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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Turned out to be a little long - and maybe should be in health section?

Bella's tummy has always been touchy, so I try not to switch stuff up too much. Lately she's had some loose poo's and what seems like acid indigestion (she'll have "moist burps" in the middle of the night.)

Brought the vet a stool sample last week and she has no parasites or eggs. We have her yearly check-up today and I plan on talking to the vet about it more, but seems like every vet I ask regarding food ends up giving me the "who knows" shrug. So hoping someone can help me figure out some things here.

Most people here know about Bella, but...
History:
She's got three legs, she's about 60 lbs (up a few pounds this winter because there's been so much ice out there and she can't risk breaking a leg!) 11 years old, and so far is still cancer-free. Oncologist also did a CBC two weeks ago and everything came back "perfect."

So, what I've been feeding her for the past 4-6 months:

Kibble:
TOTW Pacific Stream (salmon/fish) mixed with TOTW Southwest Canyon (wild boar/beef)
I changed from the High Prairie to the SW Canyon about 4 months ago because it seemed to have a little more protein and antioxidants. She seemed to do okay on it.

Supplements:
NaturVet Digestive Enzymes + probiotics
Nupro All Natural Joint & Immunity (approx 1 tsp x3 meals)
Turmeric (less than 1 tsp/day)
Coconut oil (approx 1 tsp / day - *stopped giving her this a few weeks ago)
Salmon Oil (~1 squirt /day = 1/2 tsp - *stopped giving her this a couple weeks ago)

Treats:
Old Mother Hubbard orig assorted - she gets 4-6 MINI treats a day
Greenies Petite size - she looooooooooves her Greenies and begs and whines and gives the sad/hopeful doggy eyes until she gets her three per day.
Raw baby carrots - maybe 3 /day

The loose poo's (usually bordering on diarrhea) usually happens during her last trip outside for the night. Morning stools are usually pretty normal.
The loose stool almost looks grainy...and smell HORRIBLE! Like eye-watering horrible. :puke:

Can anyone recommend a good commercial food that maybe she can digest easier - if that sounds like the problem? Or recommend omitting a food, supplement or treat? I've read that even good senior dog foods are mostly filled with junk ingredients.

Could she develop sensitivity to things she's eaten for years? Maybe her tummy doesn't like salmon anymore?
 

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I would start with feeding one or the other of the ToTW for a week. She already eats it so it would not be a change but it could help you narrow down if one formula or the other is a problem.

Dr Tims and Victor both have some quality formulas that might be options to switch to. I run from "senior" foods-- seniors need more protein, not less so I agree with you on that for sure.

I'd probably stop (after trying formula only at a time) supplements and most treats for a week each. Like, drop one and watch for changes.

Also check labels and reviews to make sure no manufacturer changed ingredients or proportions without making it known

Have you tried the old standby of canned pumpkin?
 

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When my oldie was on kibble, I had great results with Annameat. Never a loose stool or upset stomach while on that food.

Three greenies a day sounds like an awful lot though. Most dental bone brands recommend one a day. Even then, I typically only give a dental bone once or twice a week. But that's just what I've found works for my sensitive dog.
 

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I'd cut out all the supplements to see if that's the problem. Add back in one per week a little at a time if that does the trick. You could be overdoing one or more of those perfectly good supplements and treats.

Old dog guts get picky. Max stopped being able to tolerate raw after he had been on it for 5 years but the exact same stuff cooked was fine. Sassy couldn't tolerate fat and even fish oil bothered her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I would start with feeding one or the other of the ToTW for a week. She already eats it so it would not be a change but it could help you narrow down if one formula or the other is a problem.

Dr Tims and Victor both have some quality formulas that might be options to switch to. I run from "senior" foods-- seniors need more protein, not less so I agree with you on that for sure.

I'd probably stop (after trying formula only at a time) supplements and most treats for a week each. Like, drop one and watch for changes.

Also check labels and reviews to make sure no manufacturer changed ingredients or proportions without making it known

Have you tried the old standby of canned pumpkin?
I'll remove one of the kibble formulas - maybe the SW Canyon since that's the newest addition to her diet - and just buy a small bag of the Pacific Stream and transition her back to that when the RC Intestinal stuff is running low. If it gets bad again, I'll maybe go to a different brand like the Dr Tim's or Victor.

