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Shawna

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  • in reply to: Urinary Tract Infections #92380 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    The urinary tract infection is likely the cause of the alkaline urine and crystals (if they are struvite crystals).

    “Urine pH
    Urine pH is typically acidic in dogs and cats and alkaline in horses and ruminants, but varies depending on diet, medications, or presence of disease….. A bacterial urinary tract infection with a urease-producing microbe will result in alkaluria. Urine pH will affect crystalluria because some crystals, such as struvite, form in alkaline urine….. http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/clinical_pathology_and_procedures/diagnostic_procedures_for_the_private_practice_laboratory/urinalysis.html

    Shawna
    Member

    Only someone whom actually used homeopathy, in appropriate ways, would/could actually understand how profoundly beneficial and safe they can be.

    “delay seeking veterinary care” is a joke as there are numerous vets that recommend homeopathic treatments — like my own vet that recommended a $6.00 homeopathic for my dog’s colitis. Somebody forgot to tell Gizmo that it wasn’t supposed to work though — lucky for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Shawna
    Member

    Sensitivities can definitely cause a wide range of reactions including itching and excessive ear wax which can lead to infections. They just recently released research showing that a cramping disease can be caused by food sensitivity to gluten in Border Terriers. They can mess with every organ including the skin.

    Feeding raw is NOT analogous to animal abuse — far from it. However feeding an unbalanced diet can cause significant issues later on. As an example — chicken (especially dark meat like legs and the fat) are excellent sources of omega 6 fatty acid linoleic acid. This is absolutely needed in the diet for proper skin health. You can overfeed it though and in doing so create inflammatory type responses. Omega 6 has to balanced with omega 3. The diet is probably deficient in trace minerals as well.

    When feeding raw it’s best to vary the diet with different protein sources and veggies. This gives a wider array of nutrients. There are also commercial balanced diets available. These have to meet the same standards as kibbled diets as far as nutrient profiles.

    There are TONS of vets that recommend raw but all, that I am aware of, recommend either balancing the diet using a recipe, premix or commercial OR feeding a wide variety of foods to capture all the nutrients necessary for proper health. There are some fantastic support groups on Facebook etc that can help with this if interested.

    I’ve been feeding raw for a very long time to both healthy and ill (including foster dogs) with GREAT success!! It does take some thought into getting it right but it’s not difficult.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    in reply to: Protein verses Low protein #88583 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi onapap1,

    Unfortunately there is no over the counter dog food that is like Prescription ZD (assuming it’s ZD not XD). There’s two main reasons for this — 1. the starch used is just starch not the whole food “corn starch” – very specific. 2. The protein “hydrolyzed chicken” used in the food has been “hydrolyzed” or broken down into amino acids. Chicken is often an allergy culprit but hydrolyzing process is what makes it non-allergenic.

    It would be EXTREMELY rare (although likely not unheard of) to have a dog that is allergic to “meat” as it is specific proteins that cause allergies and proteins are in almost all foods. Therefore almost any food can cause an allergy or allergy type symptom. Lots of folks here on DFA have dogs that react to the protein in specific grains (wheat or corn as an example) but also to the protein in potatoes, peas and legumes.

    The best thing to do, if you don’t want to feed prescription, is to do an elimination diet — or feed a food with only one protein and one starch. These over the counter limited ingredient diets are not hydrolyzed so your pup could still react if the specific protein (be it from the meat or the starch) is a trigger for him. If so, then try another limited ingredient diet with a different protein and starch. Some examples of limited ingredient over the counter diets are some like Natural Balance (which have many options to chose from) https://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/dog-formulas/dry/limited-ingredient-diets or Nature’s Variety also has a limited ingredient line (they have a few options) http://www.instinctpetfood.com/instinct-limited-ingredient-diets-kibble-for-dogs

    Others can probably give you additional options for limited ingredient diets if you want to try that route.

    Edit to include — below is a list of all the foods in the Natural Balance Vegetarian diet that include protein that could be a problem. “brown rice, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, peas, potato “protein”, potatoes, tomatoes, flaxseed and possibly kelp. It takes time for the histamine etc to clear the body after experiencing an allergic reaction. It’s not uncommon to see symptoms months after the problem protein was removed but you should see steady improvements. Also consider that multiple foods can cause problems — I have one that reacts to beef, goat and barley as an example.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Starting Raw… Help! #88006 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Katie C,

    There definitely is LOTS of opinions on right from wrong with raw feeding. I think there are three really important factors and everything else is just opinion — 1. No matter what you decide to feed, minimally processed food is always going to be an improvement over highly processed food. 2. The diet MUST be balanced. That said, except for calcium/phosphorus, the balance can happen at every meal or over a weeks time. 3. Variety in the diet (even if feeding commercial prepared, balanced foods) is absolutely a must.

    I’ve been feeding raw to about 35/40 dogs over the last 11 to 12 years (my own and foster dogs). I’ve weaned pups onto raw and fed 19 year old seniors raw. I personally don’t feed grains or many starchier vegetables but if the pup isn’t having specific issues these can help keep the diet financially friendly. 🙂 I personally DO like small amounts of fruits (about 5% of total diet) and veggies (about 15 to 20%). They are not necessary, I will totally agree, but they do add a lot of nutrient bang for the buck when properly processed. Since our pups live in a somewhat toxic environment those extra antioxidants etc can only be beneficial in my opinion. I live pretty clean but my pets are exposed to formaldehyde in a few pieces of particle board furniture in my house as well as the anti-stain coating on furniture and rugs. I don’t spray my yard but my neighbors do. Then there’s car exhaust and………

    I mostly feed commercial raw, right now I have more money than time. But I do buy meat on sale and use a premix to help balance it. I also have freeze dried raw, and even kibble, on hand for those days I literally run in to feed the dogs and run back out, or maybe I’ve got the flu and don’t even want to get out of bed let alone dish up meals for seven dogs.

    There are recipes in books and online that you can use but, as mentioned, I don’t think it’s good to rely on one recipe all the time. Dr. Karen Becker has a book with recipes called “Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats”. She uses a few supplements but, in my opinion, it’s better to use supplements (even synthetic ones) than to omit that vitamin / mineral from the diet all together because of a bias. Balance IT website is another place where you can create recipes using ingredient you chose and then use their supplement mix to balance the diet. You also DEFINITELY CAN balance over a week but you have to be way more committed to finding and using harder to find ingredients/foods.

    To recap, best thing you can do is not get too wrapped up into what is wrong or right and just strive for balance using whatever fits best into your lifestyle, price range and belief system.

    in reply to: Pet Wants Dog Food #88001 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I wonder if maybe the new food is being better digested and/or utilized than the old food in which case he would be getting more nutrients out of it and therefore need less overall food. Have you noticed any difference in size of bowel movements?

    in reply to: Nitrogen Trapping #87973 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Erin N,

    I would start by giving the good probiotic for at least for several days and then add the fiber at just maybe 1/16 to 1/8 tsp. Increase the amount over a few weeks. You can possibly use the human dosage given on the product you purchase as a guide but I would err on the side of less is more till you can judge how your pup is doing. Fiber 35 is no longer made but NOW and Garden of Life both have an acacia fiber supplement.

