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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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.
PetFlow | Get Started
:hug:

And thank you for rescuing!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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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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 :shocked:.

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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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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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 :shocked:.

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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Discussion Starter #11
I found a possibility for Max in terms of probiotics and enzymes combined in one single tablet. This would make it easier to give the supplements to Max as he tends to refuse his food if any powdered supplements are added (refused Springtime supplements and Nupro). It is a struggle to get tablets to him, but I can generally get him to eat them if I wrap them in some good stuff or stick them down in the center of a ball of canned dog food.

MiracleZyme Plus Probiotics : Probiotic Tablets with Digestive Enzymes for Pets

Anyone ever used any of this company's products?
 

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California Natural is a great, simple, food for dogs with food issues. Not available at Petsmart/Petco, but can be ordered online.

Natural Balance is another good, limited ingredient food, thats good for dogs with stomach issues. This is available at either petco or petsmart.

Nature's Variety Instinct is another food that I hear good things about, as well as Go! varieties.

Maybe try one of these? I'd supplement with a probiotic. I like to feed a premium food and then supplement if needed.
 

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How was he on TOTW? That seems to be a decent all-around bland food. I use Prozyme and have very good digestion and stool results with it. It takes a few days to take effect but I notice the difference if I forget to stay with the 'program'.
 

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Sofie is like that.

She does well on Orijen Six Fresh Fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This week Max began refusing his kibble with "dressings" of boiled chicken, drained hamburger, deli thin sliced roast beef and canned dog food (separately). The dog that used to eat ravenously and not leave a single kibble behind is proving to be a challenge. It has been five months since I adopted him from the shelter and he has fully recovered from the lack of care that he was subjected to previously. Max has gained twenty pounds and looks very healthy.

Petsmart is now selling Innova and I am going to pick up a bag this weekend and will begin a slow transition as his gut and the ease with which he changes from formed stool to the raging runs is pretty phenomenal. The Innova adult formula that I looked at has over 500 calories per cup and Max may need this as he is really picking and chosing what he wants to eat lately. I may have to very gradually introduce this higher calorie kibble to see if he will continue to do well with eating fewer cups daily.

Max had both the hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and several bouts of raging diarrhea while he was eating Taste of the Wild. We were also having pretty nasty early Spring storms and he is anxious during these at any time. I don't know that there was a direct correlation, but my basic feeling now is that he will eat anything given to him for a very short period of time and then stops eating it. This also makes me wonder if the "neglect" that he suffered at the hands of his previous owner simply resulted from the fact that they were not willing to try as hard as I am to make sure that he eats.

I do not coddle Max at feeding time. He is given his food and I walk away to the other room to feed my other seven dogs that don't behave as he does. If he does not eat in about ten minutes, the food is picked up and taken away. My concern is simply that, as big as he is (30 inches at the shoulder with a history of being 70 pounds in the recent past), we don't return to that state and make sure that this is the result of being picky versus having SIBO or EPI. So far, it looks like a picky finicky eater has joined my pack :D.
 

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Picky eater

My rescue three year old gsd is also very picky. Same scenario you describe... will not, eat kibble alone, forget it. Then, I try adding a little beef, or chicken, or canned food and that will go o.k. then, one day, no go.

I feed him Instinct, a high end food. And, I add scrambled eggs with cheese, or mentioned, beef or chicken (I cook up and add calcium to it). Right now he is o.k. but, it's a challenge! He is also Tall and thin, 74 pounds and up to my hip! I'll feed him whatever amount he'll eat, but, he is just not a big eater. Just gave him roasted chicken with Instinct kibble, he ate Most of it, but not all. My other dog? Would never in a million years leave food! And, I do give him acidophilus, 1/4 tsp. every day, just in case it's digestive. But, I think he is just picky to tell you the truth.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Max is going through another episode of digestive upset. I found bloody vomit yesterday after he refused food on Saturday morning and was up during most of Friday night and the wee hours of Saturday morning pacing around. His gut is making all sorts of music and we will see my vet on Monday for testing for SIBO and EPI.

One thing concerns me - Tylan powder is regarded as a great medication for SIBO and yet all of the literature mentions how bitter tasting it is. How do you get a dog that barely eats on a good day to eat food with a bitter tasting powder added? Can anyone tell me how you get a dog to eat food with Tylan if this is the route that we head with him?

He is eating boiled hamburger and rice now.
 

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You can buy empty capsules from health food stores and put the powder in that. Then put the capsules in peanut butter or whatever your dog will take. I sprinkled it directly on top of the food and my guy was fine with that too.
 
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