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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Bland Diet

Hey all. Its me with some poop problems again.

So I posted about a week ago about some wonky food that I returned to the store, but even before that we haven't had consistent poop quality. Zeus has been fighting mushy poops for a while. He first had coccidia, then giardia which is what I was blaming his pudding poops on, but he's tested clear of both now. But still, his poop isn't firm. We started putting pumpkin in to help with its consistency, and it helps a little, but although his bowel movement will start out firm, it usually ends like pudding.

We're starting a bland diet of chicken breast and plain rice tonight. I'm not going to add anything to it (usually he gets a little salmon oil in his dinner) to see if maybe he's just not taking to his food (Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin/Stomach Salmon and Rice). We did a food switch in March. IF the food is the problem, the vet suggested Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care. I looked at the ingredients, and the first one listed is whole grain corn, which probably isn't the greatest I'm guessing? Does anyone have any experience with this brand of food or any other "bland diet" kibble?

IF we go with a food change, since he's eating chicken and rice, would we gradually start him back on his Purina food, then transition to the Hill's brand? Or would we transition from chicken and rice straight to Hill's? Thanks for any advice that may come!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 12:09 AM
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Maybe have him tested for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency? Chronic loose stools can be one sign of it. https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions..._insufficiency


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 06:40 AM
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Mouser - I'm going to throw you a different idea here - But are you feeding Zeus lots of treats ? Be honest here : )) But could you be giving more than you think ? If you are - check what they are made of - Maybe they are to rich for our little buddy .

We have feed Hills - but the L/D to Ali - She liked the Royal Caninn better - That could be because it was for L/D = taste less

I may be all wrong here - But isn't chicken a source of protein ? I think that he would need less - not more to stiffen him up , Just me thinking out loud here .
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:50 AM
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Poor Zeus.......he has had some issues for awhile.......I am thinking his digestive tract has experienced a lot of different things between food and medications etc.

Is Zeus on any medications currently?

If he is not on medications....it would be interesting if you fasted him for one day ......then began with his regular kibble.....and nothing else.....no additives of any kind..........doing this for several weeks ..........just to see how his body adapts to regular food, in the same amounts, at the same time of day , for a lengthy period of time. Be cautious to not use any other treats.........other than just his regular kibble.

If he’s still on medications......then timing for this would not be good.......would be best to try when taking in no medications.

With Hoss he eats the same kibble daily.....BUT.....I notice when he eats anything different .....boom poop gets soft.
His is always .......shall we say “The Best Poop” when he has nothing but the same thing everyday. Day in and day out........

I know ...sounds boring..........BUT .....Tricia turned me onto something..........I cooked up bacon.........drained all the grease off etc.....placed the whole bacon strip in a plastic ziplock full of his daily kibble............worked great ..........the bacon made the daily kibble smell like the bacon.

With dogs its all about the smell ...versus the taste.............so this is an idea for making treats yet sticking with your daily kibble in order to stabilize Zeus’s tummy.

Otherwise how is feeling.....happy ? Energetic? How is his neck doing?

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses! Currently, the only medication he's taking is a twice daily dose of Apoquel. (We tried the Cytopoint shot but his scratching started back up so we went back to Apoquel after two weeks)
He gets Milkbone Minis as training treats, so he does get quite a few of those because we train daily. I'll make it a point to lessen his treat intake and see how that goes!
Thankfully, his energy level and mood have been normal. He zooms through agility class, loves going to the park to walk and train and play, and is his usual goofy, energetic, snuggly self.
I'll talk to the vet about the exocrine pancreatic insufficiency...hopefully it's something simpler than that!
My poor baby. I just want him to be healthy and happy! At least I know the latter is true, and his health is improving in other ways! The fur on his back (where he was shaved for an abcess) is FINALLY growing back, so much so that the patch is almost completely covered. His belly fur is growing and his the thinning spot is no longer bald looking. And his neck is FINALLY looking better! He's stopped scratching so much which I think is giving his fur a chance to grow in where it was patchy. So, there have been improvements!
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:30 PM
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You might try feeding less--sometimes the only thing wrong (you're the exception since Zeus had two unfortunate problems, giardia and coccidia, both of which directly contribute to soft stools/diarrhea. But feeding more than the dog can process will also cause soft stool and/or diarrhea.

Also--you say the stools start out normal and end up cow pie--that tends to be another sign that the dog is just getting too much food. Also heavy exercise too soon after feeding if they are being fed too much will also cause dogs to poop more often and it will start out sold and end up slop...

Hills does NOT have a food really comparison to the Purine ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach. The closest they have is their Hills Sensative Stomach--for some dogs it works well--try it--the bookkeeper the vet clinic I work at (very part time now that I'm semi-retired) has been feeding it to her Bull Mastiffs for several years now and Bull Mastiffs as a breed tend to have chronic GI problems.