    I wish I could give you exact amounts but I simply haven’t seen any reference. It is now easier to find data overall — they now refer to nitrogen trapping as enteric dialysis but I still have yet to see recommended dosage amounts.

    This website has some info about how it works about halfway down the page. They are pushing low protein (which we know is not necessary) but it is the best source of info I’ve found on how nitrogen trapping actually works. http://todaysveterinarypractice.navc.com/nutritional-management-of-renal-disease-an-evidence-based-approach/

    I’m happy you are starting the Standard Process Canine Renal Support!!!!

    Wishes for your baby to have as much success with these products as my Audrey did!!!!!!

    in reply to: Mercola Joint Supplement VS Others. #87704 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    That article sounds exactly like the type of negative manipulation this person warns us against in this Tedx video titled “Astroturf and manipulation of media messages | Sharyl Attkisson | TEDxUniversityofNevada” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU

    in reply to: grain-free dry dog food #87322 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I’ve heard many stories like your bothers. Curious – did he increase protein or fat when he removed the carbs?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: grain-free dry dog food #87318 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Kathleen C,

    There are two really good studies in the Journal of Nutrition showing higher protein foods work very well as weight loss diets for dogs. Unlike higher fiber foods they also were better at keeping muscle on the dog.

    Here’s the two papers if interested
    “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs” http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/8/2087S.full

    “Weight Loss in Obese Dogs: Evaluation of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet” http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/6/1685S.full

    I had a Papillon come in (I foster) that was over 30 pounds. She now weighs 12 pounds and has eaten a very high protein (and therefore higher in fat) diet since coming in.

    in reply to: grain-free dry dog food #87317 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    That’s really interesting BCnut!! Would explain the aftermath of a few dietary choices I’ve personally made lately!! 🙂

    in reply to: Switching to Raw: Need Advice! #87315 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Sally Z,

    I haven’t fed any large breed puppies raw but I foster and I have had A LOT of puppies come through my house. The youngest was 3 days old when he came (with his mommy). I weaned him onto raw. Had another at 5 weeks old that ate raw right from first day coming to me. Just had three leave my house a few weeks ago that were six weeks old when I got them and put them all on raw the first night they were with me. I DO feed “complete and balanced” commercial raw foods because I think it is absolutely imperative to feed puppies a balanced diet (this, of course, can be done by those that home prepare too but I just don’t have the time any longer to do it right). I’ve been feeding a wide variety of commercial raw products for over 10 years and to date never had any issues. I do however prefer grass fed and organic but sometimes I have too many mouths to feed to be able to afford it.

    Glad you found a food that works for both of your fur-kids!!!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Undigested Kibble in Poop #87053 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Scared D,

    I’m not suggesting in any way that an excess of, even healthy, fats in the diet of a dog that isn’t used to higher amounts of dietary fat can not cause an issue. Heck changing the diet at all in a dog that is not used to dietary change can cause stool issues.

    “It is not digested by pancreatic enzymes so much of the fat simply passes through the GI.” I am however saying this statement is partially incorrect. You are correct in that the majority of coconut oil is not digested by pancreatic enzymes however it does not simply pass through the GI as it is mostly digested and absorbed in the stomach. From there it, the medium chain triglycerides, goes to the liver where it is converted to ketone bodies and used as energy. I am also suggesting that lots of dogs have coconut oil added to their diets without issue, including puppies. Puppies have a higher dietary requirement for fats than do adult dogs as shown by the AAFCO nutrient profiles.

    I’m not suggesting that the coconut oil wasn’t the issue with Jeff’s dog but I am saying that added coconut oil, in appropriate amounts, is well tolerated by many dogs.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Low-fat healthy diet needed #87016 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I’m so sorry, Lisa!! Prayers for you and your entire family!!!

    in reply to: Undigested Kibble in Poop #87015 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Orijen is a great food, Jeff!! I use it in my rotation with my crew and foster dogs.

    in reply to: Undigested Kibble in Poop #87014 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Scared D,

    I absolutely agree that excess coconut oil can have an impact on the stool but the reason it is not digested by pancreatic enzymes is because they are not necessary for it’s digestion. The majority of coconut oils fatty acids, when consumed in appropriate amounts by a healthy subject, are absorbed in the stomach before hitting the small intestines. This makes it suitable, in appropriate amounts, for a dog with pancreatitis as an example.

    I agree that omega 6 fatty acids (specifically linoleic acid) are the fats most beneficial for the coat. Coconut oil, however, is a poor source of omega fatty acids but the tiny amount it does have is omega 6. The majority of the fatty acids in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides – specifically lauric, caprylic and capric acids.

    in reply to: Undigested Kibble in Poop #87005 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Jeff L – I tend to agree with you that the poop eating is due to the undigested food. Adding enzymes may help with that but may not as well.

    Flax oil has ALA omega 3 fatty acids but not the more beneficial DHA / EPA fatty acids found in foods like sardines and salmon. I do know of a few pups that have issues with flax, causing stool issues. That said, I know one that has issues with coconut oil. I agree with your thoughts on eliminating both and then adding back in (one at a time) to see if there is a change. If flax oil is problematic and you want to give supplemental sources of omega 3, try tinned sardines packed in water.

    Despite what some say, pre-soaking the kibble in a small amount of liquid can be beneficial in that it can help to generate hydrochloric acid (which helps break the food down). Water is needed for proper production of hydrochoric acid. Hydrochloric acid, in turn, activates the protein digesting enzyme called pepsin in the stomach which breaks down the protein eaten. Young well hydrated puppies usually do not have issues with this though so I lean more towards something medically wrong — maybe as simple as a sensitivity to the flax or coconut oil?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Protein verses Low protein #87000 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Elyce M,

    You are right to question this. There has been LOTS of science over the last 20 years that proves protein is not only not damaging to kidneys but the science has shown that protein does not further damage the kidneys of dogs that HAVE kidney disease. Protein does increase BUN in the blood and if BUN gets too high it makes puppy not feel well but it has no ill effects on the kidneys whatsoever. My favorite source of scientific information on this is “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function” by Dr. Kenneth Bovee http://www.championpetfoods.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Myths_of_High_Protein.pdf

    Something as simple as dehydration can cause elevated BUN but if creatinine is high on the blood work than that is an indicator of kidney disease. Elevated BUN AND creatinine won’t show up on blood work until the kidneys are about 75% damaged so an elevation of both should be looked at more closely by doing more testing – urine specific gravity as an example.

    If your pup really is in the beginning stages of kidney failure than lowering protein isn’t necessary but feeding “high quality” protein can be very beneficial. It is also advised to feed a wet food over a kibble. It is also beneficial to look at foods that are lower in phosphorus than your average diet as phosphorus can begin to build up in the blood and once it does it CAN damage the kidneys further.

