with treatment. What else do you want to know?

  • Mike Sagman

    Thanks for removing the discourteous language.

    In this comment you said, “I don’t see anywhere in your terms of service that we are required to disclose our personal profession prior to engaging in discussion.”

    Here’s the link to our commenting policy which states…

    “In the interest of fairness, those who publicly claim to be veterinary professionals are kindly asked to post using their real names.”

    This rule is required to prevent those who fraudulently claim to be vets from doing so without proof.

    In any case, the fact we “kindly ask” vets to identify themselves is only meant to be a desirable request and should not be construed to be a prerequisite for participating here.

    Please keep in mind that every one of your comments remains as a permanent archive and proof you have been given every opportunity to be heard.

    Feel free to post your opinion. However, all we ask is that you post your comments with respect and courtesy to others.

    By the way, if you are indeed a veterinarian, please keep in mind you are posting as an ambassador for your profession.

    And that gives you a distinct opportunity to positively impact the skeptical opinions about the veterinary profession held by so many pet owners and other visitors to website like The Dog Food Advisor.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I think you’re thinking of the Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein formula. This formula contains rice (first ingredient) and it doesn’t list the rice as being hydrolyzed.

    The Hill’s Z/D just lists starch so it may be purified to not contain any protein(?). Doesn’t specify what the starch is though.

  • drew

    You have basically proven my point. I believe you can remember simple bits of information, my concern is with your ability to remember and interpret larger discussions with more complexity.

    If all you got from the visits was “try KD” because the kidneys are sick, then it explains why you don’t have much other information to discuss with me.

    That’s fine! I don’t expect all pet owners to understand this stuff in depth. There are some great pet owners out there who aren’t particularly bright. It’s only a problem when they start pushing their flawed ideas on other people.

    (For what it’s worth, I’m outtie! Maybe I’ll visit this page again in a couple months if it pops up and I see gratuitous amounts of misinformation [err…. well I guess I’m repeating myself], but until then, have a great spring!)

  • Shawna

    Okay, to make this easy for you drew. My vet told me to put Audrey on Science Diet KD the same day as she was spayed… Then the vet who did the second blood eval three months later told me to put her on KD. And a third vet in the clinic, two years later, asked why Audrey was not on KD. If you feel I am not capable of understanding what my vet meant by put your dog on KD then so be it.. :)

  • drew

    1) Your understanding is incorrect. All proteins, not just meat, are hydrolyzed in a hydrolyzed protein diet.

    2) The signs you mentioned do not at all match with cutaneous adverse food hypersensitivity. There would be no immediate itching reaction, and it would not immediately resolve. An itching reaction that occurred minutes after eating is absolutely not a cutaneous adverse food hypersensitivity.

  • Shawna

    I’ll consider contacting them as the diagnosis was done on the same day that I dropped off Audrey to be spayed. As mentioned it was the pre-spay blood work that showed elevated BUN and Creatinine. I believe the urine culture was done on the same day but not sure any longer on that. Urine specific gravity was done on same day. I may have a hard time as this was almost eight years ago and I gave the okay to do the spay after given the chronic kd diagnosis.. Thoughts?

    And no, you are right I did not read your whole post as I didn’t want to get the above question lost in replies to the rest of your post.

  • drew

    Nope. That’s not any part of my argument, and is not true, and I never said or implied it.

    It is clear that I am wasting my time speaking with you, so let me state it one last time then leave you alone.

    We did not know what course of disease to expect. Therefore, we do not know if what we actually saw was a result of the diet or not. That is my argument, which is completely different from your summary of my argument.

    Again, given how completely you fail to grasp even the main point of my argument, I think relying on you to reliably communicate things your veterinarian told you is a bad idea.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You said “The premium dog foods that pets are placed on for allergies have all proteins broken down to a level that is smaller than the immune system can react to. So regardless of the particular ingredients, they cannot cause allergies unless there is some contamination.”
    We were actually discussing this 2 or 3 weeks ago. One poster had a dog that was put on a hydrolyzed protein diet, but the owner felt that it was still having food allergy issues because a certain number of minutes after feeding, the dog started scratching and chewing itself every time it was fed. The meat source in the Hill’s food was hydrolyzed, yes, but the starch source was not, I believe rice in this case. Rice and other starch sources have protein in them, maybe not as much as the meat source, but they still have protein in them and can be the cause of symptoms.

  • Shawna

    It seems to me that your whole argument is that diet is varied by the type of kidney disease diagnosed?

    If so, what form of diet would be suitable for the various causes of chronic kidney disease? From the research I’ve done, those such as Kronfeld and Bovee, diet is not different for polycystic versus developmental versus another cause. Diet is only factored in based on the stage not cause.

  • drew

    So… I addressed all of those things.

    If you can find where I said “your dog doesn’t have chronic kidney failure” I’ll be really surprised, because I recall writing that your dog may well have chronic kidney failure, but that this is an insufficient diagnosis to predict outcome.

    I also stated that “developmental disorder” is not a sufficient diagnosis. I did not say it was a wrong diagnosis.

    I do think that at the time of the spay, it was unlikely your vet thought that.

    But the authorities, since you ask, would be the Veterinary Board in the state where you live. You can use the drop-down menu on this page:
    to find the one in your state.

    I have seen you repeatedly misunderstand and simplify the things I say, so I have a hard time believing that you fully understand the information your vets have given you as well.

    I’m sure this comment will get me booted, and I am frankly okay with that by this point.

  • Shawna

    Chronic renal failure in a young dog, per the Merck Vet Manual, can be caused by developmental disorders. What procedure would you suggest my vet perform to diagnose developmental disorder?

    I wonder why my vet told me my dog had kidney failure if she didn’t feel she had kidney failure. AND I wonder why the additional two vets who performed the follow-up blood evals didn’t tell me my dog didn’t have kd? Why have four different vets from two different offices allowed me to continue thinking my dog has chronic kidney disease? Are you suggesting I should turn all four in to the authorities? Whom should I contact if that is the case?

  • drew

    If it were intended to directly address the original information posted by Mary Straus, I would have posted it as a reply to Mary Straus’ comment. Instead, I posted it as a reply to YOUR comment.

    You argue that the vet is relying on old data, you pointed to a source drawing a certain conclusion, but that same source, the same one who came to that conclusion, is still recommending a diet restricted in all of those things.

    So what’s going on? Is minnesota urolith center ignoring its own data (and is the vet and MUC both wrong)? Or are you misunderstanding the implications of those papers you cite– while both the vet and Minnesota Urolith Center are understanding them correctly and coming to different conclusions than you?

