We rescued a pair of shih tzus that spent their first six months of life never leaving a metal cage on a dog meat farm in South Korea. The farm was closed and the dogs adopted out across the world. We live in Virginia.
They likely received no nutrition in their first six months. I’d like to find a food to help make up for that deficit.
They were squashed in a small metal cage with many other dogs, so they have larger spread out paws to stand on the wire and obvious joint issues, e.g. bowed legs. I’d like to get them the best nutrition for joint health possible.
They are now a little over a year old. The vet put them on Hills J/D, which isn’t rated here, so I don’t know if it is a better option than other foods for joints, e.g. the Happy Hips chicken and oats dry dog food.
I would greatly appreciate any experience anyone has with a similar situation. THANKS.
I am glad you are working with a veterinarian. There is nothing wrong with prescription food. Check with the vet that has examined the dogs before making any diet changes.
I like Fromm Classic Adult as a base, also I would consider Purina Pro Plan Focus Salmon for sensitive skin and stomach.
I feed 2 meals per day, add a splash of water or plain chicken broth and a topper.
I feed 1/3 cup of kibble as a base twice a day for a 20 lb dog. An occasional snack, maybe 1/2 raw carrot to chew on.
Check their teeth as they may need professional cleanings. If all is okay, start brushing their teeth twice a day, I like Petrodex (6.2oz tube) is economical. Google to find it.
Start walking the dogs on hard pavement for at least 10 minutes at a time, work up to 1 hour a day. This will help their legs. You will see a big difference after a few months.
For science based veterinary information go here, use the search engine to look up specific topics, ie: nutrition http://skeptvet.com/Blog/
PS: Shih Tzu tend to have bowed legs.
https://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/faq/shihtzu.html (excerpt below)
A Shih Tzu can be a great little dog, but the reality is that his physical build is neither natural or healthy. The Shih Tzu, in fact, is afflicted with two skeletal deformities: chondrodysplasia and brachycephalic syndrome.
Dogs were never intended to have a long back and short legs, especially if the legs are bowed (like Queen Anne furniture legs). This build is caused by a genetic skeletal deformity called chondrodysplasia, which translates roughly to “faulty cartilage.”
When a puppy is developing in the womb, his skeleton is first formed in cartilage as a sort of model. As he continues to develop, the cartilage is supposed to be replaced by bone. But if, because of certain inherited genes, the cartilage doesn’t transform properly into normal bone, the puppy will be born with incorrect proportions of cartilage and bone.
The result is a large head and chest, short, thick, bowed front legs, and a longish back with calcified disks that lack elasticity and cushioning powers and are predisposed to coming loose and protruding into the spinal canal (intervertebral disk disease). Chondrodysplastic dogs are also more susceptible to joint problems, and later in life, arthritis.
Besides the walking, which we are slowing building time/distance, are there other options to address the chondrodysplasia, like physical therapy or vitamin supplements? I want to give them the best chance for good health that I can.
Do you have pet health insurance? If so, and your vet prescribes aqua therapy (otherwise known as swimming in a heated pool) it may be covered.
See if there is a veterinary clinic near you that offers these services.
Just 20 minutes twice a week might make a big difference https://www.vetinfo.com/aquatic-therapy-for-dogs.html
Also, most supplements are not necessary and a waste of money….
Discuss with your vet
if you want to feed a healthy diet look at Raw, Cooked or Freeze dried Raw, Air Dried raw.
Freeze Dried Raw looks like kibble & is quick & easy to give but Freeze dried & Air Dried hasn’t been cooked at high temps like kibble is cooked, all the good nutrition is still intact with freeze dried & Air Dried….
Here’s “Wellness Core”
Here’s “Ziwi Peak” Air Dried Raw your dogs will love Ziwi Peak.
Kibble is the least healthy to feed a dog, if you feed a dry kibble start adding healthy ingredients to dogs diet, eggs, tin salmon, sweet potato, broccoli, beets, mussels, sardines in spring water, foods high in omega 3 for bones. skin, coat, brain,
Shih tzu’s are prone to Pancreatitis so becareful with high fat diets..
If you’re on Face Book follow
* Judy Morgan DVM – Click on Judy video’s, heaps of good info, cooking recipes,
* K-9 Kitchen- Monica Segal
* K-9 Nutrition Lew Olson
* Rodney Habib is excellent.
Also DO NOT over vaccinate follow – John Robbs
Flea Products – stay away from the new flea chews, they can cause neurological problems, do your research..
The only flea product that doesn’t go into the dogs blood system is “Frontline Plus” Spot On & the “Frontline Spray” it only penetrates 2 layers of the dogs skin..
Less toxins you put into your dogs system the healthier they will be,
looks like they have landed on all 4 paws & ended up in a good home..
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