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Sheltie with colitis. Looking for a better low residue dog food !!

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  


Member Since
12/26/2011
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 26, '11 2:01pm PST 
Hi everyone !!
I have a 6 1/2 year old female Sheltie by the name of Nellie. She was recently diagnosed by a vet to have colitis. Nellie was suffering from diarrhea on and off for about 6 months. Because of the diarrhea, it also led to an anal gland problem which I hope will eventually resolve itself. After trying so many internet site remedies that failed, I took her to the vet. He tested her for worms which was negative. Vet basically said that colitis is a problem with this breed as it is most likely stress related opposed to being a food related allergy.

He put her on a 10 day liquid medication (SMZ-TMP 200-40/5 SUS HI-TECH) prescription medicine and IAMS Veterinary formula intestinal plus (formerly known as Low residue) dog food. I purchased both the dry and canned versions from the vet. After 10 days, Nellie had an excellent recovery. She is now off the medication for 4 days and is doing excellent on the IAMS low residue food. No more diarrhea !!

My problem is after reading the IAMS ingredient labels & researching same, I have come to the conclusion that this dog food is nothing but high cost garbage. Corn grits are hard for any dog to digest & chicken bi-products don't help matters out either. What scared me the most is the preservative "ETHOXIQUINE" a known carcinogeon !! The vet swears on this stuff!! For whatever his reason, he recommends that I keep Nellie on this food for life. What I need to do is to find a healthier SUBSTITUTE. One that will keep my doggy from developing diarrhea again and at the same time not be as expensive. I realize that this can be tricky and the part that worries me the most aside from her getting cancer by using the IAMS is that if I switch to something else, she might have a relapse with colitis / diarrhea again.

I'd be grateful to anyone who can offer me any advice recommending a good low residue dog food that comes in both dry and canned.

Thank you all so much.
The Bandit
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Mr. Jake the- Beagle

I am Murphy's- Law Embodied! <3- Me!
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 26, '11 9:44pm PST 
i looked up this condition online and found that a high fiber diet may help. I have IBS as a human and have to keep a high fiber diet *TMI * i know but it really does help. Try looking for a healthier High Fiber diet. I've noticed weight mangaemtent dog foods tend to be high in fiber andusually come in weight and dry. Jake used to eat Authority WEight mangement dog food. Filled with corn which he's alergic toobut high in fiber.

We've since switched to high protein but I know that brand had high fiber.

Hope this helps you.

good luck.
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 26, '11 11:33pm PST 
I'm hesitant to recommend a change if the Iams is really working for you- while it's better in theory to avoid those ingredients you mention, you don't want to hurt your dog for the sake of a theory.

From the ingredient list:
Corn Grits, Brewer's Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken, Fish Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewer's Dried Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Monosodium Phosphate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate [source of Vitamin B1], Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement [source of Vitamin B2], Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [source of Vitamin B6], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Choline Chloride, Flax Meal, DL-Methionine, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Ethoxyquin (a preservative), Rosemary Extract

That actually doesn't look that bad to me. Corn is really not such a bogeyman as it's made out to be, and while it does contain byproducts, they're not the only animal protein source. Plus it's all from named animal species.

I think the magic ingredients here are the beet pulp and the fructooligosaccharides. (Hoo boy, I'm only go to type that once!) The beet pulp is a source of fiber for firming up the stool as Jake mentioned. The FOS is a type of carbohydrate that is indigestible to most animals, (in other words, "fiber") but the gut bacteria LOVE it. It stimulates activity of beneficial bacteria in the intestines which slow intestinal transit, bulk/firm up the stool, and increase mineral absorption.

Likely those ingredients are why this food is helping your dog. You could probably feed a different food if it had a similar nutritional analysis and also contained prebiotic fiber (either a refined form like FOS or from a whole-food source like chicory root.) Or give a standalone prebiotic supplement.

