Dog Food Advisor Forums Jenn H

Jenn H

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  • in reply to: Science Diet #102849 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Purina (higher end line like Pro Plan) and Science Diet are not as horrible as many think. I was once one of those people. Then I really learned about all the studies they do, the advancements in nutrition that have been made because of these companies and the work they do.
    While my experiences are anecdotal, the dogs that I have had to feed Science Diet to have done far better than they did on the 5 star brands. It is because of the science and continued research they do.
    They also treat the animals they use in trials very well. Hills keeps the animals for the entirety of their lives and tracks their health and nutrition through all stages. I don’t think there is a company that is so thorough in their research.
    My youngest dog is only 2. He’s been on the most expensive foods and always had some sort of issue. Mostly mild when fed really good quality food. He did fantastic on Acana until they started making food in KY. Then his food intolerances were the worst they have ever been. He & his brother do great on Science Diet. (I also feed him The Honest Kitchen too.) His mother is fed Pro Plan. She’s thriving. She has terrible allergies too.
    Hills prescription food has kept my girl from having flare ups. It’s no more expensive than the top of the line foods. She is also on FortiFlora which is made by Purina

    It’s so important to do your homework. You can’t just go by the label, DFA, documentaries, blogs, etc. Nothing is that simple or black & white. We’re talking about animals. They are not so simple when it comes to their individual needs and differences.

    As for Science Diet & Purina paying vet schools. They may pay to hold a seminar, but they are not influencing the course of study. (Much like a comedian or band paying a college to perform.) Students’ attendance is strictly volunteer. They are not credited or penalized.

    Jenn H

    I have not heard of Prothrive. I’m going to look into it. I like to have options. And with 2 of my dogs I like to change their probiotic once in a while. I should probably do that with my 3rd dog too, but I’m afraid to change what seems to be working with her.
    Thanks for offering another choice.

    in reply to: Environmental Allergy Relief #99080 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I also have a dog with severe environmental allergies.
    The 1 thing that I have found to work for him in preventing, managing and relieving his symptoms is raw wildflower honey from a beekeeper neighbor. It works best if he starts getting in Feb.
    I’ve tried other raw wildflower honeys when I ran out and the closest to home the better.

    If/when he is having a reaction (because we ran out of his honey) there’s a whole routine we have to give him relief.

    His brother also has these allergies and his people treat it differently with good success.

    I can go thru the whole thing if you want. Just let me know.

    Jenn H

    Re: Vaccinations
    Years ago when my dog was going through treatments for cancer the vet suggested we do titers instead of straight up vaccinating for everything since he had a compromised immune system.
    Ever since once then we have been doing titers and giving only the necessary vaccinations.
    I also spread out vaccinations. I don’t give them combo shots when possible (there’s 1 that’s unavoidable). This way if there is a reaction we’ll know what caused it.

    I’m not an anti-vaxxer, but I am anti- overvaccinating.

    Re: Acana
    It is very disappointing that the high quality of their products has gone down the drain. It was the best food for my big guy and I didn’t have to feed him a ton of it. Now he’s getting hot spots. I’ve tried every formula and the fish has been causing him the most trouble. I thought the oils may have helped. I would only buy the small bags knowing that it was very oily and people were complaining. I keep it in its original bag too so it doesn’t make the bin rancid. And shake the bag to hopefully disperse the oils.
    We’re looking into other brands now. Too bad. I really loved Champion.

    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #91242 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Anonymous I totally agree with your point. It is the so unethical/immoral to force your beliefs on anyone.

    I especially agree with your post script for those who believe veganism is more environmentally friendly. It is simply not a sustainable option to feed so many people. Seems so obvious that you can feed more people & animals with one big animal/fish than you can a plant.
    Not to mention there is absolutely no way to possibly be 100℅ vegan if that means never using animals for anything. Guess where the fertilizer for those plants comes from????? Manure from the animals they don’t eat.
    Those pesticides for organic & non-organic still harm bees (which is necessary for pollinating those plants) and other insects, birds, small animals…there really isn’t a way to not cause harm to other living creatures when growing crops. So those vegans who insist on their extreme diets for ethical reasons aren’t being as ethical as they think and really cause more harm.

