My dog has been diagnosed with colitis. She has gone to two different vets (one regular; one emergency) and both suggested the same food: W/D, probiotics to sprinkle on top, and a medication which I cannot remember the name (starts with M). She is doing very well. I read where people object to W/D or any prescription diet, but if it works for my dog why should I change. Other dogs have been on all kinds of prescription diet I/D, T/D, K/D and now W/D and all have done very well. I am curious as to why there is so much criticism of these Rx dog foods. I can’t imagine that a vet would recommend a food that would be harmful.SusanMember
Hi Jan, the medication your dog takes is called Metronidazole, its an antibiotic for the stomach & bowel…. Metronidazole can cause some bad side effects with some animals, so keep an eye on your dog, if you see any behaviour changes contact your vet ASAP, my boy started having bad paranoia, he became real scared of noises, other dogs, then one day he got that scared he ran across a busy road & this is a very friendly relaxed dog, he became a nervous wreck, Metronidazole shouldn’t be taken for long periods….
Have you done any research on Colitis? My boy suffers with Colitis IBD, food & skin Allergies, he has food sensitivities, once I stopped feeding certain foods his colitis went away & I didn’t need any vet diets….
Why people don’t like vet diet’s, is the ingredients, my boy didn’t do well on any of the Hills Formulas, he got worse, pooing water, blood & started scratching real bad, I ended up with more health problems in the end after he ate the Hills I/d Low Fat GI Restore & the Hills Z/d formula….He did better on Royal canine vet diets…..
People want healthier ingredients for their pets & are reading the ingredients & information online, we have a better choice of dog & cat foods…
Royal Canine Australia are listening too people & have changed a few of their formulas ingredients, their Gastro Intestinal Low Fat, R/C has taken out the maize, corn gluten meal, corn starch, brewers rice etc in their kibbles, but not in their wet Intestinal Low Fat tin food yet but with their kibble its a step forward, it’s more then Hills has done.. all Hills have done is re-packaged their vet formulas, I’d rather better ingredients then a nice kibble bag..
My boy stayed on the Eukanuba intestinal for 6months, the Eukanuba Intestinal fixed his IBD but he started having real red paws, his vet kept saying he has grass allergies, after 6 months, I had had enough & I introduced him to “Meals For Mutts” a Gluten, Dairy, Sugar free fish kibble, within 2 days, no more red itchy paws, now my vet uses “Meals For Mutts” gluten free kibble now on her IBD girl & recommends MfM to all her dog & cat patients……
When these vet diet companies stop putting all their money into advertisement & start improving their ingredients & start listening to what their customer want, customers will buy their formulas…..
“What is Really In Pet Food?”
Hi jan f-
Here is a link to what I believe is a great resource for digestive disorders:
Hope this helps!
These articles are very helpful. I have saved them both. Thanks so much.
Hi Jan f,
I think the issue for most opposing these foods is the, what we perceive to be, lower quality ingredients. It is not necessarily the food however that is helping but rather in changing the food you have eliminated something the dog was reacting to in the old food. My Pom gets ulcerative colitis from chicken. ANY food that has chicken muscle protein in it will set her off. She would actually do poorly on the W/D because of the “chicken meal” in it. Other dogs, like yours, will improve on it. Doesn’t mean it is the only, and certainly not the best, food for a dog with colitis though.
Marvistavet says this about colitis and foods
“Elimination Diet: Colitis can result from a food intolerance (an example would be lactose intolerance from which numerous people suffer). Intolerances can result from dyes, preservatives, contaminants or even natural proteins in the food. Similarly, colitis can result from an actual food allergy. The solution for these intolerances is the feeding a “pure” diet, ideally a home cooked food made with carbohydrates and proteins that are novel or new to the patient. An 8-10 week diet course is typically needed and no other chews or treats can be offered during the time of the trial. Food allergy cannot be diagnosed by blood test or skin test. At this time, response to elimination diet is the only test for food allergy or intolerance. Most people are not in a position to home cook an appropriate food for the pet. Fortunately, several novel protein diets and hydrolyzed protein diets have been developed. For more details on using an elimination diet, please visit our food allergy page.” http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_colitis.html
A “home cooked diet” is going to provide, pending it is balanced, much better nutrition than a food with an ingredient list that starts “Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Soybean Mill Run, Chicken Liver Flavor, Pork Fat, Soybean Oil” (personal opinion of course).