    For what it’s worth, my puppy had kidney disease from birth and ate a HIGH protein raw diet (between 45 and 54% protein) her entire life. She lived to almost nine years of age and passed from complications not related to normal progression of kidney disease.

    Seven years of age is not old for a Shih Tzu but they also now know that senior dogs require a diet higher in protein than their adult counterparts due to a decreased ability to digest. This is taken from Purina’s website
    “Protein for senior dogs. Healthy senior dogs require increased dietary protein in order to maintain lean body mass. We formulate our senior dog foods to contain more dietary protein (compared to adult maintenance formulas) in order to ensure that your dog gets the appropriate levels of nutritious protein he needs.” https://www.purina.com/dogs/understanding-dog-food/is-a-high-protein-diet-best-for-my-dog

    Most better quality diets already exceed the minimum suggested for seniors of 25% (minimum not suggested amount) but this is a science based paper discussing the increased needs of protein in senior dogs. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18656844

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Shih tzu diagnosed with struvite stone #86852 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    If your Shih Tzu is truly allergic to chicken then the prescription diet could be problematic and based on what Dr. Ken Tudor wrote in this PetMD article the diet is not necessary either.

    “The solution to pollution is dilution” is the phrase we veterinarians now use to explain how to prevent urinary crystal and stone formation. Time, observation, and studies have shown us that there are no magical diets for solving this problem and that water consumption is key.

    The take home for those of you with cats and dogs that are urine crystal formers is to increase the amount of water in the diet.” http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/november/water-solution-urinary-crystals-pets-33270

    in reply to: Flea and Tick treatment #86851 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I would agree that natural doesn’t always equate to benign but my dog gets reverse sneezing from lamb (in any form – raw, kibble etc). Should we all avoid lamb now?

    in reply to: Raw Diet – Diarrhea and Blood #86678 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    There is absolutely no reason to include kibble in a raw diet but there is every reason to include raw in a kibbe fed diet.

    Yes, they do digest at different rates (raw faster in my experience with foster dogs in poor health). That said, broken down food (aka chyme) doesn’t “sit” in the stomach while the remainder of the food continues to break down. It moves on while leaving undigested food to continue digesting.

    I agree with Crazy4cats, if you look at how food is actually digested, adding raw to a kibble diet is going to enhance the digestion of the kibble.

    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #86282 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    “There is one amino acid that cats require, which cannot be found in plants, as everyone here probably knows, Carnitine.”

    The essential amino acids for cats are “arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, and taurine.

    Carnitine is not an essential amino acid in cats. It is considered a conditionally essential amino acid. If there is enough lysine and methionine as well as iron and certain vitamins the cat can make carnitine. Both of these amino acids can be found in plant foods and plant foods can supply enough if properly combined. Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine https://books.google.com/books?id=4Qzau1jagOYC&pg=PA655&lpg=PA655&dq=is+carnitine+an+essential+amino+acid+for+cats&source=bl&ots=wXOzeKiQ2z&sig=RHBoMlYaLQ-rkbzeC59i_U3zRQg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizuf_jvN3MAhWD24MKHXIvBy44ChDoAQghMAE#v=onepage&q=is%20carnitine%20an%20essential%20amino%20acid%20for%20cats&f=false

    Taurine is the amino acid cats require that is only found in animal sources of protein but you are correct that it can and is synthetically produced and used (in both vegan and many meat based diets alike).

    What I find odd about your post is that you profess yourself, in a round about way, to be an authority on nutrition. If this were true, you would know that a highly processed, synthetically fortified diet is not healthy for any living being as he sole diet. Being as knowledgeable about nutrition as you profess to be you must also be aware that most plant based proteins come with negative consequences such as the anti-nutrients phytase, trypsin inhibitors, prolamins, lectins, agglutinins and such. How do you suggest dealing with these factors in the canine and feline diet?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Homemade Grain Free Dog Food #86229 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    alexis w,

    I personally wouldn’t be at all concerned with feeding kale to a dog, no matter the breed, that has no prior stone forming history when used in moderation like you are doing. Healthy foods can be problematic when over-consumed (like broccoli for someone with a thyroid issue) but when used in moderation and in rotation, to a dog that does not have a food sensitivity, they are health promoting..

    in reply to: Homemade Grain Free Dog Food #86228 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I couldn’t agree more Zoe C!! 🙂

    What did you think of the video?

    in reply to: Homemade Grain Free Dog Food #86227 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Bev A,

    Glad to hear Little Bit is doing well!!!!!! You mentioned “still dealing with kidney problems” so I just wanted to make sure you know that once the kidneys are chronically damaged they don’t repair themselves.

    I’m not aware of anything that brings down creatinine but 1.6 isn’t bad for a dog with chronic kidney disease. Some of the papers I’ve read state that it isn’t until creatinine gets to about 4.0 (and BUN to about 80) that you even start to see symptoms. At times my Audrey’s creatinine was even worse than Little Bits but still had a long, for a dog with KD, and good quality of life.

    At 14 she is doing fabulous!!! GREAT JOB!!!

    in reply to: Westie Diet #86226 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    It’s generally stated that a short elimination diet will not cause any long term problems if the dog was well nourished before beginning the elimination diet. Salmon is high in omega 3 and deficient in omega 6 and other fatty acids but again I wouldn’t get too concerned over a two week period.

    For what it’s worth, some feel that environmental allergies don’t occur unless their is first digestive issues that ignite the immune system to the point of reacting to things it shouldn’t react to — like pollen. Why would a healthy immune system / body all the sudden react to things in the environment it shouldn’t.

    Additionally it is believed that having the wrong bacteria, or inappropriate bacteria, in the gut can aggravate and even cause allergies. There’s a blurb about it on Penn State website “Inner Weapons Against Allergies: Gut Bacteria Control Allergic Diseases, Perelman School of Medicine Study Finds” http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2012/03/allergies/ If you can get control of the environmental trigger the yeast overgrowth may work itself out naturally.

    in reply to: Homemade Grain Free Dog Food #86155 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Zoe C,

    Thought you might find this interesting.
    PetMD website, article written by Dr. Ken Tudor
    ““The solution to pollution is dilution” is the phrase we veterinarians now use to explain how to prevent urinary crystal and stone formation. Time, observation, and studies have shown us that there are no magical diets for solving this problem and that water consumption is key.

    The more dilute urine is the less likely minerals can clump together to form crystals and stones, no matter what the urine pH.

    Without any recipe manipulations, we have been successful in dissolving kidney and bladder struvite stones and preventing the recurrence of both struvite and oxalate crystals. I attribute the success primarily to the water content of the homemade diets for struvites and the combination of water and ingredient selection for oxalates.

    The take home for those of you with cats and dogs that are urine crystal formers is to increase the amount of water in the diet.

