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Last spring I rescued our second pup Norman. We never found out his breed, but if you see him he looks like a mini Marmaduke. When we got him his front legs were bent higher up. I always tell people imagine if you hand didn't bend at the wrist but 3 inches higher and that is what his feet looked like. He also looked very skinny. We could see his hip and rib bones. I often wondered why a vet cleared him for adoption because he looked like a Sarah Mclaughlin song should be playing in the background.
I did trying to find out his past. It wasn't easy. We live in WI, he was brought up from Alabama. He went through 3 shelters before we snatched him up. All I could get was that he, and his litter, were taken from a bad situation.
Any who he had to beefed up. He was malnourished. His blood counts involving the pancreas were high as well. It didn't take long before his legs straightened, tummy thickened, and seemed like a happy pup. Then a few months later he was sick again and it was suggested to put him on a high fiber diet. I switched him from Iams to Blue Buffalo and he seemed to be doing so much better. Last week it all started
  • tired - not our jumping pup - very sluggish
  • piddles a little when he is laying down and the pee SMELLED terrible
  • very runny stool
  • not hungry at all
*very thirsty
*for a little bit he was leaving little "eggs" while he was sleeping too.
*a lot.of trembling
*very weak. He goes down steps to get outside and he could go down but then I would have to carry him up.

Obviously we took him in. The getbtook xrays to make sure he didn't eat something and have it stuck. Xrays showed nothing stuck, but did show skinny limp looking intestines.
He was scratching his head. Norman is on meds, and is starting to VERY slowly turn around. Our vet had us start Hills prescription diet D/D. We did the wet food to start, but that was $$$.
This morning Norman jumped and wagged his tail for the first time in 2 weeks. So I am hoping that the change of food is helping. The problem is the cost! What is a good alternative to Hills prescription D/D????
 

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I know Royal Canin makes prescription foods, but I'm not sure if they are comparable or cheaper.

Dry food will likely be cheaper than wet food, so if you can get the Hills as a dry food it will save some money.

You may also talk to your vet - there may be a bland food out there that you can supplement with D/D so that your dog is benefitting but it can stretch out costs. You could also try to wean off the food and see if it is the food, the meds, or the combination of the two that are helping - but again, I would absolutely do it with the assistance of a vet.
 

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Does the vet want you to stay on the prescription diet forever, or is this a temporary thing?

I would be very honest with my vet in this situation and tell her that this cost of the food is prohibitive, and have him explain what exactly the purpose of the prescription food is. If its just that he wants him on a limited ingredient diet, there are numerous other options that are likely much cheaper. If its something very specific that he is concerned about, your options might be more limited.

If your vet is stumped, ask him for a referral to a specialist, or even take the dog to a different vet for a second opinion. It's worth a shot instead of guessing and throwing different prescription diets and medications at him. I mean, sometimes that's just the way it is and it takes a while to diagnose some things, but it's okay to consider other options.
 
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