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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Time for blood work

Today I went in and had a good talk with one of our vets about everything that has been going on with Mocha. I told her that:

- since the day we brought her home, she has had large, soft stools and while we were feeding her other brands and 3 times a day, she was going 5-6 times a day. On the Acana, and being fed twice a day, she goes 3 times a day but the vet said even that is still too much
- That she was nursed by another female, not the original mother and received supplemental formula (not sure if that mattered but it's part of her history)
- That she has always had bad dandruff
- That when I take her outside, she acts like she is starving and tries to eat every leaf, blade of grass and whatever else she can find. All the time, every time
- That we have tried so many types/brands foods; sensitive stomach, grain free, chicken, lamb, beef etc. We thought were getting somewhere with the Acana, her stools started firming up initially but after a few weeks we were right back to square one.
- Even when she gets the runs and we put her on boiled chicken and rice, she won't poop as much but what does come out is still very soft and has pieces of rice (I thought it was tape worm so I took a sample to the vet)
- She is 24 1/2" tall and only weighs 40 pounds. The vet looked back at her history and said she had only been gaining about 3-4 pounds per month. Her brother weighs 68 pounds.
- I can see every one of her ribs when she is standing.

I'm no vet but all of the above, to me, sure sound like there is some kind of imbalance or issue that will not allow her system to fully digest and absorb food. The vet agreed with me so I will be bringing her in sometime this week to have full blood work done; a full chem, I think she called it, where the lab will run a full thyroid panel, check pancreas, liver, kidneys and something else I can't remember right now. If everything comes back normal, then they will look at other possible issues.
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNfisher View Post
Today I went in and had a good talk with one of our vets about everything that has been going on with Mocha. I told her that:

- since the day we brought her home, she has had large, soft stools and while we were feeding her other brands and 3 times a day, she was going 5-6 times a day. On the Acana, and being fed twice a day, she goes 3 times a day but the vet said even that is still too much
- That she was nursed by another female, not the original mother and received supplemental formula (not sure if that mattered but it's part of her history)
- That she has always had bad dandruff
- That when I take her outside, she acts like she is starving and tries to eat every leaf, blade of grass and whatever else she can find. All the time, every time
- That we have tried so many types/brands foods; sensitive stomach, grain free, chicken, lamb, beef etc. We thought were getting somewhere with the Acana, her stools started firming up initially but after a few weeks we were right back to square one.
- Even when she gets the runs and we put her on boiled chicken and rice, she won't poop as much but what does come out is still very soft and has pieces of rice (I thought it was tape worm so I took a sample to the vet)
- She is 24 1/2" tall and only weighs 40 pounds. The vet looked back at her history and said she had only been gaining about 3-4 pounds per month. Her brother weighs 68 pounds.
- I can see every one of her ribs when she is standing.

I'm no vet but all of the above, to me, sure sound like there is some kind of imbalance or issue that will not allow her system to fully digest and absorb food. The vet agreed with me so I will be bringing her in sometime this week to have full blood work done; a full chem, I think she called it, where the lab will run a full thyroid panel, check pancreas, liver, kidneys and something else I can't remember right now. If everything comes back normal, then they will look at other possible issues.

Hopefully it isn't anything serious. I recommend looking into a raw diet, talk to coco loco. They had kibble issues too and raw solved their issues.


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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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SieYa,

We are seriously thinking about going to RAW but first, I want to make absolutely sure that there's nothing physically wrong. Once we get past this, then we will probably try RAW, if anything, for the long-term health benefits. I found out today there is a butcher about 5 hours from here who specializes in RAW and will cut and package all the separate parts (meat, muscle, organs etc) for you. We can make the drive, buy several hundred pounds, bring it back and freeze it and we are set for a while. But, he specializes in beef so I don't know if we would have to find another source to supplement that with chicken, fish, turkey etc...
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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-27-2014, 07:41 PM
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Coco and Mocha must be related! This was the story of Coco ' s first year of life! Definitely get her a thorough check up to make sure there isn't something medically wrong.

