Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free (Canned)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Blue Buffalo Freedom product line includes six canned dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Chicken [M]
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Senior (3 stars) [M]
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Small Breed Adult [M]
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Beef (3.5 stars) [M]
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Lamb (1.5 stars) [M]
  • Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Puppy Chicken (4.5 stars) [G]

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Chicken recipe was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Chicken

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, guar gum, ground flaxseed (source of omega 3 fatty acids), potassium chloride, salt, blueberries, cranberries, carrageenan, cassia gum, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide, choline chloride, fish oil

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis8%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%27%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%51%22%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 22%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fourth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The seventh ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, this food contains carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

Next, we note the inclusion of fish oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Blue Buffalo Freedom
Grain Free Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Blue Freedom Grain Free looks like an above-average canned dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 82%.

Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed in this recipe and the pea protein contained in another recipe, this looks like the profile of a canned food containing a moderate amount of meat.

However, with 51% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 28% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of chicken, beef or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/13/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • sharron

    you’re welcome!!!

  • Monica Shank

    Thank you!!

  • sharron


  • Monica Shank

    Just wondering if canned dog food should be refrigerated after opening?

  • LibertySeeker

    Acidophilus – 1 capsule a day will keep candida/yeast in check. Been using it on our
    cavalier for 4 yrs.

  • Peggy Woolfork

    I adopted a boston terrier mix ans she seemed to have problems with dry food so I have been trying Blue Grain free lamb canned dinner, She has not been tolerating the carrots in this food lately and will bring them up only not the food other food. Any suggestions on what food to try.

  • Columbia

    oh no… I know from experience that it will melt and smell! I fill the kong with kibble, dog biscuits, mashed potatoes, banana, cubed cheeses and sometimes rice and chicken. Try freezing chicken stock, it will be easier to clean.

  • Peter

    Right now I have my puppy on Blue Wilderness, and it doing great on it. Now, as I read, this food is good in moderate amounts. So I wanted to know if this would be good to freeze in his kong? I’ve been told by breeders, owners, vet, and based on the information I’ve read and received, freezing canned food in a kong is a great treat. So it would be in very limited amounts, plus BB Wilderness Trail Grain Free Salmon as another treat, of course not at the same time.

    EDIT: I’m talking about the Freedom Grain Free Chicken Recipe

    I ask this just because I’m trying to keep him on the same brand.


  • InkedMarie

    You know, I never thought about it that way, the potatoes=starch=sugar=food for yeast. 
    Thank you for typing that!

  • Shawna

    All good info Dug.. 

    I did have that happen with my kidney girl.  Barley ripped holes in her intestines (I was giving for nitrogen trapping).  From that point forward (a matter of only about 6 weeks) Audrey became allergic to cow bone, cow tripe, goat dairy and gluten grain.  She was on a three month elimination diet and because I raw feed and rotate I had to use ostrich and goat as her novel proteins.  That was an EXPENSIVE three months..  🙂

    I do still rotate proteins about every 3 days and mix proteins but I no longer put any of the pups in situations that would cause leaky gut to begin with..  🙂  Learn as we go!!

    Good info.  Thanks for the clarification.

  • dugitup – Canine fact checker

    Thank you Shawna

    I recommend that you stay within the same protein family for all the foods you are feeding at the current time. But I also recommend that you rotate protein families.

    For commercial kibble users I recommend that you switch protein families every 1 to 6 months depending on your personal situation. Is your dog an easy dog to switch, is switching a big hassle for you etc.

    So let’s say you were feeding Orijen which has 3 types of protein families available, Fowl, Red meat and Fish.
    You start with the regular adult which is chicken, turkey and unfortunately also contains fish. I say unfortunately because  I don’t like to overlap protein families. So for the adult I would recommend that ALL the foods , treats etc you feed your dog are in the fowl family. 

    Then when you transition to the red meat (I think most people should take about a week to transition) you make sure all the foods, treats, etc you feed your dog are in the red meat family and so on.

    I tried to weigh all the evidence for rotating proteins: 

    Positive – switching nutrition profiles so your dog doesn’t develop excesses or deficiencies,  possible allergy concerns after long time feeding of the same proteins, boredom of eating the same food etc.

    Negative – If your dog has leaky gut you might be sensitizing your dog to every protein you feed and then run out of novel proteins.

    I came to the conclusion that in my opinion it is better to rotate protein families and to keep all the proteins in the same family for whatever group you are currently feeding.

    I recommend this for all dogs. I try to have people avoid the possible leaky gut foods like potatoes and grains.

    I tell people to only add meat treats to their dogs diets as most dogs get too much carbs as it is. This would include adding bully sticks, jerky (not chinese),  freeze dried and dehydrated meats, canned and fresh meats, etc.

  • Shawna

    Dug ~~ GREAT recommendation for the coconut oil…

    I’m curious why you recommend staying within the same protein family?  Is this across the board or just pups not used to rotating etc?  Or just pups with a candida issue?

  • dugitup – Canine fact checker


    Have you tried adding coconut oil to Snickers food? Coconut oil is a really good natural anti-fungal.

    I would try 1 teaspoon a day for a couple of days and then go to 1 teaspoon twice a day if Snickers hasn’t developed any loose stools. Sometimes adding any additional fat to your dog’s diet will loosen their stools. This usually stops after a few days as your dog adjusts to it.

    Also I would try to lower Snickers carbohydrate intake as much as you can. Grain and potato free is good. Treats should only be high meat/protein content. No cookie type treats.

    With most commercial kibbles there is too much carbs so I would add meat either fresh, canned or dehydrated to Snickers diet. I usually recommend that you stay in the same protein family as the kibble your feeding when adding meat An example is if your dog is eating chicken stick to fowl for all your proteins. If your dog is eating red meat kibble stick to red meat when adding proteins.

  • Pam Woodard

    Judy, this isn’t Alexandra, but I would like to reply to you anyway.  If your dog has yeast problems, then yes, as Alexandra said, it would be wise to switch to a grain-free AND potato-free food.  Potatoes=Starch=Sugar=Food for yeast.  Don’t feed the yeast.  Blue Buffalo Freedom is a decent food, but it does have potatoes, so you should look into other options. 

  • Alexandra

    Hi Judy,
    InkedMarie is correct. I went to a grain and white potato free food. I fed Brothers Allergy formula, and within two weeks there was a huge improvement. It can take a dog 6 months to a year for them to heal from Candida. I fed nothing but allergy kibble, no treats, etc. You will see what is called healing crisis during the detox period, where the symptoms return. Don’t blame the food, it’s the yeast being killed off.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m not Alexandra but can i butt in? I have a dog with yeasty ears (had, I should say). He cannot eat a food with chicken. I am looking at what Dr. Mike wrote above, the adult is a chicken based food. You may be better off with a grainfree food with no chicken or potato. 

  • Judy

    Hi, Alexandra,
    I am looking at Blue Freedom grain free food because my Dachshund, Snickers, has canine candida/yeast infection.  I’ve tried various diets and shampoos for several years and it never completely goes away.  Do I understand correctly from your note that you have found a treatment that cures this problem?  If so, I hope you will share it with me.  

  • Toxed2loss

    LAWY Alexandra,

    Sounds like a plan!! 😉

  • Alexandra

    Lol Toxed!

    I am going to try to talk myself into relaxing and seeing how it goes for him.

  • Mary Lou

    Sky and Dupree must be related.  ; )

  • melissa


    its normal for a dog to itch itself from time to time-just like people. However, there are those with problem skin-My point being, if Sky so much as puts foot or mouth to skin, I come racing over to check “the spot” to be sure its not a problem starting. Whereas if my others scratch or itch on occasion, I do not react the same way. Itching/scratching is not a big problem for my dogs, except Sky when she has a flareup

  • Toxed2loss

    I can understand that. I had a ewe that would limp everytime she saw me so she could get some sweet feed. She had me well trained for a while. LOL

  • Alexandra

    Hi Toxed!

    I have been rotating toppers every evening haven’t seen any difference.

    But if you see some of my earlier posts, his trainer thinks I have basically lost my perception on normal itch. His skin isnt red, no bleeding, no damaged fur…etc. So maybe given what I have dealt with, I cringe everytime I see him itch.

  • Toxed2loss

    So what happens if you change the topper every couple of days, and don’t wait for the itching? I never feed the same thing for more than a couple of days. Just thinking out loud…

  • aimee

    Hmmm… Take this with a big grain of salt since I have no idea what you are seeing. But if a dog is throwing lots of displacment behavior when training you need to take the pressure off the dog.

    Years ago I took a local Park District training class. Though it was billed as a positive reinforcement class it was old school “yank and thank”.  : ( Trainers weren’t to happy with me when I refused to put a chain collar on my dog as they believed you couldn’t train a dog without one! LOL

    I saw huge numbers of displacement behaviors. Poor dogs! The trainers were oblivious to the stress behaviors in their charges, probably because they considered it “normal”. 

    Long story short I got the class shut down. 

    Look at the complete context of the behavior to try to determine its function.

     Sometimes dog’s scratch because they itch, other times it is displacement.

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    I never knew that- that means Pepper must be a poster child for displacement behavior :{
    Something to really think about

  • Mary Lou

    Aimee ~ thanks for saying that.  I have thought that Dupree seems to scratch so much more when our granddaughter is here.  : )

  • Alexandra

    Hi Aimee,

    Thanks for the reply.

    For Dante he just seems to scratch “excessively” to me. However in my previous posts, he had a candida infection last year, and with all the itching and hair losses that entailed I overreact everytime he scratches.

    With his trainer he itched about three times last night and two were
    directed at his collar.

    So after what the trainer said, I am thinking it may be more me than him.

  • aimee

    Hi Alexandra,
    To add a bit to what daisy1999 said… take note of the context in which your dog scratches. Scratching is a displacment activity that dogs engage in when in conflict or stressed. (Other displacement behaviors are yawning, walking slowly, sniffing, and appearing sleepy.)

    A  “sudden itch”  while training very well could have nothing to do with being itchy.


  • Alexandra


    Yeah, I am happy about that. His skin is healthy, no redness etc.

  • Shawna

    I can see why you would think yeast!!!

    Thank goodness for your trainer and Dante scratching while there ;)…

  • Alexandra

    Hi Shawna,

    Funny huh??

    With Dante it is never the same spot. And he never goes after his paws.

    With the itching, I guess i did lose my perception.

  • daisy1999

    Melissa-I didnt quite follow you correctly.  Yes, if the non-itchers just have a little spell it doesnt phase me.  But, if they carried on like the problem child I would panic.  He never just has a single scratch.  Its all or nothing.  Thats why I cant figure him out.  He was so itchy and in so much pain that I spent months devoting all my time to soothing him.  So, the I’m going to itch like im dying is def. a learned behavior for him, but in no doubt legit at times.

