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I have 2 German Shepherds ages 4 and 8 who have been cycling through all the TOTW proteins for years. The 4 year old has some hair loss on his ears (no mites) and an irritation/infection on his hip. The 8 year old has had 2 urinary infections in 8 months.The Vet is always lecturing me on dog foods and is requesting I change off TOTW to one of these 2 brands. I will try a food change but not to these 2 brands. Any other thoughts? Thanks.
 

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I have 2 German Shepherds ages 4 and 8 who have been cycling through all the TOTW proteins for years. The 4 year old has some hair loss on his ears (no mites) and an irritation/infection on his hip. The 8 year old has had 2 urinary infections in 8 months.The Vet is always lecturing me on dog foods and is requesting I change off TOTW to one of these 2 brands. I will try a food change but not to these 2 brands. Any other thoughts? Thanks.
Have the vet read the ingredients off the bag out loud. Than politely tell him to never lecture you on dog food again. Suggest that vet take some additional courses on pet nutrition and not to reply on the one course taught by Hills in vet school.
 

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I wouldn't feed those either. The shelter I adopted Shelby from fed Science Diet. I bought some, until I could transition her to something else. She wouldn't eat it, so I decided I could use it as training treats for my hound dog. He eats ANYTHING. But, not even the hound would eat Science Diet. lol!

I feed TOTW Pacific Stream, which my 2 have done fine on. There are a lot of good quality foods you could try. If your vet suspects a food allergy, what about one of the limited ingredient foods?
 

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Just my humble opinion but I think no matter what other kibble you change to, there may be a periodic push from your vet to switch to the kibble that they sell.

I can't comment on kibble as I've been raw feeding now for about 3yrs. My vet isn't thrilled with my choice.
 

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Have the vet read the ingredients off the bag out loud. Than politely tell him to never lecture you on dog food again. Suggest that vet take some additional courses on pet nutrition and not to reply on the one course taught by Hills in vet school.
There are much better and more diplomatic ways to let a vet know that ones choice of food is based on ones own research. Also if the op is anywhere near my neck of the woods, this area is inundated with clinics owned under the largest vet franchise. Most of the ER hospitals immediately around here are franchise owned.

One needs to work with what they have until they choose to leave and has another put in place to go to.

Op, if you wish more specific info about my vets clinic, please feel free to pm me. There has been some good, there has been some not great but to their credit, they do listen to me and do back off concerning certain subjects. The last thing you want to do is alleinate them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Have the vet read the ingredients off the bag out loud. Than politely tell him to never lecture you on dog food again. Suggest that vet take some additional courses on pet nutrition and not to reply on the one course taught by Hills in vet school.
She gave me a big lecture on "reading the ingredient list" and said it wasn't controlled and can't be verified.
 

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Is the clinic recommending a RX food for some issue? E.g., hydrolyzed protein for food allergies, GI food for chronic diarrhea, kidney food because of UTIs, etc? If so, we need that info in order to help you figure out options. Some of the RX foods are just marketing bunk. Others are well studied and helpful for serious conditions. We need to know what your vet is actually recommending, to unwind what else is out there that would possibly accomplish the same goals.
 

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Does he think the food is causing the issues? What is his rationale other than what the food reps tell him?

Personally, I like the Victor brand for kibble.
She is suspicious that it might be a food allergy causing both the dry skin and irritations on one and the urinary tract infections on the other. I don't mind changing the foods,but not to crap. She told me to call Tufts Veterinary School.
 

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I disagree that vets uses those foods because they get kickbacks or are ignorant. I have a dog on Hills right now for a short period of time after very bad illness. The ingredients are terrible. I pointed that out to the vet, who said, I am giving you this because it works. It does, very well. After a week of looking at all kinds of loose and smelly stools and vomit, I was willing to try anything. Once we are sure the symptoms are gone, I am going to transition back to a Fromm formula that will do the same thing but less dramatically.

There are different ways to treat skin problems without going to prescription diets. The one I am using now is full of grains that are notorious for causing itching and dry skin. Have you tried eliminating certain ingredients? Medicated baths?
 

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I should add, my dog was on TOTW for years and got a treatable illness last year which was possibly food related. We are not sure, though. I switched to Fromm which my other dog was on and have been very happy with it.
 