Edit to recommend a specific food- Acana, made by Champion Pet Foods of Canada is moderately high in fat/protein for small, firm stools, and contains natural sources of prebiotic fiber, like chicory root and dandelion greens. Champion's other product is Orijen dog food, which is much higher in protein, lower in carbs/fiber, so I'm not sure it would be appropriate. They don't make a canned version of Acana, unfortunately. If you only use canned as a small amount of the total diet (as a sauce or topper with the dry) you could use any high-quality brand. Or just use plain broth or unsweetened yogurt on the food instead.

Edited by author Mon Dec 26, '11 11:46pm PST

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Member Since
12/26/2011
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 27, '11 7:04pm PST 
Jake, thank you for sharing about the high fiber. It's worth trying to find a good dog food that will have fiber. Bruno, that IAMS Veterinary formula where you list all the ingredients, i.e. with special emphasis on "ETHOXYQUINE" is a dangerous preservative known to cause cancer and other horrible things like birth defects in dogs. I can live with all the other ingredients but that one. No way am I going to continue to expose my sweet Nellie to that. I need to find a dog food that will have similar ingredients not only to treat the colitus, but also to spare my dog any further intestinal trauma causing diarrhea which usually occurs when you change dog foods. Most dog owners will tell you that abruptly changing a dog food usually results in diarrhea. Therefore, the new food must be introduced slowly. Usually a mixture between the old and new. Anyway, after searching long and hard in several different forums, there are 2 dog foods that may work for my dog. They are:
1). California Naturals (Low Fat formulas) was recommended in a forum
by a dog owner who stated that the low fat formula is essentially equal to a low residue food such as IAMS.

2). Hills Science - Sensitive stomach formula.

The problem however,is both of the above only come dry. No canned version. This could be a problem for my dog because she was raised on a 50-50 % mix of dry and canned food. My dog always separates by eating the canned first. I've yet to figure how she does it, but she does. Then, she eats most of the dry and always leaves some in her bowl to eat for later before she goes to bed.

Perhaps it really doesn't matter what dog food I give her. I forget that my dog was on medication for 10 days which might have resolved all of the intestinal inflammation (colitus). Well, at least for now it has. Anyway, what do you think of the above dog foods? All replies are most welcomed.


Thank you,
The Bandit
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 27, '11 7:32pm PST 
"California Naturals (Low Fat formulas) was recommended in a forum
by a dog owner who stated that the low fat formula is essentially equal to a low residue food such as IAMS."

Low fat does NOT equal low-residue. Low-residue foods are formulated to cause firm stools because they are easily digested and leave very little behind, "residue" being the leftover part. Fat is almost completely digestible. Many premium dog foods are quite high in fat and also low-residue; you get more "bang for your buck" since they are more concentrated, you feed less, and the dog poops less. Low-fat, high-fiber dog foods like Cal Nat. can cause large, frequent stools because they are less energy-dense. Not sure if that's what you want.

Not sure if you just skimmed my first post, but I still think the most important part of your Iams food is the prebiotic fiber- look it up, prebiotics can be lifesavers in cases of IBS and colitis caused by unbalanced gut flora. That's also why I recommended Acana because it contains natural sources of prebiotic fiber.
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Member Since
12/26/2011
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 28, '11 10:39am PST 
Bruno, your reply is most appreciated especially about the prebiotic fiber. I did know that a high fiber diet was a good treatment for IBS & colitis. I don't really know if that part matters anymore because today, my dog had a relapse with diarrhea. Its been about 5 days since she was off the SMZ-TMP medication that the vet prescribed. I had given her nothing except the IAMS veterinary formula & the diarrhea is back again. I called the Vet back today. I gave the Vet's assistant the information and was told the Vet would call me back. He most likely will use another approach by prescribing some different sort of dog food that is non allergic. I don't know. I'll have to trust him. I'll be back soon to let you know. What a nightmare. I am so disappointed !!

Best regards,
The Bandit cry
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 28, '11 11:08am PST 
poor dog. frown Keep us posted.
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Momo (formal- name: - Cozmo)

Happiness is- Just a Thing- called Mo
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 28, '11 12:44pm PST 
I went through this with a Sheltie for many years. I hope this will help you.