    That can be achieved easily by adding water to their dry and wet foods.” http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/november/water-solution-urinary-crystals-pets-33270

    in reply to: Homemade Grain Free Dog Food #86118 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    It is known in human circles that poor nutrition can lead to poor dental health. I would assume this holds true with dogs too and that dogs raised on less than desirable diets might have teeth that are more brittle and likely to break. If this is the case, the blame of the problem is being misplaced however. Chewing of bones is not the problem but rather the poor quality diet fed during growth should be blamed. Could, of course, be nutrition during development as well. LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of dogs chew on “appropriate” bones without losing and cracking teeth however femurs and other weight bearing bones are not recommended.

    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #85949 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Christopher E,

    I would agree that the amino acids requirements of the canine can be met without meat in the diet however there really shouldn’t be any questions in anyone’s mind that a fresh food diet is worlds healthier than a highly processed diet. We would absolutely laugh at our pediatricians if they told us to only feed our children fortified cereals as their primary diet let alone only diet. I believe it would take a very knowledgeable and dedicated person to create a vegan fresh food diet for canines.

    Additionally certain carbohydrates (all grains, legumes and vegetables from the nightshade family) have lectin proteins that, in susceptible people and pets, can cause a wide variety of disease. Potatoes and wheat, as an example, are known to aggravate, or even cause, rheumatoid arthritis. In humans, wheat has been shown to influence a form of kidney disease called IgA nephropathy and recently has been shown in Border Terrier dogs to cause a type of “cramping” syndrome. Prolamins like the gliadin protein in wheat and the zein protein in corn have been shown to cause gut permeability. If the gut is permeated a whole host of diseases can result. In humans the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease is being linked to insulin resistance in the brain and high fat ketogenic diets are being looked at and used as treatment.

    I’m not suggesting that every dog, or human, will have an issue but it is relatively common and the illnesses that result are often not attributed to the food eaten.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #85947 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    laconrad,

    I spent an hour creating a post last night only to have it disappear. I’m guessing it was all the links include so in this post I’m only going to include a few links but I most certainly can provide them if wanted.

    I definitely agree that dogs shouldn’t eat nothing but meat, or even meat and bone exclusively but it is an absolute fact that they have no physiological requirement for carbohydrates. Waltham is a reliable source of info on this —
    “Cats and dogs can sythesise their own blood glucose from amino acids.
    Carbohydrate, therefore is not an essential macronutrient. However,
    if provided in their diet, cats and dogs can utilise carbohydrates and
    they are used in pet foods as sources of energy and dietary fibre.
    Carbohydrate levels tend to be higher in dry pet food than in wet
    pet food.” https://www.waltham.com/dyn/_assets/_pdfs/waltham-booklets/Essentialcatanddognutritionbookletelectronicversion.pdf

    In fact, the AAFCO (as of 2008 at least) doesn’t have any requirement for carbohydrates in the canine diet. There’s a minimum for fat and a minimum for protein but no required carbs. Many complete and balanced canned foods have no added carbs at all.

    For the record, I do think certain vegetables and fruits are beneficial in the canine diet but protein and fat should not be displaced with any carbs. I personally have no use for most grains but I do utilize foods with millet or quinoa sometimes (to mix things up).

    Dogs have been eating kibble for less than 200 years. Evolution doesn’t happen in 200 years. Yes, I would agree that my dogs ancestors probably got some carbs as table scraps however carbs in kibble is not the same as carbs in fresh, albeit possibly cooked, carbs. From my understanding grains weren’t processed in the manner we process them today either. Not to mention GMOs, glyphosate / etc and hybridization to increase the protein content wan’t a thing back then.

    Ammonia is not toxic unless the liver is damaged and I’ve never read any research (even in humans) suggesting excess protein caused cirrhosis. Yes in cases where the liver is excessively damaged, or a shunt, limiting protein and feeding certain kinds, like dairy, helps alleviate ammonia from building up but it doesn’t damage the liver. I would agree that 78% of the amino acids in certain meat proteins is all that is used but the bioavailability of commonly used plant proteins aren’t any better and often worse.

    Excess fiber in the diet can actually bind up minerals and prevent their absorption. Grains and legumes have anti-nutrients like phytates and enzyme inhibitors as well as lectin proteins which in susceptible persons and pets can lead to illness including some pretty nasty disease (even autoimmune disease). Although possibly not “nasty” I recently read research suggesting gluten as a cause for “Canine epileptoid cramping syndrome” in Border Terriers. In humans these lectin proteins from certain carbohydrates is also considered a factor in IgA nephropathy (a form of kidney disease) as well as type 1 diabetes (the kind dogs get).

    Protein absolutely does not “cause” damage to the kidneys and some reports suggest dogs with kidney disease actually have an increased need for protein. They now know that “senior” dogs actually have an increased need as well – “as much as 50% more protein” and minimums for seniors is suggested at 25% — “minimum”. My favorite source of info on protein as a cause / contributing factor to kidney disease is “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function” http://www.championpetfoods.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Myths_of_High_Protein.pdf

    There are two papers published in the Journal of Nutrition suggesting that overweight dogs, even “obese” dogs, lose just as much weight (albeit slightly slower) on a high protein diet, 56% protein, as those fed higher fiber diets without the “muscle wasting” that is often seen in lower protein fed dogs. The body will break down muscle when it’s amino acid requirements aren’t being met through diet.

    in reply to: Thoughts on Vegan dogs #85943 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    laconrad,

    Although I do feel small amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables are quite healthy for dogs, carbohydrates aren’t a necessary requirement – even in the modern dog. Yes, when properly processed, they can utilize them but they still aren’t a necessary macronutrient. Waltham is a reliable source of information on this – they state “Cats and dogs can sythesise their own blood glucose from amino acids. Carbohydrate, therefore is not an essential macronutrient. However, if provided in their diet, cats and dogs can utilise carbohydrates and they are used in pet foods as sources of energy and dietary fibre.
    Carbohydrate levels tend to be higher in dry pet food than in wet pet food.” https://www.waltham.com/dyn/_assets/_pdfs/waltham-booklets/Essentialcatanddognutritionbookletelectronicversion.pdf

    In fact, carbohydrates aren’t even required in complete and balanced foods. There is a minimum protein requirement, a minimum fat requirement but no minimum on carbs. AAFCO guidelines as of 2008 http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=662

    They now know that the MINIMUM protein requirement for senior dogs is actually 25%. ” Protein requirements actually increase by about 50% in older dogs, while their energy requirements tend to decrease. When insufficient protein is provided, it can aggravate the age-associated loss of lean body mass and may contribute to earlier mortality. Older dogs should receive at least 25% of their calories from protein, typically provided by diets containing at least 7 g protein/100 Kcal ME.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18656844

    It’s also a myth that higher protein amounts have a negative impact on a dog’s kidneys. In fact, dogs WITH kidney disease can safely eat a higher protein diet as long as phosphorus is watched. Here’s my favorite source of info on this “Mythology of Protein Restriction for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function” http://www.championpetfoods.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Myths_of_High_Protein.pdf

    The bioavailability of the protein is every bit as important as the overall amount. The more bioavailable the protein the less blood urea nitrogen is created. So the better the quality of the protein the more that can be fed. An ounce of protein from beef, as an example, will be better utilized, leaving less waste, than an ounce of soy protein. Additionally raw protein will be better utilized then it’s cooked counterpart due to amino acid loss lowering bioavailability.

