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Discussion Starter #1
Hello :) I just registered today because I knew that german shepherd dog forums would be the right place to help me with a very specific problem.

I have a 3 year old blue heeler/german shepherd mix. He was on Taste of the Wild (high prairie) when I adopted him in December. I transitioned him to TOTW Pacific Stream because he was scratching often and I hoped this might help. It did - and he did fine for 2 weeks on it - but then he had diarrhea that was related to eating something yucky he found.

I gave him canned pumpkin and yogurt to help the diarrhea and get some probiotics in his gut, and he had a solid poop the next day, but then it launched into diarrhea accidents and then the dreaded bloody diarrhea. Took him to the vet - negative for parasites, normal bacteria levels, and negative for giardia. I am certain he had these problems from dietary issues (I.e: eating something yucky outside and then me throwing him into more unintentional GI distress with the pumpkin and yogurt... first time dog parent panic >.<)

Anyway. They gave me metronidiazole and Hills Science Diet GI wet food. It did work and clear up the diarrhea. I switched him to SD adult ground turkey wet food because it was cheaper and similar ingredients to the GI and he transitioned fine.

The problem is, I'm trying to transition back to TOTW and now whenever I give him more than a quarter cup, he gets a tiny bit of blood and mushy stool again... I have been feeding him this ratio for a month now.

His stools look better now than they ever were on TOTW. I thought he was good on the food UNTIL I saw his stools post Science Diet. His stools are significantly maller, firmer and darker. So what I'm gathering from this is that the TOTW was probably too rich for him to begin with... but I want him on a grain free, better quality food than Science Diet....

Does anyone have any suggestions? I just feel like his gut is all torn up from this situation and I don't want to send him into more bloody diarrhea...

Also, I think he may have a beef allergy because he itched way more when I was feeding him beef crunchies as training treats and giving him bully sticks.
 

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Maybe try something like Natures recipe. It has pumpkin and sweet potatoes in it. Some dogs just don't do well on high quality food. Not saying that Natures Recipe is not high quality. The only thing I didn't like was salt was on the ingredients, but Ginger loved it. My boy Jonas has been on TOTW since he could eat solid foods, I took him off of it for a while and tried other foods. He has been through a lot though. I have finally got him back on TOTW again and he seems to be doing well on it. I guess he missed it lol
 

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I have considered a raw diet. Being honest with myself, I'm not afraid of him eating raw, but I am afraid that he wouldn't get proper nutrition because I am not educated/experienced enough in feeding raw to balance his meals properly... and pre-made raw is so expensive.

Do you think something like Honest Kitchen might be good place to start until I feel comfortable trying raw?
 

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Maybe Nature's Recipe since it has the pumpkin in it... it's just so hard to choose. He seems to do better digestion wise on Science Diet, but I feel like he has more of a doggy odor now and his coat has lost a little bit of its luster :\
 

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We had Elly May on Science Diet and switched a month ago to Taste of the Wild, High Prairie formula. (three cups a day) I can really see a big difference in her energy level and he coat is much shinier. So I can't say anything bad about TOTW and no complaints in the bathroom department.
 

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You might need more of an intermediate food before you go back to TOTW or one of the other grain free dog foods. Some of them have more complicated ingredient lists, and you probably need to keep it simpler at first so your pup can adjust and you can figure out what he is allergic to.
You could try a limited ingredient food such as Natural Balance. Or if you have a tractor supply near you their new grain free has a turkey and potato formula which doesn't have high protein or fat, but might be a good choice before trying another grain free with more ingredients and higher protein and fat.
Since it sounds like your dog isn't having trouble with grains, you could also look at a grain inclusive food that has a decent amount of meat in it such as Dr Tim's, etc.
 

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Yea - I definitely think the itching is beef related. He seemed to itch often when I gave him bullysticks, but when I made him beef crunchies and he had a bullystick that night, LOTS of itching. The itching stopped completely since I've stopped giving him beef products, and he loves Himalayan chews instead of bullysticks (and they don't give him soft stools like the bullysticks did occassionally).

