This is a desperate attempt to help a dog who is currently very very miserable. I am living with relatives for a short duration, and ever since I have been here with them their beautiful chocolate lab has had severe allergies. She is 4 years old this fall and suffers from seasonal allergies. She is so itchy, her fur is being chewed off on her abdomen and legs, and every few weeks she gets a horrible irritation under her neck that looks so infected! I don’t trust the vet my relatives are using, she seems more than happy to keep pushing very strong antibiotics and prednisone off on this dog. The dog will get better after about a week, but by better I mean the rash and oozing sores start to lessen, at the expense of her vibrance (when on the prescribed regimine of meds she just lays around and sleeps). They feed all 4 of their big dogs Ol’ Roy dog food, one of if not the worst dog foods out there. They wont listen to me about needing to change them over and currently I can push no more. ( I will continue to try though) Until they see reason what natural supplements can I give her on top of her food to help her out. Also, I’ve been giving their golden retriever who has hip dysplasia glucosimine tablets any suggestions there also.
I would assume that your dog is reacting to something in the Ol’ Roy and until you get it away from that junk, you won’t get much of anywhere. Maybe someone else will have an idea for you to try.
I feel for you! A few of us here have had our fair share of stubborn dog owners who just refuse to get the facts and do what is truly good for their companion…
That Ol’ Roy is crap, you obviously know… I guess, if you can, try to get a small bag of Walmart’s Pure Balance/Pure Balance Grain Free (two of the more decent foods sold at Walmart), and maybe entice the family to try and add some to Ol’ Roy, see how their dogs like it. When I added some of the food I feed my dog to the food of the dog of the family for whom I babysit, she did not want to touch her Kibbles ‘N’ Bits anymore at all! Lol, she knew the good stuff! Maybe this will help them – plus, Pure Balance is ALSO sold at Walmart, where Ol’ Roy is.
Another thing you could do, is just add some good canned food as a topper to their meals, or a raw/lightly cooked egg here and there, some canned sardines, coconut oil if you have/can afford it, and some plain yoghurt and canned pumpkin (plain, not the pie-filling stuff). That’s what I do even with better-quality kibble and I believe it helps. If you can throw some raw/lightly cooked meat in there, or raw meaty bones here and there, it should help improve their diet a TAD, but really do try to get them off of Ol’ Roy…
Good luck, and know that many of us have been there too!SusanParticipant
Hi Victoria, is there anyway you ask the owners can you buy her food instead & change her food to something else, Sardines in spring water are cheap, the fish oil in the sardines should help mix a couple of the sardines thru her Ol’Roy feed, also a good medicated shampoo, I use Malaseb medicated shampoo this kills any bacteria on the skin but doesnt strip the good oils, there might be another shampoo that is like the Malaseb that kills bacteria, you can buy at the pet shop, she should be bath weekly in the Malaseb shampoo, that will releave her itch & start to heal all the sore, the Predisone is just a bandaid it doesnt fix the problem, her feed needs changing ASAP. Also she’d need a good dog probiotic for her tummy after being on Antibiotics..Can you cook her meals if so, she needs a low carb diet, something fishy for the higher omega 3 & 6 for her skin..they’d save money from the vets if they just changed her diet…I hate pills I always asked my vet for creams & other things instead of tablets like Steriods & Antibiotic, Good-Luck,
Thank you all for your suggestions. I am trying to convince them to invest in better dog food, they don’t see the point in sacrificing any of their monthly extras so they can afford decent food. I’m a college student and therefore am on a limited budget, but every month since I found DFA I’ve put aside money to spoil my baby min pin/ chi mix, he comes first you know and I really don’t care to spend money on him. I bought some of the Malesab Sue and I will give her weekly baths like you suggest, God knows her owners wont take the time to do it. Naturella, thank you for the food suggestions I supplement my Taz’s Dr. Tims and Pure Bal with Merrick Southern Comfort among other canned food plus eggs, raw meat, and veggies b/c he loves them 🙂 I’m unsure if I can afford to much food for 4 huge dogs but I will try for their sake. I did not know I could give a dog sardines though, should I be concerned about the mercury usually found in bottom tier fish? How much do you think I can safely feed her or could I give her Fish oil pills in place of the sardines and avoid the merc. all together? I will try the yoghurt too. Again thanks for any suggestions, I am feeling a little better about helping this poor baby out now.CyndiMember
I agree with the others, buy a bag of food for them. The Pure Balance is good and doesn’t cost all that much more than the crap they’re buying now. Tell the owners to trust you and within a few weeks they will see a difference in their dogs. Also, they will be saving money on vet bills and all the meds. Once they can see a difference in their dogs, that will say it all. Unless they just don’t care that their dogs are miserable… Good luck!
