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Please Help A New Adopter With Dietary Advice


Guest Muscovy
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Guest Muscovy

Hi folks,

 

I'm brand new to the forum, but a long-time lurker, so I know you'll all be nice! Apologies in advance for the long post, but I have a lot of questions!

 

Ok, so two days ago DH and I brought home our first rescue grey, as our non-grey girl was really struggling after losing her buddy a few weeks ago. He was also a greyhound, but he'd been with us since he was 6 weeks old - so I'm used to greys in general, but have never been through the issues that come with adopting an ex-racer. (My first boy was the picture of health until he was diagnosed with haemangiosarcoma at 6.5 years old, and we let him go a month later when the pain got too much for all of us - so I don't really have a lot of experience with greys that have health or dietary problems).

 

Our new addition had had deadly gas and poops about the consistency of pancake batter (sorry if that's TMI, but I think you guys can take it!). Apparently this was also the case during his 7 weeks in foster, so I don't think it's just a nerves/stress thing caused by coming home with us. He was given Drontal worm treatment in late July when he came off the track, and then again 2 weeks ago in late September. The poor lil guy must be feeling awful if the state of his guts are anything to go by.

 

So last night I grabbed a small bag of Canidae for him (the ALS one, not grain-free) and I have been supplementing his kibble with tinned salmon and sardines (his coat is shocking and he has heaps of dandruff), raw chicken wings and legs, and minced and chopped raw beef, as his foster carer said he seemed to do better if he ate more meat than kibble. His poop was slightly better this morning after one meal with the Canidae last night with three small raw drumsticks and a cubed piece of raw steak.

 

So I guess I'm just a bit confused as to what to do for the poor little fellow. I have read so much about it in the last 2 days, and there seem to be so many different options and methods. Should I put him on boiled rice and chicken first, should I try IAMS green bag, should I stick with this Canidae and add some pumpkin, or try a grain-free limited ingredient kibble instead, or should I eliminate kibble all together and feed him entirely on raw, or entirely on home cooked, or a mixture of cooked and raw, and how quickly or slowly should I change what's in his meals.... aaaargh!!

 

I'm really finding it hard to decide on what changes to make, and I think it's because I don't really have a 'baseline' established for him yet. That said, it probably could get a bit worse that what it is now, but not by very much at all.

Edited by Muscovy
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WELCOME, and thank you for posting!

 

From your post, I think you already realize that you'll probably get a lot of ideas on how to proceed from this forum, and I'm sure that our suggestions are going to be all over the place regarding what to do. Please follow your OWN gut (pun slightly intended), since you know your new pup the best (pictures will be welcome ... maybe once things settle a bit?).

 

Making sure your new pup doesn't have worms is a perfect first step. If the Candidae works for you, then stick with it ... give it a week at least, though, before deciding to make other changes, and I'm sure you know to make any future changes slowly so that you don't cause more tummy upset.

 

a rice+protein diet is an easy exception to the 'phase it in' approach ... and it can help your pup's gut settle down as you make other transitions. Again, if the deworming & Candidae are working, though, I'd probably consider the rice/protein option as a 'topper' if your new one isn't eating very quickly. If you shift to a raw diet (which my dogs enjoyed until my younger boy decided that he liked his raw food cooked 'medium rare', sigh), you might want to wait until the stomach issues are resolved, and I'd certainly make sure that your vet is on board with a raw diet since I learned that one of my vets was not a proponent of raw feeding when she started blaming my boy's diet as the cause of his stomach issues.

 

I like to add probiotics and digestive enzymes when I'm working through gut issues, and have found that dehydrated beets work WONDERS for my boy (thanks to the person who introduced me to Owelo carrots & beets!!!!! I reconstitute them with some flax seed or coconut oil & water before mixing them with my dogs' food, and my boy's poop is appropriately solid for the first time in 9 years!)

 

Good luck! and don't forget the PICTURES!!

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IAMS green bag, should I stick with this Canidae and add some pumpkin, or try a grain-free limited ingredient kibble instead, or should I eliminate kibble all together and feed him entirely on raw, or entirely on home cooked, or a mixture of cooked and raw, and how quickly or slowly should I change what's in his meals.... aaaargh!!

 

Haha...sorry not to laugh at your frustrations, but just at the unlimited options and recommendations that everyone will tell you is "right."

 

After reading this board for a few years, I would say that in general:

1) a lot of greys do poorly on the higher fat/protein kibbles...however if you truly want to feed one of these, you may find one that works after a lot of trial and error

2) Iams Green bag seems to firm things up for most dogs

3) Raw/Homecooked also seems to work well for most dogs.