Canned pumpkin was the first thing I tried - added it to her food for a week - didn't seem to help much :( but maybe it did keep it in check...hard to say.

The vet put her on Metronidazole for a week to see if it helps. She took first dose Friday night, but she had loose stools again last night - but didn't poo at all this morning. :/ The poo doesn't smell as bad though! Smells like RC canned food instead of...there's no word to describe what it smelled like before.
She wasn't out of my sight all weekend, so it's not that she's eating anything outside. I was partly blaming either suet crumbs or bird poop or her eating her own poo, but I know that can't be it now.

When my oldie was on kibble, I had great results with Annameat. Never a loose stool or upset stomach while on that food.

Three greenies a day sounds like an awful lot though. Most dental bone brands recommend one a day. Even then, I typically only give a dental bone once or twice a week. But that's just what I've found works for my sensitive dog.
I'll look into Annameat as well...thanks for the suggestion!

Oooh - one Greenie once or twice a week will make for one very unhappy BellaBoo....LOL I don't give her full-sized Greenies, just the petite size ones for small dogs. I've cut those down to one a day.

I'd cut out all the supplements to see if that's the problem. Add back in one per week a little at a time if that does the trick. You could be overdoing one or more of those perfectly good supplements and treats.

Old dog guts get picky. Max stopped being able to tolerate raw after he had been on it for 5 years but the exact same stuff cooked was fine. Sassy couldn't tolerate fat and even fish oil bothered her.
Yeah, I wondered about the supplements I was adding...but they all sound so beneficial! I noticed this last jug of Nupro hip & joint supplement looked a little different...had little floatie things like seeds or grains or something in it that I hadn't noticed before. But I've been using the same jug for about 2 months now. I wonder if that's what did it??

I stopped all supplements. I'm just giving her the RC prescription food now (and a pill pocket with her medication) one Greenie and two treats (these are also mini-sized treats for really small dogs.)
 

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When Sassy was a youngster I tried one of the supplements that is mostly flaxseed and was not impressed as she just had huge soft stool. I was spared stink however. I tossed the half empty tub. Likely user error and I introduced it too quickly.

When her gut got really sensitive I cut out all supplements and noted I was spending more on them than actual food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe that's what they added to the Nupro - flax seed? Although it was white... Thinking of calling them to find out.

Well, she's still poopie-dog. I don't think the medication is doing much. I stopped giving her everything except the prescription food - added the same food in a kibble as well...maybe all mushy canned food is too different for her. I'm also thawing a chicken breast so I can boil it up with some white rice.

Poor Bella - and poor me with the toxic dog farts waking me up at night! :O Wish I could figure out what went wrong where. I just hope it isn't anything really bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
YAY!!! Her poo rolled down-hill yesterday! :) :) :) Rolling poo is the best!

I took her off everything and have been feeding her strictly RC prescription Intestinal canned and kibble combined for the past four days. Giving her all RC treats as well (except for her one Greenie and a few baby carrots a day.) I started adding her digestive enzymes again yesterday, too. Figure those are pretty harmless.

So, starting with a clean slate is what's confusing me now. Should I just put her back on ONE of the ToTW formulas or try something completely different like the Dr Tim's etc?

Can someone tell me what the protein vs fat ratio should be for a low-fat, easily digestible kibble? I don't think the RC prescription diet has enough protein to be a main diet...or if it's meant to be...besides the fact that it's super-expensive.

Maybe I'm overthinking the whole thing...I just want my Bella to feel great, stay healthy and keep fighting off that cancer!
 

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Don't know. Sassy was getting 20% dry weight fat and I wished it was at least 30% to help with hydration but her gut rebelled at over 25% so I gave up. She was getting as much protein as I could cram into her, about 38% and that didn't seem to cause trouble. This was a mushy stoup, not kibble diet. Don't know if that would have changed things, probably not. If you want her off the prescription then I'd go back to what worked substituting a few kibbles per meal then try adding whichever supplement you think most valuable in a little at a time one at a time.

When there is an upset drop fat right down but that doesn't necessarily mean fat was the cause. If you get an upset gut you go bland low fat until better, it just works. Her pancreas could be getting sick but maybe not. Just go really slowly and back up if you see ANY upset. If you back up when you see a bit of mucous or hear/smell gas then maybe it won't get as bad next time.
 
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