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Old July 9th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Hill's Science Diet J/D

Dr. Lee mentioned in another thread that many in this forum are not fans of Hill's Science Diet J/D.

Can you each offer me your reasons why you're down on it?

My 85 pound, 12 year old Great Pyrenees, Maggie, has DM, and a specialist just put her on J/D a few weeks ago, instead of the Wellness Senior that she was one for years before. With the Wellness, I supplemented with chicken, beef, fish, brown rice, sometimes liver,... - and mixed it in.

Your thoughts?

Thanks!
Marcia
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Old July 9th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Ingredients
Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Flaxseed, Soybean Mill Run, Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), L-Threonine, Taurine, Soy Lecithin, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, L-Carnitine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Chondroitin Sulfate, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.
Just take a quick look at the ingredients list. It also has a carbohydrate content of 46.9 %, which IMHO is way too much for a carnivorous diet. I would go back to a regular adult maintenance food with low carb and add some homecooked ingredients to it. Way easier on joints than all that garbage that's in Hill's. You can also add your own Glucosamine/Esther-C/Fish-Oil and if you supplement it yourself it's probably better quality anyways.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 10:59 AM
Chris21711 Chris21711 is offline
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I asked about this food in the pet health section yesterday, thread titled Crash the tri-pod Dr. Lee answered that Vet's have faith in it's medicinal properties Maybe you would like to check out his answer.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:08 AM
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No pun intended, but WHERE is the medicine in this food ? :
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:11 AM
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Check out this study....very enlightening. Because of this study I took my dog off nutro and switched to Performatrin Ultra.
Even Costco's Kirkland is better then hills.
http://www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog-food-index-c.html
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:12 AM
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I guess I should have used another term. Dr. Lee stated that what is in this diet is proven to be helpful for dogs with joint problems. Yesterday I was trying to get feedback from members with more knowledge than myself to pass along to my daughter's friend, since I am aware that this is not a good diet. Unfortunately I didn't receive any feedback.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Hi Chris,

As far as supplementation goes: I would take the dog to a holistic veterinarian and have him put together a list of dietary supplements beneficial to dogs suffering from joint problements list of Hill's makes my cringe. s.
Hill's does list Glucosamine in this particular diet, but it does not give you any indication as to how much and what kind of quality it is.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris21711 View Post
I asked about this food in the pet health section yesterday, thread titled Crash the tri-pod Dr. Lee answered that Vet's have faith in it's medicinal properties Maybe you would like to check out his answer.
Here's the thing I think, Hills, Medi-cal, etc. can study their foods up the wazoo and give vets that information. Unless a vet has a particular personal investment in studying nutrition, it makes sense for them to look to companies which can provide them with data which they can look to int he event of specific ailments.

Does that mean that those diets are the best thing for your dog? No, not at all, but your vet is not necessarily going to be able to provide you with alternatives as prescription diets, in most though obviously not all cases, are what they know and have information on. Who is going to put up the $$ to study homemade, raw or other diet options? No one.

In any case, what I would suggest you do is ask your vet what in the Hills food is beneficial to your dogs specific condition and then research how you might provide those elements in your dogs diet as supplements, a homemade food or what have you. This is what I've done numerous times with my dogs, as I've learned through experience that there's no point letting their overall health suffer in an attempt to try and help/fix a specific problem. Overall health is just as important.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:23 AM
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I'll suggest that to her. but her Vet and the specialist both recommended it Also they said that what was in the food was enough supplementation that in their opinion he did not need to be on any other supplements

Last edited by Ford; January 1st, 2009 at 10:48 PM.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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Pitgrrl -I'm in agreement with you, it is not for one of my dogs but a friends and she is not get the right info from either Vet IMO
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Old July 9th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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I'll suggest that to her. I already have told her that it is crummy food, but her Vet and the specialist both recommended it Also they said that what was in the food was enough supplementation that in their opinion he did not need to be on any other supplements
That is maddening! The value of suppplements is generally all lost in the kibble rendering process anyway. I'm fully convinced it's vital to add fresh meat and a few veggies to any kibble to up the protein, vitamins and antioxidents, and I think supplementing with glucosamine/chondroitin or MSM and also Omega fatty acids is really important for dogs with joint problems.