    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #91241 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Christopher E
    The “scientifically empirical” evidence that humans and dogs are not meant to eat plant only diets is obvious (or should be). Neither have rumens or multiple stomachs like animals that are meant to eat plant only diets (cows).
    Humans and dogs are omnivores. Not herbivores.
    There’s usually nothing wrong with adding more plants to a dog’s diet, but it makes absolutely no sense and there is absolutely no good reason to feed a dog a plant only diet.
    What often happens to people who are vegan long enough is they begin to self-cannibilize.
    That said I also don’t think it’s the best idea to feed a strictly raw diet either. Domesticating canines has made them different from wild canines. Some can handle raw just fine and others cannot handle a lot. I have dogs that will catch & eat whatever they come across outside w/o issue and a dog that will end up w/ diarrhea if he does that.
    If I were to feed a fad diet to my animals it has to have scientific evidence to back up its claims and agree with their particular system.
    No matter what animal protein will be part of that diet because it is what they as omnivores require.

    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #91230 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Of course food intolerances go away. The aggravating factor has been eliminated.
    A dog may be diagnosed with having a food “allergy” to chicken, but if fed chicken from a different source (farm) they may not have any problems.

    It’s perfectly fine for a dog to eat animal by-products. Americans tend not to eat this stuff, but other countries do. The by-products can be anything from cartilage to organs. Organs are loaded with good stuff.
    Chipmunks, snakes, field mice aren’t considered good enough for human consumption, but my dog will happily eat them when she finds them on the farm. I don’t know if she’s getting much or any nutrients from them, and I wouldn’t eat them, but that’s the difference between humans and animals. She doesn’t like fruit, I do. We’re different. I’m not going to force her to eat something or not based on whether I would or wouldn’t. I feed her what I believe to provide the best possible nutrition for her that helps her thrive and keeps her healthy. And if it happens to be more sustainable than that’s a bonus. (Veganism is not a sustainable option. But that’s a whole other rant.)

    Poor breeding is to blame for cancers and degenerative diseases. People will breed anything. They just want to get paid. It’s hard to find breeders who do genetic testing and are careful to keep their breeding stock optimal. Many breed for show. Which if you’ve ever seen the conformation of show dogs will notice how deformed they actually are compared to their healthier ancestors.

    I do believe food is the most important part of preventing health problems and sustaining the health of any animal once they are born, but before that breeding only the healthiest must be done.

    Many humans do well on vegan diets for a while because they have cut calories, decreased junk food, increased fruits & vegs. Then they don’t feel great because they become malnourished.
    Even they supplement what the food is missing they still aren’t getting the best possible source of that nutrient as it’s better to get nutrients from foods than replacing with synthetic versions.
    Short term veganism has its benefits (for some humans), but no one can say with certainty that long term benefits for anyone exist.

    in reply to: Heartworm Medicine inactive ingredients #91167 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    This seems to be an increasingly scary problem with preventatives.
    I have stopped them all together. The puppy has never even had anything.
    Instead I have been using holistic preventatives for ticks. That has been awesome for my dogs. For heartworm I have their fecal tested every 4 months. Before the parasites reach the worm stage. This way if something shows up they can take the preventatives at that point, but not have to have the full blown heartworm treatment. (That’s how I understand it anyway.)
    My older dogs have enough problems. They always had a very mild reaction to the monthly topicals, but since they have acquired other issues due to Lyme (despite doing everything I was told like vaccines and using Advantix every 28 days), IBD and age-related stuff I am not comfortable with using any of those products anymore. Plus they keep changing them. Dogs that have never had problems suddenly do. I’m just too scared now.
    I don’t think I’m saving much money if any at all by not buying the stuff and having the tests, but if they were to get sick I am saving a ton.
    The tick repellent isn’t as convenient as a 1x/month thing, but it’s also not difficult.
    Next year I will have pet safe mosquito repelling flowers planted and see how that works.
    There are alternatives out there. Some work better than other on individual pets, but I haven’t seen any adverse reactions. Not sure if there is any science to back up these methods. This is all anecdotal as far as I know so use as much caution as you would with the more conveniential methods.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Jenn H.
    in reply to: orijin/ acana now made in the USA #91166 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I’m glad you contacted them. The more people who do that the more likely they are to fix what’s broken.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #91165 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Elaine C there are a few brands that add probios, vitamins& minerals, etc after processing to replace what is lost.
    There’s also brands that don’t cook the food at such high temps for the purpose of minimizing nutrients lost therefore they don’t have to replace as much at the end.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #91163 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Go to petmd. (Sorry was unable to add link using phone.)
    In the search “Questions Pet Food Manufacturers Should Answer”.
    It’s a list of about 10 questions that are approved by AAHA.
    If you ask them in order and they fail to answer any, then you won’t need to waste time asking the rest.
    Be careful a lot of companies like to give replies that sound good, but don’t actually answer the question.
    I will not feed any food before asking these questions. You’d be surprised how many companies don’t use vet nutritionists (even fewer use board certified vet nutritionists), how many don’t do AAFCO feed trials because they are expensive and all the creative ways they don’t avoid giving straight answers and the excuses for doing or not doing certain things. When called out they can get defensive or just ignore you all together.

