My dog was dumped when I got him as a young adult- a little under a year old. He had a stomach full of garbage and so he’s never been able to eat just anything. He does fairly well on Hills Science Diet for Sensitive stomach if it’s dry. He does ok on Blue Buffalo Grain free as well. He has acid reflux and easily throws up anything too rich. He cannot tolerate the Hills ID (I think it’s called) canned food without throwing up.
Fast forward to now and he’s almost 11. I have been reading about dog food and become worried and wanted to try and make things better for him. With that in mind I thought I would try Dynovite. Well, I thought he was doing alright on it. Until last night. He sleeps with me and he got me up almost once an hour to go out. Very unusual for him to go out even once in the night. I went out with him and found he didn’t just have diarrhea, it was like water. He was miserable.
Once before I thought I was doing him a favor and got him some probiotics. After about a week on them he got terrible diarrhea along with a swelled bum as well. He looked rather like a baboon from behind. I have to wonder if it’s the probiotics in the Dynovite that’s causing this now or the richness of the food itself. (I was using their recipe) The only thing I did differently was to cook the beef lightly as they said could be done.
He has developed itchy stinky skin in the last two years and it has been a nightmare both for him and my wallet, but most especially him. The vet thinks he needs a new food she sells and I really HATE it. He loves the taste. It’s Royal Canin Ultamino. It has feather meal! I told her no way but she is insistent. He is also taking 2 apoquil a day! Now this along with a visit every two weeks is breaking my bank! Don’t get me wrong. I love him and will do what I have to do (he has also been through very expensive disk surgery at the local vet college) but it’s coming to the point of do I buy my meds or his.
So I feel like I am at my wits end and do not know where to turn. At this point I just wish I could give him something he loves to eat and that will keep him healthy and happy. I have serious doubts that feather meal is it!
What all have you tried feeding him other than the science diet and blue buffalo? Did you take him off the probiotic after you got the vet diet for him? Are his poops ok now that he’s on the vet diet? Why did you switch off blue? It’s odd to me. I’ve had some people use the science diet and that usually works for them. It isn’t the best. Blue in my opinion is much better (but still not the best) however usually dogs that aren’t even sensitive to anything have issues when switched to blue from my experience.
I’ve tried several things, but mostly whatever the vet recommended along the way. Most were in the Science Diet line and they sold them. I went with Blue Buffalo just because I thought it might be better. I have been trying to research this for a couple months and that was when I decided to try the Dynovite and raw diet. Except I did cook it because my vet begged me to. It’s so confusing. My head is spinning from all I read.
As to the probiotic, I took him off that as soon as I realized he was having issues. I also took him off the Dynovite/beef recipe today (Saturday) and he finally was able to eat tonight, just a tiny bit. He threw up and had diarrhea all day until just about midnight.
Poor little guy. I hate he feels so bad. And I really hate not giving him a better food. I just cannot go with the Ultamino. I can’t understand anyone using feathers in food!
Your dog is old and sick.
For the best results, I would stop looking for advice on the internet, forums, and the like.
A lot of misinformation out there. Not to mention the homeopathic miracle cures and such, example: dynovite. These things may add to his pain and discomfort.
Instead I would do exactly as the vet that is treating the dog instructs you to do.
Diet, medication, etc. No supplements. Just the prescription food with water added.
The food recommended for your dog is good. Prescription food is formulated for specific conditions. He may need to stay on it the rest of his life.
“Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Ultamino dry is a complete dietetic feed for dogs formulated to reduce ingredient and nutrient intolerances. Royal Canin Ultamino is guaranteed by strict safety and food control processes to avoid risk of potential protein contamination. This food requires a veterinary prescription.”
Science based veterinary medicine here http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2016/07/more-nonsense-from-holistic-vets-about-commercial-therapeutic-diets/
So I am to believe that feather meal actually nourishes a dog…
Yes, if you choose to trust and believe the veterinarian that is treating your dog.
Plus all the research and trials done by the dog food company that employs veterinary nutritionists.
When a dog is sick, optimum nutrition is not the primary goal. That is why prescription dog food is not recommended for healthy dogs.
However, if you would prefer to focus on one ingredient that you don’t understand the purpose of, and disregard all the other potential benefits that a therapeutic diet can provide.
So be it.
Feather meal is actually more expensive than chicken meal because breaking it down to amino acid level is a costly process. (info obtained from)
I love my dog with all my heart. And yes, I know that I may have made a mistake in trying to get him on what I believed would be a better food. But I can’t believe- not for an instant that feather meal- or worm meal- is a good thing for him. Or any dog. Honestly because they don’t have to compete with the humans for food? I just can’t even believe it. I really think this takes processed foods to a whole other level. And I do believe that many vets today only know nutrition from the food companies. For example she won’t believe a dog can process raw food at all. Not any dog at any age. I love her. She’s nice. But I don’t have to agree with her choice of feather meal for my dog. I have to be able to sleep at night and I won’t giving an animal that to eat.
Please know that my reply is not snarky to you. I am not fussing at you. I simply disagree about this topic.
The goal of prescription food is to stabilize the dogs, hopefully stop the vomiting and diarrhea. Then, if and when he is doing well for a few months you can talk to your vet about the possibility of transitioning him to another food.
Senior dogs often do best on a simple, bland diet. Such as the appropriate therapeutic diet.
I think some of your confusion is because you are listening to homeopathic vets vs traditional vets.
Views, opinions, treatment differ greatly and often interfere with each other.
Best of luck
I think perhaps you are a bit lost. Have you tried contacting a real veternarian nutritionist? They tend to have a better opinion on foods that are healthier and will help stabilize your dog. Even if it’s a balanced raw diet that you are seeking. I don’t believe in all the low quality prescription diets either and I CERTAINLY do not believe that when a dog is sick nutrition isn’t optimal. Of course it is. How would a sick dog on a garbage diet ever get better? If he is starting to do ok on the ultimo try and keep him on it for just a second. Contact a vet nutritionalist and see what they recommend as far as a prescribed balanced raw diet for him. It’s gonna be a long road figuring out what he’s sensitive to and maybe raw just isn’t for him but maybe you can at least switch him back to blue with is better than science diet and the Royal Canin in my opinion.
I understand that the OP would prefer another diet.
