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Thread: Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

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    Potty Trainer Blitzburggirl's Avatar
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    Default Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

    Hi all
    Quick backstory: Paisley will be 8 next week

    For, the first 7, she was healthy. I fed her Nutro (I forget which one, it was the formula for fat lazy dogs.) Super healthy. Then, last January-ish, we started having issues. Issues turned out to be a perianal fistula, compounded by a TON of infections. It took a month plus of antibiotics to identify the fistula as such, rather than as an infected cut that wouldn't heal normally. The infections were, eyes, over and over, then ears, and eyes, then, ears, eyes, and skin (ended up using an awesome prescription shampoo that cleared it up QUICK! and her fur grew back perfectly!) And of course, eye drops, ear cleaning/drops, and broad spectrum antis.

    Back in Jan, we were told to go to a "novel" diet. Pick a protein she really hadn't been exposed to, and Wellness Whitefish was the one we tried. We did that from Jan/Feb, til about a month and a half ago. During that time, the exposed fistula healed. Found that the the tail pocket got nasty. It hadn't (ever) prior to that, but, I think all the fistula and skin related baths, made it so I got water in there, it didn't dry, and it got gross. We're working on getting that under control.

    Here's the thing. Today, I'm stopping by the vet to pick up eye drops-again. The eye infection is back. She's developed pimples on her chin, and the paw licking is driving me to the brink of distraction. Obviously, she's still fighting something.

    About 2 months ago, I decided to change her food. She was doing "better" but I know how great her health *can* be. I started reading *again, and finally made a decision.

    So, I chose Avoderm Trout and Pea. I wanted to see if maybe, just maybe, I could get my trouble free bully back. If she could be more comfortable.

    A month into Avoderm Trout and Pea, only, she seems to be better. Tail pocket clearing up, the fur is great, less of the infernal paw licking, ear infection gone and seems more... um glossy?

    I went to the store to pick up another bag.. and... PRODUCTION PROBLEMS!! They had a recall, but not that formula. Is it gone forever, or a long time? I picked up 3 8 pound or so bags (all they had) and now, I either have to hope it comes back in time, or switch her to something else.

    Anyway, am I chasing a holy grail? Am I going to get my healthy bully back, or do I just have to recognize she's not 2 anymore? We never had allergy issues when she was younger!

    If I have to switch, does anyone have a suggestion? I don't want to pay much more than what I've been paying for Avoderm or Wellness (if I don't have to.) And it needs to be accessible.

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    Default Re: Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

    I am not that great with food issues.... @cowsmom could help, but in the mean time did you check out the food ratings thread?

    http://www.englishbulldognews.com/fo...g-Food-Ratings
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    Default Re: Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

    Wow ... this could be beyond my advice too. Have you ever had a test done to find out exactly what the allergies are? It might help you choose a food rather than this guessing game.

    All I can suggest is that in the mean time you try the raw food diet and we have a forum specifically for that http://www.englishbulldognews.com/fo...ding-bulldogs/


    Also many are trying home cooked meals with a lot of success .... immediately @desertskybulldogs and @Zoey1974 spring to mind. They can give you some pointers and it could be something you might like to try too.

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    Default Re: Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

    This is interesting to me because I have a almost 7 year old bully that has never really had terrible allergy problems that has been terrible the past few months.

    The food thing is a mystery to me - I don't know but I wish I did. Each bully does well on a food that another bully might have trouble with. I feed NVI Limited Ingredient Diet with Turkey. It's grain and gluten free but I still struggle with allergies because most bullies with really bad allergies are environmental, not just from food - so things you can't really get them away from like pollen, dust, and that kind of thing.

    It sounds like your bully is really suffering - did your vet talk to you about cyclosporine? It's a medication that alters the immune system so it doesn't overreact to allergens, which is what allergies are. After the skin infections, paw licking, and incessant itching got out of control for my bully, Truman, we decided to put him on cyclosporine and it's nothing short of a miracle - completely different dog.

    I am the squeaky wheel in not recommending allergy tests for your bully. The reason I say this is, in my quest to help my bullies with allergies, I learned that blood allergy tests given to dogs were developed for humans and extremely inaccurate. There is another test where they shave a patch of hair and poke your bully with different allergens, which is more accurate, but expensive! And, like I mentioned above, often times, when you get to that stage of diagnosis, it's not just a matter of a food change.

