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 Problems with THK

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Koda
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Female Join date : 2009-05-20
Location : Glenville, NY

PostSubject: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:18 pm

Hey everyone...

So the kids have been on THK Keen for a few months now. Since we switched, their appetites have increased, they are maintaining a very healthy weight, but I am saddened to report the following things:

-Lack of thirst
-Increased itching
-Slight decrease in coat softness
-Increased eye goop

I was thinking that maybe switching to a Turkey based formula away from the TOTW Pacific Stream (which has fish and hence more fish oils) might be doing it, so I was going to supplement the THK with fish oil (thinking the coat softness and itching had to do with that). However, I was still mixing with TOTW until this weekend and John and I just confirmed that we've noticed them drinking less water which I wouldn't think has anything to do with fish oil.

Thus, the combination of all these things has me concerned. I would just be SHOCKED if THK was causing all these issues, but all the signs point to it (timing etc). So I'm opening myself up to thoughts before I switch them back to TOTW. What possible things to supplement the THK with to take care of this problem? Because I would MUCH rather be feeding THK and supplementing since THK is much better quality and because my dogs love it so much more (Koda especially).

So please... any thoughts or suggestions?? I'm really at a loss scratch

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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:35 pm

@Koda wrote:
So the kids have been on THK Keen for a few months now. Since we switched, their appetites have increased, they are maintaining a very healthy weight, but I am saddened to report the following things:

-Lack of thirst
-Increased itching
-Slight decrease in coat softness
-Increased eye goop

First question for you, are these things presenting themselves in BOTH dogs simultaneously or do they both have some and others might be individual? That would be really intriguing if both displayed all the same exact symptoms.

Okay, the lack of thirst is actually to be expected when switching to a food like THK or raw. The food contains a lot more water content than kibble so it is not only normal but to be expected that they will be drinking less on THK than kibble. That is actually a positive! Now only you know how much they're drinking so as long as they've not completely gone off their water and are still drinking moderately then I wouldn't be concerned.

The itching, coat softness and eye goop ARE cause for concern. It could be a number of factors with the food not agreeing with them. Perhaps they'd do better on a different protein, grain free, etc...the only way to know would be trial and error. My dogs do great on Keen but not every dog does understandably. I really think the best you can do is switch up their food and see what happens. Maybe try a grain free THK formula and see how that goes? Maybe go back to TOTW and see if the symptoms clear up? Perhaps try a totally new food that you haven't tried before?

You might try Grandma Lucy's dehydrated raw if your dogs are okay on potato. It's about the same price or cheaper than Keen on Natural K9 Supplies and it's grain free. Might be worth a try since it's in the same price range. I just bought 3 big bags of Grandma Lucy's the other month since I could get it cheaper than THK Keen. Can't beat a better food for a lower price. Plus that would allow you to introduce a new protein and stick with a grain free formula at the same time. Just a suggestion. No matter what you decide, I would try switching foods and see if that doesn't show some improvement in their condition.

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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:42 pm

Also, are you supplementing anything else in addition to the fish oil? If you stop the fish oil does their coat improve? I know when I tried olive oil for my sibe's coat it made things worse rather than better...coconut oil doesn't bother him though.

Have you tried a supplement such as Nupro, Missing Link, or Wholistic Canine Complete?

Those are all good supplements that can help with overall health including skin and coat.

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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:46 pm

I haven't actually tried supplementing fish oil at all yet. I was going to try, but then wasn't sure if fish oil would help ALL the symptoms (ie- water shortage, eye goop, etc). Should I try supplementing the fish oil before I go out and buy a different food? Could the fish oil help with the coat AND eye goop?

Okay. They are definitely still drinking water when they eat, but noticeably less throughout the day. And they definitely have been going out to pee less but that could also be because Hailey's meds are kicking in and have helped her (I don't think Koda always needed to go as often as Hailey, he just loved any excuse to go outside). They are going out every 6 hours or so now instead of every 2-3 like they were before, but again, this could just be Hailey's decreased need to go out with the meds.