In case anyone else is interested, Royal Canin Ultamino received positive reviews at:
excerpt from Description below
Canine Ultamino is a highly palatable, highly digestible, complete and balanced hydrolyzed protein diet recommended for adult dogs with food sensitivities
Formulated with low molecular weight peptides to support dermatological and gastrointestinal health
Specifically formulated for use as a short-term elimination feeding and as long-term nutrition for dogs with food sensitivities
Contains optimal amounts of B vitamins and amino acids help to maintain the skin’s natural barrier and a synergistic complex of antioxidants to support immune system health
Made with high quality ingredients using the highest industry standards for manufacturing in Royal Canin’s company-owned plants located in the USA and CanadaLori HMember
My dog Buddy has been through a lot, much like your dog. He just turned 10 and during his life he has had surgery on his spleen, surgery for bladder stones, been diagnosed with Diabetes and I was told by my vet that he was suffering from liver failure and was preparing me for the fact that Buddy was going to die. The liver failure diagnosis was 6 months ago and today, he is healthy, happy, looks amazing and has so much energy.
I now believe wholeheartedly that most vets know nothing about nutrition. They are told to carry a line of food in their offices by one of the large pharma/dog food companies because most of these companies go out and recruit at the vet universities across the United States when vets are in school and provide them with a kickback when the sell either Science Diet or Royal Canin in their clinics, up to 40%. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my vet, I just don’t believe he knows much of anything about nutrition. He has been great to me, my dog Buddy and my three cats. He is good at what he does, diagnose and perform much needed surgeries and procedures. He did Buddy’s bladder stone surgery which has complications.
I was at my wits end as well and thought that I was going to lose Buddy, but I was not willing to give up so I did a Google search and found an amazing person who brought Buddy back to the healthy dog he is.
Buddy is on a very special diet and he has made huge strides in the last 6+ months. He is a very healthy dog to what he was 6 months ago.
I worked with a man named Rick Scheyer. He has an amazing website http://www.doglivershunt.com He has helped many dogs with liver shunt, kidney disease, bladder stone problems and much, much more become healthy dogs again. I would suggest reaching out to him for a free consultation.
If you choose to go with his program, it is not cheap, but I believe that over time, I will save money by not taking Buddy to the vet time and time again because I don’t know what is wrong and having a battery of tests run and racking up bills in the thousands, I have been there!
He was slowly weened off of his processed food Science Diet U/D and placed on a diet of fresh veggies and meat based on a very slow transition to follow with Rick’s help.
Buddy’s diet is a balance of ¾ veggies to ¼ meats. Dogs with liver issues do not need as much protein as you would expect. He gets lots of yellow veggies (squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, celery, carrots, Brussel sprouts, snap peas, etc.) along with hemp oil and nori blended with goat yogurt into almost a smoothie consistency. I then add meats, liver is great as it helps to detoxify the liver (funny that you feed liver to a dog with liver issuesJ) and then he gets a variety of supplements. He receives three gut supplements in the morning (Acidophilus, Bifudus and a Spectrabiotic) along with an Enzyme and something called Whole Body. In the evenings he gets the Enzyme, Whole Body and a Mushroom supplement. The process to make his food is not that time consuming and if you are at your wits end like I was, I was ready to do anything.
He also gets to have as much goat yogurt as he wants with coconut oil. He also gets sweet potato chews and coconut slices.
He is also allowed to eat fruits, not during his morning and evening meals since they digest differently than veggies, but he has not yet warmed up to them yet. I don’t know if he ever will.
He is doing great! He has so much energy and the numbers don’t lie! I got a glucose meter and I am going to start checking his levels daily. I would really like to get him off the insulin if I can. I believe the medicine is what causes the blindness, not the actual diabetes, my vet believes otherwise.
My vet has not said much of anything. I explained I was taking him off the prescription food and putting him on this program and he never responded. When I took him in the last time for blood work, I think he was surprised Buddy was doing so well, but did not ask me further about what I was doing. He is a pretty straight and narrow vet and I don’t think he looks outside the box. If Buddy’s glucose numbers continue to decline, I will take him back and back off on the number of units he is given. Now it is just maintenance and keeping a spreadsheet and monitoring how he is doing.
I suggest reaching out. I think Rick saved Buddy’s life. I took him to the vet in October to have blood work done and he is perfectly healthy!
Let me know if I can be of anymore help.
Good luck on your search and reach out if you have further questions or concerns. It was hard to take the jump and trust someone other than my vet with my dogs nutritional health, but I am so glad that I did.
Hi Deborah M-
If you have concerns about Royal Canin Ultamino, I would encourage you to do 2 things. One would be to contact RC themselves and see if you can talk to one of their nutritionists about your concerns and two, to go on petdiets.com under the “Ask the Nutritionist” section and ask Dr. Remillard about Ultamino and see what she says. Hopefully this will help you feel more comfortable.
Also, have you already put your dog on Ultamino? If so, how is he doing? Let your dog be the one to tell you what food is best for him, not ratings or reviews on the internet.
Anon chewy deletes comments. 99% of the thousands of products they sell have 4 and a half stars. There’s no way no one has an issue with none of their products.
Customer Review Rating:
 Positive Reviews
 Neutral Reviews
 Negative Reviews
 Total Customer Reviews
 Total Customer Complaints
Chewy, Inc. has received 4.91 out of 5 stars based on 85 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.
BBB ACCREDITATION SINCE 09/09/2016
I don’t care, I will never believe that feather or worm meal is nutritious for any animal. I just won’t.
I can’t thank you enough for all the replies. It makes me feel not so much alone in it. No matter what your opinion is, I value it.
I will call him tomorrow. Or contact him, either way I want to reach out. I really appreciate it. Lori I am so thankful for you that your Buddy is thriving now. What a wonderful gift! They are family and deserve to be treated like it. Thanks again!!!!
I’m not sure where a BBB rating of Chewy is relevant. First, Chewy is a seller… not a creator of dog food. They have nothing to do with the design of the product itself. Any complaints of the contents of the product should go to RC… not Chewy. Second, it’s unfortunately not an uncommon practice for businesses to remove posts and reviews they do not agree with. So ratings on a company site is always subject to bias… and this would have no bearing on their BBB score whatsoever. So where does the BBB score of Chewy have any relevance?
