After months of off and on vomiting after meals and horrendous, malodorous, runny poop, Zignature dry food brought relief. He hasn’t vomited in almost five months, and his poop can be picked up easily and cleanly with ONE bag. Then came the “new” FDA alert about grain-free foods. Drat! I stewed and stewed and finally decided I needed to get a taurine level checked. I am so glad I did! The normal range is 60-120 at the lab we use, with 40 being considered “critical.” My dog’s was 16!!! So my vet told me to start him on 500 mgs of taurine once a day and get an ultrasound of his heart. If the ultrasound showed any kind of heart irregularity, we’d have to increase the taurine supplement to 100 mgs once a day. My vet doesn’t do cardiac ultrasounds, but a vet from a nearby university comes in and does them every two weeks. We started the taurine today, and it was purchased from The Vitamin Shoppe. It comes in capsule form, so the vet told me to break it open and spread it on his food, even though the directions clearly indicate it is best to give it between meals. The cardiac ultrasound is $500, and the taurine level test was $240. This is a long story to encourage anyone concerned to get the levels checked. I bought 600 500-mg capsules today for $35.29 with tax. It’s a sound investment, and one I’ll have to repeat somewhat regularly. Hopefully for many many years!
My pit bulls became allergic to every 5 star grain free kibble until we found Zignature, back when no one knew about the brand. So I’m unable to switch to anything else. I add broccoli & Primal on top. One of my dogs now has a Grade 1 heart murmur but no enlargement of the heart (yet).
Thank you so much for your post! I did a ton of research afterwards & will start them on VetriScience Cardio-Strength Specialty Health Dog & Cat Capsules, 90 count, $16.32. It contains L-taurine, potassium, DMG, CoQ10, L-carnitine, RPA, GLA and vitamin E.
Let me know what you find in your puppy’s ultrasound.
Thank you, zcRiley. His cardiac ultrasound is scheduled for 9/14, and I should have the result immediately. I’ll let you know. I’ll be interested in how your dogs do on the Cardio-strength capsules. It seems like a great supplement, and I hope it reverses (if that’s possible) the heart murmur and at least holds cardiac enlargement at bay. More later.
zcRiley, after many calls to my vet’s office with many earnest question and pleadings, many answers (and non-answers) that brought me much dismay, etc. I decided to call the nearby university to see how soon my boy could get an appointment with one of their cardiologists. To my amazement, there had been a cancellation, and I got an appointment the next day. That was today. My boy got a “complete cardiac evaluation.” It took almost all day, but the result is that he has no cardiac enlargement. She increased the taurine supplementation and wants to re-evaluate in six months. Of course she wants him to start on NOT grain-free food. I started that a week ago, and I’m very slowly weaning him onto it. How are your pit bulls doing on the Vetr-Science? Are the supplements chewable? The taurine supplement I give my boy is in capsule form, so I have to open the capsules and sprinkle it on food. He loves yogurt, so that’s what I mix the taurine with. I just read that you should only give your dog lactose free yogurt. I mentioned that to the cardiologist. She said I could give him small amounts (I use a tablespoon) of “regular” yogurt as long as it has no xylitol in it. I hope your pit bulls are doing very well. Incidentally, the cardiologist mentioned that my boy “was a little naughty” during the echo. I was thinking he pottied on the table, or, worse yet, launched himself off the table (he’s a 1 year and 1 day old puppy after all), or tried to make friends with the dog on the next cart. Nope, he “was squirmy.” I resisted the urge to ask how many times a dog getting an echocardiogram lies motionless….
Linda, so relieved to hear of the good news! I was waiting patiently LOL. Big hug to your pup. My boys are fine, I lowered the VetriScience from 2 capsules to one, their poop was a bit soft to my liking. But incredible energy for 5 yr olds and super strong at 80 lbs each. I’ll do the echocardiogram on him next year. I stop the swimming when they start panting too hard but it’s great for their TPLO’s.I can’t thank you enough for your post, it’s helped me be aware of what’s to come.
You’re welcome! Did both your dogs have knee surgery? Thank you for the pup hug. He’s a bone tired boy! All that poking, prodding, waiting, watching, squirming, etc., takes a lot out of a boy! 🙂
My boys are untrained terrors at the vet but they love the entire staff! We get a room right away LOL.
Yes, the gray one had one TPLO, the tan one had two. It broke my heart, the pain they went thru, the recovery time. And most of all, not being able to play like before, having to be monitored. So we swim every single day during summer since we can’t afford the $4K for 6 hrs of physical therapy. That plus micellized vitamin D drops, Dasuquin MSM, UC-II collagen, taurine & Previcox. I want them to enjoy life before their hip dysplasia gets severe.
Untrained terrors! I’d like to see those two 80-pound boys ripping unbridled through the vet’s office!😄 My laughs for weeks!
Your poor sweet aching boys! They’re so lucky to have a mom who loves them, makes sure they’re EXTRA well-taken are of, and who reads and problem solves, all in an effort to give them the best pain-free life that is humanly possible! Lucky lucky lucky boys!!! Did they hurt themselves or were their knee surgeries a genetic thing? And hip dysplasia too! Is the swimming helping to keep the hip dysplasia at bay? What is the estimated time line? My heart aches for them and for you. It’s so hard to watch our babies hurt. It’s great that they can swim every day, though. They probably love it! But $4K for six hours of PT? That’s expensive! Wow!!! It’s more than humans pay, I think! I suppose it’s harder to do PT on dogs. If for no other reason than they don’t understand. Swimming is probably better for them anyway. Cardio too. How do you keep track of all those meds, who gets what, when, etc? I had to give my boy five pills for two weeks, and I was a wreck! My hat is off to you. Keep taking good care of those beautiful boys! A good belly scratch for them from me!
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