    I hope your dog is feeling better.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Jenn H.
    in reply to: Hill's Pet Foods #91162 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Always contact a company first to find out who designs their diets. Ideally they should have a vet nutritionist on staff. At the very least they should have one who they consult and developes the diet.
    I had considered them, but being a plant-based protein food I didn’t try it. My dogs don’t do well unless the food has “significant amount of meat”.
    When I was looking into them, the site makes no mention of consulting a board certified vet nutritionist. It’s another brand that goes on & on about all the other stuff we want to hear. Like where it’s made and all that. Sure that’s important, but it doesn’t matter if the diet isn’t created by someone who actually knows what they are doing and not just making food that is good enough for AAFCO standards.

    Not saying if the food is good or bad. Just saying that it is smart to ask if they hire a board certified vet nutritionist to formulate and oversee the process and make sure the recipe is followed properly.

    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #91161 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Pam G I agree with everything you said. It’s maddening that they have these pets. They claim to love animals so much yet they are not properly taking care of those they have committed to do so.
    There’s a wolf education center not far from me. (I realize there are differences between pet dogs and wolves.) Hunters will bring deer heads to them for the wolves to have. Much like the hunt club you mentioned.
    I don’t believe for a second that dog lived to be that old. And it absolute did not live its entire life without meat.
    People will fall for any anecdotal examples from random people if it supports their side. Forget science and evidence. While that isn’t perfect at least it’s controlled, based on factual info and must follow particular steps.
    There isn’t any study that suggests vegan is healthy for humans long term. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary. I cannot imagine it is even remotely acceptable for dogs & cats.
    These people don’t care about animals as much as they care about their agenda.

    Jenn H

    So very sorry for your loss.

    I hope everyone saves their bags (and a few kibble) at least until they know the new bag they purchase isn’t causing problems with their pets.

    Everyone needs to contact Champion when they suspect something is wrong. Perhaps contact the FDA as well.

    in reply to: My Labrador Throws Up Infrequently #90982 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    As promised a follow up…finally. Took forever for some reason to get back tests…
    So Lillie’s kidney values are a little elevated. Couldn’t find bacteria in urine. I guess that’s not too unusual. But white blood cells (WBC) weren’t high. When they are that suggests an infection.
    Vet thinks 2 things:
    *A bladder infection or UTI
    *Possibly age-related kidney failure.
    Guess which I’m hoping for…
    Either can present w/ these signs & symptoms.
    Treatment plan right now is Zeniquin (antibiotic) 14 days and Cerenia (anti-nausea) continue bland diet.
    We’ll retest urine after treatment and see where we are.

    While we waited I continued to give her Fortiflora until I ran out. She’s getting Wysong Pet Inoculant until the order arrives. Along with the probios she’s been getting Free Form. Omega 3 & 6 are great for inflammation even IBD.
    This seems to have been working pretty well. [Knock wood.] No more throwing up. Peeing only when she sleeps. This gives me some hope that maybe she is fighting an infection and isn’t in renal failure.

    Let you all know the rest when we get to the next part.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #90914 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Not sure if the Mary Straus recommended is the same person from dogaware site. If so just to clarify she is NOT a vet. Which is not to say there isn’t much value in experience, but she doesn’t have any formal education.

    Dr Becker is a great resource. But she & Straus love pushing raw. Dr Becker has a lot more product she hocks too.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #90863 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Have you tried her on a bland diet for a few days? It won’t help with the weight issue, but it will give her belly a chance to reset itself (assuming there’s no other underlying problem).
    Then try adding a probiotic and/or Pepcid to her food. And feed small meals throughout the day.
    Once she’s feeling better try a food you are comfortable with slowly.

    She won’t gain weight if she isn’t keeping her food down or it’s coming out the other end.

