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Low-protein dog food

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Low-protein dog food
  • I have a 7-month-old lab who is having urinary problems.  He was neutered at 5 months and has had problems since then.  The morning after surgery his urine looked dark and bloody and he kept attempting to go even when nothing would come out.  I took a urine sample in and the vet said that he had struvite crystals and he was put on Science Diet canned food for two weeks.  I asked if it had anything to do with the surgery and the vet said no that he was probably born with this condition.  I had never noticed any symptoms up until then.  So, anyway, his urine has finally come within the normal range and the vet wants him to stay on Science Diet low protein indefinitely.   This poor puppy has survived parvo that nearly killed him and has chronic ear infections due to summer allergies and now urinary problems!
     
    Will a low-protein food harm a growing large-breed puppy?  He weighs 80 lbs. currently.  Is there a "better" low-protein food than Science Diet? 
     
    Thank you in advance!
  • Actually, yes there is another product out there that is more palatable to them and a lot of people here will probably shoot me for even mentioning the name cause it is not one of the favorites here. However, Purina One makes a food out there just for Kidney dogs, Urinary dogs etc, that is tastier for the dog and they scarf it up. You can get it at your vet's clinic or ask them to order it for you.
    It is low residue, low protien and I have to addmit it smells really good to my nose. lol
  • I have my Vet order IVD (Royal Canin) Select Care Control for Winnie.  I prefer it because it is preserved naturally.

    I don't know the answer to whether it will harm your puppy's growth, but I do know from experience that you do want to keep the urine PH under control, or you will be in for bigger problems such as stones. If you have the time available, you might also ask your Vet about homecooking your pup's food.  He should be able to give you an appropriate recipe.
  • Actually, yes there is another product out there that is more palatable to them and a lot of people here will probably shoot me for even mentioning the name cause it is not one of the favorites here. However, Purina One makes a food out there just for Kidney dogs, Urinary dogs etc, that is tastier for the dog and they scarf it up

     
     When it comes to a serious medical condition I don't think anyone should be criticized for recommending a prescription diet made for that condition.
  • ORIGINAL: marty_ga

    If you have the time available, you might also ask your Vet about homecooking your pup's food.  He should be able to give you an appropriate recipe.



    Some vets are very informed about homecooking - some not so much. If you decide to try it and your vet can't help you here are two consultants who will work with you on a plan for your specific dog:

    http://www.betterdogcare.com/
    http://www.doggiedietician.com/

    Sorry you and your pup have had to go through all this, best wishes in getting it sorted out!!

    Is he on the c/d? If so, in my very un-expert opinion, 19% protein is fine for a large breed puppy. Low protein is preferrable for slow and steady growth. Even though this is lower than most foods I don't *think* it would cause a problem. I'd be more worried if it was a faster maturing small breed puppy in this situation.
  • [linkhttp://b-naturals.com/Dec2002.php]http://b-naturals.com/Dec2002.php[/link]
     
    read this. And get your pup off that food ASAP. Most folks manage to treat struvites just fine with antibiotics to treat the bladder infection that causes them and then a few months of vitamin C to help dissolve the crystals that have formed.
  • My pointer had struvite crystal and high ph urine.  Doctor wanted to put her on Science Diet or Iams (yuck). I did research (on the board and via telephone calls, emails to manufacturers of dog food) and decided to try Eagle Pack (target ph of 6.2 - 6.4). It's not a perscription food and the holistic varieties have 22-23 % protein.  I also give her cranberry capsules (open them up and mix into the food).  I started with 2 a day (1000 mg) and checked the ph of her urine with spa strips twice daily.  When her ph was where I wanted it to be - 6.4 - I changed it to 1 capsule a day. 

    Your puppy will do fine on a lower protein, though.  When my setter was a puppy, I started her out on high protein, premium puppy food and she ended up woth H.O.D. (a bone growth disorder common in large breeds and some sporting dogs).  She was promptly put on low protein food (18%) and recovered nicely with no relapses. I must add, though, that no one knows if the food is responsible for this problem.  There is some speculation that sensitivity to vaccination could be the culprit, and I must say that my setter is a sensitive creature.   I currently have them both on the Eagle Pack food and they are doing great. Coat is beautiful and stool is firm and healthy looking.  They both do agility and get tons of exercise and are both "bright eyed and bushy-tailed".  My pointer, though, does not have a bushy tail lol.
  • I agree with Diane303.  I had a cat with struvite crystals (I know not the same thing) but after doing research I discovered a number of things I could do to prevent struvite crystals again. 

