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  • #119663 Report Abuse
    lindsay h

    Hi, so my dog is a healthy, active, happy 3 year old. He has a great appetite. It took lots of trying new ingredients and new foods for us to land on one that worked form him and didn’t have any of the things that set off his allergies. We know now by trial and error to stay away from chicken, grains, sweet potatoes, and potatoes. We found a food about a year ago that worked great for him…no itching no biting his paws not 1 single ear infection and great normal stool. UNTIL, about a month ago when he started having diarrhea nearly every day…at least once. I took him to the vet and he checks out as healthy we tested his stool for parasites and sent it off to be tested for giardia..all came back negative. He is still even himself and has a perfectly strong appetite. I can not for the life of me figure out why this has randomly happened. The vet started him on forti flora and he has done better with it but still not back to his old poops. I’m thinking now about switching brands again because I don’t know what else to do. The brand he is on now is Zignature and allergy wise he is still GREAT and better than ever no itching no red eyes or ear issues. I would REALLY love to find another brand that is grain free, potato and sweet potato free as well as chicken free. If any of you have suggestions I would be so so grateful for your help. I have searched the site and just not come across a winner just yet. Thanks so much for any info.

    #119668 Report Abuse

    Hi Lindsay,

    Sometimes diarrhea may not be food related, “Food Sensititivies”
    the diet you were feeding probably has caused an imbalance in his intestinal tract, causing too much bad bacteria over growth….
    I have a dog with IBD, Environment Allergies & Food Sensitivities, my boy does excellent eating Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes but doesn’t do well eating Lentils or Chickpeas he gets bad diarrhea from lentils & chickpeas cause bad gas & sloppy poos…

    Dr Greg Aldrich PhD, Research Associate Professor at Kansas State University, Pet Food & Ingredient Technology,
    found Legume Seeds carry significant quantities of FERMENTABLE OLIGSACCHARIDES, In small amounts these may be beneficicial to the animal BUT large concentrations of Legumes can become an issue & have significant impact on level of fermentable fiber in the colon, limit legume seeds, no more then 20% in a dogs diet…
    I’d say this is what has happened with your boy & is still happening & diarrhea isnt clearing up, his diet has caused floral imbalance & has affected the balance between beneficial bacteria vs.harmful bacteria in his intestinal tract.
    this is why your vet has put him on Purina Fortiflora, but your dog needs something stronger?

    …Make sure fiber % is under 5%, his diet is not too high in fiber, a dogs digestive tract is short & they don’t need all this fiber in their diet, alot of these newer grain free dry kibbles are higher in fiber cause of all the Legumes….
    …My boy will eat the same kibble & have NO problems with his IBD then all of a sudden he starts racting doing very sloppy, smelly poos or gets bad diarrhea & has bad gas (farts), its either from his environment allergies are so bad & puts his immune system into over drive his vet said causing a bad IBD flare, it always happens late March, the end of Summer (I live Australia).
    My vet said she see’s us every March & showed me her computer screen & we visit her around the same date every March these last 5yrs needing medications, this is when she said to keep a diary, then over the years you’ll start to see a pattern with his Environment allergies, but sometimes when Patch has sloppy poos or has diarrhea the vet says he has too much bad bacteria… I think she knows when she asks what colour is his sloppy poos, too much bad bacteria, normally dog does yellow smelly poos its Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth, (S.I.B.O)…Big Dark cow paddy poos are normally a large bowel problem..
    Patch gets put him on Metronidazole 200mg for 3 weeks, 1 x 200mg tablet twice a day, every 12 hours with a meal for 2 weeks, then the next week he just takes 1 x 200mg tablet with his Dinner for 7 days.
    Metronidazole kills the bad bacteria in stomach & bowel, I change & rotate his diet but when he’s doing diarrhea from Environment allergies & his immune system has gone off the rails & is over reacting, I just feed him what he’s been eating cause his diarrhea isn’t caused by too much bad bacteria in gut…

    You would have seen on the news lately about Legumes, I wouldn’t be feeding my dog a high Legume diet & Zignature is very high in Legumes, till FDA works out why Legumes are blocking Taurine in dogs diet…..

