Ponderings on poop, diet and genetics

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Jazzy
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Ponderings on poop, diet and genetics

Postby Jazzy » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:53 pm

I think about poop alot. Veronica's poop specifically.

These are the thoughts that have been running through my head lately.

Veronica's breeder does not use great food. I believe she feeds a combination of a high fat Sam's club kibble and a Purina kibble.

I have tried to put Veronica on a "high quality" food since she came to us at 10 weeks old. I have always used a dry/wet combo.

She did not do well on Merrick. Soft poop. She did better on Wellness, but not consistently great...occassional soft poop. I switched her during the recall. Anyway, she seemed (or so I thought) to do well on Canidae. She would poop 2x/day; great big mounds of beautiful thick, sausage shaped poops. Sorry to be graphic, but after my previous trials and tribulations I would look upon these poops as works of art.

Then came the elimination diet using Hill's Prescription z/d. It has been about 2 weeks and she is now pooping only 1x/day. It took a while to get solid, but now she has a somewhat smaller, but still respectably sized narrower poop of good consistency.

Honestly, this is working towards a question.

I was talking with someone recently who commented on something I have definitly heard before. She said, "Don't panic so much about the pooping 1x/day; it seems like her body is using more of the nutrients in this food and she is eliminating less".

So I am pondering:
1.Could it be that Hill's while clearly inferior to anything else I've fed agrees with V. more than the "better" foods?
2. Is it possible, coming from a long line of dogs raised on high fat, mediocre kibble that she is genetically pre-disposed to do better on this type of diet?
3. If yes to any of the above, is Hill's Prescription z/d an appropriate forever food? And if not, when my vet and I are done arguing about the food allergies that she does not have :twisted: ; should I forget all these high quality foods and put her on something like Science Diet?

Any thoughts are welcome. Thus far I've been having this conversation entirely with myself.

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Postby Amie » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:00 pm

Thank you for clarifying that it was V's poop that you were pondering! I was starting to question my affection for you! (just kidding!)

Have you tried her on a raw diet (I mean that in the general, home-prepared sense, any raw/prey/whatever you want to call it diet)?

When Oscar and I switched to raw, his poops became smaller but more varied - a veritable rainbow of poop, sometimes softer, sometimes down right powdery, depending on the day, and (I believe) what his body used. I think if you're worried about food allergies, it might be easier to rule out specifics when you know exactly what prep has gone into each item (I found out Oscar is allergic to beef only after switching to raw, and after dozens of vet trips in his life for ear infections) Furthermore, Oscar would never eat, much less enjoy, veggies when he was on kibble (he actually didn't care much for eating in general, and would skip days at a time just for the heck of throwing me into a "my dog is anorexic" tizzy), and now I toss him frozen broccoli and he thinks I just love him even more that day.

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Postby Amie » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:11 pm

Forgot to add:

I don't believe that V's pedigree has anything to do with her digestion, not this far in. I can see her having had some issues during transition periods, but dogs have been dogs a lot longer than that breeder has been using that food, and their nutritional needs stem from their canine genetics, not the familial ones. She might need slightly more protein than "average" or slightly less fat than average, or something, because there are always variations in any gene pool, but it's not like that breeder altered her enough that Veronica should be eating grains or something. She may tolerate them better than other dogs, perhaps?

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Re: Ponderings on poop, diet and genetics

Postby mr. beefy » Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:53 pm

Jazzy wrote:I was talking with someone recently who commented on something I have definitly heard before. She said, "Don't panic so much about the pooping 1x/day; it seems like her body is using more of the nutrients in this food and she is eliminating less".


Exactly! This is what should be happening so, by all means, roll with it!

What comes out the other end is the best indicator of health, and that's what it should look like. Like they say, "The proof is in the pudding!"

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Postby Beowulf » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:24 pm

Before I switched to raw, my dogs were fed Purina Beneful. They had stinky, nasty poop. Gobs of it. Now, the poops are smaller and not, for lack of a better word, goopy. I take that to mean that they are using more of the nutrients provided, and that their bodies weren't using the Purina fully. It was just passing through. Sometimes they poop twice a day, like when I feed organs, but mostly it's just once.

If she seems happy and healthy otherwise, I don't think you should be concerned about 1 small poop a day. :)

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Re: Ponderings on poop, diet and genetics

Postby pitgrrl » Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:33 pm

Jazzy wrote:So I am pondering:
1.Could it be that Hill's while clearly inferior to anything else I've fed agrees with V. more than the "better" foods?
2. Is it possible, coming from a long line of dogs raised on high fat, mediocre kibble that she is genetically pre-disposed to do better on this type of diet?
3. If yes to any of the above, is Hill's Prescription z/d an appropriate forever food? And if not, when my vet and I are done arguing about the food allergies that she does not have :twisted: ; should I forget all these high quality foods and put her on something like Science Diet?

Any thoughts are welcome. Thus far I've been having this conversation entirely with myself.


I think some dogs can have problems with higher quality/holistic/premium kibbles because of the sheer amount of stuff in them. Fish, lamb, turkey, blueberries, yams, flax seeds, etc. may all be fine on their own, but all together can be a bit much for some.

The BF works at a feed store and it seems like a pretty common thing for dogs raised on Purina One or whatever to have trouble once they're switched to something better. Some people seem to work it out with digestive enzymes or probiotics or by switching to a "simpler" food.

Another example is with Streets. He can eat chicken, duck, turkey, rabbit, etc. without issue as long as I don't put more than 2 meats in one meal. If I do something crazy like try to use up the ends of a bunch of stuff in one meal, things get a wee bit funky.

