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Old 05-13-2011, 04:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Food recommendations for GSD with sensitive gut and picky eater

In late December, I adopted a four year old male GSD named Max. Since that time, he has gained 20 pounds and looks so much better. However, we seem to be engaged in a battle with his gut and appetite. He has had several episodes of colitis and one episode of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis since I adopted him. He has been fed Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach kibble, Purina Pro Plan Selects Salmon and Brown Rice, Taste of the Wild Bison and then Lamb kibbles and now Chicken Soup Large Breed Adult. The salmon and rice kibble formulas have high calorie and fat contents and he needed that due to his lack of weight when rescued. I then thought that perhaps the fish and high fat content might be the culprit for diarrhea and switched him to Taste of the Wild Bison and Taste of the Wild Lamb (separately). He would eat these for about one to two weeks and then stopped eating them. I have also tried the Chicken Soup Large Breed Adult kibble and he won't eat this now, again after about one to two weeks.

When he does not have diarrhea, his stool is formed, but soft and is frequently pretty foul smelling. My vet put him on Flagyl (metronidazole), but I now wonder if the metallic taste that one gets as a result of the Flagyl might be putting him off of the food offerings. His kibble is floated in warm water with a spoon full of canned food in it and he is walking away from all food now. I have stopped the Flagyl to see if this will help.

He is being given lactobacillus acidophilus capsules twice daily to try to help his gut regulate itself. He refuses yogurt.

I have also done some readings through the threads on the board and found out about fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and their impact upon gut health for German Shepherds and other dogs with sensitive gut or colitis challenges. I also saw to avoid kibble with Enterococcus faecium in it as well.

We have had an awful Spring with frequent thunderstorms and he is somewhat thunderstorm phobic/anxious too. I wonder if the frequent storms are affecting his gut too.

Can anyone recommend a kibble food that has fructooligosaccharides in them for gut health that are available at a store such as Petsmart? I don't have a lot of choices beyond Petsmart for super premium dog foods as there is no Petco here and my choices are typically either Petsmart or feed stores.

Max has truly blossomed in the past four months and my vet does not think that he has EPI or SIBO at this point. He wants to wait a little bit longer before working him up for SIBO and see if he just needs more time to settle in and adjust to all of the changes in his life. This is the reason for the search for a kibble that will entice his appetite and not challenge his gut at the same time. Any ideas?
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Sabra - female GSD - born April 30, 2012
Sargeant - rescued senior GSD male/foster failure - approximately ten years old (August 2013)
Max - rescued GSD - Dec 22, 2010 to March 7, 2012 - at the bridge
Sable - rescued GSD - at the bridge
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First, human acidophilus will have minimal to no impact on a dog. You need the canine strains and they need to have an enteric coating. I would suggest PetDophilus by Jarrows.

As for FOS, the only one I can think of available at Petsmart or Petco is Eukanuba. However, don't look only for FOS on the label, look for Chicory Root which is a source of FOS. Personally, I would go with a food with beet pulp as well because it will feed the bacteria and help with the stools.

See how he does on Eukanuba. It is GTD no questions asked and Petsmart or Petco will do the refund. Eukanuba has a reputation for very hard stools.

Is Blue Seal available in West Virginia? I believe they all have Chicory Root in them. Blue Seal Pork and Barley is a great large breed food. Good value too.

Last edited by sable123; 05-13-2011 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here is a site where I buy supplements for Cody:
Healthy Solutions for Happy Dogs

Not sure if they are competitive in pricing but it is worth a look.

You could also look into ordering food online. There are several online sources that have very low shipping or free shipping if you auto order. I have never used these sites but they could be an option if needed.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you Sable123. I was not aware that human acidophilus would not help a dog. Blue Seal is not available in my area.

If my memory is correct, Nutro Ultra has FOS in the ingredient listing as does Eukanuba Pure (new offering) and the Eukanuba Naturally Wild formulas. Thank you for the recommendations and I will check more labels when I am shopping this weekend.
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Sabra - female GSD - born April 30, 2012
Sargeant - rescued senior GSD male/foster failure - approximately ten years old (August 2013)
Max - rescued GSD - Dec 22, 2010 to March 7, 2012 - at the bridge
Sable - rescued GSD - at the bridge
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The metronidazole is extremely bitter and most dogs would probably refuse food that tastes of it. That's what happened with my dog (before I realized how bitter it was).

