My dog has a few issues the vet has been overwhelmingly unhelpful in resolving. I’m hoping a food change can resolve some of it. He’s had a constant issue with impacted anal glands, which is mostly solved by keeping him on food that’s 4.5-5% fiber. 5.5% and up is too high, making his feces completely unformed and his anal glad problem worse. 4% and below gives him solid formed feces, but they aren’t large enough to clear the glands. He also has a constant problem with one ear that bothers him intermittently, and there’s no apparent pattern to when or why it happens. The vet can’t see any signs of any kind of issue in the ear at all and no treatment has worked. Finally, he has constant dandruff and has recently acquired an itchy neck. Fish oil supplements don’t help.
Switching him off Beneful and on to 4Health helped his feces consistency a little, but the itchy skin and dandruff were horrid and the ear problems were still bad. Taste of the Wild greatly improved his skin over the last couple years, and certain formulas help keep the anal gland issues at bay. With his newly itchy neck, dandruff, and ear issues showing no improvement, it’s time to try another food. I’m only a very tight budget though with very little wiggle room and I can’t spend much over $2 per pound. $2.30 per pound is beyond pushing it, so I would not even go that high if possible. I’m having issues finding food that fits everything I need. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
It most likely has nothing to do with the food
A veterinary dermatologist would be your best bet, if that is not within your means, I would work very closely with your primary vet and do exactly as he says, I would disregard any advice that I read online/forums and such, tons of misinformation.
Per the search engine:
PS: There is no cheap way out of this. Veterinary care is expensive nowadays. It is what it is.
From what you have described, it sounds like your dog may need the expertise of a specialist. It may be cost effective in the long run, rather than going back and forth to the regular vet (bandaid treatments) and trying all kinds of different foods with no significant results.
What formulas of 4-Health and TOTW is/was he on? Each company has several quality formulas and none of them are the same.
When a dog is going after “rears (anal glands) and ears”, it’s usually (not always) a food issue.
It’s silly IMO to assume owning a dog will set you back thousands of dollars. Vet care is expensive, but simply itchy ears/paws shouldn’t set an owner back thousands. It makes it impossible for the average Joe to own a pet.
Keep a log of what they eat (the company, brand, formula, and ingredients list) and what that food contains and how they react. Talk with your vet. If they blow you off, fire them and find another vet that will talk to you.
The cost of owning and caring for a dog has indeed increased, in fact it is the #2 reason why dogs are given up.
Common Surrender Reasons (Dogs) https://www.mspca.org/pet_resources/common-surrender-reasons-dogs/ (click on link for full article, excerpt below)
2) Money. Depending on the animal, dog ownership can be an expensive endeavor. There are the usual costs: food, gear (food dishes, collars, leashes, toys), and medical costs (parasite prevention, wellness exams, and vaccines), but there is also the likeliness of additional expenses. These could be medical costs, including emergency treatment for a trauma, or a disease or other illness that is difficult to diagnose or expensive to treat. Dogs who are destructive might cost their owners hundreds of dollars in replacement furniture and training classes. And there are added expenses, including hiring a dog walker or kennel to care for your dog when you cannot. In many cases, those who surrender for this reason have lost their income, or cannot afford necessary, but expensive medical procedures.
Despite having normal hard stool, my bully mix will sometimes need to have his anal glands expressed. My boss/his vet explained to me that some dogs just do not have correct anatomy that allow them to express their anal glands on their own. You may simply need to learn how to do it at home, or bring him on occassion to the vet to have them do it. Sounds like you know what fiber % helps and what makes it worse, so find a food that has that fiber % and keep him on it.
Our dog also gets an annual ear infection in his left ear. We treat the symptoms and they go away. It happens at the start of summer time. I have ear meds on hand at all times.
As far as the dander goes, you didn’t mention how often you were bathing him and what you were bathing him with. Too frequent bathing can cause what you are seeing. Also how long did you use the fish oil supplements for and was the source of the fish wild caught? I did not notice a difference in my dog for a little over a month when I did fish oil supplements the first time. After about a month I started to see a difference.
Also it is ok to get a second opinion from another vet. I’ve done it even though I like the vet I see.
There is no form of specialist at all anywhere near my area (we would have to travel well over 200 miles to get to one and my car might not make it), and having just spent a small fortune and most of my savings on my senior cat money is tight. Both pets needed to have issues at the same time apparently. I recently moved and I’m having a hard time finding a decent vet up here. Some think all food except Royal Canin and Science Diet are terrible, others don’t seem to care about the pet and only want the money, and a couple of them seem like they slept through vet school.
With Taste of the Wild, his skin was best on High Praire, his anal glands were in the best shape (until recently) on Southwest Canyon. Pine Forest caused him to be incredibly gassy and his feces were never well-formed. Pacific Stream really had no redeeming qualities.
He was eating Southwest Canyon but the last bag I bought was High Praire to see if getting rid of the boar would help any. It’s only been a couple weeks but it does seem like his neck is itching less, though he’s still itching the base of his tail.
I don’t remember quite all that I tried with 4Health. I know he started on the regular (not grain free) formula and I think I stuck mostly with the chicken option before switching to the salmon and potato in an effort to help his skin, then to the grain free ones. Grain-free does definitely help his condition.
Beneful, unsurprisingly, left him with the worst dandruff and his feces weren’t formed at all, ever. They were just…mush.
I give as few baths as possible. The frequency depends on whether or not he finds something stinky to roll in, like baby opossums passed out in the backyard or duck poop that the neighbor sprays over the fence. If he doesn’t find anything gross to roll in he gets a bath every 2 months with a moisturizing shampoo, usually with aloe/oatmeal in it. I’ve tried bathing less as well as bathing more and it doesn’t have much effect. A lack of baths for longer than 2 months does seem to make him itchier, probably because he’s dirty.