I switched to raw when Coco was about a year old because she looked like she was starving to death and strangers always had to comment to me about needing to feed my dog more. She always had tons of energy and was a mischievous pup but she just couldn't process any kibble properly. And believe me I tried lots! Including prescription kibble which didn't work.

Vets aren't often fans of raw feeding but luckily ours is even if her clinic isn't. She gave the go ahead to try and 4.5 years later we haven't looked back. The vet is very pleased that Coco is no longer emaciated.

Raw worked wonders for Coco and I will feed any other dogs I have raw too. Hopefully Mocha checks out ok and you can try raw to see if that will help.

Good luck. I know how frustrating and worrisome this can be. There are lots of raw feeders here so you can always get answers to your questions.



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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Coco Loco View Post
Vets aren't often fans of raw feeding but luckily ours is even if her clinic isn't.
Yep, as soon as the word "raw" left my mouth, the vet frowned and said she wouldn't suggest it because of all the problems associated with it (germs, more digestive problems etc).

What gets me is that the first thing all of the vets in this clinic try to push is the cheap food like Iams
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 07:35 AM
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Poor Mocha!

I'm not knowledgable in this department, but I hope you get your answers soon!

"stay hungry, stay foolish."
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 12:53 PM
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I'm really glad you are getting a full work up to make sure that there isn't anything wrong with Mocha. If she checks out okay, everything medically normal, then I think trying raw would be a good next step. I'm sure Coco Loco could help you out, as well as the other raw feeders. But the full medical work up first is definitely necessary given her history, in my opinion. Please keep us updated.


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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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I'm really glad you are getting a full work up to make sure that there isn't anything wrong with Mocha. If she checks out okay, everything medically normal, then I think trying raw would be a good next step. I'm sure Coco Loco could help you out, as well as the other raw feeders. But the full medical work up first is definitely necessary given her history, in my opinion. Please keep us updated.
Again, I'm no vet but just from looking at all the things that have been going on since we brought her home, I do want to rule out any possible medical issues. If the blood work comes back normal, then we can move on to looking at other things, like switching her to raw. But right now, I don't want to switch diets again at the risk of upsetting her digestive system even further if there is indeed a medical issue.
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
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Yep, as soon as the word "raw" left my mouth, the vet frowned and said she wouldn't suggest it because of all the problems associated with it (germs, more digestive problems etc).

What gets me is that the first thing all of the vets in this clinic try to push is the cheap food like Iams
A lot of people not just vets frown on raw feeding because it's different and they don't understand it. I was like that once too until I was watching my dog literally wasting away in front of me and I was desperate for something to solve the problem. Prescription diets work for some dogs but not for mine so the only alternative was to try raw.

I completely agree with you about not switching now until she is medically cleared. I'm not a vet but your saga is so like mine was years ago.

The irony with vets statements about the germs and digestive problems is that it very well maybe the kibble causing all her troubles. I hope that is all it is because once you get the hang of it, it's very easy to feed raw and then the problem is solved!



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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-28-2014, 07:46 PM
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How about discussing with your vet a malabsorption/digestion profile and/or cobalamin B-12 test?
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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-29-2014, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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How about discussing with your vet a malabsorption/digestion profile and/or cobalamin B-12 test?
We had the blood drawn this afternoon, unless the lab is really backed up we should get the results back tomorrow. The vet actually did say that if the blood work comes back normal, there are tests that can be done to test her digestive tract but they cost around $200 (I think she said there were 2 separate tests and each cost $100).

I also brought up that I was seriously thinking about feeding raw and she didn't come out and discourage me but she did ask if we had thought about trying the Hills Science ZD diet. Out of all the docs at this clinic, I like and trust her the most because she acts like she truly cares for the animals, she will sit there and discuss things with you, and she gives you as much time as you want without rushing you out the door so she can see the next patient.

Last edited by TNfisher; 10-29-2014 at 06:28 PM.
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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The blood work came back normal for a growing puppy so tomorrow Mocha will have ot give more blood so the lab can do a panel which will test cobalamin/B-12 as well as for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.

