Advice for sensitive stomach

Discussion in 'Labrador health' started by Lucy and Mia, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    I have an 11 month old fox red lab, Mia, and she has such a sensitive stomach. She is fed nothing but her food, I have even had to stop using training treats and use pieces of her food instead. She is a bit of a nervous soul and not always fussed about eating her food if there is any sort of distraction so I wonder if these may be contributing factors to her stomach complaint? She seems to poop excessively and it is often very soft and quite light in colour(sorry for the in depth poo description!!) I am currently feeding her on James Wellbeloved Hypoallergenic Lamb and Rice. She seems to be happiest on this so far out of others that I have tried but I still feel that I should try something else for her. Any advice or suggestions for different foods are massively welcome!
    Thank you!
     
  2. leighxxxx

    leighxxxx Registered Users

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    Hi we had a problem with Kyko intermittently having runny poos since we got him. When we made the transition from junior to adult food he had constant runny poo & was refusing to eat his food most of the time. We noticed he had a very upset stomach when we gave him fish so we firstly cut fish out of his diet, when this didn't help we put him on grain free from tails........he absolutely loves his food now & it seemed to do the trick. However a few days later he had some chicken pancakes which we made him using rice flour instead of wheat flour & he again got the runs, so next step was to cut dairy out too. He just happened to be at the vets at this time & they agreed probably lactose intolerance. So now he's on grain free, fish free & dairy free & fingers crossed it seems to have done the trick. We make sure all his treats are grain free too & have recently came across Millies Wolfheart. Not sure if you are UK based or not but if so give them a go, their food looked very reasonably priced also. Since changing his diet he is also not suffering from bloating & he rarely farts anymore either & when he does it no longer clears the room :p:D
     
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  3. mummyp85

    mummyp85 Registered Users

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    Hi Lucy and Mia. I have a 6 month fox red called Hero. For the first month after we got him he had similar problems. Breeder had weaned him onto Arden Grange. He seemed to constantly have very soft sometimes runny poop and several times a day and night. Vet suggested trying grain free hypoallergenic kibble and we switched to AVA. Once fully on that his stomach began to settle although still soft poops some of the time. Vet nurse suggested trying spoonful of 0 per cent plain Greek yoghurt per day and including things like pureed carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato or butternut squash. We make use of alternating a different puree in his Kong's with his other fillings and freezing lightly. I also make bone broth ice cubes for him each month. All of this has work and Hero's stomach is well settled and poops normal. Would suggest maybe trying one of the options for few weeks and seeing how your sensitive pup responds. Just be careful introducing the yoghurt because of possible lactose intolerance. Only very small amount to start with. I reduce amount of kibble to compensate for the extras but a lot of them have zero or minimal calories. You don't say if you have tried anything besides the kibble and training treats so not sure if this helps. Hero goes a solutely bananas when the bone broth or veggies come out and loves his food now. Good luck and hope you find something that helps
     
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  4. J.D

    J.D Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    These fox reds. I’m sure there is something in the genes.
    Toby had problems with stomach and skin which has now been attributed to food sensitivities. Having got him through his chemo I am now a partial covert to raw food(as in I am yet to be fully convinced)
    Having established chicken was a non starter he seems fine on turkey or duck. I am sticking to a single protein source until I have established exactly what he can eat. His poos are great and as they should be on raw.
    My reservation is he is still having issues with scratching/biting himself.
    It’s all a bit of a learning curve but I am glad to be giving it a go.

    Failing this I had him on Hill’s Prescriptive D/d which is duck based and his poos were great but again not the scratching.
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Registered Users

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    Hi Lucy, it might be worth having Mia tested by your vet.

    Our first lab had problems and we tried taking things off her diet, which was only partially helpful. Once we had her tested we knew exactly what to avoid, which in her case was pork, beef, chicken and dairy.

