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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After trialing the 'hypoallergenic' version of Acana, Lamb and apple, I decided he did not do as well on it as he did on the Pacifica. He is allergic to basically everything except lamb, fish, and potato. Due to partly his age, partly thyroid, partly prednisone (he is still on a low dose), his muscle condition is lacking. He looks great from far away, but it is obvious he is no where near as muscular as he was in his prime (~3years old)

I did try raw, but lack of freezer space, sensitivities to poultry and my budget severely limited that approach. He gets TONS of exercise and is at a good weight, but just lacking the muscle definition. I was told by a few people, oftentimes older dogs (if their livers/kidneys etc are good) will do better on a high protein diet. For this, I am considering EVO herring and salmon formula as it is only a few $ more than acana and still less than orijen.

Does anyone have experience with this? I keep hearing people say 'its too rich for most dogs' etc, but anyone who has fed raw and/or Acana have testimony to this? He seems to have a 'stomach of steel', his allergies are only consistent with his itching/skin condition, he always switches well on the foods we have tried. Do you think I would be fine switching to this? He is about 5 years old, maybe 6, and I will only be using the fish formula.

Thanks!
 

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I have fed most varieties of Evo (chicken, red meat, fish) and haven't had an issue with my Italian Greyhounds. They don't have skin issues, though. I switched away from it due to Proctor & Gamble buying them out. Although their formula won't change for a bit, it will probably eventually.
 

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I'd love to help but while I feed the same flavor and for allergies, it's to the cat :/

Good luck with him though, your looking for an added protein boost if I understand your post correctly right? To help with his muscle definition and tone due to his health issues? Overall muscle conditions? or just rear or front?

There are loads of conditioning exercises now that would be helpfull and easy for keeping Zeus using and working those muscles much like yoga and other balance and muscle activities. If your interested I can dig up what I have that we do at work and what I do with mabel.
Example:


She can stand like this and squat for 30 seconds or stand full up for 90 seconds, She's younger but she has much more muscle definition, tone, and build in general than many of her siblings who just simply run around and play versus doing specific exercises.
 
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Every dog is different, I would try it, if it doesnt work, switch back to what was working.

There are loads of conditioning exercises now that would be helpfull and easy for keeping Zeus using and working those muscles much like yoga and other balance and muscle activities. If your interested I can dig up what I have that we do at work and what I do with mabel.
Example:


She can stand like this and squat for 30 seconds or stand full up for 90 seconds, She's younger but she has much more muscle definition, tone, and build in general than many of her siblings who just simply run around and play versus doing specific exercises.
I would be very interested in this
 

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Every dog is different, I would try it, if it doesnt work, switch back to what was working.



I would be very interested in this
I'll dig up my resources when I have a chance (leaving for work in a few) and pm them to you :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sadly, although we do run and jog plenty of hills etc, he will NEVER ever run after a ball, frisbee, etc. He has 0 ball drive and will look at me like "Ok have fun catching the ball by your self". I also can not do atleast that exercise you showed me because of Zeus's long legs and bad hips (HD) he can not support himself on his hind legs for more than a jump.

I am still in the process of creating my own equine conditioning program/business and have had great success with trials of other horses etc, (It's been a 5year work in progress) so although the species is different, I DO know the basics about physical activity and muscle building.

As I said, the main problem is his thyroid and prednisone damaging his muscle condition. But my idea with the EVO is that he is fed very little of most foods as his metabolism is fairly slow, and we want to keep him at a lean weight for his joints. I was thinking that because he's fed so little he is not getting as much protein as he should, and too many carbs. Although evo has a higher calorie content at least more of the calories would be protein v carb.
Does this make sense? Or does that have nothing to do with dogs and only humans?
 

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Like one of the other responses, I feed Evo to my cats. We do their canned food, and it's had a pretty dramatic impact on all the cats in the house. I'm really pleased with it. I'd say to give it a try, and if you don't see the results you are hoping for after a few months, you can reevaluate.
 

