vet recommending WRONG things

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vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Hayley on Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:44 pm

Reading a thread on H&H about a vet who has suggested the owner feed her dog bran/weetabix for make it poo more so the anal glands empty, because the dogs poos are soft.

Now, forgive me if my dog knowledge is a little rusty, but surely the softer the poo the LESS likely it is to empty the anal glands?!

I honestly think some vets get their qualifications out of the back of a box of weetabix.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:51 pm

I've heard of this being advised a few times recently. Sounds like the vet is thinking along the lines of the fibre making the stools firmer, but I'm still surprised he/she is recommending that, considering wheat products can cause havoc with dogs' digestive tracts. Surely, a better recommendation would be for the owner to just feed an appropriate diet, so that the faeces are of proper consistency! Unless there's a medical reason for the dog's condition, in which case the diet should be properly supplemented.


Last edited by Eleanor on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Lorraine on Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:59 pm

Does seem a bit odd. confused
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Hayley on Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:34 pm

i asked the owner what they feed. bet they come back with something not good lol
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Caryll on Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:39 am

Some vets live in the dark ages, I'm afraid.

But then, vets aren't nutritionists.

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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Shisa on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:28 am

Weird! but I have just this morning read about this.
It's not bad advice.
Weetbix and Bran high fibre.

I quote:

Fibre has 2 major functions:
1) To promote and regulate normal bowel function:
In dogs with slow transit time, fibre shortens it (makes digestion faster)
In dogs with rapid transit time, fibre increases it (makes digestion longer)
2) To help maintain the health of the colon by providing fuel for cells.

It then goes on to say:

Fibre increases bulk and water in the intestinal content, which means that fibre helps prevent both constipation and diarrhea

I know canned pumpkin also does this for some reason. You give it to constipated dogs or dogs with diarrhea and it helps both conditions.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:37 am

Pumpkin is usually quite good for dogs, for the reasons you quoted. Generally speaking, though, wheat-based products aren't. If the vet had recommended pumpkin, I'd be more inclined to trust him/her, as it's becoming an increasingly well-known natural remedy for digestive issues. But Weetabix? I know if Demps had that, he'd be in bad shape for the rest of the week!

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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Shisa on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:15 am

We don't get canned pumpkin in S.A, I don't know how readily it's available in the U.K?
Most dogs are fine with wheat based products so the advice is then only good or bad based on how well the person knows their dog and what it can eat.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:33 am

I've heard conflicting reports re: wheat. The general consensus, from what I've seen, seems to be that wheat is the most common food-based allergy in dogs.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Caryll on Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:53 am

Yes, it's one of the top.

But years ago (showing my age!) young puppies were given rusks or wheatbix as a morning meal with no ill effects.

Maybe something has sensitised their digestion over the years & it now disagrees with them?

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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Hayley on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:43 am

Caryll yes many were but I disagree that there were no I'll effects. Many had bloated tummies and runny poos I know mine did (but obviously at the time I didn't cause it was the norm)
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Shisa on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:57 am

Eleanor wrote:I've heard conflicting reports re: wheat. The general consensus, from what I've seen, seems to be that wheat is the most common food-based allergy in dogs.

Beef, Chicken and Diary products are the most common food based allergens with wheat being blamed most of the time because people now believe dogs can't digest it.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Caryll on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:59 am

Thinking back to when I had my first dog (1970), she gad 4 meals a day - two meat based & two wheat or oat based. So, that'd be rusk/wheatabix and milk or porrige. Zena never had tummy problems. Was I just lucky? I honestly don't know.

But it does seem that wheat is more of an allergen now than before.

Dempsey isn't too bad with a limited amount of wheat, but is worse with chicken/poultry. Too much wheat based foods, though, definitely gives him bum gravy!

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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Hayley on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:20 pm

Gm problems? I have a terrible tummy after wheat.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Shisa on Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:49 pm

Caryll wrote:Thinking back to when I had my first dog (1970), she gad 4 meals a day - two meat based & two wheat or oat based. So, that'd be rusk/wheatabix and milk or porrige. Zena never had tummy problems. Was I just lucky? I honestly don't know.

