Covid Food Shortage

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afairbairn
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Posts: 29
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Pet name: Hana
My name: Andy

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by afairbairn » 24 Jan 2022, 23:04

So this little food shortage journey is taking us in a few different unexpected directions. The surprising thing is that Hana seems to be doing great. For the last few days we have been strictly on the Hills Z/D food and the poo is crazy good. Nice and formed small diameter dark brown little nuggets. I certainly wasn't expecting that as a byproduct of this food shortage, but this has to be good news? The only bad side is its really difficult to feed since its so soupy, but we are trying not to mush it up as much and it seems to be working kind of okay'ish.

I spent some time reading up on the diet page and realized maybe this Hills Z/D is just better for this particular EPI dog? From what I can tell the Hills has a max fiber of 1.5% and the Purina we have been on was 3.5% max fiber. The other thing is the Purina's second ingredient is pea starch and I if I was reading things correctly in the diet section, anything with the word "pea" in it isn't ideal. Do you think those factors may be making a difference?

The other thing this has done is make me question the whole reason we are on hydrolyzed protein to begin with. I'm looking back on this past year and realized we were initially sent home with a purina hydrolyzed protein prescription when Hana ended up in the ER after a really weird stretch of GI issues followed by a myasthenia gravis / megaE / aspiration pneumonia diagnosis. After that fun little episode it took us another month to figure out she was literally shrinking before our eyes so we added an EPI diagnosis in to the mix, you know, just for fun. So with a lot of support from vets and this site Hana seems to be doing really well. We have one vet who thinks the MegaE has resolved itself and another who isn't as sure, which we still need to sort out at some point. But maybe that's for another day.

I understand the initial reason for the hydrolyzed protein was to try to rule out any food allergies with the pre ER visit GI issues she was having, plus it is a good texture for meatballs to help the Mega E. We did have a vet who wanted us to try a non hydrolyzed protein wet food and it went terrible so we stopped quickly and reverted back to the purina hydrolyzed. But now that I'm looking at the food label for that kind we tested out (Royal Canin Gastrointestinal) it makes me wonder if maybe that just wasn't a good food choice for an EPI dog? After that trial the vet seemed to think that we just stick with the hydrolyzed protein. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for sticking with something that is working. It just makes me wonder if we're limited our selves in our food choices. If one was wanting to try out some different wet foods is there some kind of a smart process to start testing out other options?
Hana is a 1 year old golden doodle who was recently diagnosed with EPI on top of Myasthenia Gravis and Megaesophogus.

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Montgomery
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Posts: 206
Country: Canada
Pet name: Montgomery (I'm a CAT!)
My name: V

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by Montgomery » 25 Jan 2022, 00:16

Try one thing at a time and give it a good try. There are a lot of really simple wet foods on the market that may work (check out Weruva, for instance). If you just try one thing at a time and it works, great, feed that for a bit before adding in anything else, that way you'll know what happened if something doesn't agree with the dog. I'm in the same boat right now; the naturopath wants Montgomery off what he's eating. The first thing we tried was a complete fail, so we're back to square one, looking for something else to attempt. I hope you find something your dog loves, and that works for them!
Montgomery was born 20 March 2012. He eats extra lean ground chicken completed with Alnutrin and freeze-dried chicken liver, with hard-cooked egg. He gets two size zero capsules of Enzyme Diane's enzymes at each of his six meals, and one size four capsule of Tylan three times a day. He's a strong, fearless little Spitfire with a real Merlin engine.

afairbairn
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Posts: 29
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Pet name: Hana
My name: Andy

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by afairbairn » 27 Jan 2022, 22:45

I had a conversation with the vet the other day and she reminded me that the initial ER vet who started the Hydrolyzed Protein diet had suspected IBD. Which based on all of the GI issues Hana was having before her ER episode probably makes sense. Pre EPI diagnosis when things were going really bad with poo's we would call Hana mustard butt because her white fluffy fur on backside would end up looking like a big patch of mustard. It was really gross. I'm starting to wonder if those could have been the first signs of EPI setting in? Or I guess it could have been IBD too. It sure seems like they have some similar things. I know that when it would get especially yellow we would switch her to a rice and boiled chicken diet that seemed to help some. The poo never was great but at least it stopped the mustard butt.

I know there is a blood test you can take now for IBD which we may try to have done. What I'm wondering now is if IBD and EPI can be confused? Could the vet have suspected IBD but it could have been EPI that was setting in? When Hana came home from the ER we know the EPI was there but undiagnosed because over the next three weeks she had a massive weight loss before EPI was diagnosed. With our luck if there is some kind of thing a dog can have, the chances are we have that too.

In the meantime while we figure out if we want to have the IBD test I did shop around and find a few different cans of non hydrolyzed low fiber grain free food options that are chicken based. I've started adding a tablespoon of it with each meal. So far I haven't seen any negative effect so I may gradually increase the amount of the non hydrolyzed food to see what happens. Maybe if she can handle the non hydrolyzed food that would be a good indication there isn't IBD?
Hana is a 1 year old golden doodle who was recently diagnosed with EPI on top of Myasthenia Gravis and Megaesophogus.

afairbairn
Member
Posts: 29
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Pet name: Hana
My name: Andy

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by afairbairn » 31 Jan 2022, 23:19

So after successfully working up to an added 3 tablespoons per meal of a non hydrolyzed protein we had some throw ups for two days in a row so we are stopping that test. Which leads me to suspect either IBD or maybe I picked a bad food to test. Either way, we're back to all hydrolyzed and I'm going to try to get a test done to know for sure if IBD is a real issue.

