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    1. #1
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      A soft poo cycle...

      Hi all!

      Used to be a board member, different name before crash, but kind of think the board had changed (or else something that was always there had just started bothering me and became more noticeable), so I stayed away for awhile.

      Anywho...

      My lab was originally from a puppy mill... puppy mill to pet store, to less than responsible family, and then to me.

      Over the past several years, we've switched up food so many times because although he starts a new food with solid poops, by the time we get to a second bag (third if we're lucky) we end up with poop that's not even pick-up-able. I usually wait it out for a little since they say it takes 3 months or so to see how a new food is really doing. It's really not diarrhea, just soft... never-the-less, we've gone to the vet over it, and it's nothing.

      Otherwise, my lab is healthy. Nice coat, great teeth, good energy, perfect weight... just this poop thing. We've tried supplements, but with no change. The only thing that seems to help is temporary food changes.

      So far, we have tried Wellness Core, a couple grain free varieties of Acana, Performatrin grain free, VeRus (chicken, then fish), Annamaet Salcha and either Extra or Ultra, Fromm (classic, and Surf and Turf, and Beef Fritatta).

      At this point, I figure we've tried grain free, we've tried grain inclusive, we've tried different proteins. Vet says some dogs just have softer poop. It's not liquid, still pretty much makes "logs" (I can't even believe I'm discussing my dogs feces in this much depth), it's just that those "logs" are soft, and in public, we hope he poops on leaves so that we can scoop it up with a bag.

      I don't know which way to go next. Part of me says "let's try uber high protein Orijen, see if it makes a difference" part of me says, "hmm, he was a puppy mill dog. Maybe we need to go more basic, maybe his system isn't built for these types of foods at all." Part of me just hears an echoing version of the vet's "some dogs just have softer poop" followed by "leave it alone!"

      What do ya'll think?

      (Sorry, in a rush for work, and don't have time to proof read, but wanted to get this out there before it's time to order up some more kibble)

    2. #2
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      How much does the dog weigh and how much are you feeding and how often?

    3. #3
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      Here is what I recommend.


      First, do a search on:


      Leaky gut and leaky gut syndrome


      and a search on things to treat it with like:


      a probiotic/digestive enzyme
      slippery elm
      marshmallow root


      I think that you would probably see improvement with a simple food and adding in a probiotic/digestive enzyme. Animal essentials is a good one, and Nature's Farmacy is what I am currently using.


      You may also want to consider raw feeding. Charlie used to always have softer poops and switching him to raw has totally changed that. His poops are small and solid. He also had good poops on natures logic but I know some folks said the opposite for their dogs. Also consider feeding something boney like a turkey neck a couple of times a week in place of a kibble meal. The boney meals with firm up poops and turkey necks are surprisingly easy to find. I have seen them at grocery stores and they are typically the RMB you find at raw food specialty stores.


      Remember that any extras you feed can cause issues as well. Any table scraps, any treats, bones or bully sticks.


      I went to a seminar recently (geared more toward natural feeding) where leaky gut was brought up because some folks had read that dogs can build up an allergy or intolerance to a protein if they are fed it too much. The vet said that typically what happens with them is that those dogs have leaky gut syndrome. She described the cases to have that exact pattern you mention.


      So, you really don't want to get on a food roller coaster as it might be contributing to your dog's digestive problems. Treat the actual problem by first treating the gut so it can digest the food properly.


      Good luck! I hope you are able to get this squared away. And welcome back.
      Last edited by charliebbarkin; 04-14-2015 at 03:03 PM.
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    5. #4
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      Orijen was way, way, way too rich for Luna, so I would keep an eye on poops if you do decide to switch to Orijen. Some dogs can't tolerate how rich it is, so keep that in mind.
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    6. #5
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      LOL, my answer is feed a food just a little "less" in quality. Sometimes all the fancy schmancy foods cause more problems than they fix.

      I have most of mine on Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach (for the salmon not any sensitivities) and my problem child Jack gets Evangers Meat medley (Beef with Rabbit). Everyone has decent poops. They all get about 1 cup a meal, 2 meals a day.
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    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by charliebbarkin View Post
      Here is what I recommend.


      First, do a search on:


      Leaky gut and leaky gut syndrome


      and a search on things to treat it with like:


      a probiotic/digestive enzyme
      slippery elm
      marshmallow root


      I think that you would probably see improvement with a simple food and adding in a probiotic/digestive enzyme. Animal essentials is a good one, and Nature's Farmacy is what I am currently using.


      You may also want to consider raw feeding. Charlie used to always have softer poops and switching him to raw has totally changed that. His poops are small and solid. He also had good poops on natures logic but I know some folks said the opposite for their dogs. Also consider feeding something boney like a turkey neck a couple of times a week in place of a kibble meal. The boney meals with firm up poops and turkey necks are surprisingly easy to find. I have seen them at grocery stores and they are typically the RMB you find at raw food specialty stores.


      Remember that any extras you feed can cause issues as well. Any table scraps, any treats, bones or bully sticks.


      I went to a seminar recently (geared more toward natural feeding) where leaky gut was brought up because some folks had read that dogs can build up an allergy or intolerance to a protein if they are fed it too much. The vet said that typically what happens with them is that those dogs have leaky gut syndrome. She described the cases to have that exact pattern you mention.


