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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I need help with my Giant Schnauzer, Gus. He is almost 7 years old and weighs about 110 lbs; such a big dog with tons of "gusto" but when it comes to his GI system, he's weak as can be!
Honestly, his system was fine for the first 5 years of his life. We fed him Iams Large Breed and had solid stools and no vomit. Problems started when we moved in to our new house - I'm sure a red light is going off in your head, like it must be something environmental. We thought the same thing, but our investigation into the indoors and outdoors brought up nothing. Slowly but surely he started having random bouts of diarrhea and random bouts of vomiting. Never associated with a feed, just totally random. His emesis is usually foamy, stringy, and sometimes yellow. His diarrhea is just that - diarrhea. Nothing to noteworthy about it.
So we spoke with our veterinarian whom told us he has IBS and suggested a natural food. We started him on Nature's Recipe Venison and Rice, which, by the way, is expensive for a dog that eats 4 cups a day! We thought this was the answer; however, he would still have random, but less frequent, bouts of vomiting. The diarrhea was much more infrequent. The food was burning a hole in our pocket so I was on the hunt for a less expensive brand. A dog food representative in the store suggested Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul because it's holistic. Now, we've tried that for a few months and he's randomly vomiting again.
The emesis is never chunks of food. It's always white or yellow mucusy strings that he proceeds to drag around the entire living room so that you can't just clean one spot; no, you have to clean the entire living room, every time!
I think the veterinarian suggested some omeprazole as well but we really didn't notice a difference with that either.
So I'm back to considering changing his diet again. Do you think it's the food? Do you think I'm wasting my money on holistic foods? It's really tough for us to buy expensive food because he goes through it so fast. Should we go back to the Iams Large Breed since he did well for the first 5 years on it? My sister, a vet tech, suggested he has allergies, but how am I supposed to solve that? Do veterinarians skin test for allergies? Should I try pumpkin? I don't even know what that does. I'm a nurse, and I'm nearly positive it's not pyloric stenosis (too infrequent, not during feeds, and not projectile). Again, money is an issue for us, unfortunately, so many of our dog decisions come down to price. Of course I'm getting tired of the clean-up, but truly I care more for Gus and just want him to stop getting sick.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your suggestions.
Jennifer
 

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Did your vet do bloodwork? Test fecal?
Did you reduce the amount of food when you switched to a better quality one? Quality foods SHOULD cost much less over time than the cheaper foods, because the dog requires less food with the higher digestibility.
How often are his feedings?
Does he vomit more in the evenings or in the day/mornings?

It could be allergies, yes. Usually if food allergies are suspected the first thing to try is an elimination diet and reduction to only one protein type..then if no improvement the protein type is changed again. It takes time to assess success in this protocol but if done properly can easily identify triggers.

Also, some dogs have issues with acid reflux..have you tried a veterinary approved antacid?

I do NOT recommend going back to the Iams. It's just plain bad food.
 
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