The Hills ID is more specifically designed for post GI surgery and GI diseases aftermaths--it is a bland food and gives the gut a chance to heal up. You may not like the ingredients but dog stomachs usually do.

I don't know--you can feed the chicken breasts and rice (use white rice--it's easier to digest than brown rice). and then switch to what ever but if I was doing it I'd probably feed either Hill ID and then switch to the Hills Sensitive Stomach OR feed Purina EN (it's the comparable Purina product to the Hills ID) and then to the Purina ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach.

If you've been feeding ANY wet food I'd cut that out period--and pretty large number of dogs don't tolerate any brand of canned food (if you can find a food that is only meat (Evangers is one brand that has that and I think there is another but the brand escapes me at the moment--it's more common than Evangers though. But both are entirely meat--nothing else added. And if you find and try feeding that---feed very little it's very rich.

Just some suggestions--I feed and have feed primarily Purina ProPlan Focus Chicken or the Sensitive Skin and Stomach--adult only for both.

Good luck--tracking down a suitable food for a dog who has had digestive tract issues is tough and very frustrating.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:35 PM
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Try using his kibble for training, instead of the Milkbones. Measure out his allotment for the day, feed part for breakfast, then just grab a bit here and there for training, and anything left over will be dinner.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 03:36 PM
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Rosemary View Post
Try using his kibble for training, instead of the Milkbones. Measure out his allotment for the day, feed part for breakfast, then just grab a bit here and there for training, and anything left over will be dinner.
This is what I'd do. He may simply be getting many more calories than you think he's getting, and it may still be an issue with overfeeding. I'd cut out EVERYTHING except the kibble, and I'd ask your vet about putting him on Tylosin powder for a while, until things are firmed up for months. Tylosin works really well, and can generally be given for quite a long time safely. If this was my dog, and my vet was okay with it, I'd do Tylosin powder, and Fortiflora, and nothing but kibble for quite a while...give it at least a couple of months so that you can truly see if he's adapting to the food. He has had a lot of upheaval with his system - food changes, antibiotics...I'd want to see if I could give the current food a good test but you need to eliminate the other variables.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Zeus was getting 4 cups a day. His bag recommends 3 1/2 - 4 1/4 cups per day... After weaning him back on, I'll try going down to the minimum 3 1/2 but I'm worried about him getting roo thin, as he was before... but that might've been because of the other problems he had. We'll see!

I'm noticing that eating chicken and rice has causes him to not poop as much. He usually poops every day, twice a day. But since his bland diet we've only seen him poop once on Saturday evening. My husband took him out and said it was a solid poop (but I didnt see it and I'm only going to be satisfied once I see it with my own eyes!). He didn't poop at all yesterday, and this morning I was outside with him and he didn't have any intent to go. He's eating and drinking fine. Activity level is normal. I don't think he's constipated, as he's not trying to go at all. (So no squatting and straining) I read online that many other chicken and rice feeders experienced the same thing. Their dogs hadn't gone in 24-48 hours. Some commented that the rice slows down digestion. Has anyone experinced this?

How long should I keep this up before weaning him back on to his food? He started Friday evening, so it's been about two and a half days. I'm going to start him back up on his ProPlan whenever we start transitioning back and using his kibble as treats. He does not get wet food of any type.

I haven't been adding his Fortiflora or salmon oil to his meals...could too much salmon cause loose stools? His food is salmon and rice. He was getting evening salmon oil, and he takes an Omega 3/6/9 supplement (which I haven't been giving him) daily.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 02:08 PM
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The salmon oil could possibly cause loose stools, depending on how much he gets.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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@Rosemary If I were to guess, it'd be about 1 to 1 and a half tablespoons. I honestly don't measure. The bottle advises 1tsp per 10 pounds, so he should get 8tsp, but I'm sure I give him less than that. It's like one full circle squirt around his bowl. Very technical, I know. I recently bought new measuring spoons and cups just for his stuff, so I probably should start using them!
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 07:24 PM
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1 Tablespoon of 100% pureed pumpkin per feeding. If it does not help after 4-5 days, I would discontinue. Pumpkin is a very benign food that one can add to a dogs diet for fiber.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gamermouse0213 View Post
Zeus was getting 4 cups a day. His bag recommends 3 1/2 - 4 1/4 cups per day... After weaning him back on, I'll try going down to the minimum 3 1/2 but I'm worried about him getting roo thin, as he was before... but that might've been because of the other problems he had. We'll see!
Yes, failure to gain weigh and/or weight loss often goes along with anything that causes loose stools and/or diarrhea--basically the food is just going through the GI tract and not staying long enough to provide much real nutrition.

