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QUESTION: Dear Dr.Roger McLeskey,

Our dog, Ginny, is a female mixed breed. We are fairly positive that she is part Rottweiler and part Australian Shepherd.

She is currently eating Science Diet dry food, the lamb meal version.

She is 5 years old, almost 6.

She was an incredibly energetic dog, i mean, she would run all day if I would let her. But in the last six months,, her energy level has slowly declined, and her muscle tone has become poor. She used to be very stout, with strong and dense muscles.

She has shaking which seems to be much worse in her front legs, and also seems to be exacerbated by lowering her head to sniff. She pants for no reason, and is hungry all the time. She has also started to drink a lot more water.

I don't know if it matters, but her eyes are very slightly bugged.

The last thing I can think of is that her hind-quarters are very weak, and she trips over her own front feet.

Any help you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Cedric Nye

ANSWER: Hi Monika,

I'm sorry that you and Ginny has to go through so much. Let's try to help you get a better look at things.

First, Science Diet and all the rest of the commercial foods like Iamsm, Purina, Beneful, and all the rest are pure junk. These foods are so full of allergy causing grains and other bad fillers that they cause these and so many other problems. We've seen it so many times.

What this type of food does is weaken the immune system and cause allergies and other degenerative type diseases.

It sounds like she has possibly some food allergies and some airborne allergies. It is the season now for air borne allergies in dogs.

This can cause her eye problems and the other issues. But if you haven't had her checked at the vet, you should. That would make sure there are no other issues happening.

If it is just airborne and food allergies, it's best to change up food and a few other things to get her over this.

Food has the power to cause these problems and cure these problems. It's as simple as that.

First, dry food is the worst for dogs. It has no moisture and is an incomplete balanced meal.

Dogs be nature are meat eaters. This means they thrive on a high moisture diet. So the best for dogs is a raw food diet, followed by home cooked, then canned and at the bottom of the list is dry food.

A dog on dry food only diet will live in a mild state of dehydration. This will hurt their internal organs and skin and coat.

You can feed a little dry but their main diet should be high in moisture like raw, homemade, or canned.

So basically, she is getting a high grain diet and probably mostly dry. This is very hard on her system.

Try to get her into a premium grain free foods like Orijen, Accan, Natural Balance, Before Grains, Instinct, The Great Life (on of the best), Core, Wilderness or Taste Of The Wild.

Get her off all grains for a while. She will do better. Bad grains and other bad ingredients are like wheat, corn, soy, by product, artificial coloring's, and preservatives.

Get her into much more wet foods like canned products of some of the above good foods.

And the number ONE thing you can do for her is to give her a supplement of enzymes and probiotics.

These are two of the most powerful supplements anyone can give their dog or cat.

They get these naturally though there natural diet of raw foods. These are "live" food nutrients. Nature intended they get these in every meal. Please do some research on these if you haven't.

When you cook or process foods, it destroys these vital nutrients. That's why it is so important that you supplement them back into the diet.

It is by FAR the most important thing you can do for her.

You can purchase enzymes and probiotics from most natural food stores. This in one of the best things you can do for her to help everything that is going on with her. Please believe me and do this.

A very good one we use is from Animal Essentials. It contains both enzymes and probiotics in one powder form and you just sprinkle a little on each meal.

It sounds like your dog is suffering from possibly food and seasonal allergies. Doing the above steps will get her over this.

If she is experiencing other problems or does not get better real soon, get her into the vet for a complete checkup to make sure nothing else is going on. You just don't want to chance anything.

For seasonal allergies, we found the best thing for dogs is bee pollen. If you get a local source that contains all the local pollen's, you can rid your dog or yourself from seasonal allergies. You just start with one little pollen and work up a little at a time until you get to a 1/4 teaspoon per 25lbs of dog per day. This will cure seasonal allergies.

This is a lot of information, so if you have any questions or would like to discuss a possible raw diet or just anything else, please, just email me back and ask, I'll try to help as much as I can.

Roger

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Mr. McLeskey
I want to thank you so much for your caring advice. Our girl is doing so much better! We switched her back to Merrick Beef, Barley and Carrot recipe,one of her original foods. Can't remember why we tried Science Diet. We also got the Probiotics!Without your recommendation, we would never had known. It makes sense, now. We are adding raw meats and cooked chicken, potato,sweet potato and brown rice to her food.(rotating the carbs)She is pooping better and all of it without straining. Before she seemed in a constant state of constipation. She is happier, running and playful again.She is still trembling sometimes. Oh and we are getting her used to some sprouts in her food too.I just have to thank you so much. You are a kind person to do this for others. God Bless You! and if you don't mind I would like to keep in touch- I've always got questions brewing.

Answer
Hi, glad to hear Ginny is doing a little better. Keep up the good work and she will continue to thrive.

As I mentioned before, try to keep her grains low, even the good ones can cause problems in sensitive dogs. Dogs just don't need much. They can cause inflammation in most dogs and they just don't need that.

Keep her diet very high in moisture type foods and keep the grains and potato low. Sweet potato is fine, but regular potato's can add to the problem with allergic dogs.

Pumpkin is a very good regulator as well. You can add a teaspoon of this to her meals. It works great for constipation and runny problems. You can get organic pumpkin in a can. We do every once in a while. You can open the can and fill an ice cube tray with it and freeze it. Then pull out a cube now and then and give it to her.

If you still want to feed dry, I would find one that does not contain potato. Most dog foods contain a lot of potato for a binder. There are many that use sweet potato or legumes. Much better choice.

It's a learning process to see what works best for her.

Make sure you don't add too much of the other products from balanced dry or canned. Because you can easily get her calcium off balance and that can cause other problems. If you add more than 20% of the other products you mentions, then add some bone meal or ground up egg shells to her food, just a little. That will ensure she is getting enough calcium.

If you do much homemade food, get a book or two that contains homemade diets. This will help you learn what other ingredients she needs.

Make sure to add some salmon oil as well. This is very good for her.

The raw foods are great. If you can, try to get some commercially prepared ones. They use free range animals and usually contain ground up bone and organ meat to make it a complete and balanced diet. This is key.

Her shaking I hope will stop once she gets all this out of her system. But it may have become a behavior issue. Good nutrition can sometimes overcome this.

The greens you can do are great. Wheat grass, spirulina, kelp, sprouts and such all help keep her immune system going strong. The enzymes and probiotics as you mentioned are very good.

Please do keep in touch. I would like to hear how Ginny is progressing. There will always be questions as you go along. I'm happy to help if I can.

Roger

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Roger McLeskey

Expertise

Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.

Experience

I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

Organizations
We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

Publications
Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Education/Credentials
Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

Awards and Honors
None.

Past/Present Clients
Many satisfied pet owners coming to our store for nutritional help and advice.

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