    Maybe consider something for her head. If she is really stressed she may need some psychopharmacuticals to get her through the anxiety so she can adjust to the changes.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #90862 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Not all kibble is created equal. That’s one reason why you should switch brands every few months.
    Feeding kibble isn’t always about convenience. Sometimes it’s a food that agrees with a particular dog. Sometimes it’s the affordable option.

    You can always add supplements if your pet is lacking something until you find a food that agrees with them and provides all the nutrients.

    in reply to: My Labrador Throws Up Infrequently #90829 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Crazy4cats blood pulled yesterday…now we wait. Also doing urinalysis. Since she’s having some incontinence. Less worried about that though. They think it’s just age. Apparently as spayed females age it’s not an unusual occurrence d/t estrogen, blah, blah, blah. Inexpensive & easy treatment for that. U/a is just to be positive no UTI or anything else.

    in reply to: My Labrador Throws Up Infrequently #90828 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    My 1 girl has been dealing with this off & on since Feb 2015. She’s on mostly i/d turkey (2 can/day) and 1/2 can low fat chix for lunch w/ probio. Organic boiled chicken added.
    The Lab who isn’t yet dx is only on low fat chix until we get results back. She gets same meals & supps for now.
    My first girl only really likes the turkey. She was also on kibble last year. That didn’t seem to help much. Despite being on the cans and soaking it. The only kibble I have found that agrees with her long term is Wysong.

    I know a biopsy is the best chance for an answer, but the vet doesn’t think we’re there yet.
    I have tossed around the idea of endoscopy, but it’s big $ and other things keep coming up (like another dog having IBD). The best I can do right now is manage it as much as possible. Otherwise the other animals will have to make major sacrifices in their requirements and that will just snowball. And it’s not fair to them. All about balancing at the moment.

    Thanks for the advice.

    in reply to: My Labrador Throws Up Infrequently #90649 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Thanks. I’m working as much as I can to get the money as fast as I can. I’ll never forgive myself if something major is going on and something unthinkable happens. Thankfully she’s as energetic and hungry as always. The only other change is the sporadic vomiting and urine leakage.

    I will follow up when I get results.

    in reply to: Doggie Dooley waste systems #90648 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Thanks Dogfoodie!
    I’m in New England. Our winters can get ridiculously freezing. Do you know if it matters whether you are on town sewer or not? That’s all I know about my sewage system. I’ll have to locate the clean out thing too. (Assuming I have 1.)

    in reply to: Doggie Dooley waste systems #90645 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I would be interested to know how well it works. Been considering that as well. But I may try to make one. Pinterest has a lot of DIYs.

    in reply to: My Labrador Throws Up Infrequently #90644 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Crazy4cats she had x-rays done at the emergency vet. I thought for sure it would be some obstruction too. But she had also had a fever. (They took her temp there.) Between the last vet appt & now she hasn’t shown any signs of having an obstruction. Plus I would think something would’ve come up or out at some point.
    My biggest concern is organ function. I was hoping someone here may have experienced this as well just so I can have a direction to start looking into and/or something else to try until we can afford the blood work.

    in reply to: My Labrador Throws Up Infrequently #90643 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Anon101 I appreciate the reply and advice.
    She has had part of her senior physical, but because of the emergency visit right before that wellness/senior visit I didn’t have enough money to do all the tests needed. As soon as I can she will get the complete blood work up.

    I’m worried it may be kidney or pancreas related. She has been having intermittent incontinence also.

    Right now the band-aid (THK Bone Broth) is working enough that i/d is staying down. Hopefully she won’t get worse before I save enough for the rest of the tests.

    in reply to: My Labrador Throws Up Infrequently #90526 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I am suddenly having sporadic vomiting/regurgitating with my Chocolate Lab also. This dog has never had a problem. She can & has eaten everything edible and inedible.
    She’s almost 11.
    There is no particular time of day when she gets sick and it isn’t regularly.
    Every few days.
    She’s been on Acana Regional Free-range poultry for months.
    When this first started she was throwing up water. The vet gave her anti-nausea meds and bland diet for a while. That helped for a couple wks. Now she’s throwing up the food.
    Her appetite is good and no known disease or parasites etc.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #90432 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Elaine C it’s true AAFCO is a baseline. At least it’s a starting point. That’s why you have to read the labels and ask the company what the min & max guaranteed analysis is on a dry matter basis and make sure it’s the right amounts for your dog.