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I'm noticing that eating chicken and rice has causes him to not poop as much. He usually poops every day, twice a day. But since his bland diet we've only seen him poop once on Saturday evening. My husband took him out and said it was a solid poop (but I didnt see it and I'm only going to be satisfied once I see it with my own eyes!). He didn't poop at all yesterday, and this morning I was outside with him and he didn't have any intent to go. He's eating and drinking fine. Activity level is normal. I don't think he's constipated, as he's not trying to go at all. (So no squatting and straining) I read online that many other chicken and rice feeders experienced the same thing. Their dogs hadn't gone in 24-48 hours. Some commented that the rice slows down digestion. Has anyone experinced this?
I don't know exactly how much you are feeding of chicken( or turkey or ground beef) to 3 parts cottage cheese or rice. If you've been feeding kibble the fact that you are feedig a mix that is heavier on protein and much less on carbs will reduce the quantity of stool. And generally a meat/cottage cheese or meat/rice mix isn't as much food as they've been getting with kibble. Also means smaller poops.

Most dogs routinely poop after a meal. Dogs on a diet intended to give solider stools almost always poop less. Rice will NOT actually slow down digestion--HOWEVER a lot of people see a change to chicken and rice from a bad case of diarrhea or a long period of very soft stools end up with a dog who doesn't poop at all for 24 to 48 hours. Common because often the GI tract is pretty empty and when the food isn't just going through and not actually getting digested there is nothing for the dog to poop--you see some complaints about how their dog went from diarrhea to constipation--that isn't what is actually happening.

Quote:
How long should I keep this up before weaning him back on to his food? He started Friday evening, so it's been about two and a half days. I'm going to start him back up on his ProPlan whenever we start transitioning back and using his kibble as treats. He does not get wet food of any type.
I usually keep a dog on something like chicken and rice for about 3 to 4 days and then start to add kibble back into the diet and reduce the quantity of the chicken and rice mix. Feeding 2 cups per meal isn't really too much food--it's what most of my males eat for most of their life. Sometimes significantly more when they are adolescent to young males and the old boys seem to need less.

Quote:
I haven't been adding his Fortiflora or salmon oil to his meals...could too much salmon cause loose stools? His food is salmon and rice. He was getting evening salmon oil, and he takes an Omega 3/6/9 supplement (which I haven't been giving him) daily.
I would continue to use the Fortiflora no matter what he's eating. Any kind of oil can cause loose stools . Also the Omega 3/6/9 supplement is actually oil based (even if it's a powder--and I wouldn't give that until his stools are solid all the time). You said to Rosemary that you hadn't actually been measuring quantifies--but had a new set of measuring cups and spoons--USE THEM WHILE YOU ARE TRYING TO ESTABLISH BEST QUANTITIES TO FEED OF EVERYTHING. I don't feed salmon oil for a couple of reasons--you'd think that salmon oil would be better than some other types of oils. But salmon feed on smaller fish--and it means that over time their diet contributes to concentration of some things you might not want to keep adding because it does concentrate in the fats and oils of the bigger fish.

I feed whatever oil I use (and I actually use the Costco brand which is made from oils of small fish like sardines, menhaden etc.) And it is measured by quantity of Omega 3 oil and in capsules. Liquid oils loose efficancy quite quickly after they are opened--even refrigerating them doesn't slow that down much--the capsules don't get that exposure to air so stay effective longer. If you are going to continue to feed salmon oil--translate that liquid amount to to a per tsp or tBsp of Omega 3.

Also about the Omega 3/6/9 in oils--Omega 3 is most abundant in fish fat or body oil. Omega 6 is bioavailable mostly in vegetable sources (and I can't remember what provides Omega 9 and can't remember if there is really an established recommended amount to feed). What you should probably also be feeding with any source of Omega 3 oils would be Vitamin E--you should be giving it (it's measured in iu's, international units--and most comes as gel caps at 400 iu's. It should be added at the rate of about 200 iu's per 1,000 mg of most fish oils. So my old dog gets two fish oil caps and one Vitamin E cap per meal now--but most of his life he got 1 fish oil cap per meal and one Vitamin E cap with dinner only.

Are you sick of reading this yet--my ability to sit is just about up so I'll just wish you and Zeus good luck. Just remember for right now measure everything. Once you've established a diet and quantities that work for him then you start looking at the dog, how his weight looks and drop in a vets office weekly (most scales are in reception for big dogs and if you ask are happy to let you weigh your dog)--so you know what his weight actually is.