    Anyway, it's tough and you're not alone. But after going through steroids, benadryl, hydroxyzine, and other treatments, cyclosporine is doing the trick for Truman, so maybe it's worth at least asking about for your bully? The down side is that it is expensive - I pay $52 a month - but Truman hasn't been to the vet since he started on it.

    Good luck!

    "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
    Bentley (5.24.04 - 6.26.10) & Linus (1.10.06 - 7.31.13)

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    Default Re: Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

    Thank you so much for the responses.. I have looked at the food ratings thread, and there is so much good advice out there. I just really wish there were a way to know for certain what would be perfect for her. We love her so much, and her comfort is so important to us. I agree with sheshistory on the allergy panel, I haven't done it for just the reasons she stated. Funny, it sounds like our old bullies have alot in common! Both my vet and I agree that that long term anti's aren't going to solve the problem for very long, I'm surprised that your vet is doing cyclo that long. Not turning up a nose.. just genuinely surprised I'm sooooo glad it's working!

    Alot of people have alot of great things to say about a RAW diet, however, it won't work for our lifestyle. We are out of town, alot (at least 3/4 times a month), and not always staying in a home. This is another reason I'd like to find a food that can be reliably obtained at a PetSmart or PetCo or similar store.

    I left out some information, it would truely be a novel if I didn't. Loosely speaking, from Jan to Feb she was on cyclo, trying to heal the "puncture wound" that was thought to be infected. After (I think) two rounds of 2 weeks each, the "puncture wound" didn't heal, a couple follow up visits, etc, and we were then told it was a peri anal fistula. Somewhere in Feb, we were told to do the novel diet, so, since she'd always had chicken based foods, we went to fish. The vet recommended Wellness. We also started Atopica, Atopica is a drug that does alot of what you said with cyclo, only a bit more effective..... I still don't totally understand the fistula thing, and Atopica is supposedly the best drug to fight it with... And there was another anti, I forget the name right now, but we did that. And another drug for tummy issues due to either the atopica or the anti. After starting Atopica, at first, she seemed to do much better. She was, in my 11 year old's words, fluffier. He had no idea what all the meds were supposed to do. I was estatic! Then, crash. Eye infections, ear infections, and general pimpleness. Oh, and her face wrinkles.. ick. She was miserable! OH! And, the SMELL!!! Keeping the fistula clean was a priority, and there was a terrible odor associated with it, the result was weekly baths. And, even 2 or more days, she'd get stinky. Please remember, I've had her since her 2nd birthday, so, it's not as if I wasn't used to keeping up a bulldogs hygiene.

    Eventually, the fistula began healing, and I had hope We dialed down the atopica, we went with a different anti, and tacrolimus (I think I spelled that right... that was expensive!) The Atopica was nearly $90 for 15 pills. She was on two a day for over 3 months, and we weaned her down. For about 6 months, I had a $250 a week (plus if she needed eye or ear drops or tummy or pain meds) vet bill. I was seriously at a breaking point (financially with this) and had no idea what to do. One problem was the immune system see saw we were putting her on. Eventually though, she evened out for a while. We were told that eventually it was possible that she could come totally off of the Atopica, or that it was possible that she would have to remain on a pill a day (at least) for the rest of her life. The fistula healed. The smell was better and the weekly baths made it so she was bearable with spot cleaning. I made the decision to take her off of it. Back came all the infections. PLUS a bacterial infection that started manifesting with sores and her fur falling out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was horrific! I took her back to the vet, bought another set of eye, ear and antis, and also keto shampoo. She cleared up well, and I'm still bathing her.. etc...

    So.. all this doom and gloom, right? She'd been on the Wellness oceanfish. We're still fighting the eye infections, and, as long as I stay on top of it, the ear infections have gone away. Her face is normal again, and her chin... well, it's way better. The fistula is gone. But, I think all the baths and the fact I'd never really had to clean her tail pocket before, as well as messing up her immune system, have caused a nasty tail pocket mess.

    It's getting better. It really is. I am trying to find a better way than baby wipes followed by gauze to ensure dryness, but, otherwise she's in way better shape than she was last year at this time.