Edit — I don’t believe that these foods are necessarily harmful, at face value at least, but they do not supply the same nutrients from more species appropriate ingredients/foods.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Shawna.
Thanks so much. My plan right now is to keep her on the WD and probiotic that the emergency vet gave me for about a month to get some data on how it is working. Then, I will take the dog and the data to her regular vet and talk with her about all of this, especially the issue of prescription diet. Then we can make a permanent plan for the dog. So far she is doing very well….she feels good, loves the food (unusual), and is eating well. sHe is having no diarrhea. I am trying to be meticulous about giving her the exact amount prescribed with no snacks during this time. I think if I can be consistent with the diet for a reasonable period of time and collect data about what is happening, I will have a better chance of getting a permanent solution.
All of the great information you are giving me will help me to ask the right questions when I go to the vet.SusanMember
Hi Jan, another reason your girl is doing really well on the Hills W/d, the W/d is very high in insoluble fiber-28.1% & high in crude fiber-16.4% & lower in soluble fiber-1.3%….My boy wouldn’t do well on a high insoluble & high crude fiber diet with his IBD, he does better on less fiber, kibbles with soluble fiber……once your girl is stable & doing really well around 6-9 months, start looking for a premium kibble that is high in crude fiber & you’ll have to email the kibble company & ask what is the insoluble % & soluble fiber %, you will not find a kibble as high as the W/d, that’s why its a vet diet….
I’ve read a few post on this site & their dogs were eating the Hills W/d now their dogs are doing well on Diamond Natural light Adult, the Nuturals light has the powdered Cellulose like the Hills W/d has but lamb is the protein not chicken, I don’t know if your dog can eat lamb, my boy does good on lamb & fish….the fat is 6% & the crude fiber is 9%, I don’t know the insoluble fiber %.. there is a few ingredients in this kibble… a few tooo many to start as a first kibble, I like sticking with kibbles that have limited ingredients cause it can just be 1 little ingredient in a kibble that they are sensitive too & their colitis will start playing up again….
also the weight management kibbles are higher in crude fiber but I don’t know if they are higher in soluble fiber or insoluble fiber, you’d have to email the company….
Or you can do what I did in the beginning, I kept Patch on his vet diet for lunch & dinner & started to feed a cooked meal for breakfast, (I cook the chicken & boil the sweet potatoes & then froze small meals)
I knew he could eat chicken cause his vet diet was chicken & turkey, so I boiled chicken breast & boiled pumkin 1 spoon pumkin, he couldn’t eat too much pumkin it made his poos very soft, so now I cook sweet potatoes instead. I put the chicken in a blender & blend the chicken & add the boiled sweet potatoes sometimes I add some boiled broccoli, carrot, celery & papaya, that’s now not in the beginning..
I google foods to find out which veggies had more soluble fiber & insoluble fiber… foods that are high in insoluble fibers are rye, barley, brown rice….that way I started introducing foods back into his diet but he was still eating his vet diet, like an elimination diet..
I found out what foods he didn’t do to well on cause his breakfast poo would be sloppy soft or have a condom film over the poo or he’d do a jelly poo….his poo would be orange cause of the pumkin & sweet potatoes…
Great information! You are right about the fiber. The vet said he was putting her on WD rather than ID because WD was higher in fiber and he wanted her to have that. One food she did not do well on was Nutro Ultra. She had been on another Nutro but I had switched her….very gradually….to Ultra. After two days of eating just Ultra she had her second attack of colitis. I’m really pleased with the way she is doing right now….she seems to feel better than she has in a couple of months. And, she is crazy about that WD. She cannot contain herself when I am getting it ready for her. She has never been excited over food before so I’m glad she is enjoying this.InkedMarieMember
You ask why a vet would recommend a food that’s harmful…..I can’t say this food is harmful but the ingredients aren’t very good. That said, unless the vet is a nutritionist or holistic vet, they don’t know all that much nutrition. They get very little nutritional education in veterinary school.