    How did you work out he can’t eat Chicken, Sweet Potatoes & Potatoes?? I thought the same 4-5 yrs ago when I first rescued Patch, I thought Patch couldn’t eat Potatoes & for 1 yr I didnt know what to feed Patch, it was a nightmare until 1 lady that worked at Pet Shop told me to start adding 2 tablespoons of boiled potato to his meals or give 2 tablespoons of boiled potato for lunch as a treat daily & see does he get diarrhea?? & she was right he was not sensitive to potatoes or sweet potatoes, they firmed up his poo’s lol.. I look back now & I think it was the fish in the Eukanuba FP- Potato & Fish vet diet I started to introduce, something was off making Patch very unwell with bad diarrhea, I bought Eukanuba FP for his skin allergies, poor Patch had bad diarrhea for 1 week straight, we couldnt clear up his diarrhea, so he couldnt eat no food for 48hours, only given an electrolyte drinks, then take Metodinazole twice a day & then was put onto Royal Canine Low Fat Intestinal wet can food only, its pork, corn & rice, then when course of Metonidazole tablets were finished, he was put on Protexin Probiotic powder for 6months…

    Have you done a proper elimination food diet? this can take up to 6 months or you can use a Hypoallergic vet diet, then when dog is doing well, you start adding 1 new ingredient with the vet diet & he cant eat any treats nothing just the Hypoallergenic vet diet & then introduce 1 new food every 6 weeks…

    I’d see your vet again & tell him his diarrhea isnt clearing up, ask can you try a 21-28 day course of “Metronidazole” to kill the bad bacteria, then when the Metronidazole course is finished start giving the Purina Pro Plan Fortifora again give without any food, best to give probiotics inbetween meals or first thing of the morning when stomach acids are low, not high, when you’re digesting your food your stomach acids are higher & kill the live probiotics…I was mixing 1 teaspoon probiotic powder with 10-15ml water, swirling water & dissolving powder in bowl & then Patch would drink it, mid morning inbeween meals he thought he was getting a treat….

    What meat protein does he do well on?

    I’d look for a Freeze dried or Air dried food like “Ziwi Peak” – https://www.ziwipets.com/catalog/ziwi-peak-dog-nutrition

    or look for a limited ingredient kibble that has just 1 single meat protein you know he does well on & make sure omega 3 & 6 is balanced properly, Omega 3% should be around 1/2 of what the Omega 6% is, this is why vet diets are good as they’re properly balanced.

    I normally suggest Sweet Potatoes & Potates for diarrhea as dogs normally do firmer poos on potatoes, even vet diets have potatoes for the Skin & Stomach health, Royal Canine has their Select Protein formula’s & Hills has their D/D formula’s, but he cant eat potatoes, is this cause he’s sensitive to them & gets yeasty ears & skin or does he get diarrhea??
    a dog only gets yeasty skin paws & ears when he is sensitive to an ingredient & then he reacts causing stomach or skin problems or Environment allergies can cause yeasty skin ears & paws…

    Maybe ask your vet for a Intestinal Health vet diet or a Hypoallergenic vet diet to help balance gut flora for healthy gut & take the Metronidazole then after he’s doing really well after 4-6months then I’d look for a limited ingredient kibble that has healthy grains, if he cant eat sweet potatoes & potatoes…
    then once you find a few different brands he does well on the start rotating between different brands, so he isnt eating the same dog food 24/7 & if something is wrong with one brand he’s eating your rotating his food every 2-3 months & not causing any health problems….Rotating foods strengthen immune system/gut aswell..

    * “Wellness Simple” LID Lamb & Oats or Duck & Oats -https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/natural-dog-food/simple-dogs

    * “Wellness Core”

    Core Dog Products

    * “Farmina” has LID or Farmina Vet Life – https://www.farmina.com/us/d-dog-food.html

    * “Natural Balance” LID Lamb & Rice

    #120213 Report Abuse
    Sydney N

    Hi! My Labrador has had ongoing food and environmental allergies for 3 years as well. I got her allergy tested for environmental allergens and she is allergic to dust mites as well as storage mites (in dry food). She also is allergic to pretty much all meat or animal derived protein. Saying this I have always had her to the vet for ear infections, skin infections, blisters, puking, loose stool, etc. I started her on natural balance wet vegetarian dog food and She has never been better. I tried her on multiple foods before such as. Zignature, royal canin, ultamino, and hydrologized foods, all which none worked. She has hard stool now, her health back, and clean ears and skin (I’ve never been able to say this before) and the diet is a full diet for dogs even though it’s vegetarian. I hope this helps you!

