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  • I have a 3.5 year old spayed German shorthaired pointer who recently tested very low serum phosphorus, everything else in her blood work has checked out perfectly (kidney, liver etc). Tested negative for heart worm, pro BNP tested normal, phosphorus was run on two separate machines in two different labs and came back with the same result (same blood sample, did not do a separate draw).
    After discussing with my primary vet, no medical reason has been identified and she is asymptomatic. I am wondering if the deworming medication she received 5 days prior to the blood draw could have produced this result.
    Dog is currently being fed a home prepared raw diet balanced to NRC standards, calcium:phos, copper:zinc, vit A and vit D levels have been considered in the formulation.
    Do you offer a recipe review service?
    The only potentially plausible explanation would be a vitamin D deficiency but I do not understand how that would occur when sufficient levels are being fed.
  • Yes we do offer a HMD diet review (with corrections if needed) through our Nutrition Consult Service. You may begin at: https://www.petdiets.com/Consultation at any time.
     
    NRC is not actually the guideline we recommend for healthy dogs. NRC actually has 3 different categories and it is not clear which category has been used in OTC pet foods. We use NRC bare minimum values for some nutrients in some medical conditions, e.g., phosphorous, copper. We use the AAFCO guidelines for healthy dogs b/c those contain a hefty margin of safety due to known and unknown interactions between ingredients which may decrease the absorption of any nutrient.
     
    Another consideration: One reason for cooking the food is to destroy anti-nutrients. Anti-Nutrients are compounds in raw ingredients that inhibit or compete or destroy essential nutrients. Avidin in raw egg whites bind Biotin is one example. The avidin is destroyed during cooking and the biotin is then made available to the animal. This web site https://draxe.com/nutrition/antinutrients/ lists 10 of the more common anti-nutrients.
    This is another reason Nutritionists recommend feeding a cooked diet that rarely gets mentioned or explained.
     
    Vit D is a good example of a nutrient that may appear to be adequate on paper but then not adequate in the dog, and the Vit D requirement is also a nutrient for which there is considerable variation between animals, as well as people. So there is some validity for your suspicions.
     
  • I am using a different supplement than what you recommend, it’s called Holistic Pet Organics, Canine Complete made by a cherry Brook Farms. My vet is concerned that it doesn’t provide taurine to prevent cardiomyopathy. I have several of your diets for both of my dogs, so I am a customer. I have tried all of the diets and they like some and won’t touch others, like the green pea diet. I use mainly brown rice and switch between ground turkey and ground beef. I use mostly fresh veggies, zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots, and add spinach or green peas. I would appreciate an answer regarding taurine and do they get enough just from their food? Thank you.
  • Holistic Pet Organics, Canine Complete cannot be used in our recipes to make a nutritionally complete diet. The "all in one" statement is misleading concerning nutritional adequacy. There is much more than just taurine missing in the diet. Simply compare the essential 10 vitamins and 13 minerals on the Chef's Canine Complete label with the two vitamins and two minerals listed on your product.


     
  • My friend is telling me she feeds her Maltese a tablespoon of boiled cut up beef liver 3 times a week and it has cleared up her tear stains. She says the beef liver changes the dogs ph. My question is does chicken liver clear up the tear stains too?
  • There are several causes of tear staining but dog's pH is not one of them.
    Please see a veterinarian first as the most common cause is a blocked tear ducts.


     
  • Could you please recommend a dry dog food in light of the DCM and diet issue? I have a 2.5 year old male Cavalier King Charles who is active but does trend to put weight on if we are not careful. He also does quite a bit of obedience reward-based training which complicates the weight issue. So far he is healthy. He gets 2 wellness checks/year as well as occasional weight checks, etc..
  • Understandably the current issue in the pet food industry with grain-free diets and DCM is both confusing and frustrating.
    We have composed a statement for inquiries such as yours to help navigate the many different sources of information.
    We hope you find this helpful. Please go to: https://www.petdiets.com/userfiles/files/Nutrition%20Commentaries/Nutrition%20Commentary_001.pdf 
  • I belong to a FB group for dog owners who deal w/pancreatitis issues in their pets.
    Food allergies appear to be part of the conundrum of dealing with GI/Pancreatitis issues.