 

So...that probably doesn't help you much. I guess the point is to go with whatever you feel most comfortable with, as well as the amount of money and effort you want to put into it (e.g. homemade diets). From my experience, if a dog is going to do well on a food they start to improve almost right away. Others will say to give it a few weeks with a gradual transition. I personally switch all my dogs cold turkey to a raw diet with a small amount of kibble as a mix-in, and they are fine. If you want to see if it is the kibble or raw right now, try a day or two of only raw, then a day or two of kibble, and see what happens. Then you can at least eliminate what might be causing the problems.

 

Also, many racing greys have worms as well...if you haven't already, definitely look into deworming.

 

Good luck!

Edited by RedHead
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Guest Muscovy

Thankyou for the quick responses! Juliemac, I love that your boy prefers his food medium-rare, hahahaha!

 

But now I have more questions! Hehe.

 

Firstly - about worming. According to his foster notes, he was last given a wormer on 27th September (the first documented dose was 2 months before that). When should I treat him again? Do I have to wait a certain amount of time for it to be safe for another dosage? I used to do my pups every 3 months, and/or after they'd been in boarding kennels, but they were couch pups with minimal risk of exposure.

 

Secondly - the new pup is a very quick eater. He doesn't really have/know a name yet, but his racing name was Wee Laddie and he went by Laddie in foster - and we've been referring to him as Lad The Inhaler since he eats so fast (I'm a history nerd, can you tell? Haha). How does this affect the feeding of a rice and protein bland diet? Is it just that he will literally inhale the little bits of rice? I did notice that a bit last night with the Canidae before he got the hang of it; the kibble pieces are much smaller than I'd like. If so, can I do anything about that if I decide to go down that route?

 

Next - this dehydrated beet that everyone talk about - what does it actually look like? The brand of beets and carrots you refer to is not available here in Australia, and I've only been able to find dehydrated beet in a power form here (we call it beetroot here). I could always blend up some canned beets with some coconut oil or sardines... It would be quite moist, but from what I gather you folks re-hydrate the dehydrated stuff anyway?

 

Also - can someone please explain to me why some greys don't do well on a high protein, high fat kibble diet, but judging by the talk on the forum here, all pretty much all seem to do well on a raw diet, which is also high protein and high fat?

 

Right. So now that's out of the way, yes! I will post pics a) when I have taken some, and B) when I figure out how. Perhaps next week! Regarding my local vet - he is fantastic and I have no doubt that will support me in whatever I choose to do. He looked after my boy with the most meticulous care and attention from the first night at puppy school when he fell asleep in his arms, to the last day when he sent him off to sleep in ours. And he loves and understands the special needs of sighthounds (he has salukis). I am dreading the day when he retires.

 

Regarding expense and prep time - I'm not bothered about either of these. I don't like cooking in general but I like doing it for my dogs, because they enjoy eating my cooking so much, hahah. With that in mind, I'd rather aim for a predominantly raw or home cooked diet, perhaps with some kibble mixed in for convenience/holiday time when I'm not able to be a doggie Masterchef. Heh. But really, they get so much more enjoyment from eating 'real' food than kibble, and I've had to come to terms with the idea that they're not with us forever, so I figure as long as it's healthy for them I'd like to give them what they enjoy.

 

I see a chest freezer in my future, hahahaha.

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Welcome to GT! Congrats on your new grey. And - my condolences on your loss. I lost my first grey to Hemangio. It's so hard.

 

As you've noted - there's tons of advice. As others have mentioned, do what works for your dog. If it were ME, I'd simplify. You've got a lot of foods going on with a new kibble, canned fish, beef, chicken, etc. I'd seriously do just dogfood - and not a super-expenisve one. Maybe add in a spoon of canned pumpkin. That's it. Simple. See what happens.

 

I get that you're trying to give him a nutritionally complete diet, help his coat, teeth, etc. All wonderful goals. But - IMHO - one thing at a time. You have YEARS to figure out the "perfect diet" (BTW let me know when you do LOL). For now - fix the issue. KISS. Keep it simple, sister. You remind me of me. Read too much - think too much - try to get it all "right". Yeah, maybe just chill a bit for now, ok? We can't do perfect this soon. This soon - figure out what works.

 

Kibble. If that doesn't work after a week, go to rice and cooked chicken for a week, adding in some kibble as you go. Let that tummy get settled cuz it's got WAY to much going on IMHO.

 

But - that's just my take on it. GOOD LUCK!!!!

