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I have a 3-year old purebred yellow lab that has had stomach issues ever since I got him at 12 weeks. He experiences very loose stools, occasional vomiting, and more recently, itchy, dry skin. I believe this is all a result of food allergies/intolerances, but I haven't been able to narrow down what exactly sets him off. I have tried him on literally dozens of different brands of food (probably 50 now) in various flavors. Some foods make him very ill, and sometimes he tolerates another brand well for a few months and then gets sick again. I don't feed him scraps so that I can narrow down the potential causes, but I just can't figure out what ingredient(s) make him upset. Suffice it to say, it's been an extremely frustrating and expensive ordeal!

He's been to the vet for all sorts of testing several times. None of the visits uncovered anything obvious. They started him on some extremely expensive vet food by Royal Canin:

http://www.royalcanin.ca/index.php/Veterinary-Exclusive-Nutrition/Canine-Nutrition/Veterinary-Therapeutic-Formulas/Gastro-Intestinal-Moderate-Calorie-Dry

He does very well on the stuff, but it's even more expensive than the most premium department store dog food. The ingredients aren't that great, and i've tried other brands that match this almost identically but my dog still has a bad reaction. I don't get it!



Anyway back on to topic, looking at the webpage I posted above, it says that the food has 'digestive support'. I got to thinking that maybe this is the reason he tolerates the vet food so well, and got to looking at digestive enzyme supplements. I have read some positive reviews about these, but i'm not getting my hopes up.

Has anybody had luck with these products, and would you recommend them? Is there a particular brand I should try out? I am extremely skeptical that these supplements will actually do anything substancial, but I have tried almost everything and losing hope. I would love for my dog to be able to eat high quality foods like Acana or Orijen, but it just goes through him like pudding if it doesn't come right back up a few hours after!


Thank you very much for any suggestions!
 

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Probiotics can do wonders, and won't hurt even if they don't help. Worth a try anyway. I always use human probiotics, the refrigerated kind with at least 10 billion active units per serving.

Some dogs can't tolerate the really super-premium kibbles. I'd pick a mid-grade kibble.
 

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Look into Nutramax's Proviable. It contains 7 probiotics. I've heard it is good though a tad expensive. It comes in a paste.

Likely the reason why the 'over the counter" foods that have the same ingredients as the rx food caused a reaction due to the manufacturing process. Rx companies like Medi-cal/Royal Canin clean out their factory thoroughly before making their hypoallergenic foods to avoid cross contamination. With regards to OTC foods, they may be manufactured by another company which doesn't take these precautions.

How long are you feeding these foods? I think it's Iams or Royal Canin that.makes a rabbit diet as well as a kangaroo diet. RX also makes a food made with catfish. Of course, you've probably tried these bit if not, it's a suggestion. Good luck!
 

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Personally, I'd ditch the RX diet. But that's just me. I'm one of those homemade dog food nuts.
I'd look into food allergies if you haven't done that already. Get a test done, or start him on a restricted diet (homemade if possible, since so many commercial foods set him off) and do elimination trails.

Anyways, onto the real question.
Yes, probiotics helped my dog. A LOT. He has a very easily upset digestive system and he can't tolerate ANY wheat at all, period. Even the smallest crumb will set him off, and when that happens, the only thing that calms his system down is bland food and probiotics. And prebiotics I might add. Probiotics are the bacteria, prebiotics are "food" for the bacteria, like the inulin in chicory root, and help boost their... helpfulness... for a lack of a better word. (I'm really tired right now.)

The first probiotic I used was made by Ark Naturals, called Gentle Digest . It's got both pro and prebiotics in it and is made for dogs and cats. Nowadays I just use a shelf stable (not refrigerated) human probiotic and ground roasted chicory root. I keep a good supply of both on-hand wherever I am with my dog just in case I need it. I buy the probiotics at the grocery and the chicory root at an herb shop.
I find that for some digestive upsets, both is best, or only one or the other, and I have gotten good at determining what needs what. I can't say for your dog because each dog is different and I have not been observing and feeding him for two years.