But it does seem that wheat is more of an allergen now than before.

Dempsey isn't too bad with a limited amount of wheat, but is worse with chicken/poultry. Too much wheat based foods, though, definitely gives him bum gravy!

I think a lot has to do with genetics, intolerance being carried over generations. Breeders consider hips, elbows etc etc but would they not breed a bitch because she was slightly intolerant to wheat?
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:34 pm

You have a fair point re: whether or not dogs can digest wheat. A lot of people assume it's indigestible due to old, biased studies. Newer studies have found that some dogs have developed the ability to produce enzymes which break down certain sugars, albeit in a limited manner. I was reading a study a few weeks back which documented the long-term effects of feeding wheat-based food to dogs previously tested for that enzyme production, with results showing that over half of the dogs had to be withdrawn from the study due to gastric problems. It was interesting to see how the enzyme production levels correlated with the results, though.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Shisa on Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:41 am

Do you have a name for the study? I'd like to read it.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:47 am

I'll see if I can find it. Should be in one of my reference lists, as I used it as a reference for one of my assignments a while ago! happy
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Caryll on Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:21 am

It would worry me that half the dogs had to be withdrawn because of gastric problems.

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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:12 am

If I remember correctly, most of the gastric problems were mild - softening of the stools, for instance. One of the self-criticisms of the study was that it was difficult to determine which factors may have contributed to the gastric problems, as the dietary changes may also have had an impact. They did use control groups, as well as a group switched gradually onto the new diet, but I don't remember what the differences were in the results.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Caryll on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:58 am

It'd be interesting to read the nitty gritty!

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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:32 pm

I'll definitely dig it out, as I found it highly interesting. From what I remember, significant differences were found between the results of dogs fed different types of carbohydrates. I remember that gluten grains appeared to be the most harmful in that particular study.

I think a lot of people now are coming around to the idea that dogs are facultative carnivores, rather than obligate carnivores or omnivores.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Shisa on Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:03 pm

I wouldn't go so far as to say dogs are omnivores. I think they're carnivores that have over 14000 years adapted to a more omnivorous diet. Humans had to adapt from a Hunter/Gatherer to Agriculture. We also couldn't easily digest wheat, corn, rice etc but our bodies adapted to the new food source.
Dogs had to have done the same or they would have either died out or gone wild again.
It's the only way I can logically see it.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Lorraine on Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:20 pm

Shisa wrote:I wouldn't go so far as to say dogs are omnivores. I think they're carnivores that have  over 14000 years adapted to a more omnivorous diet. Humans had to adapt from a Hunter/Gatherer to Agriculture. We also couldn't easily digest wheat, corn, rice etc but our bodies adapted to the new food source.
Dogs had to have done the same or they would have either died out or gone wild again.
It's the only way I can logically see it.

We also started to cook our food before eating, which made it easier to digest. If dogs were hanging around human camps scavenging from us, they probably got some cooked carbs too.
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Re: vet recommending WRONG things

Post by Eleanor on Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:29 pm

By looking at even the basic structure of a dog's anatomy (dentition, for instance), I should imagine that most people would steer themselves away from labelling dogs as omnivorous. I hope so, at least.

I agree that the structure of a dog's digestive system has greatly coevolved with our own, though my personal belief is that the coevolution began to occur closer to 30,000 years ago - that's such a hugely debated topic, though, that I think it just comes down to which domestication theory an individual chooses to go with, as well as which studies the individual chooses to take evidence from. I chose the 30,000 theory mainly just because I liked the studies and found them interesting! laughing

In one of those studies, I think there was mention of how domestic canine and human digestive systems both changed almost simultaneously for cholesterol transport. I believe it was one of the studies in the Nature Communications journal.

In my opinion, certain carbohydrate sources are beneficial to dogs, illness or special dietary needs excluded. There are certain others, though, that I'm not so sure about, with wheat being one of them. In regards to the original post (sorry, Hayley! blush ), I wouldn't want to feed a dog Weetabix, but I'd be open to wholemeal grains such as rice.
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