    I did switch her food about a month ago. She seems to like it more. For a while, she had no appetite, and lost a few pounds. And, I'm not sure if if it's the food, or the my refined cleaning (I used to just use Pamper hypoallergenic wipes without drying the tail pocket... they always kept her face clean and healthy (5 plus years.) but, she's back to her normal weight, and other than a random eye infection and the stinky tail pocket, I really believe I'll have my dog back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't want to start playing with her immune system again to solve the tail pocket problem if I don't have to.

    Sooooo sorry for this looooooooong post. If you made it this far She seems to be doing better on the Avoderm Trout and Pea than the Wellness, but, it's very possible it's just the point in treatment/healing making it seem as such. My biggest concern right now, is I don't want to switch her again, if I don't have to, but, if I have to, is the Wellness Oceanfish a good choice to go back to, or should I consider another food?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzburggirl View Post
    Hi all
    Quick backstory: Paisley will be 8 next week

    For, the first 7, she was healthy. I fed her Nutro (I forget which one, it was the formula for fat lazy dogs.) Super healthy. Then, last January-ish, we started having issues. Issues turned out to be a perianal fistula, compounded by a TON of infections. It took a month plus of antibiotics to identify the fistula as such, rather than as an infected cut that wouldn't heal normally. The infections were, eyes, over and over, then ears, and eyes, then, ears, eyes, and skin (ended up using an awesome prescription shampoo that cleared it up QUICK! and her fur grew back perfectly!) And of course, eye drops, ear cleaning/drops, and broad spectrum antis.

    Back in Jan, we were told to go to a "novel" diet. Pick a protein she really hadn't been exposed to, and Wellness Whitefish was the one we tried. We did that from Jan/Feb, til about a month and a half ago. During that time, the exposed fistula healed. Found that the the tail pocket got nasty. It hadn't (ever) prior to that, but, I think all the fistula and skin related baths, made it so I got water in there, it didn't dry, and it got gross. We're working on getting that under control.

    Here's the thing. Today, I'm stopping by the vet to pick up eye drops-again. The eye infection is back. She's developed pimples on her chin, and the paw licking is driving me to the brink of distraction. Obviously, she's still fighting something.

    About 2 months ago, I decided to change her food. She was doing "better" but I know how great her health *can* be. I started reading *again, and finally made a decision.

    So, I chose Avoderm Trout and Pea. I wanted to see if maybe, just maybe, I could get my trouble free bully back. If she could be more comfortable.

    A month into Avoderm Trout and Pea, only, she seems to be better. Tail pocket clearing up, the fur is great, less of the infernal paw licking, ear infection gone and seems more... um glossy?

    I went to the store to pick up another bag.. and... PRODUCTION PROBLEMS!! They had a recall, but not that formula. Is it gone forever, or a long time? I picked up 3 8 pound or so bags (all they had) and now, I either have to hope it comes back in time, or switch her to something else.

    Anyway, am I chasing a holy grail? Am I going to get my healthy bully back, or do I just have to recognize she's not 2 anymore? We never had allergy issues when she was younger!

    If I have to switch, does anyone have a suggestion? I don't want to pay much more than what I've been paying for Avoderm or Wellness (if I don't have to.) And it needs to be accessible.
    Have you checked to see if Petflow is carrying your avoderm ?


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    Default Re: Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

    ok im back at my puter and im on it with the food thing. will probably be tomorrow as its been a long day and im tired but i will find you and answer. as for the tail pocket the best thing i have used for a messy one is duoxo pads. you can order at amazon or where ever you choose. if not then maybe try some hibiclenz. its a soap found at the drug store till it clears up then you can go back to the baby wipes. ill get back to you tomorrow. @Blitzburggirl

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    Default Re: Novel diet?? I don't put this much thought into my own food!!!

    ok so here is what ive found that you can get at petco or petsmart which is what im assuming you mean by accessable. castor & pollux ultramix grain & poultry free- hm there is a new one at petco it seems called i and love and you that looks good for u sea recipe to use but kinda expensive it seems- natural balance alpha dog trout, salmon meal, and whitefish- innova prime salmon and herring grain free though im not to thrilled with innova since p&g took over but it looks ok. well thats all for now if you need more then i will find more. from what i can read there shouldnt be a shortage of this really as they have started producing it again a bit ago.

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