I recently started my dog on a prescription diet (Hills ZD) for itching/chewing from allergies. He actually loves the food BUT I am noticing that he’s pooping an almost insane amount and the poop is pretty “soft and mushy” looking. He’s been on this food for a month and I am still noticing this. His anal glands have also been bothering him a lot since starting this. He’s constantly scooting despite getting them expressed. I feel like the food just isn’t really impressing me enough to want to keep paying such a pricey amount for it. My question is this…is there a better dry food that I could get him on that will help his glands release naturally while firming his stool up and that will also alleviate his itching? I had him on California Naturals Kangaroo but it’s really become quite hard to find and it didn’t seem to help that much with his symptoms. Any thoughts?
- This topic was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Ryan K.
Zignature, for something a bit more reasonable, Nutrisca
I have found that grain free and avoiding potatoes helps.
From a previous post of mine per:
Excerpts (out of context) from article below: https://www.vetsecure.com/veterinarymedicalclinic.com/articles/136
“Anal sacs are the reservoirs for the secretions of anal glands which are located on either side of a dog’s anus, at approximately four and eight o’clock. These sacs contain liquid secretions from the anal gland, which, in healthy animals, are normally pale yellow-brown to grayish in color. The contents are usually emptied during normal bowel movements, or when a dog is nervous or scared. In most animals, these sacs empty easily. However, some dogs, especially small breed dogs, are not able to empty the sacs properly and become susceptible to anal sac disease”.
Transmission or Cause:
“The cause of anal sac disease is unknown. Smaller dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas and poodles, are most often affected. Excessive anal gland production, soft feces or diarrhea, poor muscle tone, and obesity also contribute to higher risk of developing anal sac disease. Anal sac abscess tends to occur after an impacted anal gland has become so severely swollen and infected that the anal sac forms an abscess and ruptures”.
“Expression of the anal sacs every few weeks or months often will help prevent anal gland fluid from accumulating and becoming thickened again. High fiber diets have been shown to help prevent anal sac disease in at-risk dogs, especially those that are obese”.
Regarding allergies, it would be best to make an appointment with a board certified veterinary dermatologist for testing/ diagnosis/treatment, if you don’t have good results with your regular vet within a reasonable amount of time.
In the meantime, has your vet recommended a prescription food/therapeutic diet? That may be a good place to start.
Beware of homeopathic miracle cures, forget about mail-in hair and saliva tests (no good).
For science-based veterinary medicine go here http://skeptvet.com/Blog/
You can use the search engine there to look up topics.
This site has a search engine too, see my posts.
PS: Regarding the blood test via vet, food allergies are rare and food sensitivities tend to fluctuate. Intradermal skin testing done by a veterinary dermatologist is the most accurate. My dog has environmental allergies, her anal gland issues cleared up immediately after she started the prescribed treatment by the specialist.
Hi Ryan K,
You didn’t specify what his allergies are. But a lot if dogs do have allergies to grains ,rice and chicken. The anal sacks are released with harder stools that is why he is having a hard time with the present food.
My recommendation would be to find a grain-free food like Merrick or Zigatature (I think this comes in grain free) These are very good alternatives and can be found either in a store or on Chewy. Com.
Best of luck to you and your fur baby.
Hi Ryan K,
I’d recommend that you talk to your veterinarian. If your dog is on Z/D for the purpose of doing a food trial to shift off it now will defeat that purpose. As none of the limited ingredient diets you can buy without veterinary supervision are suitable for a food trial you may want to discuss with your veterinarian completing the trial with a different therapeutic diet.