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She is suspicious that it might be a food allergy causing both the dry skin and irritations on one and the urinary tract infections on the other. I don't mind changing the foods,but not to crap. She told me to call Tufts Veterinary School.
So she's wanting you to use specific prescription formulations for those issues? Each dog getting their own bag?

If so, then try it.

Has there been any other testing for cause of the uti? Culture? Ultrasound?
 

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If it's an RX formula for the UTI, then it's worth asking what it does that's helpful, and how food is contributing to the UTIs.

With recurrent UTIs, unless it's already been cultured and sent out to test for antibiotic resistance, I would want to rule out antibiotic resistant bacteria! What can easily happen is that the UTI appears to be cured, but some of the bacteria survives. The survivors hide out, start reproducing and then reappear as a stronger and more dangerous infection.

With dryness issues, I would add some fish oil to the dog's meals, no matter what you feed. It's a low risk, easy fix for dry skin -- but it takes several weeks to see an improvement. You can toss in a human-grade fish oil supplement (Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, etc.) into the kibble, or buy pour-in/squirt-in liquid supplements for pets.
 

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Dry skin

500mg fish oil per 20 lb body weight
500mg primrose oil per 20 lb body weight

Try the Dermoscent Essential 6 topical. It's been a life saver this year.
 

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So she's wanting you to use specific prescription formulations for those issues? Each dog getting their own bag?

If so, then try it.

Has there been any other testing for cause of the uti? Culture? Ultrasound?
The dog has had an advanced ultrasound,a urine culture and a urethra cell culture. For now it has resolved,but 2 in 10 months. For now I'm gonna eliminate all chicken and eggs,add fish oil and a topical and go from there. Thanks.
 

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If it's an RX formula for the UTI, then it's worth asking what it does that's helpful, and how food is contributing to the UTIs.

With recurrent UTIs, unless it's already been cultured and sent out to test for antibiotic resistance, I would want to rule out antibiotic resistant bacteria! What can easily happen is that the UTI appears to be cured, but some of the bacteria survives. The survivors hide out, start reproducing and then reappear as a stronger and more dangerous infection.

With dryness issues, I would add some fish oil to the dog's meals, no matter what you feed. It's a low risk, easy fix for dry skin -- but it takes several weeks to see an improvement. You can toss in a human-grade fish oil supplement (Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, etc.) into the kibble, or buy pour-in/squirt-in liquid supplements for pets.
Exactly what she said.
 

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I fed both my previous girls on Hills as recommended by the vet for digestive and skin issues. It wasn't a permanent thing, just to stabilise the issues whilst I found a food that they were more tolerant of. In fact it was my vet that suggested that I change my first girl to 'Chappie'. Hugely reluctant and I have to say it wouldn't be my first choice now but I have to say her digestive issues cleared up completely. So I now think you should feed your dog the best food you can afford but sometimes that doesn't make it the best food for your dog.
 

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The vet guessed our former GSD, Jake to be two when we rescued him.
He was emaciated and had some stomach issues, diarrhea and very little appetite.

The vet recommended Royal Canin GSD (not prescription). Jake was on that food for about 10 years and he lived a very healthy life. No stomach issues and no skin issues.
When we got him he looked like a cayote but over time grew into a beautiful looking dog.
I’m sure the food had something to do with Jake’s good health.

I’ve only heard negative comments ab the food on this forum and I absolutely trust the opinion of a couple members who have posted here.
So maybe the recipe has changed the past 4 years.
 

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The vet guessed our former GSD, Jake to be two when we rescued him.
He was emaciated and had some stomach issues, diarrhea and very little appetite.

The vet recommended Royal Canin GSD (not prescription). Jake was on that food for about 10 years and he lived a very healthy life. No stomach issues and no skin issues.
When we got him he looked like a cayote but over time grew into a beautiful looking dog.
I’m sure the food had something to do with Jake’s good health.

I’ve only heard negative comments ab the food on this forum and I absolutely trust the opinion of a couple members who have posted here.
So maybe the recipe has changed the past 4 years.
A lot has been learned about dog food recently. Even though the prescription ingredients are not my first choice, if a dog has a condition or illness and the food clears it up, it works. I hesitate to tell anyone to defy their vet’s instructions unless they are certain the vet does not have their dogs health as their most important consideration.
 
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