  • Shawna

    Interesting Alexandra ~~ I don’t see why that couldn’t be what is going on??  Especially if you’ve had someone, like your trainer, who knows you and Dante observe and suggest!!!

    Not sure about others but when Audrey gets a food she is allergic to she itches just one spot, with her back legs, and that is over her shoulder blades.  She will also chew on her armpits and a bit on her front feet.. 

    Give it a few days and let us know what you think!!

  • Alexandra

    Thanks daisy,

    I heard a lot of good thinkd about the vinegar as well.

  • daisy1999

    And BTW-the one thing that finally cured the yeast was the raw organic apple cider vinegar.  A holistic vet had recommended it.  I used it orally and topically.  It has lots of other uses for dogs.  I actually had stopped using it, but am going to go back to it again.

  • Alexandra

    Thanks Johnandchristo and Melissa,

    What my trainer said has certainly given me pause. And my other dog when he scratches I don’t even react…so maybe it is more me then him for a cool turn of events.


  • daisy1999

    Alexadra and Melissa-
    I will agree with you both.  If either of my 2 non-itchy cockers suddenly started scratching like mad, I would be worried.  Then there is my problem child.  I pulled him out of a shelter on his “doomsday” as he was a “DO NOT ADOPT” because he apparrently bit everyone that so much as looked at him.  I saw something in his face that others didnt.  He came to me smelling like one big rotten sneaker!  There wasnt a part on him not infected.  It took many months to clear him up, including bilateral ear ablations.  Now, years later, yes he does itch for real reasons at times. More so lately, and I know its time to do something.  BUT- he also starts itching like a crazy man when he wants my attention, gets anxious, doesnt get his way-oh my if he doesnt get the spot he wanted on the sofa, and god forbid if I scold him in doggie sign language-lol!

  • melissa


    Could be that your worry and perception is jaded : ) I know mine is-my “normal skin” dogs can itch, shake it down all they want, and I hardly notice since its not excessive. Let my “bad skin cocker” do it, and I am all over her , checking for redness, bumps or other signs of skin inflammation. In my mind, a single scratch from her is a “precursor” to full blown allergy issue.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Alexandra…..

    it could be , maybe have someone else observe Dante
    and see what they think. with all you have been though, maybe it is affecting your objectivity. I also
    panic a little when Christo  itches, he was so bad,before I sometimes get the guilts.(cause of the food I used to feed him). Sometimes we all get itchy.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi BobK…..

    I have never seen it myself , it was some tv show
    I saw. the two dogs had very dry skin from always being on top of the heated floors. I just took a shot
    at asking Alexandra, cause she is still looking for answers. She has no radiant floor heat , so we can rule that out. might just be a extraneous allergen.

  • Bob K

    Johnandchristo – radiant floor hear causing itching – I highly doubt it.  They also mention year round itching.  Could be lots of things, Perhaps the dog shampoo they use, food issues, dryness in the environment, Not rinsing the dog enough after bathing, lake, swamp and river water and many allergans. 

  • Alexandra

    Hi Johnandcristo, Toxed, Shawna,

    I am going to add a spin to this: while at his trainers last night, we talked about said itching as he dropped down to give himself a good one and my trainer, who I have worked with for 15 years and three dogs, said that she views it as normal. Last night was his training collar that he was focused on. She said that when she watches my face, I apparently get very worried once he itches from when he had all of his issues.

    Having said that, have I lost my perception on “normal” itching?

  • Johnandchristo

    HI Alexandra….

    I asked because I once saw a show about radiant floor
    heat. A young couple had big problems with the dogs.
    since they lay on the floors. IT was itching/skin trouble.  

  • Toxed2loss

    Me too!! Ninja! We had a rabbit that would wear one. If you give her tasty enough treats, she’ll come around. 😉

  • Toxed2loss

    That’s better than gas…kudos for John for asking!!!

  • Alexandra

    Hi Johnandchristo,

    My heating is electric, not the best I know in terms of skin being dry, but this itching is pretty much year round.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Shawna,

    Yeah, the toppers seem to be what gets him to stop itching. It is pretty consistent all things considering.

    I may do that, what do I do to balance the meals? The store I get the raw from doesn’t bring in the balanced foods…

    I am leaning more toward environmental. I use stainless bowls, filtered water, etc.

    It is frustrating.

  • Alexandra


    That is interesting. Maybe I should try something like that.


  • Shawna

    Keep working at it Ninja……  I’d pay money to see that!! 🙂  I think you need to incorporate those little metal star, throwing things into the pic too….

  • Shawna

    That’s a great suggestion Monkey!!!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    I keep wanting to change my avatar, but I can’t get Sadie to wear a ninja mask. Lol

  • Toxed2loss

    That’s a great dream!!!!!! Well, not the bumps. GFETE

  • monkey

    Alexandra, i remember seeing a post by someone a long time ago and they said their dog needed a diet change every 2 weeks or itching would happen. It didnt matter if it was the last food the dog was on or one the dog had never been on. So they said they would have 3 foods + toppers that would rotate every 2nd week. Weird…

  • Johnandchristo


    thats right. the old avatar. you were the mysterious
    and beautiful woman(behind the veil), Richard was the wise white haired man, Shawna was the pom, mike P was the boxer, and I was the little lab all covered in bumps
    (from bad food), you know like the wizard of oz.
    But anyway I guess I just feel that everybody is so nice and caring it great to talk with you all. I know we all love dogs . thats a common bond.

  • Toxed2loss

    LOL!!! You could!! Wait, where Richard and I dogs? No, you said humans. You mean my old avatar! LOLLLLLLLL!!!!! I wish I could have you all out for a pit BBQ. We could do a half a steer! Yum! With gallons of BBQ sauce. That’s the hard part about Internet friends… I’d really like to get together with all you great people!! We could have a blast!

  • Johnandchristo


    I lost my post before I went to work this afternoon,
    part of it was a dream I had two nights ago. I always read posts before going to bed. So I guess all this dog food talk, angst, and concern is on my mind. plus I’m guilty about feeding dugan dog chow. and christo puppy chow. any way I was asking all of the DFA group questions, funny part was (it was a dream) I was talking to a boxer, pom, black German shepard,
    the only humans were you and richard. Because of your advatars. so my anthropomorphic odyssey had me waking up laughing. Oh by the way I was a little black lab lol, I need more than steak, I need a vacation. I  think I could create a great cartoon
    from that dream.

  • Toxed2loss

    Wow! Chrissy’s dinner sounds worthy of a photo! GFETE

    I’m having the same trouble. My posts keep not showing up. I’ve posted some of them 3 times, to get them to show up the one time. I think it’s a FB problem. It’ll get worked out, eventually.

    Thanks for the compliment on Rosie. 🙂 She and Sonya had more raw liver today, as topper, with spinache. Sonya loves spinache, Rosie eats around it. LOL

    The sad eyes don’t work on me, but they do work on my husband. I have to watch HIM like a hawk. I don’t want her to fail her Service Dog exam. SMH

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi again Toxed….

    Yeah I like wings, maybe cause I eat skin less chicken every day.
    so nice crispy wings are a nice change. I just fed Chrissy his supper. He ate three cups white meat kibble mixed with a can of venison tripett, one little piece of dried
    beef liver(brothers free range) and about six country
    chicken brothers dog biscuits. point I tell you, I’m soo happy to see him eat, and grow, and be healthy and happy. Toxed the pictures of rosie were great, she is really healthy looking. the food looked good too. I posted that, but some how it got deleted.

  • Toxed2loss

    Raw chicken bones are o.k. That’s correct. Wing man huh? Poor Christo! @@ (those are his sad eyes) LOL We shall look forward to the ext BBQ day!?, GFETE.

  • Johnandchristo

    HI Cheryl&Pepper….

    I think that might help your dog, because Brother’s is 
    the best kibble, adding lean meat will bring down the fat, without compromising the quality of Pepper’s diet.
    plus its good to add some moisture. it is needed by the organs of a dog . they need water in there food too. not just drinking water.

  • Shawna

    Okay, that is weird!!  Does it always work this way — better, for a while, when topper is switched.  If you don’t add a topper Dante is still always itchy then?

    That is beginning to sound more environmental but still is weird that it stops short term with topper change? 

    One last thought?  Have you tried eliminating all kibble (just for a week or two) and feeding just the toppers…  I know this is not economically feasible long term but just for a week or two as an experiment (don’t worry about rotation etc during that trial period either — if you decide to give it a try).  That way you can difinitively rule out the kibble. 

    If environmental it could be harder, in my opinion, to figure out..  Example — some bags of food have a chemical called PFOA that keeps the grease from leaking through (not all of course but some).  Plastic bowels, plus the thousand or more Toxed could identify!  Ughh.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Toxed…..

    I just got home from work, it started to rain:(
    they put my chicken in the oven:( )aarrrh. I will
    post, pics of my bbq next time. Yes Christo, gets whats left. He can have the bones if they are raw,
    is that correct?  He does not get the wings, cause I’m the alpha dog, in this pack lol. If he gives me the eyes
    I’ll share with him, 😉

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Alexandra…..

    this might just be a shot in the dark, but what kind of heat do you have?

  • Toxed2loss

    & you are always welcome!!! 😀

  • Alexandra

    Thanks Toxed,

    Your input as always is greatly appreciated!

  • Alexandra


    That is correct exactly..

    I don’t understand it.

  • Shawna

    Same food is fed (Brothers) but itching stops when you add a topper to the Brothers — stops short term and then comes back til you add a different topper?  Is that right?

  • Shawna

    Oh, I know all about the difficulties of raw…  Audrey gets a rotation of MANY different proteins.  When I had to put her on the novel diet I had to buy ostrich from Wild Oats — no kidding.  I was able to give her goat lungs as treats.  Primal came here a few years ago — they have pheasant, quail, rabbit etc..  Harder with kibble though.

    It may be that you have to switch him over to raw completely for a few weeks or longer and see if that doesn’t help..  Odd things can end up being the cause — Audrey reacts to beef bone.  She got 95% better (took about 3 months) but still had a tiny amount of itching.  Eventually it dawned on me to look at her supplements and sure enough, one of them had bonemeal in it..  Switched to one without bonemeal and itching stopped completely.

    Sometimes it can be like finding a needle in a haystack!  🙁

  • Shawna

    Mine is resolved..  Thanks Dr. Mike!