That's it--I'm done--I can read standing up but I need a stand up desk (which I don't have) to type with any degree of accuracy standing.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hey all! Quick update on the food issue. On solely chicken and rice: Zeus had nice firm stools. We're transitioning back to Pro Plan (Salmon and Rice sensitive stomach) and his stools are getting soft again. This morning, it was mush. Uuuugh I'm so frustrated! He's not getting anything extra other than his Apoquel and Fortiflora. No treats. No omega chews. No fish oil. So I'm guessing his digestive system isn't liking his food. I'm also thinking maybe it's the salmon? I looked up the Purina Pro Gastroenteric food and apparently I need a prescription in order to get it. And yikes is it expensive.

I hate the thought of changing his food again as I know a change in diet is tough on dogs in general...but I don't know what else to do. Someone above commented trying to feed him the food that he's on for a long time (a few months) with nothing extra. Do yall think that's something I should still try even though his poops have gone back to mush now that we're transitioning back? Or if it's possibly the salmon, should I try the Sensitive Stomach chicken and rice formula instead?
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:16 PM
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one of the side effects of Apoquel is diarrhea. Google side effects of Apoquel my girl can not take this medicine
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gamermouse0213 View Post
Hey all! Quick update on the food issue. On solely chicken and rice: Zeus had nice firm stools. We're transitioning back to Pro Plan (Salmon and Rice sensitive stomach) and his stools are getting soft again. This morning, it was mush. Uuuugh I'm so frustrated! He's not getting anything extra other than his Apoquel and Fortiflora. No treats. No omega chews. No fish oil. So I'm guessing his digestive system isn't liking his food. I'm also thinking maybe it's the salmon? I looked up the Purina Pro Gastroenteric food and apparently I need a prescription in order to get it. And yikes is it expensive.

I hate the thought of changing his food again as I know a change in diet is tough on dogs in general...but I don't know what else to do. Someone above commented trying to feed him the food that he's on for a long time (a few months) with nothing extra. Do yall think that's something I should still try even though his poops have gone back to mush now that we're transitioning back? Or if it's possibly the salmon, should I try the Sensitive Stomach chicken and rice formula instead?
Has he been on the same meds while he was on the bland diet? If so, I'd say go ahead and try the chicken and rice formula instead. You might also try doing three smallish meals a day to start with.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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@dobegal @MeadowCat He was taking Apoquel while on the bland diet and had no problems with diarrhea or loose stools. I think we will try the chicken and rice formula. Wish us luck as apparently we really need it!!

All his other issues have resolved, on the bright side! No more itchyness. No paw licking. Fur has grown back on his abcess site, belly, and neck. Weight is good.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gamermouse0213 View Post
@dobegal @MeadowCat He was taking Apoquel while on the bland diet and had no problems with diarrhea or loose stools. I think we will try the chicken and rice formula. Wish us luck as apparently we really need it!!

All his other issues have resolved, on the bright side! No more itchyness. No paw licking. Fur has grown back on his abcess site, belly, and neck. Weight is good.
Great news on the skin issues...hopefully the different food will work better for him. Another option would be Eukanuba...it's WSAVA compliant and I know dogs that do very well on it.


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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 04:01 PM
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Via MC: "Another option would be Eukanuba...it's WSAVA compliant and I know dogs that do very well on it."

McCoy, at the recommendation of his breeder was fed Eukanuba Large breed Puppy until was 14 months old. It was perfect for him. Great coat, great skin, solid poops, even weight and muscle gain, plus absolutely no stomach issues. He loved it.

In addition, when the time came he transitioned easily to very rich, high protein kibble.

John
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Correction: After going to the pet store I realized that there isnt a chicken and rice Sensitive Skin and Stomach formula. There's a lamb and oatmeal formula, which is what I ended up getting a small bag of. Will start transitioning tonight...will let you all know in a few days how he's doing. I have pumpkin, just in case, but for now I'm not going to put any additives to his food (other than Fortiflora). I stopped by the vets to use the scale and he weighs 82lbs, so I'm happy he's maintaining despite everything. Thanks for caring enough to post as much helpful advice as you all have for as long as you have!
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 11:47 AM
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Realizing from your posts that Apoquel probably isn't the issue, but what is his current dosage? Our pooch is on it as well and she does pretty well at half a tablet twice a day, but she's all of 65 lbs.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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@Saskdobie He currently gets one 16mg pill twice a day. He is 82lbs currently. His allergies here are TERRIBLE. We had him taking one pill once a day, but it only helped for half the day and his scratching/licking would start up again in the evening. So his dosage was changed and it works much better.

I can't wait until we can move back to Texas. We went back for 5 days over the Memorial Day holiday, and he had no itchy issues at all. We didn't even have to wipe his paws after coming in from outside (something we have to do here else he'll lick them, even with his meds), and we only gave him 1 pill a day for a few days because I miscalculated how many he had left so we had to make it stretch.
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