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Postby Jazzy » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:20 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys.

So then there really is no reason she couldn't stay on the z/d indefinitly?

I use lots of "human food" treats (or rather I did, and I will again once summer and her non-food related allergies pass) like chicken, cheese, peanut butter, turkey, sweet potato...

I know alot of people swear by raw; I just have a phobia about it I can't get passed. I'm sure it could be the best thing in the world for her, but every time she slips me the tongue (and yes, it does happen fairly frequently :oops: ) I'd be worried that I was picking up some sort of parasite...I'd drive myself insane.

That was very intersting info about the combination of ingredients. Thank you Pitgrrl. That may help ease my guilt over not feeding her something "better".

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Postby Amie » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:36 pm

I certainly don't mean to push raw on anyone. I know it works in my house, and I also know it grosses me out so much that every time I have to prepare the cats' food (which is far more involved than the dog's) I can't even look at meat for myself for days after.


I'm a firm believer that if what you're doing works for you, you're fine.

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Postby pitgrrl » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:36 pm

Jazzy wrote:That was very intersting info about the combination of ingredients. Thank you Pitgrrl. That may help ease my guilt over not feeding her something "better".


If you did want to try something else, there are kibbles with fewer ingredients that are good quality.....or you could try homecooked food. :dunno:

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Postby Jazzy » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:25 pm

Amie wrote:I certainly don't mean to push raw on anyone. I know it works in my house, and I also know it grosses me out so much that every time I have to prepare the cats' food (which is far more involved than the dog's) I can't even look at meat for myself for days after.


I'm a firm believer that if what you're doing works for you, you're fine.


Not feeling pushed at all hon! Just always amazed at the extent and creativity of my many phobias! lol

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Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:50 pm

After the z/d trial is over, I would try a different limited antigen diet, such as a duck and potato or fish and potato diet to see if she does OK on that. Its highly possible she has an inflammatory bowel type disease or food sensitivity underlying her soft stools and this is why z/d is working so well for her. If this is true, another limited antigen diet might also work, and there are multiple commercial diets like this available for about the same cost as the z/d.

If the z/d works best for her, then go ahead and stick with it! It is a scientifically nutritionally complete diet that will meet her metabolic needs for life, and I've seen many dogs do well on it for many years.

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Postby Jazzy » Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:57 am

Misskiwi67 wrote:After the z/d trial is over, I would try a different limited antigen diet, such as a duck and potato or fish and potato diet to see if she does OK on that. Its highly possible she has an inflammatory bowel type disease or food sensitivity underlying her soft stools and this is why z/d is working so well for her. If this is true, another limited antigen diet might also work, and there are multiple commercial diets like this available for about the same cost as the z/d.

If the z/d works best for her, then go ahead and stick with it! It is a scientifically nutritionally complete diet that will meet her metabolic needs for life, and I've seen many dogs do well on it for many years.


When you say try a different limited antigen diet after the z/d trial; is that in order to find a higher quality diet? In other words if z/d is good for her, why switch; unless something else would be better? Just FYI: Her poop on Canidae wasn't soft, there was just an awful lot of it & she went 2x/day; but the consistency was good.

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Postby 6pak » Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:19 pm

Hopefully this will make you feel better about hills:
http://www.petdiets.com/default.asp?Men ... ingred.asp

When shady got his bladder stones, I did not want to feed hills at all because I fell a little to hard into the ingredients hype. I spent hundreds of hours researching food on the Internet and all the credible sites that are supported by scientific research all said the same thing. I use the above link because they state it the best and their credentials are top notch. Here are the credentials:
http://www.petdiets.com/default.asp?Men ... outvnc.asp

I always suspected the cause of his badder stones was the long term use of prednisone, so I switched back to commercial food. I feed Canidae platinum more because of the nutrition profile than the ingredients. I would be lying if I said the ingredients have no part in my decision ONLY because corn is high in calcium or oxalate where chicken and turkey is not.

I know you only want the best for your dog, but I encourage you to read through the links I posted. Good luck!

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Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:57 pm

Jazzy wrote:When you say try a different limited antigen diet after the z/d trial; is that in order to find a higher quality diet? In other words if z/d is good for her, why switch; unless something else would be better? Just FYI: Her poop on Canidae wasn't soft, there was just an awful lot of it & she went 2x/day; but the consistency was good.


z/d is a good, safe diet, but is extremely enzymatically processed... which is why it works for allergy dogs. The proteins are pre-digested so the immune system can't recognize them.

If you're a believer in whole, fresh ingredients and don't want to stay on the z/d forever, a limited antigen diet is the next step towards a normal pet-store diet. Just remember it works just like the z/d... one food, NOTHING else.

I'm only telling you your options since it sounds like you might be wanting to change, but like the improvements you're seeing.

Also, I don't find it abnormal for dogs to defecate twice a day... my dogs are on the best foods available (I'm too lazy to feed raw, and don't see a drastic improvement anyway) and both of my dogs defecate at least twice a day. In my opinion, big dogs produce big poops!

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Re: Ponderings on poop, diet and genetics

Postby cheeky » Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:07 pm

mr. beefy wrote:
Jazzy wrote:I was talking with someone recently who commented on something I have definitly heard before. She said, "Don't panic so much about the pooping 1x/day; it seems like her body is using more of the nutrients in this food and she is eliminating less".


Exactly! This is what should be happening so, by all means, roll with it!

What comes out the other end is the best indicator of health, and that's what it should look like. Like they say, "The proof is in the pudding!"


I feed raw & my dogs are once a day poopers, twice if they eat an extra big meal. I always say "Less crap IN - less crap OUT".


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