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About a month ago I switched my year old shepherd to Victor, and around that same time he started having issues with his butt. He had been constantly licking at it (it was red/inflamed) so we took him to the vet, he got an antibiotic and was good. Then he started developing diarrhea, he had always has a pretty sensitive stomach (and has had diarrhea before) but of course will eat anything. He is also very thin, that was the main reason we switched his food in the first place. Now, he's getting up to 6 cups of food a day but he still isn't gaining weight. His ribs are visible, when we went to the vet for his butt issue i mentioned his weight and they just said to up his intake of food (from 4 to 6 cups a day). He also, on top of everything, below his gums (on side of mouth) has small lesions and a bit of hair loss. So, we are planning on taking him in to the vet tomorrow and I hope they give more reasonable answers this time and do a stool test. I am thinking it may be a parasite or worms which would explain the diarrhea, and then the butt licking, and then his mouth being affected? If anyone has any ideas please let me know. Obviously we will still be going to the vet but I'm curious if anyone has had a similar experience.
 

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I would definitely do a fecal test, but some of these symptoms sound like a food allergy. An inflamed, red anus is a classic food allergy symptom. Did his prior food have different ingredients?

Mine gets that inflammation and diarrhea (even bloody diarrhea) when he eats food he's allergic to.

The first thing to try would be a kibble that's labeled "Limited Ingredient." There are many, many brands offering this (Wellness Simple, Nature's Variety Instinct Limited, Natural Balance L-I-D, event Diamond Care and many others). In dog rescue, we feed a lot of Wellness Simple (salmon) to allergy dogs because it tends to work for the greatest number of them. I would try that first --- just playing the odds, it's the food I've seen help the most dogs.

Diamond (a dog food manufacturer) recently bought Precise (another brand) and rolled out Diamond Care, the first non-RX hydrolyzed protein food I've seen commercially. Vets sell hydrolyzed protein RX foods for big bucks allergy dogs, so seeing one at a normal kibble price is a big deal. However, it has been hit and miss when we tried it in the rescue -- it worked fine for one of the two dogs we tried it on, and the other had to go back to Wellness Simple.

Pick a protein in the limited ingredient food that's not in your victor -- something novel (usually, that's fish). Then feed NOTHING else for about 6-8 weeks -- do not "cheat" with different proteins or you'll ruin the trial. Vet derms say it takes this long on one, single protein to know if it will solve the allergy.

If it doesn't, you can try a different single protein.

Or get the dog off kibble entirely. I solved my dog's issues by putting him on The Honest Kitchen's base mix (Preference), which is like a porridge that you rehydrate with water, and raw meat (beef and goat are all he tolerates well...but your dog might need different protein). It's expensive, but it solved all of our GI issues. You can also do the same thing with a commercial raw diet, or a food like Ziwi Peak -- these foods are very simple, lack the binders and fillers in kibbles, and tend to be easier to digest for many dogs.
 
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