Dog Food Advisor has a relationship with Chewy.
I was simply suggesting that Chewy is a reputable company based on the Better Business Bureau review.
The poster in question made a defamatory comment about Chewy.com, not Royal Canin.
Maybe so. But what I’m saying is that this site’s affiliation to Chewy and the BBB rating have no relevance to the fact that it is a common practice of many businesses to delete posts and ratings on their own sites that would have a negative impact on their business. I’ve even seen this on Amazon. There was a particular product that had about a 2 star rating that went to about 4 practically overnight. When I checked back… many of the negative reviews mysteriously disappeared. But this isn’t something that would be reflected on a BBB page.
Chewy may be reputable. I’m not arguing that. They sell products to customers… they don’t make them. They may well be reputable in their sales. But the question is… are they deleting their negative reviews? Maybe so… maybe not… but whatever they decide to do, it is actually their legal right to do what they want with their own site… regardless if it seems kosher or not.
“When I checked back… many of the negative reviews mysteriously disappeared. But this isn’t something that would be reflected on a BBB page.”
I don’t agree, valid complaints that are perceived as ignored/disregarded/removed are exactly what some folks complain to the BBB about.
But, we are off topic now, so. I have nothing more to add.
What I’m saying is that the removal of reviews is not actually illegal, and wouldn’t be considered a valid complaint by the BBB… who has deleted reviews themselves at the request of the company. I say that with experience, because I’ve had one of my own reviews removed by the BBB for a different matter entirely. My point is that the BBB is an irrelevant source of information when it comes to the practice of removing reviews, and that point still stands.
Wow, lot of sharply divergent information, strong opinions, values, and emotions in this thread!
I really feel for you Deborah. I can tell 100% that you love your dog very much, have been through and still are going through a lot, want and try to to the right thing — and wish to be respectful of your vet and others here & elsewhere.
If I met you in person, I’d really love to sit down and just talk it through supportively.
There’s so much in this thread to comment on. I’m going to presume, benefit of the doubt, that even where we disagree, that all here intend to be respectful and are motivated by sincere belief that they are giving you the best advice for your dog to be well. I wish to do the same.
1)I don’t like/believe in/recommend Dynovite. I just don’t think it’s this amazing product or expenditure to accomplish what you/others want. I think it’s a gimmicky & an overhyped, overpriced product that is very trendy, convenient, readily available, & well-marketed to take advantage of people and their pets.
I would eliminate it and start from scratch with a quality food. Supplement as needed.
2)Royal Canin Ultamino — aka the hydrolyzed bird feathers food
I 100% hear you & support you, agree with not wanting to feed this food. That SHOULD be okay. Honestly. Why? Because there absolutely are alternatives to it and the science/feeding strategy behind it is NOT unique on the market.
Here’s the thing: a diet of hydrolyzed protein + very limited other ingredients, starch (no protein allergen), pure fats IS hypoallergenic, meaning LESS likely to trigger allergic food responses and/or food intolerance reactions. So that *type* of diet recommendation from a vet is a valid one.
That said, THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL OR NECESSARY OR BENEFICIAL about feeding specifically bird feathers or “poultry byproducts aggregate” as the protein source. It’s the hydrolyzed aspect of the protein ingredient that is key to hypoallergenic status. If your vet did not explain it well to you, food allergens are proteins, and a hydrolyzed ingredient has the protein (the allergen) broken down into much smaller components that are less likely to trigger the body’s recognition of the ingredient and allergic response.
Other hydrolyzed diets, besides this one, may be fed. Other equally good options for feeding allergic dogs include limited protein, limited ingredient diets that exclude what your dog is allergic to if that is known or strongly suspected.
Sometimes this is rather simple. In a dog that has eaten the same diet of chicken its whole life, for example, merely switching to a fish based food can work. When a variety of foods have been fed, with no relief/allergies continued, a novel protein limited ingredient diet is fed. “Novel” here simply means whatever YOUR dog has not had before, not anyone else’s. It is critical here that the diet you select has pristine quality control, takes rigorous steps in manufacturing or home preparation, to avoid cross-contaminating the diet with ingredients not listed on the label. Especially when it is not known what all your dog has been exposed to and may be allergic to, it may be best to to avoid the current known top allergens for dogs: chicken, beef, eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, corn — and now also fish, lamb (after these have become no longer “alternative” foods but commonplace to feed). For dogs that have been exposed to everything under the sun, a really unusual protein can be used (e.g. kangaroo, if elk/venison has been fed).
A word of caution regarding OTC kibbles, cans, dehydrated/etc. products: In an OTC product vs alternatives of vet prescription commercial diets or homemade, you need to do your homework — research the food and ask pointed questions of the manufacturer and consider the actual plant that makes the food. Most people don’t do this, aren’t aware of the problem (trust the label too much) and many OTC commercial foods, including so-called limited ingredient diets, fail such cross-contamination quality control and therefore fail to provide relief (because the allergen is still being fed but not listed on the label). For a severely and genuinely allergic dog, this can be a nightmare — as tiny amounts can trigger the allergic response.
I do find it odd — and perhaps I am missing something here — that your vet is proposing and insisting (as you say) upon this one food. That doesn’t make sense to me — not on any scientific, research & evidence, best practices basis — purely from what you’ve said here.
What if this food stopped being manufactured tomorrow? What if it were recalled and therefore could not be recommended (temporarily)? What if your dog hated it and refused to eat it?
Surely there are other foods you could purchase to accomplish the medical goals here. Surely you could also feed an appropriate homemade/home prepared diet. This leads me to my next part . . . .
3)Vet-Client Relationship and Recommendations
A good veterinarian-client relationship is one of mutual respect and two-way dialogue. That dialogue includes both sides considering and addressing what the other is saying. Both sides may raise valid points that are worthy of consideration, understanding, discussion.
This means mutually asking and answering questions as necessary and respectfully, patiently making decisions TOGETHER in the best interest of the dog. Basing decisions upon careful consideration of facts and evidence, where things are explained and understood, still involves two way discussion. Some respect for the *values* of the pet owner, should be accorded by one’s vet, not to mention any actual fact based knowledge that a pet owner may have.
