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Just curious....who feeds grain free? Has anyone had any heart health issues? Are you switching foods due to recent issues? Supplementing Taurine?
 

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I switched foods and it did not go well. Simon has 'special' problems with digestion. I'll say I nearly lost my mind when I read about the grain free problems. He cannot have corn, wheat or rice, that kind of fiber is his enemy, not to mention the major skin issues that erupt. So he is back on grain free. I did get a taurine supplement, but have been reading that the legumes in his food prevent absorption, B4 is needed for effectiveness. Green leafy vegetables contain B4, Brewers yeast is the best source, but he can't have that either, so I guess I am going to be offering a kale salad topped with taurine for lunch....ugh
 

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I switched foods and it did not go well. Simon has 'special' problems with digestion. I'll say I nearly lost my mind when I read about the grain free problems. He cannot have corn, wheat or rice, that kind of fiber is his enemy, not to mention the major skin issues that erupt. So he is back on grain free. I did get a taurine supplement, but have been reading that the legumes in his food prevent absorption, B4 is needed for effectiveness. Green leafy vegetables contain B4, Brewers yeast is the best source, but he can't have that either, so I guess I am going to be offering a kale salad topped with taurine for lunch....ugh
I noticed EPI in your signature. That surely makes it tough. Have you been on the EPI4dogs website? They have such great info and help. My 2 yr old was tested for EPI last year due to weight loss, and months of diarrhea. Was negative but probably had SID. Thats when I switched to not only grain free but limited ingredient....sigh.

This surely is stressful.
 

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I may have read each and every thing on the EPI forum. It has really helped, but so much of it is trial and error. It took months to get this boy's stool solid, weight where it should be and get rid of that dang SIBO. Every little tweak has some sort of repercussion. I need to take stock in the hair dye industry, as I am going gray since he came to me. ;)
 

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I did get a taurine supplement, but have been reading that the legumes in his food prevent absorption,

This is one of the hypotheses being evaluated. No one knows yet for sure why some dogs come up low on taurine and others don't on the same food. That's the real mystery.

There are other hypotheses that genetics, or multiple nutrients (including some not yet publicly named), or even an undiagnosed, underlying disease process could all be in play.

There's also a hypothesis that even if there's an absorption problem adding more taurine through a supplement makes it more likely some gets absorbed, so there's unlikely to be a downside to supplementing.


FWIW, I *am* switching away from The Honest Kitchen's Preference for my allergy dog. It's very expensive, and it has too many peas for such an expensive food -- especially one I'm adding raw meat to that doesn't need the "fake"protein boost. We're going to use Dr. Harvey's Paradigm for a while. It's the only other base mix without a lot of flax, which my dog can't handle well, but it's significantly higher in price than THK...which is already expensive. I'm adding taurine to it though.



I'm on the fence for my Fromm kibble fed dogs. They are doing SO well on it, I don't really want to change. We normally rotate through most of the Fromm Four Star flavors (with grain, without grain, since it's designed to be rotational). There were a few Fromm dogs that showed up on the spreadsheet eating some of their GRAIN-IN food, that has taurine added! It's a head scratcher. There weren't any that were rotationally fed. I'm thinking the rotation may be protective, due to the wider array of nutrients they're exposed to. We're unsure whether to keep rotating the grain-free Four Star varieties in our assortment. For now, I bought a grain-in bag for next time, and I may stick with the Fromm grain-in varieties for a while.
 

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This is one of the hypotheses being evaluated. No one knows yet for sure why some dogs come up low on taurine and others don't on the same food. That's the real mystery.


There are other hypotheses that genetics, or multiple nutrients (including some not yet publicly named), or even an undiagnosed, underlying disease process could all be in play.



There's also a hypothesis that even if there's an absorption problem adding more taurine through a supplement makes it more likely some gets absorbed, so there's unlikely to be a downside to supplementing.
Do you think it's okay, then, to skip the salad? I abhor the idea of a third meal with the additional stool, poking at it with a stick to make sure all is good. I have become obsessed with poop since he came along. I need professional help with this particular addiction....

If genetics are at play, he will likely have a problem. This dog is a mess.
 

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I may have read each and every thing on the EPI forum. It has really helped, but so much of it is trial and error. It took months to get this boy's stool solid, weight where it should be and get rid of that dang SIBO. Every little tweak has some sort of repercussion. I need to take stock in the hair dye industry, as I am going gray since he came to me. ;)
Yeah, it took me several years of off-and-on diarrhea to get the correct portion of porcine pancreas powder to get it right. The last about 5 years of his life, his poop "normalized." Around 2 he had reached 80 lbs and then dropped down to 55 lbs when he was diagnosed with EPI. Eventually I got him to a thin 98 lbs at his max. When he died of liver cancer he had dropped down to 80 lbs. That's another story.
 

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I honestly don't know. I'm not sure anyone really does yet.



If you want greens, maybe add some of Carmspack's Feedsentials? It's got some greens with a lot of other good stuff. Carmen's around on the board too.
https://feedsentials.com/feedsentials



Just adding fresh kale isn't great. The cell walls in fresh veggies can be hard for dogs to break down. I think he'll do better with it if you steam it, or puree and freeze it (maybe in an ice cube tray), or dehydrate it and food process into powder (which is what the base mix companies do -- most of them have greens in the dehydrated mixes).
 

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Yeah, it took me several years of off-and-on diarrhea to get the correct portion of porcine pancreas powder to get it right.
Years? Good lord, he would have put me in my grave if I had to deal with it for years. Unfortunately, he cannot have pork (this is where I throw may hands up and ask him 'really?') So I use plant enzymes and so far so good.

I imagine cancers and the like are going to be a problem when he gets older. His genetic makeup is so skewed. I am so sorry about your boy. It seems especially hard to lose them when we invest so much time and concern in them.
 