  • Toxed2loss

    When checking up on something’s for Cheryl & Pepper, on Cushings, it lead me to adrenal fatigue, & then to thyroid, & bth back to iodine…. Add that in. Seaweed should work. If he’s “cleansing” it will help support that whole system. He may just have to “get through” it. I kw that that sucks! We never like our babes to suffer, but, honestly, I have to do it all the time. Epsom salt baths help get the toxins out of the skin and the itching over with faster. :-} sorry, I really wish I,could be of more help.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Shawna,

    Yeah he made it about a week, when I just started the Bravo raw.

    Having said that, since I had fed Orijen a “novel” protein is near impossible.

    Also see my reply to Toxed.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Toxed,

    For the Candida, which was assumed by me but disagreed by vet, the only thing I did was eliminate the potatoes and cut out treats.

    I supplement with fish oil, coconut oil, standard process immune support. None of that seems to impact him.

    When he gets a new raw topper that is when the itching stops for a day or two or in the case of the last one about a week.

  • Mary Lou

    Dr. Mike ~ still not working.  I have no clue why it would have changed.  Nothing new or different on this computer

  • Shawna and Mary Lou,

    Disqus Support just wrote back and claim they cannot reproduce the problem you guys are having. Are you still having trouble posting?

  • Shawna

    He stopped itching there for a while didn’t he Alexandra — or has it only been for the week?  Have you tried a complete elimination — novel protein and novel carb?

    Did anything in the environment change the week he was not itching? 

    I attended a seminar on nutrition a few years back and the presenter said ALL allergies begin in the gut..meaning the gut had to be damaged for the immune system to be amped up enough to over react to common things (like dust, mold, grasses etc)..  So, I still think you are on the right track just have to do some more tweaking!!!

    Also a return of symptoms (short term) could be a healing crisis however it should go away on own AND there should have been a remission in the symptoms for more then a week..

  • Toxed2loss

    It is spray season. Pesticides drift for miles, so even if you don’t see them, they could still be causing itching. Rinsing works. When they apply near me, the girls get rinsed every time they come back in for a while.

    Did you treat for candida? I just read this great paper saying that iodine treats candida… Seaweed, with the topper? It’s that paper I posted on FB. Milk thistle tea with kibble will help detox, too. Are you regularly feed chlorella?

  • Toxed2loss

    Good! That’s the point! (JohnandChristo started it with topper talk!) got any pics you want to share? 😉

  • Toxed2loss

    LOL! Nice!!! If we get enough pics posted there, you could send him for ideas! Doesn’t John’s chicken sound tasty?! 😛 slurp!

  • Toxed2loss

    Post a pic, man!!! Sounds Yummy! Does Christo get the back, neck, wings?

  • Alexandra

    Shawna and Toxed, and anyone else,

    Would like some more input on Itchy Dante, He is back to itching after nearly a week being “normal”.  I am assuming now that there is something environmental as I have modified almost everything that I can.  He itches in the morning and evening, seems fine during day.

    He is getting a mix of Brothers Red and Fish, with raw toppers, using Lamb, buffalo, and green tripe.

  • Alexandra


    Those FB pics made my mouth water!

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Sorry i am just replying now-had a bad day yesterday.
    Thank you for the suggestion-will seriously consider it.
    Thanks again for thinking of us and most of all for trying to help.
    Cheryl & Pepper.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Toxed…….

    I know you asked Shawna, but I’m having chicken
    surprised? But it gonna be good chicken. I cut it in half
    mix extra virgin , garlic, rosemary, lemon. let sit for one hour, then place on wood grill(black oak) and wrap one brick in tin foil place on chicken(breast down) and cook till crispy. yummy.   

  • Shawna

    Not sure 🙂  Hubby makes most of the meals (and does the dishes) now a days :)..  I usually don’t get home til 6:30ish and he doesn’t like to eat too late so……. 

  • Toxed2loss

    Oh good! GFETE so what are you having for dinner tonight? I’ll post another suggestion for you….. LOL

  • Shawna

    I just set up a Facebook account so I could see your picture and gab with you and friends…  🙂

    Looks YUMMY!!

  • Toxed2loss

    GFETE Go get him!

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Toxed…..

    A photo on FB? I’ll check it out. I’m going put one more video on the DFA, maybe fri day of Christo
    and his friend Boomer. Boomer is an English lab, yellow
    very good looking dog. But he is a little portly. at 9 months he is already 90#s!!!. I am slowly working on his doggy daddy(a retired nypd) to stop feeding him
    eucaneba. full carbs crap and cane. the three
    going to face book.

  • Toxed2loss

    All this talk about topper’s was making me hungry!! I uploaded a photo for you on my FB page! Enjoy!

    Mikey, it’s for you too… & yes, I served raw (sans onions) to the girls.)

  • daisy1999

    I feed Verus and they are EU certified.  Susan Thixton at writes a nice informative article about this.  She recommends calling your petfood manufacturer and asking them if they hold this cerification and asking for a copy of the certification if you so desire.  I don’t know that there is an actual full list anywhere online.  I think Petsumer Report has a list, but you do have to pay for this.  Does an APHIS inspection make the plant better than those that don’t?  I think this will be debatable.  I think an APHIS inspection certainly provides for the company adhering to high quality control standards and ingredient standards.  But, just because a plant doesnt have this certainly isnt going to make this a bad plant.  THAT is going to depend upon the standards of the company running the plant.  The FDA allows room for plenty of substandard practices to occur.  They typically only inspect once a problem has occured.  So, there are companies that cut every possible corner and those that don’t.

  • Shawna

    I got it.  Did you get my reply?

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    I will try it now

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Shawna

    Morning Cheryl ~~ I have a dummy email address that I use so I can list it on websites and have people contact me that way..  We are told to break emails up so sweepers (which apparently go and look for email addresses to spam) can’t read it.

    The address is shawnadfaemail then the at symbol and then yahoo dot com.  If you have any problems with it I’ll ask Dr. Mike to send me yours 🙂

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    This is Cheryl & Pepper,
    Would you consider e-mailing me, so I can discuss something with you?
    Dr. Mike can give it to you if you have the time.
    Could really use your assistance.
    Thank you,

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Pepper NEVER HAD enteritis, she was diagnosed with severe gastritis. Just realized the error in my previous post. 

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    I am just going by what my vet told me. She said Pepper had Cushings-who do i believe??
    I asked her if she feels further testing should be done and she recommends just watching her and revisiting in 1-2 months.
    I do not want anyone on this site to think I made the diagnosis up. I am not a vet. 
    Yes, she may be very early in the Cushinoid process, but it seems that her symptoms indicate this. She also could be heading towards diabetes. I just don’t know anymore.
    She is still hungry and some days drinking more,she isn’t loosing went in spite of me carefully controlling her intake. Are these symptoms of enteritis,HGE?

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Addie

    Anyone have a list of which kibbles are EU certified? And, does an annual APHIS inspection make a plant somewhat better than those that are not? Thanks. 

  • Shawna

    Seems to be working now Mike…  I first noticed this about 3:00ish my time and was still doing it an hour or so ago.

  • Shawna

    Not til just now…  I’ll answer in the morning.. 🙂

  • Hi Shawna,

    I’m not seeing this right now. Are you seeing this at this moment. Or was this an issue a few hours ago?

  • Mary Lou

    Shawna ~ did you see my email about the digestive enzymes? 

  • Shawna

    Dr. Mike ~~ I’m having issue too however they are not the same…  I can see posts along the side in the “Recent Comments” section.  However, when I click on them I can’t read them on the page.  The posts are up to two hours old before I can finally read them??

  • melissa


    The dog has not been diagnosed with cushings,-she is slightly above normal on an un reliable test.  She has however had enteritis which can be  a precursor in schnauzers to full blown pancreatitis or HGE.

    My concern here is that Cheryl seems to be focusing on Cushings despite not having a definitive diagnosis and she may be missing something else.When all is said and done(and definitive testing complete) she very well may have Cushings, but in my opinion, she needs to consider any and all potential issues that may be causing the symptoms she is seeing until that time. I know this sounds blunt, but until definitive testing is done, we may all be recommending feeding for one condition or another, and the dog may have something  else going on that requires a different way of feeding : )

  • melissa


    I know this is going to sound blunt, but can’t seem to say it any other way : ) Your dog HAS NOT been diagnosed with Cushings. : ) She may eventually be dianosed through proper testing, but as of now, she has shown slightly high levels on a test with a known significant false positive rate.

    Her level could have been high from the enteritis.

  • Mary Lou

    Hi Dr. Mike ~

    It happens on my computer if I hit reply on someone’s comment.  I can write out the whole reply, but then it won’t post.  I have to go to add a new comment.

     It is fine on my iPad.

  • Hi Mary Lou,

    Disqus Support needs to know more about your problem.

    1. What reply button are you talking about? Is this a reply to a previous comment or is it a brand new comment?

    2. Is this happening to anyone else?

    3. Are you using a mobile device (like and iPad)?

    Thanks for the help.

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Thank you very much for all the information and the time it took to post it. I will read and re-read. 
    Thank you again, i hope I am up to this daunting task.

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Hi Mary Lou,

    I’m not sure why you’re experiencing this issue. I’ve reported your comment to Disqus Support and hope to have a reply shortly.

    Thanks for calling this to my attention.

  • Johnandchristo

    HI Cheryl & Pepper…..

    You can get the numbers, where you want them
    by mixing lean ground chicken or turkey.(both cheaper than canned dog food) into Bother’s kibble. Dont forget with Brother’s you are getting enzymes and stabilized probiotics blended into the kibble. By adding lean meat your lowering the fat. boosting the protein.
    But transition slowly, and feed less at first. give pepper extra time to adjust. dont fed a lower quality food. just add in some meat(lean) johnandchristo  

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Thank you Richard, i e-mailed you this morning also. If you have a moment ,please check your e-mail. I am like Don Quiote (misspelled I am sure) dreaming the impossible dream!! I want to try to find a food in the mid 20% of protein and low teens in fat that is grain & potato free- an impossible feat. If it doesn’t contain grain it has potato.
    I wish you get make up a batch for dear ole Pepper-but I know how you feel about protein. Her activity level is getting curtailed to her failing eyesight and the heat here in Louisiana-I know you have the same problem-heat wise in Fl. So I don’t want to overload her with rich albeit healthy food when she sleeps most of the day. 
    Yes, Melissa does make sense-but, now I am in abject fear of keeping her on a food that has too many carbs and grains-a fear she will become diabetic(her glucose was 2 points over the normal range),given she is more sedentary and not burning those carbs.
    I know you are a very busy man with a business to run, just know how grateful I am you take the time to respond to me.
    Thank you,

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Mary Lou

    Dr. Mike ~ whenever I hit reply ~ it will not allow me to post that way.  It has been doing this for about four days.  Any idea why??