I'm also not fully convinced of the principle of feeding senior dogs more carbs just because they're old. They're still carnivores! When they slow down and are prone to weight gain it would make sense that they would eat less...but why a different formula that is carb-heavy? Even Wellness does this and it kind of makes me mad...another reason I wish Canidae wasn't messing around with their ALS formula.

Regardless, I can't imagine switching to it from a great food like Wellness (even the Senior formula is FAR better!). Chris21711 - If you want to convince someone, I find it helpful to pick out a couple ingredients and research them. If you're able to vividly describe to comeone what chicken by-products and brewer's rice actually are, they are usually so disgusted they don't want to go near the food! Also helpful: Ask them how they would feel if they ate six cobs of corn for dinner

All I know is I have spent hours reseaching dog food and I think I barely know the half of it....which is why I would not trust a vet's opinion on food, since I highly doubt many of them are devoting as much time to being informed about dog nutrition as a lot of the users on pets.ca do!

Big Dog Mom - I agree with pitgrrl - stick with a food you can be sure of the quality of and add supplements! Food has a lot of overall health benefits, but it can't solve specific problems. I don't know a lot about DM, but IMO any dog suffering with any health problem should try to eat a food that is as natural as possible to a diet in the wild, instead of using valuable energy to try and digest "junk" that it is not designed to be eating.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 12:21 PM
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Maybe this is a way to explain Hills to your friend:

You have to think of your own diet, is it better for you to eat processed corn and hot dogs rather than fresh veggies and meat? No absolutely not, so how can processed corn and by products be better than fresh meat for your dog?

If she gave it some thought, she would realize you are right.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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Thanks guys for the input, I'm printing out a lot of this for her to read. I know zilch. Only since coming to this forum have I switched both my dogs and cats to good food, or at least I hope it is. Thanks again

Chase Mum - Crash is only 3 years old, he is a little overweight for his condition (tri-pod)
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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WOW. As I read all of your input, I'm now more confused than ever. On one hand, Maggie's doctor (a specialist) is probably one of the most engaged, intelligent and well thought vets I've ever encountered, and I have a very frank and open relationship with her. That having been said, I am tuned in to the "mommy instinct" points of view many of you are explaining in this forum. My "mommy instinct" is to supplement their kibble with fresh meat or fish and some veggies, which is what I have done for YEARS. The kibble I used, as I said before, was Wellness (now the Wellness Senior). Maggie's specialist said to pull out the meat, add more veggies, and insert some broth for flavor if necessary. I don't know if it's my need to be a mom that makes me want to cook for Maggie or what I call my 'mommy instinct' which means that this is just the best thing for her.

Maggie is about 86 pounds, and because of her DM, we need to take about 3 or 4 pounds off of her since her back legs are weak and not as able to support an otherwise acceptable weight.

What are you guys thoughts about all of this? Chris21711, I too was told that no other supplements would be needed other than those in the J/D other than the Vitamin E. My instincts are contrary to this counsel.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:23 PM
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I just realized I kind of smushed answers to both Big Dog Mom and Chris21711 together and maybe created some confusion!

I didn't mean for senior food to be relevant to Crash, Chris21711 - I'll go look for your original thread and read up on him there.

Big Dog Mom - I don't really understand CM at all so it's a bit hard to offer advice....but I definitely wouldn't use Hill's to aid in weight loss. It's one thing to cut calories, but using their food would cut nutrition too and I would think that is something your dog needs right now!

My instinct would be to keep doing what you are with adding meat and veggies to Wellness but to cut back the amounts of meat and kibble a little...that is just my opinion though. Even though I personally don't like how carb heavy senior food is, it will likely help with the weight loss and it sounds like that is more important right now.

But there are tonnes of other users on here who are more well-read on nutrition than myself and hopefully more will see this thread soon - lots of people log on in the evening so hopefully you will get some more ideas tonight!
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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If it were me (and though I haven't ever had to deal with the specific issue you're facing, I have had to deal with chronic health issues in one of my dogs) I would be doing 3 things.

First, I would ask the vet if she can provide you with specific information about what, nutritionally speaking, would benefit your dog's condition and why.

