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Need veterinarian-type advice for my dog

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My poor baby has been battling a chronic "dirty-ear" problem for several months now. When I took her to the vet 6 months (?) ago, they cleaned her ear, gave me ear wash and some drops for her ear, and charged me 0ver $100 dollars for the meds and the visit. Same for the second time. :gaah:


Anyway, I was in W-mart today with her, and a lady in line behind me asked if she could pet my dog. I said yes, of course. Turns out she was a Vet tech, so I asked her to take a quick look into Deena's ear. The lady said it looked like a yeast infection.


Now, please don't YELL :soapbox: , and more importantly don't LAUGH.. ..........frying%20pan.gif ..................but if I have Monistat at home, can I use it in her ears??? :wacko:



(I think it started as an allergy to a new food, but she hasn't been on that brand for months now. I think i just didn't follow-through like I should have :beat_deadhorse: because she gives me grief everytime I tried to work on her ears, and it hurts my back to bend over etc.) :misc-smiley-231:

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The first thing I thought when I read yeast infection was Monistat also. We use it on ourselves in such personal places that it surely wouldn't hurt your dogs ear, would it??? However, I am no vet so I could be completely wrong BUT if it were me I'd give it a try.

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Our English Springer had a terrible ear problem all her life. The vet told us yeast too, for years. We had the same exensive meds and it would clear up only to come back, and no, monistat didn't work!! Finally a vet suggested it might be allergies and as I have severe allergies I don't know why I didn't pick up on it sooner. Her food was the first culprit we suspected but also grass, pollen, laundry soap we used, and anything she came into contact with. We didn't have carpet so it wasn't what we used on that but we became very careful with her bedding.


What we found was her diet. We changed foods and changed foods but until we went with an almost totally raw diet she didn't clear up. Once we went to raw it was only a matter of a few weeks of experimenting before her ear cleared up totally and permanently. For the next several years, until she died, she had no problems with her ears. We determined she was allergic to almost all grain as she would react with ear itching each time we tried to introduce them, even rice. She reacted to cooked meat but seemed to be able to tolerate raw okay. She could handle cottage cheese, ricotta, and yogurt but some hard cheese bothered her. We found she did much better on goats milk than cows milk products (much like some humans) but I kept the milk products to only a couple times a week.


We fed her some of the cheaper cuts of meat, neck bones (all sorts), meaty soup bones, ribs, etc, all raw. I would buy large packages from the store or from meat processing places and repackage them into meal sized portions and freeze, taking out what I needed for a few days at a time. Every day she got raw or frozen (thawed) vegetables and fruit, chopped at first and mixed in with other foods like the cottage cheese, but she got so she would love to just take an apple or carrot and chew on it like a snack. We did not settle for just one type though, we gave her a wide variety, She loved raw cauliflower but would only eat broccoli with a bit of dip on it. She would go out and 'help' pick green beans or strawberries and she even carefully ate the rose hips off the bushes in the fall. Sometimes I used canned vegetables for her diet but not regularly and usually not without adding some raw veggie or fruit. She did get most of our leftovers though, a wide variety of things but never in large amounts. We were careful to add some sort of fat to her diet daily if the meat she was eating was too lean. Usually in the form of lard, butter, bacon fat, or a good quality olive oil. She loved crunching on dehydrated veggies and fruit and they became her 'treats'. It really wasn't difficult once we got into a routine. We took her traveling and camping with us continously and just brought food along or used dried and canned foods for those rare times we couldn't keep her foods fresh.


After only a few months on the diet our vet told us she was the healthiest looking dog he'd seen in a long time even though she had mammary cancer at the time, for which she eventually had surgery for. Her coat was silky and beautiful, she had slimmed down from her former chubby self, and she was full of life up until the day she died peacefully in her sleep at an old age. The diet wasn't really that expensive. The meats were the cheaper very boney cuts and things people didn't like or want, like liver. We got very good deals on meat from the butcher who would sell us the kidney's and etc of beef, and hocks and necks of many different things. We just had to explain the reason for wanting them and most were willing to work with us. We mostly just grew extra vegetables in our garden for her but we also watched sales and bought frozen veggies when they were cheap. Mixed frozen veggies, even now a days, will go on sale periodically for less than a dollar a pound for store brands and it was just a matter of stocking up on them.


