Acana/Orijen - too much copper
We have always fed Acana to our girls and I have loved their food. I recently switched back to Pacifica from the Grasslands and within a week Jordan broke out in hives. I of course don't know for sure if that is the cause but that is the only 'recent' change. Anyhow, I was talking to her breeder and she was telling me how they recently found out that Acana and Orijen are both really high in copper. While for most breeds this isn't an issue and it is still considered to be a good food but for Dobermans who tend to not get rid of this, their copper levels tend to build which can be very serious. Anyhoo, I am on the search for a new kibble, I want it to be high quality and grain free but I also want to pay attention to copper levels. Since this information isn't usually included on the package I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions?
I believe that copper is an issue only with Dobermans who have liver disease and copper storage problems. Copper does not cause liver disease. I wouldn't think you would need to be excessively cautious about copper levels in food unless your dog fell into this category.
Any time one has an inquiry which isn't addressed either on the package or on the website (where there may be more in depth information), I would suggest contacting the manufacturer directly by e-mail or phone or a "submit inquiry" form on their website... most manufacturers will be happy to supply whatever information is being sought.
Copper content is the last thing I worry about when feeding my other, healthy dogs.
I had trouble with Acana for other reasons, I had all three dogs sick on it in different ways after a formula change in one of their products. I feed Nature's Variety Kibble and NV pre-made raw now.
Question - Fished Based Diets
Several of the Orijen formulas contain fish. In general, should we be concerned about metals that may be contained in the fish? You often hear that people should limit their intake of fish to a couple times per week but what about dogs that are often fed the same diets day in and day out for years? I'd appreciate any thoughts?
No matter how good the food, I suspect that feeding the same diet day in and day out for years is not good practice, nutritionally.
we are currently seeking a food that will not cause our dobie to have loose stools, just wondering if anyone else has had these issues, have tried Orijen and Pacifica both were not so great, he gets sick from anything that contains corn, if you have any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.
- very voluminous
- he pooped 4 times per day
- the stools were not small and firm like most high quality kibbles
I switched him to EVO red meats formula and all was corrected. I think NB had too many carbs for my dog.
We prefer to feed dogs raw. Fish oil, kefir, kelp and coconut oil are the only supplements we use.
The Natures Variety Instinct lines are also good for dogs with digestive or allergies. The formulas have pretty simple ingredients, 70% meat and probiotics added to the outside of the kibble after processing. I have fed Parker three Instinct formulas and one Prairie, he hasnt had a problem with any. I cant feed him chicken, but there are other foods I have tried that he has reactions to. There are also two limited ingredient Instinct formulas, but I wouldnt feed a growing pup a lamb based kibble.
My mom's dog is on NB sweet potato & duck with no stool issues. I also feed NB to my fosters and they do well on it. Not every dog will do great on every kibble of course, I do think the person I directed my response to should try a limited ingredient kibble.
I know this is an old thread, but this topic came up on a Facebook discussion today, and I am digging into this rumor of Doberman having liver issues due to Orijen.
I've found two potential sources online that may be part of this rumor. First, a blog post by someone who says they are not a nutritionist, have no training in nutrition, but thinks the zinc content leads to copper being retained. I also found someone who quoted Dr. Dodds that Dobermans have issues with liver disease and copper storage, and seems to extrapolate that a higher copper content in food would *cause* this.
I cannot find ANY evidence of dogs that have died because of liver problems caused by Orijen, nor any evidence of vets in Canada investigating.
I would LOVE to find any first hand accounts or factual information on this. I've emailed Orijen to see if there's any information they will provide. I also want to note that Shanoa has eaten Orijen for the majority of her life, and her liver values are perfectly normal.
Is there anyone out there that has actual information on this, not just rumor or friend-of-a-friend types of information?
I don't know any dober person around here who can feed it so I can't help.
Zinc helps to *prevent* copper from going into the system which is the opposite of what that person is saying. Zeke is on zinc for that reason. He does have copper associated hepatopathy. He is supposed to take zinc one hour before his meals. However, I've found that I don't think he feels well taking it like that, and I give it just prior to the meals.
First, I did some more research and found quite a few foods with similar or higher copper levels than Orijen. Iams adult formula, some of the Nature's Variety Instinct formulas, Newman's Own, and Eukanuba Lamb and Rice all have higher copper content than Orijen.
Second, I wanted to share the response I got from Champion Pet Foods, since I did email them:
Thank you for contacting us with your inquiry. I apologize for the delay in my response.
The primary ingredients of our diets are meat and fish which are naturally higher in copper, whereas traditional pet foods contain lower amounts of meat ingredients and will have high inclusions of grains and other carbohydrate sources. Due to the high inclusion of meat and fish in our diets, generally we find a higher copper concentration.
The copper content in our diets ranges from 9mg/kg to 30mg/kg. The copper content is listed in the full guaranteed analysis for all of our foods. Our diets are formulated to meet AAFCO specifications, the copper content of all of our diets fall within AAFCO requirements.
Dog food alone is not sufficient to produce an elevated hepatic copper concentration and cause liver disease in dogs, therefore in a healthy dog the copper content of our diets would have no adverse effects on the liver.