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Guest Muscovy

Hahah Sobesmom, thankyou!!! You are totally right - I'm a worrier, a greyhound nut, and an obsessive internet researcher. As you can see, this special combination results in the occasional brain meltdown, and threads like this!

 

I am actually going to do what you have suggested, because it makes sense to me, and seems like the logical starting point for this situation.

 

Thankyou for recognising my particular brand of crazy and bringing me back to earth :)

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Ooooooh! Another Australian! Welcome from Sydney.

 

What I've learned from this forum. Lots of good information. Seriously the best place anywhere for information and advice.

 

But.

 

Not Australian. So, as you've discovered, not everything suggested is available.

 

Personally, I agree with Sobesmom but would go with the chicken and rice with perhaps some probiotic to start. You might also need to go get a weeks worth of panacur to worm him properly. His coat will improve with diet and time, and remember he's shedding his winter coat too. My little black girl is currently dandruffy because of this. And there's enough fur round the house to make a fifth greyhound.

 

Kibble-wise, I did the Canidae thing, then shifted to Taste if the Wild, but ended up with Costco instead. Unfortunately supply can be quite sporadic. Eventually I've moved to raw, and white meat only thanks to intolerances. Make friends with your butcher.

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Just quickly as I am going out, but beet pulp comes not from beetroots but sugar beet - it's a byproduct of the sugarmaking process and is used in various animal feeds, including some dog kibbles. I think in the US at least greyhound owners can also buy it dehydrated in agricultural supplies stores. But if you can't get hold of it, try sprinkling a tablespoon or so of raw porridge oat flakes into a meal instead, this is also good for firming things up!

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Guest Muscovy

Hi from sunny Melbourne! (It really was sunny today, no joke!)

 

I did try to make friends with my local butcher yesterday. I went in to ask about offcuts etc for the dogs, and talked to him for a bit. I think it turned a bit sour when he offered me a sample of his home made cabana (sp??) and I foolishly admitted that I'm vegetarian. Hah. No offcuts for me.

 

I spoke to the vet today (not my guy, as he's gone to Holland for aaaages/3 weeks), and he said to give a wormer six weeks from the last dose, and then in another six weeks, and that should sort anything out. Yes/no? What's the story with panacur? I have horsey friends that I'm sure would give me enough for a week. Is it better than the regular vet stuff?

 

Tried the plain kibble for dinner tonight. No go. This little guy has been quite the piglet in the few days he's been here, but he was not enthused about his bowl of plain kibble. Ate about three bites.

 

I will try again later this evening. And then at breakfast tomorrow. If he's still not into it, it will be chicken and rice for dinner. He needs to put on a couple of kilos and I don't want to fight an uphill battle on that front by making him eat something he doesn't want. Perhaps I am being too soft...

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Guest Muscovy

beet pulp comes not from beetroots but sugar beet - it's a byproduct of the sugarmaking process

Oh, right!! Well I can get that stuff down the road from the horse shop! Thanks!

 

PS. Can you imagine me blending up a cocktail of tinned beetroot and sardines in an attempt to make a batch of "Muscovy's All-Australian Rehydrated Beet Pulp"? Best mental image :)

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Oh, right!! Well I can get that stuff down the road from the horse shop! Thanks!

 

PS. Can you imagine me blending up a cocktail of tinned beetroot and sardines in an attempt to make a batch of "Muscovy's All-Australian Rehydrated Beet Pulp"? Best mental image :)

 

I bet it would get eaten up pretty fast at that! :chow

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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I'd just like to add, as sobesmom said, simplify, simplify, simplify! I had a grey who came with pudding poop, several pounds underweight because of it. I did worm him, I think with panacur? (It has been 10 yrs) and that helped, but it took a few months of trying different things, one or two at a time, to figure out what he could eat and what he couldn't. I always had to be careful with anything new, but he lived happy and mostly healthy to 11 1/2. I also lost him to hemangiosarcoma :( Honestly, most greys aren't as food sensitive as he was, so hopefully you will find just a few things that are triggers for your boy. A probiotic and some digestive enzymes might help settle his gut while you are working this out. Good luck!

 

btw way, love "Lad the Inhaler" :rofl

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Guest Muscovy

Thankyou everyone for the advice and the warm welcome! I'm back at work this week so I can't monitor the poop situation (I work weird/long shifts) but I've got him on boiled chicken legs and rice boiled in the stock, with a little bit of pumpkin. He is eating this lustily, unlike the kibble! I will see how that goes for a week, then re-assess.