I'm not saying this will work for every dog's afflictions but it sure worked for ours and I know a whole lot of people who switched their dogs to the diet with great results for all sorts of problems. If you want more information, look up the BARF diet (Bones and raw foods)for dogs and see if it might work for you.


Good luck with trying to find an answer.


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I don't know about the monistat but I have to agree with Mother in going a raw or homemade diet. My dogs don't have this problem---I was a breeder of pugs; now retired but I didn't get rid of them-and I have about 20. I have dealt with a lot of health issues over the years but not this one.

I recently read an article about raw foods OR homemade diets. It was 2 groomers in my old hometown area that met each other and started up shop together. They both had dogs that had ailments. Through the course of time, people would come in and they'd notice the health of some of the dogs that outshined the others. They enquired of the owners and each and every one were either on a homemade diet or the raw food diet.

They did research and immediately switched their dogs over....one had chronic allergies. I can't remember if it was skin or ears, but within days or weeks, it cleared up. Both dogs recuperated from their illnesses and lived long...one was a boxer who had thyroid conditions. Went from 2 pills a day to half a pill and lived til 14 yrs.old which is old for a boxer.

Personally I don't want to do a raw diet but I can see the benefits of raw now or a homemade. I have started homecooking for my brood just in the past week and its a lot of food to do. Not cost efficient so its not for that, but health. I still use dog food bcz I just can't cook in bulk like this every day but I'm trying.

I would def'ly try a homemade or raw diet...raw preferred if you don't mind it. I'm assuming your dog is little --(they allowed it in Walmart?????) so it would be nothing much to make a batch of homemade and feed her that.

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She is a lab/german short-hair cross. pics4-30001-1.jpg


The problem seemed to start when I switched her from the regular kirkland food to the newer more "organic" brand. I always look for non-corn, non-wheat, non-soy food, but switching her didn't seem to make a difference. The smaller bags of food at the local pet store were much more expensive and didn't help clear it up anyway so I finally went back to the original kirkland brand that she was eating before I made the first switch. :cheeky-smiley-067:


Mother, I would love to feed her the bones and offal that you talk about, but here in Cali those parts (which used to be throw-aways) are now sold for almost as much as the regular cuts! I guess I will have to break down and cook her some food :canning: , but I can only do a week at a time or it goes bad (no room in the freezer.) But I can only cook it when I have the energy, so I will probably not be very consistent with it. (I haven't even been cooking my own food :feedme: for a while now.................................)


And thanks for letting me know about the monistat not working. :blush:

Edited by Midnightmom
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She is a real beauty. I sure hope you can find something that works for her. I know with floppy ear dogs they can easily have problems with yeast and once started it's hard to get it stopped.


A suggestion with her ears, be sure to keep them dry. We used to get a drying lotion or drops to put in our dog's ears and that seemed to help better than the anti-yeast things did. You can get them at pet stores OVC cheaper than from the vets some times but not always. Most drops or lotions are alcohol based and regular rubbing alcohol will work but let me tell you,,,,,they do NOT like it if their ears are even slightly inflamed. You can also use a vinegar solution of 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water to help dry the ears and fight the yeast.


I know what you mean about not cooking much for yourself let alone the dog. The beauty of the raw food diet is she would be much better off if you just give her the raw foods and don't cook it. Less work, better for her. Mixed frozen vegetables bought once a week will keep in the refrig that long, cottage cheese is costly but it too will keep well, whatever fruit is on sale maybe, a chicken cut into meal sized pieces and tucked into the freezer between times?. At least it will supplement how much kibbles she gets and maybe give you a chance to see if allergies are involved. You would have to start out slowly at any rate to give her a chance to get used of the foods.


Most of all, make sure she gets enough fat. Most dog food is not nearly rich enough in the proper types of fat and truthfully, most dog food contains rancid fats discarded by other industries or cheap hydrogenated or trans ones, the prime cause of illness in both animals and humans. If you could afford good coconut oil I'd say if you can do nothings else for her diet besides kibble, give her a tablespoon of coconut oil a day. It is super for yeast infections for humans and animals alike. It might be all she needs to kick this ear thing.