As an example, I have expressed to my vet(s) that, aside from concerns about ingredient/formulation quality, I am not comfortable on ethical grounds (including documented animal cruelty discovered in feeding trials) in supporting a particular major dog food manufacturer. Both vets (over the years) I expressed this to were very respectful and open to alternatives selected together. One vet shared that she did not know about the issue and asked me further about it because it disturbed her too. (Vets are busy and, like all people, don’t hear about/read everything and miss things.)
Similarly, my vet and I *discussed*, *considered* Apoquel (which you said you use) and Atopica for severe, unrelenting allergies and I ultimately rejected both after researching them. He was fully respectful of that. He never was pushy about either or any other course of action proposed. Later, when Cytopoint was recommended, I did choose to use this (again based on my research and discussion with the vet/vet staff) and have had great results.
I appreciate that you like your vet otherwise, find her to be “nice.” But it sounds like more two-way discussion should be happening and alternatives considered.
Conversely, as with human doctors, I strongly believe it is important that people see a vet that they trust — and then proceed to trust in what they say. By this I mean not that clients simply blindly and without discussion automatically do every single thing that their vet suggests or recommends, but that they seriously consider and respectfully attend to their recommendations, ask questions, try to understand, and reach good decisions TOGETHER. It’s a better course of action to propose major changes to one’s vet first, consider what she has to say & discuss, then take action than the other way around.
If a client cannot trust her vet (or human doctor) or cannot have full, open discussion with them, then why would that client see that vet (or human doctor). And yet I know many people who do exactly this — and it is probably a frustrating experience for both sides.
I see this come up, with dog owners I talk to, with vaccination schedules, heartworm prevention, and diet (including especially raw or homemade diets). And yet all of those topics are important and ones I expect to be able to discuss openly with my vet in full — and I do. If I can do it, you can do it.
Without being there, since you like your vet, it sounds to me *possibly* that either more time needs to be spent with you on this topic or you might need to be more assertive, vocal yourself and ask questions — ask why just this food, what are alternatives, what about this or that food (why or why not), what about a trial on a different one, what about a homemade vet supervised diet (using a consult service w/veterinary nutritionist if necessary), and be just as persistent as she has been. Get the answers you need to make the best decision for your pet, based on multiple options and good information.
***IF*** you’re just going to your vet because she’s close by, out of habit/length of time seeing her with your pet and hesitant/uncomfortable leaving her for a new one, because she’s “nice” (even caring), but are NOT ultimately getting what you need from her medically — are not able to have a full & open discussion with her, have all your questions & concerns addressed, receive alternatives and options — then I would see a different vet.
4)If your dog has more food intolerances, GI reactions to overall formulations, like too rich, etc., a sensitive digestive system more so than actual allergies, then there are foods very good for that that I would explore. These differ somewhat from strict allergy diets. Was your dog diagnosed with allergies or just sensitive tummy/touchy digestive system or food intolerances? Was a specialist consulted by your vet?
Some foods appropriate to sensitive digestive systems are just bland and very moderate, conservative in overall nutrition profile/guaranteed analysis, and low residue (meaning highly digested and low poop).
I’ve known people to switch from diets marketed explicitly for this purpose, prescribed even, to Fromm’s (and Fromm is a great company, with an excellent longterm record of quality control) Whitefish formula and it’s been exceptionally well tolerated by their dogs. It’s bland, not rich, and has quality ingredients. That’s just one example. There are other choices. Wellness Simple and Nutrisource come to mind, also Go! Sensitivity and Shine.
If this interests you, your vet should be helping you and supportive, as it can be done.
Your vet should be able to provide a free, published balanced diet appropriate to your dog’s needs/condition, minimally consult (sometimes this is free) with a specialist colleague, OR full blown consult (for a fee) or outright refer you to go see a specialist in nutrition who will design you a diet or multiple meals you can safely feed.
Similarly, regarding that itchy skin/allergies, your vet can consult and discuss a case — often for free — with a veterinary dermatologist (specialist) or outright refer you to see one. Has your vet done this? If not, why not? If you have reached the point that you are trying so many diets, things, experienced such a range of symptoms over time, dog taking Apoquel, your vet insisting upon RC Ultamino now, consulting/referral would conform to best practices.
If money is really tight and you don’t have dog insurance (or coverage), there are both free board certified veterinary nutritionist/other credentialed authored single diets available on the web as well as one entire book of therapeutic veterinary diets (from UC Davis) now freely available on the web.
Personally, if you want to go the route of an actual veterinary nutritionist helping your dog, I would recommend (for many reasons) a long distance consult with board certified veterinary nutritionist Susan Wynn (unless you are in Atlanta, in which case you can see her in person). It’s about $300. She will consult with generalist vets long distance, which not all veterinary nutritionists will do.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by GSDsForever.
Thanks for the heads up regarding Chewy.com. Wow! Crazy, isn’t it, how careful and skeptical we have to be in reading websites/reviews?
P.S. To Deborah —
Sharing this anecodote in case it makes you feel better, not alone in your assessment of Royal Canin’s Ultamino:
In the midst of my vet and I, also the specialist, trying to come up with a diagnostic plan for my dog when my dog was still struggling terribly with allergies (there’s light at the end of the tunnel and we’ve now reached it), the receptionist at the multi-vet practice mentioned, suggested trying Ultamino. She specifically mentioned this “bird feathers food,” said it was hydrolyzed, an allergy food that could really help and a couple clients were using it. She truly meant well. I knew that and so I thanked her.
On the way home though I thought, you have got to be kidding, what will they (manufacturers/dog food companies) come up with next, yuck, not what I have in mind for providing the most high quality ingredients diet for my beloved dog! And I laughed, saying to my dog in the car: “You’re very lucky. Your mommy loves you too much to feed you bird feathers! You are soooo not going to be eating this. Don’t worry. It’s not happening.” LOL
At home, out of curiosity and respect for the vet practice generally (& advances in science/evidence based diets), I looked it up, investigated it, and had many additional problems with its ingredients and overall formulation. They just do not meet my health & quality standards. And I remain unimpressed by their concept of hydrolyzing this specific primary protein source.
But neither MY general vet there nor the specialist ever recommended to me this food. For that reason, I never needed to consider it (which I would have) or discuss it with my vet or the specialist. Instead, they recommended multiple other diets and equivalent alternatives.
