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Hi!  I'm new to Doodle Kisses, and am really hoping to get some good advice regarding food for our new baby, Maggie.  When Maggie came to us from the breeder she was on Purina One.  As much as I wanted to get her off that food and on something better for her, we intended to keep her on it for at least two weeks to make sure all was ok.  Unfortunately, a few days after we got her she got diarrhea.  We took her to the vet and she tested positive for an intestinal parasite, coccidia.  She was put on Albon to treat it and also "prescription id" wet food until her stool was normal again.  After she was back to normal (a couple days) we tried to put her back on her purina one and she turned her nose up at it (who can blame her)?  So, at that time I went and bought Fromm for her and started gradually mixing it with the prescription id in hopes to get her on Fromm completely after a transition period.  Unfortunately, the transition didn't go as I had hoped and every night she would have loose stools (even getting up during the night).  So, I called the vet again to see if I should try something else...I also explained that she always seems SUPER hungry.  They suggested I put her strictly back on the prescription id for a few days to get her back to "normal" and then try to transition her to the Fromm again, but do it VERY slow, (they also said I could slightly increase the amount of food I was giving her, to satisfy her appetite).  I also expressed my concern that the prescription id isn't a puppy food so I questioned if she was getting the nutrients she needed.  But they insisted this is what I should do.  So, I followed their direction and got her back to normal (on the Prescription ID, and then after a couple days started with just adding a little Fromm to breakfast, then after a few days a little to lunch too, etc, anticipating a couple week transition at the least.  Unfortunately she was still getting loose stools at night and she still ALWAYS acted SUPER hungry....At this point I was frustrated because nothing seemed to be working (except the prescription id, that I need to get her off of and also, she seemed famished all the time and she seemed really thin.  Finally, I got online to see at what weight I could give her a little more food and I was SHOCKED to find out they had been giving me the recommended amounts for a 10 lb DOG, not PUPPY and I had been giving her about HALF of what she should have!!!!  When I called them they called me back and told me we should try to transition her to Royal Canin GI for puppies (because she needed the puppy nourishment,), and that yes, I should be giving her more of the prescription ID food too.  So...now to my regret, I stopped mixing in the Fromm and started mixing in the RC last night....but doing this with the correct amount of prescription ID.  She now seems satisfied with the amount of food I'm giving her, but she is not tolerating the RC food either...she has had very loose stools several times this evening.  Note, I was so upset with their error that I also canceled my future appointments with that vet and made an appointment for Monday with a new vet!  

So....bottom line is I feel TERRIBLE she was being under fed, on a subpar food that wasn't even for pups, but I don't know what to do from here.  I obviously have to transition her slowly to something else, and get her off the prescription id, but it needs to be for sensitive tummies.  At this point as of tonight, I have stopped everything except the prescription id, because that's what seems to get her back to "normal", But I really want to get her transitioned to a quality food!  We go to the new vet Monday, and I could call them tomorrow for advice, but I'm sure they'll recommend a food I don't want to give her.   Any advice is so appreciated!  Sorry for the long winded question!  But I felt like you needed to know all the details to give me good advice.  Note, I have looked at the list of recommended foods and also looked on Dogfoodadvisor and that is why I chose Fromm.  

Thanks! (Here's a pic of Maggie..she's an 11 week f2 doodle (obviously she got a lot of the golden genes). ;) 

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Maggie needs a good probiotic to help with her digestion and stool formation. The problem with her stools is mainly due to a lack of good bacteria in her gut, although all of the food changes aren't helping either. Right now this minute order Proviable DC online. In the meantime, give her a couple of tablespoons of plain, unflavored nonfat yogurt with each meal. 

It's a huge mistake to switch foods while a dog is being treated for parasites; it confuses the issue, because most medications used to treat parasites will also kill the good gut bacteria, and unless you replace it with a good probiotic, the dog will typically have diarrhea after the meds are discontinued.

It's also a huge mistake to ever give a dog Rx food unless they have a serious digestive issue, and by serious I mean potentially life threatening. There is nothing medicinal or therapeutic in Rx food. It contains the cheapest, crappiest ingredients imaginable, wrapped up in a big price tag. It's well-documented that there is no nutrition curriculum in vet school, and that the only knowledge most vets have about pet foods comes directly from the marketing people at Hills, Purina, and Mars (makers of Royal Canin). And of course, since the vet is selling you the food, there is also a conflict of interest. 

This puppy doesn;t need a "GI" food or a food for sensitive tummies; she had diarrhea because she had a parsitic infection, not because there was something wrong with her GI system. Now she has diarrhea because she has no good gut bacteria and because there have been too many changes in the kinds and amounts of food she's been getting. 