  • Mary Lou

    Richard ~ great stuff!!  : )

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Yes thank you have watched all need to re-visit them again, thank you for providing the links to Cushings and the 1 on pancreatitis. 
    Sorry I didn’t reply to your post last nite-this constant stress has caused my migraines to make a major reappearance.
    You really are truly an amazing person-you certainly have had your share in this life, I have been through some major setbacks also, but mine pale in comparison to your fortitude and determination.
    I appreciate all you have and continue to do for us-I am not in a very good place now-this is taking an enormous toll on me(I know I am internalizing way too much) and trying to tackle too much where pepper is concerned-i just thought i was on the rt. track where her diet was concerned and now I must revisit everything. I may not be cut out to be the mom of as Mary Lou calls them “A FURKID”! :{ I feel too much and that’s not helping me or Pepper.
    Hugs to you and much thanks again.

    Cheryl & Pepper.

  • Hi Cheryl

    Here are the basics I promised:


    1) Feed high quality ingredients (protein, etc.) from manufacturers you trust or who have a proven track record, or cook quality meat yourself so the dogs liver is not overstressed dealing with “crap” that has heaven knows what else in it. It is important that the meat/animal protein source be high quality and therefore very bio-available like chicken that is the same quality as the chicken you and I get or whole eggs which are the “standard” of bio-availability.

    2) Feed your carnivore primarily animal protein, and limit the carbs, and find a way to balance the nutrient profile by either using Brothers or hiring Shawna as your personal nutritional consultant. If you feed only a pile of muscle meat from human grade chickens (without skin in Peppers case) you will cause a nutrient imbalance that will be quite serious in time. In diet, as in life, BALANCE in all things is more effective long term than ANY extreme, and usually is the hardest thing to achieve.

    3) Eliminate grains and white potatoes, especially if they are in dog food. However, if you soak unprocessed whole grains for 24 hours before you feed them to your dog, or you sprout the seeds; or you use fresh, peeled potatoes (especially the little red ones) and don’t overheat them; and you add just a SMALL percentage of these to the meal then it MIGHT be OK for some dogs as long as the glycemic index and glycemic load are kept as low as possible which will be a problem. But I would avoid the highly processed grains and potatoes (which are usually not fresh or peeled) that actually make their way into dog food like the plague. I’ll eventually have detailed explanations why on the Brothers web site.

    4) Do everything you can to encourage and ensure a healthy colon. This means feeding, seeding, and protecting the MASSIVE bacterial colony there that has 10 times the number of cells in it (IF it is healthy) than the entire rest of the body put together. Do this by NOT killing the beneficial bacteria with ANTI-biotics. Antibiotics will eradicate the massive beneficial bacterial colony along with the “problem” bacteria and unless the dog’s very life is at stake will do FAR more harm than good in my opinion. Feed the good bacteria with the proper prebiotics (highly branched, highly insoluble, long chain – which is NOT the norm). Seed the colon with more probiotics by adding additional fresh healthy probiotics with each meal. Feeding grains and white potatoes can and usually do have a detrimental effect on the colon so following step 3 will also help step 4.

    5) Simplify the diet as much as possible until the health has stabilized for at least a few weeks or longer to give the digestive system time to adapt to it and allow the overall system to deal with whatever else is a problem without having to expend energy dealing with a constant inflow of different food which it may or may not have a food intolerance or allergy to.

    6) Feed in moderation and do not be afraid to allow the dogs biological system to instinctively “fast” and rest (as they often do when feeling sick) by going without food for a day or three. This fasting process happens naturally in nature when animals cannot find a constant source of food or are sick and intuitively know to “fast” and it is actually quite beneficial to a biological system as it allows the body to detox accumulated “toxins” and the extra energy that is not being used to process food goes to heal and strengthen the immune system. Approximately 40 to 50% of the bodies energy goes into eating, digesting, and eliminating and if the food source is causing a problem because of a food intolerance or other problems it can be as much as 80% or more.

    7) Trust in the power of a healthy immune system and the inherent wisdom of the biological system to heal itself given quality, balanced nutrition, a healthy colon, and sufficient rest. Steps 3 and 4 contribute here because about 80% of the immune system is generated in the mucosal lining of a healthy colon. If the health of the colon is compromised (by toxins, antibiotic use, grains, potatoes, excessive carbohydrates, etc.) then a condition called “Leaky Gut” can develop and allow material from the colon to constantly get into the blood stream and overburden the immune system as it tries to deal with this huge load of “toxins”. Candida Albicans is a yeast/fungus that can overgrow and get into the blood stream as well causing a condition known as “Systemic Candida” which causes no end of problems with skin, allergies, and infections and usually takes 6 months or more of a grain, potato, sugar free diet to bring back into balance.

    8) Older dogs have had time to accumulate a substantial burden of toxins from the environment and the poor dog foods they’ve probably eaten over the years, as well as a Candida overgrowth situation that has probably developed due to excessive grain and potato in their diet, so the progress toward health will take time and include the occasional “healing crisis” which is where the system has a recurrence of the original symptoms and/or bouts of diarrhea or throwing up for a day or more before continuing on toward a state of greater health and wellbeing – so be patient, try not to overreact to short term events, and try to keep the broader perspective as your guide. Even if there are specific, unique problems like pancreatitis, or kidney problems, or Cushings it will be easier to identify and deal with them if the nutritional foundation is healthy and positive. 

    I’m posting this on the Brothers thread as well so I can find it later if need be.

  • Dear CherylSorry I didn’t see your long and detailed response on the Blue Buffalo thread on 4/15 at 2:41 PM. Tooth problems jumped up and took my attention for a couple days and I often will lose a topic once it goes off the side board if I’m distracted and it’s not on the Brothers thread. Adding more DHA must be considered in relation to the food fed (which brand) and not so much the quantity of food fed because it’s all about a balancing act. So if you’re only feeding 3/4 cup of food daily (if it’s Brothers) then adding more DHA will throw off the balance of DHA to other nutrients since Brothers has already added it in the proper proportion. If the food is another kibble then adding the DHA will probably help since I doubt the level of DHA in the food is adequate. The less food you are feeding (3/4 cup in your case) the more impact adding extra DHA will have in relation to the total picture.Knowing now that you’ve only been at this for 4 months with Pepper (although I know it probably FEELS like years) and Pepper’s been on a bunch of different things I would suggest the following:I think Melissa has a good point about trying to stabilize the diet for 4 to 8 weeks to allow the system to adapt. Unless the reaction is severe then pick good food per all the good advise you’ve been getting (grain and potato free in my opinion) with a small bit of a topper if you like. I like the suggestion made to shred some skinless chicken to keep the fat down. Regardless of the specifics about what can contribute to this and that problem (high/low fat, high/low protein, etc.) I have found that it’s easier to analyze the problem as you go along by sticking to basic principals for enough time to allow the dogs system to “talk” to you and only then beginning to adjust here and there.So I’ve decided to write out the basics as I see them which I’ll put in the next post as this one has gone on too long already.

  • Toxed2loss

    Cheryl & Pepper,

    When you were checking out Dr. Becker’s vides, did you watch her 3 part series on Cushings? The last one has some dietary advice and non toxic nutraceutical suggestions.

  • Toxed2loss

    Cheryl & Pepper

    Just incase you’re still worried about pancreatitis, and you’re tired of reading, here’s Dr. Karen Becker’s (DVM), video on it.

  • Toxed2loss

    “a cleansing or healing crisis can be VERY severe.”

    I can confirm that. When the body is given a chance, through remission of toxins being put in, or improved nutrition, it will, attempt to rid itself of as much toxic material as it can. That means that it puts those toxins back in circulation, and you get poisoned again. It can be quite severe,and even life threatening. I’ve had one that bad. I’m very careful not to do it again.

    Toxins, that are fat soluble, like pesticides, are encased in saturated fat & stored in fatty tissue. When you provide healing & detoxing opportunities, they are escorted out of the body through bile that is dropped into the intestines. They can be reabsorbed through the intestinal wall and retox the body as well. Adequate amounts of saturated dietary fat are essential to trap the toxins so that doesn’t happen.

    I have TI friends that suffer some pretty intense digestive system trauma, during detox. But it is the poisons that cause it, wether its their first time through or their second or third.

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Thank you  very much Jan, your post was in no way long winded-just a post by someone who’s heart is as big as all the oceans, and wants to comfort me in this journey that seems endless and frought with misery for me and Pepper.
    Thank you again.

    Cheryl & Pepper 

  • Shawna

    Chery ~~ have you considered talking with a nutritionist about Pepper?

    Monica Segal as an example

    Mary Straus, Lew Olson, Beth Taylor would be other options to consider..  Aimee has posted a website listing others before too..  I didn’t copy the link though – sorry…

  • Shawna

    Pancreatitis is a real concern here for absolute certainty..  However, she doesn’t have pancreatitis she has cushings..  Why put more focus on a diet that treats pancreatitis then a diet that treats cushings??  I don’t get that??  Not you specifically Cheryl but all posters… 

    John had it right..  IF you can’t home prepare or feed a raw diet, look for a kibble lower in carbs without excessive fat..  In this case my issue with potato is not the lectins but rather the carbs — NOT GOOD for cushings dogs period….  The people I go to for info (Lew, Mary, Whole Dog, Dr. Becker etc) ALL say high protien, low carb and low fat.

    I don’t know that you are going to find what you need in a kibble exclusive diet..  You may not have a choice but to do some cooking..  By adding chicken breast, without skin and boiled with what little fat there is removed you can up the protien contant of any diet (not just Brothers) while lowering the fat and carb content (of the entire meal).  This is what we do with dogs with kidney disease — they need more fat to lower the phosphorus content so we feed high fat meats instead of low fat — exclusively or as toppers..

    PS — a cleansing or healing crisis can be VERY severe.  Dr. Goldstein gets cancer patients that others have given up on.  He discusses the severity of healing crisis’ in his book and says it can be horribly scary for the pet owner as well as the vet but it has to happen for health to be achieved…  You are right, of course, that that may not be what went on with her but you can’t be sure just based on the severity of the reaction..

