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Need to change dog food-bring on the suggestions!

Discussion in 'Doberman Nutritional Care' started by Hemismommy, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Hemismommy

    Hemismommy New Member

    Hi everyone! So I posted a long time ago ago how I was thinking my Doberman was too thin. Everyone said he looked good, and was just young. However, he has continued to lose weight over the past few months. I have taken him to the vet several times, and they finally listened to my concern. I will include pictures to show how skinny he is. He was this thin with feeding him like a horse, and supplementing with canned food.
    When I took him to the vet this last time in May, they said he looks like he has had chronic malnourishment (no kidding, that’s what I have been saying for months but the vet kept rushing it off). We did several different blood tests, fecal testing, and even did an abdominal ultrasound because my vet was worried about the possibility of a liver shunt. About $1,000 later, they determined that nothing is wrong with him, he just needs a higher protein food. I changed his food to Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete, on the advice of a friend who had a hard time getting weight on her German Shepherd. While he has gained 8lbs over the course of a week, he has the worst smelling, hugest cow pies of poop I have ever seen. He is totally potty trained, but has now pooped big plops in the house for the last two weeks (he has been on the new food about two weeks now). I woke up this morning to two piles of poop and 5 piles of puke. I just can’t take it anymore. I need a suggestion of a good (decently priced) food that is nutrient rich and will help to put weight on him. I would rather not try the satin balls, as I have read that they can cause diarrhea, and I definitely don’t want anymore of that! Please let me know what you suggest! Thanks

     

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    • Empathetic Empathetic x 9
  2. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Malabsorption disease would be my concern. If he is pooping that much then he is most definitely not getting the benefit of his food. Perhaps too high of a protein could contribute to these issues.
    Have an ELIZA done for giardia and ask the vet to send off his stool sample for more comprehensive evaluation.
    Has he had his thyroid checked? He could be hyperthyroid. How is his hair coat, thin, normal, dull, shiny?
    Did they test for EPI? He has classic symptoms of this.
     
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  3. Hemismommy

    Hemismommy New Member


    His coat is terrible. Thinning, he has a lot of zits all over, and he is very dull. When I asked about it, my vet said that because he is so emaciated, his coat is going to look terrible because the body will pay least attention to the coat, and focus more on his nutritional needs to survive. I know they sent off a stool sample to test for some things, but I honestly don’t know what all they tested for. He has not had his thyroid checked. The vet seemed way less concerned once we realized he gained 8lbs over the course of a week with the new food. She said that indicates that he is absorbing the nutrients, but that his body may need a different food.
     
  4. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I hate to mention this but damn...I would find a new vet. It is possible that he is suffering from an autoimmune disease.

    When we see a dog with a hair coat thinning, skin eruptions, skinny, excessive stools and vomiting we know more is going on in the body than just food quality and amount.

    With this breed testing the Thyroid, Pancreas, and Liver functions would be top of the list.
    Blowing off body condition is not good diagnostics!
     
    • Agree Agree x 9
  5. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Man, I really feel for you and your pup.

    I agree with Bri, get a second opinion from another Vet.
     
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  6. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Have you ever thought to switch him over to a raw diet ? All 4 of mine eat a totally raw diet and we have never had any problems.
    A raw diet would definitely help his coat and skin. It would also help his stool problem, as he would be absorbing all the nutrients from it and produce smaller, not so stinky poops and wouldn’t poop as much. Mine poop twice a day.
    Pet nutrition.com can actually set up a meal plan for you if you are interested.
     
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  7. WiglWerm

    WiglWerm Hot Topics Subscriber

    You need to have him checked for EPI, it is a specific tests that needs to be sent out to a lab. Sounds like he cannot absorb the nutrients so NO food is gonna work until he gets enzymes to help him absorb nutrients. I would go to my vet and DEMAND they test for EPI. Good luck, I have dealt with EPI myself many years ago...
     
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  8. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I would be hesitant to start a raw diet until his body condition is improved and more testing is done. His ability to process different bacteria from raw meat may not handle that change very well and could worsen his condition.
    I would ask the vet to test his digestive enzymes to see if the pancreas is producing those to help digest his food.
    Without proper digestive enzymes no amount or type of food will provide proper digestion and benefit of nutrition.
     
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  9. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Also just a side note...do not allow the vet to give him ANY vaccinations while he is having these issues. Vaccines could be responsible for some of his issues.
     
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  10. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    I agree with all the advice being given. I don't know much about the medical side of things but these people do! He does look to be in very poor condition so I really hope you get to the bottom of this soon.