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I have a dog who lost most of her muscle tone due to being on pred long term. The only thing that caused her to regain muscle tone was reducing the pred dosage. The muscle has come back to about maybe 80% of what it was before, but it took well over a year to do so.
 

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If you want muscle gain, find a hill or gentle slope and throw a ball/frisbee having your dog run down to fetch and up to bring back. Works great!
I run my dogs up and down the "top hill of sand" (that's my joke name for it). It's a huge sand hill at the river where we run and boy does it harden the topline and loin,w hich seems to be the last thing to harden on many dogs.

That being said, genetics also play a key role. Flirt runs as often as Havoc and he's in twice the shape she is. She's 5 and he is 3 so they should be in similar shape. She's ENVER gonig to be a rock hard Doberman but she is in fantastic shape for her. She has some muscles and is not "loose" per se but again not rock hard either.

ETA this is the hill.
 
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That being said, genetics also play a key role. Flirt runs as often as Havoc and he's in twice the shape she is. She's 5 and he is 3 so they should be in similar shape. She's ENVER gonig to be a rock hard Doberman but she is in fantastic shape for her. She has some muscles and is not "loose" per se but again not rock hard either.
Genetics play far more of a role than most people suspect, I think. I've owned dogs who were totally lazy pigs, dogs whose form of exercise was trotting to the food bowl twice a day. Yet their bodies stayed rock hard, no matter what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Adara- that pic of the lake/sand area is almost identical to where Zeus does his 'full out running'. After our jogs, he will non stop run back and forth along the bank. He loves the sand/hardness as it is obviously easier on his joints, I will try to endorse this area more :)

And murreydobe that is very interesting to hear about. I was never told how serious the muscle damage was on pred until further research.... His dosage is going down quite a bit. Now he is on a 1/4 of his pill every other day (I forget what the actual dosage is, but we started at 1 pill every day). I guess I will have to find something else to help get off it more, soloxine, special food, and many courses of antibiotics and skin meds have still not curbed his itching/licking. It has decreased, but completely off prednisone is pretty rough.
 

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Asmit, have you tried giving sardines for his itching? They work in 3 days if he can have them. Try looking up Sardines Good for Allergies with the search function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have tried them off and on with no significant help. I did try them for a good 3 weeks straight before just giving them as treats here and there. He is doing pretty well on the apple cider vinegar in the food, and we give liquid fish oil from VS. (I worked there for awhile and give him the one with the highest possible epa and best epa/dha ratio).

He is now 'manageable' on 5 mg once every 2-3 days. He started at 20mg everyday, so this is a huge drop. I mainly only give it to him when we go 'out and about' or to training because the nervousness, excitement, and combined with being outside sets him off into itch mode. (I don't need a stop during an off-leash heel session to itch his armpit XD)

I hope to have him completely off it by next month.

I did go ahead with the evo and am very satisfied. Outside of his breath, he seems to be gaining muscle (probably due to pred being taken down too), switched over effortlessly, and poops minimally!
 

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I feed the EVO to Finn. He actually needs more cups of this food(which is like 520 cal/cup) than a food with a little more carb and less calories to keep his weight. Poop is tiny, there is no potato only peas for the primary filler. Our dogs love the food but I am not sure it will improve muscle. Finn can eat a cup less of Acana and looks more muscular on that food than the Evo. Finn looks more muscular on Acana, but, EVo provides a shinier coat for him.
 

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Good to see you back, Eisel. I was just thinking of you the other day. As you know, different dogs do well on different foods. Good post, except you referred to the peas as filler and they are not. Peas are used to boost protein, for their fiber and, I believe as a binder also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lamb formulas are not good for Dobermans.
I have heard this before, but I don't think its necessarily safe to say that as a blanket statement. All dogs are unique, and especially considering the BYB dog breeding practices, I have no clue what my dog is from. For all I know he could be part coonhound or great dane. For the record, his previous home had him on a lamb and rice formula for 2 years and it was the only food he did well on back then. But the food was garbage and also full of chicken by products which he is now allergic to.

However, if there is literature stating that dobermans do worse on lamb, I'd be very interested in reading it!
 
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