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13 April 2010 @ 08:36 pm
Dog Food/Stomach  
Albus seems to stay in a constant stage of stomach upset.  He's been back and forth to the vet to treat loose stool and vomiting, I've changed his food, etc.  He gets better for a bit then is back to having an upset stomach.  He's had x-rays and blood work...all of it clear.  The last vet visit the vet said he thought it was irritable bowel syndrome and suggested putting him on Purina HA.  He's now been on his course of meds and this Purina HA for a week and his stools are still soft (not loose really but not solid either).  And Norbert's stool has gotten softer as well on this food.  Also he's thrown the food up twice and every evening after he eats it he acts like his tummy is upset (licking lips and sitting like he does when he's got an upset tummy).  10-15 minutes after he eats he's fine and usually doesn't throw up.  His stomach, however, is not really noisy like it had been.

My concern with this food is that corn starch is the top ingredient.  It has no meat ingredients I can see.  I should note this is the second "prescription" food they put him on.  The first was Purina Veterinary GI Pack.  I took him off of that after him continuing to have stomach upset almost two weeks after they put him on it. 

I'm at a loss at this point.  I want him to not have an upset stomach all the time (or at least a significant amount of time).
Joannamiss_upsetter on April 14th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
what all have you tried? Are you doing "hard changes" (not slowly mixing new food into his current food)
raymiewraymiew on April 14th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
He was on Canidae for years and when this all started he got really sick. That's when the vet said put him on the GI Pack stuff after taking all food away for 24 hours. Did that as a hard change per the vets instructions. When I switched him off the GI Pack we switched to IAMS Lamb and Rice Probiotic and I did that gradually. His stool on the GI Pack was so loose that everything was an improvement. That was around October of last year. Since changing to the IAMS he had off an on stomach upset but nothing I thought he needed the vet for until a few weeks ago. Then he had loose stool for several days with no improvement. That's the last vet visit to do more blood work (all clear) and the vet suggested IBS and put him on the Purina HA and said do it as a hard change. Did that and he's improved but still not where I'd want him to be.
Joannamiss_upsetter on April 14th, 2010 01:13 am (UTC)
When did you move from Canidae? They reformulated in fall of 2008.

Typically, the best dog foods have meat as their first main ingredients. Not "something-meal" or grains.

Have you considered that he's developed a food allergy?

One thing that I would do if I were in your shoes is go to petco (hopefully there's one nearby) and try some of their "higher end" foods with him. Petco has a policy that if your dog does not like the food you buy there, you can return it within a week (I think that's the time frame.) Bella was SUPER picky with her food and they knew me as the girl that would always return food.

I may have recommended it to you before, but i've had amazing luck with dick van patten's natural balance. I get the dry food and shred up some of the food roll with it. Bella adores it!

I'd still explore the possibility of a food allergy though. Look at what you've given him and find the common ingredients.

Good luck!
The Girl in the Self Imposed Boxelisabat on April 15th, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC)
the HA stands for hypoallergenic, so I think the vet is thinking allergies. Which is what IBD really is. Which is why the ingredients sound odd.

have you tried limited ingredient diets like venison or rabbit? It also might help to have him allergy tested, an abdominal ultrasound, or have him tested for a pancreatic insufficiency. Sorry if there's typos. I'm using my phone and the formatting is weird.
Melindamindy1024 on April 14th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC)
Our vet suggested the Nutro Max Sensitive Stomach food when Kermie threw up her food. We didn't have any issues after that. Nutro max also makes sensitive stomach dog biscuits.
Glorious kind and always on timeuberjackalope on April 14th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Has this all been at one vet? Maybe it's time for a second opinion?

AJPmakenote on April 14th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
I know this is just my experience and may not mean anything, but both Lewis and Edgar have had major stomach and allergy issues and after spending tons of money on "better" dog foods to fix the problem, the one food that ended up working (and that we still use today) is Pedigree Adult Small Crunchy Bites, which is not a fancy food. We do the dry food with a tiny bit of plain yogurt on top and have had no more tummy problems.

I'd let the vet know what's going on and see if they might suggest a new route. Sometimes the expensive foods do not fix the problem. And sometimes food itself is not the issue -- could be other variables that can change. Best of luck with your little dude -- I know it's frustrating to want to help him and unable to. I'm sure knows you're trying. :)
hysteric glamour: shmoopyunquietmind on April 14th, 2010 04:13 am (UTC)
I think you're right to be concerned about a corn product as the top ingredient in the food. We have a little mixed-breed rescue dog who had terrible stomach problems. The Natural Balance Limited Ingredients foods have worked really well for you. It might be worth checking out:
Wanda Richelieu of Re Duh, O Ran Gie, and Yelloshortdariwanda on April 15th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
It's always good to get a second opinion if their recommendation is not working.

There were a lot of dogs that got sick once Canidae changed their formula. A lot of the hard-core Canidae people ended up changing the food to something else because of that issue. Natural Balance is LID, basically meaning that they don't use ten different protein sources and ten different carbs. Wellness also has Simple Solution which is pretty much the same. A lot of the vet prescription food for sensitive stomach is LID, just more expensive.

You can also go raw. There are a lot of people whose dogs had issues with dog food ingredients and converted to raw with excellent results. Of course you have to introduce it slowly and feed portions bigger than their mouth so they don't try to swallow it all at once. has good info on that if you want to go that way. has a lot of good stories about their dogs on raw.