For example, why is she telling you to cut out the meat and up the veggie content? Is that the help the dog drop some weight? Are there implications of protein or fat levels on the condition that she is concerned about? What are the specific substances in the Hills J/D that are beneficial? Is it high in Omega 3's ? Glucosamine? I'm just guessing here, but find out the specifics.

Second I would look around for a yahoo list or something similar which focuses on theses types of issues. Often you can save yourself a lot of research time by talking to other owners who are or have dealt with the same thing.

Here's one, if I m not confusing your dog's condition with something else.

Third I would research different feeding options. If you need your dog to loose weight, I would think that a senior formula kibble, which is heavy on the carbs, wouldn't be ideal and again, in my personal opinion, I don't think Hill's is the best option both in terms of helping the dog cope with a specific condition, nor in terms of taking care of her over all health.

So, what does that leave you with? Perhaps it means finding a kibble which meets any specific requirements you get from your vet and adding supplements suited to the situation. It could also mean designing a homecooked or raw diet which again, meets all of the dog's specific needs. There are many books and web resources available to help get you started on that if that's the route you choose, and the advantage is you can tailor it to your individual dog.

Whatever you choose to do, I think it's worth being straight forward with your vet and asking for the information you need to make your decision a fully informed one.

ETA: Here's an article you may find interesting. It encourages a homecooked diet, and though I think the specific recipe is not ideal and could certainly be improved upon, it might give you some ideas to work from.

Last edited by pitgrrl; July 9th, 2008 at 01:37 PM.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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Honestly - I don't trust a vet's knowledge about canine nutrition too much, unless he/she has specialized/researched the subject.
I would seek out the advice of a person who has ample knowledge about canine nutrition and go from there. That's, what I would do. One thing's for sure though: I would NOT for the life of me feed Hill's ! !
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Geee thanks for making this board all confusing you guys

I just got into a very small argument over Science Diet and Hills in general with someone on Yahoo Answers. Someone posted saying their cat was on feline c/d and wasn't getting better.feed them something better with alot of moisture and feed them more canned then dried. I also suggested some raw feeding.. A few people agreed with me but someone else was acting like Hills stuff was a magical cure.. ridiculous.

Anyways... for supplements it's easier to do it in treat form.

I looked up the food from the OP and see it's for joint pain.. and the only thing that makes it special for joint pain is.... Glucosamine and Chondroitin apparently?

So why would we waste a ton of money on a bag of corn with **some** supplements in it..


http://www.dogswell.com/?title=happy+hips

Is your dog suffering from achy joints or a severe limp? Are you trying to maintain your dog's healthy hips and joints? Try HAPPY HIPS® premium jerky treats with glucosamine and chondroitin.
PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS
All-Natural, Cage-Free Chicken Breast
With Functional Benefits
With Antioxidants
With Glucosamine and Chondroitin
INGREDIENTS
Chicken Breast, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
crude protein 70% (min)
crude fat 1% (min)
crude fat 5% (max)
crude fiber 1% (max)
moisture 16% (max)
vitamin E 10000i.u./kg (min)
glucosamine hydrochloride 2000mg/kg (min)
chondroitin sulfate 1000mg/kg (min)




I mostly just came here to re-assure myself that I was right and the person on Y!A was wrong
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Old July 9th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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I learned the hard way that vets aren't necessarily the experts on dog nutrition..sad but true. Now it depends on the vet of course, but many of them recommend the food that sponored their classes in vet school! I fed my dog Hill's K/D when he was first diagnosed with kidney disease. I got hit with this sickness I didn't know what to do..i'd fed him holistic, human grade food before...but I trusted my vet that he knew what was best. Albert was on this food a lousy 3 months and he GAINED FIVE POUNDS, the kidney disease progressed even faster, and he got yeast infections in both ears!! THe ingredients are horrendous and I just KNEW that there had to be a better way!! My vet argued that because ALbert was older(7yrs), and lived a sedentary lifestyle he had put on the weight..umm, no. Nothing changed except his diet. Granted he was sick now and has always been laid back...no excuse to put on so much weight so quickly especially with him being on the onset of arthritis!!

Please, please, please do your research. You can get glucosamine supplements to add to the food. Nothing beats fresh meat and veggies!