Edit* Regarding the sardines. I give my 50lb. dog a tin of sardines in water twice a week. Make sure they are packed in water and no salt added.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 11 months ago by Cyndi.
Hi Victoria, I feel for you and agree with the others and their suggestions. Maybe you could afford the difference in price from the Ol’Roy to something better for the relatives large dogs, especially the chocolate lab with the allergies. All the corn in Ol’Roy and other bad ingredients has to contribute to the skin allergies. You might also want to search the forums for allergies and skin issues. Omega 3 really helps. I use Victor grain free dog food and it has great ingredients and if you can find a feed store or co-op near you it can be very reasonable. The grain inclusive Victor is even a better price. Check their web site for a dealer near you and call them for prices. Good luck with your quest to help these dogs.MelSnowyMember
Oh, Victoria, I am so very sorry you and the poor dogs have been placed in this position. Is your local ASPCA ‘friendly’ ..can you ask them if they have a doc with no charge or little charge for those with limited income and can perhaps see the lab and recommend inexpensive and grain free food? Also, when my St. had hotspots vet recommended we use human benedryl tabs rolled into a bit of peanut butter. I know for our St. 120 lbs, we gave her one full tab. We were also given a spray to stop the itch, can’t remember the name. Hope this helps.
Hi Victoria W:
I understand your budget constraints and hopefully I can offer some more suggestions in addition to the ones you have received. You are very kind to give your relative’s dogs the extra attention they need!
It is surprising they would continue to pay for office visits and medication without trying a new diet as well. However, it sounds like she has an infection and needs antibiotics at this time.
Buying a 50 lbs. bag of food is convenient for large dog owners. Throw in a price of about 45 cents/lb. and it’s hard to talk someone out of buying it. In the future, if you are able to convince them to try another food they should expect to pay at least $1/lb. for a food with more meat protein; about $10 – $15 more per bag. If they would agree to this price point you could find some decent kibbles for them in 40-50 lbs bags.
If you decide to add a new food or supplement be sure to add slowly and in small portions building up to the desired amounts.
If your relatives will only shop at Wal-Mart for dog food and are adamant about feeding Ol’ Roy, maybe you could suggest they try adding other brands to their dogs’ diet along with Ol’ Roy. Here‘s a thread with kibble & canned foods available at Wal-Mart with decent ratings:
There is a PDF download from Steve Brown, “See Spot Live Longer the ABC Way.” It will help you improve any quality of kibble with the addition of fresh foods (eggs, tinned fish, fresh meat, vegetables) you can get at the grocery store. There is a menu that walks you through the amounts of each food to add according to the quality of kibble being fed and the size of the dog. I feed anything from a 3 to 5 star kibble and this download helps me to improve my dog’s diet very easily and affordably. I add the fresh food over several meals rather than feeding it in one day.
I don’t always have sardines on hand for my dog and when I don’t I supplement his diet with CVS drug store 1000 mg fish oil capsules 3x/week. I also supplement vitamin E once a week regardless if I feed sardines or CVS fish oil. Here’s a link to more info on supplements, it’s also a great site with lots of other info:
As far as mercury or chemical contamination, smaller fish are not usually high in contaminates due to their short life span and the depth of water they live in. Herring, menhaden, and sardines are some smaller species. Here’s a site with some more info on contamination in fish and a link to a wallet card with a list of fish and the degree of contamination they may have:
I think adding some probiotics to her diet would really help with her skin issues; it helped tremendously with healing my cat’s skin. This would also help keep the antibiotics from destroying the friendly bacteria in her digestive system. An affordable way to do this is to feed unflavored kefir; most grocery stores sell kefir and it has a very long shelf life. I add it to my cat and dog’s food daily. Here’s some info:
Other probiotics recommended by regular posters are Dr. Stephen Langer’s Ultimate 15 Strain Probiotic, Swanson Ultra Soil Based Organisms, and Mercola complete.
