This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies, keeping a dog’s coat shiny and feeding a dog with pancreatic issues.
Q: I am currently trying to switch my lab to Wellness® Super5Mix® Healthy Weight Recipe dry dog food because it is low in fat. He is currently being treated for pancreatic insufficiency and is on a prescription dry food with added pancreatic enzymes and probiotics. I am trying to switch to an over the counter dry dog food. Would Wellness Healthy Weight be the one to switch to? Do you have any suggestions as to what Wellness diet I should try?
A: Your vet has diagnosed your adult dog with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).
Dogs with EPI have a history of chronic small intestinal diarrhea, weight loss and failure to thrive. Pets with EPI defecate frequently (6 to 10 times per day); have stools that are typically voluminous, greasy, foul smelling and pale in color. EPI refers to a partial or complete deficiency of pancreatic enzymes and is the most common cause of maldigestion in dogs. It may occur in young dogs as a congenital disorder (pancreatic acinar cell atrophy) or may develop as a sequel to pancreatitis.
The dietary management goals for patients with EPI are: a highly digestible diet with low to moderate fat (10 to 15% as fed) and low crude fiber (less than 4% as fed).
The Wellness diet of choice for your dog’s condition is Wellness® Simple Food Solutions® dry dog food. The Simple Food Solutions family of diets consists of a choice of 3 novel animal proteins: Duck, Lamb and Salmon. All three Simple Food Solutions dry dog food formulas contain rice as a carbohydrate source; canola oil as a fat source; a small amount of tomato pomace added for gut health and stool quality- the diet crude fiber remains less than 2%. Additionally, these diets are fortified with fat and water soluble vitamins; the Simple Food Solutions diets do not contain added probiotics. I would recommend trying Wellness Simple Food Solutions Salmon & Rice Formula dry dog food initially.
Your vet would continue to recommend supplemental digestive enzymes and probiotics. Serum cobalamin (B12) levels will be monitored by your vet to assure adequate levels.
I would recommend that you feed frequent small meals; monitor your pet’s body weight, stool consistency & frequency and continue with regular veterinary evaluations.
Q: I have a 5 year old cat with food allergies. She can’t have food with many grains and is allergic to chicken. Does Wellness have a type of food that she would be able to eat?
A: Working with your vet you have identified a sensitivity in your cat to feeding diets that contain chicken as a primary animal protein source and a long list of grains. For long term maintenance you want to identify Wellness feline diets that avoid chicken and turkey protein sources and limit grain ingredients. The Wellness diets of choice would be: Wellness CORE® grain free Salmon, Whitefish, and Herring Recipe, and Complete Health Beef and Salmon Recipe canned cat food.
The Beef and Salmon Recipe has salmon and beef as primary protein sources, and contains no grains. Some carbohydrate is contributed by sweet potato, flax, and vegetables. A 3 ounce can contain 107 kilocalories of energy.
CORE Salmon, Whitefish and Herring Recipe is also 100% poultry and grain free. In addition to fish; potato, cranberry, flax, and chicory root extract are included at low levels.
A 5.5 ounce can contain 192 kilocalories of energy.
Q: We love Wellness products! We have a 140 lb Bullmastiff that has suffered from chronic ear infections and skin issues. Wellness CORE is the food that keeps these issues at bay. With Wellness CORE his coat does not seem as shiny. I was wondering how I could bring more sheen to his coat. Will supplementing the dry CORE with wet food help give him get a shinier coat?
A: CORE is a natural, grain free pet food that is protein focused. Wellness CORE Original Recipe dry dog food is a chicken and turkey based protein source diet with potato as a carbohydrate source; canola oil and salmon oil for fat sources; and some tomato pomace for added dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food is a fish based protein diet with potato as the carbohydrate source; canola oil for a fat source, and a mix of pea fiber and tomato pomace as a source of dietary fiber. Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish, & Herring Recipe is a canned food that is fish protein based, with some sweet potato and flax, fruits and vegetables; and canola and salmon oil added.
Wellness CORE Original and Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe are both about 430 kilocalories per cup; Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food is about 220 calories per 6 ounce can.
Assume you are currently feeding about 5 cups per day of Wellness CORE Original (2.5 cups in the morning and 2.5 cup in the evening); about 2100 kcal of energy per day; and you want to bring out more sheen in the coat. Some changes you may try:
- Morning feeding- 2 cups Wellness CORE Original dry dog food and 1x 6 ounce can of Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe canned dog food.
- Repeat same as above for afternoon feeding.
- Replace half the volume (cups) of Wellness CORE Original dry dog food you are currently offering daily with an equal volume of Wellness CORE Ocean Recipe dry dog food for dogs at each meal. That is 1.25 cups of each brand of dry food in the morning and 1.25 cups of each dry food in the evening. A total of 5 cups per day.
In both plan #1 and #2; we are manipulating the amounts and/or ratios of the fatty acids (omega 6 and omega 3) in the total daily diet for the dog. Monitor in a diary the results you see in skin condition, body weight, and stool volume and consistency.