    Is there is way beside an elemination diet to determine if a dog has an allergy to specific protein or sensitivity to other things they might eat? Some people swear by tests done for their dogs that indicate allergies or sensitivities to certain food/products. A dermatologist told us that saliva testing or other forms are pretty much hit/miss w/dogs.

    My dog recently has gone to RC Gastro Low Fat canned food (pork) and has been on it for about a month.
    She seems to be tolerating it well—stools are good, no vomiting or itching. But she has started licking her paws more frequently which can be indication of pain/discomfort. And sometimes she does not eat as much at a meal. She gets Sucralfate in suspension an hour before meals and takes Ursidiol for elevated liver enzymes. She takes Gabapentin for arthritis and also has been on a Folic Acid supplement once daily for deficiency found when they did an EPI test. Her B12 was normal. I have read that Gabapentin can cause Folate deficiency. My dog has taken Gabapentin for almost two years — no idea how long her Folate has been low.

    I am wondering if she is now starting to develop issues with the pork in the RC.
    She has not eaten pork in her 15 yrs because it is usually in food too high in fat.
    She has allergy to poultry—

    If she has allergy to the RC a home cooked diet w/fish is likely to be her best option. I don’t know that I can source Rabbit with any consistency at a reasonable price.

    My vet has no contact for a pet nutritionist—I asked when we started the RC...
    Is it possible to be developing an allergy after being on the RC for a month w/o substantial issues?

  • A food trial is the gold standard. All other tests, blood, hair, saliva have not been independently validated and unnecessarily complicate the situation for the O and Nutritionist. To put it bluntly - they are a waste of money. There are several very good published scientific studies demonstrating these test are known for their high rate of false positives. Unfortunately, O comes to nutritionist with a long list false foods to be avoided. Clinical experience as taught that is highly unlikely and that there are likely one or two proteins to which the pet is reacting. Nutritionists should differentiate between a food allergy vs. a food intolerance … as for certain one can be intolerant to particular foods (onions, garlic or certain vegetables) this is not an allergic reaction. A dog with GI may be intolerant of certain ingredients, and not actually allergic to a food. Derm (skin) signs related to a food protein is always then a food allergy. A food trial will differentiate the source of the offending protein between food or environment. Unlike food allergy tests, environmental blood tests have been shown to be more accurate and worth the money.

     

    Just because we can measure something and they charge $300 for it, does not mean the test results actually relate to something meaningful in the pet. As for food allergic test that 'appear' to accurate … yes even a broken clock is correct twice a day but I should still know better not to rely on it to give me the accurate time of day.

     

    Is your dog developing a food allergic to pork …

    If the dog is truly allergic to pork, then she always has been and you are only now seeing the signs because you are feeding the offending agent. Food allergy is not a problem with the food, but an abnormality in the dog where for some reason the immune system is making a mistake and over reacting to what is a harmless, innocuous protein.

     

    You also changed the food product, so in fact you changes many protein containing ingredients at one time. You cannot identify the offending protein from the ingredient list. Yes a reaction to food can be immediate or delayed and based on exposure dose and rate. It could be a pollen blowing in the wind at this time.

  • Is a dog really going to get a enough taurine from eating taurinekibbles that’s cooked at high temperatures isn’t that going to diminish its effectiveness. Grains don’t contain taurine so why switch to a grain food for dogs grain foods I looked at have a lot of the same ingredients that the grain free has in it the peas the Pea protein lentils salmon? Also some websites are saying that dogs with the disease had blood levels of taurine that were normal i’ve been told by my vet even if he they tested my dog and taurine levels were low he hasn’t been told how to figure How much taurine to supplement him with
  • There are some concerns that the increased fiber intake with feeding lentils and peas decreases taurine absorption, changes the microflora and increases taurine losses.
    At this point, it appears to have nothing to do with the heat used to cooked kibble.
    True some dogs with DCM on grain free diets did have normal blood taurine levels.

    The recommendation is that if a dog tests low to supplement. Whole blood taurine should be determined as it is more reliable in determining of long-term levels than plasma taurine.  

