We have a 4 month old lab puppy who we are struggling to find the right food for. He came home at almost 8 weeks and we transitioned him to Dr. Tim’s Kinesis. His poop was softer than we thought it should be and he was biting at himself quite a but, so we tried to transition to Fromm’s 4 star grain-free. That was a disaster–diarrhea and pooping 6-8 times a day after only a 1/4 cup of it mixed in! Dropped Fromm’s after 2 days (doing a slow transition), back to Dr. Tim’s, and then I discovered tapeworms! (Yay!) We’ve treated successfully for tapeworms, but soft poop again so I did 3 days of rice, hamburger, and pumpkin. Poop was much better–what I would expect. Transitioned back to Dr. Tim’s and stool was loose again. Went to the vet, she sent fecal away for the giardia SNAP test, which was negative. In the meantime, we’ve been giving him metronidazole and sucralfate in the hopes that it would calm his digestive system. She also suggested trying a less rich dog food. So I tried Canine Caviar Large Breed Puppy Lamb and Brown Rice. He didn’t really like it, but after a few days, poop got worse again.
As of right now, we are still on the meds and I’m trying Wegman’s Chicken and Rice. We’ve only been on it two days, but no drastic improvement yet. He likes it much better, so that’s a win. I’ve been adding rice to it per the vets suggestion, though I don’t know that it’s doing much. Pumpkin only helps marginally, although he likes it! He’s still pretty itchy all over. We’ll see if things firm up over the next couple days.
So, what next? Vet and I both suspect food as the culprit. She suggested an Eukanuba food, but I’m not sure if I want to go that direction.
Otherwise, he’s a super happy puppy who is gaining weight and loving life. Just wish I could get the food figured out!!!
Thanks for your help!
Well firstly, I just want to point out that because this is a large breed you are dealing with you need to make sure the foods you are feeding are formulated for a large breed puppy. Do not trust the front of the bag just because it says large breed puppy. They require proper calcium and phosphorus levels and you definitely don’t want to deal with something like Pano on top of all of his GI upset.
Have a look at these 2 links:
As for his GI distress. You can add probiotics to the food (I’ve used Kefir and greek yogurt) to help strengthen his stomach. Is he scratching his ears and licking his butt or just licking his paws and legs mainly?
Hi, when I rescued my boy I had the same problem but he was 4 years old, we did every test, in the end the only food that worked was the Vet Diet “Eukanuba Intestinal” low residue kibble, the fiber is only 1.7% & fat is 10% fat…Not the Iams Intestinal the fiber is higher 4% & different ingredients…You may need a vet diet just to get him stable & doing firm poos, then when bowel has healed after feeding the vet diet for about 6months & he’s stable doing firm poos everyday, then very slowly add a new limited ingredient kibble, I email the companies & ask for insoluble fiber %, soluble fiber % & dietary fiber% they only put the crude fiber on their bags…introduce the new kibble very slowly over a 2-3 week period, I start a new kibble using the new kibble as treats for a couple of days, also you feed nothing else, no treats nothing…..
There’s insoluble fiber, soluble fiber, dietary fiber & crude fiber & the pet shop foods are not formulated for dogs with stomach & bowel problems, the kibbles are formulated for healthy dogs, where vet diets are made for certain health problems, don’t get me wrong, I’m not into vet diets but sometimes the vet diets help fix the health problem, the vet diet was the only kibble that firmed up Patches poos & you get so excited when they do a firm poo lol, after just 1-2 days of eating his Eukanuba Intestinal, Patch was pooing a nice firm poo that I could pick up & not leave a big skid mark on the lawn at the park…… the Hills Z/d Ultra has more insoluble fiber, insoluble-3.7% soluble-0.1% crude fiber-2.9% the Z/d Ultra did not help my boy gave him water diarrhea, The Royal Canine HP Hypoallergenic was OK the fiber was 1% but the fat was 19% fat & Patches morning poo was firm but afternoon poo was a cow paddie…… all vet diets are money back guaranteed, if they don’t work, that’s what I liked..
The Eukanuba Intestinal has more soluble fiber & less insoluble fiber & worked for Patch after trying 3 different vet diets…..
You need to work out what works for your pup, when you fed the home cooked hamburger mince, rice & pumkin did that firm up his poos completely? cause pumkin is high in fiber & pumkin made Patches poos very sloppy also the cooked boiled rice irritated his bowel giving him diarrhea, but he can eat the grounded rice in kibbles…
The next time you cook buy some lean beef mince, not hamburger mince, hamburger mince is high in fat…..buy some potatoes, boil the potatoes & mash 1/4 potatoes thru the cooked lean mince, no pumkin & no boiled rice, see if that firms up his poos, then add some pumkin & see if poo goes sloppy again, if poo goes sloppy then he needs a lower fiber diet,
I stay away from kibbles with peas most of the grain free kibbles have peas, lentils, legumes, all high in lectins & lectins can cause leaky gut..
I started to feed a cook meal for breakfast & feed his Eukanuba Intestinal for lunch & dinner, cause I knew the Eukanuba Intestinal made his poos firm & he was only doing 1 maybe 2 poos a day on the Eukanuba Intestinal, so I started to feed the cooked meal for breakfast to see the difference in his poos & what foods worked, you’d see his sloppy orange pumkin & chicken poo, then I knew the pumkin wasn’t working, then I added boiled rice with the boiled chicken & he had diarrhea, then I change to lean beef mince, broccoli, celery with quinoa & he does firm poos now, firmer poos when he eats a cooked meal then when he eats his kibble…..
“California Natural” has their limited ingredient Puppy Chicken & Rice it has just 6 ingredients but chicken is the protein & the fat is 16%min-18% max …. I know puppies need fat but I’m wondering maybe he can’t handle too much fat & a lot of puppy kibbles/wet are higher in fat…. http://www.californianaturalpet.com/products/1161.
It will take time but you will work out what his stomach/bowel cant handle, so keep a diary….its best to start with a vet diet first, get him stable & doing firm poos, then after 6months start looking for a new limited ingredient kibble that has around the same fat % & fiber % that’s in the vet diet that’s working for you pup…Good-Luck 🙂
pitlove–thanks for the reply. I read both the links you shared prior to choosing each dog food. I also use the calculator to make sure the ratio is correct. I’ve been putting in plain greek yogurt from time to time (a couple tablespoons). It doesn’t seem to do much, but Hudson loves it!
Susan–thanks for all your insight. I think your trial plan sounds solid. We go to see the vet next week for a regular checkup, so I may ask her then about the Eukanuba. A huge part of me struggles with the idea of these vet foods, but if he needs it, then we’ll go that route. I’m going to give the Wegman’s a little longer, as it’s almost exactly like the California Natural LI. If we can’t get to a good place, then I’m going to try your diet plan.
Sigh. Why can’t it be easy?
Good! Just remember the calculator tool is not accurate if you put the cal/phos minimums that are on the bag though. You have to contact the company for the as fed amounts.
How much of the greek yogurt are you putting? Maybe he needs some more.
Trust me Jennifer, I think anyone with a problem pup shares your last sentiment. It’s so frustrating sometimes to the point that you just want to cry.
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