Behavior and Diet

Discussion dedicated to promoting the well-being of your dog through diet, exercise and general health tips.

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Joined:Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:35 pm
Behavior and Diet

Post by rnor1120 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:50 pm

Not looking for advice, just sharing my experience.

Chance is an almost 6 year-old neutered male Kittitian pit bull. His gut has always been sort of finicky. I've found very few foods that result in normal defecations. During vet school, I had the ability to receive discounted dog food through a variety of companies (don't get any ideas, they're just nice to vet students. In no way, shape, or form were our classes sponsored by food companies and I certainly do no receive kick-backs now as a vet...) and I was able to find a few of the Hill's foods that kept him regular. With my luck, all were discontinued. Through trial and error, I found a food that he liked and that kept him regular, but my boss scolded me as this food had a fairly nasty recall not so long ago.

So I tried Wellness Complete (lamb and barley), but he had such smelly diarrhea that I had to try something new. Blood work, urinalysis, and fecal examination during this time was normal (including thyroid). I thought that maybe Chance had a food sensitivity, so I tried Wellness' limited ingredient food, Wellness Simple (lamb and oatmeal). Within a few days his stool was normal in consistency and I was thrilled.

Around this time, I noticed Chance started to get old. He's my running partner, I take him out with me a few times a week and we typically run 2-ish miles. That's a good work out for me, and a warm-up for Chance. I'm winded, and he's pulling for more. Seriously. We went almost 3 miles one time and he came home and insisted on wrestling with my other dog. But now he just seemed to get tired soon. We'd run half a mile and he'd be lagging behind. He'd refuse to keep pace and I was soon getting 50 lbs of resistance training with every run. He stopped wanting to play with my other dog every morning. He hunted for lizards on my porch still, but his sessions were much shorter. I treated him empirically for back pain as he stopped wanting to jump up into my jeep. A course of NSAID and muscle relaxer improved his demeanor a bit, but he still tired quickly and didn't want to play much.

I resolved that my Energizer-Bunny dog was just getting old. After all, his blood work was normal, his exam showed resolved back pain and no other obvious regions of discomfort, and his appetite and stools were normal. It made me sad, but I realize that he's not going to live forever (by the way, he was a year old when I started posting to this forum about his aggression). I started going on solo runs, leaving my running buddy behind giving me sad eyes at the door.

It was a few weeks later that I had to buy a different food. Petsmart ran out of Wellness Simple's lamb-based food, so I bought the turkey instead. This was fate. Within a few days, his energy level returned to normal. He was wrestling my other dog again. He chased lizards for hours. I took a chance and brought him running with me again, and by the end he was begging for more. He's been pulling me on runs since.

I've checked the ingredients on the foods; other than the protein source I haven't found much difference. Chance has eaten lamb-based kibble since his adoption in January of 2011 (suggested due to his bad skin), and I've never had this issue before.

So I guess the moral of this story is this: behavioral problem? Sluggish? Ain't Doin' Right? Do blood work at the vet. And if that's normal, try different foods.

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Joined:Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Behavior and Diet

Post by Nettle » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:04 am

Wise advice. Don't they teach us a lot? :)

If you have ever had long-term gut disturbances, you'll be aware of how they affect your own behaviour.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


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