My cocker spaniel, Lucy, is 11 years old. She has always been in good health. Over the past year she has gained weight and, according to the blood tests, has elevated liver enzymes. The first thought was Cushings, but that is not the case. The vet put her on Hill Metabolic and Motility. We did a 3 pound sample and it did help Lucy. She was not panting as much adn just looked more comfortable. However, I know the ingrediaents in this food suck. Corn and chicken meal are ingredients that I would like to avoid. I bought some Blue Buffalo senior formula hoping that would help, but Lucy is right back to the panting like crazy and just looks like she is uncomfortable.
Is there another food I could try or am I stuck feeding the Hill food? I will do it if I have to as it did seem to help, but it just kills me to feed her corn and chicken meal.
This is the GA for the Hill’s Metabolic and Mobility:
Average Nutrient and Caloric Content
Dry 3210 kcal/kg (291 kcal/cup†)
Carbohydrate (NFE) 36.2
Crude Fiber 14.9
Carnitine 400 ppm
Vitamin C 324 mg/kg
Vitamin E 741 IU/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate 1174 mg/kg (ppm)
Glucosamine 738 mg/kg (ppm
The protein is highER than most of their formulas and the carbs are low which is why it is meant to help your dog lose weight. I agree that the ingredients are sub-par. Prehaps look for a food with better ingredients but very very close %’s on the GA. This food also contains Chondroitin and Glucosamine for the joints. I’m not sure if a senior formula would contain those ingredients but be high enough protein and low enough carbs to help your girl lose weight. If you switch to something that is better quality and the same %’s on the GA make sure you add a joint supplement.
I have heard really good things about this product: http://www.naturvet.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_images.tpl&product_id=39&category_id=7&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=4
Edit: Remember a “weight loss” food does not work if they are taking in more calories than they are burning. If your senior dog is less active make sure to decrease the amount they are eating as well to aid in weight loss. Also senior dogs have a increased need for quality animal protein, not a decrease. Perhaps consider looking into a raw diet for her?
Wysong Rx Organ™ (cardiovascular, digestive, pancreas, liver, neurological, and respiratory)
(Replaces: Cardiril™, Digesome™, Panadime™, Heparone™, Neuropril™, and Respityl™)
This is a prescription food, if you like the ingredients….ask your vet if it is an option
Hi Ginger E,
I think there are options besides Hill’s RX. First of all, what liver enzymes are elevated and what are the numbers? Honestly, while the weight loss is important, controlling the elevated liver enzymes would be my first concern. Did your vet discuss giving her any meds to control them?
Thank you all for the information. Lucy is also on 225mg of Denamarin once a day. I am at work so I don’t have her exact enzyme levels right now, but they might be on the paperwork at home so I will check tonight.
We have tried to cut back on the amount of food, but she just seems ravenous. I supplement her food with frozen green beans to try and fill her up, but lately she has also started eating my daughters plastic toys – Legos and My Little Ponies have been mutilated. This behavior is just not normal for Lucy at all. Even when she was a puppy, she never was much of a chewer.
When I was feeding the Hill Scrip food, she was getting just over a cup a day – half in the morning and half in the evening. On the Blue Buffalo, she has been getting more than that just because it doesn’t seem to fill her up as much. She just seems to be continually starving and when she does eat, she starts choking because she is eating so fast – again, this is NOT her normal behavior.
She did have an ultrasound to look for signs of Cushings, but everything was normal – other than a slightly enlarged liver. It was nothing to be too worried about, according to the vet.
Try 4 small meals a day instead of 2 (divide up the same amount of food), this seems to help my senior. Is she getting enough water? Maybe add a little to her meals. Soak her kibble overnight in water in the fridg, it doubles in size and they think they are getting more.
Liver disease can cause nausea, which sometimes is relieved by adequate hydration.
At 11 she is a senior, could she have a little dementia going on? My old guy gets confused, sometimes he sits in front of the fridg at 2am and barks. He thinks it’s time for breakfast.
Ask your vet if there are supplements or otc meds or prescription meds that might help calm her so she is not as hungry and agitated.
I have a bedtime cocktail (approved by his vet) that helps, I hesitate to share it, as I am not a veterinarian. Plus, my old guy doesn’t have any liver issues…he has other age related issues though.
Yes, C4D is right. The elevated liver enzymes is definitely top priority. I think I was assuming that the vet thought the two issues were related to each other and felt weight loss would lower the enzymes in the liver, hence the RX food. I have no idea though. I’m not a vet.
I have experience with Cushings that was diagnosed at the age of 12 in one of my cocker spaniels. There are a series of tests that must be done to diagnose Cushings not just an ultrasound. Panting, ravenous appetite, weight gain, high liver enzymes and enlarged liver are ALL symptoms of Cushings. You may want to consider getting a second opinion from another vet.
Take a look at Wellness Simple. I have a greyhound that has liver disease. Too soon to tell but I’m hoping. No more Hills and definitely nothing Purina. Suggest you read a new book out “Canine Nutrigenomics”. It has a wealth of info on feeding and nutrition. (free sample in Kindle).
Switched from Denamarin to SAM E available in any drug store. Much more reasonably priced and same basic ingredients. Was recommended by a lady who runs a very large state of the art kennel where I live.
A review written by a veterinarian on the above mentioned book.
We have 2 Pitties, one that is 5 yrs and one that is 2 yrs, we are currently using the Hills for weight management and joint care, the older one has made a marked improvement with this food, as far as energy, much more now. The younger one had a bit of a limp when we adopted her from the pound, but since we changed her to this food, her limp has gone away as well. @ almost $90 for the largest bag it’s a getting to be a bit of a burden. Is there a viable alternative or are we better off adding the glucosamine?
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.