    I don’t like or trust Purina the dog food company either as a general rule. I personally wouldn’t feed it, but I know plenty of dogs that do very well on Pro Plan and not as well on the better quality foods. It’s just what works for them right now for whatever reason.

    The foods do have a lot of corn and grains, but that’s not necessarily awful. Again, my dogs don’t do well on foods that use a lot of plant-based protein, others seem to have better luck.

    As far as I know Purina uses Grade 1 & 2 ingredients which is human grade. And they don’t use feather, hooves, etc as their by-products.

    There is certainly much worse choices. If there’s any good about being so big is that they are being watched and they have the money to afford to do feed trials and have excellent facilities.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #90429 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    It’s true that much is lost in the heat process. There are brands that use less /lower heat in the processing of foods. And most add nutrients after to replace what is lost like probiotics.
    Always always always check the date on the food before buying. They are usually dated 1 yr later.

    There’s certainly much better & much worse options. Choose a few of the best brands that are within your budget and your dog does well on and rotate every few months. No one food should be fed for the entirety of a dog’s life anyway.

    There is no one perfect food/diet that is best for all dogs. Every dog is different. Every family has different means and budgets.
    Stay away from the really cheap stuff, do your homework and pay attention to how your dog does on a particular food.

    We all just do the best we can.

    Jenn H

    CC, thank you for the kind words.
    The dog in the avatar is actually the uncle of the dog I was talking about earlier. Sadly I lost him to HSA of the aorta. That was one of the worst nights of my life. I guess that’s part of the reason I have become so hypersensitive and obsessed with Chevelle’s health. She’s special in her own way and the living connection I still have here.

    It pains me when anyone’s pet isn’t well. I understand all too well the fright, uncertainty and helplessness. Any one of us would trade places with them in a second.

    I am not crazy about the ingredients of the food she is on now, but for some reason it agrees with her. I don’t know if it’s broken down more or what. It’d be nice to know why and if I can find another that yields the same results with better quality ingredients.
    When I contacted Science Diet about the ingredients and asked why they don’t use chelated minerals and source some supplements from China I got a response that had a defensive tone with the excuse that China is largest supplier of a lot of supplements and it’s cost effective.
    I’m considering going back to Wysong. She seemed to also do well on that for a good long time. They have always been really polite, helpful and open.

    I hope soon we won’t need to have these discussions and our animals can finally have foods that truly maintain and improve their health.

    in reply to: Vet who recommends Purina Pro Plan #90362 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Brian O I have also had a similar discussions with those who know far more than I and are objective. After hearing what they had to say I feel better about some Purina products. Lots of dogs have thrived on Pro Plan. They do more than just meet AAFCO standards. They do a lot of trials that are helpful to dog nutrition. I still wouldn’t buy the grocery store Purina. But wouldn’t lose my mind if I had to feed the big box store varieties.
    I reluctantly put my IBD dog on their Fortiflora. She’s actually doing well.

    in reply to: Dogs Diagnosed with IBD #90360 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Debi W what happened on the RC Untamino? My vet recommended it for my IBD dog. The only reason I haven’t tried it is because it is astronomically expensive and absolutely not affordable right now.

    Jenn H

    I just wonder why they only suggested she take the probiotics for 1 wk.
    My IBD dog is on Fortiflora indefinitely right now. She’s been on it before and it seems to help. I’ve also used Wysong Pet Inoculant with excellent results.

    Since her last flare up she has been on prescription food along with the probiotics. Now that she has a UTI she’s on an antibiotic so I’m not about to stop the Fortiflora.

    Jenn H

    KC I did mean Kentucky. Sorry.
    I like to email rather than call because I then have a written history. If I do call anyone I take names and note date & time.

    in reply to: Calorie density Suggestion #90293 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    And also how they can effect your dog. For exampleRosemary isn’t good for dogs prone to seizures.

    Jenn H

    My favorites have been Wysong Pet Inoculant and Purina Fortiflora.

    In fact the vet put my girl with IBD on Fortiflora indefinitely. So far so good.

    Bananas are a great probiotic if your dog likes them. There’s other food that are also good.