  • drew

    Again, you CANNOT get a good picture of what the diet did without knowing what was wrong with the kidneys, regardless of any other data you have. It’s entirely impossible without a diagnosis. You still haven’t told me what the diagnosis is; “chronic renal failure” in a young dog is secondary to something else. You can’t detect a change from expected course without knowing the expected course. “Developmental disorders” is another umbrella term that doesn’t give a meaningful indication of expected outcome.

    You seem to be treating “kidney disease” as a specific diagnosis; it’s not. It’s a description of a problem. There are many parts of the kidney, and many types of disease, and each carries different expectations. It is entirely possible that the kidney disease your dog is suffering from (assuming it is kidney disease) would have been expected to behave exactly as it did in your dog, regardless of diet. In addition, polyuria and polydipsia is and *excellent* cause of pre-renal azotemia. I wonder why that wasn’t followed up on? Any cause of PU/PD would cause azotemia, and if that disease persisted, then it may be the cause of everything else you’re seeing.

    If your vet performed the spay, then he didn’t think your pet was in kidney failure. If he gave your pet a diagnosis of one year to live due to renal failure, and then performed a spay, then he should lose his license. It looks to me like he felt the kidneys were fine, that the values were probably a mild change from normal and nothing to worry about, and you followed up on them and nothing exciting came of it. ”

    I notice each time I say “you can’t conclude x with just the information you’ve given, you need to know y as well” you reply with “oh we did y too, it was normal.” First it was diagnosed based off bloodwork, then it was diagnosed based off bloodwork and urine, then with urine culture and repeated followup bloodwork… That makes this game impossible for me to play. In addition, I have no way to determine what information you remember correctly by now, and what you don’t.

    As I said, literally hundreds of diseases can cause pre-renal azotemia– anything that decreases drive to drink, which means literally any illness could potentially cause it. You don’t diagnose renal vs pre-renal disease by ruling out 800 different pre-renal diseases, you do it by looking at USG. IF you want some ideas, pick anything on this list that might cause a dog to feel unwell: In any case, the focus on whether or not it is renal disease is not that important to the argument–we still don’t know what the expectations should be without knowing the cause of disease.

    If you are occasionally feeding her kibble, and that is not her normal diet, of course she has vomiting and an upset stomach. Uremia is not the only cause of vomiting.

    It sounds like you have a complex case, that should be or should have been seen by an internal medicine specialist. I’m not a psychic, I’ve given you plenty of things to consider. Even if you give us the USG, I’m not going to try to diagnose your dog. (I will say a USG >1.020 rules out renal failure, and below that doesn’t prove renal failure, as many causes of PU/PD– including any inflammation, steroids, toxins, infections, etc– also cause isosthenuria. The bottom line is that you don’t know what was wrong/is wrong with your dog, and the anecdote from one dog does not qualify you to state that renal diets don’t work. Data always trumps anecdote.

  • Shawna

    Yes, I did read your entire post. In all truthfulness however, I only read the first two links. What I am missing is what relevance this has to the original information posted quoting Mary Straus?

  • Shawna

    1. I think we can rule out acute by a. not having acute symptoms
    b. having elevated BUN and Creatinine for multiple years consistently
    c. ruling out a urinary tract infection with a culture

    I think you CAN get a picture of what the diet did when evaluating the blood BUN after dietary modifications — which as said was done every three months for a year.

    2. Please list which diseases and situations cause “abnormally” elevated creatinine. As indicated in my last post with an edit shortly after posting — a urinalysis and urine specific gravity was done. Since she did not have any symptoms of “vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased drive to drink” what then would be the causes of elevated BUN and creatinine without those symptoms or any others except polydipsia (which we both know is increased water consumption) and polyuria? Which were symptoms notices at just six weeks of age and mentioned to her holistic vet but not followed up on.

    3. PS – it was her conventional vet that did the spay after diagnosing kidney disease. Audrey was taken in to spay and it was the pre-spay, as well as one year (and first), blood eval done that showed elevated BUN and creatinine. I was in shock and allowed the spay but in my right mind I never would have. The spay went without issue but she had all kinds of monitors etc hooked up to her. However the recovery wasn’t good at all. She would not move for three days and wet herself constantly. I slept on the living room floor with her and kept piles of clean blankets and towels next to us as I would have to change them several times a night. She was very ill. I foster and have gone through lots of dogs being spayed (including older retired breed dogs) and NEVER experienced the negative reaction I did with Audrey.

    5. I completely agree with you here.. Audrey was the runt or a litter of six to a 12 pound dog and was beginning to fail to thrive at 4 weeks old. She was diagnosed with a collapsing trachea and couldn’t get enough nutrition. The breeder ended up bottle feeding her until she started eating on own. Merck lists “developmental disorders” as a cause and it has been assumed by me that that is the cause with her.

    After getting the news from my vet I started researching. I checked material safety data sheets as well as the Center for Disease Control and started eliminating items in my home that could be problematic. Audrey is exempted from the rabies vaccine for life (she has never had the shot). I use nitrogen trapping to eliminate toxins from the blood. I feed “quality protein”. She has never had a heartworm pill or given conventional flea/tick meds etc etc. She has been on Standard Process Canine Renal Support since getting the news (which I purchase from my holistic vet). For reasons I won’t get into this helps with inflammation. She gets food grade activated charcoal, reverse osmosis water (has since coming to me) etc. The only time she starts to show signs of uremia, specifically lethargy and vomiting, is if I feed her kibble for more than a few days in a row.

    Sorry, the urine was cultured and came back negative for infection. I don’t remember what the urine specific gravity was but I have all her paperwork at home and can pull it when able — I’m at work right now. If I remember correctly the vet told me that they had to syringe the urine and the protein could have been caused by that.

    Even though you are not attempting a diagnosis, I would dearly LOVE for you to tell me what it could be if not kidney disease as what I have been doing for her, for the past seven and a half years, may not be necessary and I may not be doing something that could be helping. So please DO share.

  • drew

    A couple points on this:

    1. Dogs in kennels are expected to be less healthy in general, due to close quarters with other pets, less environmental enrichment, less interaction with people, less exercise, etc., so that may throw off your observations.

    2. Certainly, an increase in the quality of diet can help. I’m not arguing that cheap diets are just as good as high-quality diets, just that the focus on corn is probably overblown.

    3. Whether or not corn is GMO has no impact on health per se. Sure, if it was modified in a harmful way, then it is harmful, but then that could happen with natural hybridization too.

    Have you ever read “Just Food”? It’s a great read, and it gets into the evidence on GMOs. (It’s written partially in response to “the Omnivore’s Dilemma” but from an evidence-based standpoint, rather than personal journey/narrative.)