Also, I don't know if this is relevant, but I'm also starting to draw conclusions that he gets soft stools from going to places he doesn't "know" also. He's a rescue and he was bounced around a lot before I got him. I've only had him for a couple months now and he was an owner surrender from MDAS, so I'm having to discover all of these things just by observing behavioral patterns :\

But yesterday his stool was a little mucusy with a little blood because we took him over to a friend's house that he had never been to before and he was anxious panting a little.

I'm worried to tell the vet because I feel like they'll want to do a colonoscopy, but when he went under for his neuter, the anesthesia ALSO gave him horrible diarrhea... I feel like it would be best to keep his stress low and keep the Science Diet for a month or so until his intestines can heal.
 

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I used to feed my GSD TOTW, and after a while he developed a dry scalp. With the help of my vet, we were able to determine that the potatoes in the TOTW was causing the dry scalp and irritation.

We now feed our GSD Acana kibble and supplement with Primal freeze dried nuggets, fish oil and borage oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I used to feed my GSD TOTW, and after a while he developed a dry scalp. With the help of my vet, we were able to determine that the potatoes in the TOTW was causing the dry scalp and irritation.

We now feed our GSD Acana kibble and supplement with Primal freeze dried nuggets, fish oil and borage oil.

When I fed him bullysticks, he used to get soft stools. Maybe he gets diarrhea whenever I switch back to TOTW because of a food allergy. He always had large and softer stools on TOTW - maybe it's not a matter of him not tolerating a rich food, but a food allergy.

There is potato in TOTW and not in the canned Science Diet.

Definitely going to take Barnyard's advice and go with a limited ingredient food first to hopefully eliminate food allergies as a cause for this episode of colitis.

Thanks for all of the help and suggestions - his beef allergy was very "subtle" also. I never would've even known to look for allergies if it wasn't for this website (long time lurker before I decided to adopt :blush:). I love this site - it is a wealth of information for any owner :)
 

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he may get soft stools from the bullysticks because they are minimally processed. Also, and don't quote me on this, but they say the smaller the stool, the more nutrition the dog is getting from their food.

My GSD gets the runs from scrambled eggs because it causes an imbalance in his protein ratio for his diet. It may just be that yours has a sensitive bowel system much like our shepherd.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
he may get soft stools from the bullysticks because they are minimally processed. Also, and don't quote me on this, but they say the smaller the stool, the more nutrition the dog is getting from their food.

My GSD gets the runs from scrambled eggs because it causes an imbalance in his protein ratio for his diet. It may just be that yours has a sensitive bowel system much like our shepherd.
Just started switching to Limited Ingredient, Nature's Variety Instinct. Only gave him 1/8 cup with his usual can of Science Diet to try and ease him into it. *sigh* he's already getting loose stools at the end and HORRIBLE gas.

Well, I think this rules out the food allergy theory. Next bag, going to find a food that's not grain free with lower protein. I think he does just have a sensitivity to the level of protein in his diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So glad I toughed it out! We're down to 1/3 dry food, 2/3 wet food - poop looks the same as it was on 1/4 cup dry. Tonight we're upping to 1/2 NV LID Instinct and 1/2 SD wet food. Fingers crossed - I really want grain free to work!


It can take days- up to a week or two. Don't discouraged yet.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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Just an update - finally got Oki on 100% Nature's Variety Instinct, Limited Ingredient Lamb... and both of us could not be happier lol.

He SCARFS it down - absolutely loves it. His coat has improved TREMENDOUSLY. Much shinier and softer. No more bad breath, no more "doggie" odor. And his energy is way up from what it was. He definitely feels better on this food - very bouncy in the house, prancing around when he wasn't before. Nice solid poops that are much smaller and darker than before.

Can't say enough good things about this food! I'm so glad I got over my fears of upsetting his tummy and went back to grain free! :D
 
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