    Jenn H

    I hope you all are contacting Champion as well with the issues. I hate that the Canadian food is different than the American. Luckily I haven’t run into any issues. They have always been forthcoming and patient when I have contacted them. This makes me believe they are a good company. I don’t think they would want the Kansas plant producing an inferior product. It could be that they’re having growing pains. Who knows?
    It’s only partially helpful to fellow consumers when complaints are made in a forum like this. It’s much more helpful to also tell the company. That’s where the change happens.

    in reply to: Calorie density Suggestion #90288 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I think DFA uses a program to help calculate the ratings. It would probably require a new one to be made to include pricing. The formula used is based solely on ingredients, not where they come from, not who makes the diets, not the min & max amounts of everything.
    It’s a great starting point, but it’s also very limited with information because it goes only on what’s printed on the labels. That info is very minimal.
    This is why I start here, choose a few, contact the companies with my questions and compare prices at local shops. It’s a lot of work, but their health begins with the best nutrition I can afford.

    in reply to: Calorie density Suggestion #90287 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Funny I noticed the same thing when I looking at puppy food. My guy was on Wellness Core. As he got bigger he was needing a lot more. Obviously. On Wellness I was up to about 6 or 7 cups/ day. That’s insane. I hate feeding that much kibble anyway. Even after all that food he would still be so hungry.
    I tried Solid Gold. He was much more satisfied on that and required less until he grew more. Then it was back to a huge amount.
    Orijen was too dense, but he needed less and was finally satisfied. Unfortunately his butt wasn’t.
    Acana has been the best for him so far. Not as rich as Orijen, but working out just fine. He’s happy.
    While the price/bag is more, the price/meal is less. This is because he doesn’t need to eat as much. I’ve actually been able to cut back 1/2 cup.

    It is a pain to do the math, but is so worth it to take the time. Most importantly for his health. Too much kibble will cause bloat.

    in reply to: Large and Giant Breed Puppy Nutrition #90286 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Don’t listen to whoever it was who told you to skip the lg breed puppy food.
    Puppies have different nutritional requirements than adults. And sm & lg breeds have different needs from each other.
    If you choose an adult food it must say “for all life stages”.

    Hound Dog Mom’s list is a very good starting point.
    I sttill always contact a company directly before committing to a food and ask: if their diets are designed by a board certified nutritionist and what is the max calcium & phosphorus on a dry matter basis.

    Right now I am raising a puppy that is going to be much larger than my other GSDs. The last dog I had that was so big I adopted at 3 so I didn’t have to worry about the growth stage.
    I weigh this guy every week. He gained 2 lbs/wk from birth until he was just over 1 yr. Now he gains about 1 lb. He’s 15 months. Pretty soon I will probably weigh him every 2 wks.
    The reason for this is because it is most important that you control the rate at which they grow. It’s not about growing him as fast as possible. It’s about keeping him from growing too fast.

    in reply to: Geriatric dog supplement for nerve diminishment? #90269 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Your other dog will likely know when it’s time. Don’t be surprised if he starts acting weird and not eating too. I’ve had many a dog start grieving for the dying dog before they were gone.
    You’re so in tune with you pets I think you’ll know what to do and when.

    Even if you get something for pain & nausea if it doesn’t seem to help get something else. Not every dog responds to everything exactly the same.
    Deramaxx is in the same class of drugs as Rimadyl I believe.

    Pain meds can also cause stomach upset. Getting her to eat is necessary. Try feeding her anything. Even junk food has some kind of nutrition in it and can provide some energy. Crap is better than nothing. One dog I had ate yogurt and Twizzlers for a few days. It’s the only way he took meds and the only things he wanted until he felt better.

    A pain patch may be another option. Those last a few days.

    • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Jenn H.
    in reply to: Geriatric dog supplement for nerve diminishment? #90267 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Is there a worse feeling than seeing your pet struggling and not being able to help???

    Hydrotherapy is really amazing. But don’t do it if it will add to the anxiety your dog is already feeling. Also Old English Sheepdogs (which I absolutely love and never see) have a lot of fur. Soaking that coat will add a lot of extra weight that the dog probably isn’t strong enough to carry.

    One of my girls has Lyme induced arthritis. When she has discomfort I give her Neurontin (Gabapentin). It’s good for nerve pain and not expensive. I’m always weary of Rimadyl and other drugs like that as they can effect the liver. What your dog already has elevated bilirubin you don’t want to do that.