Costly, but I told the vet it's ok because I want to make 100% sure she is healthy before anything else. Thank goodness I signed her up for pet insurance If these come back normal then it's time for a major change in diet.
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 02:27 PM
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It is costly but it has to be done so everything can be ruled out. I agree that if she medically checks out you should give raw a try. It really sounds like the processed kibble could be the culprit in my non -vet opinion.

Thanks for being so diligent about Mocha ' s health and well being!



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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for being so diligent about Mocha ' s health and well being!
I can't fathom anyone not doing the same for their dog.

I was telling my wife that if this keeps up I'll have to sell my bass boat
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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 03:26 PM
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I can't fathom anyone not doing the same for their dog.

I was telling my wife that if this keeps up I'll have to sell my bass boat
I feel yah on the cost, no one was kidding about having a few grand set aside just for them. We've dropped almost 3k in vet bills in 5 months

Wish we bought insurance! May still look into it...

Hugs to Mocha!

"stay hungry, stay foolish."

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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2014, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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I feel yah on the cost, no one was kidding about having a few grand set aside just for them. We've dropped almost 3k in vet bills in 5 months

Wish we bought insurance! May still look into it...

Hugs to Mocha!
Our Shih Tzu had bladder stones; that was one surgery and then a few days later a small one they possibly missed blocked his urethra so they had to do another surgery to basically turn him into a girl...that was $3,000 right there between the 2 surgeries.
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 09:40 AM
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I can't fathom anyone not doing the same for their dog.

I was telling my wife that if this keeps up I'll have to sell my bass boat
I know it seems strange that some people wouldn't do all they needed to for their dog but unfortunately there are lots of people who wouldn't. Just read some of the crazy threads on here where everyone is telling the poster that they need to get to the vet but the poster decides they will wait a bit and try to re-attach the severed limb with duct tape. Ok I exaggerated a bit but you do see crazy things on here.

Hopefully you won't have to sell your bass boat!! I'm almost betting that once/if you switch to raw, your problems will be solved.



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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Her blood work all came back normal, thank goodness, so now we can start looking at diet issues, as some of you had already stated earlier...but I had to make sure she was medically ok.

Now we can start figuring out what she can and can't handle, and put some weight on that girl of mine
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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
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Her blood work all came back normal, thank goodness, so now we can start looking at diet issues, as some of you had already stated earlier...but I had to make sure she was medically ok.

Now we can start figuring out what she can and can't handle, and put some weight on that girl of mine
This is great news! I'm glad she is medically fine. If you do start raw, you may be surprised at how easily she does put on some weight and having small, formed poops is always nice!

Yay for Mocha ' s clean bill of health! I'm very happy for you. I know the frustration and worry of a dog that eats but looks way too skinny.



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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-03-2014, 05:28 PM
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http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Natural-Nu.../dp/1556439032

You can also read Lew's Newsletters that she sends out: https://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/ - just use the search on the right or check them out month-by-month on the left. I subscribed and get them monthly in my email.

Start out with chicken breasts with bone in and some poultry livers etc (probably can find this in an Asian market or a Mexican grocery store). See how she likes each type of protein before you invest money for 100's of pounds worth. All the meat I buy - including whole sardines that come frozen to a local bait store - is human grade. It is just cheaper to buy in bulk. Feed some yogurt and cooked egg (I feed raw eggs to mine daily, with the shell).

Look for a local raw feeders BARF co-op to get delivered orders and variety with good prices. Don't try too hard for the 1st couple of weeks to vary the protein - just make sure she can cope with chicken 1st, then branch out. I use a lot of pork necks, emu necks, lamb ribs and necks, chicken backs, duck heads & wings, ground beef with bone & organs, etc. Necks are good because the bone is porous but try to stay away from weight-bearing bones like chicken legs (not often anyway). I once bought a bunch of beef ribs and found they couldn't get any value from the bones, so I cooked them all up for me and frozen the meat - threw away the bones - you win some, you lose some.