  • drew

    What you’re sharing is personal observation and anecdote. I’ve shared my observation and personal anecdote, and they seem to oppose yours, so that’s where we need objective evidence. I would argue the burden of proof falls on you, since you’re making the assertion (“corn causes allergies”).

    I don’t have institutional access to journals anymore, unfortunately, making it hard to come across full-text papers. But I would be willing to bet very large sums of money that there is no veterinary dermatologist in the world who agrees with you in this claim. I know for a fact there are none at the veterinary schools at University of Illinois, UC Davis, U Penn, and U Cornell.

    The technical term for food allergies is “cutaneous adverse food hypersensitivity” if that helps you in your search for journal articles. I apologize if you already knew that, and this ends up being patronizing or something, that’s not my intention.

    In fact, only about 10-15% of dogs that have skin disease actually respond to a diet trial, so I find it hard to believe you are achieving such a high rate of success with yours.

    The premium dog foods that pets are placed on for allergies have all proteins broken down to a level that is smaller than the immune system can react to. So regardless of the particular ingredients, they cannot cause allergies unless there is some contamination. (Let me know if you have questions on why that is the case, or disagree with the premise.)

  • Gin

    The other problem today is probably more about that corn is so nutritious for dogs, because the manufacturers stretch the truth. There are certainly other proteins that are more nutritious. Corn is used because it’s cheap to produce. Most used in dog food production is GMO corn (farmers can’t even it). Give a dog a bowl of Pedigree and a bowl of food that doesn’t list corn in the top 5 ingredients and see where he goes to eat.

    When a dog comes to board with me, I can 9 out of 10 times tell you what food he lives on. The labs that eat tons of corn, will have constant bowel movements, most get runny at some point. If they stay with me for a while, and they start eating our food, they stop having gas problems, smelly soft stools. Some eat such cheap food that you can actually see the corn kernels in the stools. After a few days, they are not pooping 5x a day, the stools are firmer. There is a difference in behaviour.

  • drew

    I edited all the responses that say “stupid.” Did you go back and check them out? I’ve been fairly polite since then, unless I was responding to an attack by someone else.

    I’m surprised you’re offended by that characterization… isn’t that a fact? You believe the pet food industry killed your pet, and that motivates you to publish this site? I don’t see why that’s a bad thing, everyone gets their motivation from somewhere.

    If you are considering a boot or a ban, I hope you’ll ask the other commenters first. Some of them seem to be interested in my opinions.

    I don’t see anywhere in your terms of service that we are required to disclose our personal profession prior to engaging in discussion. Is that a rule? If so, then I won’t continue posting, as I feel your rules are an invasion of privacy, and unfair.

  • Gin

    We just see it frist hand. So many dogs on these cheap foods like Pedigree, Beneful, etc. We are not the only ones, but other groomers recommend changes in the diets, and immediately you will notice the dog not having a problem.

    Unfortunately so many of the vets recommend a certain brand that they sell at a very high price, and it still contains all the same crap, corn by products and soy ingredients. Once taken off all that, the dog’s hair starts growing back, they no longer have lesions, the change can happen within 2 months.

    Now, if they come in with yeast problems, we can smell it or see loss of hair as well. After a few months, their hair starts growing back, the funky odor dissappears. We work closely with an animal shelter that feeds Hills products. When they have a dog in serious need of care of skin, they use Fish & Sweet Potato or similar and the change is so incredible.

    We know that there are many skin problems due to plant life in our area. The hunting labs get horrible lesions on their limbs, and of course vet gives prednisone. I am not saying it is totally the corn’s fault, but with it’s low value of protein, the owner switches and problems are gone.

  • drew

    1) I didn’t argue that failing to ultrasound *changed* the outcome– I’m arguing that you never gave yourself a solid idea of what outcome should have been expected. If there was kidney failure, you don’t know if they were polycystic kidneys, acute renal failure kidneys from infection vs toxin vs inflammation, etc. You can’t really assess whether the diet changed the outcome or not if you didn’t have a solid idea of what outcome to expect.

    2) Creatinine is elevated due to all of the same things that elevates BUN, minus a few (doesn’t go up with elevated dietary protein, for example, the way BUN might.) Elevated BUN and creatinine is called azotemia, and azotemia can be renal, pre-renal, or post-renal. You CANNOT determine which it is without assessing the urine, and even after you assess the urine. There are literally hundreds of diseases that can lead to pre-renal azotemia– becuase there are literally hundreds of diseases that can cause dehydration through vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased drive to drink.

    IF you determine the disease is renal, you STILL cannot assess the cause without either an obvious history (“my dog just drank antifreeze”) or an ultrasound, and even then you might need a biopsy on top of the ultrasound to know for sure.

    3) I am assuming that your vet wasn’t TOO awfully worried about the kidneys when she agreed to perform an elective surgical procedure? What was the timing on the diagnosis of kidney failure and the anesthesia?

    4) Your vet gave you a 1-year prognosis without having a specific diagnosis? Thats shady, I don’t know whether on your memory, or the vet being sub-standard, but you can’t give a prognosis without a diagnosis.

    5) Perhaps I was being overly broad in saying a congenital disease shouldn’t worsen. But depending on the disease, there is often no ongoing insult or pathology that would cause them to keep getting worse. With older dog chronic renal failure, whatever caused the renal failure is often still ongoing, even if we don’t nail it down exactly. That, and age-related degeneration continues.

  • Mike Sagman


    In the short time you’ve been here on our website, you have managed to conduct youreself with a level of arrogance and unkindness towards others only rarely witnessed by those of us who more regularly inhabit this community.

    In just 8 hours, you have referred to your host (of this website) as “a dentist with a chip on his shoulder”, you have called a number of posters “stupid” and admonished and lectured others because of you believe they don’t “form (their) opinions” to your liking.

    Even though you may hide behind vague names like “Drew” and “Guest”, I get the distinct impression you might be a veterinarian. And if that is the case (and in the interest of fairness to all those you so rudely criticize and admonish), please identify yourself as such — or stop posting.

    I’m sure your patients would like to know how you really feel about other pet owners.

  • drew

    Can you provide any evidence that corn leads to allergy problems? Technically any protein can cause allergies, but corn allergy is extremely rare. I am sick of that particular myth.

    I am in a position to see many, many dogs and I am trained to assess their health, and I get to talk to their owners. I have certainly seen no trend in dogs with healthy coats or lack of allergies and raw or evolutionary or high-protein diets. In fact I make a point to ask every dog with a particularly shiny coat what they feed their dogs, and you may be as surprised as I have been to see how many of them answer things like Pedigree, Purina Dog Chow, and other lower-end foods foods.

