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Long story short - My parent's have an 8-10 year old shepherd mix (humane society). She seems to be having hip problems, just general soreness. They have been working closely with there vet. He did perscribe them a few joint supplements (i dont remember what exactly). This was about a month ago. Just this past week the vet has convinced them to switch her to Hill's Persription Diet - joint health. They were feeding her Summit (i think the holistic chicken, dry). Does anyone having any tips for helping me explain this was a bad decision??

from what i can gather, this is not an increased quality food, just more expensive and pushed by their vet.

Thank you!!
 

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Yes, those reviews are quite convincing!

The joint supplements are the way to go. Explain to your parents that the amount of glucosamine in that food is going to be extremely small. Better to feed the higher quality food, and supplement with meaningful amounts of glucosamine.

Sorry to say, but this vet really has been bamboozled by the Hill's science diet hype in this case. There are reasons for prescription diets with specific metabolic diseases, but if the vet is prescribing this diet for the miniscule amount of glucosamine found in it, it just does not make sense.
 

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Well, whatever type of Hill's it is says it's for joint health, but surprisingly enough, it's first ingredient is corn... what are the odds.. hahah

I dont want to make them feel bad, because the love their dog and take really good care of her, but they have been completely convinced to feed her the Hill's. I guess i will really push the glucosemyne (sp) and other supplements they were originaly trying. Maybe i can spin it that they'll save money, i KNOW the hill's is costing more than the Summit.
 

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First of all, my rant about the dog food advisor: Take what you read on that dog food advisor with a grain of salt... the author of the site has no nutrition background, let alone animal nutrition or animal health and therefore doesn't quite understand why certain ingredients are used in any foods.


For prescription foods, the site also clearly states: "Our ratings have nothing to do with the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to this product’s ability to effectively treat or cure a specific health condition." FWIW.


While I never transitioned my own dog onto this food due to GI issues, I instead had her on Glucosamine and Chondroitin, Omega FAs, NSAIDS, Amantadine and, eventually, anabolic steroids for her arthritis. All of that being said, my ex-boyfriend, who is a veterinarian, has his dogs on this food and swears by it, so it's not just a product-push for people.


If you are very anti- Hills that's totally fine since there are other options to try (like all of the meds I spit out lol). However, their dog being on this is not a detriment to her health, I'm sorry to say since that's what you were looking for...

Here's their study info (hopefully the link works): http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&sqi=2&ved=0CFgQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hillsvet.com%2Fpdf%2Fen-us%2FTIS0164_jd_Canine_TD-838_v5.pdf&ei=zVM8T9bnDO2o0AGQsOm3Cw&usg=AFQjCNFMBNXARLsC6-lUHw6wg4uOuyqqZw&sig2=B-opTU0FIdXlcjfccN9XKQ

I partially agree with Tess's statement of "vet is prescribing this diet for the miniscule amount of glucosamine found in it, it just does not make sense". If you take her off of it because you don't like the ingredients and include all of the anti-inflammatory/pro-joint/cartilage promotants that are in it, it should work about the same. That being said, from experience I know that the meds are pricey as well, if you get good quality ones.

However, price is always an issue with prescription foods as well, you're right.


Just my two cents!
 

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My question about the study you posted is what was the "control food"?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
oh, im certainly not looking to trash one food or another, and i just had a convo with my mom where i got a little more info on why they switched. It seems weighing the pros and cons of dogs foods could be a full time job!

She is going to try the Hill's for a bag or two, seeing as she's already purchased and opened the bag. She is also going to look at the bag for the level of joint supplements added to compare to what they were giving her while on Summit.

I really appreciate all points of view. Thanks!

ETA
I guess the concern lies more in what fillers (corn) are in the Hill's compared to the more natural ingredients in something like Summit (holistic) than what is lacking. if that makes sense...
 

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My question about the study you posted is what was the "control food"?
You'd have to read the full studies as those are a synopsis. I believe they are posted on the bottom right in small print. I've read them before but cannot remember what it is, sorry!
 

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She is going to try the Hill's for a bag or two, seeing as she's already purchased and opened the bag. She is also going to look at the bag for the level of joint supplements added to compare to what they were giving her while on Summit.
I think that's a great idea (comparing the amount of supplements).

Keep in mind that with supplements, it may take 6-8 weeks to see results, so she should be on the food this long as well (just as long as a dog would have to be on a special diet for a food trial if it had presumptive food allergies). And, after that time if you see no positive changes, no harm has been done (seriously). In the meantime, you can research the anti-inflammatories and supplements that can be used and added!

I don't want my posts to be anti- or pro- any type of food, but just want to show that, as you mentioned, there is a lot that goes into deciding what is a "good" food and what is "bad". Too often the ingredients are looked at over the nutrients, and especially disheartening, how the dog tolerates them.
 

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I just want to clarify that I am not 100% against Hills. If your dog needs a particular type of food where there can be serious consequences if they get the wrong whatever it may be and Hills has a food that fits that perfectly and there isn't a higher (IMO) quality food that will, then by all means you should put your dog on Hills.