    1. Keep you baby on canned food or at least mostly canned food, as the moisture will flush the bladder out before crystals form.

    2. Give distilled water.  Tap water and Well water contain minerals that cause  crystals.  Even a human doctor will tell a person with a UTI to drink distilled water.

    3. Use a glass, ceramic, or metal bowl - plastic absorbs bacteria that will make an infection worse.

    4. Cranberry powder (Solid Gold makes a berry meal that is specifilly meant to prevent crystals)


    My vet is a natural vet and she recommends low protien canned food for UTI dogs and even cats.  The one that she recommends is Innova Senior, but I'd be worried about feeding that to a pup.  I used to work for a pet store and I know that other vets have recommended  Nutro Senior, Eagle Pack, SD Senior (although I wouldn't feed that). If you want to mix a little dry food with it, Solid Gold makes a formula called Holistique (yes it's actually spelled that way).  Solid Gold says it's designed for dogs with UTI's kidney and liver problems. But definatly mix it with canned food for the moisture and the fat.


  • My dog has the same problem, the vet wanted to put him on SD k/d but instead I asked him for a homecooked recipe, and he got one from SD. I also asked him about Natural Balance Reduced dry food for him. Protein is 16.5%. he said that would be fine also, and my dog really likes it. But of course check with your vet before trying the NB, or homecooked.
  • I would research dietary implications prior to making your choices.  We have successfully treated cats and dogs with urinary problems, struvite cat and oxalate dog, with diet modifcations without having to use a prescription diet.
     
  • Your puppy will do fine on a lower protein, though. When my setter was a puppy, I started her out on high protein, premium puppy food and she ended up woth H.O.D. (a bone growth disorder common in large breeds and some sporting dogs). She was promptly put on low protein food (18%) and recovered nicely with no relapses. I must add, though, that no one knows if the food is responsible for this problem.

    your puppy will not do fine on a low protein food. Lots of studies have been done, and dogs, particularly puppies, need 30% protein to remain in optimal health. Dogs fed lower levels of protein, such as are commonly found in most commercial dog foods, have poor muscle development and are prone to injury.
    Your pointer developed HOD because you were feeding rich puppy food that caused too rapid growth and probably had way too much calcium in it.  The idea that high protein causes bone disorders in growing puppies has been studied and discredited.
    Diet has nothing to do with struvite crystals. Your dog developed a urinary infection, which causes the urine pH to go up, which allows crystals to form. You treat the infection with antibiotics, and then acidify the urine to help the crystals dissolve and wash out. There is no need or benefit to feeding a special diet. Vitamin C is a very cheap, safe, and effective way to acidify the urine.
  • ORIGINAL: mudpuppy

    your puppy will not do fine on a low protein food. Lots of studies have been done, and dogs, particularly puppies, need 30% protein to remain in optimal health. Dogs fed lower levels of protein, such as are commonly found in most commercial dog foods, have poor muscle development and are prone to injury.


    Eagle Pack, revered by so many dane owners, only has 23% in its large breed puppy formula.


    Your pointer developed HOD because you were feeding rich puppy food that caused too rapid growth and probably had way too much calcium in it.  The idea that high protein causes bone disorders in growing puppies has been studied and discredited.


    This is confusing. When I e-mailed Natura, they said "[color="#000000"]Studies have shown that due to the high amount of protein in the EVO, it has a tendency to speed along the developmental stage in the puppies.[/color]"

    As much as I trust the opinions of the people here, I tend to believe that if the manufacturer says the protein is too high, the protein is probably too high. I e-mailed them back specifically to ask about the calcium and they replied with the same comments about the protein.

    Granted there is a big difference between 42% (EVO) and 30% (mudpuppy's recommendation), but I tend to believe that the low/mid twenties percentage that is standard in large breed puppy formulas is probably the optimum choice for large breed puppies.
  • Kelly, I don't trust ANYTHING that Natura says about large breed pups and EVO since they have changed their stance on it so danged many times.  I'm not sure that they know if it's ok or not.
  • Good point.

    Anyway, guess all I'm trying to say is that if all the "experts" put ~23% protein  in their large breed puppy formulas then I think that's best. But I guess that all depends on a person's personal opinion on if they trust dog food nutritionists or not.
  • Yeah, I'd probably agree with that figure....but, when it comes to EVO and large breed pups, I just can't get out of my head that they've flip flopped WAY too many times on that issue....