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Discussion Starter #1
So, in another thread someone stated that vets offices get paid to sell Hills and Purina brands of food. I wondered why in 7 years of working in vet clinics I had never heard of this.
When I was at work yesterday, I asked the office manager (who is in charge of finances), as well as the business owner if our clinic got paid to sell these foods. The answer I got was "No".

1. They and Royal Canin are the only brands of pet foods that make the prescription diet.

2.The prescription diets are treated just like the meds. You cannot get them for your animal unless the doctor prescribes it. The different foods have varying levels of different nutrients to treat varying medical conditions.
For example; Hills k/d is used to treat animals in kidney failure. It has low levels of easily digestible protein, because damaged kidneys have difficulty processing protein.
Hills t/d is for animals with dental disease, it has large, hard kibble to increase chewing motion to remove tartar.
Hills j/d is for dogs with joint issues. It had high levels of Omega 3's and extra glucosamine and chondroitin to help in joint heath and motion.

3. The food is only marked up 10-20%. So the food isn't even a big money maker for the clinic.

The only product I have experienced in my home is Hills j/d and it worked very well in my GSD with hip dysplasia. One of my co-workers (we are both technicians) has a pit bull with only one front leg and severe luxating patella in both stifles (knees). She too, is using Hills j/d with excellent results. I see patients every day that do well on one of these prescription diets. I do not feed Hill's or Purina as an every day kibble for my dogs. But both of the doctors, at my clinic feed Purina regularly to their dogs (one had a GSD that lived to be 13 and a Great Dane that lived to be 11). I agree they may not be the most "top of the line" brands of food. But, their prescription diets have helped many animals.
A statement was made to the effect of (not a quote) "vets want you to feed those foods so your animal will become more sick and vets make money." If this is how you feel then I strongly recommend you look for another doctor. You need to feel comfortable and trust your pets doctor and staff.

If anyone has a dispute I welcome it as well as any research behind it!
I just wanted to offer up the "other" side of the story!
 

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I agree whole-heartedly. The thing I think is funny are the people who want to put their dogs on a prescription diet even though there is nothing wrong with them. I think it really depends on the vet. One of the vets in my area is obsessed with giving any dog with even a slight weight issue the prescription food for weight loss. All in all though, I think people like to think they are getting scammed so they have an excuse to complain about the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good point, if you put an animal that has good kidney function on k/d it will likely get sick! Some of the other diets work that way as well.
I wanted people to look at the big picture instead of thinking these food companies are out to poison their dogs. What if someone reads some of the posts around here and their pet gets prescribed a food that would benefit the animal and owner refuses because of the negative things they read on this forum? There is a definite "flip side" to this coin!
 

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When Cash used to have his bowel flare ups (sorry!) the only thing that calmed them down was Hills i/d.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For me to buy a 30lb bag of Hills j/d with my discount (which is at clinic cost) its $60.00. So it is not cheap for the Clinic either.
 

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Our vet carries Hills also. Had my last dog on this prescription diet and that prescription diet... and this and that medication. Turns out she was loaded with cancer and he didn't have a clue until it was too late.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
PaddyD, I am sorry to hear that. :(
 

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My dog has done best with Hill's ID as well. I'm not a big fan of the ingredients or the high cost and thus always looked at Hill's as a short term food.

I think Hill's and Science Diet have just done a better job of educating vets and making them understand their manufacturing process and how certain types of kibble can help treat certain conditions.

That's the sense that I got from my vet as well. They aren't getting comped but are just getting educated.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am sure if brands like Wellness and TOTW made special diets clinics would sell those too.
At the clinic I work at (I have been there for 2 years) Hills came by once and did what we call a "lunch an learn" . The company buys us lunch and we eat while they talk about their products for about an hour. I guess that could be considered compensation! :p One free lunch in 2 years! But yes, they do offer us a bunch of reading material on nutrition.
 

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If a dog has joint issues for instance, the owner could also buy suppliments AND feed a better quality kibble.

If a dog is over weight, FEED IT LESS and/or exercise it MORE. Generally there is no need for a "special diet".
 

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If a dog has joint issues for instance, the owner could also buy suppliments AND feed a better quality kibble.

If a dog is over weight, FEED IT LESS and/or exercise it MORE. Generally there is no need for a "special diet".
Now that's a crazy idea!

I do know a dog that needs to be on one of the special diets because of chronic Pancreatitis. She was getting pancreatitis every 6 weeks before and had been on special diets but is now on Science Diet and doing really well and is a healthy weight (she was SO skinny) and hasn't been sick in a while (knock on wood).