I really feel for you though. It's hard to see our four footed family suffer.



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I gave my dogs the anti-candida pill the doctor gave me. Didn't do a thing for him.


We had a guy tell us to get our dogs off Beneful to clear their skin. We did. The chronic ear crud hasn't shown up since (but it's only been a couple of months). The "heat rashes" are still there, but shrinking instead of growing. Usually at the beginning of summer, they're growing.


He's on a mix of cheap meats (turkey necks, etc.), sweet potatoes, potatoes, and leftovers. We tried the bagged grainfree diet, but it costs as much as cooking for him and we don't know (as in really know) what's in it.

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Thanks again Mother. I will add coconut oil drizzled over her kibble. :thumbs:


I always give her my leftovers (riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight, like I ever have anything left!) and I let her lick my plate clean, and sometimes even the pot once its cooled down.................so be aware of that if you're ever over for dinner! (Some people can't get over it, even though the pot and plates have been cleaned 0000000000000000ps, I mean washed, since. :grinning-smiley-044:

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I always had beagles and their floppy ears can be a problem. I would take a damp cottonball and wipe inside her ear about once a week. Alcohol on the ball is suggested but I was always afraid it would sting her. She was used to me messing with her ears though.


She was allergic to grass so skin itchies went along with the ears itching. Usually a round of Prednisone in the spring and again in the fall took care of her.


Also, it could be mites in the ears. I remember reading if you see black gunk in the ears it could be earmites or their waste.

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Wait, OFF of Beneful? I thought that was supposed to be a good dog food? We are "fostering" an 11 yo dog and he seems to have skin problems. He scratches often and chews himself. We don't believe he has fleas. He came with a partial bag of food, and I'm guessing he has been on it for a while, because he also came with some skin spray from the vet. I was thinking of giving him cooked chicken, rice and carrots or something. Does that sound ok? I figured on giving him some dog food along with it. Should I start off with more dog food and decrease it over time? That would mean getting a different kind though, since this bag is almost empty. Any ideas on what kind? The generic bulk at the store would be bad, right? He is a pretty active dog for his age, because he is Jack Russel/ Red Healer.

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I free fed my dogs beneful. they ate all the bits except for the red ones. I free fed my tortoises a similar multicolor food - they ate all but the red ones.


I've had two other people tell me their dogs got sick off benefeful and independently came to the conclusion is was the red dye.


I don't know, but I don't use it any more. Now they are on Iams. I know there is "better" but with 275 pounds of dogs, it gets expensive.


I have one with the chronic brown tarry stuff in the ears. I just wipe it out with Q-tips. Johnson brand with the paper shaft are much more rigid. I was originally concerned about going too deep, but my large animal vet said that the ear canal makes a 90 degree turn and unless you are pulling the ear way back along the neck, you can't get to the tympanic(sp?) membrane, and even then it's hard.


I've used vinegar when my own ears itch, and on the dogs. Don't know if it does anything more than plain water. Alcohol seems to dry them out and stimulate more wax production. Alcohol does make any water evaporate faster.


I tried one swimmers ear (yellow) drop that caused me such extreme pain I ran to a vet friend of mine who put a few drops of something (epi?) to neutralize the reaction I was having.

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We switched to Call of the Wild dog food. The [150 lb] dog was having such gas problem we almost gave up on it. She loved it but sometimes wasn't interested in eating it. :unsure:


Finally DH figured out she might be eating too much at once. We cut her 2 cups in morning and 2 cups in evening in half. That's right. 150 lb dog sustaining now on one cup morning and nite. Took care of the gas problem quickly enough.


A month or so later, she is trimming down [should be closer to 140 or 135] but no longer seems 'hungry' all the time. She's content to eat without wolfing it. But...for whatever reason, she prefers this dog food with some water poured over it.


So while this is a more expensive dog food, we're still making out ahead. Like concentrate. Less to store too.


Question for feeding raw [chicken, etc]. So what if you have poultry on-the-hoof, so to speak. Will your dog learn to 'self-serve' his own dinner? :o That's one reason 'they' always said to cook eggs before feeding them to dogs - so they won't go into the hen house and help themselves.


