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Discussion Starter #1
I have always been one to say that senior, large breed, etc kibbles are a gimmick. Rocky was eating an all life stages food quite healthfully and happily until one day he became very very sick. After a some blood tests we narrowed the issue down to his liver (some of you may remember this). His holistic vet had us do a variety of things at once to get the problem under control, including switching from the 25% protein, beef-based kibble he was eating, to Precise Senior, which is 18 (EIGHTEEN!) percent protein, and chicken based. Except chicken meal is the second ingredient; rice is the first.

Everything in me rebels at paying more for a "senior" food that is so low in protein and so high in rice. But, but, but. . . . he's doing really well. We finished all the liver support meds the vet put him on, and he's still healthy with his liver enzymes in normal range. We're monitoring liver enzymes and everything is currently hunky dory on the senior food.

I don't know for a fact it was the higher-protein, beef-based ALS food that caused the issue, but I'm hesitant to try what I consider to be a better food than the senior food he's eating now, because I don't want to drop another two-weeks' pay at the vet's office.

What would you do?
 

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I would stick with the senior. I am just too "what if" when it comes to senior health. If he is doing well I would stick with what you're doing. If the senior is that much pricier maybe look for a non senior food with the same protein ratio?
 

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That is weird usually with seniors foods I notice that the protein is a touch higher and the fat much lower as well the fiber is higher. I always thought the slight raise in protein and lowering of fat made sense because seniors dogs usually have trouble maintaining muscle mass. I guess not all company's look at senior foods the same.

But yes I would stick with what you have switched him to.
 

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@ Clyde...I think there is a line of thinking that with arthritis and those problems higher protein is a good thing. However if there is an underlying liver problem (or just age related slowing) it can worsen those problems as it is harder to filter the excess out. So I think like so many things it would depend on the individual dog.
 

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IMHO if it seems to be working I'd continue to use it!
 

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My vet recommended the lower protein version of the food we use for Heidi, now that she is a senior. She seems to be doing well on it (but she was also doing well on the higher protein kind too). I would stick with what you are doing now since it seems to be working.
 

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While I agree about not believing in senior, lite, ect foods.

With dog that has had issues and is now doing well (ESPECIALLY a senior.), I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 

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I agree. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Holly Bear (Pom - Poo here for hospice care) is on freaking Merrick canned food. Most days she eats 2x a day.
If I heat it, it smells like human food.
And I'll be the 1st to say that I hate giving dogs canned food. But...it makes her happy so she gets it.
Our seniors are on borrowed time anyway, may as well enjoy life while they still can.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've found that my senior dogs actually needed to go on higher protein foods to keep from losing weight and muscle mass as they got older.
I definitely agree with this, which is part of why I was so hesitant to feed a low fat/low protein food. I do think his body composition has changed for the worse by a little bit, but whether that's due to the diet change or the decreased activity level due to the Texas Monsoon season is up for debate.

If you do want to switch foods, this website has some good info on liver problems in dogs, including dietary information:
DogAware.com Health: Liver Disease in Dogs
Thanks, there's some good information there.
 

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My seniors have always eaten regular dog food their entire lives unless there was a health issue that required special feeding (my Cocker had kidney problems and ate canned K/D for the last half of his life and when Kelly was a senior he ate Eukanuba Low Residue for about 18 months or 2 years, then went back to regular food) and they've always done well.

Mac is 11-1/2, was having problems with his weight, my vet had me start him on pancrezyme and he's gaining, but he's eating the same food as the other Hooligans.
 
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