Is the Hills Z/d helping with his allergies (Skin) ? does he suffer with Environment allergies or Food sensitivities or does he have both? my boy suffers with both, if his skin seems better on the Hills Z/D it’s probably the high Omega fatty acids they put in the Vet Diets, start looking for another limited ingredient single protein kibble, if the California Natural ingredients didn’t really help read what the ingredients were in the California Natural, I’m pretty sure the CN Kangaroo formula has Red & Green Lentils these ingredients will not help if a dog has sloppy poos/diarrhea you need to aviod Lentils…
With environment allergies baths are best in a medicated shampoo, I found Malaseb works the best for my boy, twice a week or weekly baths, washes off the allergens on the dog skin/paws if he’s doing sloppy poos then Sweet Potatoes & Potato is the best to firm up poo’s, the only way a dog will get yeasty skin & paws is if he is sensitive to an ingredient & from environment allergies, Potato does not cause yeasty skin/paws in dogs this is a Myth, thats if he gets yeasty smelly skin & paws….
You can start an elimination food diet & start working out what foods he can & cant eat, Potato & Sweet Potato firmed up my boy poos up with his IBD now he doesnt need his anal gland expressed no more, sometimes after Patch has done a poo I see the fluid running down his black bum, when I go home I get a baby wipe & wipe that area, after I started feeding Patch “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, it has just Lamb as the protein source then Sweet Potato, Potato, Peas, Canola Oil, Egg I started rotating & feeding “Canidae” Pure Wild Boar, Patch has had no more anal gland problems..
Here’s the Canidae site to look at formula’s & ingredients,
Canidae also have their Pure Sea & Pure Sky formula’s they’re really good for skin problems cause they’re very high in omega fatty acids, Canidae also make another brand called “Under The Sun” but its yellow pea & chickpea heavy, I’d avoid if your dogs has sloppy poo problems..
or look at “4Health” Special Care, Sensitive Stomach” it just has Potato & Egg excellent for doing an elimination diet once your dog is doing well you start adding 1 new ingredient for 6 weeks & see does he react in those 6 weeks there’s also “4Health” Special Care, Sensitive Skin formula it has Hydrolyzed Salmon but has more ingredients then the 4Health Sensitive Stomach formula has, or there’s other “4Health” formula’s Turkey & Potato, Duck & Potato, Whitefish & Potato look for a formula with the least ingredients just google “4health Special Care, Sensitive Stomach” & you’ll see all the 4health formula’s …
Hills Z/d is Guaranteed Money back so I’d take back the remaining Z/D kibble, keep a bit of the Z/d kibble to help introduce a new kibble & tell the lady at the vet counter what is happening, Hills like feed back how your dog went on their vet diets, you can even send Hills an email & have a Vet Nutritionist call you back they will help you with the vets diet, which is best to try next, Hills have their Potato & Duck skin formula or their Science Diet Sensitive Skin formula, the Z/D had been changed twice in the last 5yrs & the Hills I/d Digestive Care has just been changed & improved again, thats 3 times in 5 yrs so Hills must get a few complaints with their vet diets….
There’s “Royal Canin” Hydrolyzed Protein HP formula or Royal Canin have their Select Proteins, PR- Potato & Rabbit, PV Potato & Venison, Skin Support SS is Rice & Fish, that’s if you want to try another vet diet again, or look for a premium limited ingredient dog kibble & add your own omega oil, just buy some Fish/Krill Oil capsules & give 1 capsule with 1 of his meals a day but only start adding the Krill Oil capsules once he’s stable on the new kibble as fish /Krill Oil can cause sloppy poos in some dogs, fish/krill oil its excellent for dogs skin/coat..
Thanks for the replies! 🙂 I decided to pull him off of the ZD as his poops were just far too liquidy for too long. My vet put him on Royal Canin’s hydrolized protein diet instead and he seems to be doing OK on it. His allergies (which are still unknown to me) have decreased immensely BUT he seems a little out of character since he started this food. It’s hard to explain. He just seems…restless. He’s only 8 so it’s not really an “old dog restless” thing…he just seems unhappy. He typically is the kind of dog that will just sleep when I sleep and relax all day but he has been crying to go out like crazy and although his poops are solid again…his stomach seems to be grumbling a lot. I think the food is not sitting well with his digestive system for some reason despite it doing wonders for his skin.
