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  • 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.

  • I would like to start feeding my dog a homemade recipe but I have some concerns. The recipe (see below) is designed for a diabetic dog and my dog is NOT a diabetic. She's a 7-8lb terrier mix and super active. I heard of this recipe when I was dog sitting for a friend's dog who has diabetes and when I learned of all the healthy natural ingredients I was sold. My concerns are:
    Ingredients
    • 28 cups water
    • 1 bag (4 pounds) chana dal
    • 2 bags (1 pound each) brown lentils
    • 2 bags (1 pound each) black-eyed peas
    • 2 bags (1 pound each) green split peas
    • 1 pound pearl barley
    • 5 pounds boneless chicken breasts
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 1 can (29 ounces) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
    • 2 bags (16 ounces each) frozen broccoli cuts
    • 2 bags (16 ounces each) frozen crinkle cut carrots
    • 2 bags (16 ounces each) frozen green beans
    • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach
    . Stir in pumpkin.

    -Is this a well-balanced diet for a dog WITHOUT diabetes?
    -Should I substitute anything of the ingredients or add-in brown rice?
    -What would be an ideal serving size?
    -Should she still eat some form of dog food? Dry or wet?
  • -Is this a well-balanced diet for a dog WITHOUT diabetes?  NOT for any dog.
    -Should I substitute anything of the ingredients or add-in brown rice? All of them are not needed, the recipe is nutritionally unbalanced (diabetic or not). It will be very high in fiber - not harmful but not needed by a healthy dog and possibly a small dog would lose weight on this due to gut fill before meeting nutrient needs. Some of these ingredients are associated with causing DCM in dogs. Cooking in 20 qt with high heat will destroy and/or dilute some vitamins. It is a bad recipe as you have described it.
    -What would be an ideal serving size?  One would have to calculate the caloric density first which is not worthwhile because until the recipe was first nutritionally complete or balanced.
    -Should she still eat some form of dog food? Dry or wet? Both or either ... I would advise not feeding this homemade diet.

     
  • My 5 yr old male Scottie has been on Apoquel since he was a few months old due to contact allergies. He was fine with Nature's Recipe Grain free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin all that time but about 10 mos ago his pH was 8 and the Vet put him on Hill's c/d. Within 2 weeks his itch level went from almost none to extreme. This continued for months with the Vet saying it was his allergies not the food which does have grain. I test him at home and his pH has been averaging 7.0. I researched other food that is grain free and emailed the companies for the target urine pH on their foods. Several are close to what I read Hill's c/d is. Hill's will not correspond with me at all so I could not get their input. But then again, why would they want to recommend anything but their own Vet food? My Scotty has been on Halo Grain Free Turkey, Turkey Liver & Duck dry food for 2 weeks now and his itchiness has decreased dramatically. From what I have read, diets with lower protein content & meats that produce less proteinate are better for him. But I haven't found any list of what type of meat is best. I am just trying to be an advocate for my pup and provide something that addresses keeping the pH level normal without making his itchiness worse.
  • If your Scottie is on Apoquel you are correct he is being treated for contact allergies known as atopy i.e. molds, mildew, etc. things in his environment. The increase in his itching/allergies with the diet change to Hill’s c/d was most likely not due to the grains as dogs are more likely to be allergic to the protein-carbohydrate complexes in the diet. When diet ingredients are processed, we believe the proteins structure may be changes and there can be reactions between proteins and carbohydrates to form antigens called Maillard reaction products or MRPs. Research in human food allergies are looking at this because we see individuals that have say a peanut allergy and they are fine eating an unprocessed peanut with no issues. When the peanut is processed into a cookie, this is problematic, and the person will show signs of food allergies. We are also learning that food and environmental allergies do overlap in human allergies and “may” to some degree in dogs  There are other components in the pet diet that may exacerbate environmental allergies. His allergy response may have been impacted by the type and level of fatty acids, antioxidants, etc., but again, true grain allergies which are common in people are less likely in our dogs. We still agree though, it is important for you to find a diet that at least does not seem to worsen his allergic response.  

