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Country Discussion Topics
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Question for Ole Cuss
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Dreamweaver    Posted 07-18-2001 at 17:24:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ole Cuss, I was wondering, are pricier dog foods like Eukenuba or Iams more nutritious than the cheaper brands?


MARK CLAY    Posted 12-01-2003 at 01:34:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
MY DOG CAME FROM THE OHIO KENNEL FOR BLIND MUTTS, IRONTON, OHIO. THE QUESTION I HAVE IS HOW CAN I GET THIS STUPID DOG TO REALIZE HIS MASTER IS NOT GOVING UP. HIS MASTER MUST DO THE FOLLOWING; EAT, SLEEP, HAVE AMPLE SHELTER AND TRANSPORTATION. FURTHERMORE, HIS MASTER HAS BEEN AROUND A FEW OTHER LOOPS IN HIS TIME, INCLUDING STARVING TO A PULP. NOW IT'S TIME TO GET OUT THE HOLY BIBLE AND PRAY FOR THIS COUNTRY, INSTEAD OF WORRYING HOW TO GET EVEN FOR A PIECE OF PAPER.


Dreamweaver    Posted 07-20-2001 at 13:41:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
OC, I hate to keep pestering you about my pom, but I have another question, and I hope you won't mind giving me your opinion. Just today I noticed that she is leaving patches of hair everywhere! This is a dog that has rarely shed ever. She is 3 years old, and I have checked her thoroughly for fleas, and found zilch. I bathed her today, dried her thoroughly, but she now has a bald spot on her about the size of a 50 cent piece. It does not appear to be red, but she scratches it like mad. Any ideas? It is dry, no oozing or weeping. I'm stumped. Thanks in advance.


Ole Cuss    Posted 07-20-2001 at 17:46:31       [Reply]  [No Email]

I'll be glad to try to help. Won't attempt a diagnosis on a patient I can't examine firsthand, but maybe I can lend some insight. I assume she hasn't had this problem before. The three most common causes of sudden severe itching that I encounter are fleas, atopic dermatitis (a fancy name for skin allergies), and bacterial skin infections, and combinations thereof. I see a lot of pollen sensitivity dermatitis up here in Md., and the type of pollen varies with the season (spring=trees, summer=grass, fall=weeds). In NC, you're well into grass pollen season, like we are. You don't see fleas and report no rash or eruptions on the skin, so I lean toward the possibility of pollen sensitivity, sort of "hay fever of the skin"; there's a fine line between "sensitivity" and true "allergy", but affected dogs are itchy either way. If she scratches long and hard enough, she will develop a hot spot, so relieving the itch is first priority. Of course, diagnosis and prescription falls into your hometown vet's jurisdiction. I have good luck using antihistamines alone for early cases (Benadryl or Atarax in dog doses), but some require an injection or prescription of a limited course of cortisone to relieve the itching well. Topical agents like Cort-Aid or Benadryl ointment usually offer limited effectiveness, and then only in conjunction with an oral or injectable remedy. I could write a list as long as my arm of other topical general remedies to apply to itchy skin: Calamine, Caladryl, Bag Balm, Blue-Kote, Pad-Kote, cod liver oil, colloidal oatmeal rinse, etc etc. Anyway, I just wanted to give you a general overview of possible causes and treatments. Dermatology is a common but often complex topic. Good luck and I hope the Pom doesn't end up nekkid from itching.


Dreamweaver    Posted 07-20-2001 at 18:30:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
OC - if I could hug you I would! I tried some Cort-Aid I had and she quit scratching, at least for now. You probably saved me 50 bucks. Thanks again. I hope that patch grows back.


Ole Cuss    Posted 07-21-2001 at 03:22:23       [Reply]  [No Email]

Don't worry, it'll grow back. If it doesn't, Poms have enough hair for a comb-over.