    #120226 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    Has the food change in color? Only reason why I ask is that someone on one of the post is feeding Zignatures and said when he bought another bag the kibble was a different color. Keep an eye out for that. Also, I found out that signature is made by a couple different manufactures. How about earthborn. Can your dog eat grains? if so holistic select brand is for digestive health, I know they have grain free and grain in. Merrick has a limited ingredient line that is grain free,potatoe free and chicken free they just came out with the new recipe. Not sure if the new ones are on the shelfs yet. The old ones have potatoes. Call Petco and ask them. I think you will like this brand.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by joanne l.
    #120295 Report Abuse
    lindsay h

    Want to thank all of you for your responses! These suggestions are all extremely helpful t ous right now and I will be looking into all of them. And Joanne, it’s funny that you say that about the color changing because I just told my husband it seemed to be a different color sometimes…very odd!

    #120379 Report Abuse
    joanne l

    I say this b/c I noticed people that have seen different color kibble usually have trouble. I think it is a red flag. Plus I had the experience in different color kibble and stool change. To me when this happens I think they are changing something or someone else is making some batches. This is nuts b/c just yesterday I buy merrick biscuts (granny’s pot pie) never had a problem and this recent bag I bought was lighter, and I said to myself oh no here we go again. Well, I gave it to him thinking well there only biscuits. And guess what very very loose stools. I just made a separate post on this particular thing to see people’s feed back. I also had arguments with a couple of companies about this issue. Their response is “batches can change due to natural ingredient’s”. I don’t buy that answer.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by joanne l.
    #127492 Report Abuse
    John S

    My dog had chronic diarrhea for months. Thousands of dollars later on vet bills, and still no answers or relief.

    I found something that helped my dog in a matter of days and I want to share it with anyone that may be experiencing the same problem.

    I purchased Purina FortiFlora probiotics and Benefiber powder (for humans). I would take a tiny bit of peanut butter and spread it over a small area of a plate, sprinkle the probiotic on it and a pinch of fiber power and mix it all together. I would give this to my dog every morning. My dogs diarrhea was gone in less than 2 days.

    I previously tried sprinkling the probiotic over her food but it didn’t help. Giving it in a tiny bit of peanutbutter concentrated the probiotic and I think that’s what helped greatly.

    My dog is about 5 pounds so I would give her half a packet of the probiotic a day and a pinch of fiber, as well as limiting the amount peanut butter since it has sodium and a lot of calories for such a small pup.

    I hope this can help someone else that’s in a similar situation!!!

    #127575 Report Abuse

    Hi John,
    Try mixing the amount of Probiotic powder that is recommeded in a bowl with 10-15ml of water, swirl around water in bowl to dissolve the Probiotic powder then let your dog drink it as a treat same time daily inbetween meals..

    It’s best to take Probiotic when stomach acid are low with no with food, not when stomach acids are high to digest food…
    There’s a really good f/b group called,
    “Dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD – Raw Feeding & Holistic Support” group
    They recomend using Goats Milk, Kefir & Probiotics, the goats milk will help your girl gain some weight.. you dont have to fed a raw diet..