But, I also think there has to be a way to provide her with the proper diet that isn't mostly corn, brewer's rice and corn gluten meal. Not my dog so I don't push and haven't done the research but if it were my dog, you bet I'd be looking for something better than SD or RC.
 

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Now that's a crazy idea!

I do know a dog that needs to be on one of the special diets because of chronic Pancreatitis. She was getting pancreatitis every 6 weeks before and had been on special diets but is now on Science Diet and doing really well and is a healthy weight (she was SO skinny) and hasn't been sick in a while (knock on wood).

But, I also think there has to be a way to provide her with the proper diet that isn't mostly corn, brewer's rice and corn gluten meal. Not my dog so I don't push and haven't done the research but if it were my dog, you bet I'd be looking for something better than SD or RC.
A friend of mine has a dog(She is an 11yo Dachshund.) that has severe pancreatitis. (She has been hospitalized numerous times over the past 10 years. Even 1 "dog cookie" that doesn't agreee wioth her will cause her to have a flare-up.) She too was on the special SD for quite a while. She then transitioned her to Natural Balance (I think it is the Duck one.) and she has been doing wonderfully on it.
 

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Now that's a crazy idea!

I do know a dog that needs to be on one of the special diets because of chronic Pancreatitis. She was getting pancreatitis every 6 weeks before and had been on special diets but is now on Science Diet and doing really well and is a healthy weight (she was SO skinny) and hasn't been sick in a while (knock on wood).

But, I also think there has to be a way to provide her with the proper diet that isn't mostly corn, brewer's rice and corn gluten meal. Not my dog so I don't push and haven't done the research but if it were my dog, you bet I'd be looking for something better than SD or RC.
My other dog is on Science Diet ID and I really wish I could take her off of it because of the cost and some of the ingrediants on there. She also has pancreatitis and has flare ups here and there. I've tried to take her off to get her on a better brand but it doesnt work, she'll start throwing up within a day or two of just mixining in small amounts of the new food. This is the only food that gives her less flare ups! If your friend tries anything else and has success let me know because it would be nice to get her on something different! Her coat and poop are surprisingly fine! I do give her Nupro supplement. I guess its kind of like the saying, if its not broke dont fix it lol.

But I agree with everyone else, I don't think the vet makes hardly any money off of the food they sell. For some dogs like mine, it's all their sensitive little bodies can handle!
 

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A friend of mine has a dog(She is an 11yo Dachshund.) that has severe pancreatitis. (She has been hospitalized numerous times over the past 10 years. Even 1 "dog cookie" that doesn't agreee wioth her will cause her to have a flare-up.) She too was on the special SD for quite a while. She then transitioned her to Natural Balance (I think it is the Duck one.) and she has been doing wonderfully on it.
Thanks for the info. The dog I know is a 6yr (I think) Jack Russell. I will let them know but they are likely hesitant to switch because like you said, the tiniest piece of something not in the diet causes a flare. She has to wear a muzzle anytime she leaves the house (to just potty) and their house has to been spotless so she doesn't eat lint off the floor. It's so tough and I give them credit for sticking through it.
 

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A friend of mine has a dog(She is an 11yo Dachshund.) that has severe pancreatitis. (She has been hospitalized numerous times over the past 10 years. Even 1 "dog cookie" that doesn't agreee wioth her will cause her to have a flare-up.) She too was on the special SD for quite a while. She then transitioned her to Natural Balance (I think it is the Duck one.) and she has been doing wonderfully on it.

Hmmm..I may have to check into that :)
 

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My cat has chronic renal failure, IBD and last year had pancreatitis. I declined the prescription foods and prednisone and other meds offered her and instead made her food myself and researched supplements. She is 18 years old and is now in better health than she was a year ago. It is the supplements (not so much the food) that have made the big difference in her health.
 

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Another thing that has helped Gypsy when she starts not feeling well is Slippery Elm. My friend started working with a Holistic vet and she is the one that put her on it. She doesn't get it all the time now, only when she appears to be not feeling well.
 

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I just talked to me friend and her dog IS getting the Natural Balance Potato and Duck . She also eats some Wellness Simple Solutions Duck and Rice canned mixed in. She is also able to handle the Natural Balance Treats that are Potato and Duck . As well as the Wellness Wellbars treats that are Yogurt, Apples and Bananas.

(The other NB Limited Ingredient flavors might work just as well. She just tried the Duck and it has been great for her dog.)
 

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Thanks for checking Tracy!
 
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