    (While I already knew raw/fad/evolutionary/natural diets provide little benefit to dogs, I expected that premium diets would be better for skin and coat, but in my unscientific observations, that has not been supported.)

    Probably the only trend I’ve noticed is that the most common foods in general end up being the most commonly fed to healthy-coated dogs, and the least common foods are least. In other words (and without objective data I understand the following statement may well be subject to poor memory or memory bias), in my observation it seems that there’s little link at all, and that some dogs have healthier coats than others based on many, many more factors besides dog food.

    When I say “processed” I don’t necessarily mean ground. As long as the outer hull is removed, it can be digested.

    I agree, I’m sure corn is not the most perfect source of nutrition, but in the end if the nutrition is there, then I don’t think it matters. I guess my philosophy differs from that of most people on these boards– in the end it’s the nutrition profile that matters, not the ingredient list, and you can achieve an excellent nutrition profile (including quality of protein, presence of vitamins and minerals and fatty acids etc) with supplementation and widely available/inexpensive ingredients just as you could with all-super-premium, expensive ingredients.

  • drew

    A similar conclusion is actually reached in all 3 articles. Did you read any of my comment before posting, or just click the links and then hit “reply”?

  • Shawna

    Per her vets, ultrasound can tell you the exact cause of the disease but it doesn’t change the outcome.

    Yes, I will agree that factors other than kidney disease can cause elevated BUN — like dehydration or diabetes mellitus among other causes. But what other illnesses cause above normal increases of creatinine?

    When Audrey was spayed her vet made the incision larger than necessary and evaluated her kidneys. She said they were both there and of proper color but small.

    In addition to the one year blood evel (and I have stated this in other posts here on DFA) we took Audrey in for blood evaluations every three months for a full year to evaluate dietary and supplement changes. When I used pectins, as a prebiotic for nitrogen trapping, her BUN increased pretty drastically. When I eliminated the pectins and utilized acacia fiber the BUN was at it lowest ever (still above normal however). Of course, these additional evals over a years period of time would rule out acute disease.

    Why would congenital kidney disease be “unlikely to worsen”? Her vets gave her one year past diagnosis to live.

    I do A LOT of supportive care to keep her as healthy as possible so I’d LOVE for you to tell me why spending those extra monies and taking those extra precautions wouldn’t be necessary!!!!!!

  • Gin

    Raw, unground corn is difficult for dogs to digest. However, when corn is ground to a meal and then cooked, dogs are able to digest it and use the nutrients. Most dog food producers ground the corn and then cook it before turning it into kibble. If you buy dog food with corn in it, your dog probably has no problem digesting and using it.

    The corn in dog food replaces more expensive meat products. By using cheaper corn over expensive meat, it cuts the costs of making the dog food. As a result, the price you must pay to buy the dog food is significantly lower.

    If you notice with dogs that eat cheap kibble full of corn, many have soft stools, smelly gas problems, their coats are not as shiny. Many will have allergy problems. And lest we not forget corn is not what it used to be 30 yrs ago.

    Compared to other grains, corn meal has a higher glycemic index. This means it raises blood sugar to higher levels, and higher blood sugar levels are unhealthy. The more the corn is ground, the higher the glycemic index, but the more it is ground, the better your dog digests it, making it a double-edged sword.

    While corn does contain nutrients and vitamins, it does not contain much. That is why you can find cheap dog foods full of corn for as cheap as $15 for 30 lb bags.

    There are many better sources for protein and nutrients than corn, including wheat, oats and meats. Corn shouldn’t be classified as “empty calories,” but it does not provide much nutrition for your dog compared with other options.

  • Shawna

    The conclusion of the second link you posted says (emphasis mine)

    Feeding canned diets formulated to contain high amounts of protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and moisture and a low amount of carbohydrate may minimize the risk of CaOx urolith formation in dogs.”

    I’m not sure how this differs greatly from what Mary writes in her article?

  • drew

    “Officially diagnosed during blood work eval” — you didn’t get her diagnosed at all. You can’t diagnose the cause of kidney disease in a 1-year-old PU/PD dog without an ultrasound. If it was diagnosed based on bloodwork, either you didn’t follow all the doctor’s recommendations, didn’t understand his discharge instructions, or there was a misdiagnosis or a “best guess,” non-definitive diagnosis.

    Yes, I’m sure the kidney values were elevated, but there are many things that can cause that besides kidney failure. Even if it was kidney failure, there are many different causes of kidney failure. A 1-year-old dog would have either congenital disease that is unlikely to worsen, or acute disease, which has a good prognosis if the pet survives the short-term disease.

    So basically, you don’t understand what was going on with your pet, and you fail to understand how research applies to your case.

  • drew

    Corn is not at all hard to digest, assuming you process it correctly to eliminate the hull. Do you have any support for your claim that corn is hard to digest?

  • drew

    Unfortunately for you, maybe. But very fortunate for pets.

    Let me ask you this: do you think you could design a diet yourself that would be appropriate for the conditions these diets are prescribed for? If you had to go to a grocery store, buy ingredients, and design a food for, say, an animal with liver disease, what would it be?

    If you don’t believe you can complete this task effectively, then what makes you think you can judge the effectiveness of therapeutic diets?

    Any time you think you can reduce a complex issue, such as nutrition, down to a simple rule, there’s a problem. When you believe your simple rule leads to better solutions than what is recommended by those with advanced training, there’s a big problem.

    If you, as a receptionist, believe you know more than nutrition and its impact on disease than your veterinarian knows, then you probably shouldn’t be at that clinic. You obviously don’t have much faith in your veterinarian’s knowledge, and I imagine that it must be hard to recommend that people see him or her.

  • drew

    Interesting. YOUR author cites a study from the Urolith Center at Minnesota, and uses that claim to argue against calcium restriction.

    And yet, a more recent publication, citing more recent studies (as recent as 2009), also from the Urolith Center at U Minn specifically mentions U/D by name and recommends it in certain cases…

    Note that the studies mentioned, and those with similar conclusions (eg: and )

    are not saying that adding any of those factors INDIVIDUALLY has any effect– ie, no one claimed that if you simply add calcium, or simply add protein, to a food, taht it will reduce CaOx stones. Rather, they evaluated specific diets with a certain profile of nutrients, and assessed response. It is not appropriate to conclude anything more specific than that.

    In general, it is the *balance* that is relevant, not the total amount. Calcium and phosphorus are a great example. When present in equal concentrations, these form a mineral that may not even cross into the body from the GI tract. But if they’re present at different amounts, one of them ends up not having a partner to form a mineral, and being free. If you were to restrict calcium in the diet, you may end up INCREASING absorption of phosphorus into the body because it’s not bound in a mineral. Since phosphorus is an ingredient in many stones, the resulting increase in excretion of phosphorus into the urine may lead to increased stone formation.