In the meantime, everything else seems to be working well with the Hills Z/D. The poo's have been pretty darn good and the frequency has greatly diminished. Hana is down to going 3x a day for a few days in a row and today is shaping up to be 2x. But after talking a bit with my wife yesterday we recently noticed that the amount of water she is drinking has dropped drastically. I think we both assumed the other was filling the water bowl but it turns out neither of us are. I know that the canned food has a lot of moisture but I'm a little stumped by the minimal drinking. And although we've changed brands, we have been on canned food for a while now. I can't figure out if the decrease in drinking is a concern or not...
Hana is a 1 year old golden doodle who was recently diagnosed with EPI on top of Myasthenia Gravis and Megaesophogus.

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jilbert57
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Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by jilbert57 » 01 Feb 2022, 08:21

Hi Andy, a definitive diagnosis would be nice. Is there an issue keeping a dog on the Z/D long term? I have 2 non Epi pups right now on Honest Kitchen that I add water to rehydrate. Really cut down on water intake. Is Hana peeing a normal amount?

Jill
My name is Jill and we live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. We currently have one pup. TJ is a 5 year old Jack Russell.

Mickey and his pancreatitis brought me to Epi4dogs.com site in 2012 to help manage it.
He lived from 6/99 - 8/2014

Mickey, Jack Russell. Chronic Pancreatitis. Dianes enzymes, 1/8t 3x/day with meals.

afairbairn
Member
Posts: 29
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Pet name: Hana
My name: Andy

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by afairbairn » 16 Feb 2022, 22:54

So last week I started introducing a 1/4 cup of dry kibble (Hills Z/D) with enzymes for each meal to go with the wet Z/D and it seems like things are going pretty well as we haven't had any regurgitation. I think gradually I'll keep adding a little more kibble and see how she does and cross my fingers that maybe the MegaE might really behind us. With the dry kibble being introduced she's back to drinking water so maybe the canned food must have had enough moisture. Out vet is still trying to get an account setup to do the IBD test to know one way or the other if we need to stick with hydrolyzed. But in the meantime things seem to be managed ok. Hanas weight had gone down 3 lbs or so during all this but it's all back so that's good.

It also seems like the food shortage may be resolved, at least temporarily. We just received the Purina HA canned food so I'm going to try to go back to that because it so much easier to feed than the Hills which turns into a big soupy mess. I am interested to see how she does on the Purina since pea starch is the second ingredient and the Hills doesn't have any pea ingredients. What I am wondering is if a change in food would also mean potentially a different amount of enzymes would be needed? It seems like if her poo starts going bad it could be from the pea starch but could it also be because a different amount of enzymes are needed for a different food?

Thanks for all the input from everybody so far. This is certainly quite the puzzle to try to figure out, but knock on wood we seem to be going in the right direction.
Hana is a 1 year old golden doodle who was recently diagnosed with EPI on top of Myasthenia Gravis and Megaesophogus.

Tuckaboo Pam
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Posts: 1066
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Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by Tuckaboo Pam » 17 Feb 2022, 10:21

With the pea starch, is the fiber count still good? 4% or less? The arguments I have read against peas are about the protein in them being counted, which cuts down on the amount of meat in the food. Meat contains taurine, and peas do not. Or something like that.
https://epi4dogs.com/taurine-grainfree-diets/

---Pam
Tucker is a shepherd/lab mix; he has tested positive on the ScheBo test for EPI, as well as the fasting TLI. Results--- TLI 1.3, Folate 9.7, Cobalamin 666, Lipase 38. Currently taking Diane's Enzymes 4 teaspoons/day, Wonderlabs B12 one capsule per day, two capsules slippery elm/evening, 1 Proviable capsule/day, and Tylan 1/32 teaspoon/ morning (to hold SID at bay). Sport Dog Elite, herding dogs 4 cups/day. No more poop eating, has gone from 60 to 80 pounds, and he is a happy member of the family, though a bit of a stinker, if you ask the other dogs. Tucker is my boyfriend, and my husband is OK with that.

afairbairn
Member
Posts: 29
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Pet name: Hana
My name: Andy

Re: Covid Food Shortage

Post by afairbairn » 18 Feb 2022, 20:58

So the Purina we just switched back to (which we had been on for a long time) has a fiber of 3.5% but the pea starch is a main ingredient. It is so much easier to feed while we are still suspecting MegaE.

The food we had been on while the Purina was out of stock is the Hills Z/D which has a fiber of 1.5% and no pea starch. She did really well on it. If it wasn't such a sloppy mess we would probably stick with it.

Heres an interesting thing that started happening today. Poo eating. We hadn't had that for a while? I wonder if its a coincidence that seemed to restart in the same ballpark of time we are back on Purina. Can the poo eating be a sign that good digestion isn't going on?
Hana is a 1 year old golden doodle who was recently diagnosed with EPI on top of Myasthenia Gravis and Megaesophogus.

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