MtRider :shrug:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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We fed our dog raw chicken, beef, goat, pork, and lamb and etc. yet never had a problem with her going after any of our animals. Our chickens were free ranging and sometimes I would see them perched on TOP of our sleeping dog. Not sure if that was because she grew up with our animals or if that was because the raw chicken she got came without feathers and she didn't recognize it or ? The closest she ever got to 'eating' our poultry and small animals was when she wanted to wash the babies to make sure they were clean. She was SUCH a mom...


Actually, once we changed her to raw foods she didn't show any inclinations to eat other stuff. She stopped begging for food and she stopped wanting to eat the odd 'droppings' left around the place by various animals. She would pick up corn or other grain, especially sweet feed, before then but never seemed to notice after being on the raw diet. Well,,,,other than helping herself to green beans, strawberries, and etc off the vines but she was surprisingly gentle when taking them and never took more than a couple at a time and usually only if we were out there picking too.


We don't have a dog now but if we did, I would not hesitate to put it on a raw diet. That might be a problem if TSHTF but then, maybe not. It could be very difficult to find dog food after the chaos and you can only store just so much without it getting rancid unless it is sealed well. Getting the dog used to raw fruits, veggies, and meat might be best even if you do feed kibble along with it. That way the dog will transition as easily as us humans. After all, if you have to hunt for game or butcher your own meat, what better solution for using some of the scraps than to feed the dog and if you garden for your own produce then there will be food for the dog as well. Well okay, maybe feeding them to a pig or the chickens to help produce more food for ourselves! But for some of us, our dogs are part of our survival plan.


By the way, our cats seem to do well on a raw food diet too. They are all 'barn' cats, not inside ones though and are used to hunting for part of their diet. Strangely enough, only one ever seemed to 'stalk' our chickens even though they were known to eat whatever wild birds they could catch and that one never actually caught a chicken and never seemed to go after the babies. (I think our mom's were too protective of them maybe) Our cats now get all our meat scraps both cooked and raw and many veggie or fruit scraps that go into the compost heap are eaten before they get a chance to make compost. We also give them some cat food but only about 2 cups a day for eight cats, two of which are nursing babies. I have no doubts though that they'd all be fine if TSHTF and we didn't have the cat food for them.


This thread has to make us wonder though. Why is it that our 'pets' now seem to have so many health issues? After all their years of domestication you might think they would have evolved to thrive on what people choose to produce for them. After all, doesn't 'modern science' have all the answers to our (and our four legged family members) food needs? But like humans their evolution is only a few generations away from a 'natural' diet, not nearly enough to have changed them sufficiently to do well on manufactured 'kibble' and 'milk bone' treats. Think about it!



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I was listening to some vet on the radio - he mentioned that if a food animal was sick and the "cure" was more than the market price of the animal, the animal would be slaughtered immediately and nobody would think twice about it. Therefore veterinary medicine is far more competitive in producing inexpensive results than with humans, where the goal is to keep them sick until their insurance runs out. Yeah, I know that is a simplification, but the point is, dog food is probably more healthy than the processed food we eat. There is a strong financial motivation to pack all the good things at a particular price point.


Taste aside, I wonder what the sustainability for humans would be on a quality dog food.


Maybe I'll go on a week dogfood diet and see.


I've been eating milkbones for years - definite preference of those over other brands - but I've never checked for their human nutritional value.


Edited by Gunplumber
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Actually, Gunplumber, I have always preferred Milk Bone to other brands myself. :happy0203: But nothing beats homemade dog treats in my book. I used to make them all the time for our dogs and the kids loved them too.


Seriously, (and that really was serious. I have eaten Milk Bone just to see if they were fit for our dogs, course, now I'm gluten intollerant... groan)I've been in a Purina plant and it was very clean. Relatives worked there and I was there to pick up a whole pallet of fifty pound bags of dog food that was being rejected because they'd found rat droppings on the bags. It was a donation to our wildlife rescue center. That was, however, when they seemed to care and were still using more simplified ingredients. Even then, though, we knew the wildlife did not do well on the commercial food compared to their natural foods. Now, according to those we know who still work in the pet food industry, the ingredients are extremely chemical laden just as is our own processed foods. They have more foreign ingredients, more (read cheaper) 'flavor enhancers' and some even use an artificial smell to make them more palatable. MSG or it's derivative 'natural Flavors'; transfats and hydrogenated fats and etc. are also used in many pet foods to make the animal crave the product just as it does for humans. (Does anyone know if the same labeling laws apply to animal food?) Most of what we see and hear of our pet foods is just advertisement geared towards getting us humans to buy the product. After all, it's not the animals who can read. LOL.