    We had to be really careful no one gave her anything (random people at the park seemed to!). Good luck
     
  6. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    Thank you for your reply. Her breeder had fed her on whatever was the cheapest bag from his local store with some cheap minced meat he got from the butchers up until she was 3 months old and then she can to us after failing in her working training - she has probably the shorted attention span in the world and is the most easily distracted little thing. So there was very little advice from him when it came to what she was fed on. He also fed ad lib from a mechanical feeder that she shared with two other pups so he didn’t know how much she was actually eating and we have had to start from scratch with her diet. The overnight pooing has settled down a bit now, possibly only happening once a week or so but Mia wasn’t house trained when she came to us so I’m unsure if that may have been the biggest cause of overnight poops in the porch! Someone had suggested giving her a carrot to chew on to distract her from chewing the table legs and that didn’t seem to upset her so maybe I can try puréed carrot in her Kong as a starting point. She absolutely loves playing with her Kong but all I have tried in it so far is organic peanut butter and then popping it in the freezer. I don’t think the peanut butter caused an issue but I cut it out of her diet when I cut out the training treats so I could focus on her food. What do you use to make the bone broth? It’s so difficult to know what to do, my last Lab was a chocolate who could eat anything and everything and the only issue I had was keeping the weight off her so trying to deal with keeping weight on and a sensitive stomach is a massive learning curve for me! I’m glad you have managed to work things out for your boy!
     
  7. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    My older lab had absolutely no issues so this is all a bit foreign to me at the moment, I am definitely learning more than I imagined possible about the variations of poos though! My boyfriends sister is terrible for feeding Mia under the table when we’re eating so after making sure that wasn’t happening I was able to focus on her food but I can always tell immediately if she has had something that she shouldn’t as it just goes right through her. Perhaps I will speak with the vets and see what they can advise. Mia is the happiest little dog but even with the extremely waggly tail I just know that her stomach isn’t quite right and I need to do something to sort it. Thank you for your reply!
     
  8. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    I think you are right about the fox red genes! My dad has a fox red and she is the fussiest eater I have ever known, if she doesn’t like what’s in her bowl she will just turn her nose up and play with her ball instead! And she is the most nervous soul I have ever come across, needless to say she never made it through her gundog training but tries her very best to bring a ball to you at every opportunity as long as she’s met you on several occasions and you have never made any loud noises near her! Mia was fed on a mixture of dry kibble and raw meat by her breeder but it was the cheapest options available and given ad lib that she had to share with 2 other pups until she was 3 months old but not being a massive meat lover myself I took her off the raw meat and instead just give her dry food. I have yet to be convinced on the raw diet but at this stage I am willing to try anything that help her. I have read that skin issues seem to go hand in hand with stomach sensitivities but so far she hasn’t had any signs of a skin complaint. She is the happiest dog you could come across but it’s just the poos that are an issue. I have tried her on a dry food that was chicken flavoured and her farts could clear a room on that, her current lamb flavoured food doesn’t give her wind anymore so at least we have made progress with that. Mia is nowhere near as easy as my old chocolate lab, her only issue was gaining weight as soon as she smelt food!! Thank you for your reply and I’m glad you have found something to help your boy!
     
  9. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    Mia is definitely a slow eater and not at all food driven, if there is something more exciting going on then she will leave her bowl to investigate but she generally seems happy enough to o eat what I have given her - wouldn’t it be so much easier if they could just talk to us! I haven’t heard of Millies Wolfheart so I will look that up. I have found chicken flavoured food gives her terrible wind but her current lamb flavoured food doesn’t so that is a little bit of progress for her. I will perhaps speak with the vet and see if they can suggest anything or maybe have her tested for allergies. I’m glad your boy is happy now and not suffering the death farts (as my brother called them when Mia was clearing rooms with hers!)
     
  10. mummyp85

    mummyp85 Registered Users

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    Hi Lucy. What a shame Mia had such a poor start in life bless her. We get our bones from a local butcher. The best are the joints as these contain the goodness. A lot of recipes suggest chicken feet but as Mia has issues with chicken I would personally avoid those. Our butcher gives us a couple of lamb hipbones and I put them in a big pot on the job, covered with water and one cup of cider vinegar. That's the important ingredient as it draws out the marrow and the goodness from the bones. They have to be brought to the boil and then simmer for 24 h 36 hours. You can do them in a slow cooker or pressure cooker too. I also add carrots. Once done strain off and the liquid remaining once cool will look a bit like soft jelly. It can be given as a spoonful on kibble or I tend to make icecubes. I have a handy tray which makes half sphere cubes which make brilliant corks for aKong. The bone broth helps skin and joints and Hero loves it. I do wonder from what you have said about Mia's history prior to her coming to live with you if anything happened in that time to make her so nervous and the obvious disinterest exhibited in her eating habits while younger seem to have left lasting effects on her bless her. Maybe discuss with vet like Saffy said, because whatever happened when she was younger may have caused possible medical issues. You obviously have a lot of love for her and this will help her. We used to always take in rescue animals prior to pup and it was harder but they all became settled and happy with enough love and care.
     