I wish I hadn't just bought 4 boxes of Keen. Ugh. I will try picking up some Grandma Lucy's or a different protein (if you think the fish oil won't or can't help). I suppose I could always mix the two for a while. They certainly LOVE the Keen.

And yes... the symptoms are in both dogs simultaneously. They are more noticeable in Koda though. Hailey always itched a bit and her coat has always been a little harsher than Koda's. Koda is the big surprise. We've never had these problems with him!

OH- and one more thing... Koda has been scooting a lot more. It's subsided recently, but his stools are firm... I'm wondering if it's from the carrots in the THK leaving a sort of stringy type formation? Again, stool is firm, so it's just so weird.

Sorry this is all over the place.

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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:48 pm

Gonna have to think on this will I take the dogs out. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:53 pm

Have you just tried expressing his anal glands Tori?
And Koda gets itchy on both turkey and chicken formulas from THK[but he doesn't do well on these proteins much regardless]- and didn't to that great on them in general after a while- but is doing amazing on Zeal (and he had always done not so great on fish kibble too).
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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:56 pm

Yeah, no on the anal glands. That shit frightens me... I could potentially get Amy to do it though if you think that's an issue or I'll take him to the vet. Bleh.

I wish I could afford zeal, I really do. There's no way in hell though. We're at our limit. THK is no more expensive than TOTW for us and with the wedding, I cannot go above that threshold. Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:40 pm

I hear you, paying 180 or so in dog food a month is killer so I completely understand that. Sometimes I think it's ridiculous how all my spare money is contributed to dog food and chews.
It's seriously not as nasty as you think, doing anal glands yourself. If your friend will do it, that's what I'd do, but I'd never pay 30 or whatever it is at the vet to do it. A groomer can do it too and it's usually only 15 (as they just squeeze as where vets "hook").
If he is scooting I would assume it's his anal glands needing to be expressed.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:56 am

I hate to say this... but we're switching back to TOTW for a little while. They haven't stopped itching and I just noticed a huge sore on Koda's inner thigh that has flaky skin. The timing is too perfect, so we're going back to TOTW Pacific Stream to see if it helps. This sucks... I'd rather be feeding THK Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:54 pm

Ah well, you have to go with what works and unfortunately THK doesn't work for every dog. As you very well know, it's trial and error. Sorry to hear that things have only been getting worse, hope the dogs start showing improvement soon. Keep us updated please!

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:01 pm

Will do. It's just too odd that both dogs started symptoms at the same time as the switch. It could be the grains, but I just don't have the money to feed the grain-free varieties. Not right now.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:12 pm

Can they tolerate potato? I bought Grandma Lucy's Chicken formula and Pork formula, both of which are grain free, for less than THK Keen. The sticker price is higher but 10 lbs of Grandma Lucy's makes 12 lbs more prepared food than THK so I ended up paying less per pound for the grain free Grandma Lucy's. Might be worth checking out.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:28 pm

Definitely worth checking out! Did you get it on wag.com? Where'd you find it for that price?

I think they can do potato because they have no problems with TOTW.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:43 pm

Here: http://www.naturalk9supplies.com/Dog-Food/grandma-lucys-artisan-pork-.aspx, they even have the Pork formula still on sale that puts it even cheaper than the Chicken formula. Plus you save with the coupon code they always have a 10% coupon code. They have sales pretty regularly where they email 15% off coupon codes if you receive their email newsletters. Who knows, maybe because it's a holiday weekend they'll send out a 15% off coupon code this weekend. I ordered 2 bags of Pork and 1 bag of Chicken (all the 10 lb bag size) and everything shipped cost me only $1.01/lb (that price per lb is what it costs to feed prepared). Don't forget, the 10 lb bag of Grandma Lucy's makes 55 lbs of food. The best price I think I ever got on THK Keen was maybe at $1.07/lb (prepared).

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:52 pm

Is pork generally a good protein source for dogs? I don't think we've ever tried pork in this house!