“It is not unusual for people promoting unconventional, approaches to pet nutrition, such as raw diets, grain free foods, homemade diets, a preference for organic ingredients, and so on, to dismiss objections to these approaches made by veterinarians. These people will often claim that veterinarians know little about nutrition and that what they do know is mostly propaganda fed to them by commercial pet food manufacturers. Like most bad arguments, this one contains a few bits of truth mixed in with lots of unproven assumptions and fallacies”.
Click on link for full article, also, I find the comments for these articles informative too.InkedMarieMember
I don’t know who or what you are, I don’t really care but I only know what numerous vets have told me and that is that they get very little training in veterinary school (unless they are taking specialized courses). Believe it, don’t, whatever. I’ve had vets recommend Hills, Purina and Royal Canin; their ingredients are not for my dog.
To make a long story short, (IMO) I think it is best, to just find a vet that you trust and go by his recommendations. Of course, you should be cautious, ask for explanations.
Use the least amount of poisons/pesticides and vaccinations to keep your pet safe and comply with the law.
I have used prescription diet foods for my pets in the past and noted no adverse effects. Those foods, however, tend to be bland and boring, so you could ask your vet if it would be okay to add a bit of something to make it more tasty, even a spoonful of plain homemade chicken broth can make a big difference 🙂
This discussion has been very helpful for me and I thank all,of you for it. Over the years I have heard comments about Hill’s and other dog foods but have not needed to pay much attention to it. But now I have a dog with colitis and I needed some information. I am doing what Red suggests…..asking my vet for information and explanations. And to do that, I needed to learn something about the topic.
I have an excellent vet and had the occasion to get an opinion from a second excellent vet when I had to take Lily to the animal urgent care last week. What became apparent is that I needed to find out something about this myself in order to even know what questions to ask. I felt like I was at the mercy of the vets when I lacked so much knowledge.,,that’s where all of you come in and I appreciate your information,suggestions, etc very much. I had never read the label of dog food before…..now I am doing it and will ask the vet about what I read.
It can get very confusing, labels, ingredients. For example, I have a sensitivity to MSG and have come to find out that MSG is in just about all processed foods, under a variety of different names……..
Even when a product says NO MSG, I have to avoid it, same thing with Chinese restaurants, they use another ingredient that is very similar to MSG.
Marketing people are very sneaky, that’s why sometimes you have to rely on the professionals to guide you.crazy4catsParticipant
Good luck to you Jan! I hope your pup gets better and stays better! I’ve used prescription food for one of my cats after a medical emergency that gave him a 50/50 chance of surviving with medical intervention. He survived and I fed it for 5 months and then started transitioning him off of it. For a healthy cat, the ingredients looked awful, but for a sick cat, they were apparently perfect! I still give him some meds, but feed non Rx food now. He’s doing great! That was a year ago. Best wishes!
First – Jan I’m not suggesting in my comments below to Red that you feed anything you are not comfortable with, I’m simply responding to Red’s Skeptvet quoted material.
I do like much of the information you gave the OP but your persistent backlash towards alternative approaches DESPITE being provided with science and sources showing results etc is nothing less than propaganda for everything allopathic. Which is also evident in the fact that you have no other sources than Skeptvet — one man’s opinions.
Let’s not forget that Skeptvet is not a nutritionist either yet he writes “unconventional, approaches to pet nutrition, such as raw diets, grain free foods, homemade diets, a preference for organic ingredients, and so on, to dismiss objections to these approaches made by veterinarians.” Yet he’s doing the very same thing by trying to cast a bad light on these “unconventional approaches” when some of his peers (some of whom ARE nutritionists) recommend those very diets. Let’s take a look shall we
Dr. Meg Smart not only is a veterinary nutritionist but she TAUGHT veterinary nutrition. She recommends homemade (raw or cooked) and likens kibble to feeding your kids “kraft dinners and the likes”. She writes “I always ask clients” what do you or did you feed your children” if they reply “Kraft dinners and the likes” I do not advise a homemade diet.” – See more at: http://www.angryvet.com/angryvet-nutrition-interview-drs-joseph-wakshlag-and-meg-smart/#sthash.dc3Xl7e0.dpuf Dr. Smarts course, by the way, is an “elective” course. Vets at her school are not required to take her course. “Dr. Smart has taught a small animal nutrition elective course to fourth-year veterinary students since 1994.” https://www.usask.ca/wcvm/wcvm_people/profiles/Smart_Marion%20Meg.php
Or then there is veterinary nutritionist Dr. Susan Wynn who also recommends homemade diets. “Homemade diets are flexible, tasty and in some cases healthier than over the counter dog and cat foods. For some pets with multiple medical conditions, a homemade diet offers the only hope for meeting complex nutritional requirements.” http://www.susanwynn.com/Formulated_Diets.php
The Marvistavet link I posted above suggesting a homemade diet, although not a nutritionist, is a veterinary website.