But if they had recommended to me, I would have had no problem at all raising each and every concern I had with the food. And I know that I would have been on solid ground doing so and trust that we would have had a good respectful discussion.
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by GSDsForever.
Hi Deborah M,
I really understand how you’re feeling & I know what you’re going thru, I took on this dog & I was just his foster carer, I had to take him to vet get him desexed vaccinated meds for all his sores that were around his neck & legs from being tied up then he has his photo put on the Rescue site & adopted out, his name was Patch & he just turned 4yr old in very bad condition, I’ve never seen a rescue dog this bad before I think he wasnt Put To Sleep cause he became the pound favorite, there’s always a few pound favorites, the people who work or volunteer at the pound do everything to get them a home or into rescue before their kill day so they called me (cause they know I love Staffys) to fix him all up & adopt him out but as the days went by he was weeing blood, so off to see the rescue vet, she said looks like he was being used for breeding, so he gets put on vet diet for 6 weeks to dissolve his crystals then he is diagnosed with IBD & Helicobacter-Pylori, Skin Allergies & Food Sensitivities, In the end I adopted him myself, I felt all the people that came out to meet & greet him weren’t listening to me when I said “but he’s sick, he has a few health problems” they’d all say, “Oh he seems fine he’s really happy, he doesnt look sick”, I couldnt handle not knowing whoever adopts him would they continue with his meds etc or would they just give up on him like his old owners did & surrender him back to a pound & he’ll continue to suffer, he just turned 9yrs old last week & it’s been a very hard 5 yrs & the money I’ve spent trying to fix Patch, I even stopped doing rescue for a few years when he was real bad & sick, I couldn’t leave him at home while I was out helping other dogs all day & worrying about him, he does not do well on ANY vet diets they give him bad acid reflux, make his skin itch & smell yeasty cause he has food sensitivities to some grains, gluten corm/maize & beet pulp, he can NOT have any Beet Pulp he gets bad acid reflux, all these things that are suppose to fix & help his stomach & bowel make Patch worse, then finally I started looking for other diets beside these vet diets & FINALLY after trying a few kibbles, I found “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb dry kibble, people in the IBD & EPI face book groups were saying how well their dogs were doing on TOTW Sierra Mountain or TOTW Pacific Stream both are lower in fiber & TOTW uses Purified water, the Sierra Mountain formula just has 1 single meat protein Lamb, has Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, that firm his poo’s up & his acid reflux stopped & his skin all cleared up, cause he wasn’t eating a diet that had ingredients he was sensitive too but he still get his seasonal environment allergies in Spring/Summer so I have to bathed him weekly in Spring/Summer in “Malaseb” medicated shampoo to wash off any allergens on his paws & skin, the Malaseb shampoo realives & stops his itchy skin…. I’ve never found a kibble that helped most of his health problems all at once, a few years ago I started rotating his kibbles between a few different brands kibbles he does well on, I was feeding the Lamb TOTW thru the winter months then a Salmon fish kibble thru the Spring/Summer months but then I seen 2 studies a company thet test dog foods for 130 metals toxins & contaminates alot of these fish kibbles were very high in toxins, so now I prefer to add a tin salmon to his diet instead, for breakfast he gets his TOTW, lunch time he either gets a small cooked meal with 1 spoon salmon or 1/3 cup of “Canidae Pure Meadow”or an Australian salmon kibble, then dinner time he gets his TOTW Lamb again then he gets another small meal 1/3 a cup 8pm so he doesnt wake up early hours of the morning with acid reflux, whenever I try something new if it says add 1 teaspoon then I only add 1/8th a teaspoon & slowley introduce to his diet, I’ve learnt I ned to slowly add any new supplements or kibbles to his diet or I’m up 12am, 3am 5am & poor Patch has diarrhea….
I found Homeopathy, natural healthy foods works the best for Patch & other sick rescue dogs I’ve helped over the years, you’ll be surprised how feeding a simple bland lean cooked meal like turkey, tin Salmon or chicken breast, lean beef, I feed lean pork mince or lean beef mince I make rissoles with boiled Sweet Potato or boiled potato can make a big difference & is heaps better then these dry kibbles, then I slowly start adding 1 teaspoon of tin Salmon in spring water to the cooked meal, just feed 1 small cooked meal & still feed his normal limited ingredient dry kibble for his other meals or if he’s eating a cooked meal already start buying tin Salmon in spring water then drain water put in air tight container & add teaspoon of salmon to the cooked meals, I also buy “K-9 Natural green lipped mussels freeze dried & Patch started with just 1 mussel as a treat around 11am daily now he gets 2 mussels as a treat daily, Mussels are very healthy & help balance their diet,
here’s a link on Mussels https://drsarahbrewer.com/supplements/green-lipped-mussels-health-benefits
are you following “Rodney Habib”on his face book page, he has really good info also follow “Judy Morgan DVM” https://www.facebook.com/JudyMorganDVM/ click on her Video link look for her “Pancreatitis Diet” & her “IBD IBS Diet” video’s, you can leave out the ingredients you dont want to feed & what I did was just start with 1 lean meat protein mince grounded meat & 1 carb then after I saw Patch was OK I started to add 1 new ingredient egg, then another new ingredient broccoli etc, I make 1/2 cup size rissole balls & bake in oven & boil sweet potatos & freeze in sections & take out the day before, Judy has a 16 yr old dog called Scout, he has a few health problems, she cooks for him & her other sick elderly dogs, Judy shows you how to balance the diet with healthy ingredients, I don’t bother balancing every single meal, I just make sure he’s getting his Omega 3 fatty acids for his skin & stomach, the Dinovite would be very high in Omega’s for the dogs skin my Patch can’t take fish oil or fish oil in kibbles he gets bad acid reflux, so I supplement his omega fatty acids thru foods instead, I add salmon, freeze dried mussels, roasted Almonds a treats I bite & eat 1/2 a almond & Patch gets the other 1/2 of the almond just start off slowly just give 1/2 a almond for 1 week see how he goes, they need 3 almonds a day, read the link I posted above, the health benefits from freeze dried mussels for skin, stomach, joints, brain etc
Have you tried “4Health” Special Care, Sensitive Skin, it has Hydrolyzed Salmon or
“4Health” Special Care, Sensitive Stomach it has just Potato & Egg as only ingredients 4health is sold at Tractor Supply shops only, it’s worth trying a small bag & ask is it money back guaranted if my dog wont eat it?? I always just say Patch wont eat a kibble when he gets his diarrhea & I need to take back the kibble its easier….