I'm sure that people can live and maybe even thrive on pet foods. In the past, when canned cat and dog food was cheaper, many poor people bought it instead of human food. There are some canned cat foods that look and smell better than some of the human foods I've opened. Eating pet food now might be just as bad as eating people food. Do some looking into what 'meats' go into making animal food once before you use it as a steady diet, either for yourself or your animals. Do you ever wonder what they are going to do with the 'pink slime' now that us humans are starting to protest it's use?


Still, GP, you may have a whole new avenue for prepping. After all, how many people are going to want to steal a hundred cans of cat or dog food setting in your pantry unless they have animals themselves to feed. Let us know how the experiment turns out. :feedme:



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@Gunplumber - I learned years ago when I was a counselor in training at Girl Scout camp that vinegar kills bacteria that can cause infection. They used a 50/50 mix of vinegar and alcohol in the girls' ears after swimming to prevent swimmer's ear and whatever other infection they might get from the lake water.



I'm having trouble with our dog scratching too. I think I might try a raw diet too.



I wonder if the safe for humans gmo's are effecting the pets? Maybe they didn't used to use corn in dog food, but until you started hearing about GMO's, I don't remember so many dogs having skin/allergy issues.

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been reading a lot more labels when I heard that MSG was being called "yeast extract" to avoid calling it MSG.


My bulldog has particularly sensitive skin and is always scratching his ears - his scratching causes more visible injury than anything I can see in his ears.

Edited by Gunplumber
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MSG comes in many forms and with many names. http://www.truthinlabeling.org/hiddensources.html


I happen to be one of those very sensitive to it and have found it in the most unlikely foods. Our son was told by his doctor in Thailand to avoid MSG to get rid of his gout. Sure enough, that worked. Hard to do in Thailand as it is highly used over there along with Kelp which has a natural MSG like substance on it's surface.


I have learned, the hard way, to never trust the 'no MSG added or used' statements.



Edited by Mother
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Oh yeah, I love that sign at Panda Express that says "We add no MSG". Unfortunately, most Americans are stupid and cannot differentiate "We add no MSG" from "Product contains no MSG".


Like the bag of sugar that says "fat free" or the tin of lard that says "sugar free". Both are true statements, and deceptive. They are designed to create an emotional response, not a rational one.


This is the reason that Monsanto and others have fought so hard to prevent companies from labeling their food as "non-GMO". The implication being that GMO is bad.


What a world we live in where one company lobby to prevent another company from labeling a product accurately. How interesting it would be if all products required the same "truth in advertising" as the FedGov demands of the Tobacco industry.

Edited by Gunplumber
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Gunplumber, Please PLEASE do NOT get me going on GMO, :motz_6: we've already kind of sort of hyjacked this thread,,, though MSG really CAN cause allergies and reactions in our pets as well as humans.


Do you suppose that if TSHTF and we all end up going back to "real" food totally, things that were grown or raised chemical free and in/on soil that finally was nutrient dense again, we'd all (pets included)be healthier?


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Interesting topic and timely since DH and I are switching my 'getting older' dog and 12 yr old cat to different diet. [tired of cleaning up cat hairball barf] Haven't switched the cat yet but plan to try it.


Mother, that 'craving' that you describe is exactly what I saw diminish when we switched BigDog to Taste of the Wild. I see that as a really good sign!


Please note: I do NOT mean to put down the raw food diet you all are advocating....I'm taking notes. But sheeesh, I don't know how I'd be able to get raw food that I would have any confidence in. The fish guts and head when we go trout fishing? I do NOT trust the major meat packers of chicken. :shakinghead: DH has too much data on THAT! So I'm just describing what we've found with this particular dog food. [no one I know gets royalties from it either :sHa_sarcasticlol: ]


Anyway, Gunplumber --- I'm glad you brought up the pink elephant. [image of a batty old lady eating her cat's food :grinning-smiley-044: ] Since this switch of dog food, I too have really been considering that 'human consumption' question. Especially after pricing the freeze-dried meat prices for food storage. This dog food comes in very heavy plastic bags so it's totally sealed. It's expiration date is at least one year out. Ingredients list includes different types of meat and meat meal, egg, veggies like sweet taters, blueberries, tomatoes....fermentation products, vitamins, etc. I can decipher most of the 'code'. No grains in this brand, btw, (in case Mother needs a gluten-free dog food for ....er, her dog. )


:whistling: Sooooo....be sure to let us know of your data, please.