I just got access to Beef gullets - they are terrific with no bone but crunchy windpipe and good amount of meat. Dogs love them - but they won't always like everything - Jill will refuse to eat the odd sardine, so I put it away and another gets it another day. She gets to be hungry for a night. Don't sweat the little things but make sure whatever you feed is right for your dog.


the boys (rip): Cato, Emerald's Black Onyx, Emerald's Black Quartz
Owned by the girls: Jill (kelpie) and Lana.

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post #21 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 08:47 PM
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While Raw can make a difference, I'm not sure it will necessarily be the answer here. My Khaos didn't have any trouble adding weight, but he did have soft runny poops and pooped 6+ times a day and also tried to eat every piece of grass, leaves and dirt in sight, no matter what. We also tried several foods so when we ended up at the dermatologist after he started having severe skin issues, I wasn't quite sure about her suggesting this might be a food allergy among other things. In Khaos's case, the majority of his skin issues turned out to be from a major food allergy. He is one of the worst cases his dermatologist has see. Seeing that Mocha and Khaos are half siblings and have the same mother, I would think food allergies are probable. I don't know if this is related to the dam being hypothyroid but I wouldn't rule it out. Khaos's worst allergies are to Chicken and Beef along with Turkey and Lamb. Both Chicken and Beef are often the stable of a Raw diet and could cause some real issues if that is the case, so I would rule out a possible food allergy first.

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post #22 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 10:42 PM
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I would suggest Royal Canin over Science Diet. I don't care for the ingredients in either one, but I know Emily's coat has improved since I quit feeding her SD. She is on the hepatic diet.
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post #23 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 11:35 PM
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That's what Khaos's dermatologist recommended during his food trial. I opted for the Hill Science Diet D/D Duck and potato formula. After the food trial we started challenging other proteins and he is allergic to chicken, turkey, lamp and beef as far as I can tell. the only things I found he can eat without too much trouble is Fish and Duck. So now he gets Orijen Six Fish and the Duck and Potato Science Diets as treats to give him a different taste. The reason she told me was that an Rx Diet cannot even contain trace amount of other proteins unlike normal commercial food and is much stricter controlled then other foods. Also Duck or rabbit ,which I think the Royal Canine formula contains, is a rare protein and therefore less likely to cause a reaction.

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post #24 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor_Red View Post
While Raw can make a difference, I'm not sure it will necessarily be the answer here. My Khaos didn't have any trouble adding weight, but he did have soft runny poops and pooped 6+ times a day and also tried to eat every piece of grass, leaves and dirt in sight, no matter what. We also tried several foods so when we ended up at the dermatologist after he started having severe skin issues, I wasn't quite sure about her suggesting this might be a food allergy among other things. In Khaos's case, the majority of his skin issues turned out to be from a major food allergy. He is one of the worst cases his dermatologist has see. Seeing that Mocha and Khaos are half siblings and have the same mother, I would think food allergies are probable. I don't know if this is related to the dam being hypothyroid but I wouldn't rule it out. Khaos's worst allergies are to Chicken and Beef along with Turkey and Lamb. Both Chicken and Beef are often the stable of a Raw diet and could cause some real issues if that is the case, so I would rule out a possible food allergy first.
Right now, Mocha is on the Hills ZD Ultra diet (I can hear the collective sighs but that's what we're going to do) for a trial period to see if there are improvements. After 3 months, we will re-evaluate and do the same thing, try to figure out what Mocha CAN tolerate and then we will go from there. So far (knock on wood), the only skin problem Mocha has is horrible dandruff; if I rub my hand against the fur on her back, it looks like a minor blizzard hit.
That's interesting though, that you mention they have the same dam: both have food issues, both pooped numerous times a day, and both try to eat everything in sight outside. Now I'm wondering if any of the other pups from that dam have similar issues.

Edit: BTW, I'm curious; how old was your boy before he started with the skin issues? And how bad was he with the leaf/grass eating, and has that stopped? People have told me it's normal for Dobes to eat stuff hence the term Dobergoat but Mocha is so bad (and always has been from day one) that we can't let her go out back off leash unless we are playing with her to keep her distracted. Otherwise she will spend every second doing nothing but eating grass, leaves and anything else she can find. That's not an exaggeration by any means. I've never seen anything like it...even if I'm playing fetch with her she will still find the time to tear out chunks of grass and try to eat them.