I want to get him on a regular, more nutrient beneficial dry food. I think he might be sensitive to peas and lentils since that is really the only thing in the Kangaroo diet he was on that could have been causing his insane itching unless he is allergic to kangaroo itself. Does anyone know of any good dry dog food without peas and lentils that is limited ingredient?
sounds like my Patch when he eats the vet diets, the vet diets have too much Omega fatty acid oils in them & Patch ends up being uncomfortable, whinging, swollowing, gets his acid reflux… Find a limited Ingredient kibble that has 2-3 ingredients, 1 meat protein he hasn’t eaten much of with 1-2 carbs, have you tried the “Natural Balance” Sweet potato & Bison formula or Sweet Potato & Fish or the Potato & Duck formula these 3 formula’s have the least ingredients out of all the N/B LTD formula’s..
Change what he’s eating, now you know the R/C HP firms up his poos so if ever you need a vet diet now you have one that firms up his poos, I’ve run of of kibbles with Patch & he doesn’t do well on any vet diets, most grain free formula’s have Lentils & Chickpeas or Tapioca, I wish I could get the “Natural Balance LTD” formula’s in Australia….
Oh wow. I’m glad I am not alone with a dog having these type of issues. He just seems so incredibly….OFF! I was just debating getting bloodwork done for him to rule out anything serious but I literally just had some done on him about 4 months ago so I was going to wait a bit longer to see if he got better and more “normal”. I think I might start from the top and just work my way down with the protein sources. I was thinking of trying a brand called Tuscan Natural. It’s literally just a few ingredients. I was going to start with the chicken recipe which just has Chicken, Rice, Brown Rice and Olive Oil. Seems simple enough. I will see how things go! Thank you so much for your response!
I have been feeding my pure bred Cavalier King Charles “Natural Balance” Duck and Potato formula for several years at the recommendation of her Vet due to previous food allergies. Ever since, we have been completely successful; no allergies, no antibiotics. I have beed feeding her Natural Balance exclusively for at least the past 6 years. My Cav is now 11 years old and when I recently went in to routinely buy her bag of food, the store owner steered me away from it saying that Natural Balance had been purchased by the Smucker’s Company and “most likely the formula would change because Smuckers is a big company”. So, she talked me into buying “Tuscan Natural-Simply Pure Lamb” Dry Food. Saying it was a simple-ingredient food. I eased and transitioned my dog into the new food. Everything was fine in the beginning. But once my Cav was solely on the the new food…OMG!!! My poor dog couldn’t stop pooping. She would wake up whining and whimpering during the night because she had to poop so bad! I’d take her out in the middle of the night and she would poop super soft poo, the same color as the food! She would poop 2-3 times during the day, as well! This went on for 3-4 days and nights until I decided to go back to her original food; “Natural Balance”. Not sure if this has happened to anyone else, but I would be very careful transitioning over to “Tuscan Natural”. IT DID NOT AGREE WITH MY DOG, AT ALL!!! As soon as I began feeding the her the original food, she immediately was fine. Stools were normal, she slept through the night, and has never had anymore soft stool issues! Just thought I’d let you all know.
Smucker’s bought Natural Balance almost 4 years ago (3/2015).
Hi Peggy even though Natural Balance has been bought out, if your dog is doing good on it then I wouldn’t switch. But keep a close eye on the ingredients and the kibble. If you notice any changes see if the dog is okay with it. If not Wellness makes a simple ingredient diet as well. Good Luck.
Yes, I know Natural Balance was bought out several years ago. That’s why I was kinda surprised the store owner was just now (1 month ago) steering me away from it! Doesn’t really matter, my Cav is now back on Natural Balance. The point I was trying to make was to inform Ryan K (although his was an older post) what happened to my dog in case he was thinking of starting his dog on Tuscan. But thanks for the quick responses @rrlover @joanne l !
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