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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Molly has a food sensitivity but I can't figure out what it is. I've switched her over to Purino Pro Plan Savor (kibble mixed with canned) to get her off foods with peas and lentils (she was on Merrick for years). From what my research shows the way she poops: normal but the second one or later one is goopy often with some mucus means it is the small intestine reacting to a food. She has no parasites, etc and seems completely healthy and energetic but she does have a bad habit of licking one leg (resulting in black hair growth in about 6 places.
Unfortunately Molly is a foodie eats like lab!
I know the vet's solution is to completely limit her to only the vet food for a month, but I cannot see that working. We have two dogs and hubby sneaks them food. There is also "morning and evening biscuit routine" which both dogs live for as if they would die without it.
So, my question is: has anyone found blood testing, skin testing or some other way as a "shortcut" so I have a place to start - or an elimination method helped you to figure out a sensitivity? When I look at the ingredients in almost every dog food, it has so many I don't know where to start.
 

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How long has she had this issue? When did it start, and how long have you been feeding canned food? Mucus being excreted from the body typically suggests bacteria or other intolerant things being expelled, so allergies are certainly possible. It's also common in IBD. A small amount is actually normal, especially if the dog is active and has looser poops as a result--I don't think I've ever seen a dog poop that did not contain some mucus at one point in the day. Her licking one leg in particular also makes me wonder if this is stress-related, since if she has allergies, it's likely she would be licking other areas as well.

Unfortunately, many food sensitivity tests come back with incorrect results, so there's no real easy way out except going through bit by bit and tearing the diet apart--but it could also be possible that the canned food is causing an upset stomach if you have been feeding a while, since those foods are typically very rich. In addition, foods like Purina Pro Plan and Merrick are primarily plant-based in their proteins, and some dogs have issues extracting nutrients from that, resulting in deficiencies. I suggest starting there, since that could be an easy fix, then going by proteins, since those are the more common dog allergies. If you have one nearby, you could also go to a canine dermatologist, but I would try at-home methods first before putting the dog through testing.
 

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Peggy does not typically have mucus in her poops. When she did, it was because she was ill.

Gracie would get mucus-coated poops when she ate "greenie" type chews. I think glycerin was the culprit.

I think dog foods do have way too many ingredients. Maybe that's necessary? Even the ones I found with limited ingredients contained common allergens like eggs.

I can relate to your struggle, @SusanG. Wish I had an easy answer for you.
 

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Do a NutriScan. It should be covered by insurance if you have it.
 
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I realize maybe I should clarify on what degree of mucus is acceptable to me--

A small coating over the poop and maybe a little bit on the end poop, which is what I was talking about in 'later-day' poops, is normal and helps the dog pass the poop without straining a ton. It's made by the lining of the colon and indicates good health, preventing constipation and a couple other issues. A lack of it and small poops indicate to me that the dog is either dehydrated or there is a blockage that needs to be addressed, either with fiber or a trip to the vet.

Little bits that are visible will begin to concern me, but not overly, as it usually indicates that the dog probably ate something that upset its tummy, but it was passed. It generally warrants a watchful eye, however, as something could not be right in GI land.

A huge amount, 45% or more, REALLY concerns me. When Fluffy had his digestive upset episode after eating Instinct Raw last year, his poops were primarily mucus. They were also extremely mucus-filled the time he had stress colitis. Picking up these poops felt like grabbing jelly (ick!).
 

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I’m right in the middle of the food allergy quest with Beckie. My best advice : see the dermatologist as soon as possible. Don’t waste time and money trying a million different things. Yes, they are expensive but not as much as you will pay trying to fix this yourself and with a regular vet.

There is a Facebook page on dog allergies (Dog allergies - information and support). I recommend you join as they have tons of good infos.

Here’s my thread if you’re interested : Beckie’s allergy testing (through raw food ) journal
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Molly is 5, and she's had loose poops on and off for years. I've tried her on different brands of food - Merrick (mostly) but also Taste of the Wild (she vomits the canned food, won't touch the kibble) Orijen and Acana (too rich) Wellness (wouldn't eat it) Nutro (wouldn't eat). Even was on Zignature for a few months until I heard about the Cardio issues with peas and lentils. Its hard because just about everything has peas or lentils - some as the second ingredient which is why I went to PPP, but now I'm wondering about the corn?

She has an occasional bully stick for 15-20 minutes once in a while, which will cause mucus in her poo, but she is really not a chewer and not interested in them for long, bones either.