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post #25 of 51 (permalink) Old 11-08-2014, 08:04 AM
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Like you we ran a lot of tests on Khaos to determine why he always had soft to runny poops and why he pooped so much, including numerous fecals, ruled out giardia and even ran the mal absorption test. Once I found out that his mother was hypothyroid we also started testing his thyroids.

He was always very dandruffy. His hives started maybe around the time he was 8-9 months old. At first they seemed manageable, but by the time he was 13 months old they started to really come in force and his hair was falling out. None of the standard treatments worked so my vet referred us to a veterinary dermatologist. By that time Khaos looked like this.


The dermatologist diagnosed him with a severe generalized staph infection secondary to allergies. He seems to have a very weak immune system since he can't fight anything off without antibiotics or it will turn into a large infection in no time. What made this staph infection worse was that Culture and Sensitivity testing showed that it only responded to a few antibiotics. She put him on 800mg of Doxycyclene for about 4 months since the other 2-3 AB listed had severe potential side effects.

When she first suggested the underlying allergy might be a food allergy I was skeptical since I had changed his food from what his breeder recommended (Pro Plan - Chicken based) when his runny poop continued after being in my house for a few months to TotW Sierra Mountain (Lamb based) but it only marginally improved his stool and he continued to poop multiple times a day. The dermatologist however strongly believed that his long history of soft stool and multiple pooping a day are indicators of a food allergy. After the 4 months treatment regiment (including antibiotics, twice a week bath with an Rx Spray and daily spraying with an Rx Spray and a very strict food trial), Khaos looked 100% better.


He is however so sensitive to foods he is allergic to, that even giving him heartworm pills which are flavored or any vitamins contained in gelcaps like fishoil or Vitamin E will break him out into hives or a staph infection on his chin or upper lips. Which is why he is now on Revolution. He also has some environmental allergies and has since been put on medication that is, for the moment, rather expensive. It doesn't completely eradicate his hives but at least he isn't so itchy anymore.

As for his eating everything in sight in my yard, that was and still is tricky. I have 2 other dobes and while it is true some Dobes can be goats, it's nothing like what I experienced with Khaos from the day I brought him home. Actually he was doing it when we stopped at the pet store on the way home to pick up some of the food the breeder recommended and we walked him in the grass, so it isn't something he learned at my house from the other 2. I had several dobe owners as well as a couple of breeders tell me that they haven't seen anything like him and that it is NOT normal. On the advice of one longtime breeder I ended up using an electronic collar since you cannot call him off of it, he is that obsessive about it. I ended up being out there for 3 solid months with him, not taking my eyes off of him for one second any time he was in the yard and using the collar every time he tried to eat grass. I thought I had stopped it completely with that mammoth effort but maybe it was more the fact that Winter set in. He started up again in the spring but not quite as bad, so I went back to using the ecollar. It is better now, but I still have to watch him most of the time or he tries to eat it again obsessively.

He is now on Orijen Six fish. His poop is solid, but he still poops 2-3 times a day and his poop is large. He only gets 3 cups a day so I'm not entirely sure where it is all coming from, since he doesn't have any issues with his weight and clocks in around 80 pounds. I tried cutting his food down some more but then he was loosing weight, so my vet and the dermatologist believe it is the correct amount to feed him with slight adjustments when I see him put on some weight or lose some.

I have been told by his breeder (the owner of the dam) that the sire is very allergic to bees and that his only littermate had a severe allergic reaction to a lepto vaccine (which Khaos didn't receive) after he developed a strange golf ball size bump that seemed attached when he was around 7 months old. However the sire's owner told me later that her dog doesn't have allergies and the dam is the one with allergies. I have no idea who is telling the truth and I am no longer in contact with either of them. But I would be interested to find out if your girl's problems also are at least in part caused by a food allergy.

Either way, I hope you find some answers and solutions. I know how frustrating it can be to try and figure out these kind of issues when all you want is for your dog to be healthy.

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