    While we’re on the liver…your dog may have a nausea if it isn’t functioning properly. That could be the reason for the anorexia and foaming mouth.
    It also works with the kidneys. I had a dog that drank ever few minutes like he hadn’t drank all day. The output didn’t come close to his intake. He was in kidney failure. (He was having mini-strokes.)
    If the liver isn’t doing its job ammonia doesn’t get expelled from the body and that causes hepatic encephalitis (HE). This presents as dimentia and can also increase anxiety.
    The liver is the 2nd largest organ. It’s very important and can cause a lot of trouble if it’s out of whack.

    As for reversing or stopping nerve damage that’s a tough one. There aren’t many things that can get through the blood brain barrier. If it can’t reach the central nervous system then it’s not worth the risk.

    Some dogs do still have the instinct to kill the sick & weak. They can’t waste valuable nutrients on a pack member that isn’t well.
    Keep an eye on the healthy dog. Don’t leave them unattended together. If the other dog is strong or big I would just keep them separated at all times. Easier than getting him/her away when they are determined. The sheepdog doesn’t need that stress.

    My plan would probably be:
    *Get something for pain. To at least take the edge off. But also has the least side effects.
    *Keep an eye on the liver levels. Especially ammonia. If you notice yellow tint in whites of eyes that’s jaundice. It’s the result of too much bilirubin.
    *Get an anti nausea med. That may help with the appetite.
    This is all really palliative care stuff. You can continue to seek a more permanent solution as you do this, but keeping the animal comfortable is priority.

    My heart breaks for you. I hope you find a way to turn things around. 14 years is a very respectable age. Good on you for getting this far. I know it’s never long enough.

    So get the baby comfortable, then find a way to improve health.

    Best of luck to you.

    in reply to: At wit's end with skin conditions #90212 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    My pup, his mother and a littermate all began suffering from similar skin problems at the beginning of spring. Not to the severity of your dog. It appears to be environmental allergies with them.
    For my puppy I would use a product I have for my horse. Eqyss Micro-Tek shampoo. “Soothes on contact”. Then I would spray the really bad areas with Eqyss Micro-Tek Equine Spray. (They do make it for dogs. It’s the same stuff, but more costly.) This stuff is amazing. I’ve used it on myself.
    For his ears I use epi-otic from the vet. When I ran out I put the equine spray on a cotton ball. Make sure to dry out the ears when you clean them.
    He also gets raw honey from a neighbor 2x/day. That has been the ultimate fix. As long as he gets the honey he doesn’t have any problems. After 1 wk without it he begins to get itchy and hot spots. Same with his brother.
    Honey must be raw, wildflower honey that is within 50 miles from home.

    Food intolerance could certainly be a factor for your dog. I would try an elimination diet if you think that’s a cause.

    Tick borne diseases can go into remission and you may never have another flare up again. I have another dog that has had Ehrlichia and now Lyme. I have a bunch of horses with Lyme also. I haven’t known any of them to present with those symptoms you described.
    You really need to make sure the dog has a tick borne illness before giving doxy. It’s a pretty hardcore antibiotic. You certainly don’t want to give it needlessly. It can also cause stomach issues. Maybe your dog isn’t breaking down proteins well. If they do have a tick borne illness then the immune system is already taxed. The slightest allergen can become a big problem. My girl takes a probiotic (2 hrs before or after her antibiotic when on it) to help her immune system and minimize the side effects of doxy as much as possible. Fortiflora has been working great for her. She’s on it indefinitely right now, but I continue probiotics at least 2 wks after antibiotic treatment has stopped.

    in reply to: Dogs Diagnosed with IBD #90210 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I have found that a lot of the management & treatment of my girl’s idiopathic IBD is trial & error unfortunately.
    For her I have found that she does best on:
    *foods that have a SIGNIFICANT amount of meat based protein. Not just a moderate amount. No extra fiber.
    *minimal kibble and it’s soaked. I add water to all her food anyway. Even wet.
    *1 protein at a time (very slowly switch)
    *exercise. Helps gut with motility.

    She did well for 7 months then had a set back. Right now she’s back to i/d cans and boiled chicken. The vet suggested Royal Canin Ultamino, but that’s way beyond my budget.
    Per the vet’s suggestion she is on Fortiflora probiotics daily.
    Luckily none of the vets who have treated her have put her on a steroid.

    Her recent relapse may have been a result of too much fiber and/or eating a kibble that had a moderate amount of meat for its main protein source. It could also have because I was trying different proteins and it was too much change.

    The problem with IBD is that it’s a broad diagnosis with many causes. There is no one size fits most treatment.

