I had the very special pleasure of seeing Lola, a beautiful white German Shepherd, yesterday and hopefully providing some good advice for her people regarding diet and supplementation. When Lola came in, she was curious and nosy and had to sniff EVERYTHING in my office. Her almost too big for her head ears were perky and her eyes were bright. If it weren’t for the fact that she is about 10 lbs underweight and is loosing hair in huge white puffballs, no one would ever realize there was a thing wrong with this gorgeous girl. But Lola’s had a rough winter in many ways and I had offered to try to help her and her family get back on track.
First, Lola has allergies. One of the most common among dogs is soy and Lola had picked that one up, along with a couple of other things. Lola had also shown elevated numbers for her liver, which meant her “inner filter” wasn’t working nearly as efficiently as it could have been. I was a bit concerned about her weight loss and thought about possible Pancreatitis, but the diarrhea that usually accompanies such issues was not present (although she had suffered from frequent and loose stools in the past).
I am not a vet, don’t pretend to be one and always refer clients to their personal vet when things seem fishy. It’s clear Lola is well loved and as she has been under the care of her veterinarian regularly, my job was to simply help her family find the best possible diet that would meet Lola’s nutritional needs. To that end, we found a good, high-quality food which we knew Lola enjoyed, but had none of the allergens she needed to avoid.
A word of caution. When changing your dog’s diet, it is always important to do so gradually, keeping a close eye on adverse reactions or other signs that your dog is not adjusting well to her new food. It’s also important not to mix too many foods at once. If there is a problem, it will be much more difficult to find when you’re having to wade through more than one set of ingredients.
With the food issue settled (for now), I wanted to let her family know about some supplementation which might also help Lola with her problems. Even if your dog food indicates that it contains fish oil in some form, it is NEVER a bad idea to supplement your dog’s diet with a high-quality source of omega 3/omega 6. This may have to come in the form of flax or other sourcing if your dog is allergic to seafood. Luckily, Lola is not.
When doing my canine nutrition studies, I discovered a company called Standard Process. Apparently, it has been around for many decades, using organically grown, specially processed herbs and other natural ingredients to create a whole line of support supplements for humans and animals. I thought their product, Antronex, would be good for Lola, as it supports and strengthens the liver and also helps balance the body’s natural histamines (the cause of much itching and scratching in allergies). And as always, a good pro-biotic helps keep the gut healthy and balanced, as well.
I’ll see Lola again in a few weeks, hopefully a few pounds heavier and not leaving pretty white hair in her wake. 🙂 If not, it will be back to the vet with her, as I make it habit not to fool around with a dog’s health, whether they are mine or someone else’s.
Nutritional consultations are always complimentary at Bifrost Farms. With the case of Lola, I do not sell any of the products which we settled on for her, as it is all about what the dog needs, first and foremost.