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Magwart....breaking out the bamboo steamer. Thank you for your suggestions. He's only 2 and I don't want to kill him, even though he can be a real jerk.
 

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I'm on the fence for my Fromm kibble fed dogs. They are doing SO well on it, I don't really want to change. We normally rotate through most of the Fromm Four Star flavors (with grain, without grain, since it's designed to be rotational). There were a few Fromm dogs that showed up on the spreadsheet eating some of their GRAIN-IN food, that has taurine added! It's a head scratcher. There weren't any that were rotationally fed. I'm thinking the rotation may be protective, due to the wider array of nutrients they're exposed to. We're unsure whether to keep rotating the grain-free Four Star varieties in our assortment. For now, I bought a grain-in bag for next time, and I may stick with the Fromm grain-in varieties for a while.
Cava is on Fromm, I started her out on a bag of the grain free LBP food since the breeder had her on a grain free food. I decided to rotate her between the grain in and grain free versions, so the next bag was grain in. I was planning to get grain free for the bag after that, but the store was out of stock and I had to buy the grain in food again. She's doing well on it and it's a bit less expensive, so I may just keep her on it until she's ready for adult food in a few months. I have started supplementing with taurine for both her and Keefer. He's on a grain free variety of Sport Dog Food that is also free of peas and white potatoes.
 

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I'm thinking of leaving them on grain in if all goes well. It is cheaper.....right now. I wouldn't be too shocked if the price of grain in food starts going up after all of this!!
 

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If you have an otherwise healthy dog that can eat a variety of kibble, and tolerate a variety of proteins, and different ingredients, then I think the situation needn't be all that worrying. You can rotate flavors and even brands to ensure variety and quality.

This whole thing is a big mess for those of use with allergy dogs and dogs with ultra-sensitive GI systems. We often don't have a lot of choices for dogs with severe allergies -- and while that situation is rare over all, this breed is notorious for problematic GI systems and true allergies. It is interesting that none of the dogs Monica Segal has done home-cooking formulas for have come up low, since she's included a taurine supplement for years. If Dr. Harvey's doesn't work for us, I think consulting with Monica for my problem child is my next step.

I personally thought THK's total lack of concern in their emails to me about peas was troubling -- they were sure they're not a problem when no one can be sure of anything about them right now. They have been radio silent since I pointed out to them that their products are on the spreadsheet of brands that have produced dogs with low taurine, despite their certainty that they're not a brand with a problem.
 

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Years? Good lord, he would have put me in my grave if I had to deal with it for years. Unfortunately, he cannot have pork (this is where I throw may hands up and ask him 'really?') So I use plant enzymes and so far so good.

I imagine cancers and the like are going to be a problem when he gets older. His genetic makeup is so skewed. I am so sorry about your boy. It seems especially hard to lose them when we invest so much time and concern in them.
It was tough. There were many nights where I had to wake up 3-4 times to take him out....on top of the many times during the day. The good thing was he was able to tell me he had to go out really bad and hold it until then. In his whole life he only had 1 diarrhea accident in the house. What I learned years later from my own experimenting with the dosage was that I was giving way too much powder. The vet told me 1 teaspoon. Other people in the EPI forums were telling me to give a lot more, like a tablespoon. They couldn't believe I was giving so little. I finally after years found that half a teaspoon was adequate for my dog.

I don't have much experience with the plant based medicine. Tried it the very first time. Then for some reason I don't remember, I decided to switch to the other. The porcine one worked really well for mine. Too bad yours is allergic.

I know how much work it is with an EPI dog, how many sleepless nights, and how frustrated you are. Believe me, I was there. I found that taking a 5 minute time out for me to regroup and get that negative feelings out helped a lot when I got frustrated. Anyway, once you figure it out, things will "normalize."

He lived to almost 12 years old with EPI, a broken femur the last 2 years (the doctors told me not to bother with surgery at his old age), a few bouts of skin infections (possibly from the medicine...who knows), and cancer the last few months... So what I'm trying to say is mine didn't win the genetic lottery either. With the exception of these major health issues, he was quite an exceptional dog.
 

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I will finish the bag of grain free kibble (mornings only) and then go back to the grain ones. I am not worried about heart issues.
 

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I feed grain free but only because I switched to Taste of the Wild. Not necessarily was looking to find grain free, and my dog does well on both grain free and not. I just stay the **** away from corn soy and wheat cos it makes my dog's coat ugly and dull.
 

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I feed grain free but only because I switched to Taste of the Wild. Not necessarily was looking to find grain free, and my dog does well on both grain free and not. I just stay the **** away from corn soy and wheat cos it makes my dog's coat ugly and dull.
I feed Taste of the Wild too. I have fed it for years. My current dogs are 6 and 4. My previous GSD also ate TOTW and lived to be 14.5. No heart problems here.
 

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It's good to see TOTW on somewhat of a comeback. For many years there, everyone was down on them. I may switch mine off of Victor back to TOTW Pacific Stream. My pup's got some kind of allergy. I'm hoping it's not food allergies, but if it is, then I'll go back to TOTW.
 

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It's good to see TOTW on somewhat of a comeback. For many years there, everyone was down on them. I may switch mine off of Victor back to TOTW Pacific Stream. My pup's got some kind of allergy. I'm hoping it's not food allergies, but if it is, then I'll go back to TOTW.
I feed Pacific Stream. All of my dogs have loved it. My previous shepherd was allergic to chicken. Fish based formulas worked best for her.
 

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I am feeding Acana singles Lamb or Pork formula right now, but at this point I am so fed up she may be eating Ol'Roy soon.

Honestly I have had it with dog food, and can't do raw. Would be easier to feed like Gramma did, kitchen bucket.
 
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