Of course she won't eat kibble now that she's had the canned food. That's going to be an ongoing problem.
You also don;t have to feed a "puppy" formula. There are many foods which are All Life Stages or ALS foods and many people never feed a formula that is made strictly for puppies. Which is a good thing, because the foods that are designed for sensitive tummies or digestive issues are all ALS foods, they don't make "puppy" versions of them. 

If Maggie were mine, here's what I would do. First, I'd have another fecal done. I'd order Proviable, and in the meantime I'd give her the yogurt. I would discontinue all Rx foods and feed her a homemade bland diet consisting of 50% plain boiled white meat chicken, cut very fine, and 50% mashed sweet potatoes. You will need to feed her twice as much of this as you normally feed kibble, as it has only about 200 calories per cup, which is only about half the calories per cup of most kibbles. I'd stay with the bland diet until her stools improve, which should be about a week. Then, assuming the fecal is clear,  I would start trying to switch her over to kibble. The probiotics need to be given for several weeks at the least. 

Fromm is a good food, but I would feel more comfortable with a grain-free, LID food for Maggie. I'd suggest you look at Zignature, which is an ALS food; the turkey formula would be a good choice. You can get a couple of cans of it too, because you are going to have a very hard time getting her to eat just dry kibble after the canned i/d and the homemade diet. Once you get to the point of starting to transition to the new kibble, we can talk about how much, etc. 

I would also advise you to ignore any and all suggestions about Rx food from the new vet you are going to see Monday. I would not go into things you read online, I would simply say that I do not like the ingredients in the Rx foods and I prefer to feed a homemade "bland diet" if that's what she needs temporarily. (Bland is the only benefit to the Hill's i/d and similar "GI" foods, there is nothing in them that will cure diarrhea. Trust me on that. All you have to do is read the ingredients to see it.) 

Karen, 

First...THANK YOU SO MUCH for your quick and lengthy reply!  You don't know how much I appreciate it!  I feel so bad that Maggie's diet has been so terrible since she's been with us.  I'll start her with the homemade bland diet tomorrow and let you know how that goes.  I happen to have yogurt here so I'll start that in the morning too!  Since I haven't been giving her too much kibble I'm not sure how much of the bland diet to give her.  If I would have successfully transitioned her to Fromm she would have been eating about 2 cups/day.  Does that mean I should give her 4 cups of the homemade food?  She's 12lbs.   

Thanks again!!!  

Tara

3 cups per day of the homemade food plus the yogurt should be fine. That's more than enough calories for a 12 lber. 

And don't forget to order the Proviable, that;s what's going to help most. 

Done!  Thank you again!!  

Hi Karen! I hate to bother you again, but my friend (who has a labradoodle), dropped off a probiotic this morning that she is not using, but doesn't expire until 6/2020.  It is called "Gutsense", from Dr. Dobias Natural Healing.  Should I use this one since the other won't be here until Monday...or should I just wait for the Proviable?  In the meantime she is IN LOVE with her new food and scarfed up the yogurt this morning like it was a treat.  :)

Thanks again,

Tara

I would wait for the Proviable. 
LOL, you can actually give her yogurt any time as a treat; some people put blueberries or dried cranberries in it and the dogs love it! 

Great, thank you!  :)

Hi again Karen!  So, good news....Maggie went to the new vet, got a good check-up and fecal is clear!  Her stools have firmed up and she's on the Proviable.  She's been on the sweet potato/chicken for over a week now (which she loves), but I would like to start transitioning to her new food maybe tomorrow?  I would've done it this weekend, but we were in and out too much and I was worried if she got sick I wanted to be around.  So, Just to refresh your memory, she was on a large breed puppy food (Purina One) from the breeder, then I tried to switch her to Fromm Large breed puppy when but that didn't go well.  What do you suggest?  Does she need a large breed puppy food?  Do you recommend Grain free, etc? I just want to do what's best for her.  She still seems to have a BIG appetite.  She has no problems eating the three cups of Chick/SP at all!  I give her one cup three times a day (7, 12:30, 6).  (She is 15lbs and will be 12 weeks tomorrow).  

Thank you again for all your guidance!! 

- Tara

As I mentioned above, I'd like to see her on a grain fee food. I'd try Zignature turkey. She doesn;t need a large breed food. 

How would you recommend I do the transition?  Over a week, or two?  

Not more than a week. Start by adding a just a little kibble and cutting back a portion of the homemade food that';s about twice the amount of the kibble you add. Continue increasing kibble and decreasing homemade food a little more each day.And be sure to continue the probiotics for a couple of weeks. 

Hi Karen:

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!  I followed all your advice and Maggie is now completely transitioned to Zignature Turkey kibble and loves it (and her stools are good)!  She loves her yogurt snacks and we are still giving her the proviable.  I do have one final question...should I leave her on the probiotic indefinitely?  I am fine with it, as It seems to work wonders. :)  But thought worth asking. 

Anyway....both Maggie and I thank you again!!  

-Tara

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