Here are some sites I've begun to look at:



Taste of the Wild site list/explanation of ingredients:



Independent review of Taste of the Wild:





MtRider :pc_coffee:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Mt_Rider, I like the list of ingredients in that dog food except for this part:


Flavor (natural)

Natural ingredient that is applied to the outside of the kibble to enhance the flavor and acceptance of the dry pet food. Can be from vegetable, chicken, lamb, or pork sources. (It does not contain MSG.) Examples are parsley or other herbs and hydrolyzed proteins (processed so the average molecular weight of the protein is too small to be detected by the immune system which helps avoid adverse reactions in allergic pets. There is no intact protein from the chicken, lamb, or pork.)


That's another case of "it doesn't contain MSG but DOES contain hydrolyzed proteins (see the MSG link I gave for that) and why would they need to "enhance" the flavor if this product contains all the goodies it says it does? Would the dog want it if it didn't have this?


And then this:


Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract

A digestive enzyme derived from yeast extracts, this ingredient helps promote healthy digestion.


More MSG look alikes? I'm not sure on this one.


And this:



Rich in fiber and antioxidants, blueberries are a natural boost to the immune system.


I'm ....uhummmm.. my DOG is allergic to blueberries. :grinning-smiley-044:


It really does look like it has some better ingredients than most. I might question the specific cuts of the meat in the product. I can't believe that they'd use good prime buffalo and such in it when those meats are extremely expensive to buy and are generally farm raised just like all the rest of our meats. I suspect that it contains just the sort of offal you mentioned but then we'd be feeding some of those same products on the raw diet, just not processed probably. Remember, even this Taste of Wild dog food has to be heavily processed to make it dry and store well.


Also, on another note, did you realize that Taste of Wild foods is owned by Diamond which just had a recall of some of it's foods recently due to possible salmonella issues? It's on that same web site under the Home tab. There's a mention of the code numbers to look for if you haven't already.


I believe if I was going to feed a 'dog' dry kibble, I might consider using this brand. I haven't looked for dog food in so long I'm not sure it's available in our area even. Would it be more expensive to store than say home dried meats and vegetables?



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Wow...tricky, that MSG labeling. :(


Yes, I did check our bags for the recall. Or rather DH did when I alerted him to our thread here. [another score for MrsS and her massive data net! :cheer: ]



Too bad your...dog...is allergic to blueberries. They do have different flavors. Mebbe they don't all contain them.


This brand is very expensive but with BigDog cutting back to HALF of what she used to want to eat, it's saving us money. Big surprise there! I'm wondering if we could even let her free feed now. She's the first one we found that would stuff her obese self. Before her, we always free-fed and never had fat dogs. She came at age 3 from the rescue and has had food issues. But if it meets her instinctive needs better.... :shrug:


....so really, what can a dog safely eat raw? As in the trout? Bones? :unsure: That dog 'ralphs' every time she 'self-serves' something out in the pasture. :banghead: But LOVES nearly all veggies and strawberries. She gets all the sweet tater skins, broc stalks [and she runs around like she's got a fat stogie in her mouth! :lol: ], carrot peels...and carrots if she can beg them, beans, ...she'll do anything for pea pods, kholrabi,... I would not trust her to pick her own in the garden tho. She's very gentle taking the tiniest piece from my hand but I'd guess NOT if she was harvesting. :grinning-smiley-044:


MtRider [..off to take aforementioned dog to do chores with me. ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
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I bought some Hydrocortisone Cream to help calm down the swelling and the itching. It is the same as a steroid,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,isn't it? I remember when I first took her to the vet she was on a steroid for 10 days to calm down the swelling so they could see inside her ear better and then they cleaned it out.

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