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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone...it's been a while since I've been around here, and I need to talk dog food with someone more knowledgeable than myself.

A few years ago, my dog Argos had to have a surgery to remove a struvite bladder stone. I was referred by my normal vet to a new clinic which was better suited to the task. The way that the new vet explained it to me was that it is a rare type of stone that the dog will be prone to having issues with repeatedly, unless he is put on a prescription diet.

In this case, Hill's U/D, whereas I used to feed him Blue Buffalo.

Over the past few years, there have been two instances during which he refuses to eat his kibble. The last time that it happened, he would refuse his morning meal but eat in the evening and it only lasted a short while, so I didn't think much of it.

More recently, he went about a week where he would refuse his meals again on a regular basis. Long story short, he'll eat broccoli, tuna, wet food (hill's UD), but not the kibble. He acts like he's being punished when I give him a meal. At first I thought that he was being picky, so I would pick up the food that he refused to eat.

Over time, it became evident that something was wrong. Over the course of Monday-Tuesday, I'd noticed first that he seemed to be having trouble having a bowel movement, then it felt like he had a gland slightly swollen in his neck, and then that his eye on the same side was producing green mucus. Then, on Wednesday, I noticed that both his penis (sheath) and testicles were swollen and red. He seemed to have some sort of fluid buildup on his stomach, evidenced by a sort of flappy patch of skin that was never there before. Nothing oozing or even gross, just an area where his belly wasn't as tight as it usually is.

Life being what it has been lately, the earliest I could get him to the vet was Thursday.

The vet gave him an antibiotic injection and another for the swelling and fever (103), and prescribed Amoxicillin and something that looks like it reads "Vetprofen"? They had trouble getting a urine sample but finally got one as I was trying to leave; from what I understand, it seems as though he's got an infection in his liver (my vet is very difficult to understand at times due to a speech impediment). They want to see him again on Monday for a follow-up.

He seems to be doing better than he was earlier in the week, the swelling has gone down somewhat and he will eat anything EXCEPT the Hill's U/D kibble. I have a feeling that this food is what is causing the problem that he is having.
I've done some reading online and I'm really seeing some foul things about Hill's brand dog food in general. I've always felt that the ingredients as listed on the bag were inferior to the (MUCH CHEAPER) food that I was feeding him before, but I've been under the impression all this time that I don't have another choice.

Anyone have any thoughts on my issue?

http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-canine-ud-canine-non-struvite-urinary-tract-health-dry.html
 

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Okay, this first part is 3rd-hand info. I've heard from people on my friends' list who are vet techs that bladder stones are fairly common on Blue. (Blue feeders, don't attack me with "my dog eats Blue and is fine." This is what my VT friends say.) It probably has something to do with the balance of protein and minerals. I'm no expert on that.

What I would do if this were my dog -- disclaimer, I'm not a vet, yada yada -- is start adding canned food and water to a normal kibble to increase the moisture. Or maybe take him off kibble entirely and get him on a raw diet which has a much higher moisture content since meat is 75% water. I did some perfunctory reading, and it was suggested that higher protein in dog foods can contribute to stone creation. So if you're going to feed kibble, look for something with a lower protein %.

I've had conversations with my dogs and told them that they will never go on a veterinary diet. If it comes down to it, I'll research the food and hand-make whatever they need. Some of those vet diets are nothing but rice and corn, and at least a few of them say they're not meant to be fed as a long-term, complete diet.
 

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I would consider scheduling an eval with a veterinary nutritionist and going the route of a homemade diet.

We did that for our Basset hound when she developed chronic kidney disease and she did very well on it. The nutritionist gave us a formula we could make up and have enough food for the week and a big container to freeze for the next week.

Our dog was also a picky eater but she loved the homemade diet and never turned her nose up at a meal the last 6 years of her life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, I'm glad to hear you both say that (it's sort of what i'd expected to hear, tbh), because I'm wanting to look into a homemade diet at this point.
Thing is, I've got no idea where to start researching.
Is there some base "raw" diet that I can get him started with, or does it have to be tailored to the particular dog?
Also, can I feed homemade on a budged equal to or lesser than the cost of the "RX" kibble? The bags of Hill's U/D cost me something like 70 bucks every 4-6 weeks.
 

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If you have the space to stock up, you can do raw significantly cheaper than that. I can't raw because I have a tiny freezer. Many people start with chicken. I used to do chicken quarters for their evening meal and kibble for breakfast. (I wasn't prepared to go full-on raw, so I kept them on about 40% kibble just to make sure they were balanced.) But if there are no sensitivities, you can do other protein sources. People who hunt do venison, wild boar, rabbit, etc.

I'm not a raw expert. As said, I kept my dogs on some kibble while I was doing it. But the information is out there. :)
 

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Id take him off that food and give him the Prey Model Raw or Barf raw diet (Google and research these) or put him on a food like Acana and mix his food with lots of water... Like 2cups of water to 1cup of kibble

Raw diets have to be done in a balanced way otherwise you can cause more harm than good. And they need variety.

Typical raw meal is a chicken quarter, liver, kidney, heart and green tripe. Lungs, gizzards and other similar stuff can be switched up with these too. And then sometimes instead of a chicken quarter you can do beef, lamb, turkey, certain fish, etc. (if ground as a chicken back for bone as bone is very important in a raw diet)...

That's just a little briefing on a raw diet example
 

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If you're on Facebook, check out the group Dog Food Nerds of Facebook. That's one of mine. A lot of our members do partial or all raw. They can give you the basics and some resources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Turns out it's lymphoma. They gave him some prednizone to counteract it and make him feel better so I can spoil him for a few last weeks, but the vet says 2 months tops.
Just thought I should update.
 

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Heartbreaking news Aczdreign, I am so sorry to hear that. My heart felt sympathy for your boy and your family.

Joe
 
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