Science Diet Z/D... and other things

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Zay
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Science Diet Z/D... and other things

Postby Zay » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:07 pm

So my foster boy has been having horrible regurgitation problems, they have ruled out a bunch of things and he has had every test imaginable except for an endoscopy. I went yesterday to the regular vet that the rescue works with for a follow up appt, as previously he had been seeing an internal medicine specialist. He is regurgitating each of his meals 3 or 4 times so there is obviously something wrong. He is currently eating Innova EVO redmeat as are the rest of my muttley crew. Prior to this all coming to a head I was beginning to transistion to Raw, however was advised to stop, so I did, not wanting to cause more harm. He also has bad allergies which he has never been scraped for, but I know one of the culprits is grain. Anyhow, the only suggestion given was to put him on Science Diet Z/D - I am pretty strongly opposed to this seeing the first ingredient on the bag is "Starch". Then reading how it has chemical preservatives that are cancer causing in it as well, I just can't see it being beneficial. I didn't feed it last night, and honestly I was so pi$$ed when I left there b/c I felt like they were not listening to me at all I decided to just switch him over completely to raw and see if it makes a difference, but now am second guessing that. Am I over reacting? Is Hill's Z/D as bad as I think (and it looks on paper)?

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mom2bennientiny
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Postby mom2bennientiny » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:14 pm

Yep, I'd say so. First ingredient starch? Nice! That's about as healthy as their diabetic formula where the first ingredient is peanut hulls. I'd either do 100% or maybe try a different grain free formula. I had to try several grain frees as EVO wasn't so great with my crew. I've settled on Wellness CORE, alternating between their 3 formulas (regular, reduced fat and fish) and then I also sometimes switch off to Fromm Surf and Turf. Fromm can be difficult to find, but Wellness is pretty readily available at the decent stores (meaning not Petsmart or Petco).

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meginok
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Postby meginok » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:15 pm

I had similar problems with Abbie Lou, which (after one of the longest months or so of my life!) ended up being attributed to a rice allergy.

I went round and round with my vet on the Z/D. I REALLY, REALLY don't like Hill's. We ended up compromising, and I started Abbie Lou on a limited ingredient commercial food (started with DVP's Natural Balance duck/potato formula). After getting over her tummy being SO upset from the seemingly unending vomiting, she finally tolerated the Natural Balance formula well.

Since then, we did allergy testing on her (the blood-based ELISA test, supposed to be notoriously unreliable for food allergies) and by basing food choices on the test results, we now know of two foods she can eat (the NB duck/potato formula, as well as our staple, Healthwise lamb/oatmeal).

FOR US, the allergy testing has been a blessing. I know there are others who will give you different feedback.

But if you are as vehemently opposed to Hill's Z/D as it sounds like you are, I might advise you to think on a true limited ingredient commercial diet. NO other treats/supplements, of course (unless you get treats from the same allergy line that have those limited ingredients).

And be ready. Once the vomiting stopped, our bad, bad poo issues began. Her poor GI tract was totally messed up. :sad: But what was a scrawny, boney, hurling, pooping mess of a 36 pounds dog is now a solid chunk of 60 pound looney hound. :))

Good luck! I know how frustrating it is!

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Sarah
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Postby Sarah » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:15 pm

ZD is a hypoallergenic diet, and it can be a lifesaver for some dogs. (literally- I know a Corgi with life threatening food allergies who lives on ZD).

It would probably be worth at least trying it, to see if food allergies are the cause of the dog's problems. It does have to be a total elimination thing, you can't give the dog any other food while trying the ZD, or the money & effort are wasted. If it does work, you can try adding other food sources gradually to discover the source of the problem.

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Postby pitgrrl » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:16 pm

This is the system I've worked out with my vet concerning my dog's psychotic digestive system. She says "Science Diet blah, blah, blah...", to which I respond "why? what does it do, how will it help the condition and what allows it to achieve that?", at which point she explains it to me and then I go do my own research into how to achieve the same benefits by altering a raw or homemade diet.

So, are they recommending the z/d because the regurgitation thought to be caused by a food intolerance or is it because of other allergies totally unrelated to that?

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Postby MikeZev » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:22 pm

EVO is a pretty rich feed. not all dogs can handle it, my dog included. I think Z/D can be a very good diagnostic tool if you use it properly. my dog did fine on it. she now eats canidae chix n rice but even as a single protein food its not as hypoallergenic as the zd. try it and you'll know for sure in a couple weeks if its the food. its not gonna kill the dog.

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Zay
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Postby Zay » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:36 pm

He has been on the Natural Balance Duck and Potato and the Venison and Sweet Potato formula before - still had regurgitation issues and yeah - we deal the with diarrhea issues randomly as well. I guess I'm so wishy washy about the Z/D b/c the vet didn't explain it to me at all. I asked if it had grains since I know he can't tolerate those and was told " i'm not sure, it's hypo-allergenic though". Now i'm reading for myself about the hydrolyzed proteins and the "theory" behind the food. I am just frustrated and want to do the right thing - this has been going on for WAY too long now. Thanks for the responses!