    From Plumb's Pharm:
    For dilated cardiomyopathy (extra-label):  The suggested taurine dose for dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy is 500 – 1000 mg PO q8-12h for dogs weighing <25 kg and 1 – 2 grams PO q8-12h for dogs weighing >25 kg. (Smith 2009)
    Supplements: NOW Taurine powder source 1/4th teaspoons = 1 gram = 1000mg        https://www.nowfoods.com/supplements/taurine-pure-powder

  • I have a 3.5 year old cardigan who has had two episodes of acute pancreatitis. He is currently on Royal Canin’s low fat gastrointestinal food.
    I have seen in some of my canine pancreatitis support groups that people are feeding or supplementing with goat milk. My first thought is that it is too high in fat for my dog, but there is a dog food company advertising that fermented goats milk does not involve the pancreas and thus it is safe.
    Similarly fermented raw is being discussed on the group, but also seems too high fat for my dog. (It is over 25% fat on the carton).
    My question is is there any benefit or harm to giving these foods to a pancreatitis dog? Does the food being fermented make it safer? Thanks!
  • The exact relationship between eating dietary fat and pancreatitis is not known but there a strong association. If your dog has had more than 1 episode requiring hospitalization and the last episode was within 6 months, I would not feed any additional food items beyond a low fat diet. Pancreatitis can be vague and mild to fulminating and fatal. 

    All ruminant milk contains 4-6% fat as an as fed basis and so on a dry matter basis the % is above that recommended for dogs with pancreatitis. If the product is fermented which reduces the sugar content, then the fat content will be inadvertently increased (more concentrated). All dietary protein, fats and complex carbs require pancreatic function, so I do not see how fermenting changes that fact.

    I would advise against feeding milk.

  • Good Morning,
    I make healthy natural grain free dog treats, and im looking for a service where by i can submit my few ingredients and get a vets opinion and hopefully approval on them - can someone help?
  • Sorry Vets do have any "approval" authority on products so that would be meaningless, and if the product is a "treat" then it need not be nutritionally complete or balanced by a nutritionist.

  • I've done a lot of research on home cooked meals before I started cooking for my 2 dogs and I believe this is a balanced diet but want an approval from a board certified vet nutritionist. This is for two (2) 75 pound dogs. One is a pit bull male and other is a golden retriever male (both are neutered and active dogs). This is just ONE of the meals I make for them and I switch off protein between ground beef (80/20%), chicken breast, salmon, and tilapia.

    Beef stew: Total 24 servings in a pot (both dogs eat breakfast and dinner)
    Ground beef: 7lbs
    Sweet potatoes: 1lb
    Kale : 1/2 pound
    Butternut squash: 2.3 lbs
    Broccoli: 1lb
    Yellow squash: 1.2lbs
    Beef liver: EACH dog gets 5oz per week
    Plain greek yogurt : 1 table spoon per meal
    2 cups of quinoa
    3 cups of peas and carrots.
    2 1/2 teaspoon flaxseed meal a day PER dog
    3 boiled eggs per dog per week

    Stew contain same ingredients and just switching off protein. ONE week beef and next Chicken. Salmon and tilapia every other day. I also switch off greek yogurt for eggshell powder once in a while. I would really like a breakdown in percentage for protein, fat, fiber, and moisture for the above beef stew recipe. If there is a fee associated to obtain this info please let me know.
  • Sorry .... the recipe is not nutritionally complete or balanced as you have described it.
    It is more complicated to make than need be and so more expensive in terms of $ and time while still not meeting their need.
    You could make the recipe and send it off to a lab. The minimum profile you are suggesting costs ~$50 but what about the other 25 required nutrients? The full AAFCO nutrient profile (vitamins, minerals, etc) is $2500 per sample.

    Yes we could recreate it for you using software and show you where the deficiencies, excesses and imbalances are but then do you know how to fix those? We could do that and fix the problems in a Nutrition Consult ($400)
    Or
    If your pet has no medical issues, we have an automated module for owners to obtain a balanced diet for their healthy pet.
    Go to
    www.petdiets.com. You begin the process by logging into your account or opening an account for you, your pet and link it to your Vet info, then click on 'Services:’ drop down to “Homemade Recipes’. Select the “See all ingredient options” to see all of our food options or one of several specific diet types (high or low calorie, etc.). You may select ingredients similar to those you are now feeding. The software will re-balance your diet properly and suggest vitamin & trace mineral supplements. The cost is $25 for the first recipe and $12 for each thereafter purchased at the same time. Recipes are available for immediate download after payment.

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