I hope you figure out what his problem is. These sorts of things are very frustrating.
 

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My cat had similar issues. I took him off the vet food and put him on a more natural food that had no corn, grain, soy, or byproducts. His issues vanished. I put him on raw this year and he's doing even better.
 

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Have you tried a limited ingredient grain free diet? If so, which one(s)? I do think probiotics are helpful. I used a human grade refrigerated one on a boxer pup I used to have. I does take a little while for them to start working. The same boxer puppy I mentioned earlier could only eat raw - period. He went through 3 different, VERY expensive vet diets, with poor results (after trying several premium kibbles). The last vet diet cost $70 for a 15 pound bag - yikes, and then didn't even work! If you can't find a kibble that works, you may have to feed raw.
 

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Probiotics helped my dog a lot. I just give her a spoonful of nonfat yogurt every day, but if your dog can't handle dairy (keeping in mind that yogurt has very little lactose), the commercial probiotics work well too.
 

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Tripe is a great for helping with digestion. You could get some canned Tripett and try giving a spoonful at meal time.
 

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Personally, I'd ditch the RX diet. But that's just me. I'm one of those homemade dog food nuts.
I'd look into food allergies if you haven't done that already. Get a test done, or start him on a restricted diet (homemade if possible, since so many commercial foods set him off) and do elimination trails.

Anyways, onto the real question.
Yes, probiotics helped my dog. A LOT. He has a very easily upset digestive system and he can't tolerate ANY wheat at all, period. Even the smallest crumb will set him off, and when that happens, the only thing that calms his system down is bland food and probiotics. And prebiotics I might add. Probiotics are the bacteria, prebiotics are "food" for the bacteria, like the inulin in chicory root, and help boost their... helpfulness... for a lack of a better word. (I'm really tired right now.)

The first probiotic I used was made by Ark Naturals, called Gentle Digest . It's got both pro and prebiotics in it and is made for dogs and cats. Nowadays I just use a shelf stable (not refrigerated) human probiotic and ground roasted chicory root. I keep a good supply of both on-hand wherever I am with my dog just in case I need it. I buy the probiotics at the grocery and the chicory root at an herb shop.
I find that for some digestive upsets, both is best, or only one or the other, and I have gotten good at determining what needs what. I can't say for your dog because each dog is different and I have not been observing and feeding him for two years.

I hope you figure out what his problem is. These sorts of things are very frustrating.
how can you tell it had probiotics?
 

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how can you tell it had probiotics?
Uh, because that's what it was? These are probiotics in the brand I currently use: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum and Lactobacillus sporogenes. Those are all probiotics, good bacteria. If those types of things are not listed on the "ingredients", then it's probably not a probiotic.
And the inclusion of probiotics in kibble does not guarantee that they will be helpful or even present.
 

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Ugh... There isn't much anything more frustrating than typing out a reply for 10-20 minutes then losing everything I typed because my account timed out!!!

ANYWAY, i'll re-type, but be a bit more brief. I just wanted to update what happened. In answer to some questions, yes I tried several limited ingredient dry foods, but nothing more than that. They seemed to be a bit easier on his stomach, but he still didn't do terribly well on them. My vet suggested that this is simply a general food or protein intolerance, so an allergy panel was not discussed or conducted. Basically the only tests he has had are urine, fecal and blood; none of which uncovered anything unusual.

Anyway, now for the good news..

I purchased a tub of this stuff called Nupro. It's a probiotic in powder form, and gravy flavored. Other than the fact my dog loves the taste, it frigging works wonders!!

He was quite ill when I made this thread (vomiting, runny stools, lethargic) so I 'reset' his diet with a low calorie canned food from my vet, along with Nupro added to each meal. After 5 days he had made quite significant recovery and I moved him to back his regular dry vet food & kept Nupro. Around a week on this and he was doing fantastic. Completely normal stools, no vomiting, no eating grass, more energy, less mooching, less scratching. Every symptom improved. Last week I started mixing in some leftover Acana fish ingredient food in with his vet food along with Nupro. Usually, even a small amount of Acana could set him off and I would be trying to pick up pudding from the back yard. He is up to HALF Acana & half vet food, and with adding Nupro he still has absolutely no digestive symptoms. I have never been able to give him this much Acana for more than a couple days without him getting sick, and he's been on it for over a week!