    We do know that high calcium can lead to calcium stones. If, after reading those studies, you feel this is odd and contradictory, it’s because you’re oversimplifying the results of those studies and failing to understand the complexity of the issue.

  • drew

    1. I’ve seen plenty of veterinarians over-react to crystals, but it depends on the TYPE of crytal. Some are perfectly normal, and vets putting you on SO for these types should be smacked. Some are ABnormal, and need SO.

    In general, there’s nothing wrong with a second opinion, but a third opinion from a general practioner is a waste of money and time– if you still have questions after 2 opinions, visit a veterinary specialist in the area of interest.

    2. Remember, this site is based on the childish and foolish assumption that “the more meat, the better.” Is it really likely that such a simplistic rule of thumb can be used to determine diet quality? I wonder if the same is true in human nutrition, I wonder why it takes people so many years to get their PhD in nutrition? Silly folks… I’m glad you at least recognize that you need to limit protein to help reduce crystals.

    3. Some of the ingredients you can’t pronounce are helping to reduce stone formation by altering pH, reducing the tendency of ions/minerals in the urine to form into crystals, and by increasing solubility.

    By the way, can you pronounce docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, or alpha linoleic acid? If these Omega 3 fatty acids (read: good-for-you, natural oils) are added to a diet, you suddenly have scary sounding names. What about “Meleagris gallopavo”? That would be the scientific name for a turkey. If you lived on some remote island that had little awareness of what a turkey was, and there wasn’t a common name for it, the exotic deli meat would probably use this term instead of “turkey.” Does that make it bad for you? How about “arsenic?” I can pronounce that pretty easily, and it’s all-natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s gonna help my pet.

    Nutrition is complex. Using simplistic rules will only get you so far. When it comes to a therapeutic diet, second-guessing what nutritionists and veterinarians have decided, through careful research and observation, is the best diet for a certain condition– that can get you in trouble.

    Remember, there are hundreds of thousands of pet owners. Medicine is an inexact science. For everyone who saw a dog get worse on an Rx food, by coincidence or otehrwise, and for everyone who saw a dog get better on some fad/boutique/evolutionary diet, there are thousands of pets who were harmed by not following the recommendation, or who were helped by the Rx diet. This site represents an extremely balanced sampling of individuals, so you’re only hearing one side of the story.

  • Sandra Boggs

    My Siberian Husky has been on Purina NF for early stage kidney disease for 3 years. In the beginning, she only had the kibble, but upon learning that canned is better for dogs with kidney disease, I started adding the canned to her kibble. She began to have chronic diarrhea, and stomach upset. She vomited occasionally, and I wasn’t happy with it. She began to lose weight, and her coat was horrific with big bald patches, and irritated spots all over her body. I took her off that food, and put her on Blue Buffalo Life Protection Senior Dry Dog Food, mixed with Blue Buffalo Canned Foods. She has gained weight, has no more diarrhea and no more vomiting. Her coat looks better than it has ever looked in the 9 years I have had her. She has also picked up her activity level. My dog will never touch Purina NF again! In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that her levels have improved on her kidneys.

  • Shawna

    Your vet is relying on old data.

    “In the past, diets restricted in both protein and phosphorus were thought to reduce the risk of calcium oxalate formation. Studies found, however, that dietary phosphorus restriction increased calcium absorption and the risk of calcium oxalate formation, while higher levels of dietary protein reduced the risk of urolithiasis. Current recommendations for dogs prone to forming CaOx stones say that diets should not be restricted in protein, calcium, or phosphorus.”

    The above linked site has some GREAT data..

  • Debbie

    It’s confusing because they say the cause is from too much protein which comes from the meat. Makes sense that the dry food does not have enough moisture. I also read a Holistic dog food is better. I’m really confused but I don’t want my Malte to end up having surgery. I really am considering taking her off of the prescription diet, using more of the quality canned food with kibble and adding water. Maybe another opinion from another vet would be good also.

  • sandy

    Crystals aren’t detrimental, unwanted – definitely. And they have the potential to become stones if conditions are right. 2 of my dogs are on the alkaline side and have some crystals, but they get a normal diet (raw, canned, some kibble) and I give them Mercola bladder health in the morning and Wysong Biotic pH- in the evening. They haven’t had any UTI’s which can precipitate stones.

  • Debbie

    My Maltese get crystals in her urine. Once again she is on Royal Canin Urinary SO. I haven’t been reading very good reviews regarding that food so I will probably take her off of it again. I use Banfield, maybe I need a second opinion or can anyone give me an idea on a bit of lower protein good dog food without all of the other ingredience that I can’t pronounce? Thank you!
    Debbie O

  • Gin

    Your vet diagnosed it as IBS? Which Eukanuba is he on? The reason I ask about he Eukanuba is, they had some bags recalled. Check yours here:

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Alicia, can you afford to try a raw diet for your dog? Now big is he? If not, get him on a food with a high meat content, and a low glycemic index and add fresh meat or high quality canned food as much as possible. Dogs are suppose to digest meat. Their system should be naturally acidic because meat and bone require it to be. But when you feed a carnivore a high starch food, it screws up their natural pH. Plus, as with all dry foods, they are heavily processed and contain only 10% moisture. A dog’s evolutionary diet would contain 70-80% water. So, many dogs are chronically dehydrated because they aren’t getting their water from the food like they should. This is especially true for kitties. Cats tend to develop all sorts of urinary tract problems because of dry carb based foods.

  • Alicia

    My min pin is 7 and he has had calcium oxlate stones twice now in two years and has had to have surgery to remove them both times. What kind of dry food would be recommended for him? I would also be giving wet food because he’s not drinking enough water my vet said. He talked about putting him on a science diet but I’ve read not so good things about the brand. He is on beniful now (I know shame on me) and I’m going to buy him some better quality dry food. His ph has also been 6 or 8 or even 9 so I’m not sure what would help with that also.

  • sue66b

    Gin what is a good dog kibble food that is low in fiber & low in fat?? My boy has IBS & is on Eukanuba Intestinal this product is very very crumby the bottom of the bag is full of crumbs, & he farts after eating it.. I’ve looked & looked for another kibble but I cannot find one that is low in fiber & low in fat..

  • Shawna

    Thank you and you are correct, one example is not significant. Luckily, there is FAR more examples and even research that does give credibility and significance. Dr. Kronfeld demonstrated that dogs with 75% kidney loss could eat diets with protein as high as 54% long term. Dr. Bovee discusses the myth of lowering protein here “Results of the 10 experimental studies on dogs have failed to provide evidence of the benefit of reduced dietary protein to influence the course of renal failure.”