Coconut oil would be another food that would help with her skin. I add it to my dog’s food 3x/week, more if he has skin issues. I also apply it directly to his skin when it’s irritated. Unfortunately, he loves it so much I have to be sure I have time to supervise him so he doesn’t lick it off before it’s absorbed. Only use unrefined organic. The best price I have found for it was at BJ’s or Costco; Wal-Mart also has a good price just in a smaller jar. Here’s some info on the benefits and dosage:
After a bad experience with my cat and steroids when my dog developed a skin infection I was more than willing to put in the work I needed to help him heal. Bathing with medicated shampoo and applying antibiotic cream regularly was integral in healing his infection. The active ingredients in Malasab shampoo is 2% Miconazole Nitrate and 2% Chlorhexidine Gluconate. There are some generic alternatives that might be more budget friendly. Look for my post on page 3 from June 9, 2014 at 6:40 pm for info on some alternatives and for some ingredients to look for in medicated shampoos.
I don’t have any experience with a dog that has hip dysplasia, but I think you are on the right track with a glucosamine supplement. Here are two threads that might be helpful:
And here’s a coupon thread that might help with your pet food budget. The first page is an intro and the last page has the most current info posted.
I just noticed the link I provided for the Wal-Mart kibble and canned food selections is wrong…that’s what I get for posting late at night. Here you go:
Bobby dog… You rock!!! Look at this amazing list you put together!!! I have nothing to add, just hope Victoria will manage to sneak something better… Actually, I can add one thing – if you have a Costco nearby and a membership there, their Kirkland brand is 4-star, and three kibbles – mature dog, puppy, and small breed are actually 4.5 stars. Price is $26/40lbs!!!! I mean… Hello! And Nature’s Domain (grain-free) is 3.5 stars, at $30/35lbs! It is made by Diamond, which is not IDEAL, yet, I would so much rather go there than do Ol’ Roy!
Thanks Naturella! I hope she comes back, but mostly I hope something can help that poor dog. I also hope those food suggestions you made entice them to change kibbles! Victoria if you need any other suggestions on where to look for places that might sell kibble in a certain price range or bag size, please ask.
Hope so too, Bobby dog! 🙂 And hope she comes back with good news and/or more questions. In the end, if she managed to “convert” her relatives to something better, that is what we hope for, like you said. 🙂
So I thought I would give an update……the choco lab with the skin allergies is doing better still not 100% but better.Unfortunately they have only been fed a good food ( pure balance ) 1.5 months and since my uncle picked up ole roy this weekend to replace the dwindling bag of pb I guess my hope of them having seen the improvement with the food change was unrealistic. I now feed all the dogs coconut oil on top of their kibble and I stocked up on sardines from the local Aldis. Currently they each get 3 sardines every meal and 1 or 2 raw eggs cracked over their food at supper. I bought a small bottle of the malasab to use on all of the “itchy” dogs and it helped…until it ran out 🙁 I brush all the dogs every night and I’m doing my best to keep them clean and as flea free as possible ( since they are hunting dogs who routinely go out into the woods this is proving very hard to do ). All the dogs seem happy and are at least recovering some of their hair. My other concern is that the black lab 8 y.o. and the golden retriever 4 y.o. both have lost almost all their teeth, I mean they have worn them down to the point that all that is left of some is the red inside part and they are even with their gum line and their canine teeth are only half left ….I don’t know how long theyve been like this but I’ve been with them for 7 mo. now and I can only assume they have had no teeth ( maybe from all their chewing on themselves ) for several years now. It looks so painful and Im worried its a way for dieseases to enter into their bloodstream. Their vet says its no big deal but what Ive found online says this is something that should be taken care of immeadately. I think its also the reason they are lethargic, they just dont feel good. I see a bleak road ahead and if you have any advice I can pass on and implement while I am here I would again greatly appreciate it.Dog_ObsessedMember
Glad they are doing a bit better! You are right, the missing teeth need medical care ASAP. I’m really surprised the vet is not concerned about it. I would recommend going to a different vet for this, maybe one that specializes in dental care, and get there opinion. Thanks for taking care of and caring about these dogs.