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    But everyone is telling me to get her off the Fromm’s way too many carbs-given the Cushings and blood sugar elevation?? I just introduced 1/8 cup of the ‘Now” grain free to try to get her off the Fromm’s-
    Now I don’t know what to do?? :{

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    First off, I’m very sorry you and Pepper are going through this.  I want to tell you my story about Stella (and Laverne to some extent).  I was feeding Halo dog food and had been for about 6 months.  Stella has for a few years now had an occasional rumbly stomach and inappetance in the a.m.  Stools would look okay to loose at times.  She would be fine for the rest of the day.  The rumblies would come early a.m. and even wake me up!  I thought at first she might be getting hungry so I started with a snack later in the evening.  Sometimes it would work, sometimes not.  I mentioned it to my vet and at the time switched her to Prairie.  I also started enzymes/probiotics.  This worked for about 3-4 months.  Then the symptoms started again.  I had started reading on DFA and discovered Brothers.  Thinking she was developing some kind of allergy (still think that’s part of it) I switched to Brothers.  It worked for about a month, but not really….the stools never firmed and Laverne developed an all out diarrhea emergency.  Soon after this, I got some Rotations food for free.  It looked pretty good, so I switched them.  I fed it for about 3 months, but it was a pain to mail order and I decided I wanted a food I could buy locally.  Stella had started every once in awhile with the rumbly stomachs again, too, so I switched to Fromm grain inclusive.  I used to feed it some years ago and love the food and company.  Anyway, after about a month of stomach issues, it switched to the grain free finally thinking it was a grain issue.  It got worse for Stella and I really feel it was too high in fat.  The search began again…..I finally started researching her symptoms and found a lot of people saying Natural Balance P&D worked for their dogs.  I really didn’t want to use the food.  I knew about potatoes, but the fat, protein, etc. sounded about right for Stella.  So….I switched yet again.  It has been working great!  However, I just didn’t like those darn potatoes, so I changed yet again to Wellness Whitefish!  No go!!!  I also tried Blue Buffalo in there somewhere lol.  Now it seems like such a blur….finally back on Natural Balance and doing fine.  Everyone is doing fine.  Here is what they get to eat:  Natural Balance Pot. & Duck dry, various NB LIDs canned food (except lamb & venison), California Natural Chicken & Rice canned food, Simply Nourish canned food, Prairie Homestyle canned food. These are toppers to the dry and don’t seem to bother Stella.  They get either Vetri-Science probiotics or Mercola probiotics.  They get one a day Springtime, Inc. Fresh Factor vitamin.  I give coconut oil occasionally and dried prunes occasionally.  So, sorry to be so longwinded, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your desire to “help” your furkid feel their best.  I plan on keeping them on the Pot. & Duck until I can’t, for whatever reason lol. 

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    thank you very much for your input. yes my Pepper is a ‘senior” 9.y.o her activity level is decreasing-she used to be able to walk 2 miles in the am and just under a mile in the p.m.-not any longer, I am glad if we can make a little over 1 mile in the am. We live in the deep south-Louisiana, so it is getting to hot for her afternoon walks. She never learned how to play-so just sleeps a lot-her greatest joy used to be her walks, now she has trouble seeing and walking is becoming more difficult for her. Very sad to see.
    So you see I have to be very cautious in her food. She gets 2 small meals a day-she has gained 4 lbs. and has been diagnosed with Cushings disease. 
    I have been introducing a small handful of the Brother’s at each meal
    I have to again transition her off the Fromm’s because it is too grain loaded and not good for her health issues. The digestive enzymes and now probiotics have helped enormously.
    I am now faced with finding another kibble and wet topper that does not contain grains. She is on the Eagle Pack Holistic Select Duck, but it too contains oatmeal, not horrible, but not the best either.
    John, the way I feel now the answers are eluding me- I am back to square 1 AGAIN!!!
    I certainly appreciate your help and support as I do to everyone here.

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • melissa


    I know you are trying to do what is right for Pepper, but, imo, your husband is right. Just stop. Leave her on what she is on for a period of time and see how she does-6-8 weeks is the minimum unless there is a problem. As long as the overall fat content is lower, she needs time to adjust to each of the changes.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Cheryl&Pepper…..

    There is another way to look at this. I have been reading all the posts. I’m pleased with all the posters.
    every one is helping out . Its nice to see. Maybe you 
    could stick with Brother’s, but feed less. that would cut the fat. find a good low fat topper. moisture will
    help relieve the stress on Peppers organs. She is an older dog? Christo is still a pup. He is very active. If
    pepper is older and has some health problem’s she would need a lot less of a nutrient dense food. Its not that she needs to eat a lower quality food. Does she eat one meal per day? or maybe two or three small ones. Less may be more in her case. This way she can slowly process, and not over load. I would have to agree with Toxed and Shawna, that carbs are bad.
    Also be care full with to much fat, feed her smaller servings at different times though out the day, so she can slowly process the fat. Keep seeking for answers
    they cant elude you for ever. Not with a caring cummunity like this.

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Still searching for holistic vet, no luck.
    Not to be a pill, but it was not a healing crisis pep went through-it was such severe gastritis it warranted  an ER visit. Now as i said earlier she was not on digestive enzymes or probiotics either. 
    I know both you and Toxed are advocates of Brother’s kibble,but in pep’s case it may not be the answer. 
    If you have a moment if i may direct you to the link where i got the recommendation for her nutritional guidelines. I can’t copy and paste it so I have to give it to you-after if you would like to get back to me i would love to have your impressions of the article. she is a schnauzer breeder in Canada- you can google her name: Diane Ykelenstam-the
    Thank you again for all your help.
    Now I am faced with getting her off the Fromm’s-my husband says I will kill her with all these dietary changes.:{

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Thank you for the comment and advice. I am now back to square 1 with pepper’s diet and am lost again in the “food choice hell”!! The Fromm’s must go-too heavy in the carb dept.-I am literally exhausted and really need your help, since you can appreciate my concern about giving pepper a kibble such as Brother’s whose fat may be too high for her given her myriad of health problems and now  being at greater risk for pancreatitis due to the Cushings.
    Can you tell me some brands of toppers to try-that are grain and white potato free?? I hesitate to even try the NOW grain free kibble I have because it too has potato listed as an ingredient.
    Will look at the BB. Any other dry kibble to look at??
    If you have a second here is the link to schnauzer nutrition site, maybe you can post it so Shawna and Toxed can see where I got my information from. It is: just enter the breeders name-Diane Ykelenstam.
    Thank you very, very much.

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • melissa

    The key is “skinned” chicken breast for the minis : ) And, the broth should be cooled and the fat removed. Ours love boiled chicken, and in the proper amounts/proper way served, they seem to flourish.

  • Shawna

    Melissa wrote ~~ “I don’t think Pepper had a protein issue in the past, rather a fat issues. Cheryl read or was told by a breeder to keep the protein levels low. The only reason I can think for that, is that perhaps the breeder associates low fat with lower protein foods(which often is the case) Or perhaps due to the tendency of schnauzers to develop stones..shrug”

    Ahhhhhh, got it Melissa!!  As stated, I haven’t been reading but not retaining much of this conversation…  Thanks for the clarification!!!

  • Shawna

    The fat amounts you are advocating here are EXACTLY what I would recommend myself…  Fat should not exceed 50% of the protein level in the food…  I say this OFTEN..  So if protein is 30 — fat should be 15 or slightly less even…  Again, nobody is advocating for “high” fat..  To me, what you are recommending is what all feeders (not just those with Schnauzers) should strive for…  However, I would like to see the protein a bit higher…  But, if eating a species appropriate diet it is quite easy to get high protein while still keeping the fat at a respectable amount.. 🙂

  • Shawna

    Hi Melissa ~~ I totally agree here!!!

    And again I am not advocating for Cheryl to increase the fat in the diet (except with coconut oil) but rather to increase the protein..  Dogs with cushings (from what I read) have an increased risk of pancratitis so lower fat is advisable even if pancratitis is not currently diagnosible…  🙂

  • melissa

     The below link is to a study of hypertriglyceridemia in schnauzers-one they have pancreatitis, they are 5 times more likely to develop /have it.

    After reading the study, look to the right and you will find a link to a study on healthy schnauzers

    From the second studies conclusion-

    Healthy MS have a high prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia as compared to
    healthy dogs of other breeds. Both the prevalence and severity of
    hypertriglyceridemia increase with age.

    Despite owning schnauzers for over 20 yrs, I still have not found anything that explains the “why” of it.


    I don’t think Pepper had a protein issue in the past, rather a fat issues. Cheryl read or was told by a breeder to keep the protein levels low. The only reason I can think for that, is that perhaps the breeder associates low fat with lower protein foods(which often is the case) Or perhaps due to the tendency of schnauzers to develop stones..shrug

  • melissa


    You present alot of wonderful information, but the schnauzer owner in me has to say the following-

    “If a schnauzer presents with vomitting and diarrhea, go to the vet and rule out pancreatitis, do NOT assume is a healing crisis”. 

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming! : )

  • melissa


    Schnauzers do best with a low fat diet-what that level is is determined by each dog.  A very fat sensitive one will do well on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight-grain free, fat of 10 percent, protein around 30. Others, can easily thrive and not have a problem on 15 percent fat. Only the individual owner can make that decision based on the dog and its bloodwork. I keep our protein levels at no more than 30-32 percent, and try for the fat to be in the range of 15 or lower for most of my schnauzers. When I top with toppers, I cut back the dry and try to use lower fat foods as well. And yes, I do include a grain inclusive kibble in the mix from time to time.

  • Shawna

    Yes, once the dogs pancreas is inflammed fat is a complicating factor…  I don’t deny that at all…  I don’t agree that “fat” causes pancreatitis though..

    A caveat to that is rancid fat which I already mentioned and later I had to wonder if fats high in inflammation causing omega 6 fatty acids were a complicating factor as well…  This has always been a problem in the past — before the inclusion of omega 3 fats. Which supposedly help with pancreatitis (still a fat though).???

    So sorry you are stuck doing taxes today!!!!  YUCK!!!! 🙂

    I will note to (and I’ve mentioned here MANY times) that I am absolutely NOT for high fat foods..  Just not an advocate of “low” fat either.  In certain cases it may be prudent to lower fat of course but I don’t think the solution is to increase carbs.. 🙂

  • Shawna

    It’s all good Cheryl 🙂

    I want you to know that I don’t disagree with your fear of fat however it is possible to go too low in fat…  That has already been addressed by the suggested inclusion of coconut oil though…  My main concern (and the point I didn’t do a very good job making) is that the carbs (not just grains but all carbs (sugar producing carbs that is)) in the diet need to be lowered as well as fat…  If you lower carbs and fat you have no choice but to increase protein (high protein is recommended for Cushings patients)….   Lew states this on her site, as does Dr. Becker and MANY others

    I know that Pepper had issues with higher protein but I’d bet money that what you experienced was a healing crisis..  They are very common when switching from lower to higher quality foods.  So common in fact that Dr. Martin Goldstein has a whole chapter on them in his book “The Nature of Animal Healing”..