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:01 pm

Only thing I remember about pork is Lindsay saying in her experience, she hasn't seen a dog that did amazingly well on it, so I've always avoided it.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:05 pm

It's just like anything else, you won't know how your dogs will do on it unless you try it. Pork is a perfectly fine protein for dogs. My dogs get raw pork ribs regularly (and occasionally some bacon and ham from our leftovers silent ), there are a number of pork based kibbles on the market, and the Pork formula of Grandma Lucy's has gone over very well with my sibe. It's always good to have several different protein sources to rotate between. You won't know till you try. You could try chicken instead if you think your two would be more likely to do better on that. It's your decision, do what you feel comfortable with.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:16 pm

I think I'm going to get the chicken cause I know they at least like Chicken formulas and CAN do well on them. If they do well, I will certainly try the pork out Smile

I'm going to wait though. We still have a whole box of Keen and I want to get them back to feeling better before a new food. So I'm going to get some TOTW, do 75% TOTW and 25% Keen to use out the Keen and see if the dogs get better. If they do, onto Grandma Lucy's!

But thanks, Val and Heather! Grandma Lucy's is next on the list.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:18 pm

@Huskyluv wrote:
and occasionally some bacon and ham from our leftovers silent

Razz Hahaha, Koda always has to get a small piece of bacon when we cook some.. it's the ultimate treat to him! I've never fed raw pork to him though as I was always scared off by that comment, but with my luck Koda would make a mess anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:41 pm

Heatherlee wrote:
Razz Hahaha, Koda always has to get a small piece of bacon when we cook some.. it's the ultimate treat to him! I've never fed raw pork to him though as I was always scared off by that comment, but with my luck Koda would make a mess anyway.

I'm guilty of feeding my 3 bacon this morning while I was cooking breakfast. Embarassed lol

There is a slight risk with raw pork but I just make sure to freeze it for at least a week before I feed it raw. We haven't ever had a problem and I usually feed raw pork outside rather than inside so I don't have to worry about a mess.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:46 pm

@Koda wrote:
I'm going to wait though. We still have a whole box of Keen and I want to get them back to feeling better before a new food. So I'm going to get some TOTW, do 75% TOTW and 25% Keen to use out the Keen and see if the dogs get better. If they do, onto Grandma Lucy's!

Hopefully they can tolerate 25% Keen in their diet. I recently tried Blue Buffalo Wilderness Duck formula with my sibe, he ended up not doing well on it but I have two 30 lb bags of the stuff. Luckily my chi girls are doing great on the Wilderness Duck and Dakota is able to tolerate 75% THK or Grandma Lucy's with 25% Wilderness Duck.

So far he hasn't done well on BB Wilderness Duck or their Chicken/Turkey formula...starting to think Blue Buffalo is a no go for my sibe. Still playing the trial and error game myself. Wink Great thing about multiple dogs is with 3 of them, one of them has got to do okay on a food even if the others don't. lol

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:52 pm

I just find it so weird that the two of them are not doing great. Koda's changes are more noticeable than Hailey's... but still!

I'm hopeful they can tolerate some of it. Either way, I need to get them back on something that works before I start mixing Keen back in or doing anything new. I'm leaving for 10 days on a honeymoon in a month and a half and I need them to be feeling well!

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:56 pm

Yeah, I'd put them on the TOTW that you KNOW they do well on and get them back to normal. I'd wait until even after your wedding and honeymoon before starting to reintroduce smaller quantities of THK. You might even start at 10% THK mixed in for a while just to see how they tolerate it. I agree though, it does seem weird that both of them showed symptoms...guess they're more alike than we think. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:05 pm

You're probably right that I should wait that long. Koda just stops eating the TOTW when there's an issue or change in his routine. He LOVES the THK though and has never NOT been excited to eat it (and we've traveled with it and gone away for the night, etc). But maybe I'll tell the sitters that if he doesn't eat, to mix a little THK in there. I more just want something healthy and consistent for them.

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PostSubject: Re: Problems with THK   Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:31 pm

Ha! Just as I suspected, got an email about a 15% off coupon code from NK9S. Code: LAB15 for 15% off your order through 9/5! Smile

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