The Nupro works incredibly well, but it is rather expensive at $30/month. Even at this price it's worth it, but I am trying another brand called Probiotic Miracle that is higher rated and cheaper, running around $10/month. I am hoping it works as well as the Nupro, but I am slowly introducing the new one to ensure it works just as well.

If you have a dog with symptoms like these, I STRONGLY recommend trying probiotics. I am quite frustrated that my vet didn't mention this from the get-go, as it would have saved me years of frustration and saved my dog years of discomfort. I am pretty much convinced that the vet food I was buying is nothing but 'cheap' food with probiotics added and marked up twice as much.

I'm not 100% convinced that this stuff is the be-all end-all cure for my lab's issues, but it's sure made a massive improvement. I never thought seeing a well-formed log of dog excrement in my yard would ever make me smile ear to ear!
 

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Hi- I use the probiotic miracle for my dog with IBD along with a low fat dog food -It has completely solved his loose stool and not wanting to eat problem. It is hard to tell sometimes what is working but just on th e food alone he was havint some diarrhea still and I have had him on the probiotic since March and no problems. Now he has started with throwing up bile at intervals- so I ordered a digestive enzyme powder- I think it is from natural pet pharmacy. Hope it works. I also started my older dog on the probiotic powder too- it can't hurt. The vets never recommend this but when I told her I started him on it she said good. They just love the expensive prescription diets that they sell.
 

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Ugh... There isn't much anything more frustrating than typing out a reply for 10-20 minutes then losing everything I typed because my account timed out!!!

ANYWAY, i'll re-type, but be a bit more brief. I just wanted to update what happened. In answer to some questions, yes I tried several limited ingredient dry foods, but nothing more than that. They seemed to be a bit easier on his stomach, but he still didn't do terribly well on them. My vet suggested that this is simply a general food or protein intolerance, so an allergy panel was not discussed or conducted. Basically the only tests he has had are urine, fecal and blood; none of which uncovered anything unusual.

Anyway, now for the good news..

I purchased a tub of this stuff called Nupro. It's a probiotic in powder form, and gravy flavored. Other than the fact my dog loves the taste, it frigging works wonders!!

He was quite ill when I made this thread (vomiting, runny stools, lethargic) so I 'reset' his diet with a low calorie canned food from my vet, along with Nupro added to each meal. After 5 days he had made quite significant recovery and I moved him to back his regular dry vet food & kept Nupro. Around a week on this and he was doing fantastic. Completely normal stools, no vomiting, no eating grass, more energy, less mooching, less scratching. Every symptom improved. Last week I started mixing in some leftover Acana fish ingredient food in with his vet food along with Nupro. Usually, even a small amount of Acana could set him off and I would be trying to pick up pudding from the back yard. He is up to HALF Acana & half vet food, and with adding Nupro he still has absolutely no digestive symptoms. I have never been able to give him this much Acana for more than a couple days without him getting sick, and he's been on it for over a week!

The Nupro works incredibly well, but it is rather expensive at $30/month. Even at this price it's worth it, but I am trying another brand called Probiotic Miracle that is higher rated and cheaper, running around $10/month. I am hoping it works as well as the Nupro, but I am slowly introducing the new one to ensure it works just as well.

If you have a dog with symptoms like these, I STRONGLY recommend trying probiotics. I am quite frustrated that my vet didn't mention this from the get-go, as it would have saved me years of frustration and saved my dog years of discomfort. I am pretty much convinced that the vet food I was buying is nothing but 'cheap' food with probiotics added and marked up twice as much.