    I have never read any literature suggesting protein as a cause of cirrhosis however I would agree that lowering protein would be advised if the liver is already severely damaged. NOT because the protein is further “damaging” the liver however the ammonia not being converted is quite toxic. Even in this article relating to humans they don’t suggest excess dietary protein as a cause https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000302.htm

    Excess fiber in the diet has been shown to act as an anti-nutrient. I just this week read a research paper on this but I bookmarked it at work and don’t have access right now.

    You’ve mentioned the liver and kidneys several times so I thought I’d add a little more research on the kidneys. “Long-term renal responses to high dietary protein in dogs with 75% nephrectomy. These results do not support the hypothesis that high protein feeding had a significant adverse effect on either renal function of morphology in dogs with 75% nephrectomy.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3702209

    Purina Veterinary Diets
    “A University of Minnesota study revealed renal aging does not occur in geriatric dogs, at least to the extent that it has been reported in people. When fed a diet of 39% protein and 15% fat (dry matter basis), geriatric dogs maintained relatively stable glomerular filtration rates and had no greater incidence of glomerulosclerosis than those dogs in the protein-restricted (19% dry matter basis) diet group. These and other studies indicate no need for restricted dietary protein, fat, sodium or phosphorus to help minimize renal disease progression in healthy geriatric dogs. Still other studies have shown high dietary protein alone will not cause the development of kidney disease. In addition, research has shown that older dogs may actually require more protein than younger adult dogs, just to maintain normal protein turnover, and to support lean body mass and normal immunocompetence.

    Obesity has been associated with arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, neoplasia and decreased survival. Therefore, efforts to maintain ideal body weight and body condition are far more important and appropriate than protein or phosphorus reduction for maintaining health in geriatric dogs.” https://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/research/senior-dogs-do-old-kidneys-need-new-diets/

    Interestingly, at least two papers published in the Journal of Nutrition have shown higher protein diets to be beneficial for weight loss in dogs.

    “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs” http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/8/2087S.full

    “Weight Loss in Obese Dogs: Evaluation of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet” http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/6/1685S.full

    in reply to: Skin and stomach issues #85672 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I personally would definitely consider something in the diet as a potential cause of your pup’s issues (but not “meat” in general). They are now finding that food sensitivities and allergies can trigger a WIDE range of symptoms. As an example of how diverse symptoms can be, they have discovered that gluten (which is a protein) causes “cramping” in Border Terriers “Canine epileptoid cramping syndrome in BTs is a gluten-sensitive movement disorder triggered and perpetuated by gluten and thus responsive to a gluten-free diet.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26500168

    It might be worth trying an elimination diet however it is often beneficial to have a vets assistance with this as even though the pup seems to be feeling better in general, symptoms can actually get worse short term. Even after the offending food, if that is the problem, is eliminated, the body has to get rid of the histamine etc that was elevated by the problem food — which manifests as symptoms.

    Regarding the fish oil / tochopherol comment – tochopherol is simply vitamin E. I have read however that the source of the tochopherols can be problematic as much is sourced from soybeans. For those that react to fish oils with added tochopherols it might be worth investigating if the vitamin was sourced from soybeans.

    in reply to: Best dog food for yeast #83372 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I should note that I’m not suggesting carbs in the diet “feed” malassezia yeast…… As stated, I fully agree that there is an underlying factor that increases ones risks for an overgrowth of malassezia.

    in reply to: Best dog food for yeast #83362 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hey Pitlove,

    I TOTALLY agree with you that the yeast will have an underlying cause – always. I think however that a candida infection can manifest as skin and coat symptoms – itching (without actually having yeast overgrowth on the skin).

    When I was doing research for the Bright Mind discussion I found that medium chain triglycerides (which are in coconut and palm kernel oils) actually kill several strains of malessezia yeast. Here’s one of the papers.
    “Medium-chain triglycerides and medium-chain free fatty acids are toxic for Malassezia species.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10507598

    In this paper they mention eucalyptus oil causing a reduction of malessezia. “The volatile oil of Eucalyptus globulus significantly reduced the growth of M. furfur” http://www.e-ijd.org/article.asp?issn=0019-5154;year=2006;volume=51;issue=2;spage=145;epage=148;aulast=Vijayakumar

    Interestingly, in my opinion, as I was also swayed by aimee’s comments, is that this article says the malessezia yeast “grew well in Sabouraud’s dextrose broth and agar medium containing butter followed by corn oil, olive oil, coconut oil, oleic acid and castor oil” same link as above. This brought up two questions for me.

    1. what is Sabouraud’s “dextrose” broth and “agar” medium? Agar is “80% fiber, contains no fat, no protein, and only a small amount of carbohydrates.” Dextrose “is the name of a simple sugar chemically identical to glucose (blood sugar) that is made from corn.”

    Sabouraud’s dextrose broth and agar medium is
    “Sabouraud Dextrose Broth is a modification of Dextrose Agar described by Sabouraud.4
    Sabouraud Dextrose Media are used for cultivating pathogenic & commensal fungi and yeasts. The high dextrose concentration and acidic pH of the formulas permit selectivity of fungi.5 Sabouraud Dextrose Broth is used for the determination of fungistatic activity in sterile and non-sterile pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and cosmetic products.” http://www.neogen.com/Acumedia/pdf/ProdInfo/7617_PI.pdf

    So high in a form of sugar however they added, I didn’t notice how much, oils to the mixture to grow the malessezia yeast on. Interestingly, of the fats they used, it grew best on butter. Also noted, it grew on coconut oil so there must not be enough therapeutic amounts of MCTs in coconut oil, when also combined with dextrose and other factors needed for optimal growth, to kill the yeast. I wonder how coconut oil would do on it’s own? I’ve heard good anecdotal results but…..

    Maybe I’m missing something about carbs (at least certain ones) not being usable by malessezia yeast?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Severe Acid Reflux #83270 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Here’s another doctor on acid reflux (and heartburn) if interested. This is in humans but holds true for our pets too.

    “The Myth About Heartburn
    It’s commonly believed that heartburn is the result of overeating. And although 116 million Americans may overeat, the size of the meal has no scientific correlation with the frequency of heartburn.
    Then we must be producing too much stomach acid, you say. Having too much acid production is very rare. In fact, the opposite is the case. In most people, stomach acid decreases with age.

    What Causes Heartburn?
    In order to cure acid reflux disease, you must remove the cause of the problem and promote the healing process. The following are the most common causes:

    Food allergies: In my practice I have found that a majority of cases of heartburn are caused by food allergies. Food allergies often cause a host of other problems and can be diagnosed with a simple blood test.

    Foods: certain foods cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, thus leading to heartburn. These include peppermint, coffee, alcohol and chocolate.

