Sunday, March 12, 2017
Jax is back!
My buddy Jax, my 4-year-old rescue "Schnoodle" (schnauzer/poodle mix) has been under the weather. He had diarrhea a few days ago, then got better, but overnight got worse again. We tried the bland boiled-chicken-and-white-rice diet, but it didn't do the trick. Fearing it might get more serious before the vet opens on Monday morning, I took him to the 24-hour emergency animal hospital for an exam.
Here's what I learned: His diet is much too rich. I told the vet that we gave him a supposedly high quality food, Blue Buffalo brand, and he just shook his head. He said that the ingredients in Blue Buffalo are good quality, but that it is waaaaay too high in fat, which can lead to pancreatitis and maybe even canine diabetes later. He said virtually all brands of wet food and most dry foods are too fat heavy. I asked why then did all the manufacturers make food they know isn't good for their customers? He said it's simply because it sells.
The vet said that dogs have a pretty bad sense of taste, but a very strong sense of smell, and dogs love the smell of fat in their food and just lap it up. We owners think our dogs like the taste of it and keep buying it, not realizing what it's doing to them.
He said it's similar to how we humans love a good marbled steak. We have enough sense to understand that a regular diet of heavily marbled meat isn't good for us, so we eat it in moderation. Dogs will just keep eating it as long as we put it in front of them, and that's what they're doing when we give them fatty dog food. They might not look fat, and still be very active, but that fat is silently doing a number on their pancreas. Fortunately, at Jax's young age, the vet said his pancreas can recover with a new, lower fat diet.
The ER vet gave him some shots and some pills and said I did right by bringing him in early. He sent us home with a few cans of Purina Canine EN Low Fat food, and said either that or Hills ID Low Fat, both prescription foods available from vets, are his recommended wet food. He strongly advised that we switch Jax over to Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Formula (dry), which is low fat, readily available, and reasonably priced. He cautioned that that particular Purina formula is low fat, but that most other Purina formulas are just like everyone else's....too rich and fatty. Be advised.
Just because your dog(s) like what you're feeding them doesn't mean it's necessarily good for them. Suggest you have a talk with your vet and see what he/she says about it.
Jax is back home now and is sleeping off his meds. He should be his old normal self again soon. :)