    Hills even admits “There is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation for or against the use of diet therapy in dogs with non-proteinuric stages 1 and 2 CKD.” They seem to be stretching the truth with their evidence against though as there is such evidence, especially regarding protein restriction.

    I can also link to at least four small animal nutritionists that recommend a homemade diet for dogs with chronic kd if interested.

    I think it should be noted however that the research “guest” linked to is specifically discussing cats with hyperphosphataemia and secondary renal hyperparathyroidism. In THAT situation it may be that crf diet did extend the lives of the cats. But certainly not all cats and dogs with kd have high blood phosphorus or hyperparathyroidism. AND the research states a diet “specifically formulated” for CRF (not a “prescription diet”) — with the aid of a nutritionist, a homemade diet could easily be “specifically formulated” for a CRF client.

  • Matt

    a sample size of 1 is not statistically significant. I am glad she is doing well

  • Brianne0321

    I’ve had my dog for almost 17 years. She was recently diagnosed with chronic renal failure with poor kidney functioning. She has been switched to the prescription food. At this stage, we are more concerned with the short term since long term most likely won’t be seen. The people who are here who are against it with young dogs aren’t thinking about the elderly dogs I’m guessing. At 17, I want her to live as long as possible as long as she is happy and feeling as good as possible.

  • Gin

    Nancy, you want to stay away from corn (it doesn’t digest well and makes them have more stools). You want a quality food, Natural Balance is good, wheat, corn, soy free and has good fats in it. If not careful, many dogs gain too much weight from it. I recommend it when dogs have stomach or skin issues. There are many good foods out there, small batch foods are great too.

  • Gin

    I am reading the ingredients on their Hypoallergenic Adult HP, the first ingredient is Brewers Rice–dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer –Brewer’s rice is an inexpensive form of carbohydrate, and does not contain the full nutritional benefits of whole grain brown rice, Soy Protein-Soybean oil provides a small amount of additional low quality protein. We note, however, that soy is one of the most common causes of food allergies in dogs and in this instance is preserved with a chemical (BHA) that is believed to be carcinogenic. Robin is so right! Cheap ingredients, and customers paying exuberant pricing for this dog food.

  • Shawna

    Oh, I missed this post….
    My dog was born with kidney disease. Polydipsia and polyuria noticed at about six weeks of age. She was officially diagnosed during blood work eval at her one year birthday. She has NEVER eaten prescription diet and to date has lived seven years (as of June 30th 2013). That study was obviously flawed or my dog would already be gone… Esp considering dogs have a harder time with kd, I’ve read, then cats.

  • Red

    And by “non-prescription” what do they mean? Meow Mix, Whiskas, Fancy Feast? They can do studies till they come out of a certain area, but if they are skewed then they all they do is spew false data.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I feel that while Royal Canin isn’t horrible, it’s overpriced for what you’re getting. For the price you’d pay for Royal Canin you could get a 5 star food with a lot more meat and less fillers (like corn).

  • nancy

    Why is Royal Canin not good? Is corn something to stay away from? I am using the low fat and my dog is just too thin, but i dont know how to help him gain weight.

  • Joann

    Amen brother! They are being taught evil alchemy for profit!

  • Bethsoda

    Oh, and Verus is another good one.

  • Bethsoda

    Annamaet, which is a very high quality dog food (and that I think should be rated higher on here) has never had any recalls that I know of.  It’s made by a small company who cares a lot about quality control, even locally sourcing ingredients like potatoes for their grain free line and making sure all of their poultry is cage free and antibiotic and hormone free.  The key is to look for local companis who haven’t sold out to large distributors like P&G, and Diamond, and the like.

  • Robin

    I recently started working as a receptionist for a veterinary clinic. I really enjoy what I do, except HATE that they sell prescription diets. I have checked out the ingredients on the bag and the first ingredient is always whole corn. It makes me so mad that these people HIGHLY believe in this food. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have 5-10 people coming in just to buy science diet or royal canin for their pets and think it is the best for them because of what the vet is telling them. I wish there was something I could do, but unfortunately am not a licensed doctor and no one will listen to me.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Too true! But then they might have to admit to something that they really don’t want people to know(their food is c**p).

  • Pattyvaughn

    I can’t always tell because I usually get on here on my iThingy and the mobile version is slightly different.  I finally got a new laptop and haven’t learned to find everything yet.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Really? Big pet food companies are hiring people to get on blogs now? LOL…maybe they should use some of that money to buy better ingredients.

  • Shawna

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  OMGosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!  ROLFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had heard that the big pet food companies were hiring people to get on blogs etc.. Yeah, I guess that would be referred to as a troll wouldn’t it?? Hee hee ehee heehehehhe

    You make me laugh Pattyvaughn :)…

    And yes, all the posts are by the same person. You can tell this by looking at the activity (in the profile section) of the poster…

  • Pattyvaughn

    Do you suppose this guest is that guest and the omnivore guest too, and is really a troll in the guise of a person?  Most recent fortune cookie applies

    Don’t tell your goal to the troll

    Yes, that really was my fortune!  Too funny!

  • Shawna

    This is nonsense Guest.. 

    I quoted data from the Merck Vet Manual stating that protein should only be restricted in the later stages of kidney disease and Purina research states “Protein restriction for healthy older dogs is not only unnecessary, it can be detrimental. Protein requirements actually increase by about 50% in older dogs, while their energy requirements tend to decrease.”

    PLEASE get your facts straight.

  • BryanV21

    Well of course if a cat or dog is having major medical issues, and needs to be on a prescription diet for it, then it’s best. But I think Ruth and others like myself are speaking more in general. Personally, I think Rx diets are fine for the short-term, but in the long-run are hardly ideal.

  • Guest

    I understand your concern Ruth. But in this peer-reviewed, prospective study cats with chronic renal failure (CRF) fed a prescription diet lived for 1 year longer than cats fed non-prescription diets. This type of study design is used to evaluate human drugs and is the most robust type there is. I don’t know about you, but I’d like an extra year with my kitty if she had CRF.
    Here’s the paper:

  • George

    Sorry to hear about Lucy. I lost my Cockapoo, Bandit, to CHF a few months ago. Bandit was on the same drugs as Lucy and they gave him 3 extra years of life since his diagnosis. You may want to research an amino acid “taurine” that is deficient in dogs with CHF. Research has shown that it can reverse the effects of CHF and actually repair the heart.
    Good luck in your dogs health!