 

I am finding it a bit hard not to feed him treats and chicken thighs though, because he loves munching on them so much! This is currently my biggest challenge in life though, so I can't complain ;)

 

Thankyou Remolacha for getting my ridiculous joke :) And Normaandburrell - classic! My guy is full of beans though - not like they lazy greys I'm used to! But lovely, none the less.

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Guest TheGirlz

Well hello from across the ditch!

 

FYI, I did contact the Olewo people after reading all the good reviews here on the site about sending to New Zealand. They do send overseas but unfortunately the cost of shipping is reasonably high -even they said that. From memory I'm not sure if US$ or NZ$, but it was $59.95 for them to send an 11lb bag of carrots or a combination of 5.5lb carrot and 2.2lb Red Beets. The shipping worked out roughly the same cost as the products which combined I found too prohibitive.

 

I have only had my 10.5yo girl for a year now but found in the end the best for her was a raw diet with a top up of kibble. Tessa is 25kg and won't eat in the morning so she gets all her food at the night feed. You will find what works best, every houndie is different.

 

You will find this site invaluable, these folks are hugely knowledgeable, I'm so very pleased I stumbled across it.

Edited by TheGirlz
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Guest Muscovy

Hello, and thanks!

 

Well that is very expensive for some dried carrot! But I'm not really opposed to it - after spending a fortune on X-rays, biopsies, MRIs and chemo for my last boy, $60 sounds cheap, hah. But I think I'll just take it slow, start with the bland diet, and work in some raw, and see how we go.

 

I know I'm just being paranoid anyway. I've found it really challenging having a new dog because I don't know him inside-out, so I don't immediately know what he needs yet. Everything he does seems new and strange, and I don't know what to make of it yet. I know it's just part of the process, but I'm a worrier... :)

 

Once I get to know him, and get over this horrible fear that my pups could be full of cancer or some other devastating disease even though they're young and happy, it will be easier.

Edited by Muscovy
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Guest Muscovy

Success! We have actual poop-shaped poop!!! And almost no poisonous gas! I'm astounded that it's happened so quickly.

 

Mind you, we're not at the "museum quality" stage yet, but today on our walk I was able to pick up after him, and his little offering even remained poop-shaped in the bag, so I'm feeling optimistic :)

 

I'll start giving him some raw chicken on the bone in a few days, and see if we can maintain/improve his output. I'm pretty sure, based on my brief observation, and from what his foster carer said, that there's something in the kibble he's tried that doesn't agree with him, but when I get him to a stable stage I will just try giving him some kibble (if he will eat it!) and observe, just to make sure.

 

Thanks everyone :)

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I don't see anywhere that you said, "After taking him to the vet and having his stool checked...."

 

That would be MY first step instead of guessing whether or not he still has parasites and if it's food or something else upsetting his digestion.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest Muscovy

Yep, thanks GeorgeofNE. The thing is, there's a bit in the adoption agreement that says for the first 2 week 'trial period' if he needs to go to the vet I have to contact the group and organise everything through them and their vet. I haven't had him for 2 weeks yet, and I want to take him to my vet, who I trust, to have a thorough once-over, get a sort of 'base-line' established with him, and take a stool sample then to check for worms.

 

I've already spoken to my vet about a worming schedule and the poop/fart situation, and since he's said it's not a dire medical emergency, and the new pup is still settling in to our house, and his poops have improved with diet (which we thought they would based on what his foster carer said), the vet is happy with this plan, and so am I.

 

I just wanted to help him diet-wise in the mean time, and all the advice I've been given here in this thread has been really helpful with that. So thanks everyone!

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Hi, Muscovy

Sorry for your loss. your story sounds just like mine over the past 6 weeks. After losing Jackie this summer to osteo, I got Connie in September. I fell in love with her instantly, and already started feeling worried about how long she would live. (she's 3) PTSD from the Summer, for sure.

 

Anyhow, she had horrible gas and runny poops for 6 weeks, and I tried different foods and additives, along with a trip to the vet. When we would go for walks, I could not even pick up her poo....i would cover it with sand in embarrassment, and hope nobody stepped in it!! (Lola actually wound up stepping in one. Karmic justice) Last week, in a hurry at the pet store, I just grabbed something different to try....sweet potato and bison kibble. (NB) Now her poops are great, and I can proudly pick them up!!!! I feel like shouting from the rooftops. Hallelujah. Plus, I know her tummy must feel better, too.

 

Best of luck with your new boy! It sounds like you are on your way to figuring out the diet thing. Let me know if anything helps the dandruff. :)

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