Although not technically a nutritionist, as far as I know, Dr. Elizabeth Hodkins did work for Hills per her Linkedin page so I’m counting her. She too recommends homemade (and raw). Dr. Smart and Dr. Hodkins co-wrote the book “Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth about Manufactured Cat and Dog Food” http://www.amazon.com/Not-Fit-Dog-Truth-Manufactured/dp/1610351495
Dr. Smart has some interesting data on science and pet food. She writes
“A recent article “Science under Siege” although about pharmaceutical research(Discover Magazine Oct2007)) reflects what is happening in the pet food industry . Private funding to academic institutions by big pharmaceutical companies is allowing science to become a powerful tool in their fight against regulation. Research in small animal nutrition has been traditionally underfunded or more accurately seldom funded by independent granting agencies. This has left the field wide open for the pet food industry to control and direct the research done in an academic institution, and within their own facilities. Research into pet foods is seldom at “arm’s length”.
The validity of trials conducted on dogs and cats kept in a kennel or research facility is questioned, as these animals do not have the same freedoms and human bonding experiences of the pets kept within a home environment. Most nutritional trials on companion animals are only valid for that particular group, maintained under the same conditions, fed identical diets. Even the results from the relatively simple non invasive digestibility, palatability and feeding trials done in kennels or catteries specifically established and approved to conduct these trials have come under scrutiny when environment, previous diet, gender, breed and age differences are considered.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2013/11/evaluating-nutritional-research.html
I’m interested on your thoughts on these points I’ve presented.
“I’m simply responding to Red’s Skeptvet quoted material”.
“I do like much of the information you gave the OP but your persistent backlash towards alternative approaches DESPITE being provided with science and sources showing results etc is nothing less than propaganda for everything allopathic. Which is also evident in the fact that you have no other sources than Skeptvet — one man’s opinions”.
I have no idea what you are talking about. Have a nice day.
PS: I don’t have an agenda, I am just sharing my opinion based on my experience and knowledge.
Opinions are like noses, everyone has one 🙂 They are not right or wrong.
Anyone can use DR Google for research, if they choose to. I like to think I know the difference between a junk article and something useful, unfortunately, not everyone does..DogFoodieMember
Unbelievable, Red. *smh*
Awesome post, Shawna!! 🙂
Can anyone suggest a commercial small treat for my dog with colitis? I do not want to make anything; I want to purchase one that will not make her colitis worse. She won’t eat anything big which is why I specified ‘small.’ She normally does not care for dog treats, she prefers people treats like crackers and breadsticks. But, with this colitis I need something else.C4DMember
I agree DF!
Shawna you rock!
Red, you are the official booster to skeptvet. 🙁
jan f, good luck with your dog. I have nothing to offer as treats, but you might want to choose something simple, like dehydrated sweet potato or a treat from a single protein that your dog can handle.
Thanks DF and C4D!!! 🙂
Jan f – the W/D kibble ingredient list, per Hills website, has “chicken meal” therefore I would have to assume that your pup handles chicken muscle protein just fine. Maybe try buying some chicken legs, breasts and/or thighs and boiling them in water, separate the meat from the bone and cut the meat into treat sized bites. Refrigerate two or three days worth, put three days worth into individual freezer bags and freeze them for future use.
Just a thought.
Thanks for your thoughtful and informative reply Red.
Shawna, love the idea of the chicken for snacks. She loves chicken and she handles it well. That will be easy to prepare. Thanks!
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