Hello everyone! First post here. Hope it’s not too long; just want to be thorough 🙂
My Rottweiler is 6.2 years old with a history of seizures over the last year. Despite the fact it is unusual for dogs of his age and breed to be idiopathic epileptics, we found no evidence of underlying causes in his diagnostics. He is being treated with standard anti-seizure drugs and is doing well, by all measures.
I’ve had him on Orijen for over 3 years. His neurologist and regular vet agree that grain-free is a particularly important factor for dogs with seizures.
Over the last 9 months – maybe more? – he developed horrible gas. Seriously, his gas could peel the paint off the walls. In February, I switched his food from Orijen Adult to Orijen 6-fish and this coincided with a cluster of seizures, so I switched him back to be safe. I tried adding probiotics, but no help.
In the last few months, his energy levels really dropped. He started acting sluggish, would drag on the leash, struggled to get up, etc. I worried about him but didn’t want to panic. I also considered it could be related to age: 6 is senior for a Rottie, I think. A few weeks ago he came down with haemmorhagic gastroenteritis and was hospitalized. But here’s where things get interesting: post-hospitalization and particularly when on the vet’s prescription GI diet (which I don’t even think is particularly high-quality), he has been a renewed dog. A ton more energy, zippy and peppy. His old self. And, the gas was COMPLETELY gone when off Orijen. Since being back on Orijen and off the vet food, the gas is creeping back.
It’s time for a change. I do not want to see him get sluggish again and the gas certainly is not welcome. There was such a marked difference when he went off Orijen – from acting like an old senior to the endurance athlete he’s always been – that I feel strongly the food isn’t agreeing with him any more. And it isn’t just one suspicious bag; he’d shown these problems over the course of over ten bags of food.
I welcome all suggestions for a high-quality grain-free alternative.
I’d been looking into EVO but have read a lot about recalls.
Ideally I’d like something low-sodium with a limited ingredient list.
Thank you SO MUCH, everyone, in advance!!!
Just wanted to clarify a few things (don’t see an edit button)
“And it isn’t just one suspicious bag; he’d shown these problems over the course of over ten bags of food.”
The gas has been present for this long or longer (a bag of food or so a month). The sluggishness was since March or so.
He’s probably been on Orijen more like 4 years. Reading now about their use of chickpea fibre, I’m wondering if anyone knows if this is a recent change? I’ve noticed changed packaging but wasn’t aware of ingredient changes.
The change is recent, yes. I would just about bet money that that is when his problems got worse. Try Natures Variety Instinct, Earthborn Holistic, or Nature’s Logic. Also you may want to go ahead and get him on digestive enzymes as well as his probiotics, the human ones are fine. They help with gas and he may need the extra help until he is settled on a new food.
Also, to help lessen the frequency of seizures, try to get as many toxins out of his life as possible. This includes room fresheners, scented candles, perfumes, cleaning agents, fertilizers, pesticides, fabric softner, etc., anything that has chemicals in it. Yes, I know how big a task that is, but it really does help.
Thanks, that is really useful information!
As for the chemicals, you’re preaching to the choir 🙂 What’s tricky is that I kept a pretty natural house before the seizures, so there wasn’t much I could eliminate after. The only thing I can’t eliminate is laundry sheets, because my partner is in the military is extremely persnickety about his uniform. But I know there are natural alternatives, so I’ll keep at it.
Great food suggestions thank you again!!
Try theholisticchatterbox dot com for alternatives. And don’t let him go in other peoples yards, you never know what and how much they use.
You know what, you are absolutely right. I keep thinking to myself how before he had his first seizures, he’d been really nibbling on neighborhood grass. He’s such a scent-oriented boy that it’s hard to control where the nose goes sometimes, but you bring necessary attention to the risks. Thanks again
Been there, done that. My boy is gone now, but I still miss him.
Did you lose your dog to epilepsy? I’m so sorry 🙁
It’s a disease you’re never prepared for, especially if you live with a dog with no genetic predisposition. At first I was absolutely terrified and full of anxiety, but I have grown so much and become an even better companion to my dog through our experience with this illness, so there is a silver lining. We have also been lucky, of course, that his seizure activity has been manageable (cluster seizures but many months between episodes once we got his medication sorted out). Unfortunately, it seems like this disease has way too much to do with luck 🙁
Mine had cluster seizures too. He would go a year between clusters usually, but at the end we couldn’t get his seizures under control again and he had bad hips that the seizures were just tearing apart. We had to have him put down a year and three months ago.
As for Grain free food, we and our Yorkies love Taste of the Wild dry kibble. It comes in a variety of flavors and is reasonably priced. You can buy it at Pet Smart and Pets Supply Plus. It gets high ratings and our Vet says it is a very good food.
Try using white vinegar to mop all hard surface floors and use as a fabric softener. It kills bacteria and odors, too. Use 1 cup of vinegar to a gallon of hot water to mop with.
Also, you can use Vinegar to spray your yard for weeds and pests. It works great and is not harmful to pets. I have a lot of allergies to cleaning products, so use as many natural items as I can.
There are a few ingredients in TOTW that are not good for a dog with seizures.
Have you looked at the ingredients in Orijen dog food? I am not familiar with what a dog cannot have if it is having seizures. Orijen is a grain free dog food. In fact, I am looking into it right now for our one Yorkie who has lost weight, but all tests show that she is fine, just skinny. So my Vet suggested putting her on a Puppy Food that is higher in fat. He suggested Royal Canin, but it is not grain free. So I have been doing a lot of research and found Orijen that is grain free and I like everything that I read about it when I googled it.
Wish you success!
Orijen is considered, by most accounts, to be a very high quality dog food. My guy’s neurologist seconded this. We switched off it mainly because of his gas, and because I was happy to find a lower protein grain free option (his regular vet suggested lowering protein).
How about using a high quality dog food and then add fish oils/omegas? IF I am correct yorkies are also prone to some skin irritation, so the oils would be good for that too!
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