     

    As far as his pH being 8 – urine pH can vary throughout the day. A single urine pH of 8 in a normal healthy, asymptomatic dog would not concern us unless your dog has had some history of urinary tract disease i.e. urinary type stones called uroliths. We would also be surprised to find over the counter diets (OTC) that actually consistently maintain a urine pH because these diets are being fed to healthy dogs and not used to manage disease states such as uroliths. Very low protein diets can cause urine to be more dilute, but again these types of diets are for managing lower urinary disease in patient or other medical conditions. So unless your dog has specific medical issues besides the environmental allergies or atopy, we would recommend finding a diet that does not seem to step up his allergic response, but realize that the ‘grain free’ aspect of the diet is more for marketing to us humans than it is a necessity in most dogs. If for some reason you do have concurrent medical issues i.e. atopy, uroliths, etc. and can't find an appropriate OTC or vet diet that is suitable for your dog we would recommend considering a homemade formulation.  

  • I have a 6 yo German Shepherd (male, neutered, 90lbs). He tore his CCL in January and was advised he was not a good candidate for surgery due to x-rays revealing hip dysplasia in the same leg, in addition to his age. We initially treated with pain/inflammatory meds and CBD oil and now CBD oil only to avoid long term affects of the pain meds. At the same time, he was diagnosed with a UTI and crystals in his urine (drinks plenty H2O and always has access to plenty). After antibiotics and the Hills Rx Science Diet Metabolic + Urinary, Weight + Urinary Care, both conditions are now clear. I consulted with my vet about his diet regarding the Rx diet for the rest of his life vs a home cooked diet. Partially due to the cost at $80/bag per month in addition to the cost of feeding my 60lb English Creme Retriever (4yo) and 50lb Boxer (7yo). But mostly wanting to make sure I'm doing the best I can do to give all 3 what they need for their best health/life possible. In November, I started them all on Nutramax Cosequin Maximum Strength (DS) Plus MSM Chewable Tablets (GS 2/day, others 1/day). In January, I started them all on a cranberry supplement as well (GS 1500mg/day, others 500mg/day, powder in food dissolved w/water). They have always had Coconut Oil with dinner. Prior to the Rx diet, I was feeding them all Victor Chicken Flavor w/grain then switched 6 months ago to the Performance formula for the Glucosamine (it is the best quality/volume for what I am able to afford to my knowledge and review DogFoodAdvisor.com regularly). GS and Retriever get 1 Dentastix per day, Boxer gets 1 OraVet per day (gingival hyperplasia). Their treats are limited, but are usually from Zuke's and Merrick. I used to give Optima 365 daily, but due to financial circumstances, had to cut back on many things. I plan to start that again soon as well. All 3 are healthy, no medical conditions/allergies and are at healthy weight.

    My question is - 1) Is anything I am giving them likely to cause crystals/stones or other problems for any of them? 2) Is the Rx diet vs home cooked diet better for the GS? and other two? I plan on monitoring the Ph regularly at home. 3) My family raises/processes our own beef. The beef are fed 100% organically, no steroids, etc. and is extremely lean. I never have to drain any fat from the hamburger. If I go with a home cooked diet, will using this hamburger be a problem? 4) Any other suggestions? Anything I am missing? I apologize for the length. My own research just goes round and round. Thank you very much!
  • The GS dog alone is a complicated case and will take some time to sort out, and then you have other dogs to consider.  At this point, I recommend a phone conversation with one of our nutritionists. The goal of this service is to help pet owners determine the most appropriate nutrition plan to meet the needs of their pet or household of pets. There are several dietary options for most nutritional problems. The nutritionist will explain, discuss and help you decide on the next best option for moving foward. We hope this to be a more efficient and cost-effective line of consultations for pet owners.  
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