    Hiatal hernia: This is a physical condition where part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm. It can generally be reduced without surgery, though even when present it is not necessarily the sole cause of heartburn

    Low Acid Production: Ironically, low stomach acid levels can result in heartburn. This is much more common than increased acid. This problem can be assessed clinically and is readily treatable.

    Medications: Many medications cause heartburn as a side-effect, including, several acid blockers. These include:

    Acid Blockers: Prevacid, Prilosec, Zantac, etc.
    Asthma inhalers (beclamethasone, flovent, etc).
    Corticosteroids
    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
    Antianxiety medications, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan).
    Osteoporosis drugs such as alendronate (Fosamax).” http://www.centerforfoodallergies.com/gerd.htm#part1

    in reply to: Severe Acid Reflux #83269 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Here’s another take on acid reflux that is supported by many. This is from the website reflux.org and is written by a medical doctor – the bio says this about this doctor “Dr. Stephen Wangen is the co-founder and Medical Director of the IBS Treatment Center. He
    lectures nationally and is the author of two books, “The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution,”
    and the recently released “Healthier Without Wheat: A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance.”

    Dr. Wangen writes
    “However, it’s not just a dairy allergy that can cause reflux. As we already discussed, gluten intolerance is also known to trigger reflux. (Note that reflux can be the only presenting symptom of celiac disease, the most researched form of gluten intolerance. But also note that you do not have to have celiac disease to be gluten intolerant.) In fact, any food can potentially trigger reflux. And the right kind of testing will point to the relevant food(s). But there are certain foods that come up more often than others as allergens. The top four food allergies that result in reflux are:

    Dairy Egg Soy Gluten

    But remember, it’s not the food that is the real problem. The real issue is how your body is reacting to that food rather than anything inherently bad in the food itself.” https://www.reflux.org/reflux/webdoc01.nsf/487b3ba0c2f1a4ff85256ff30009f061/cc3c84cff50a7a0b8525764e005d879b/$FILE/2009%20Summer%20Reflux%20Digest%20final%20to%20upload.pdf

    Although these four foods may be the most likely to cause acid reflux, they are not the only ones that do. Additionally continuing the acid reducer can create further issues as acid is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for protein digestion. Protein malnutrition can happen with long term use of these acid reducers and a whole host of new symptoms can be caused by protein malnutrition. B12 absorption is also dependent on adequate acids in the stomach and B12 malnutrition will also cause some unusual and problematic symptoms.

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82978 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Bev A,

    I’m soooooo glad to hear that Bitty is feeling better!!!

    Low albumin could be an indicator that she’s not getting enough protein and also a symptom of kidney failure. Inflammation is also a cause. High glubulin is caused by inflammation as well so that would be my guess as to the cause of both. Did your vet test for an infection? The teeth may have caused an infection. That’s what happened to Audrey. A food sensitivity can also cause this sort of inflammation. My best guess, if she doesn’t have an infection, is that one of the foods she is eating has an ingredient in it that she is reacting to. If you are feeding the kibbled KD then I would try one of the canned foods. If she is eating one of the canned foods then I would try another — they now have the original egg product but also have two stew products – one with beef and one with chicken. I would eliminate the other two foods for a few weeks at least unless she won’t eat without them. If you have a source for raw green tripe I would try mixing that in with the SD to entice her to eat.

    Although the supplements are of supreme quality, it could be something in them that she is reacting to as well. Did you notice any negative reactions shortly after they were started. Audrey, as an example, was allergic to beef bone. I was giving her Standard Process Catalyn (a multi vitamin) which had beef bone in it — before I knew she was allergic. I personally would also contact Standard Process and talk with one of their vet techs or the vet on staff. Additionally, if you have access to a good holistic vet it might not hurt to have a consult with him/her.

    If you think that the inflammation could be diet related and you cant figure it out with elimination, I would consider using a product made by Glacier Peak Holistics that can help identify sensitivities. Not everyone here on DFA agrees that the test is worth the $85.00 cost but myself and many friends have used it with great success.

    I’m very happy that Bitty is feeling better but bummed for you both that this has cropped up… 🙁

    Hugs to you and little Bitty, Bev!!!!!!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82925 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Epikitin is used primarily as a phosphate binder in chronic kidney disease. From what I’ve read, the main ingredient, chitosan, is the phosphate binder but is also a mild prebiotic (shown to work better than FOS but I haven’t seen studies as compared to acacia fiber).

    I have some concerns about epikitin – it has hydrolyzed soy protein – soy does not have a high bioavailability. Additionally, soy is high in glutamic acid and when freed by hydrolyzing, and used chronically, it can become an excitotoxin/neurotoxin in susceptible people/pets. There may not however be enough freed glutamic acid (and aspartic acids) in the product, at the recommended dose, to be problematic but it is still a concern for me. In my opinion, the hydrolyzed soy is added as a flavor enhancer and flavor enhancers, like MSG, have been scientifically shown to cause various disease states in those susceptible.

    I’m not sure if phosphorus builds up in acute kd so by feeding a diet already lower in phosphorus AND using a binder you may not supply enough for the body and create symptoms of low phosphorus. If you’ve had a CBC done and it shows high phosphorus than epikitin may be beneficial.

    Epikitin is often recommended with Azodyl (which is a probiotic formulated specifically for kd). I chose to use Primal Defense over Azodyl because PD has a wider variety of beneficial bacteria not just the ones for uremia. On the lower protein diet with the inclusion of Primal Defense I don’t know that Azodyl would benefit Faith but it could be something to look in to? I personally wouldn’t replace PD with it but use it in conjunction with.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: Too much protein for 2 ten-pound poodles? #82902 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I agree with everything Naturella has recommended!!

    Protein is actually ideal for weight loss. Here’s some great information in the Journal of Nutrition.

    “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs”
    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/134/8/2087S.full

    and

    “Weight Loss in Obese Dogs: Evaluation of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet”
    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/6/1685S.full

    For what it’s worth, I’ve had nine toy and small breed dogs on diets with protein amounts ranging from 45 to 54% that are also relatively inactive and do not have weight issues. Like Naturella recommended, consider lowering the amounts fed or even switching to a higher protein, lower carb food.

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82899 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Yeah, I think there definitely could be a connection between the yawning and anemia. There are different supplements that can be used depending on what the cause of the anemia is.

    The cause is likely due to her kidneys BUT the antacid could be exacerbating it by impeding intrinsic factors action on B12. Standard Process has a human B12 supplement (that is suitable for dogs) that has porcine intrinsic factor right in the product. I would personally start my own on this if experiencing the same things. I would give it away from meals and the antacid being used. There is another form of B12 that I have had excellent results with but it is given intranasally and likely won’t be well tolerated. I’d try the Standard Process or a similar product.

    Inappropriate bacteria in the gut can utilize iron being consumed so if that was a potential factor, being on the probiotics will address that with continued use.

