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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Providing your dog's vet with the proper information - especially nutrition...

Milly has some problems that are managed by diet (dry skin, frequent ear infections, and hot spots), and when I go to the vet they always ask me what type of food I feed and how much, plus any medications or supplements I give her. She also has urine crystals, and a complete diet overhaul might soon be taking place (of course, after we finally have the other problems managed). I always feel like the vet or the vet tech asking is confused because of all of the different things she is fed, and I am thinking of typing up an outline with each food, ingredients and guaranteed analysis to bring in for her file. Does anyone else do this? I feed Fromm kibble and Wysong wet food, but I find my vet is not very familiar with either brand.

Would this be a useful tool for them to have? I sometimes feel like they're trying to treat a problem without knowing all the facts, and I often worry there might be something I am giving her that is hurting her or not helping her. I also use supplements - wild salmon oil, Welactin, Cosequin, another fish oil, and probiotics. If we are trying to treat problems where diet plays a major rule, I'd like my vet to have exactly what I feed right in front of her, because I highly doubt they would look up the ingredients and guarenteed analysis of the brands on their own, even though they ask brand, type of food, and quantity fed on each visit.

My thoughts were having it as a one page thing - possibly will have to be one page front and back - I would list her kibble first, then her canned food (I rotate the protein source with canned so sometimes it's their rabbit, turkey, beef, chicken, venison, or duck), then supplements would be together (with dose).

Does anyone do this? Is this a good idea?
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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I think it is a fine idea....saves you time and energy...plus educational for the vet.
 

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I think it's an excellent idea. While most vets can suggest general dietary parameters for certain conditions, they are not trained nor do they have the time to wade through the specifics of various kibbles, canned foods, supplements, etc. If a thorough nutritional evaluation were needed, I'd hope that a vet would provide a referral to someone specializing in canine nutritional assessment. I have a relative who is a primary care physician. I know if he has a patient who could benefit from a specific dietary plan he will suggest cutting down on salt or adjusting this or that. But he also knows that he hasn't had the specific training, nor does he have the time, to look at the minutia of dietary planning; so he makes a referral to a nutritionist. IMO, "prescription" canine diets get recommended so often because the vet doesn't have time to analyze a dog's current diet, identify what levels are needed of nutrients and minerals, and customize a healthy diet.
 

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We did that once for our Dexy. We were feeding a home-cooked diet with numerous supplements. I think the vet glanced at it, saw we had done more research on what Dexy needed then they could match and filed it away.

I think to get any real help about what diet to feed and how it will help or hurt your dogs special needs, you will have to go to a vet who specializes in nutrition. I would imagine one visit with a vet nutritionist (or a dermatologist) would save a lot of time with other vets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did you ever consider just feeding her a kibble with simple ingredients and seeing where her health goes after a few months? Is there any chance she's intolerant of one or more of those supplements?
I've done that. The fish oil and Welactin really really make a big difference. She's 10 years old, so I feel much more comfortable keeping her on the Cosequin for her joints. I've also tried a simpler food with few ingredients, and the itching was worse than it is now on the Fromm. Eliminating corn made a HUGE difference (she doesn't get anything containing any corn now, including treats) - there are still some problems, but they've improved a lot. I feel like now I'm managing the skin itchiness, ears and hot spots pretty well (a big improvement), but with the urine crystals, and the possibility of trying a new diet, I'm a little nervous.
 

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Hmmmm - the missing 's vet does lend a whole new meaning to your title.:)

I think the more information you can provide the vet the better chance you have of getting good results. They have X # of dogs to consider and you only have yours. they just don't have the same vested interest. I cannot remember so many things any more, but ask me about Copper's health issues or whatever and I can almost give you a verbatim report. it is just that important to me.;)
 

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Has the urine been checked for infection? That can sometimes lead to urine crystals. Without doing some real looking I wonder if the Cosiquin might also add to the crystals. It is likely high in sodium. Not sure what all is in it.
You want to keep the urine on the acidic side & light colored. Do they drink plenty of water?
 
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