    #157615 Report Abuse
    RaNelle S

    I realize this is an older discussion, but wanted to let Susan know that her comments have been extremely helpful! Thank you so much! I have learned more from reading your responses than from my primary vet and Specialist (internal medicine). In the Specialist’s defense, she has seen my pup only one time and records she received seem to be a little lacking (ie: she only received his most recent weight).
    And for reference (and possibly advice?), my pup is a 10 year old, field-breed male yellow lab. Around May, 2019, he started with bouts of daily diarrhea or sloppy poos, with intermittent mucus. I wanna say, occasionally grainy. And possibly more yellow in color…seems like he was producing lots of different colors , textures, etc. Poop was foul smelling (I was thinking, of course, he’s sick), he strained on an almost daily basis, and seemed to hurt internally as he was not as cheerful and seemed slow to lay down. First day he vomited a few times, but only that day. He loves to eat and only one day did his appetite change (he did not eat, but he also did not greet m when I got home from work nor did he wag his tail).
    He did not have any internal parasites and all labs came back normal (vet did some in-house and sent them out). Vet checked for all kinds of things, some with which I was unfamiliar. He was current on vaccinations and my other dog was not having same issue. Primary vet concluded IBD. We did several things (and not in this order): changed foods from Pro-plan Sport 26/16 to Hill’s Prescription Diet, low-fat I/D, added daily probiotic (Proviable), treated him for worms, gave him a round of antibiotics, he ate a week of cooked chicken and white rice only, and eventually his normal bowel movements returned. He lost a little weight chicken & rice since I had no idea how much to feed him! Vet looked into cost of a colonoscopy, which is not inexpensive, and since his normal returned, we did not do. The frequent stomach grumbling and gas continued though.
    Well, low and behold, the loose stool with mucus, grainy texture, foul smell, et all returned again this May (2020)! Parasite check is negative, he is current on vaccinations, and other dog is not having any issues. So, he saw the Specialist last week (primary vet had no new options). Ultrasound indicated no cancer so she concluded IBD and has suggested a limited ingredient diet with a novel protein, at least a 30 day round of Metronidazole 500mg, and change probiotic to Visbiome. I am trying to decide on which LID to use that is within my budget and the brand has little to no issues (low quality ingredients, recalls, lawsuits, etc.). My niece, a dog trainer, his breeder and owner of his parents, is cautioning me to avoid foods with sweet potatoes or peas if they are a top three ingredients.
    I have learned from another dog food advisor member that Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI, is a possibility. He did starting eating his own poop all of a sudden! This started before his initial bout of the chronic diarrhea . Wish I could say exactly when though. I am hoping that his primary vet wrote this in his chart. Unfortunately I failed to mention this to the Specialist. I will follow up with primary vet when she opens on Monday to get timeframe and discuss if he has been tested for EPI.
    I am excited about the prospect of getting to the bottom of this and am grateful to have found this forum! And I so appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share, Susan! Thank you!!

    #175769 Report Abuse
    Gem F

    JUST AS AN FYI – I would be super cautious
    about grain-free foods & any ingredients in the 1st top 10 that are pea, legume (chickpeas, lentils, ‘beans’, potato (incl sweet), etc. bc of the FDA & Vet study implicating those ingredients/ types of dog foods to CANINE DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY, after a long list of reported dog deaths & severe permanent damage (also in cats) fir breeds NOT PRONE to DCM. I think they’ve updated their findings more recently as well & they do have charts providing all the names of the DOG FOOD BRANDS also implicated – and MOST of them are big, top brands – esp grain free.

    I too am in the same situation w my Wolfhound mix since the day I got him… Haven’t found a food yet, that works on its own (& over his 2 years on earth) have been theu countless brands – esp with the RED FLAG INGREDIENTS in mind. American Natural Premium was close, but then 2 of my 3 started scratching endlessly – so we’re back looking for the one out there that has to exist (fingers crossed! )
    As another FYI – just to give your pooch a little break at least (they’ve got to be more than a little sore having such a chronic issue) – get a bag of OLEWO Carrots! Prepare & use EXACTLY as instructed (there are some lazy ppl out there trying to make shortcuts that will not help). A little expensive but soo WORTH IT! I make weekly batches (then refridgerate) & use coconut oil, then mix in either a small can of pumpkin or pureed baby food carrots, sometimes butternut squash so they’re not as dry & mix well (I also make a batch in a gallon zip bag to mix/coat well for 3 dogs at feeding time). It is a total Godsend, though am seriously hoping to find ‘the’ food that we can some day use wout the Olewo Carrots… (& trust me, other types of carrots – pureed, grated, whatever or even just pumpkin on its own does NOT work anything like the Olewo does) Chewy & Amazon (a little cheaper/ bugger bags)


    Look into the more recent updates at the FDA on this study that has resulted in those ingredients being responsible. ALSO, aside from how bad peas are – they are also a CHEAP way of mfg’s CHEATING in falsely boosting ‘protein content’ – as the USDA testing dog foods ‘assume’ protein present is animal based… a little loophole they’re going to have to address ASAP as welk!

    In July 2018, the FDA announced that it had begun investigating reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods, many labeled as “grain-free,” which contained a high proportion of peas, lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), and/or potatoes in various forms (whole, flour, protein, etc.) as main ingredients (listed within the first 10 ingredients in the ingredient list, before vitamins and minerals). Many of these case reports included breeds of dogs not previously known to have a genetic predisposition to the disease. The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), a collaboration of government and veterinary diagnostic laboratories, continue to investigate this potential association. Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.

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