    Chlorophyll is considered a “blood builder”. It is chemically just like blood except magnesium replaces iron. Many holistic practitioners use it in cases of “blood loss”. Audrey became anemic and HIGH doses of Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex Perles given over a weeks period did the trick for her. The maintenance dose for humans is two perles per day. From memory I was giving Audrey six to eight per day. The first few times I gave it I had to coax her to take it but after that she was almost frantic to get them when I even grabbed the bottle. After she was back on track I started her on a maintenance dose (for financial reasons) of a high quality Chlorella supplement. I tried three different brands before I found one that really worked well for her.

    I found this, in my opinion, really cool article on supplements for renal disease that may be helpful. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing but here’s the section on “Kidney-associated anemia”.
    “Renal Disease in Small Animals: A Review of Conditions and Potential Nutrient and Botanical Interventions
    Susan Marie Pollen, DVM, CVA

    Kidney-associated anemia is characteristically normocytic, normochromic, and nonregenerative.18 Anemia may cause tachycardia, lassitude, and cold and exercise intolerance.17 Erythropoietin must be given. In addition, nutrients that benefit RBC production, including water-soluble vitamins B12 and folic acid, are especially important when vitamins are lost in isosthenuric urine. Also useful are eggs, raw beef liver, liquid chlorophyll, kelp,63 and supplements containing vitamin C for optimal iron absorption, vitamin E for antioxidant protection of RBCs, vitamin A, and iron and copper for hemoglobin synthesis. Supplementing branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine, and isoleucine) and glutamine is also useful if nephrogenic anemia is accompanied by amino acid deficiency. 61” http://www.anaturalhealingcenter.com/documents/Thorne/articles/RenalDiseaseSmallAnimal.pdf

    Standard Process Chlorophyll Complex is fat soluble but worked like a charm. Not sure why the recommendation for “water soluble” but most chlorella supplements contain water soluble chlorophyll.

    Obviously the addition of animal proteins (eggs and liver) would need to be evaluated for the amount of protein and phosphorus they add. The Standard Process Renal Support supplement has many of these suggested nutrients without adding a significant amount of phosphorus.

    I truly hope all of your hard work and dedication shows wonderful results with the next lab work!!!

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Shawna.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82749 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Yes absolutely Gina, dogs with acute KD can recover but not in every case. While in the acute phase, I misread and thought she was eventually diagnosed with chronic KD, it can be beneficial to feed lower protein. Of course follow your vet’s advice or your gut instincts if you feel it is prudent. Science Diet has two new canned products that are, from what I can tell, far superior to many other products. They are their stews. They can be fed on their own or mixed in with the green tripe if she won’t eat them alone. I definitely would continue the Standard Process Renal Support and other supplements you’ve started.

    My friend’s Maltese, Buster, developed acute kidney disease from chicken jerky treats. He survived but did develop CKD. That said, he has lived quite healthfully with the disease for many years now and is still doing well. If you are on Facebook I can link you up to her if interested.

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82745 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    From the “The American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD)” AJKD Blog
    “Dr. Paul Phelan

    The complex relationship between kidney function and the microbial genome (microbiome) is explored in a recent review in AJKD. The human intestine is home to a vast number of bacterial species (estimated to be between 500-1000), which have evolved with us, leading to a symbiotic relationship existing between host and bacteria. The microbiome is involved in digestion of food and has immunomodulatory effects.

    There is emerging evidence that CKD may alter the microbiome with significantly more pathogenic bacteria being present. Reasons for this include a slower gut transit time, impaired protein assimilation, less dietary fiber, iron therapy, and antibiotic overuse. The review mentions mouse and human studies demonstrating some uremic toxins present only in CKD subjects with an intact colon. The generation of certain solutes such as protein-bound indoxyl sulphate and hippuric acid are dependent on gut microflora. Uremia leads to excess undigested protein in the distal intestine causing proliferation of proteolytic bacteria with generation of toxic metabolites, such as ammonia, phenols, amines, indoles, and thiols. These may lead to accelerated cardiovascular disease as well as progression of the underlying CKD.

    The review expands on these individual toxins and mentions the European Uremic Toxin Work Group, which is taking advantage of “omics” technology to expand our knowledge of both the number and function of uremic solutes. Lastly, exciting evidence is presented demonstrating how the microbiome may serve as a biomarker of injury as well as a potential therapeutic target in CKD. We first need to clarify if the dysregulated microbiome is a cause or consequence of CKD (or both). The potential to reduce concentrations of gut-derived uremic toxins via manipulation of the microbiome is explored. This may include the use of oral sorbents and administration of probiotics and prebiotics (non-digestible food ingredients that may selectively stimulate growth of particular bacteria). The authors also mention employing genetically engineered microbes that could remove uremic toxins including ammonia. Overall, the evidence base for these novel therapeutics is limited, but larger, randomized studies are planned. Watch this space.” http://ajkdblog.org/2016/01/04/the-gut-microbiome-ckd/

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Shawna.
    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82743 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Oops, should have added this — any good quality enzyme supplement will have enzymes that digest protein – proteases as well as those that digest fats and carbs. Some animals can be intolerant to some of the foods the enzymes are produced from — my friend’s Frenchie is yeast intolerant so certain enzyme supplements produced from yeasts don’t work for him. You may have to do a little trial and error to see what works best but enzyme supplements I personally like include Enzymatica Digest Gold (human product) or the Mercola branded product simply called Healthy Pets Digestive Enzymes. Both of these have a wide variety of enzymes.

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82740 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Gina,

    Proteolytic enzymes are protein digesting enzymes. For several reasons these may be beneficial for Faith. I’ll outline below —
    1. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach is produced when food is eaten. When the ph of the gut gets to the right level it activates pepsinogen into the protein digesting enzyme pepsin. Pepsin begins the breakdown of protein. If you are giving an acid blocker with the meal it is quite likely that the initial phase of protein digestion will not be adequate as pepsinogen may not be converted to pepsin.
    2. If that initial phase is not adequate it may create the need for the pancreas to produce more enzymes. Since Faith has had pancreas issues the organ may not be working optimally. “May” being the operative word here.
    3. If the protein in the food is not digested and absorbed it — a. won’t be available for the body and b. could be consumed by protein digesting bacteria in the digestive tract which will in turn create more ammonia which then becomes urea and eventually will increase BUN. Exactly what you aren’t wanting to happen.

    One of the benefits to raw tripe is it is already high in active enzymes and beneficial bacteria (it’s my understanding that gram negative bacteria primarily consume proteins and also create the ammonia that gets converted to urea). Between the beneficial bacteria in the tripe and the Primal Defense there hopefully and eventually, once on long enough, won’t be enough of the bad guys to dine on any undigested protein. Personally, I’d give the enzyme as a precaution though. This article is talking more about carbohydrates effect but this sentence clearly ties protein in as well. “These results suggest that gram-negative anaerobic bacteria make a major contribution to ammonia generated from peptides and amino acids in vivo, and that ammonia may be formed from bacterial cells in the colon.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7381915

    In summary — If the food is highly bioavailable (like tripe) and is properly digested more of the protein will be utilizable by the cells of the body leaving less for the bacteria to feed on. By giving tripe and a high quality probiotic you will help clear the gut out of any bacteria that will create higher amounts of ammonia / urea / elevated BUN. Raw beef has far less natural enzymes than tripe but has a relatively high bioavailability. It’s my guess that it is the lack of proper digestion, and gram negative bacteria in the colon, that caused the elevation in symptoms. Aside from the glaring fact that it’s not good to feed just meat —- my husband would have done the same thing. 🙂

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82670 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Gina W,

    Sorry for the delay, I missed this yesterday.

