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UbetchaJackson 02-17-2014 02:25 PM

Science Diet Z/D
I took my, 13 month old Jackson to a specialist last week. He's been having issues with urination. As part of the consult we discussed, what I thought was a largely resolved issue he had had for months with very loose stool and a recent ear infection. They ran a GI panel. The test came back saying that his folate levels are elevated and this indicated a bacterial overgrowth in his small intestines. The gave me a prescription for metronidazole. Great. Then they recommended that I switch him to Science Diet Z/D. I don't really have an issue with the cost. In order to resolve the his earlier loose stools I had him on much more expensive food. My issue is that I keep seeing reviews about the low quality of Science Diet foods. However, I've spent time and money taking him to a specialist, I feel like I should do what they say.

Most recently he was on Orijen adult dry. He had some occasional loose stools, but seemed to be doing fine mostly, but he did get his first ear infection while on this.

What is the deal on Science Diet is it as bad as the reviews indicate?

Nikitta 02-17-2014 05:15 PM

Actually Science Diet special vet formula I was told is good food. It is the regular over the counter SD that is bad.

Lauri & The Gang 02-17-2014 05:28 PM

Main ingredients in the z/d formula:


Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Soybean Oil, Hydrolyzed Chicken, Powdered Cellulose
Not something I would feed MY dogs.

Lauri & The Gang 02-17-2014 05:30 PM

By the way ... 'powdered cellulose' is an insoluble dietary fiber that is tasteless, odorless & colorless powder produced from naturally occurring components of plants.

AKA - cheap filler with no nutritional value to dogs.

_Zero_ 02-17-2014 05:57 PM

Most people on this site will advise you strongly to stay away from Science Diet. Yes, the ingredients in most of their foods seem far less appealing than even mid-grade dog foods. For the most part, I wouldn't recommend anyone feed Science Diet, Purina, etc. HOWEVER, I do think that the veterinary formulas serve a purpose. They are specially formulated to address specific medical concerns, and they work for that purpose. The ingredients may not seem great to us, but if it helps your dog get better, isn't that worth it? Keep in mind that you also won't likely have to feed it long-term.

It might be worth trying it. Do what works best for your dog. There are thousands of dogs out there that have benefited from eating veterinary formulas. In some cases, veterinary formulas are the only thing that help. Although I imagine most people on the boards will disagree with me, I'd suggest you go with the advice of the specialist and try it.

Kaimeju 02-17-2014 06:34 PM

What is their reasoning for putting him on Z/D? Isn't that usually prescribed to dogs with allergies? Do they suspect a food intolerance? If so, I would expect them to have a plan for figuring out what the intolerance is, not just keep him on Z/D forever.

NancyJ 02-17-2014 06:40 PM

I had it prescribed for a dog with an allergy and it gave me time to isolate his allergies by feeding the food then introducing novel proteins but........this was a dog who clearly had bowel issues and skin and ear issues for several years.........but it is not a food I would want to feed any dog longterm.

UbetchaJackson 02-17-2014 08:43 PM


Originally Posted by Kaimeju (Post 5039986)
What is their reasoning for putting him on Z/D? Isn't that usually prescribed to dogs with allergies? Do they suspect a food intolerance? If so, I would expect them to have a plan for figuring out what the intolerance is, not just keep him on Z/D forever.

They said because he had the ear infection and the bacterial overgrowth, they suspected a food allergy. They didn't seem that worried about figuring out what it is to, but thought the diet change and the drug would fix it.

TankGrrl66 04-23-2014 12:05 AM


Originally Posted by Lauri & The Gang (Post 5039570)
Main ingredients in the z/d formula:

Not something I would feed MY dogs.

z/d purposefully has broken down ingredients to help dogs with food allergies...I know they are big words and all, but don't be so quick to knock it down when you may not know so much about it. The point of OP posting here is to get decent opinions, not regurgitation of poor nutritional information that is so common among dog owners.

As for OP?

I hope your dog is feeling better soon. If your VET thinks the dog has a food allergy, discuss it further with them (or get a referral). They are probably suggesting z/d to sort of level the playing field so you can introduce novel proteins and basically do a process of elimination. There are also fancy allergy tests you can have done to rule out an allergy.

K9POPPY 04-23-2014 06:15 AM

OP, your question is about Z/D. There are a lot of experts here that will tell you about foods. Some good/ some BAD information here. I will just tell you that We were suggested Ultra Z/D for our female GSD for a problem by our vet. To make along story short, I will tell you that using Ultra Z/D has been GREAT for her, she is 8 now, and thrives on it. Just reading ingredients doesn't tell the whole story on foods.If you don't like the results that Z/D provides, then you can switch to another food. But if your vet recommends it, then give it a chance to work. Prescription diets are MUCH different than Hill's regular foods. IMHO, Bob:):):)

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