First, the first thing you should do is an allergy test. I don't know why vets don't recommend them more but it's not unlikely that allergy to various foods is causing or exacerbating stomach problems. There is a relatively inexpensive allergy test (probably not as good as one done by a vet) that seems to work, made by a company called Glacier Peak Holistics. Look them up online. Or you can buy their kit cheaper from a Nevada store called The Soggy Dog -- look them up and call them. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR DOG'S LIFE to get an allergy test.

Next, although in general I am a raw feeder, some of the veterinary diets DO work, and some are better nutritionally than others. I had very good luck with my 14-year old Sheltie, feeding Hill's W/D. The ingredients are not quite as bad as Iams...what's even better, I was eventually able to mix the W/D with fresh raw ground turkey necks. My dog became brilliantly healthy on this combo of good-for-tummy kibble and whole food! Don't believe the rumors that you can't mix raw and kibble. Or, if raw scares you, try the Hill's W/D but mix in cooked chicken or beef or scrambled eggs...eggs are cheap and great for dogs...but REMEMBER, do the allergy test first!! I promise you, if you feed Hill's W/D plus some real whole food (like fresh chicken or whatever meat your dog isn't allergic to), you will see good health.

I tried many times to eliminate the Hill's by replicating a healthier version myself, even buying cellulose powder (which is what Hill's puts in the kibble to bulk up stool and prevent diarrhea), but I never could come up with a recipe that worked the way Hill's did, to eliminate diarrhea.

So try the Hill's for a slightly better alternative, and upgrade your dog's health by mixing it with fresh food.
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Member Since
12/26/2011
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 31, '11 5:27pm PST 
Mommo, thank you for the information about allergy testing. I am going to remember that for the near future as it makes so much sense. I am back here to post the progress of my Sheltie. As you all know she had a relapse with diarrhea and I had a call into the Vet who finally called me back. He recommended that Nellie be put a drug called "Sulfasalazin 250mg" twice a day. This drug is used long term to treat Ulcerative Colitis. She most likely will be on this drug for at least 6 months, if not longer. I'll have to see how she does. Nellie has been on this drug for 4 days now, and she is doing great !! No more diarrhea !! The Vet feels that the colitis is most likely Stress related. He said that this particular breed is prone to colitis, but he has NOT altogether ruled out food allergies. For this reason he recommends I stay with a low fat (under 14% fat intake) limited ingredient dog food. I asked him about PRESCRIPTION HILLS but the vet was more in favor of a non prescription dog food. He basically said I should try any of the better dog foods that have limited ingredients like Natures Balance, Natural Choice or other quality food that have either a duck, venison, rabbit or bison in it with sweet potato. He suggests SLOWLY making the change from IAMS to any of the above by first doing a 50-50 mix for a few days. Then, 75-25 mix for a days. Then finally 100% to the new food. Together with the drug, this is working out well for my dog. Time will tell. I'll give her a month before, I consider that allergy test which makes a lot of sense to me.
As for trying RAW food, I am not too comfortable with that right now and will consider it only on my Vet's approval. My Vet is a decent guy and has NOT tried to sell me any prescription Vet food except in the beginning with that low residue IAMS. He has not tried to run up unnecessary bills. Therefore, I am happy with the results and most important my dog is doing much better and is back to normal !!

My thanks to everyone for all the good advice which I am grateful for.
The Banditsmile
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Member Since
12/26/2011
 
 
Barked: Sun Feb 12, '12 9:37pm PST 
I am back with the hope that I might get a response from Mommo. At this time I am considering an allergy test for my Sheltie. I am not sure what to do in terms of how I should proceed with the testing. I have two choices. The first, let my Vet do it. Probably will be costly, but not sure how much since I have not asked him. Second, do what Mommo recommends, buy the allergy testing kit and do it myself. I went to the Glacier Peak Hollistics site and the allergy testing kit is $75. I tried to compare that with the price at the Soggy Dog (in Nevada) site, but can't seem to find that specific product listed on their site. Have I missed it someplace? My vet bills are mounting up and although my dog is doing a little better on generic Sulfazine (sulfasalazin), the colitis is still present. I can not keep her on this drug much longer because of the "dry eye" and other side effects.

Thank you for replying as it is as always greatly appreciated.

The Bandit
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