    So so sorry about your pup but so happy she is back to herself!!

    Audrey was nine pounds and I started her out with 1/4 of a primal defense tablet and then after a few weeks increased it to half a tablet and maintained that dosage. I gave a maintenance dose of the fiber at 1/8 teaspoon. I can’t remember for sure but I believe I started the fiber at 1/16 tsp for a week and then increased to 1/8. For a Border Collie I personally would work up to one full Primal Defense tab and work up to 1/4 to maybe even 1/2 tsp Sprinkle Fiber. Because you are feeding raw tripe regularly you may find you don’t need as much of the Primal to achieve the desired results. I would keep it on hand for those times when you might need a probiotic boost though.

    Because the aluminum hydroxide will impede digestion (if given with food at least) it might be helpful to also add a quality proteolytic enzyme.

    Five and half years old, way too young to be dealing with this!!!! 🙁

    Prayers for you and Faith!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    in reply to: Palatants and coprophagia #82640 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    I’ve read research discussing illnesses associated with palatants (specifically MSG and free glutamic acid) but I’ve never heard of them associated with copraphagia. Additionally, several of the supplements given for copraphagia have MSG or a form of free glutamic acid in them. Although they don’t work for all dogs, they do seem to work for some. I’m not sure what other palatants are used in pet foods?

    Although I never had copraphagia, 🙂 I did have pica for about 15 or so years. I didn’t have digestive issues of any kind but turns out I had villous atrophy from a caseine sensitivity (I react to both cow and goat dairy products, raw or pasteurized, organic makes no difference either). My blood work was normal however my iron was on the very low side of normal. I also developed slight hypothyroid symptoms but test showed no issues. Anyhoo, I was finally diagnosed at age 39 by a wonderful M.D. who is also a Certified Clinical Nutritionist. She put me on an elimination diet. The only ingredients that jump out at me in Barking at the Moon would be the lectin proteins in the pea protein and the potato. I’ve not seen either of those lectin foods associated with villous atrophy but so much about lectins is still not yet known…?? Treats might be a potential source?

    I currently feed commercial raw but used to feed home prepared (my time is limited now). Three of my dogs used to make a game out of eating bunny poo. That completely stopped when I started giving digestive enzymes. I never felt they were necessary in raw fed dogs but those three showed me differently. An adult foster dog came in eating poo. She was also a little over 20 pounds overweight. We got the weight off but no matter what we’ve tried she is a poop eater. She’s been an ideal weight (12 pounds) for several years now (we adopted her) but she still to this day has a snack given the opportunity. She won’t eat all poo though, so I’m assuming my senior dogs are not thoroughly digesting the proteins despite the added enzymes.

    I don’t know if any of this is relevant to your pup but thought I’d put it out there.

    in reply to: Unhealthy Obsession with Pet Food #82619 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Although the article has since been archived and can now only be found in references, Dr. Patty Khuly wrote an piece for PetMD websites blog FullyVetted. The name of the article is “What’s Up With People Hating on Some Commercial Dog Foods?” In the article she wrote
    “This is, we’re in the midst of a sea change in how we treat our pets now that so many of us consider our pets family members. And that means that what we view as OK to put in our pets has changed too.”

    “When the very same conversation is taking place with respect to higher quality human foods, it’s no wonder foods like Science Diet (foods that have traditionally been viewed as the best of the bunch) no longer cut it compared to those that offer much more in the way of highly digestible animal protein and higher quality carbohydrate sources.”

    “Many of us now want to see more biologically appropriate, recognizable ingredients, a variety of them, more animal protein than veggie protein, and an obvious commitment on the part of the manufacturer to the kinds of ingredients we’d be willing to serve our human families, too.” http://truthaboutpetfood.com/one-vets-stand-on-science-diet-pet-food/

    Some don’t consider their dogs to be family members, that’s fine but many of us here do and we chose to feed the foods we deem highest quality not simply the food that’s the most easily available. Convenience is factored in to our food buying decisions but it is just one of the factors considered. Most of us here understand the importance of nutrition in the overall health of not only our human family members but our four legged family members and that understanding plays a significant role in the foods we deem suitable. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, vet or pediatrician to understand that the quality of what goes in has an impact on the health of the eater be it human or canine.

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82413 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Thank you very much for your kind words, Pitlove!!!

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82412 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    Hi Pittiemama,

    So sorry for the delayed response… Although you can certainly buy Standard Process products on Amazon and other various websites, the company does not condone the selling of their product from those sites. SP is only legally sold through health care professionals. Anything you buy online could be close, or past, it’s expiration date, tampered with etc. Standard Process has a find a practitioner near you link on their website however if there truly is no place to purchase from locally (I would check with chiropractors and holistic vets), it can be recommended by professionals via phone consults. Once you have a recommendation you can then buy/ship direct from SP.

    For nitrogen trapping purposes the prebiotics MUST be utilized along with the probiotics. You may have got this but mentioned only probiotics so thought I’d emphasize just in case. The Merck Vet Manual has info on prebiotics (fermentable fiber). It reads “In addition, feeding moderately fermentable fiber can facilitate enteric dialysis and provide a nonrenal route of urea excretion.” http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/management_and_nutrition/nutrition_small_animals/nutrition_in_disease_management_in_small_animals.html There’s other sources too, but for a vet tech (very cool by the way) I imagine this would be a good source, at least to start. 🙂

    I did as much as I could to help prevent inflammation and damage to her kidneys. She had both of them and they looked good but were small in size. I wasn’t thinking straight on diagnosis and allowed her to be spayed the same day as diagnosis. I was later told by a vet here on DFA that I was lying about her because no vet would do an elective surgery on a dog with kidney disease. I asked him if he thought I should sue them or contact someone about it but he never replied. 🙂 Anyway, the vet who did the spay “opened her up a little more than necessary for the spay” as to get a look at the kidneys. Both there, a healthy color but smaller than should be.

    Like you, I research everything – even material presented by those I trust. I like knowing the information but by researching I can often learn the whys and hows. I was at a Standard Process seminar back in 2009 and learned the words and brief understanding of apoptosis and phagocytosis. As soon as I got home I started looking at research. 🙂

    I hope you quickly and easily find the best path for you and your little man!!!

    in reply to: So it is kidney failure… #82260 Report Abuse
    Shawna
    Member

    PS — did I mention that Staffies are my all time favorite breed. 🙂 Had one when I was growing up.

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