Ole Cuss    Posted 07-19-2001 at 12:16:10       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't sell any kind of dog food in my practice, so I am totally impartial in my opinions on this topic. My take on dog food is this: feed the brand that fits these requirements: (1)your dog will eat it; (2) It gives your dog good performance, health, and appearance; (3)It fits your budget. No one brand is right for all dogs and owners. I've had hunting hounds all my life and have had good success using a variety of mid-price feeds like Old Roy and Big Red Pardner. (I pay a little extra for a non-soy formula like Pedigree to feed to my greyhound and whippet because these breeds, like some others, do better on a non-soy feed: less chance of gastric bloat syndrome). The cheapest dog foods use cereal grains as the main protein source and lots of filler: for working dogs like field trial and hunting dogs, this will usually result in poor endurance and unthriftiness, and pet dogs often end up with poor hair coats, skin problems, and other signs of low-quality protein nutrition. I personally have never been convinced that my working hounds (and worthless biscuit-eating house pets as well) do better on the top shelf pricey foods, but I won't dissuade others who feel that their dogs show a definite difference on such a $$$ diet; there is great individual variation in how well dogs do on different diets. The only diet against which I am completely opposed for dogs is a vegetarian diet, which some "animal loving" morons think is a kinder way to feed their pets. Dogs need meat-based protein in a balanced ration for good health: that's how nature made them.


Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 07-19-2001 at 13:41:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
While we're on the subject, OC, what's your take on table scraps along with their Old Roy?


Ole Cuss    Posted 07-19-2001 at 15:36:19       [Reply]  [No Email]

In general, table scraps are fine if given in moderation. Avoid things that your experience has shown will upset the dog's GI system: shellfish (like crabs), beaucoup fat, and ham are the more common offenders I recognize in patients who blow their drawers off after receiving table treats. Sometimes it's just a question of quantity as to whether they'll have a GI upset: give tidbits, not platefuls. Some dogs simply can't tolerate table scraps, so shouldn't have any. Dogs with a history of pancreatitis should be treated very gingerly regarding table food: fats and rich food can trigger serious painful attacks of an inflamed pancreas, and it is sometimes life-threatening. Overweight pets should stick to their dog food in small quantities, get more exercise, and skip the table food. Folks, don't tell me Widdle Dinkums won't eat anything but honey-roasted chicken breast; he's trained you very well to give him nothing but honey-roasted chicken breast. A healthy but fat dog won't starve if presented with only dog food, but he knows how to hold out for days till he has you nervous about starvation. When he's hungry enough, he'll eat that bloody kibble.


Clover Honey    Posted 07-19-2001 at 07:58:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
DW, I know you asked for Ole Cuss, but I am a registered veterinary technician, and worked several years for vets. From what the docs said and what I observed in my own dogs, I have to agree with Brad. Science Diet & the others have a lot less "filler" fiber, so more of the food volume is "useable energy". End result: you feed less total food (=less money), and of course get a lot less OUTPUT, if you catch my drift!

Not to say your dogs won't do just fine on the cheaper foods, but to me it's like comparing that fluffy Wonder bread to good solid 100% whole wheat bread. You get a lot more nutrition for your buck with Science Diet, Iams, or the others. Check the fiber content listed on the bag...SD or Iams is around 3% to 4%, and the protein is way up around 23%. Cheaper brands will have 10-12% fiber and around 14% protein.

Hope that helps,
CH



Doc    Posted 07-19-2001 at 13:43:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Last year I called and talked to the "scientist" at Iams that formulated the food for my wife's cat. I was very impressed with the answers and qualifications that she had; very impressive. Without hesitation she stated that Iams was a complete food and nothing else should be given except maybe the hairball formula. They sent a lot of information about the formulation of their food. I looked up the toll free number.... 1-800-525-4267. Do not own stock in the company,wish I did, but these folks are super nice! Doc


Ole Cuss    Posted 07-19-2001 at 15:38:27       [Reply]  [No Email]

They better be nice, they charge enough for their food.


Brad Bastrop,Texas    Posted 07-19-2001 at 07:25:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know from expierence that Science Diet is far superior to Purina Dog Chow. I have German Shorthairs and they have much better coats and seem to keep their weight on better with this feed. It lasts longer too cause you do not have to feed as much.


Dreamweaver    Posted 07-19-2001 at 11:07:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks to you both for the information. :-)


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