You know your dog best so do what you feel will works best for your boy… Good Luck
Hi Deborah M,
My heart goes out to you and your dog. In some ways your story reminds me so much of a friend of mine. Her dog was suffering from multiple issues, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhea, skin issues and shifting leg lameness. Her vet recommended RC hydrolyzed soy. There was no way she was going to feed that. We agreed to disagree on the topic.
For years I watched this dog suffer and always supported her when the dog was going through a tough bout. She tried one food after another “researching” at sites like this. And she suffered to.. not only because her dog was sick but because her dog had gone through cancer treatment and she always feared “IT” was back and causing the signs. So she repeatedly had full cancer works ups done trying to find “IT” and she’d be both relieved that IT wasn’t found and feared IT was there and no one could find IT. She was having anxiety issues.
Exhausted, she went back to her vet and asking for help there had to be something else and her vet gave her that same recommended she heard before. So off she went again to another specialist ….and he gave her the same recommendation. Not having anyplace else to turn she fed the dreaded food….and everything resolved. The vomiting and diarrhea stopped, the shifting limb lameness stopped, and the skin cleared. She was dumbfounded how could it possibly be. It went against everything she learned through her research. And she asked me how could it be possible. I told her the body doesn’t care where the amino acid used to be it only cares that it has it the amino acid in a form that can be absorbed and used.
In regards to Ultamino there is no other diet like it. It is a unique one of a kind product as the “protein” isn’t protein at all. Really the diet is technically protein free as the amino acids are all individual or groups of 2-3 amino acids. It is digested protein in that sense. It is what is used in neonatel formula for preemies whose tracts aren’t able to digest protein. RC told me that their source of Amino Acids is the same source as used in neonatel formula, it comes from, as I recall, Switzerland and yes in both incidents those amino acids used to be connected to many others that once made a feather shaft.. There is no feather meal in ultamino…. there are AA in ultamino that used to make up feathers.
My friend was at her wits end.. so she fed the diet she said she’d never feed and her dog’s medical problems resolved.. You are at your wits end… maybe like my friend it is time to take the vet’ s advice.
Firstly, I want to apologize for any confusion about my name change. My name is actually Debbie, but I am known as Dharlee- my nickname. I just figured out how to change my profile. But I don’t care what anyone calls me, I just wanted to let you know.
Now, I have read everything and I am going to call my vet tomorrow. I do love my vet. I am handicapped and she works with me in crazy ways to get to see him. She also really loves him. She’s been his vet almost all his life and found his Intervertebral Disk Disease and we’ve known he had places that could be a problem with that again all his life. She helped him through it and has been in his corner always. Yes, she is insistent about some things, but only because she cares. I can’t fault her for that at all.
I am worried at this point more about the apoquel more than the food. I took him off of that and he’s better but not out of the woods yet. He still has diarrhea but nowhere nearly as bad. And he’s eating and drinking so that’s good.
Someone said he’s old and sick. If you knew him you’d laugh at that. He might be almost 11 but he acts like a puppy. He never walks, he runs or trots. If I had one word to describe him it would be joyful. He plays and loves life. He loves everyone around him and gets highly insulted if someone doesn’t pet him. Sorry to go on but Scruffy is the light of my life and all who meet him fall in love with him.
After I talk to her I will update here. At this point I just want him better than he was.
Your comments meant the world to me. Each of you took so much time to say things that were helpful and honest. And I know you all have animals that you love dearly so I know you have only his well being in your hearts. I have read and bookmarked much of this information. I feel very lucky to have found such a kind and caring community of people with whom to talk and share. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.SusanMember
it’s the Royal Canine Anallergenic vet diet that has the feather hydrolysate not the Ultamino vet diet…the “Ultamino” has hydrolyzed poultry by product aggregate it doesnt have any feather hydrolysate….
What doesnt make sense to me is if your dog can handle a meat protein then why would you feed him a no protein all vegen vet diet? why when he doesnt need a vegan diet, he probably has itchy skin from eating a kibble that has a few ingredients he’s sensitive too does the kibble he’s eating now have grains or chicken in it?? this is why I posted my post to tell you I finally found a kibble that’s NOT a vet diet that doesn’t make Patch smell yeasty or itch, he only itches when he gets his seasonal allergies from the environment & you can’t stop environment allergies, he doesnt get his acid reflux or vomit no more & does firm poos I FINALLY found a grain free, single meat protein kibble that works for him & you can too probably find a kibble that works for your boy multiple health problems as well, I know Patch can eat Beef, Lamb, Salmon, Pork & Chicken but he just gets red paws & itchy skin when he eats chicken but the chicken does not effect his stomach or bowel, no diarrhea or vomiting, it’s the high carbs, high fiber & grains in the dry kibbles that effect his stomach & bowel, just remember your vet is NOT a vet nutritionist & probably wouldnt have a clue what will work for your dog, it’s trial & error & she’ll see what works & what doesnt help, like my vet use to say to me, “oh I have a few dogs like Patch & they’re are eating Hills Z/d vet diet & it’s working for Fred, so I tried Hills Z/d & Patch had diarrhea, the soluble fiber was way too high for Patch so I take the Z/d back then vet said I have another dog like Patch & she’s doing OK on Royal Canine HP she’s not 100% but she’s doing better, so Patch tries the Royal Canin HP my poor Patch got red paws, acid reflux, vomiting, nausea, licking his mouth, then Pancreatitis cause it was too high in fat-19% too high in omega oils, it has Soya Oil, Borage Oil, Fish Oil, there’s was way too many omega oils, he cant handle them all….
If you want to feed a vet diet then try a vet diet that has a novel meat protein he hasn’t eaten before like Rabbit, Venison, Duck, Kangaroo, Pork, ask your vet about “Royal Canine” Select protein formula’s, there’s PR-Potato & Rabbit, PW-Potato & Salmon, PD-Potato & Duck dry formula’s or try Hills Potato & Duck or Potato & Venison Hills doesnt use any soy protein in their Hills formula’s but you must realise all these vet diets for skin problems are VERY high in Omega oils like the Dinovite was & will might cause stomach upsets & acid reflux…
If you see your dog suffering after feeding the new vet diet stop feeding it & take it back & get your money back, the vet diets for skin problems will help your boy skin problem but might cause acid reflux, nausea & sloppy poo’s..
