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  • Results 1 to 8 of 8
    1. #1
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      frrobert's Avatar
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      Food ideas for lab with soft stools and dry skin

      My wife and I adopted a black lab in February. He is estimated be about 14 months and weighs 55 pounds. He is active and healthy but has two issues.

      His stools are soft. Also he has dry skin resulting in itching and dandruff.

      When we got him in February his stools were extremely loose and borderline diarrhea, vomiting once a week, along with a very dull and rough coat to go with the dry skin.

      We came to us eating Purina Pro Plan Lamb and Rice. When his stools did not clear up (we had him check several times for parasites and all tests were negative) we switched him to Nature's Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin recipe. His coat is soft and bright now but he still is suffering from dry skin and dandruff. His stools are better but not where they should be. The vomiting is also gone. So overall he moved in the right direction but not enough. He has been on the new food for over 2 months.

      I am trying to figure what to change in his diet. I have thought about adding coconut oil for his coat but I am worried about doing that till I get his stools firmer. Any ideas on what food to try next?

      Also I am wondering how much I should feed him?
      The directions on the label says for 55 pounds it should be 3 1/4 cups. I was initially feeding him 3 1/2 cups but a few weeks ago I updated it to 4 cups. The reason is my vet says he should weigh in the low sixties, and his weight has been a constant 55 since the day we got him, so I was trying to fatten him up. The trainer, however, says he looks good at 55 so I am wondering if maybe I maybe over feeding him and that is contributing to the soft stools.

      Thanks in advance.

      Fr. Robert

    2. #2
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      Woofie's Avatar
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      Are his ribs *showing*?

      Are they *VERY* easily felt, like actually having indentions?

      If the ribs are easily FELT with no actual indentions, I'd venture to say the dog's weight is fine.

      If the ribs are visible from a distance, and have actual indentions, up the food.

      At 14mnths old, pup is still growing...he probably won't put his full figure on until he's over 2yrs of age, and yes, if you're feeding him too much, it will very commonly cause loose stools. ...but not the dry coat.

      My big guy is 27" tall and by all height standards, he should weigh well into the mid 70's - low 80's; he barely weighs 65lbs and I'm more then happy.

      I LOVE a thin dog, not super thin, but thin - keeps their joints from injury, overall health is better.

      What everyone thinks is a *skinny* dog, is generally one at very good weight.

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      Fredbearthelab (04-27-2015)

    4. #3
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      Lainie's Avatar
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      I agree with Woofie re the "rib test". I wouldn't add coconut oil quite yet but I would add a wild salmon oil supplement capsule (broken open) every day. You can buy Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil capusles at Costco. Or, you can get the wild salmon oil in a liquid form at a health food store. I don't recommend a fish oil blend.
      We are huge fans of raw prey diet & this diet helped our Jessie a lot when she switched almost 3 years ago. She is 12 1/2 now. Her coat is gorgeous, stools nicely formed & only twice a day.
      Its so hard to know about switching to what diet....there are so many out there & then the vets, of course, want you to buy food from them! We've been that route & it was terrible. How about trying a probiotic & digestive enzyme? The only thing in the kibble you're giving him now might be the pumpkin, as it tends to help dogs with constipation. But I'm not sure if that's the problem. Good luck with this, its always a worry.

    5. #4
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      Charlotte K.'s Avatar
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      Here are a few of my thoughts on this. For a rescued dog with these symptoms, I would recommend a thorough worming, and a reworming, no matter what the fecal test said. Panacur or Safeguard would be one wormer that gets a lot of parasites. Also, if he is shedding out his winter coat, the dead coat looks yucky and flakes are released from the skin letting go of the hair. If you bathe a Lab, rinse at least twice as much as you think you need to do. Shampoo left in the coat causes flakiness, as does too frequent bathing. I agree with adding a digestive enzyme and maybe a probiotic. I like Prozyme. Start slow, a quarter of the amount on the label at most, building up to bowel tolerance at a higher dose on a young dog.

      I am not against having an athletically slim teen Lab.

    6. #5
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      frrobert's Avatar
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      Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

      1. His weight - I looked at his records and since January his weight has been at 55 lbs. I think he looks fine and so does the trainer. You can not see his ribs but you can feel them, so to me that is just right but I have not had a lab before and all the labs I know are abit on the chunky side, so I was not sure by what my vet said.

      2. Worming - He has had two complete wormings. In addition, his heartworm treatment includes worming so I think we are ok there.

      3. Probiotic - He is currently on a probiotic, but not an enzyme.

      4. He is losing his winter coat so that maybe the issue with all the dandruff. White on black really shows up.

      5. Pumpkin should not be an issue - It is there for fiber so it actually works both ways. It will help with constipation and also help with loose stools.

      I have not bought dog food for years and there are so many options. Our last dog, a greyhound, had a super sensitive system so I had to cook her food. I am trying to avoid it with our new dog but maybe homemade food is the way to go?

      Thanks again.

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      Charlotte K. (04-27-2015)

    8. #6
      Real Retriever
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      If you can't see his ribs, but can feel them, he's probably perfect. Maybe he's just going to be small. Lola tips the scales at a whopping 60lbs at 2.5 years old. We battled skin issues and loose stool problems early on. We've had great success with Canine Caviar Open Sky (duck) formula. It costs an arm and a leg, but the results speak volumes.
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    9. #7
      Senior Dog
      Georgia's Avatar
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      We adopted our black lab in January. He weighed 55 pounds and is about 63 pounds now. I had him on Pro Plan sensitive skin and stomach at first. He did well on it. He's now eating Holistic Select lamb. His stools are better on the Holistic Select. He gets one and a half cups plus a scoop of canned food twice a day. The rescue said to feed him two cups twice a day but that was way too much food. He was popping all of the time when he was on that much food. We also give him EZ Chew Omega-3 Fatty Acid Chews per the vet. The chews got rid of the flakes. Fish oil was doing nothing for his coat. I bought the chews on Amazon last time because they were cheaper.
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    10. #8
      Senior Dog
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      sounds ilke his weight is fine if you can feel but nto see the ribs.

      my own lab has crazy dandruff and weird fur right now because he is in heavy shedding season. so that could be it.

      too much food (even a little like 1/4 too much) can cause some stool issues.

      it may take time for his body to fully recover if it wasn't in great shape when you took him in (the vomiting/bad poops). My adopted lab has a super sensitive tummy for a few years when I got him. I had to monitor how many and variety of treats he got or he'd get dirahea. He also had giardhea that kept coming back. we muddled thru and he now has a stomach of steal.

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