I am glad you stopped by with an update! It sounds like you are doing everything within your means to help these dogs. Other than a change in diet and seeking medical attention for their teeth, I still recommend probiotics if it is feasible. I listed some suggestions for them in my previous post.
Were the dogs able to transition to Pure Balance without any digestive upsets?
Does she have yeasty skin or just itchy from allergies?
What is the can size of the sardines you are feeding? About how many cans/week are you feeding each dog?
Healthy teeth and gums are very important for all of us; when they are unhealthy it can lead to other diseases. I would certainly address the situation in my dog. The only suggestion I have are for the owners to seek medical care ASAP. Do they have trouble eating kibble? Are the dogs given anything to chew?
I really recommend Steve Brown’s download, “See Spot Live Longer the ABC Way.” It will help you with what you are trying to achieve for these dogs economically. More importantly, it is specific as to the quantities/types of fresh foods to feed and keeping the diet balanced; it would also benefit your dog regardless of the quality of kibble he currently eats!
Here’s a DFA thread about adding toppers:
Too many raw egg whites can interfere with the absorption of biotin; egg whites contain avidin which binds with biotin preventing dogs from absorbing it. Lightly cooking some of the eggs you feed or just the whites can remedy this. Dogs the size of Labs should probably be fed about 4 – 5 eggs per week depending on their body condition and weight. Check out this thread for some suggestions from theBCnut on feeding eggs:
Other canned fish you can feed is mackerel or wild pink Alaskan salmon; avoid tuna due to possible contaminates. Be sure to feed only fish packed in water with no salt added.
You can try foot baths & rinses. Below are links to several different baths & rinses that would help with skin and coat issues. If you decide to try the povidone iodine solution foot bath or rinse, since the dogs go outside, rinse with clean water afterwards because it makes the skin sensitive to the sun:
Ol’ Roy is definitely not my choice for a healthy food, but it sounds like it’s your uncle’s. Keep encouraging him to rotate and hopefully feed a better food. Other places to look for affordable dog food are whole sale clubs, hardware, large animal feed, and garden supply stores.
If your uncle will not invest in better food, maybe you can try to research some kibbles that are in the same price range that don’t contain as many undesirable ingredients, chemicals, and dyes. One brand that comes to mind is PMI Nutrition; they make three grades of dog food. I often read comments from people on hunting dog forums recommending their Red Flannel line, their lowest grade of food. I don’t recommend this food, but perhaps it (or another similar food) could be considered the lesser of two evils.
Here is PMI’s website with a store locator:
They say the choco lab has healed up quicker from her allergies this year b/c of the malasab. I think she has some kind of yeast infection b/c the malasab helped a lot and its for gram + – infections. They all did good at eating pb without a long transition, I know thats not recommended but Ive switched my own dogs over in one feeding before also and Ive seen none have stomach problems. They have a vet apt with the other vet in town Fri maybe he will know what to do with their teeth problems. The sardines I feed are in the largest can I can find and I feed them pink salmon occasionally b/c I think you said to b4 also, I just dont rotate them out regularly. I went to the fish market yesterday and got some of their packaged mix and match catch, sardines, a little salmon, some whitefish and some other species that the market actually sells for pet food ( since I dont think all the bones are small enough Ive been pureeing it in the blender) The next door neighbor who also has hunting dogs gets that for his dogs and recommended it. Were lucky to have a local meat shop that sells hearts and other organ meat so I picked some of that up too. How much should i feed of the organ meat and how often should they get it? Would a rotation of every other day with the fish be okay or too much of a good thing? None of the dogs are allowed chews as my relatives think they will choke on them….I asked to give them some braided bully sticks and I was able to only to have the black lab seem to choke on peices b/c he doesnt know how to properly chew the treat. Im headed to Petco after this post and Im going to pick up some Prudence Absolute Immune Health Powder High Potency for Dogs or whatever they recommend b/c they dont have any of the ones you suggested I think and then Ill use that until the Dr. Langer’s probiotics come in. What will happen if the two dogs with bad teeth end up having to have them pulled or partially removed, can a dog make it without teeth I assume a soft diet would be their only option and is that healthy???
