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Thread: Food question

  1. #1
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    Default Food question

    Hi all! I got my puppy, Jane, at 8 weeks five months ago. She is seven months old now, and we have recently changed from puppy food to adult food. Nonetheless, I feel like the entire time I have had her I have been on a never-ending quest to find the perfect food for her (please remember I'm not only a first-time Cav owner, this is my first dog as an adult ).
    When I first got Jane, I had her on puppy food from Whole Earth (Petco's organic brand). She had TERRIBLE diarrhea and loose stools. Eventually she was diagnosed with Giardia (I think she got it from licking goose poop at my family's lake house) and went through two rounds of medication. The vet ASSURED me that she was clear. However, her stool did not firm up that much. So, I decided to change her food. She changed to Orijen, and I did it very gradually. A couple months later, I started reading a lot about raw food, so I started giving her Primal nuggets for dinner and still Orijen kibble for breakfast. However, she is pooping 4-5 times a day and has completely liquid diarrhea at least once a week (sorry for the graphic details, but I am concerned). I have had her tested for Giardia again and it was negative. Her vet insists that it must be her food. I grew up in house full of Golden Retrievers and none of them EVER went number 2 this much! My mother says it is not normal, however, she has never had a Cavalier.
    I suspect that it may be the kibble that is causing the stool problem, do you think Orijen has too much protein for a Cavalier?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneAustenMama View Post
    I suspect that it may be the kibble that is causing the stool problem, do you think Orijen has too much protein for a Cavalier?
    Hi Jane-

    I fed my Japanese Chins (7 -13 lbs dogs) and my CKC (about 18 lbs), Orijen for years with no issue. I switched to Blue Buffalo Ckn/Rice small breed, only because Orijen was becoming a difficult supplier for my local pet food store to deal with. So, I don't think the orijen protein content is the issue.

    Bosco (my male 4 year old CKC) had giardia as a pup too. It took almost two months to get a clearance from the vet, and even after that, for his first year, his stools were inconsistent,firm some days and not on other days. I believe that CKCs have very sensitive tummies, so its important that you stick with one food, and be very careful with snacks as well. Even to this day, I rarely give him treats.

    Chronic diarrhea is a real issue and you are correct in being concerned. Is she losing weight? (Bosco never did) I would decide on one food, and stick with it. Too many changes will wreak havoc with their tummies. If things are really, bad you can go to a bland chicken and rice diet until her stomach settles. Pumpkin is good too.

    How did she do when she was just on the Orijen? Did it worsen or get better when you added the Raw food? Also, are you giving her treats?

    Joan

  3. #3
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    Hi Joan -
    Thank you for your reply. It is encouraging to hear that another person has fed their small dogs Orijen. I come from a family of Golden Retriever owners, so, I'm always concerned that I may be doing something that may be okay for big dogs, but not small ones
    Your story with Bosco does seem similar to mine with Jane. She took a long time to get cleared of the Giardia, and I wonder if she still needs to get her system back on track. It's weird because she will have some days with firm poops and some days with completely liquid diarrhea, but even when her stool looks good, it's the amount of times pooping per day that is concerning to me.
    I have noticed that it seems firmer in the morning, which would be after the Primal nuggets she gets for dinner. Her diarrhea, when it happens, usually happens mid-day to afternoon, which would have something to do with the kibble that she gets for breakfast.
    Yesterday I picked up a packet of probiotic treats from Whole Foods. I hope they will work. Pumpkin does not seem to do much for her, I have been trying that for a couple of months now.
    When she had the Giardia, the vet had me buy cans of Royal Canin gastrointestinal diet for her and honestly, that is the only time since I have had her where I would say she pooped normally and (what I thought was) a normal amount of times per day.
    She is not losing weight. She has steadily been gaining weight since I had her, and now at about 15.5 pounds I think she has plateaued. Her mother was 15 and her father was only 12, so this was about exactly the weight I was expecting her to be.
    About the treats, she has been in obedience classes since she was 2 months old, and I do use Zuke's Mini Naturals for training. She gets quite a few of them on class days, but otherwise I would say she doesn't get that much. She also has 1 petite Greenie per day.
    Perhaps Jane is like Bosco and her stool will just be inconsistent for a while?

  4. #4
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    Giardia tends to come in blooms, but a negative test does not mean the dog is definitely negative, sometimes the sample just doesn't have any to diagnose. I think as many as 70% of pet dogs are suspected to be longer term sub-clinical (that means not showing strong disease symptoms)

    With the amount of diarrhoea it sounds like your pup is experiencing, dehydration could be a health concern. Puppies will go more than adult dogs, in terms of number of poops per day (Guinness is about 1-3 per day, mosts 1 or 2 at age 6).

    So, i would only try to address the firmness, as 4 does not seem to be a horribly excessive in my opinion. Stool firmers, simple ones: banana, and pumpkin. You could mix an amount of this in with kibble or other food. What you're doing is adding a lot of fiber to the diet, this is probably the same method used in formulating the Royal Canin that you say worked. It is, somewhat interestingly, also good for solving constipation.

    Also try: Probiotics. You can buy packets of these intended for humans or dogs at the local pharmacy usually. Sprinkle a small amount over 1 meal per day. If things are looking better you can try stopping this, for some dogs receiving daily is important, some will establish a stable gut population and be fine without daily doses.

    Ditch the greenies. Replace with banana or pumpkin. Greenies are very high in fats (if I remember correctly), and excess fats can cause diarrhoea by drawing fluid into the intestines.

    And, lastly, this is a forum where we talk about our dogs' health openly, do not feel that telling us about it is "gross" or needs an apology. You have a question, and we need to know the situation if we are going to weigh in with our opinions.
    Last edited by Soushiruiuma; 15th December 2015 at 11:18 PM.

  5. #5
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    giardia is extremely difficult to get rid of. And often times will stay dormant until the dog is stressed. Also some dogs have a hard time digesting the better quality food. My Labrador was very sensitive to the higher quality no grain food, his poop would immediately turn to liquid when I tried to change diets. so I just stuck to the plain midgrade food 24 % fat.
    A good probiotic was great for my giardia boy. I buy nyzmes brand, but there are other great brands as well. I also have used Bene-Bac[SIZE=2][/SIZE] Plus that my vet recommended. Also with my dog I had to medicate him three times with two different meds to finally get rid of the giardia. most vets will treat with flagyl which my vet did, then we treated with panacur twice.
    owned by BratBoy ^see avatar

  6. #6
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    I recall doing both flagyl and pancur as well when Bosco was a pup. He is four now, and I still feel he is extremely sensitive to changes in diet, so I'm not sure if that is Cavalier trait -- sensitive tummies?? I have two Japanese Chin, who seem to never have a problem.

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