The best way I know to handle it is to get some canned food that you can form into "meatballs." I used the Hills prescription canned i/d, since that is easy for an inflamed system. If you put the pill in the center of a small ball of canned food, you can just toss it in the bowl with the rest of the food just before feeding. That way it won't dissolve in the water and make all the food taste bitter.

My dog that has IBD/colitis has done very well on the Wellness Simple Solutions kibble.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Overview - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Maybe - the foul smelling stool, the diarrhea...I would test sooner rather than later. Especially since he had an episode of HGE and can now be more likely to have that again I believe. My EPI foster was in the low normal range, but was an EPI dog - as soon as we started the B12 and enzymes, and a month of Tylan he was great.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for your recommendations. When I went shopping on Saturday, I did find several dog kibbles with fructooligosaccharides listed in the ingredients (some specifically for German Shepherds, others mention words such as "digestive support formula"). I also found a dog digestive support tablet with probiotics (excluding enterococcus faecium) and picked those up as well.

With the twenty pound weight gain and overall healthier appearance since his rescue, my vet wants to wait before testing him for EPI. His stools are dark brown and, while somewat soft, don't follow the appearance of stools from dogs with EPI. If he has another episode of HGE or the raging runs, we will test him right away. We are leaning towards the chance that the changes in foods may be the culprit, but with his finicky eating habits, I have yet to find a kibble that he won't walk away from - even with boiled boneless breast of chicken, deli thin sliced roast beef and/or canned dog food mixed in .

I am still looking for some nutritional support in the form of canine probiotics and perhaps even some digestive enzymes for him for the long term. There are lots of product lines and I am taking my time to look and try to find one that will work for him.

By the way, he passed his CGC test with flying colors on Saturday and we will start tracking classes next weekend.
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Shannon

Sabra - female GSD - born April 30, 2012
Sargeant - rescued senior GSD male/foster failure - approximately ten years old (August 2013)
Max - rescued GSD - Dec 22, 2010 to March 7, 2012 - at the bridge
Sable - rescued GSD - at the bridge
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sable123 View Post
First, human acidophilus will have minimal to no impact on a dog. You need the canine strains and they need to have an enteric coating. I would suggest PetDophilus by Jarrows.

As for FOS, the only one I can think of available at Petsmart or Petco is Eukanuba. However, don't look only for FOS on the label, look for Chicory Root which is a source of FOS. Personally, I would go with a food with beet pulp as well because it will feed the bacteria and help with the stools.

See how he does on Eukanuba. It is GTD no questions asked and Petsmart or Petco will do the refund. Eukanuba has a reputation for very hard stools.

Is Blue Seal available in West Virginia? I believe they all have Chicory Root in them. Blue Seal Pork and Barley is a great large breed food. Good value too.

FOS is on the label for Eukanuba now and in the ingredient list.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVGSD View Post
Thank you for your recommendations. When I went shopping on Saturday, I did find several dog kibbles with fructooligosaccharides listed in the ingredients (some specifically for German Shepherds, others mention words such as "digestive support formula"). I also found a dog digestive support tablet with probiotics (excluding enterococcus faecium) and picked those up as well.

With the twenty pound weight gain and overall healthier appearance since his rescue, my vet wants to wait before testing him for EPI. His stools are dark brown and, while somewat soft, don't follow the appearance of stools from dogs with EPI. If he has another episode of HGE or the raging runs, we will test him right away. We are leaning towards the chance that the changes in foods may be the culprit, but with his finicky eating habits, I have yet to find a kibble that he won't walk away from - even with boiled boneless breast of chicken, deli thin sliced roast beef and/or canned dog food mixed in .

I am still looking for some nutritional support in the form of canine probiotics and perhaps even some digestive enzymes for him for the long term. There are lots of product lines and I am taking my time to look and try to find one that will work for him.

By the way, he passed his CGC test with flying colors on Saturday and we will start tracking classes next weekend.
Congrats on CGS!!!!

I used the duck and oatmeal formula canned from Eagle Pack Holistic formula in the can (from Petco now) when I had to give Flagyl....And I would give him the whole can....he wouldn't refuse any food after that. I guess I never heard about that. Lucky my dog just eats most anything I give to him. He didn't (Angeles) want to take his heartworm prevention this morning. He spit it out and I picked it up and gave it to him again and said "eat it" and he ate it. He is a trip!

Big hopes for your babe!
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The dog's situation can be improved with digestive enzymes and probiotics.
When I was at a local Global making deliveries the other day I saw a product specifically intended for calming a dog with nervous disposition in thunder storms. It was not Rescue. I will check it out and tell you more .
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