Keep us posted with what happens…
Hope this helps. The ingredients are explained in detail (feather meal included)
Nice to “see” you again. I enjoy reading your posts and really appreciate you on this forum.
Question for you: if your wouldn’t mind, could you please explain what you mean in describing this diet as one of a kind, unique?
If I’m reading you correctly — and please do correct me if I’m not! — you’re calling it unique due to the hydrolyzed protein. But there are several prescription diets out there based on hydrolyzed protein (chicken liver, soybean, etc.), and multiple brands, right?
What am I missing?
Hey, I’m a little concerned re your discontinuing Apoquel. I’m hoping that you discussed this with your vet first?
I really strongly recommend, in human medicine and veterinary care, that all persons alert their doctors first, discuss and seek medical advice and guidance, before discontinuing any medication.
Wishing you well at your upcoming vet appointment! Hang in there.
Good catch! Thank you very much for the correction, re Anallergenic vs Ultamino.
I know the one that was proposed to me by the veterinary receptionist was the formula containing hydrolyzed bird feathers — so that must be the one you have referred us to (“Anallergenic,” also by Royal Canin). It’s been so long ago and, as my actual vet and the specialist never recommended it to me, that I’d long since forgotten the formula name.
I’ve just had so much success with the diet my vet and specialist did recommend to me, and w/the multi-prong approach we’ve taken for the care for my severely allergic dog (both food and inhalant/environmental allergies) that what we’ve been doing for the past couple years & the future are all I think about now. Thankfully, my GSD is doing beautifully now!
I imagine this will be helpful to the OP/others who don’t wish to feed hydrolyzed bird feathers as the primary or sole protein source (or at all).
Then they will need to determine whether they find acceptable feeding the hydrolyzed product of “poultry byproducts aggregate,” the particular formula, and from this company.
Thank you again for your comments. I am taking Scruffy tonight to the vet to discuss this in more detail. I hope we can get it all resolved and learn more about what he needs. His needs are paramount to anything else in my mind. I really just want him feeling good. As good as he did before all this mess if possible!
Hi all. I hope this serves to clarify, not add to any further confusion:
Per Royal Canin, Anallergenic and Ultamino are one and the same product.
Ultamino is the new name.
Ultamino does use as its protein source hydrolyzed bird feathers under the AAFCO terms compliant ingredient listing “hydrolyzed poultry by-products aggregate.” For this ingredient, more specifically, Royal Canin uses exclusively chicken feathers.
Here is more information on the product, in case it is useful to Dharlee (Deborah) and others:
In this 16.9% protein/14.5% fat/4.2% fiber 313 cal/Cup food . . . .
*The official AAFCO definition of “hydrolyzed poultry byproducts aggregate” includes “such parts as heads, feet, undeveloped eggs, intestines, feathers, and blood.” These may be “fermented” in manufacturing.
*Royal Canin uses exclusively hydrolyzed bird feathers for “hydrolyzed poultry byproducts.”
*The feathers RC uses are exclusively from chickens (as I noted above).
*Compliant with the AAFCO defintion or the term “hydrolyzed poultry byproducts aggregate,” Royal Canin sources from slaughtered birds, “clean and undecomposed.”
*Royal Canin does not source from any 4 D animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled).
*The #1 ingredient is corn starch. Royal Canin does not discriminate in sourcing whether corn is GMO Round Up Ready. As corn is now over 92% GMO (U.S.) if it is not labelled non-GMO (such as Non-GMO Project Verified) or organic certified, it is most likely GMO Round Up Ready sourced.
*Coconut oil used is refined (for allergy purposes).
*The #4 ingredient is soybean oil. Royal Canin does not discriminate in sourcing whether the soybean oil is from GMO Round Up Ready soybeans. As more than 94% of soybeans are now GMO if not labelled non-GMO (such as Non-GMO Project Verified) or organic certified, it is most likely GMO Round Up Ready sourced. The soybean oil is refined (for allergy purposes)
*The fish oil (#13 ingredient) used is exclusively from wild caught anchovies.
*Royal Canin uses veterinary nutritionists, who are all located in France.
Source: phone call to Royal Canin
****At the time I called, information was not available how the oils were processed (i.e. via hexane solvent bath vs expeller extracted), how they were refined, and whether they were chemically deodorized or heat treated. I did not ask what RC uses for its “natural flavors” (#5 ingredient). I did not ask in this call further processing information, i.e. what temperature the food is cooked at or for how long, etc.
Really? Are you trying to add to the OP’s anxiety?
Let her consult with her vet, someone who has taken good care of her dog for many years, and hopefully that the OP will trust.
I’m taking a break, see you later.
I have to believe that most people have the common sense to trust a health care professional that has examined their pet over Dr Google.
No, I’m providing information, facts for Dharlee and anyone else who wishes to consider it.
Many people on this site, where I have posted for years, are interested in AAFCO ingredient definitions and a given company’s particular ingredient selection/sourcing and manufacturing processes.
I don’t know why you are particularly disturbed by the information above or find it anxiety exacerbating. I just presented facts. Personally, I was pleased and reassured by some of the information that Royal Canin so graciously provided. And I appreciated that RC was very nice & helpful.
I have steadfastly encouraged this OP (as I do all others) to consult with her vet in determining how best to care for her dog, diagnose and treat her dog, and choose a diet. I encouraged her to forge and maintain a good open dialogue with her vet. I also recommended specialist consultation and recommended a good one, a board certified veterinary nutritionist Susan Wynn.
Glad you find my posts informative. Happy to explain. I was going to post that Ultamino is Anallergenic renamed but you beat me to it.
There is hydrolyzed and then there is hydrolyzed… So yes there are several hydrolyzed diets being made. In all of the them the proteins are broken down to shorter Amino Acid strings. So for say Hill’s ZD they report ~ 3000 daltons which is about 27 Amino acid length. Purina’s HA product 12,200 daltons ~ 111 Amino Acid length chains
When tested 25% of patients reacted to the hydrolyzed version of the protein in the diet if that was their trigger protein
With Ultamino 88% of the Amino Acids are as a single Amino acid and 95% less than 1000 daltons or ~ 9 amino acids. Reaction at his level can’t occur… but there still is that 5% over 9 AA.. are any of those chains long enough to cross bridge and cause a reaction. Never say never but pretty darn unlikely.
