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I need help figuring out what to feed my 7 month old Male doberman. He has had stomch issues ever since we brought him home and tried many dry food recent one being sensitive stomach pro plan puppy with no success. We treated him for giardia just to be sure and ruled out parvo long time ago. His symptoms are gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea. I know that can all happen when introducing new foods but we have been on the latest sensitive stomach pro plan formula for 2 weeks with no improvement just worsening diarrhea. The only dry food he did somewhat okay on was Pro plan giant puppy. He's currently on home cooked chicken and rice and is doing amazing with diarrhea instantly stopping. My question is should I keep him on chicken and rice indefinitely and should I be adding supplements if yes what kind? Can I feed him raw chicken as well or do I need to slowly introduce that to him so he doesn't get salmonella poisoning? Thank you for all your help!
 

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Are you working with a veterinarian? How long did you leave him on one food to try it? I ask because 2 weeks really isn't very long to see if a food works for a dog, and when you say you've tried "many" foods I'm wondering if you've been going through too many, too quickly and he hasn't been able to adjust to one?

If he's struggling this much I might be seeking a specialist to work with - he may need more testing to rule out more serious issues.
 

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Well we tried 3 different dry foods in the 4 months we had him to be exact. Only one that he had somewhat solid stools on was ProPlan giant puppy. I am not currently working with a vet as he's doing on home cooked chicken and rice. I was thinking of permanently keeping him on it but need some pointers from people who are doing the same.
 

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Are you giving him any thing else--as in treats--I've known all too many owners who have shot themselves in the foot when trying to find a suitable food for a puppy. So if you are giving anything other that a chosen food, don't--at least don't while you are trying to find one that agrees with him.

Also as MeadowCat said--two weeks is a relatively short period of time when trying to determine if a particular food is going to better than another one.

There are things other than giardia that can cause ongoing diarrhea, soft stools, gas etc--coccidia is another pretty common one. And there is one that, if the puppy has been treated with antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut that will cause more problems and symptoms like those you are seeing.

And how much food are you giving this puppy--another cause of symptoms that might appear to be food related is simply feed the puppy too much food.

The ProPlan Large Breed puppy formula is similar to the adult ProPlan Focus Chicken and Rice. And generally the ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach is easier on the digestive system than even the chicken formulas.

So how much are you feeding him? Are you measuring it? Generally my male puppies at 7 months would be eating two cups of kibble per meal, two meals a day. But I also add things to their food usually a spoonful of yogurt in the morning and a hard boiled egg with dinner and I rarely add any kind of canned food, too many dogs, especially puppies don't seem to be able to handle canned.

I don't think keeping him on chicken and rice indefinitely is a really good plan--it lacks quite of lot of thing for a good diet. And why, if he did somwewhat OK on the ProPlan "Giant" puppy food, why didn't you continue to feed that? What was going on with him when he was eating it?

I would not attempt to add supplements of any sort without the help of a vet nutritionist until you actually have solved the immediate problems.

And just only raw chicken is NOT a complete diet for a dog--there is a big study on that and basically you need to be feeding a variety of meats, and including a specific amount of bone and organ meat in a raw diet.

If you aren't working with a vet to get this puppy on a consistent diet that agrees with him, that's the first thing you should do. And you should also ask your breeder if other puppies from this litter are having similar problems.

Good luck--I hope you get some help with this since having had ongoing problems for this long is really unusual.

dobebug
 

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Well we tried 3 different dry foods in the 4 months we had him to be exact. Only one that he had somewhat solid stools on was ProPlan giant puppy. I am not currently working with a vet as he's doing on home cooked chicken and rice. I was thinking of permanently keeping him on it but need some pointers from people who are doing the same.

Natasha--I just read your reply--to MeadowCats post. Chicken and Rice is a diet that is used for pets recovering from things--illnesses or surgeries--it's not a complete diet.

I'd still like to know how much you are feeding him (not the homecooked chicken and rice) but when he was on kibble last. What were the other two foods you tried him on in the 4 months?

And again--this really starts to sound like a direct result of overfeeding. So how much were you feeding him and how often?

dobebug
 

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To reply to everyone I'm only feeding him 2 cups at a time twice daily so 4 cups total according to feeding directions on the dry food. His problems can't be because I'm over feeding. We had him on Panacure for 8 days after we saw blood in his stool thinking it might be giardia. I'm not sure if panacure takes care of cocci infections as well? We first had him on Nutrena Giant puppy food and he had terrible gas on it and loose stool, we switched him to ProPlan giant puppy which he was for 2-3 months and he did better on it but still no formed stools. As a last resort we tried ProPlan sensitive puppy which gave him explosive diarrhea! I finally gave up and put him on home cooked chicken and rice and he did very good on it with solid stool. As soon as I switched him to home cooked his diarrhea stopped the very next day so I know something in dry food is causing his colitis. I know it's not a complete diet but I've seen people feed chicken and rice with added supplements with no I'll effects.
 

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To reply to everyone I was only feeding him 2 cups twice daily or 4 cups total a day as per feeding directions of dry food. So it's not an issue of overfeeding. The first dry food he was on was Nutrena Large breed puppy and he was on it for 3 weeks with very bad gas and loose stool so we switched him to ProPlan Large breed puppy after hearing good things about it. We also treated him with Panacure for 8 days to be sure it wasn't giardia because we did see bloody streaks in stool. Im not sure about cocci infection we didn't test for that or know if Panacure takes care of it. He did better on ProPlan Giant Puppy food in terms of not being gassy or bloated but still had loose stool. We kept him on it for at least 3 months before i wanted to try something that would firm up his stool as it was still loose. We decide on ProPlan Sensitive Large breed puppy and it was the worst food for him. He started to have explosive black diarrhea with abdominal pain. He was on it 2 weeks with worsening symptoms of diarrhea before I stopped it and put him on cooked chicken and rice. His diarrhea stopped the very next day and he became a lot more active. Something in dry food is giving him IBS or colitis so I'm afraid of putting him on dry food again. I know chicken and rice is not a complete diet but I was hoping to supplement it with something to make it a complete diet since he's having solid stools on it for the first time since we got him. I've been adding eggs and raw bones to his chicken and rice and would like to hear from people that might be dealing with same issues with their doberman that could recommend a feeding protocol.
 

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You could do a home cooked diet, but have to research how to do it correctly for a complete, balanced diet. An unbalanced home cooked or raw diet is worse than the poorest kibble. There is lots of good info out there, like whole-dog-journal.com and vetnutrition.tufts.edu
And of course, you need to keep your vet in the loop regardless!
 

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I really think you need to work with your veterinarian. Chicken and rice is used as meal that is bland to "calm" the digestive system when something is wrong. If this were my dog, I would put him back on the food that he did okay on (the Proplan large breed puppy), I would do another fecal screening and talk to my vet about what we might need to look for to see what is going on with him. His system may be so inflamed at this point from constant loose stool that it's going to react to nearly anything you feed.

I would probably be picking a food (again, something that was working okay in the past would be my first choice), feeding NOTHING but that, he may need to go on metronidizole or another drug for a short time, and I would also talk to the vet about doing something like Tylan powder for a while, until you get firm stools for weeks. Then you can back off of it slowly. I'd continue feeding nothing but the food, no treats, nothing else, and see if you can get good solid stools for a while.

That's just the route I'd go. I'd really be working with my vet on this issue, not trying to tackle it on my own.
 
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Thank you everyone. I might slowly mix in ProPlan puppy food in his chicken and rice to reintroduce it back. 👍
 
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