      So, you really don't want to get on a food roller coaster as it might be contributing to your dog's digestive problems. Treat the actual problem by first treating the gut so it can digest the food properly.


      Good luck! I hope you are able to get this squared away. And welcome back.

      Thanks!

      I looked up leaky gut though... and it sounds like if it were that, there would be more allergy symptoms involved? Most gave examples of problems with yeast, ear infections, skin and coat problems. We really don't have anything like that going on. Being the internet though, I wonder if it's just that they're giving "worst case" examples. Or maybe I just need to do more research on it. I'll definitely put it on my list of possibilities to ask our vet about though.

      I'm wondering too if leaky gut has to do with inflammation whether inflammatory markers would be raised in blood work... they don't say much about how they would test for leaky gut... from what I'm reading, it seems like dietary changes are made, supplements are started, and if it works then, well, it must be leaky gut?

      I did end up stumbling upon a supposed miracle supplement called SeaCure though, it was listed as part of a treatment plan for leaky gut, and people seem to swear by it. I'll definitely be keeping that in mind in case it might be something my lab would benefit from.

      Thanks for the info... I had heard of intestinal hyperpermeability in people, but never considered looking it up for a pet.

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by JenC View Post
      LOL, my answer is feed a food just a little "less" in quality. Sometimes all the fancy schmancy foods cause more problems than they fix.

      I have most of mine on Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach (for the salmon not any sensitivities) and my problem child Jack gets Evangers Meat medley (Beef with Rabbit). Everyone has decent poops. They all get about 1 cup a meal, 2 meals a day.

      This is kind of what I was thinking. I actually think that I'm going to try Pro Plan.

      If that doesn't help, then I think my next plan will be to see my vet and see if there is any other thing that they can possibly think it could be, and maybe check into seeing a holistic vet.

    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by JenC View Post
      LOL, my answer is feed a food just a little "less" in quality. Sometimes all the fancy schmancy foods cause more problems than they fix.

      I have most of mine on Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach (for the salmon not any sensitivities) and my problem child Jack gets Evangers Meat medley (Beef with Rabbit). Everyone has decent poops. They all get about 1 cup a meal, 2 meals a day.
      Exactly what i was going to say, step down a little with the food. All the foods you listed are a bit "rich" and can easily be the source of your problem. My girls can eat just about anything with the exception of most of those foods you listed, lots of soft poop, gas. Middle of road foods like Proplan, Eukanuba are tolerated well by most dogs

      Its certainly worth a try and its a cheap fix if it does work

    11. #9
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      Hey, there! I am so, so sorry to hear you're on the soft poop rollercoaster (the dreaded SPRC!). I wanted to chime in because we are on our second lab with chronic soft poop and while we never figured it out with our first girl (whose poop alternated between "nothing you can do but hose it down" to "I can kind of scoop it up with my two palms in a bag), we just *finally* got a handle on it with our 7 month old. This is just anecdotal, but if our experience helps you in ant way, yay!

      We tried every kind of food imaginable with Stella (the closest we ever got to a solid stool was home cooked rabbit with Grandma Lucy's rabbit and chickpea) and with our new girl, we started switching her food around nearly immediately after bringing her home (ugh). Orijen (terrible diarrhea and straining), Acana (same thing), hypoallergenic Royal Canin (she lost a terrible amount of weight and still had soft poop), Purina ProPlan (once we got her off it, we couldn't get her back on it without the runs and gas), Fromm (woah, mamma), and a couple of other high end, grain free brands I can't think of off the top of my head. Powdered probiotics, first Purina Forti-flora and then Jarrow Pet-dophilus, were terribly gas inducing and gave her a gurgling belly (counterintuitive, I know). We would often rely on a product called "ProPectin gel", which was basically kaolin clay and pectin, but that often just turned her poop into a more pick up-able jelly.

      What started to make a difference was a product made by Honest Kitchen called Perfect Form. It's a powdered mix of Papaya leaf, plantain leaf, slippery elm, organic pumpkin seed, pectin, papain and fennel. We started with the tiniest amount imaginable and worked up to 1/4 tsp at each meal (the recommended dose for her size was 1tsp, but we never needed that much). Holy Moly, it helped! For the first time in a decade, I could actually pick up a poop in a bag without having to kind of push it around (sorry to be so graphic).

      What really made the final difference, however, was that we switched Ellie to a commercially prepared raw diet (Primal). I have always resisted feeding raw (I have always been skeptical about the food's safety), but I gave it shot out of desperation and it works so well, there is no way I am going back to kibble. Ellie's poops are small, compact, hard as a rock, and have the added bonus of self expressing her anal glands (soft poop = full anal glands). Ellie also drinks much less water, her bloodwork is excellent, as is her urinalysis. This is not to say all is totally groovy. She has scratched and bitten herself raw and hairless in spots and developed these pea sized lumps of localized inflammation, so she's definitely struggling with inflammation issues/allergies, but for the first time since we brought her home at 8 weeks, her poops are solid as a rock. I think it's a very good start!
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    13. #10
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      Hey! I thought since it's been a good three months I would update! We decided to try ProPlan, and whatever the reason may or may not be, it's working like a charm. No more soft stool, no new issues, our boy's doing great on it! Yay!!

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