    All that said — you (you and Pepper that is) have to live with the consequences of your decisions.  Only you can decide what is right for the both of you…  I so wish you had a holistic vet you could take Pepper to… 🙁

  • aimee

    Lots of passionate comments here! Am I’m the only one who is doing my taxes today?
    I have a rudimentary understanding of the high carb /low fat diet increasing tryglycerides in people. If enough fatty acids are not supplied by the diet the body makes them and this also increases the triglycerides as well.
    I haven’t seen any studies on dogs though so I’m hesitant to apply that research to them.
    What I do know is that my friend’s dog had a tryglyceride level of over 1000  when eating Fresh Pet select Chicken Vegetable and Rice approx 40% protein, 24% fat, 30 % carbs and after 2 weeks on  California Natural Chicken and Rice low fat protein 21%, fat 7% carb 60% his tryglycerides were 146 and his seizures stopped!!!
    I know that is only a “N” of 1 but if high carb/ low fat increased tryglycerides in dogs the tryglycerides should have increased further not decreased! I don’t know of any other explanation except that the high fat level led to high tryglyceride level in this dog.
    “Hyperlipidemia is common in dogs, …..and can be a result of endocrine disorders, pancreatitis, cholestasis, protein-losing nephropathy, obesity, and high fat diets. Possible complications of canine hyperlipidemia include pancreatitis, liver disease, atherosclerosis, ocular disease, and seizures. Management is achieved by administration of low fat diets.”

    My dog was on a moderate protein high carb/low fat diet. She opened a cabinet door and munched down high fat cat food. She nearly died from severe pancreatitis.  

    The fat she consumed resulted in hyperlipidemia(her blood looked like stawberry ice cream and the complication   she had was pancreatitis.
    Even Mary Strauss cautions against fat in the article you referred to,  you just left that part out of the quote : ) . “… too much fat may cause trouble for middle-aged, overweight, relatively inactive dogs, who are the ones most commonly affected by pancreatitis. Too much fat can also cause problems for some dogs with chronic pancreatitis.
    The difference is in the activity levels, active dogs seem to tolerate higher fat levels than inactive dogs.

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Thank you for the links, as Olsen stated in his article due to Pepper’s recent diagnosis of Cushings I have to be even more cautious due to her increased risk and genetic tendency to develop pancreatitis. She has had in the past had elevated liver enzymes-which was due to her being on antibiotics for a while when she had the dental surgery-thank god they have come back into normal range.But I ALWAYS HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL-her blood sugar was also elevated-so even more reason to have her off all and any grains.
    Please read my post to Toxed because I really do appreciate what both of you are trying to get across,when one has to deal with multiple health issues it becomes very difficult. I agree a “grain heavy” kibble wasn’t the way to go and that will have to be changed, so the Brother’s will now have to be used with a grain free kibble, that is similar in protein/fat as the Fromm’s-I have the “NOW grain free that I will try.
    Will have to contact Brother’s and see if they will take back the Fromm’s I just ordered-always something, but I have read on this site I am in a big club-i am only 4 months in the-food-go-round. I just hope pepper lives long enough for me to find a food good for her that she can handle,her wet food will have to go eventually since it has oatmeal in it :{ My life will never be the same again. I just feel I can’t get a handle on anything where it concerns Pepper!!
    Thank you for not giving up on us.

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Toxed2loss

    Cheryl & Pepper,

    I know that you are trying to do everything in your power to help and support Pepper. I respect that. The supraglan was not a mistake. The herbals in it, are very beneficial.

    Here’s the thing you need to know… Even with Pep’s worsening condition, she can still recover. Cheryl, I don’t know if you’ve read my posts where I’ve stated how bad my condition has been. I was told to go home and die 8 years ago. Conventional medicine washed their hands of me and cast me adrift. I have had multiple strokes, heart attacks, had autism, Alzheimer’s, brain damaged, was at one time nearly a vegetable, had severe kidney, liver & pancreatic damage, had my blood coagulating in my veins, severe lymphoma, couldn’t walk, or see… That’s just to name a few. So, I researched like a fiend and I am recovering, based on what I’ve learned and put into practice.

    I no longer have strokes or heart attacks, my kidneys and liver function is returning to normal, at my last test I am 2 points on the right side of autistic blood markers, and I’ve recovered since that time, my lymphoma is greatly reduced, I can see, have most of my motor skills returned, and I’m continuing to improve. I no longer have Asthma or allergies – I forgot to mention those, my blood viscosity is corrected… There are many more improvements, and I will continue to get better. BUT they will take time. There are no magic bullets. It’s the same for Pepper.

    That is why I am so very passionate about what I say. I was written off for dead, 8 years ago, and I’m still alive and recovering more every year. The answers are straight forward and simple, but they fly in the face of current commonly held acceptable practice.

    Sometimes I get a little frustrated with the mis information that is disseminated, and accepted. Too many lives lost, too much harm, that I’ve watched being done. Allopathic medicine is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., wether from “correctly prescribed medication,” negligence or doctor’s error. (CDC) I apologies if I made you defensive. That wasn’t my intent. I’m sorry.

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Toxed this is Cheryl & pepper.
    I understand the points you are trying to make in regard to Pepper’s diet. You are rt. about the fact her current kibble is overloaded in the grain dept.-which believe me was NOT intentional on my part-i needed a food whose profile looked good not great to get her off that horrific EN. But, I also realize in 4 short months I cannot make up for all the ills that made up Pepper’s 8 1/2 yrs. i do stay stuck on the Orijen fiasco ,because to me that was the starting point where everything came to a horrible head. True, she WAS NOT ON digestive enzymes or probiotics and for Pep that may be all she will need to help her transition to a higher protein diet, I am just going by what a schnauzer breeder cautioned me about the fats and protein requirements for this breed.
    Yes John has had wonderful results for Christo on Brothers-and maybe pepper will take months not weeks to make a full transition-I just don’t know. He is also  a lab, not a schnauzer, so while Brother’s is a superior quality food, in Pepper’s case she may only be able to handle it in small quantities. I don’t know and certainly don’t want to add more troubles to her ever growing medical file.
    As Melissa said, she might be an “OLD 9” due to lack of care in her formative years. Just like us-you keep putting junk in the system and some day it will catch up. This is my view on what’s occurring with Pepper-but what troubles me,some of the blood work is not going in the rt. direction,yes her age is working against her and I am a very impatient person,but this is scary-her health issues mount and I am now questioning every decision I make for her-which is not good. 
    I have heeded your warning and have not given her the monthly dose of flea/tick meds. I ordered the Mercola spray and along with your mixes hope and pray these keep those critters away from her and not add to all her  troubles. 
    My next hurdle is to try and get her off the Flatu-Ex, because I am not convinced that long term use of simethicone is not detrimental and may cause anomalies in her blood work- I have gotten her down to 1 down from 3-also with the help of the digestive enzymes. Next I will start her on 1/4tsp of the extra virgin coconut oil.
    I don’t want you all to think I ask for help and not take it to heart and put it into action.
    I know from my own experience with a carb heavy diet that what you say is 1000% correct-why wouldn’t it be correct for Pepper again I agree-she will not drop the 4 lbs on a carb heavy diet. 
    I know very well what you say about so called unbiased research-I always ask who funded this so called research? That’s why I always read with great caution all and any testimonials written about a particular product I want to put her on-I ordered the “Supraglan” and now question that decision also.
    I do disagree with you to a point about Triglycerides my husband is lean correct wt and has scary high triglycerides-he is genetically(in my opinion) predisposed to have this. High triglycerides can cause problems down the round for some people,not all. 
    To me you and Shawna are unbelievable in your zeal to help and guide everyone who asks for help-again it has not fallen on blind eyes in all the time you have both taken to help Pepper and myself-I know you both understand that with Pepper everything has become an exercise in great frustration for me. I have even started to question if she would have been better off without me. I watch her like a hawk and as my friend who had her before me tells me you are way to protective of her-just let her be. My personality does not allow that and in the end is it in Pepper’s best interest?? All these questions roll around in my head. 
    I am terrible sorry if you and everyone else who reads and responds to this thread are getting frustrated and fed up with me-it is very hard watching Pepper get a little slower, seeing less and less, cognitively getting worse, given all the time I have devoted to her care and well being.
    Sorry for this long post-I felt it was appropriate to respond.

    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Not a problem, and I sure will.  Just remember, I’m not a newby to foods and feeding my dogs….just not as technically knowledgable is you.  Learning, though.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Jan……

    I just wanted to say, thats its great that we can all
    add to the topic, and have a friendly debate. that is a win win for everybody. I agree with Shawna, keep on doing what works for you. not every dog fits in the same mold. I know we all agree that we would not feed  old roy lol.

  • Shawna

    Hi Jan 🙂

    Because lectins are so individualized I think what you are doing is really the only thing we can do…  Example — because of my Native American heritage I am predisposed to dairy lectin issues —- and I have dairy lectin issues.  However Toxed is Native American too and she consumes dairy just fine but has issues with grains.  Grain lectins don’t “seem” to cause me any issues.. 

    I know I drive this home a lot but it is more as a warning then an attempt to get everyone off of possibly offending ingredients — garlic can be problematic for some and I am a HUGE garlic fan…  BUT, if someone starts noticing symptoms I hope my constant discussion on the topic will make them think about the possiblity of lectins being the cause.  Lectins in ANY food—–even garlic…  I know of one person and one dog that can’t eat garlic assumably due to the lectins.

    I recently worked with a local gal.  Her raw fed dog was having issues about every three days..  We went over the diet food by food and green beans was the only lectin food in the diet..  I suggested she remove green beans as a precaution and low and behold pup has been symptom free since — been about 5 weeks now…  I’ve often mentioned how chicken and eggs are also sources of lectins that can be problematic for some dogs — just not as problematic as some other foods…

    You keep doing exactly what you know to be working with your dogs…  Just keep my annoying and nagging info in the back of your head in case something does come up in the future :)…

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Again, you have your thoughts on all this but I’m just going on what has been working for my dogs.  Anymore, that’s all I care about (within reason, of course….wouldn’t feed Ol’ Roy no matter what).  I’ve stopped agonizing over the “potato, lectin thing” and am just feeding what they’ll eat and what keeps their bellys happy.

  • Toxed2loss

    You’re right, Shawna! I agree with you. I read that stuff late last night and intended to answer it this morning, after Ron went to work. Well done!!

    Sorry Cheryl, but high fat/protein does not equal pancreatitis. The pancreas is part of the endocrine system. It gets inflamed by endocrine system disrupting chemicals, other toxins and being over worked. Endocrine System Disrupting chemicals would be the pesticides I’ve been trying to convince you to stop giving your dog, i.e. flea/tick poisons & worming poisons. The pancreas also produces digestive enzymes. It has to work harder to produce amylase, the digestive enzyme necessary to breakdown carbs and plant matter, because it’s not normal for dogs to eat a high percentage of carbs, and certainly not the starchy ones. High carb, plant based diets over work the canine pancreas, and can cause it to become inflamed, especially if there are other detrimental factors at work.