We do not make prescription diets. Prescription diets that are specifically formulated for liver disease generally will contain copper levels that are below AAFCO limits.
ORIJEN foods have higher meat inclusions than the ACANA formulas and thus will have slightly higher copper levels. ACANA Duck & Bartlett Pear contains 9mg/kg of copper, this is the lowest copper content available in our foods.
I hope that you find this information to be helpful. If you have any other questions or concerns please do write back to me.
Champion Petfoods LP
Toll Free 877-939-0006"
I'm bumping this because apparently the Acana/Orijen/copper thing is being studied by a local vet here.
I will update when I know more. Dobes are more prone to copper disease, so this food being fed to other breeds may not be indicative.
Dobes have a fair amount of liver disease (but that covers a multitude of problems) but actual copper storage issues aren't necessarily part of the disease profile.
I have a 12 month old Doberman male a big boy who had been on Acana puppy large breed for 6 months. The vet noticed very, very high Alt levels (copper) and was concerned he had Liver problems and storing copper. I had read about the acana /orijin law suit so mentioned it. We decided to change his food straight away test his liver function and redo his Alt levels in a few weeks after the new diet had taken affect. The liver function test came back as fine and we found out today that his Alt levels are now normal phew! I firmly believe that if we'd left him on the high protein diet it would have led to liver damage. Luckily it was caught in time due to blood tests prior to neutering. We will be feeding him the Liver friendly food for a while but fully expect to move him on to a normal non whole prey diet soon. So relieved but also very annoyed that such an expensive food could have shortened my dogs life and caused liver damage. Clear labelling is needle on these high copper foods. Hope this helps someone as much as the forum helped me at the time of concern.
Our youngest, who will be 4 yo in September has been on Acana since he was 14 months old. I had a complete cardio work up when he was a little over 3. At the time I had a full blood panel done. All came back "perfect" including liver enzymes.
Remember... Dogs, like humans all react differently to diets. The biggest problem that I have read about (mostly anecdotally) with respect to high protein kibble has to do with digestive intolerance, especially in younger dogs.
I am so happy to hear that your pup is doing better.
Your comment is a good wake up for folks to be proactive with respect to their dogs health. Primarily, this would be testing for heart disease (DCM) and thyroid issues.
Many, if not most Dobermans, end up with either or both eventually.
Canine treatment for both of these have greatly improved in recent years.
Thanks for your comment.
Welcome to the forum, and I hope you stick around!
Thks Chutney, for res-erecting this very interesting thread.
- our Kelly came from a top show breeder (in IL) and required 6 more days of parasite medicine
- she was on Acana Lamb & Rice since a 10 week old puppy & always soft stools (off & on)
- we experimented with 5 star rated grain free, but made weaker stools, slightly more frequent
- 3 years on Acana / 3 years on Orjien / 1 year on Nulo ...and making supplemented home made food (cooked meat (beef & chicken)/veggie/fruit stew.
^^ Skilled Vet said Kelly needs Low Protein/High Carb diet...and he was correct / or Liver problems, will result.
Now started feeding Handmade (Mfg. in Quebec) Surf & Turf oven baked kibble (24% protein) with Hills id digestive canned stew plus home cooked Fish/veggie/fruit/egg noddle pasta stew....perfect stools again.
Surf and turf - HomeMade Pets Foods
Ingredients approved for human consumption:
Ocean fish, green lentils, deboned pork, pork liver, rolled oats, white rice, barley flour, apples, carrots, sunflower oil, fresh eggs, broccoli, sweet potatoes, cranberries, thyme, rosemary, saccharomyces cerevisiae extract (MOS), chicory root extract (FOS), elderberry extract, yeast extract, Lactobacillus extract, thyme extract, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, copper sulphate, manganous oxide, vitamin A supplement, copper proteinate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite, vitamin B12 supplement, rosemary extract.
*Our recipes do not contain wheat, soy, corn, meat and bone meal, fish meal, colouring or preservatives.
Metabolisable energy – total kcal / kg 4590
Protein – min. % 24
Fat – min. % 16
Omega 3 fatty acids – min. % 0,3
Omega 6 fatty acids – min. % 2,2
Moisture – max. % 8
Fiber – max. % 3
Ash – max. % 5
Calcium – min. % 1
PS - we tried Hills id digestive care kibble (Vet Prescription food) - but it absorbed to much stomach acid and kibbles swelled up a lot (like a sponge), making Kelly sick / so happy we found the High Quality/Low Protein Surf & Turf to replaced Vet kibble.
- we never did go with the NRG / was out of stock
Ken has a question --- Having a girl with Copper storage - It was brought to my attention that the added cooper do's have a effect - Look at your ingredient's list on the back of the bag - The one that Ali girl was on - listed copper sulfate as a ingredient - it was a high grade food - I was told the reason that copper sulfate is added is to make it a complete diet - as copper is needed by all living thing's -
I'm sorry here - but that reply that MC got -- to me was total Bull- s--t !
As dogs get older - the liver may not process the proteins and copper levels as when they were younger - the food we feed her now is a Prescription food -
Remember one thing - for them to sell a food that says - a complete diet - it will most likely have copper sulfate listed .
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