I'm not 100% convinced that this stuff is the be-all end-all cure for my lab's issues, but it's sure made a massive improvement. I never thought seeing a well-formed log of dog excrement in my yard would ever make me smile ear to ear!
Glad to hear your lab is doing better! I've had success using Ark's Gentle Digest. They now come in small semi-moist kibble form. We've had lots of digestive issues due to 2 1/2 rounds of antibiotics and possible food allergy, that I'm still trying to figure out. I first used Forti-Flora from the vet, which didn't help at all. I then purchased the Gentle Digest. I've been giving my dog 2 a day for the last few weeks while switching his food and they've helped tremendously. His stools are back to being firm! I'm now feeding Earthborn Holistics Great Plains Feast which contains no chicken or potato.
 

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Probiotics are amazing.. I've used them with our animals including dogs and hamsters for years.. and they are in AMAZING shape.. several are seniors with no health problems. :) And my basset mix stopped throwing up once I got him onto probiotics.
 

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Probiotics DO work, but only the right ones. We started out using Mercola pet probiotics which were very expensive and not worth the money in my opinion. Our lab had awful time with allergies, loose stool, losing hair, the whole thing and we were at the vet like all the time. It was awful. When we switched to Nusentia's Probiotic Miracle we got the best results with the stomach issues, which never came back. We also feed the raw grain-free food now from Nusentia as well and have since added enzymes. I would say its the combination of diet supplements and food from Nusentia that keeps us from going to the vet all the time like we used to. I will try to post a before and after photo. Our 9 year old lab became like a puppy again, I can't say enough about these products they are fantastic.
 

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They are a waste of money. There are a few studies that show minimal efficacy in dogs with diarrhea but the strains used were native strains which you can't buy in the store.

Your best bet is too use a food with inulin, beet pulp, FOS & MOS. These support the natural flora.
 

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They are a waste of money. There are a few studies that show minimal efficacy in dogs with diarrhea but the strains used were native strains which you can't buy in the store.

Your best bet is too use a food with inulin, beet pulp, FOS & MOS. These support the natural flora.
Where are earth are you getting your information? With all due respect... there is plenty of research and anecdotal information available, but, basically, you're suggesting that the probiotics we used was only placebo? Also, the results that many people see after giving their dogs probiotics is imagined? Not possible.

Also, you're saying to feed a dog inulin, and FOS (which are one and the same thing). This will also feed bad bacteria. If a dog is in a state of "dysbiosis" (over run with bad bacteria) which causes diarrhea, FOS/inulin will only feed the bad bacteria more. You need to put something GOOD in. Probiotics are the way to go.
 

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Where are earth are you getting your information? With all due respect... there is plenty of research and anecdotal information available, but, basically, you're suggesting that the probiotics we used was only placebo? Also, the results that many people see after giving their dogs probiotics is imagined? Not possible.

Also, you're saying to feed a dog inulin, and FOS (which are one and the same thing). This will also feed bad bacteria. If a dog is in a state of "dysbiosis" (over run with bad bacteria) which causes diarrhea, FOS/inulin will only feed the bad bacteria more. You need to put something GOOD in. Probiotics are the way to go.
Complete waste of money.....probiotics won't survive..Labby I can only suggest you read more science and less advertising. Anecdotes and charming stories mean nothing to me. Inulin and FOS have some chemical differences so they are not the same. The data on Beet Pulp, inulin, FOS and MOS are indisputable.

OP save your money, by the way most probiotics are just fermentation products and not actually bacteria, more like bacteria poo. Most supplements that are tested do not contain what they say and even if they did cannot form colonies.

If you can find a probiotic culture from a healthy canine go ahead and try it, otherwise save your money. Your dog needs his or her own bacteria to be healthy.

If the RC food helps your dog stay with it.
 

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Inulin and beet pulp. etc. are prebiotics---food for the bacteria. They can be food for bad bacteria or for good bacteria, so you'd better hope your dog have sufficient numbers of good bacteria or the bad bacteria are going to go wild.

Meh. I've seen good results from probiotics so I don't much care what anyone else says. I'll use 'em if they work and don't hurt anything.
 
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