Dogs can do ok with no teeth. Their diet should be adjusted since digestion of food begins in the mouth. Soft diets are fine.
The variety of fish should be fine I am just thinking about the proper portions…you know what they say about too much of a good thing. The eggs were another extra that might need to be tweaked.
I never transition Bobby to a new food, he always does fine. The need for or length of time needed for a food transition depends on the dog. I was more interested in how they did and it sounds like they are like Bobby, ready and willing to eat anything and do fine!
If you feel it’s yeasty skin, what does her skin look like? Is there an odor to her?
I was wondering about there teeth and thought maybe they were chewing something that was inappropriate.
Good idea to monitor chewing activities. I give Bobby a beef tendon once/week.
I know I am a broken record, but the “ABC” download has all the info for feeding the extras. I think those extras are going to be great for those pups!!!!
Dogs were not made to chew their food. So the primary concern with type of food is whether or not they can physically get the food down their throat. Some toothless dogs have no issues with swallowing kibble, others need it soaked, others need enough canned added to get it clumping, others need straight canned or even canned with water added.
Her skin is shedding yellow clump like flakes of dandruff from her shoulders back to her tail, she has a weird off smell to her that comes back within an hour of a bath. Ive downloaded the ABC pdf on my kindle and Ill read it later on today when I get a chance. If the soft food becomes their diet will they need enzymes on their food along with the probiotic to help them with digestion then? Also do you know of any guided movements I can do with the gold retriever who has arthritis leading into dysplasia? I know I keep asking more and more questions but you guys on dfa are they only ppl I know who want to help me get these dogs on a better path for their remaining lifetimes. You really cant know how much I appreciate all of this advice and care. Thank You!
They shouldn’t need enzymes for anything unless you see a problem digesting the food. The flakes and the smell sound like yeast, which is often a sign that there is something in the food that they react to, so a food change may be in order.
Walking is the best exercise for arthritis and teaching the dog to go from a stand to a down and from a down to a stand are good exercises for keeping hips strong.
You are very welcome!
Not sure if the fish you bought is cooked or not, but do not feed raw salmon or trout to the dogs because they may contain bacteria that causes death in dogs. Good idea to puree it if you are uncertain about the bones, better safe than sorry.
You will really find that PDF useful. On top of it being packed with great info, it’s an easy read and written so that you can reference info easily. Your questions about food and portions should be answered in there. I don’t feed the ABC diet in one day, I feed all the extras throughout the week as toppers. Please ask if you can’t find what you are looking for; someone here should be able to help.
It does sound like a yeasty skin issue. Dandruff is much better than open sores so the Malesab must have helped. How do you stand budget wise with purchasing more shampoo? I found another budget friendly option for shampoo if you are interested.
My dog had a bad yeast infection last year. It took 8 months of consistent care and tweaking his diet to rid him of it. Changing his diet was integral in the healing process. If at all possible getting them off Ol’ Roy will be the most help. I know it’s not up to you, but if your uncle could at least switch to a food without chemicals, dyes, and meat & bone meal it would be a step in the right direction. With the added fresh foods you are improving their diets regardless, however by eliminating the chemicals etc. I believe you would see their health continue to improve. You might have a fighting chance to prove your point because more than likely some of the issues the dog had a few months ago will show up again after a few weeks back on Ol’ Roy.
I was feeding Bobby a canned food along the lines of Ol’ Roy that contained chemical preservatives and dyes, the kibble I fed was not bad. He had a skin infection so I took him to the Vet. During the visit my Vet discussed the importance of a healthy diet and suggested I stop feeding that canned food and choose another. When I eliminated it from his diet I saw an improvement in his skin within two weeks. That gave me the incentive to find out what else I could do for him.
I can’t answer your questions about enzymes, I don’t use them. Having no teeth would not necessarily be a reason to add enzymes. There was a very interesting conversation on the review side about using enzymes and whether or not they even survive the stomach. This did not pertain to enzymes used for pancreatic issues. Maybe someone else will be able to answer your questions.