  11. mummyp85

    mummyp85 Registered Users

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    Just another thought Lucy. I'm guessing that at 11 months Mia is being fed twice a day. Although this may be different. Hero has always had a problem with full meals. This seemed to upset his system. Vet suggested giving only portion of kibble at main meals and splitting rest up and snacks so throughout the day. Know this can be inconvenient for people at work but it has helped him. He has breakfast about 7.30, snack at 10.30, Kong at lunchtime, snack at 3, tea at 5 and then a Kong for supper. Splitting his food into smaller portions has helped
     
  12. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    I think the breeder was just old fashioned in his methods and when they didn’t quite work for Mia and she didn’t keep up with her training he just lost interest. We seen all his other dogs in kennels there and they were all thriving and happy, it just seemed to be Mia who was looking a bit lost. My dad also has a fox red who is the most nervous, sensitive soul I have come across so I sometimes wonder if it’s something in the fox red genes. Mia genuinely loves anyone she comes across and will give her affection to anyone who lets her but she has a lot of naughty puppy habits that we are struggling to break. She knows she has done wrong because as soon as she hears you coming she will run to her cage to get in her bed, instead of lying on the sofa or coming to meet you, and avoid eye contact so I just clear up her mess without making a fuss and don’t give her any attention until it’s all sorted then wait for her to approach me. I do wonder if the breeder was bit hard on her during her training when she was not getting it as fast as the other two pups. We have also had issues with nervous weeing but I think we have worked that out now. Not knowing her full history is something that I am struggling with as I hate the not knowing. While training she responds well to treats rather than a toy, my dads fox red only responded to being rewarded with a ball, but when it comes to meal times if there is any sort of distraction (i.e. a door opening or closing, dropping something that makes a noise, me going outside) then she will leave her food to investigate. I wonder if that comes from the previous ad lib feeding or if it’s just her inquisitive nature. I will look into the recipes on the broth, thank you for the idea. As a starting point I think I will try some vegetable purée in her Kong as you previously suggested. Mia is fed morning and evening so maybe it would be an idea to try feeding smaller meals more often in the day. I am at work all day but my boyfriend, mum and brother all work shifts so there is usually someone around - which works out well as Mia doesn’t really like to be alone, although she has gotten better since we introduced her cage as a safe place to her routine. Reading all this back makes me realise how many issues we have had and how much we have overcome since Mia became part of our family, it really has been so difficult and such a learning curve for both me (having had dogs all of my life) and my boyfriend (first time dog owner). I am so proud of everything we have managed to overcome with Mia but the one that I am really struggling with is the sensitive stomach. I really am so grateful for all your advice!
     
  13. BeautifulWar11

    BeautifulWar11 Registered Users

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    Allergies seem to be a big thing with Labs. Ours is a yellow lab and she cannot tolerate fish in any form. She gets sick from it. We started her on a limited ingredient diet quite a few years ago, Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Venison and she's done really great on that over the years. (Well until recently when she got sick, but we don't think that has anything to do with food, it's something else going on with her system, but that's another story).

    We also give her Zyrtec over the counter and that seems to help other allergies she has.
     
  14. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    I have grown up with labs and never known any of them to have allergies so Mia’s problems have been a massive learning curve for me but since looking into it there does seem to be a common theme of allergies in labs. We must have just been lucky with our others! I have read a lot that skin sensitivities tend to go hand in hand with stomach issues but Mia is showing now signs of any issues other than her sensitive stomach. I am yet to try her with any kind of fish but so far chicken seems to be the worst for her. I have heard lots about the benefit of sweet potato so that may be worth looking into. Thanks for your reply!
     
  15. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Registered Users

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    Hi again, sorry you probably have already but just in case maybe have Mia tested also for any bacteria, our poor girl also had compylabacter, which was also causing runny poo and sickness, it took two lots of antibiotics and good bacteria meds to clear it. Hopefully Mia hasn't but just a thought
     
  16. Lucy and Mia

    Lucy and Mia Registered Users

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    Oh no, poor soul that must have been horrible for her. Honestly I’ve been so focused on trying to work out her food that I hadn’t considered a bacterial issue. Mia is due for a check up when we collect her flea and worm preventatives this month so I think I will have a chat with the vet and see what they suggest. At the moment it is soft poos rather than diarrhoea so I’m thinking it’s possibly not but if trying to sort her stomach issue out has taught me anything it’s that what I think is right is often not and as the saying goes, better safe than sorry!
     

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