Over a year later since Al was diagnosed, the disease has come to a SCREECHING HALT and his kidney function has actually IMPROVED. All I did was switch him to home cooking, and added vitamins and supplements!!

I am a true believer and convert now! If I'd kept him on Hill's he'd be dead by now. I finally have a vet that is very well versed in dog nutrition, recommends foods like Wellness and Canidae and agrees that things like omega 3s, and CoQ10 and even Vitamin E can work wonders. Plus nothing beats fresh, natural food.

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Old July 9th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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Amen !!
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Old July 9th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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Amen !!
I second that.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Even though this thread was not started by me and I butted in with similar concerns. I just want to thank you all and have printed it off and given it to my daughter's friend. They went on vacation yesterday and we are going to discuss it when she gets back. Rainbow has brought up a valuable point with Dr. Lee on my original thread, it would appear that Science Diet is not very forthcoming in even answering queries from a Vet
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Old July 11th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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I really don't have a problem with Hills food, we have to give it to one of our girls due to bladder stones, switch her to another food and she has stones again and I WILL NOT have her go through another surgery. I think in some cases it works and why mess with something that works, she gets lots of extras, raw food, veggies and fruit and does just fine.... JMHO
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Old July 12th, 2008, 12:52 AM
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The Dogswell Happy Hips are made in China.....

I am a canine nutrition specialist in Wisconsin & I don't get too involved here on the forum, but I will say that it would behoove you to find a holistic nutritionist or vet in your area who can help you find a healthy food (someone else also mentioned this). BUT, feeding a 'healthy' food is NOT just merely about the ingredients, as there are many other variables to consider when determining which food is ideal for your dog(s).

I don't like many of the "senior" formulas out there because they're too low in protein. As dogs age (& humans), the bodies experience muscle catabolization, so to fight that, we need more protein & exercise to keep the lean muscle tissue in tact. For dogs that are overweight, it is not always necessary to find a low kcal and/or low fat food to achieve the desired weight...the food just needs to be properly calculated for weight loss. High carbohydrate diets (which always consist of grains), actually makes it more difficult for the body to loose weight because carbs are sugars that turn to fat stores if not turned into energy & burned. There are several other problems that occur as the result of eating high carb diets. One of these is diabetes - same as in the human body.

Dogs are carnivores & should eat as such: moderate/high protein (dependent on variables), moderate/high fat (dependent upon variables), low fiber, & low carb

As Pitgrrl mentioned, you need to examine your vets' background in canine nutrition, specifically, to determine what type of education they received & WHO TAUGHT THE COURSE. The schools have the big name companies come in & teach them about their products......
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Old July 12th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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I am a canine nutrition specialist in Wisconsin & I don't get too involved here on the forum
Any chance you'd like to start getting involved?
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Old July 12th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Any chance you'd like to start getting involved?
Seeeeeeeeeeeeriously!
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Old July 12th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Goldens4Ever - Your advice would be welcomed and appreciated by all I think!
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Old July 12th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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I agree with the rest, if you can tell me what other kind of food to feed Brandy that will prevent stones I would be thrilled, we have tried them all and after urine samples are tested we always have to go back to Hills, like I said I don't have a problem feeding her that food but if there is something better that could prevent them we would give it a try
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Big Dog Mom, did you ever figure out what you were going to do?
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Old July 19th, 2008, 08:04 PM
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I adopted a seriously overweight dachshund two years ago. He weighed 39 pounds and was on a commercial diet. Cheap stuff. One year later, after he was being put on an all natural, species appropriate diet by me, he was down to his ideal weight of 22 pounds and has kept that weight ever since. He also got hit by a car when he was with his previous owner and suffers from a stiff neck and a sometimes sore hind leg. He also has lyme disease, which tends to bother him on and off. All these ailments have drastically improved since he was put on a healthy diet of "Honest Kitchen" Force and Embark and raw meat. I have a titer done on his Lyme Disease on an annual basis and his titer is well under 30. (Right around 10 at the moment) I am a firm believer, that good nutrition makes for a healthier pet.
My guys haven't seen the vet since they've been switched over to this kind of food.

Happy campers.
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