    I know how much you care about Pepper, sweetie, and I’ve been trying to guide you into making the healthiest choices for him, in the most positive manner. But, it’s time to be a little more blunt, I think. Get Pepper off grains and potatoes, and stop all toxins!!!

    Shawna has graciously provided you with plenty of citations. I could inundate this thread with even more… But is it really necessary?

    JohnandChristo has given you his personal testimony… I can add mine. I’ve had super high triglycerides, and an inflamed pancreas. They followed a period of heavy spraying. High triglycerides are NOT a problem!!!!! They are an indicator that the body is taking care of a problem!!!!

    I’m here to tell you that limiting fat has an adverse effect. The body needs the animal fats to trap the toxins and remove them from the body. They protect the brain from damage due to circulating toxins and they lubricate the inflamed pancreas!!!

    While aimee is well intentioned, she’s using data based on false precepts. If you start with a misconception, every concept based upon it, is wrong. Lots of medical literature does that, because it’s bought and paid for by industries and designed to promote a specific end point. Both my kids are biologists, my daughter is a PhD Entomologist. When she began her doctoral program, her advisor swore to her that she could report the whole truth. When she went to submit her Thesis, they attempted to extort her into “spinning” the data to present a favorable outcome for the pesticide companies, who fund the research… She was threatened that unless she did, she’d never work in the industry again. (that was a lie, but that is what bad guys do.) Industry corruption of research is real. So, it’s important to choose research papers that are not funded by industry or are written by people with proven integrity. When you do that, you get a much better picture of what is actually going on. It’s a lot harder to ferret out unbiased research, and screen the process & procedures for inconsistencies and flaws.

    Shawna does that. That’s why I admire and respect her. That’s why I trust her citations. She vets them. Please consider carefully the recommendations that are before you when you choose the course of action you will take to help Pepper.

  • Shawna

    Yes, John you are ABSOLUTELY right about corn suger (aka high fructose corn sugar)…

    There is ample evidence that corn sugar leads to fatty liver disease and is very hard in general on the liver.  Fructose is the only sugar that is processed by the liver. 

    Dr. Mercola (and others) have info on the dangers of excess fructose in the diet.  But, Dr. Robert Lustig has a very comprehensive hour long seminar (can be seen on youtube) that discusses exactly HOW fructose is so damaging to the liver and health… 

    Fructose in fruits is not as damaging because of the accompanying nutrients…..I don’t really understand this connection but have ready many articles stating such…

  • Johnandchristo


    I agree totally, that whole low fat thing was way off the mark. 99% of so called low fat items, are so full of preservatives, and just to keep it simple stuff that is not good for you in them. Sugar will turn to fat in the blood. white flours and white  sugars spike your blood levels and shock the pancreas. whole grains burn slower, but still have tons of anti nutrients. very low density lipo protein’s are 100% linked to a high carb diet. I also see the corn growers claim(erroneously)that corn sugar is the same as cane sugar. both are bad but corn is worse. corn has more anti nutrients, than any thing I know. I think the only thing its good for is to put it in the gas tank. maybe I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure I’m right.

  • Shawna

    Thanks John 🙂

    I think the government, industry and medical community drilled the “low fat” mantra into our heads so effectively that it will take quite a bit of doing to get it worked back out… 🙁   Doctors are obviously starting to come around and mention the carb link!!! Yay….

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Shawna….

    You are so right. all your posts. just read them.
    I had very triglycerides, very high. and I was over weight. When I stopped eating carbs, triglycerides went down. way down. I have been up to 265#s,
    with lean meat and veggie’s I’m 190#s. its amazing.
    my friend and his wife go to the gym every day, and never loss any weight. they eat carbs like crazy. and for dogs its even worse, because they are carnivores.
    Dugan my flat coat was always heavy, I fed him foster’s and smith. High carbs. then dog chow. he got even bigger. plus ear infections. If only I knew then 
    I would never have given him high carbs. Christo is living proof, he is thriving. and I have not been to the vet since I put him on grain and white potato free.
    mixed with meat and more meat. every one I know that went on the atkin’s diet reported lower triglycerides. and thats a lot of people.(its been a very popular diet). 

  • Shawna

    Okay, just joking..  One more 🙂  I know Toxed agrees with me on this topic….

    From human doctor, Dr. Joseph Mercola
    “Carbs Are Primary Cause of High Triglycerides”

    Reduce triglycerides dot com
    “In other words, what leads to increase in blood triglycerides are mainly diets high in carbohydrates, especially sugar (American Association for Clinical Chemistry).”

    Human doctor, Dr. Nemechek
    “Excess Carbohydrates Cause Elevated Triglycerides”

    Human doctor, Dr. Andrew Weil
    “High triglyceride levels can be genetic, and may be related to obesity or untreated diabetes, but dietary influences are strong. Carbohydrates in the diet are the main factor affecting their levels in the blood, especially quick-digesting (high glycemic load) carbs”

    If carbs can elevate triglycerides (and cholesterol) in humans imagine the consequences in dogs…  AND, remember — several indicate high triglycerides as a cause of pancreatitis…

  • Shawna

    Okay, last one on this topic for now 🙂

    IBD is KNOWN to be cuased by lectins..

    For every article Aimee finds that says lectins are damaged by heat I can find another that says they are not…  That is the problem with scientific articles that many of us have discussed in the past…  Science can be bought — it is a well known fact..

    If lectins could simply be destroyed by heat, people with immune mediated arthritis wouldn’t be warned against eating nightshade plants like potatos..

    I have also linked research article that link lectins (however which ones was not identified so not sure which food is the cause) to a specific type of pancreatic inflammation.

  • Shawna

    Whole Dog Journal says about pancreatitis

    “Causes of pancreatitisPancreatitis is often blamed on high-fat diets, though there is little scientific evidence to support this. Active, working dogs, such as sled dogs, can eat as much as 60 percent fat in their diets without developing pancreatitis

    Dietary indiscretion, such as eating rancid fatty scraps from the garbage, can also lead to pancreatitis,

    Low-protein diets have also been shown to predispose dogs to pancreatitis, especially when combined with high fat intake. Some prescription diets may be a concern, such as those prescribed to dissolve struvite bladder stones; to prevent calcium oxalate, urate, or cystine stones; and to treat kidney disease; especially for breeds prone to pancreatitis.

    Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, are especially controversial: while veterinarians have long considered them to be the most common drug to cause pancreatitis, recent human studies have discounted this link. Based on anecdotal evidence, however, I believe the association does exist in dogs. I personally know dogs who developed pancreatitis within days of being given corticosteroids.

    Toxins, particularly organophosphates (insecticides used in some flea control products), as well as scorpion stings and toxic levels of zinc, may also lead to pancreatitis.

    Pancreatitis has been associated with immune-mediated diseases, which may include IBD, though the cause-and-effect relationship is not understood.”

  • Shawna

    Cheryl ~~ nobody faults you for doing what you think is best..  I do want to point a few things out though.

    Animal nutritionist Lew Olson, PhD Natural Nutrition says this
    “Causes of PancreatitisFat is usually blamed when a dog develops pancreatitis. However, this isn’t quite true. High fat diets can aggravate a diseased pancreas, but fat itself does not usually cause pancreatitis.

    – A genetic condition called hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and/or triglycerides), often found in Miniature Schnauzers, Briards and Shetland Sheepdogs

    It has been well established that high triglycerides and cholesterol are caused by carbs.  Here’s one research article mentioning it (Dr. Oz, Dr. Mercola and others do as well). 

    “It has been known for decades that low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets can increase plasma triglyceride levels”

    I have some data from Whole Dog Journal too but will start a new post..  Discus deleted my entire last post assumably because it was too long… grrrr

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Hi aimee.  Yes, I belong to Cavalier groups and forums.  I wouldn’t say they are all intolerant to fat, but most of them are.  The older ones especially seem to be.  I have read and heard that they are a breed prone to pancreatitis though.  My youngest (turning 5 this year) seems to be able to eat anything so far, but I do have them all on the NB pot. & duck.  All of mine are actually from different kennels.  The same breeder gave them to me.  She did breed my Ruby, but bought my Blenheim and Black & Tan.

  • aimee

    Hi Jan mom2 Cavs

    Very interesting about your Cavs. A friend of mine has one and both hers and the littermate to hers are very fat intolerent.

    Her dog was having frequent seizures until she put him on a fat restricted diet. Her dog’s tryglcerides were over a thousand!!

    Have you spent ay time on Cav forums? Is fat intolerence  common in the breed like it is in schnauzers?

  • Johnandchristo

    Hey Richard……

    I dont know how the weather is down by you,
    but up hear its going to be almost 90!!! I think its time to take young master Christo for swim. He is eating  white meat protein now, and loves it. How are your eyes? I hope your on the mend.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    As you all probably know, I have 4 dogs, 3 Cavaliers and 1 Mixed Breed.  My oldest 2 Cavaliers seem to have issues with high protein and fat.  Neither has actually had pancreatitis, but my oldest had symptoms of IBS and perhaps mild pancreas issues.  The other one that has problems seems to have issues with just fat and she has some mild allergies.  The other 2 dogs (my youngest Cavalier and my 11 year old Mixed Breed) are fine.  Cavaliers can be prone to pancreatitis.  I was searching for the best food for them all (Fromm, Prairie, Blue Buffalo, and more) but there was always a problem of some kind.  I finally “gave in” and put them on Natural Balance Pot. & Duck.  Surprisingly, it’s been working the best of all.  I do use some canned food.  The ones that work best are NB LIDs, California Natural, Prairie HS, Simply Nourish.  My point is that mostly they all have some potato in them and they are working the best of all the foods I’ve tried for my dogs.     

  • Cheryl & Pepper

    Aimee, This is Cheryl & Pepper,
    Just saw your post. Just got back in from walking Pepper, I really would like to peruse this discussion further, I have an appointment, so if you wouldn’t mind checking this thread later on, maybe we can continue. 
    I did want to say I agree with you. I know Toxed,Shawna maybe upset with me-but honestly I really don’t think Pepper will ever be able to handle food with Protein in the mid 30’s and fats in the high teens- I really could not deal with another health issue as serious as pancreatitis. Talk to you later.

    Thanks for the input.
    Cheryl & Pepper

  • Toxed

    Thanks, that’s helpful to know. I thought there might be some explanation.

  • aimee

    Hi Cheryl & Pepper,

    I’ve been following your posts and have to say Pepper is so very lucky to have you in her life to care for her.

    I also have a dog with multiple health issues so I thought I’d share some of what I have learned.