Mollie is a foodie and wolfs down her food whole. She's obsessed with food - will sneak into Callie's if I don't watch her. I even got her one of those special dishes so she can't gulp it so fast. The vet doesn't seem concerned about her on again off again loose poos and we've discussed it several times but now it seems to be most of the time. At first when I switched her to PPPlan it seemed better but is now back. Molly does have allergies especially in the spring, in fact got a shot for them twice because she was scratching and licking herself a lot. She now licks mostly her left front leg - I think its more habit than anything else now, part of her licking behavior. I've been using "Yuck" to discourage the habit (yet, she is not a nervous or jumpy dog, very calm, friendly loves everyone, happy) I think sometimes its just boredom as she doesn't lick when she is busy.

From the day we got her (at 10 weeks) she was a "licker" she will lick us constantly, or sometimes air licks. Its an awful habit. No matter what we do, we have been unable to get her to stop with the tongue. (She has a very long tongue) Again, the vet found nothing wrong. I took pictures of her air licking and he contacted the vets at Cornell Vet Dept and they had no diagnosis (at first thought seizure, but decided not) She licks so much when I groom her that I have to use a mesh muzzle because she tries to lick the clippers and actually licked the scissors and nicked her tongue once. Its not from nervousness because she loves being groomed - jumps right on the table when she sees me get the equipment out.

So, I am at a loss and to me, something is going on with allergies which would explain the poos, the licking and the scratching. Finding a food that has no peas or lentils and limited ingredients really has me frustrated. I need to do a combo of canned & kibble as she won't eat kibble without something in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I’m right in the middle of the food allergy quest with Beckie. My best advice : see the dermatologist as soon as possible. Don’t waste time and money trying a million different things. Yes, they are expensive but not as much as you will pay trying to fix this yourself and with a regular vet.

There is a Facebook page on dog allergies (Dog allergies - information and support). I recommend you join as they have tons of good infos.

Here’s my thread if you’re interested : Beckie’s allergy testing (through raw food ) journal
Wow, poor Beckie. Fortunately Molly is not that bad, but reading your thread reminded me that Molly has, on occasion done the butt licking. It looks like I need to get her off the PPP as it has chicken in it (gees almost everything does, darn it) since it makes sense to make that the first protein test. Hopefully I can find a kibble that is just turkey or duck or beef and a high quality canned protein to match and see how she does for a couple of weeks. She is pretty sensitive to any canned with a lot of fat. I used to treat them with Evangers canned, but certain ones are just too fatty, especially the rabbit give her the runs.
 

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Hopefully I can find a kibble that is just turkey or duck or beef and a high quality canned protein to match and see how she does for a couple of weeks
I’ve been told if chicken is a problem, turkey is not the best choice since it’s a similar protein. You should try something Molly has never ever tried, like venison or fish or horse, etc. Also, the elimination diet needs to be done for 8 weeks straight, and you should not give anything else than the chosen food. No treats, toothpaste, nothing. It’s very hard to do, and it takes a lot of time.

Derm vets don’t ever use commercial foods, as there can be cross contamination between the different foods, and some dogs will react to that.

I wish you the best and let us know how it goes.
 

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Just do NutriScan. It will be fast and efficient. It is also non-invasive all you do is collect saliva.
 

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Just do NutriScan. It will be fast and efficient. It is also non-invasive all you do is collect saliva.
I know it’s worked for you but my dermatologist warned me against any test claiming to effectively test food allergies.

She said it’s a waste of money. Apparently there is promising research going on, but we’re not there yet. The only thing that currently works is the elimination diet; it’s not a fast cure and it takes time.
 

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Dechi my vet endorsed NutriScan very heartily and I have known him for over 20 years, so trust him deeply. NutriScan doesn't claim to test for allergies, but rather food intolerances and sensitivites based on testing for IgA and IgM. Allergies are more related to IgE. IgE indicates a tissue based allergic response. IgA indicates a secretory response meaning that antibodies are secreted into the gut. IgM indicates a recent or new response to something. I know my experience is essentially anecdotal being based on just our 3 dogs, but switches I made based on those results cleared up all of the things I was concerned about: urinary crystals for Lily and Peeves and excessive ear wax for Javelin.

It cost nearly $1000 to test all three dogs, but I am sure it has saved us much more than that in vet bills and suffering dogs. In the long run we all have to hope our vets are good at what they do and that we have good relations that encourage us to trust their advise.
 
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