    If possible maybe you should find another vet who can better direct your management. Sounds like your vet isn’t very knowledgeable about this particular condition or nutrition in general.

    Be careful with supplements especially fat soluble vitamins. You can over do it. Many vitamins have accompanying minerals. Too much of a vitamin and not enough of the mineral can cause a new set of problems.

    My vets have mention endoscopy only as a second to last resort. The absolute last diagnostic would be biopsy. They will only do either of those things if the condition becomes severe.

    It’s a very frustrating diagnosis, but it can be managed. The difficulty is finding what works for that particular pet. While finding what works can cause a flare up. Thankfully pets are forgiving.

    in reply to: Dogs Diagnosed with IBD #89931 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I keep seeing people suggesting Balance It. Think I’ll check it out.
    My girl has always done well on Wysong Episgen. But I know it’s necessary to have other high quality choices in the rotation.

    Ann F
    What was the protein & carb you chose?
    Do you know the cause of your dog’s IBD?

    in reply to: Questions concerning raw #89921 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Courtney R you don’t have to consult a vet nutritionist closest to you via phone or email. Find a board certified nutritionist that does communicate that way. Doesn’t matter what part of the country they’re in.
    I will tell you though they can be a bit pricey.
    I’m in the Boston area. We have Tufts Vet School. One of the best. I know for a fact they do phone consults.

    in reply to: Questions concerning raw #89920 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    What Anonymously said is spot on.
    The very first question my vet said to ask any dog food company before even worrying about anything else is “Does a board certified vet nutritionist formulate the diets?” Better still they should have one on staff.

    in reply to: THK Perfect Form for IBD? #89670 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    I’m glad your animals are feeling better. Continued good health.
    My poor baby has been through so much. It can all be traced back to the Lyme and the treatments for it. Before the vets blamed everything on it. Now they say it isn’t from that. She was fine before having to take such hardcore antibiotics.
    Anyway I will put your suggestions on my list of things to try.
    No vets have found a need to do more invasive tests like endoscopy or biopsy (gasp). Thankfully her most recent blood work was normal.

    Fruitables just put out bone broth. I haven’t used it yet, but it’s on the tummy trouble shelf when the occasion arises.

    I’m definitely going to check out the other site. It’s been so difficult getting answers or finding food that won’t require mortgaging my house.

    in reply to: THK Perfect Form for IBD? #89664 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Thank you for that reply.
    I haven’t yet researched the ingredients individually. Good to know that about slippery elm.
    Maybe I’ll look into it as a supplement to use once/wk or month or just when she has a belly issue. I was just hoping it would prevent future episodes.

    Thanks again.

    Jenn H

    As much of a pain it is to deal with fleas I agree. Ticks however are another matter. They cause problems worse than fleas.
    I’ve been using a homemade repellant using essential oil and almond oil. Here in the Northeast ticks are everywhere all year.
    It’s been surpringly effective. The only drawback is you have to put it on every day. It takes 2 seconds. The hardest part was remembering to do it until it became routine.
    I have little bottle of it at home and in the Jeep so if they go swimming I can reapply.

    As for heartworm I stopped it completely. Every 4 months I bring a fecal to the vet for testing. Heartworm preventative are nothing more than pesticides that kill the parasites. If they don’t have the parasites why should I feed them pesticides? By testing samples in that interval it catches them at the larva stage. Still young enough to not need the intense heartworm treatment of full grown worms.
    Part of heartworm treatment is giving high doses of the monthly preventative. I just can’t feed them poison if they don’t need it.

    I think it’s important to note that a lot of the drug companies that make these products have been bought & sold to other drug companies. Sometimes they change formulas.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that many pests are evolving to tolerate some pesticides. So companies have to change things to try to keep up with nature.
    I’ve just decided to try to repel the pests using natural means and dealing with any that get past it only if necessary. I’m done with making my animals sick trying to keep them from getting sick.

    in reply to: Help for dog with bad teeth #89653 Report Abuse
    Jenn H

    Bad teeth are more often than not hereditary.
    I have a few friends who use K-10+ dental sticks. They swear by it. Admittedly they aren’t militant about giving the “treats” yet have gotten great results.
    Not only do they not give them regularly, but they don’t even give their dogs the suggested amount. Because of the cost and they have large dogs.
    In fact I think one friend gives her dog a couple of the medallions sporadically.

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