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Hi All! I've lately fallen down the rabbit hole of food trial researching as well as joined the facebook group about Nutritional Dilated Cardiomyopathy in dogs (which I highly recommend everyone join) and found this interesting article I think a lot of GT'ers should take a look at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/vms3.125 This was a study done last year at UC-Davis to DNA test commercially available limited ingredient/single protein dog foods to see if they actually only included the protein specified on their label and ingredients list. Almost every formula showed DNA from mammals that were not listed on the label, and one actually did not include the main protein advertised! While they don't get super specific in pointing out which brand is guilty of which contamination, none of the brands surveyed come out looking great, and they all are brands that I've seen GT'ers discuss and probably use. This contamination could be intentional or simply because machines are used for multiple formulas and contamination happens, but either way I think for anyone intentionally trying to feed a novel or single protein diet because of allergies/sensitivities it's important to know that your kibble might not really be free of other protein contamination. And that you might be paying more for a label that isn't really true.
Guest posted a topic in Health and Medical discussionFirst, I apologize for the long post. We are desperate to help our boy feel better and I wanted to make sure I provided all the details... In the 3 months we've had him, I can count, on my hands, the number of times Puddy has had a solid #2. He's been to the vet 4 times now and we're still at a loss. Before I take him back to the vet, I want to make sure I'm able to bring them enough information to work with. I'm hoping you can help. Here's a synopsis of what's been going on: Meds & Tests Puddy came to us half-way through a course of Heartguard, which we finished during his first dinner. At the time, he had pretty runny #2s, but we figured this could be attributed to any number of things. A week after being with us, Puddy was Rx'd a 6-week course of Drontal at the vet after a stool sample tested positive for hookworms. For about 72 hours after the last pill, poor Puddy was literally howling in pain every time he pooped, which was actually more like explosive diarrhea. Stools were a bit bloody (hematochezia) and very, very runny. Like melted ice cream. A couple of weeks went by after the last dose of Drontal and Puddy continued to have diarrhea pretty much every time we took him out. Sometimes it was bloody, too. Figuring it couldn't be the after-effects of the Drontal anymore, we were concerned and took him back to the vet. They did another fecal swab and determined that he still had hookworms. He was Rxd a second round of Drontal for the hookworms and metronidazole for the diarrhea and suspected colitis. Round 2 of Drontal had very similar effects to the first round- howling Puddy, explosive diarrhea, a little blood. The effects subsided after about 72 hours again, but the diarrhea remained. The metronidazole did not seem to have much of an effect of Puddy other than firming up his poop to the consistency of mashed potatotes (at best). Food Puddy was eating Purina One Chicken when he arrived at our house. We transitioned him slowly over to Acana Wild Prairie over the course of a couple of weeks. His poop was never solid, though we weren't sure if it was the worms, the dewormer, stress, or ??? Our vet recommended we switch to a different protein to see if perhaps his diarrhea was related to his food. We switched to Acana grasslands and had maybe a week of pretty good poops after 2 weeks of being on his new food. Then, without warning or any changes to his diet, those lovely poops eventually went back to diarrhea. Thinking his Acana was too rich, we recently switched to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, which has a lower protein content. He still has diarrhea (with blood occasionally), though the first couple of days on the new food produced some nice poops. Other things: We've played around with his portions, giving him anywhere from 4 cups total to 2 cups total (he's 80lbs) per day. It didn't seem to make much of a difference, unfortunately. Puddy has had a couple of stints (one weekend, one 12-day stint) in a boarding kennel while we were out of town. He is very happy there and I do believe that the people take great care of him, but he always seems to come back home with tummy issues. We've eliminated all treats. He only eats his kibble and two .75in pieces of string cheese (I shove his daily meds in those) a day. He has maintained an appetite and weight through all of this and drinks a seemingly normal amount of water His coat is shiny and soft, so it seems like he's at least getting those nutrients Even when he has diarrhea, he can typically wait to go until we're on our normal walks. There have been, however, about 8-10 instances where he's stood politely by the front door or whined so we would take him out to go. In those instances, it was pretty clear that it was urgent. He has had one accident in the house, and that was about 24 hours after his last Drontal pill. We've given him rice and ground beef and it seems to clear him up for a little bit, but several days after going back to his regular food, it starts up again We were giving him a couple of TBS of pumpkin with his breakfast (man, he loved that stuff), and it seemed to be firming things but, but I'm not sure if that's just masking his other issues. Questions: 1. Are we switching his food too quickly? Is it common to see improvement followed by a period of decline? Can we expect to see things bounce back? Are we not being patient enough? 2. Recently, his poops have gotten much darker in color. I am afraid there is something wrong higher up in his GI tract since it appears to be blood. Any thoughts? 3. Is it possible that he still has worms? With two complete rounds of Drontal under his belt, I'm wondering if we need to move to something stronger? But I'm also concerned about the havoc it could wreak on his tummy since he had such an uncomfortable experience on the Drontal... 4. Are there other things we aren't considering? 5. How long does a food typically stay in their systems? In other words, if we gave him boiled rice and ground beef for several meals and then switch him back to his regular kibble, would solid poops on day 1-3 back on his kibble be residual effects from the rice and beef? Or does it move quickly enough through their systems where we can confidently say that he's having good poops on his kibble? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! We just want Puddy to be comfortable and happy. We're willing to try pretty much anything but I want to make sure we're going about it the right way and not just making things worse for him. Please help!