    My only advice is that before leaving your current vet, get your money's worth and have them explain what's been done so far so you can at least update the people here. I am sure they have seen and experienced more with Dobermans than most vets do. Then, ask for a copy of the file so the next vet knows what's been checked so you're not starting from square 1 again. Don't actually tell your vet you're leaving either, just say you want to read up on things.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  11. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Another way to politely request your dogs records is to say you need them for the purpose of pet insurance to find out what they will cover regarding testing done and testing needed.
     
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  12. Hemismommy

    Hemismommy New Member

    Thank you everyone for all the replies! I did go to a different vet that has Dobermans herself. I am really liking the new vet. I will call her again today to schedule a weigh-in. I was pretty mad at the first vet (I have been going to them for like 12 years), because I have brought him in four times now for the same thing-body condition. Then this last time I brought him in to be neutered and demanded they check him out really well to make sure he would handle the surgery and come out okay. They called me within 20 minutes of dropping him off, saying he is suffering from chronic malnourishment. I was so ticked off. I have only had him since last August, and took him in right away (this was a rescue situation), had blood work done, fecal testing, deworming, shots, microchip, heartworm test and preventative and flea and tick preventative. That was when they told me he is just young and he is a thin breed. i brought him back two more times before bringing him in to be neutered to be checked out because of how skinny he is. They told me the same thing. When they suggested an abdominal ultrasound to check for a liver shunt, I had to go to a different vet anyways because they did not offer them there. At that time I had the vet send over all his info.
    I have considered a raw diet but don’t really know where to start. I have never attempted a raw diet before. I know he got a pork steak off the counter the other night (it was cooked and seasoned), and he had explosive diarrhea for three days straight. If he gets any kind of table food he always gets the poops.
    The new vet I took him to suggested waiting to see how he is doing with the new food before doing a test for the digestive function, because of the cost. At this point I don’t care about cost. Just the last two vet visits have more at about $1,000. What is EPI?
     
  13. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
     
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  14. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    It’s when the pancreas does not produce the necessary enzymes to digest food and receive nutrients.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Hemismommy

    Hemismommy New Member

    Makes sense. Thank you! I wonder if that was the test that the new vet said would be the next step. Hmmm... ok, in the meantime, any suggestions on bagged food?
     
  16. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Here are a few things to look at. They do pre made meal plans. Takes the guess work out of raw feeding is you choose to go that route :)
    Cooked food and raw food are very different. Dogs don’t benefit from cooked food because the nutritional value is being cooked out.
    Maybe after you figure out what’s going on with him you might consider switching. I know I will never feed kibble again, especially after watching pet fooled on Netflix.
    Anyways here is the link :)

    Custom Raw Meal Plans For Dogs and Cats | Raw Pet Food | Pet Nutrition
     
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  17. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I would insist on this new vet testing for EPI immediately as well as a Thyroid panel because the results will have an influence over which food would be best for him.
    I would be cooking chicken and rice meals to ease his stomach a bit in the interim of test results. I would add a good probiotic with some nutritional supplements to it and try to get his gut calmed down with a couple tsp of pumpkin purée. I would only give the pumpkin purée for a few days. Make sure it’s pumpmin purée and not pumpkin pie mix. A lot of the good quality foods can be a bit rich for their systems starting off.
     
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  18. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Oh man, I hate that he’s going through this. Poor soul, he’s begging for a diagnosis. I can sense the frustration from you. You can see his coat has thinned out and his body condition is heartbreaking to look at :(

    My first though was a thyroid problem. Could he be experiencing a hormonal imbalance?! If so, it can manifest itself as rapid metabolism and result in extreme weight loss.

    Please, keep us updated. I’m praying for answers so you can move forward with him.
     
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  19. Antman408

    Antman408 $ Forum Donor $

    @Hemismommy check out my thread “8 grand later”. Sounds very similiar to my pups problem.

    I also recommend switching to a raw diet. But not solid bone right now since he’s not digesting properly and could possibly create an obstruction.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    I'm with Bri on this one. I wouldn't risk raw with a sickly pup that's already malnourished. Too risky. And a minor set back could be catastrophic at this point.

    I also second a bland diet (chicken or turkey and rice), with beneficial digestion supplements. This really seems to help a lot in dogs who aren't gaining and are sick. I've even see parvo pups brought back from the brink by doing this (and usually subq fluids).

    But yes, getting to the route of the problem is beyond neccesary. Do you have ticks in your area? If so, may be worth checking for tick borne stuff as well.
     
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