In terms of fish oil, I’ve tried a couple different kinds. One was wild Alaskan salmon oil and the other was just omega-3 and didn’t specify anything other than fish from Norway. He was on each one for a few months and neither did anything. I refuse to give up apparently so I have a third kind to try when I’m done with the omega-3, which is another brand of wild Alaskan salmon oil.
With the experience I’ve had with the vets here thus far, they’ll almost certainly tell me to put him on Science Diet to make all his problems disappear and leave it at that.
Hi! My dog sounds like she had a lot of the same issues and you may want to look up meat protein allergies. My dog ended up being allergic to almost all meat protein so I switched her to natural balance wet food vegetarian and she has had no issues since. I relate to spending a small fortune at the vet and with food allergies you usually
Get no answers, I know personally! I would try this food out. I tried so many I lost count with my pup
have you ever done a food elimination diet with either raw or cooked ingredients?? 1 meat & 1 carb??
this is the only true way to know 100% what foods your dog is sensitive too..
In the beginning one of Patches vets put him on Royal Canine Hyproallergenic vet diet but Patch was still getting his red paws 20mins after he ate also the fat was way too high at 19% also his afternoon poos was very sloppy, So we tried the Hills Z/d Ultra & the same red paws after he ate the Z/d dry kibble, I think it was the Corn Starch in the Hills Z/d formula.. as the meat proteins are broken down so the body doesnt recognize the meat protein in these Hypoallergenic vet diets, so it has to be the binders they are using to bind the hypoallergenic vet diets the dog s react too….
.. In the end I did a raw elimination diet & finally worked out what ingredients he reacts too..
I read one of your post in someone elses post & you wrote your dog is better now on a vegan dog food, when the cooler weather starts to come around when environment allergens arent as high I would now add 1 meat that isn’t too expensive & you can buy like pork & see does your dog start to react?? do an meat elimination diet & I bet you you will find a meat that agree with your dog..
Here’s Farmina dog foods there’s a few formula’s to look thru..
I have tried an elimination diet and it failed due to my dogs extreme IBS, the vet was worried it would cause her to go into shock. I have also tried cooking for her and it also resulted in a failure. It’s been a true struggle to find food she can handle and not get extremely ill from. I’ve also went to multiple vets for answers and no one has provided any thus far in 3 years.
you need to see a Vet Specialist, that specializes in IBD, you would have just been going around in circles seeing different vets, thats what happened with Patch & me until the 4th vet specialized in Intestinal problems, IBD, IBS & Skin Allergies etc, then finally I was told to do a cooked elimination diet & to find a nutritionist to help with this & was given 2 names of 2 good Nutritionist but they were both in different states, so we did everything via phone & email, to work out what foods Patch was sensitive too & did a raw elimination diet to work out what was causing his paws to go red & what foods causing him to have IBD flare & react, you wouldnt believe it, his environment allergies play a very big part aswell not just the food, this is why we go around & around in circles, at the end of last year & beginning of this year he had a really bad IBD flare (Stomach), his immune system was working over time vet said cause of his environment allergies, the immune system — attacks the body’s own healthy tissue, this is called an immune response, resulting in autoimmune disease, IBD… he had no diarrhea or sloppy poos this time, it attacked his stomach & Esophagus, I had already worked out what he could & couldnt eat thru elimination diet we did 2, elimination diets, first cooked diet then the following year a raw elimination diet…as he reacted to vet diets like I posted we think from the binders in the vet diets..
If you have found something that agrees with your girl still try & find another brand of dry kibble just is case she starts to react to an ingredient as Patch has done in the past….at the moment I only have 2 dry foods Patch does OK on & 1-2 wet can foods vet diets that are pork he does really well on pork dry & wet dog foods but not cooked pork??..
it all does your head it & I think it was you who posted all you seem to do is research dog foods..
what is the protein (meat) in the foods you are feeding?
Try feeding Answers or Primal raw goats milk. It is a natural probiotic and chocked full of vitamins it can help cure IBD, allergies and help with many health issues in dogs. I swear by it my dogs love it and it even took a sick dog I had that was literally in renal failure to complete recovery and normal kidney values. Please read up on it and its not expensive.
Also make sure you are eliminating wheat gluten from the diet. Stop feeding kibble and make food if you can. Or feed a high quality canned read ingredients no by products or gluten. Start out with canned toss in some cooked meat and cooked vegetables slowly. Incorporate raw goats milk once daily your dog will love it ! The gut will improve over a couple weeks. In a month you should see a huge improvement.
I saw yet another vet and she insisted it was environmental allergies. She wasn’t at all concerned with the ear problem since there’s nothing visibly wrong and he’s had it for so long, and she didn’t seem to care much about the itchiness simply because he didn’t scratch during the vet appointment. I strongly dislike this vet. I took my cat to her and disliked her so much that I went to another clinic in a completely different town, yet somehow she ended up being there too. She wouldn’t even entertain the idea of it being a food allergy and just told me to try Benedryl. The Benedryl did seem to help the ear issue and switching his food to Zignature Turkey (my local feed store has a great price!) helped the anal gland problem. Even though it’s 6% fiber, this food doesn’t cause him issues like the 5.5% fiber foods did. He’s still itchy though! I’m thinking maybe pork is a problem. It seems like he gets aggressively itchy any time he has pork, and meat from domestic pigs makes him itchier than wild boar.
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