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Postby mom2bennientiny » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:54 pm

pitgrrl wrote:This is the system I've worked out with my vet concerning my dog's psychotic digestive system. She says "Science Diet blah, blah, blah...", to which I respond "why? what does it do, how will it help the condition and what allows it to achieve that?", at which point she explains it to me and then I go do my own research into how to achieve the same benefits by altering a raw or homemade diet.


Same here. When my vet even started to blurt out the words "Science Diet" when Tiny first became diabetic I said absolutely not, I will find my own way to make it work. He said ok, give it a shot, but if you can't get her regulated, then we will have to go with the rx. I totally understand what the formulas are trying to do, I just think there's got to be another way to do that with much better ingredients, especially considering the cost.

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pitgrrl
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Postby pitgrrl » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:07 pm

Out of curiosity, have you discovered anything which suggested, even vaguely, what is causing the regurgitation? Is the idea more whacked out digestive system? Food intolerance? Something not working properly, like in a mechanical sense?

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Zay
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Postby Zay » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:45 pm

I don't think it's likely food intolerance since in the past year and a half he has been on the Nat. Balance limited ingredient diets and the EVO. The vet said she wanted to try the Z/D b/c it was high in fiber. He has regurg'ed water since I got him at 6 months of age and then it was occasionally his food as well. In the recent months the regurg has gotten worse to where he is doing it every single time he eats. He actually regurg's and eats the same meal a few times. :yucky: The findings in his CBC were low platelets, and high eosinophils. They have done tick titers which they said were possibly positive for rocky mountain spotted fever so they have sent that off again to be tested. He was tested for Addisons, myosthenia gravis, the barium study showed no mega esophagus. The internal medicine vet mentioned that the muscle that allows food into the stomach from the esophagus may not be working properly as an option. They also haven't ruled out something like IBD. I have tried everything - feeding elevated, hand feeding, feeding meatballs of canned food. Zantac twice a day, sucralfate - which is supposed to coat the stomach, reglan - I think was to try to help the food down the esophagus. All of the above were given by the internal medicine specialist. He has lost about 8 lbs during all this, but he still has plenty of energy to play and has a great appetite.

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Postby pitgrrl » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:59 pm

Just as a long shot, since you've tried so many other thing, maybe look into active Manuka honey. It's worked far better than Pepcid and the like for one of my dogs. :dunno:

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Re: Science Diet Z/D... and other things

Postby Red Brindle » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:05 pm

[quote="Zay"] Prior to this all coming to a head I was beginning to transistion to Raw, however was advised to stop, so I did, not wanting to cause more harm. quote]

I have not had to deal with a dog who has regurgation issues and have never used Hill z/d so take my opinion knowing that.

Who told you and what were the reasons they gave you to stop feeding the raw? Raw chicken breasts should be about the most digestable food that you can possibly feed. I would think that they might be a great way not to irritate the dogs stomach.

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Zay
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Postby Zay » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:53 pm

Initially the internal medicine specialist said to hold off on supplementing with the raw and just be consistent until testing was done, so that was when I stopped with the raw supplementation for him. I asked yesterday at the follow up and that was part of the reason I was so frustrated at the vet yesterday as well. I asked about Raw b/c that was the endpoint goal for me with my dogs and if she saw any benefit to switching him over to help with his regurg. She proceeded to tell me that not only could I get very ill from it he could get E. Coli, Salmonella poisoning and it wasn't good for them. I know everyone has their opinons on this, but I was expecting something more open minded and geared towards his regurg issues. Honestly I think that raw is the route I would rather go instead of z/d. Does anyone see any potential issues with raw given his regurg history?

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Red Brindle
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Postby Red Brindle » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:22 pm

No opinion other than what I said before but WTF about the vet warning you about getting sick from it. First, dogs aren't susceptible to salmanella. It is a myth, or a scare tactic. It isn't biologically possible. Second, you have to wash the dish and areas the dog eats the raw and you will be fine.

When someone tells me that raw can give dogs salmonella, my first thought is that this person has no idea what they are talking about whatsoever. End of conversation. They got their nutrition training from the makers of commercial dog food (most likely Hills aka Science Diet) and have believed the scared tactics taught by the company. Sheesh.

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Sarah
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Postby Sarah » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:46 pm

Red Brindle wrote: First, dogs aren't susceptible to salmanella. It is a myth, or a scare tactic. It isn't biologically possible. .


Yes, dogs can get salmonella. That is inaccurate information! They are not as prone to salmonella as humans are, but they do get it.

It does sound as though the vets have a strong bias against raw, which is not uncommon. I personally don't feed raw, but I do know that it can work for some dogs, and don't consider myself to be strongly on either side of that issue.

I don't know enough about raw to say if it would help with the regurgitation. There are raw proponents who will tell you it can cure everything under the sun, but I'm certainly skeptical about that. If the dog's immune system is compromised, a raw diet has a higher likelihood of making him sick, but if it's not related to his immune system, maybe not.


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