July 27th, 2012, 01:46 PM
Hi! I have a 14-year-old Lab who's very healthy but unfortunately suffers from arthritis and muscle wasting. Throughout his life I have fed him Eukanuba, though a few months ago switched him to Hill's J/D at the suggestion of my vet to help with his arthritis. He also gets Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplements, Deramaxx, and semi-weekly Adequan injections to treat his mobility issues. He goes for semi-weekly hydrotherapy as well. In researching possible solutions to counteract his muscle wasting (which is his biggest issue), I have read that many people (including those on this forum) find that feeding their dog a higher quality food such as Orijen Senior can help to counteract these muscle-wasting problems, which can evidently be due to poor protein sources in mainstream dog food. Having said this, I am a bit cautious to switch such an old dog to such a radically different food from that which he has eaten his entire life, especially when it's so high in protein and he is on Deramaxx which (to my knowledge) carries the potential side effect of kidney damage (and there is the worry, albeit disputed, that overly high-protein food can exacerbate this). While he gets blood work done every few months and supposedly is "healthy as a puppy" according to my vet (in terms of what the blood work reveals), the combination still kind of makes me nervous. To my knowledge, J/D is about 20% protein, whereas Orijen is something like 38%. However, his previous Eukanuba Senior Large Breed food was 28% protein, which has made me wonder if it would be wise to perhaps supplement his J/D with a couple cooked egg whites (or about a half a cup of cooked Egg Beaters) each day to provide that extra boost of protein. Plus, that way he would still have the joint benefits of remaining on J/D. My understanding is that egg whites are a good, safe protein source for dogs--correct? Could anybody weigh in on these issues--specifically, Orijen for a dog his age and whether it'd be safe or effective to give him egg whites/egg beaters with his J/D for added protein? He's got a very strong stomach, by the way.