    My dog likely has inflammatory bowel along with pancreas issues.  He used to vomit frequently, have blood in his poop and have days he just wouldn’t leave his crate.  So sad : (

    We are finally doing well on Royal Canin venison and potato diet.

    I’ve done a lot of research on pancreatic problems in dogs. ( My previous dog nearly died from pancreatitis) Many times it isn’t known what causes pancreatitis. But as far as dietary factors go, fat definitely can trigger it and I’ve read possibly high protein as well in at risk dogs. (My dog developed pancreatitis after eating a high fat meal. she got into the cat’s food )

    On the other hand in all of my extensive research I have never been able to verify that carbohydrates play any role at all in inflammation of the pancreas. In fact I’m very confidant that they don’t. 

    In regard to lectins in grains, potato and legumes most are destroyed by heat so the high temps inherent of dog food processing renders them benign. ( I’ve posted many references on this in the past) They are not a factor in pancreatits in dogs. 

  • Shawna

    That’s excellent Richard!!

    The only thing left to question then is shipping from you to the consumer and how the consumer handles the food (both of course are a concern with any food and completely out of your control)…

    I will note that I have mentioned here on DFA that I do think the fats in Brothers are better then other kibbles I have fed —– remember my scenario with my Boston foster puppy (coat improving within days of feeding Brothers)…

  • Toxed2loss

    LOL! It’s the farthest from the wood stove and the closest to the air conditioner. I don’t spend much time in there myself. Though I like 65* with blankets, at night. The dogs can’t sleep on the beds, too many contaminant issues. 🙁

  • Wow! I’d be freezing in that room.  I’m still cold sometimes at 78 and sleep under the winter blanket with 2 pugs on top and 1 pug between the legs!

  • Shawna

    The food is sprayed then immediately bagged in the foil bags that all the air is sucked out of. Within hours it is on it’s way to Florida and a dark, cold storage room. 

    We have recently added Rosemary and Green Tea extract to the Vitamin E to make certain that there is a complex and broad spectrum base of natural preservatives. My nose is VERY sensitive for some reason (kind of like a pregnant woman’s) ever since I got over Lyme disease and I smell the food all the time. I can absolutely smell the oils if they begin to go rancid. I tested the fish by keeping it in our hot Florida garage for a few months and it was ok until about month 3 to 3 1/2. So if it’s kept in cool, dry place and in the bag and rolled up after each use it would likely stay very fresh for about 6 to 12 months minimum depending on when it’s opened.

    I have stuff that’s been kept in air conditioning now for over a year and it’s still not rancid but I only check it once or twice a month.

    I think as long as it’s eaten within a few months there is very little to worry about.

    I’ll see if there is an actual test, other than my nose, for rancidity.

  • Mary Lou

    Richard ~ you know I’d be there in a heartbeat, but we actually leave from Tampa. How convenient!

    There is one out of Fort Lauderdale in November that is being tossed around. You never know ~ could show up sooner. Don’t forget ~ you’re on my bucket list. : )

    You’ll definitely be in my thoughts and prayers as you journey to PA. : )

  • Toxed2loss

    Thanks Richard. You’re still a sweetie!! I was reading up on the rancidity thing. Apparently there are 3 types of rancidity. Oxidative, enzymolic, and hydrolytic. Polyunsaturated oils are more unstable and go rancid faster. Saturated fats will resist rancidity longer. The causal factors are heat, light and oxigen. Flax is only 9% saturated fat… GFETE. So, the fish formula (20-35% saturated fat) will resist going rancid longer than ones with part of their oil content being flax. :-0

  • Toxed

    The Menhaden Fish was added to all the formulas to increase Omega 3 DHA but the only formula that has had all the Flax seed removed was the Fish. There is still some Flax seed in the others but not as much. 

  • Toxed2loss

    Would it help to share that I get Brother’s, place it, in it’s original bag , in an airtight, metal can, with the bag rolled down between feedings and a month later I can’t smell any rancidity?

    Rosie’s spoiled enough, she won’t eat anything that’s rancid. She hasn’t refused it yet. I keep that room between 65 & 70.

  • Toxed2loss

    Thank you love!!!!!! I ‘ll let you know. I want to be sure that Ron will even do it. He’s not an extrovert, like me. To him, recording an event is “making a scene.” Which may have something to do with why he’s avoided discussing it, so far. 🙁

  • Shawna

    I’m pretty sure we discussed the Omega thing when we talked after first meeting…  We discussed A LOT in that 2 hour conversation so I may be remember incorrectly…  It also came up when discussing omega 3 from plant based sources versus animal if I remember correctly.  However, my brain is still not up to par from the lack of sleep that is caused by having a one and two year old live with you….. 🙂  Grand children rule but its been way too long since I’ve lived with a baby and then only one..

    I honestly don’t know why the oil is viable in unprocessed seed when unrefrigerated?  I’m guessing the oil and vitamin e are under the hull or outer layer of the seed where they would not be exposed.  But when crushed, ground etc not only should the seed meal be refrigerated but also used up in a short period of time..  I imagine fish is much the same?  Sardines are to be eaten within a day or two of opening per the recommendations — even when not processed and refrigerated.

    I think the handling of the Brothers foods is superb!!!  Giving the fatty acids, and all nutrients for that matter, a much better opportunity to be beneficial.  However, there are still variables that concern me — example — when being manufactured is the food sprayed and then travels down a converyor belt to the bagging are?  Or is it bagged immediately?  Is the facility room temperature or kept colder?  Once the consumer purchases — do they use good storing practices?  Most may keep the food in the original bag in an air tight container even.  But how many think to refrigerate the food?  If I can’t set the oil out on my counter in an air tight, dark colored container with added vitamin e……..makes me wonder…  Other oils (like olive with omega 9) can be left at room temperature if out of direct sunlight……..  Just sayin 🙂

    I’m not sure I would be satisfied even if you did have it tested unless they could test to confirm the oil was not only there but also not yet rancid…  I actually don’t doubt that the fat is there..

    As you know — Brothers is my kibble of choice for many reasons..  The handling of the kibble in order to preserve the fats is only one of many reasons why that is :)…

  • Toxed2loss

    To ALL the formula’s????? I ordered the cat food as well as Fish Formula this last time, and thought that there wasn’t flax in it either… So I checked the web site and it was still listed there. Since the cat food went out to the barn right away, I couldn’t re-read it. 🙂 you are such a sweetie Richard!!!

  • Shawna

    Brian new better then to wake me so he took care of the pee-ers :)…  And, since I slept in — they slept in too 🙂 

    My recorder is high end but was purchased six years ago…  I’m sure there is newer technology now..  I’ve never cared for the editing software that came with it  either…  It’s yours to use if you need/want it.

  • Shawna

    Of course I am one of your devoted followers so I try too benefit from your wisdom as much as I can.

    I don’t remember discussing the degradation rate of Omega 3 before but it’s certainly true that it degrades rather quickly under certain conditions. 

    I’d be curious to know why it stays viable in the seed form so well and then becomes available when the seed is ground up. Do they need to keep the whole seeds in the dark and refrigerated to keep the Omega 3 in them viable? I was under the impression that the omega 3 was fairly stable in seed form until grinding.

    So the next thing that comes to mind is can the Omega 3 be more stable in fish meal than it is once extracted in a pure oil form?

    I will probably need to get a lab report on the available Omega 3 in Brothers some months after it’s manufacturer to fully satisfy you so I’ll check with the lab to see if that’s possible.

    You do know that I changed the formula for you and Toxed and added 4% to 5% Menhaden fish meal to the formulas to get a better distribution of Omega 3 in DHA form don’t you? You know that Brothers is in our dark, air-conditioned storage facilities in light proof, air tight bags within 2 days of being manufactured and since we make it in small batches it is rarely ever older than a few weeks before it is eaten up by a happy dog. If you have an air-conditioned house and keep it out of the light and roll up the bag I think it’s probably OK for some time.

    Got to go eat. Later

  • Mary Lou

    If your cruise is leaving out of Fort Lauderdale you must stop in ands say hi.

    I’ll be in Pa. from May 9 to the 13 for the final custody decision regarding my son but should be around and available to meet you guys for coffee before you sail.

  • Toxed2loss

    Yay! Sleep!!! Glad you slept in!! How did you manage it with all the “need to pee-ers?” I hear you on “not retained” for a couple of days, I was at minutes. Ick. I’ve loved this discussion with Cheryl & Pepper because it has so many contributors. 🙂

    Both. 🙁 I haven’t had a chance to chat with Ron about it yet. I don’t know what the quality is on his Digital camera, or how long it will record for. I also don’t know if Ryan’s photographer will be videoing… Thanks again, honey, for the offer!!! You’re such a sweetheart!!!

  • Mary Lou

    Uh ~ that was for you Shawna ~ think I need to shut this thing down.  : )

  • Mary Lou

    My computer is being dumb. I’ll email you later. Grub time. : )

  • Toxed2loss

    Hee, hee, hee

    Very clever Shawna! I didn’t even think of that! LOL!

  • Shawna

    Hi Sug ~~ I’ve been reading all the posts but not so much for content so haven’t retained a lot of what has been discussed…  You and others have had it covered quite nicely….. 

    I finally got some REALLY GOOD sleep last night so my brain is happy for the moment… 🙂  Didn’t go to bed til 1:00 am (was babysitting and needed some alone time after they zonked).  But, mom was home this morning so I slept in —- till 11:00 am…  I haven’t slept that late since a teenager…

    Did you take a hit yesterday?  Or more the pain and emotions of not being able to go to Texas?  So sorry love!!!!!!!!  Let me know if you want my video recorder..

    Thank you!!  You know I feel the same way about you!!

  • Shawna

    You could never “bug” me love!!  I adore you and value your friendship too much 🙂

    Maybe I’m looking at the wrong ingredients but it has egg yolk in it..

    You can jump in..  I would keep the old though in case you don’t notice any differences — you can finish it off later on so as not to waste it.. 

    I’m envious of the cruise :)…  I am freaked about sinking and sharks :)..  Irrational fear but still enters my mind :)…  I know I would get over it REALLY quick — once onboard..  I took a ferry to Victoria, BC and was fine :)…

    I think it will be a total BLAST!!  Phoenix understands opening presents etc now..  Easter was a trip :)….  Speaking of Phoenix — she just opened the front door by herself…  Can’t trust her around the door ever again :)…  Especially with 8 dogs that would think nothing about taking an unsupervised tour of the neighborhood….  Mom and Dad are coming for her birthday and we will celebrate both hers and Damons with them (since his is the end of May).  Buz (Damon’s nickname) JUST started walking this past week..  And Phoenix is sringing sentences together (which mom and dad haven’t seen in person yet)…

    You’ll have to post or send a picture of Dupree with the new do!!  I bet he looks ADORABLE!!