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Discussion Starter #1
hi, we've just put our boy on a high meat content grain free kibble diet. he's 15 months old and has had on and off loose stools since we've had him.
we were advised to try him out on a grain free diet which has worked wonders and we don't have the problem of loose stools anymore.
I've read mixed things about a grain free diet and was wondering what people's thoughts are on it?
we also give him omega oils which apart from skin and coat is also good for the heart as I know there's concerns about a grain free diet causing cardio myopathy( sorry if I've spelt that wrong).
 

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The issue with g/f with *some* dogs is that the substitute for the grains are legumes (peas). Peas, it seems, interferes with taurine absorption, and that's the suspect here in cardiomyopathy. Affected dogs also seem to be eating a lower quality kibble that is not meat (and red meat) rich.

I feed (and have fed) g/f exclusively for at least 15 yrs w/o trouble, I think the grains and cereals are more problematic than peas, especially with high performance V's. I feed a meat based, high protein kibble (Nature's Variety Instinct), rotate among the meat proteins, and add fresh meat of my own. You can certainly rotate a high quality grain feed that is also meat based if you are concerned, but if a red meat meal is one of the first two ingredients, you're probably fine.

In your case, b/c the vet recommended g/f for medical reasons and your V is responding well to it, I personally wouldn't panic, just make sure it's a high quality meat based kibble, feel free to rotate. The Omegas you add are not related to this nor will backstop this type of cardiomyopathy, btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thankyou for the reply, Its really helpful. it's high meat kibble 60 % but chicken not red meat so will go for one without peas and with meat and add some fresh meat a few times a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
also, what fresh meat do you give your boy? how often? and is it raw or cooked? sorry for all the questions. we used to have a dalmatian with a cast iron stomach so this is new to me.
 

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I use beef, usually whatever is on sale, cubed, boiled for 5-7 minutes to kill the bacteria but medium rare, and rip up a few pieces in each meal. When I rotate into red meat kibble I use chicken as a balance, or sometimes a couple spoonfuls of canned salmon.

Beware that if you start this, she will love it and will expect with each meal!

Again, if you're feeding a kibble where a named red meat is in the first two or three ingredients, you do not need to do this. The dogs affected with cardiomyopathy were fed kibble lacking meat as the first few ingredients.
 

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there are a lot of materials out about grain free diet research progress (the FDA actually seem to have corrected their original PoV, but people tend not to follow up and just remember the original hype about correlation with heart failure cases). this video in my opinion gives a pretty good summary, worth listening.

https://www.facebook.com/drpamholisticvet/videos/305291263703953/UzpfSTEyOTQ2NzI0NzE3ODI3OToxNDgwNDg4NTY4NzQyODAw/

as for chicken only for vizslas, in my experience it gives them flaky skin, indicating that it does not cover all of their meat based nutritional needs. Generally speaking i like to alternate amino acids. And yes, we use probiotics regularly and when we have high adrenalin related activities (dock diving, hunt, or any competitions and travel), their probiotics portion even gets increased.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
the video is really informative thankyou. I haven't got Marley on probiotics but it's something I'll start doing. thankyou to everyone who's given me advice
 
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