I love the results I get from probiotics; wish I started using them long ago. I feed my cat kefir 3x/wk and my dog daily. I upped Bobby’s dose of probiotics when he had a yeasty skin relapse a month ago. When I feel he’s back on track I probably will feed it every other day. I think your choice of probiotics is a good one. Even though I am feeding kefir, it is more out of convenience for me since Bobby and the cats are doing well and like it. Kefir is very affordable, but I think your choice is more economical in the long run and you get more strains of probiotics. Write back with the weights of the dogs who will be getting them, I have info on dosage for human probiotics.
Canned food is much easier for dogs to digest since it is not as processed as dry food. There are several budget friendly canned foods out there. Depending on if they have teeth pulled mixing kibble with canned is an option too. At this point I am guessing it depends on what your Uncle decides to feed them. At the very least, you can add enough water to kibble prior to feeding them to make it a canned consistency if necessary.
I am not sure about specific exercises for arthritis & hip dysplasia. Keeping arthritic animals slim and fit is extremely important. The fish you are adding to their food is really good for arthritic pets! Try searching the forum for this topic and hopefully someone with experience on this subject will stop by.
The Malasab is 25-30$ so if you have any other shampoo suggestions that would be helpful. Thanks for telling me about not feeding the raw fish! The neighbor didnt mention that but I guess Ill just bake it or something before I blend it for them. choco lab weighs 56lbs, black lab 72lbs, gold retriever 80lbs, the probiotics I got this morning say 1 pouch for <50 lbs and 2 pouches for >50. Kefir is just youghurt right? I feed my Taz plain low fat youghurt as a topper and occasionally cottage cheese b/c he likes it but how much do dogs this size need? I guess Ill have to read the ABC pdf and see.
Try an essential oil shampoo, stay away from oatmeal shampoos. Even a medicated dandruff shampoo will help. And mix 1 cup of vinegar in a gallon of water to use as a rinse after the bath. Don’t get it in their eyes though, it will burn.
Kefir isn’t yogurt, though it is like yogurt. Yogurt only has about 3 strains of probiotic, kefir has 10-12 strains. Give large dogs 1/4 cup daily.
Would you be able to help Victoria with dosing info on human probiotics? She ordered Dr. Langer’s. I can’t locate the info I had about what amounts to feed or how often. At least one dog has yeasty skin issues, the 50+ dog. I don’t know if the other two have issues.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by Bobby dog.
Assume an adult human weighs 120 lbs. (Would like to weigh that again, myself) If the dog weighs half that, it gets half a dose. Actually, with probiotics, it doesn’t matter if you over do it, especially for the first few days. I would give one whole capsule each day for a week or two, then give one capsule every other day. When everything is back to normal, twice a week is enough.
Great thanks, I will bank this info for me too. Yeah, I remember weighing that once!
Victoria will just have to see how it goes. She has no control over what her uncle chooses to feed, so I am not sure what normal is or could be for them. She is doing a very kind thing to help out with these extras and I think (and hope) they will make a difference for them.
Sign up for e-mails from Swanson’s website so you are notified of sales; they often have B1G1 free sales.
Cottage cheese and yogurt are great toppers. I don’t think there is any mention of feeding dairy products in the PDF. My dog loves kefir and apparently the strains of probiotics in it are enough to benefit him. I will switch to something else if I ever find it no longer works for him. Here’s some info on kefir and yogurt:
One other use for coconut oil is to apply it topically to dry and irritated skin. If the dog is anything like Bobby you’ll have to supervise her to keep her from licking it off. I always applied it right before we went outside so he would forget about it. It was really helpful in healing his skin.
Since Bobby had a yeasty skin relapse, I refreshed my memory about yeast issues in dogs to make sure I had all bases covered. I came across a recommendation for an anti-yeast shampoo in the Whole Dog Journal for Selsun Blue (dandruff shampoo for people). The active ingredient in it is 1% selenium sulfide. I bought the store brand version and it worked well for Bobby. The reason I asked the condition of her skin was because I wouldn’t use it on my dog if he had open sores. My preference would be to use a shampoo that contained an anti-microbial ingredient if that were the case.
Good article to read, look under the Malassezia heading, 6th paragraph for shampoo:
Look under the shampoo heading:
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