  • concernedmom

    My dog has been tested and her liver levels were elevated due to a large mass in her belly that is covering half her liver. What would be a good food to feed her? She is 13 years old. She also is with a 15 year old lab mix who has tested fine. Is there something I could feed the both of them?

  • Myrasal

    Has there ever been a dog food that has not had a recall.  It seems like everytime I feed my dogs a recommended food (now TOTW) it gets a recall.  Pretty frustrating.

  • Evilpinklolita

    I agree. I think dogs are tougher than we think, and as long as they get a decent food, good veterinary care, and love, you’re good. The subject seems overcomplicated and grain free and raw is too expensive, IMO. I’ve done great on less expensive dog food for 20 years with my Great Danes. However, I respect everyone else’s choice to do what they feel is best. 

  • Ruth Kaempf

    Forgive my bluntness, but I personally believe that the prescription food that one can only purchase from a vet is a racket.  I might add so is most people special diet too.

  • Shawna

    So you are a raw feed Louhadi!!  Cool, we don’t have enough on the site..  What do you feed?

  • Richard Darlington


    Coca Cola was originally “marketed” as a solution for headaches, nerves, stomach, etc. because it had some Cocaine in it. In about 1903 or so the FDA had them remove the cocaine and they replaced it with caffeine to keep the “buzz”. Seems to me it was all about profit right from the beginning.

    You ask, “What is in these meals to make them a 300% concentration of the “natural” protein source?” and I think the answer has more to do with what’s NOT in the meals that makes them a concentrated source of protein that is capable of being an ingredient in a dry kibble.

    The fat and moisture are removed and later the fat is mixed with natural preservatives like Vitamin E, Green Tea, and Rosemary (hopefully they use the natural preservatives and not BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, etc.) and sprayed back on the kibble.

    Since about 70 to 80% of meat is water simply removing the water creates a concentrated source of protein.

    Feeding raw is not feeding “a food with a lower fresh protein content” as you say. Actually the protein content on a dry matter basis for a raw food is likely between 60% and 80% whereas a dry kibble usually maxes out around 40%.

    Being wary of “mystery meals” as you put it is probably wise but then again if the company tells you that the meat is a named meal such as Chicken meal or Beef meal then you may be fairly certain that you are getting Chicken or Beef and the mystery is solved.

    Dehydrated food has been proven to be quite healthy so food without water content is not necessarily a negative thing. As long as water is available to the animal then the reconstituted combination of protein, fat, and water should do a good job of nourishing the animal especially if the protein is named and of high quality. 

    An added advantage is that other very healthy and productive things can be added like digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics.

    Certainly a balanced raw diet is the ideal but there are other healthy alternatives these days for those who cannot or will not for one reason or another feed an all raw diet. I personally advocate adding some raw to a high quality kibble whenever possible.

  • melissa


    As a kennel owner(sorry I did not see this sooner) one must be prepared for owners with different requirements. Not all feed dry kibble, and therefore, one must be prepared to make accomodations. You can not expect her to cook(without a huge fee associated with it) however, you can expect her to be able to serve prepackaged, refrigerated(or frozen) meals to your dog.

  • Louhadi

    Interesting analogy with soda.  Cola was originally medicinal invented by a pharmicist for digestive upset.  But to cut expenses, the formulas changed from sugar to high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetners, and people drank it in excess.  And it became a problem.
    Likewise, to save money, meat meals and grain meals and gluten concentrates were added to pet foods.  What is in these meals to make them a 300% concentration of the “natural” protein source?  How are animals supposed to process such high concentrations?  Where are these pre processed meals manufactured?
    I would rather feed a food with a lower fresh protein content than have the protein “jacked up” by mystery meals. If meats come with moisture content then that is how they should be fed. 

  • Tess

    Hi Nina,
    First, I want to say how sorry I am to hear your sweet companion has CHF.  My dog, Lucy, also has CHF; diag  2/2011.  It was so touch and go for days, weeks and months.  She is on Lasix, Enalapril and Vetmedin.  I think Vetmedin is a very special medicine!  Lucy breathes easier (cough is gone!!) and she runs and plays like her pre-sick days.  We estimate she is 13+ years.

    I am blessed to be able to say that a little over a yr later, she is still with us!  It is nothing short of a MIRACLE!  And I do not hesitate to tell ppl this whenever I speak of little Lucy.  I continue to pray that God will allow me to be her companion and caregiver in the days weeks months (and even year or so) more!!  Nina, I will pray this for you and your sweet dog!

    Next, I just wanted to share with you a food that Lucy has been on since her diagnosis.  She eats Royal Canin Early Cardiac–it is a low sodium Rx food.  Petsmart used to carry it.  Now my vet orders it for us and we pick up at their hospital.  

    If I were sitting for/caring for someones beloved companion, espeically a sick one, I would not mind the extra effort of feeding/cooking his/her special diet.

    Wishing you and your doggy many more happy times and memories together!

    Noblesville, IN


  • Nina

    I need some help here.  My dog (who has congestive heart failure) was prescribed a low-sodium dry kibble (Science Diet H/D formula), to avoid fluid build-up. The reviews on it are bad, plus my dog refused to eat it.  I started cooking for him and he loves my cooking (he is the only creature on the planet who does).  My problem is: I will be going out of town for work for 5 days and I can’t expect the kennel lady to cook for him AND give him all his meds.  I thought about preparing and packing the meals in containers to be refrigerated.  However, I don’t want the kennel owner to feel that we are expecting more from her than we should.  She is absolutely wonderful and I don’t want to be overbearing by taking space in her refrigerator.  It would be easier for all involved if I could find a high quality low sodium wet food he could eat while I’m away.  Any suggestions?  Thanks a bunch for any ideas you can share with me.

  • Shawna

    Dr. Karen Becker DVM discusses a diet for liver shunt (a more serious cause of liver issues).

    “A dog with a liver shunt should be fed only excellent quality protein – human-grade meat. Feeding a smaller amount of human-grade, clean, preferably organic and raw meat is the best way to maintain the foundational health of a dog with a liver shunt.

    My frustration with many of the commercially available diets for dogs with liver conditions is that while they do contain a lower percentage of protein, the quality of that protein is terrible. It is from rendered meat, not human grade. It is difficult for your dog to digest and has minimal bioavailability because it is of such poor quality.”

    Animal nutritionist Mary Straus writes
    “Diet for dogs with liver disease is controversial. I have often seen low protein diets recommended, but recent studies indicate that too little protein can actually make liver problems worse….  A low-purine (not low-protein) diet is recommended for dogs with liver shunts (see below for more info).”