So for Ultiamino far less likely to get a reaction to the hydrolyzed form but also what I’ve heard is that the diet is great for GI problems as the AA are all separated ready and waiting to be absorbed : )
Hope that helps explain why Ultiamino is unique.
I wasn’t at all stressed by the information. I was stressed by the thought of feathers being given to my dog, but then I have to say much more so by his reaction to my “good intentions” in switching him to a “healthy” diet. I know ultimately I caused all this. But it certainly wasn’t what I thought would happen.
I talked at length with her about him and while he was there he had fluids given to him and an injection for his inflamed behind. He came home and ate Ultamino which I will keep him on and see what happens. I slept more than a solid hour for the first time in days last night. I just got up with him to go outside and already there is a little improvement.
I don’t blame anyone for trying to do what is best for their dog. I don’t blame anyone for sharing their opinion, as a matter of fact I value them all and this thread helped me to make an informed decision.
I also had my faith in my vet reaffirmed a great deal. She doesn’t just care for Scruffy professionally. She cares for him emotionally and that means so much to me. He is a great little guy who loves everyone and everyone who meets him can’t him but be won by his charm. She’s no exception. I am grateful for her, and for each person here who took the time to help us. You’ll never know what it has meant. Thank you so much!!
- This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Dharlee.
Hi Dharlee: Nice post and hope your pup continues to improve! 🙂
Thank you so much for that explanation. It’s very helpful, new information I did not have.
I think it’s interesting and cool.
It’s been quite a while since the veterinary dermatologist here and my vet made recommendations and we chose an allergy diet for my dog. And since they didn’t recommend RC’s Ultamino to me, I don’t know whether it would have been explained to me as you just did. But I would hope so because what you’ve just explained in detail makes sense and presents a good argument for selecting this diet specifically.
There are a number of things I like about this food, see a valuable, and things I don’t like, from what I do know about the food.
And, yes, I find your posts informative and interesting! But I additionally appreciate you because of the way you approach consideration of diets and health, your willingness to share information and really help others, and courtesy on DFA.
I hope you are well! Thanks again.Bobby dogMember
I second GSD’s post regarding aimee, especially the courtesy compliment!!
I’m so glad you have some peace now and were able to at last get some sleep. Thank Heavens!
I’m happy to hear your precious pooch got some TLC and direct vet attention, some relief for that inflamed tush, and your vet and were able to have a good discussion & arrive at a plan of action together.
But oh my goodness, please, please do not beat yourself up about choices you’ve made up until now that have not worked out. Do not dwell or blame yourself. Do the opposite: give yourself a pat on the back and some credit. None of us is perfect and hindsight is 20/20! It is very apparent how much you love your dog, strive to provide the best care, & will do anything for him. Your dog is incredibly fortunate to have you!
I really hope your dog now experiences relief, feels better via therapeutic, controlled diet in Ultamino. I additionally found what aimee shared encouraging, so I hope you will keep in mind the personal story she shared of a dog experiencing relief on this food along with the additional information, explanation of the product she presented. It should provide some reassurance and hope.
When you’re in the thick of things, your dog is not doing well, and you’re at your wits’ end, it can be hard to see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. But my dog came out on the other side, is now doing amazingly well, and so can yours.
Wishing your dog continued improvement & you both all good things!
p.s. I’m SO glad you’ve had a renewed really positive experience with your vet. That’s awesome. I totally hear you about how much it means to have her care so much about your dog, as I’ve had a very similar experience with my vet and it has meant a lot to me.
GSDsForever.. Thanks for the kind words. They apply to yourself as well as a few other posters on this site.
Bobby dog thanks for seconding them.
You’re welcome, aimee. And thank you.
Question for you regarding hydrolyzed diets:
Do you happen to know if single hydrolyzed ingredients (therapeutic grade/quality) for use as primary protein sources in diets are available for use in home prepared therapeutic diets via veterinary nutritionists, ones who see small animal client cases?
GSDsForever said: “Your dog is incredibly fortunate to have you!”
I see it the other way around. They give so much more that they get IMHO. I think God gave dogs a piece of His own personality when He made them. Unconditional love and the ability to always be there for us no matter what. I sometimes wonder what we ever did to deserve them. 🙂
He had a great night! Only went out the once, he’s eating and drinking normally now and seems SO much better. I feel a LOT better. And you guys helped me so much. The post that turned the corner for me was Aimee’s about her friend. But all of them have made me see things much more clearly. Thank you!
PS: GSDsForever, My vet said the same thing to me about not beating myself up 🙂pitloveMember
I’m glad you and your boy are feeling better. It is such great news to hear that. I’m sure Aimee is tired of the compliments by now, but shes very much as responsible for my boys well being as my vet is. Many of her posts changed my mind the way they did for you. She certainly has a way with words 😛
I’m sure you and your pup will both sleep much better tonight!
So glad your boy is feeling better. I hope he continues to do well. I’ll let my friend know that her story helped you.
In regards to hydrolyzed ingredients for home made recipe’s…. not that I know of but doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.Gerri BMember
I’ve had a foster dog for 4 months. She is an english setter who lived out in the elements in upstate NY. She was very thin when i got her and would eat dry purina kibble bits. I have two other dogs. My other english is a grazer so i leave food out. The foster will only now eat after the other two eat even though i give her a meal. Now she won’t eat her kibble or chicken or salmon or roast beef, nothing in morning and barely much at night.
SHe has had chronic ear infections but is under control at least until she has ear surgery for one but she seems comfortable. She will eat treats and my food, just not her own. How should i handle her, i dont want her back again thin.
“The foster will only now eat after the other two eat even though i give her a meal”.
I would suggest feeding this dog separately, away from the other dogs, twice a day. Add a little water to the kibble.
Obviously this dog has been around food aggressive dogs, probably been attacked and has learned her lesson.
The dogs I have now have to be fed separately (different sides of the room) meals observed and empty food dishes are picked up, washed and put away. A fight can break out even over an empty food dish.
Two bowls of fresh water left out 24/7
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