Trying to decide what food to buy.....

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by mjb, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. mjb

    mjb New Member

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    Spanky's been having some digestive problems. The vets are thinking it's possibly pancreatitis, although that's not conclusive.

    HE is on a prescriptive canned food for another day, and then I'm supposed to start mixing it with his regular food. I had just switched him to Eagle Pack Holistic before we had this bout with his vomiting, etc. (He's not just been vomiting, though.....he's felt very bad, too).

    Eagle Pack is 15 percent fat. The vet has recommended lower fat than that. He says most dogs can handle 13 percent, but many can't handle 15. He also has said that even less than 13 percent fat would be good.

    This is the vet who saw Spanky over the weekend when he was the sickest. He went in for a recheck today and saw the regular vet, who said to leave him on the EN prescription food for another day and slowly get him back to the regular food. He didn't mention anything about fat content of the regular food. He seemed to be treating it more as something that he's getting over rather than something that is a chronic condition.

    I didn't ask him any more about the food because I know the vets don't necessarily recommend the foods that I would prefer. I thought I would try to look myself at some of the labels and fat contents of food.

    Just wondering if anyone here has recommendations of a quality food that's lower than 13 percent fat and is easy on the stomach.

    Maybe someone else has a dog who's had/has pancreatitis and has a food that has worked well with the condition?
     
  2. weylyn

    weylyn New Member

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    I posted in your other thread about pancreatitis and diet.

    I tried dry food with my boy after his pancreatic attack and it didn't go over too well. He was on EN for two weeks and then I slooowly switched him to Nature's Variety chicken. Once he was competely on NV, his symptoms started to creep back (which was loose stool, anorexia and lethargy). By the second day of feeding NV, he refused to eat. Well, I stopped that asap. We went back to EN and then switched to raw (prey model). EN wasn't a long term option for many reasons. First, the ingredients weren't all that great. Second, he still had HUGE terracotta cow patties. Third, he ate six cans a day.
     
  3. papillon806

    papillon806 New Member

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  4. weylyn

    weylyn New Member

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    BTW, what tests has your vet run to try to confirm the diagnosis? Have you talked with your vet on weather s/he thinks your dog needs digestive enzymes? Some dogs do, some just need to change to a diet more suited for dogs with pancreatic conditions.
     
  5. mjb

    mjb New Member

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    My regular vet wasn't in when he went in last week with this problem and stayed overnight. They ran some blood tests, but I don't think they ran tests for pancreatic enzymes. He had blood in some of his vomit, and they were saying his symptoms pointed them towards an ulcer or, the fact that about 11 months ago, he had an episode minus the blood, that it was looking like pancreatitis.

    His suggestion was to give meds and feed EN and get him feeling better. Slowly get him on a regular diet, and he recommended decreasing the fat in his diet. If this did not work, he would run the next series of test, and might need to do an endoscopy.

    I took him for a re-check today to see my regular vet. He said if I wanted him to go ahead and run blood tests specific to the pancreas that he could. He said normally the start with basic blood tests, treat symptoms, and, then continue more tests, if it doesn't clear up.

    I can tell you that I'm slightly confused right now. Over a week's time, I have seen 3 different vets because of our vet's schedule and the fact that seeing blood had me making an appointment with whoever was there at the time. In addition to that, I've been trying to read what I can find about pancreatitis, stomach ulcers in dogs, and stomach cancer (although they say that they're not thinking it's that). I am beginning to forget where I heard what.
     
  6. weylyn

    weylyn New Member

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    Do you notice any pattern between the episodes and what you feed? What are the episodes like? Are they severe or mild? What are the dog's other symptoms besides vomitting? What was the fat content of the food fed prior to switching to Eagle Pack?

    Unforunately, diagnosing pancreatitis is not cut and dry. Neither is treatment. :(
     
  7. mjb

    mjb New Member

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    The similarities in the episodes were that 1) he had just been boarded both times, and they fed him their food (Science Diet adult);
    2) there was other 'stressful' things going on....the first time I took him to Obedience School the day he got out of boarding, and this time we had company for a 4 day weekend, party (with tidbits for him), and me being very stressed out with the entertaining; and 3) both times I was in the process of switching foods for him.

    In between the 2 episodes, he has had days that, at times, he's lethargic, goes in his crate, looks depressed, but no throwing up, diarrhaea, and he's come to life at some point during the day.

    The 2nd episode was different in that there was blood present!!!

    The 2 episodes were about a year apart.

    He's boarded many times and eaten their food many times before. He was on Nutro Natural Choice. The first time I was switching to Nutro Light variety because he needed to lose a couple pounds. I think I tried a couple other foods, too, because he was being picky.

    This time, he had been on Nutro Natural Choice Lite, and I was still trying to add a little variety because of him being picky. I had just bought Eagle Pack Holistic. The only reason I know the fat content of that is that the vet asked. I have no idea what the fat content is of the Nutro, but I'm sure the light variety was lower.

    I probably was switching his food around way too much not knowing that this was causing him some discomfort, too. And we've been giving him too many treats and human treats, but we had dropped drastically on this when we decided he was 2-4 lbs. overweight.

    He's only 2 years old, and he's been an extremely active dog prior to this.
     
  8. weylyn

    weylyn New Member

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    "The principal sign of an ulcer is sporadic or chornic vomiting. Dogs may also lose weight and be anemic. Occasionally the vomitus contains old blood, or fresh blood and blood clots, although the bleeding in the ulcers is microscopic." (my veterinary hand book)

    It also lists stress as something than can predispose dogs to stomach ulcers.

    I hope some vets here can pipe up and give some more insight.
     
  9. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    A low fat diet might help to keep things under control, but don't sacrifice a decent protein content for that. The Innova Large Breed Senior is a nice formulation, 26% protein and only 10% fat, and it is suitable even for feeding to adult dogs that aren't large breed seniors.

    Alternatively you could supplement a good quality reduced fat or vegetarian formula with fresh or canned meat to maintain a decent protein percentage. Generally you have better control over the fat content of fresh meat though, regardless whether it's raw or cooked. Low-fat canned foods are generally high in carbs as well, which defeats the point.

    Stress can definitely be a factor in pancreatitis as well.

    Also, has the vet checked Spanky's liver, including bloodwork?
     
  10. mjb

    mjb New Member

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    While Spanky seems happy with the boarding facility and having LOTS of company, I'm sure stress is involved with both.

    As for tests on the liver, not that I know of. I don't know what the different blood tests are for, though.
     
  11. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    Talk to your vet about it. If a "Blood Chemistry Test" was done, details that can indicate liver issues would be included.
     
  12. mjb

    mjb New Member

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    Spanky's going in tomorrow morning for x-rays and a barium series. He's not progressing like they had hoped.
     

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