    Dog nutritionist Lew Olson
    “ProteinDogs with liver disease can lose the ability to process the ammonia in the body to urea. This causes a build of ammonia in the system which can be fatal. Past recommendations stated to feed dogs with liver disease a low protein diet, but this has since been found to be just as lethal, as the liver needs protein to regenerate. Newer recommendations are to feed proteins of high quality or of good bioavailability.”

    Unfortunately, plant proteins (in vegetarian diets) are not considered “high quality” and do not have “good bioavailibility”. :(

  • Guest

    I could not agree more with this post.  High protein, meaty diets almost killed my dog.  She has a very MILD liver issue and is on prescription vegetarian dog food.  Her coat came in thicker, her anal gland issues stopped, her bloodwork is beautiful. 

  • aimee

    Melissa ..

     Not sure if Chloer88 is going to come back. But I wonder if you are in the ballpark when describing the problems some dogs have with fat. 

     Since many commercial “meaty” diets  are high in fat as well it may be that she was referring to weight gain and pancreatitis.

     I too can’t think of protein causing problems. If however the protein source in the food has poor digestibility it would contribute to diarrhea and stinky gas. 

  • melissa


    I would like elaboration on which diseases you are speaking of? Ones that have been caused by excessive meat in the diets?

    I do not recall any off the top of my head, but I do recall lots of dogs suffering from gastroenteritis and pancreatitis-but this was typically preceded by well meaning owners throwing the dog meat scraps-and further questioning showed that the owners idea of “meat” was simply the fat/grizzle chunks they cut off. Or owners meaning well, preparing a plate of turkey at Thanksgiving time, and expecting a dog who was not used to this to not have issues.

    I for one, value Mike’s website to be able to look at foods, what they contain and then make my own judgements as to what is the right amount of whatever for my dogs. While I do not have a problem with grain in the diet, I certainly would not make a statement that high meat content causes specific issues in dogs.

  • Mike Sagman


    Somehow, in the Disqus technical hiccup that occurred here on Wednesday, my response to you was lost during editing. So, I’ve taken care to try to recreate it here…

    Did you say, “It is insane to rate dog food based on ‘meat’ content”?

    Are you kidding me?

    What level of advanced scientific and nutritional education does a vet tech receive to be able to find fault in the rating of a dog food because that report values the use of meat in the product’s recipe?

    Disregarding pets already suffering from active disease (such as advanced renal conditions), how could anyone possibly claim “dogs and cats suffer great consequences due to a diet of ‘meaty’ foods”?

    If you truly believe a meat-based diet is detrimental to otherwise healthy dogs and cats, I invite you to back up that sweeping claim by providing our readers with a few references to some peer-reviewed studies published in recognized scientific journals.

    We’ll be waiting for that list.

  • Richard Darlington

    Dr Mike

    I think the only peer-reviewed influence on them is that the big money wielding kibble companies who write and provide their textbooks (which should be titled “Nutrition – according to the grain pushers”) reVIEW them as susceptible to PEER pressure from rich grain pushers who are willing to share the wealth acquired by selling junk dog food worth pennies for mucho dollars under the official umbrella of “Veterinarian approved”. 

    I think the term “peer-reviewed” has acquired a more common usage that means “PEER into your bank account and REVIEW how much money you made selling junk to dog owners who trusted your opinion on the quality of dog food.”

  • Richard Darlington


    “Dogs are not wolves” …is this what you are being taught in Vet Tech school? Actually the “domestic dog” (Canis Familiaris) is in the same family as the gray wolf (Canis Lupis) and has Mitochondrial DNA that is only 0.2% different from the Gray wolf of 5 million years ago. The closest wild relative of the Gray wolf (the Coyote) has a Mitochondrial DNA difference of 4.0% so the domestic dog is as similar to the Gray wolf as a black man is to a white man as far as Mitochondrial DNA is concerned. 

    “…dogs have had corn and other grain in their diet for as long as they have walked besides humans.”…is this a form of logic you are presenting from which we are supposed to deduce that because we’ve been feeding dogs grain it necessarily means that grain is good for dogs?

    Is the fact that humans have been drinking cans of soda full of caffeine and sugar for decades mean that it’s good for them?

    I’m beginning to lose faith in our Vet Tech schools if this is what you are learning there.

  • Marie

    I’ll admit to not knowing as much about dog nutrition, cause I’m a cat person – but REALLY? An OBLIGATE carnivore like a CAT ‘suffers’ from a MEAT BASED FOOD? ‘Suffers’ on a MEAT based diet?

    No offense – but have you lost your mind?

    Whatever ‘damage’ you see due to food is likely because people feed their cats dry food, something cat really have no business eating. THAT damages their kidneys because of lack of moisture. That has nothing to do with protein.

  • Addie

    Interesting info off AAFCO website: 
    It should be pointed out that while “veterinarian recommended” requires a survey of a statistically sound number of veterinarians who recommend your product, it only takes one veterinarian to support the claim “veterinarian formulated”, or “veterinarian developed”, assuming that fact can be sufficiently documented.

  • Mike Sagman


    I’m sorry you feel pet foods should not be rated based upon their meat content.

    In your comment, you claimed, “We have seen too many dogs and cats suffer great consequences due to a diet of “meaty” foods.”

    Hm-m-m-m. Really?

    Disregarding pets already diagnosed with active disease (such as hepato-compromised animals), I’d be interested in seeing your list of canine and feline diseases proven to be caused by “meaty foods”.

    Would you be willing to post here a list of these diseases and back up your claims with a few peer-reviewed scientific studies?

  • Shawna

    Sorry, one more thing..

    What “suffering” are you seeing “due to a diet of “meaty” foods.”  Please don’t say kidney disease because I KNOW kd is not caused by protein.  I have a dog with congenital kd that has been on a high protein raw diet since weaning and will be 6 years old the end of June.  Still in EXCELLENT health with only polydipsia and polyuria as symptoms.

    A liver shunt I will give you but those aren’t really that common are they?

  • Toxed2loss

    If you run a search on when dogfood was invented you’ll find that it was invented in the mid 1800’s and went into production in 1890, before that, dogs ate table scraps, etc… They ate very little grain. Breed records show that they lived longer. In fact multiple cited discussions on other threads, on this site, document the adverse effects of grains on the canine system. Obesity, diabetese, pancreatitis, hypertension… There’s quite a list. Please take the time to check out the discussions on lectins and phytates on the Taste of the Wild and Brother’s threads.

  • chloer88

    It is insane to rate dog food based on “meat” content. As a veterinary tech. the ratings on this site are ridiculous. We have seen too many dogs and cats suffer great consequences due to a diet of “meaty” foods. I think as a dentist you should research dogs a little more before giving such judgements. Dogs are not wolves, dogs have had corn and other grain in their diet for as long as they have walked besides humans.