I am just a big believer in healthy food, healthy body and to me the more "real" and/or what they would eat naturally the better. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think that's a great idea (comparing the amount of supplements).

Keep in mind that with supplements, it may take 6-8 weeks to see results, so she should be on the food this long as well (just as long as a dog would have to be on a special diet for a food trial if it had presumptive food allergies). And, after that time if you see no positive changes, no harm has been done (seriously). In the meantime, you can research the anti-inflammatories and supplements that can be used and added!

I don't want my posts to be anti- or pro- any type of food, but just want to show that, as you mentioned, there is a lot that goes into deciding what is a "good" food and what is "bad". Too often the ingredients are looked at over the nutrients, and especially disheartening, how the dog tolerates them.

Yes. Thank you very much for this info. I don't feed my dogs either of those foods, but that's a whole other story!

So, they'll stick to the Hill's (they're actually just starting it, still transitioning from the Summit) for 8 weeks and hopefully they do see an improvement. If nothing, there seems to be 10,000 other foods to try! :D
 

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from what i can gather, this is not an increased quality food, just more expensive and pushed by their vet.

Thank you!!
Most vets don't have any training in nutrition. The information that they give clients comes from the dog food companies. I would add a good glucosamine/chondroitin supplement and skip the inferior ingredients of the hills food. The dog has been fed a quality food and I cant help but feel that eating that food will not enhance over all health of this dog. Tell them that with the byproducts, corn and soy products they may end up with skin and ear problems if the dog stays on this food. To start they need to give 1500 mgs. morning and night. The glucosamine with put fluid back in the joints and the chondriotin will help relieve pain. I got mine at Trader Joes it is chewable and easy to use.

ingredients Hills -BAD
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,

ingredients Summit -Good
Canadian chicken meal, oatmeal, whole brown rice, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), natural chicken flavor, canola oil, salmon meal, flaxseed, dicalcium phosphate, mannanoligosaccharides (yeast extract), fructooligosaccharides (chic
 

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I am going to tell you to stick with what your veterinarian has recommended you. Although I would be doing more then just a diet change. Speak to your veterinarian about supplements, how much, what else you can do etc.

I love the members here but sometimes veterinary diets have their place. I'm sorry but as an individual who has access to the research that backs these diets up I can't deny the good they can do. The ingredient list may not be what everyone here loves but the simply truth is animals need specific nutrients, not specific ingredients. Each individiual will handle a food differently. Any ingreident MAY cause a problem it all depends on the individual.

This website the "Dog Food Advisor" that everybody goes off even has a disclaimer about veterinary diets but even this individual needs to stop focusing on the ingreident pannel alone and start evaluating other areas of diets as well.
 

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My vet recommended I feed my puppy Iams and then when I questioned her she admitted that Iams is not really a good food but most people aren't willing to pay for the good food. Just like doctors not all vets agree and I don't automatically do what my doc says so why would I just take the word of a vet if I don't agree with them.
To me feeding the dog a food like pedigree, Iams, Hills (unless there are no other options) would be like feeding my kids just bread and milk and giving them vitamins cause they are allergic to chicken. Doesn't and won''t ever make sense to me and that's also why I don't even feed kibble I make my dogs food myself and they are all 100% healthy.
 

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It would also be nice if you could share these studies that back up those foods.
 

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My vet recommended I feed my puppy Iams and then when I questioned her she admitted that Iams is not really a good food but most people aren't willing to pay for the good food. Just like doctors not all vets agree and I don't automatically do what my doc says so why would I just take the word of a vet if I don't agree with them.
To me feeding the dog a food like pedigree, Iams, Hills (unless there are no other options) would be like feeding my kids just bread and milk and giving them vitamins cause they are allergic to chicken. Doesn't and won''t ever make sense to me and that's also why I don't even feed kibble I make my dogs food myself and they are all 100% healthy.
I have to agree with this^^

One of our vets once suggested we switch our dog from our current food (blue buffalo) to, I believe "science diet" so that my girl (who was already loosing the weight due to the new food, blue) could loose more weight. The problem we were having in the first place was that she gains a lot of weight from corn based foods, and the first ingredient on the list was corn. I'm sorry to say but vets should have to study nutrition just a little more, and not count on reviews from food companies.
 

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the simply truth is animals need specific nutrients, not specific ingredients
Ditto times a million.

It would also be nice if you could share these studies that back up those foods.
I posted these a year ago so I just searched for my previous posts and copied them here-- don't remember what foods they are for at this point. Also, I showed you were to go for the J/D food a few posts back...

Jacob F, Polzin DJ, Osborne CA, et al. Clinical evaluation of dietary modification for treatment of spontaneous
chronic renal failure in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2002; 220: 1163-1170.

Loeffler A, Lloyd DH, Bond R, et al. Dietary trials with a commercial chicken hydrolysate diet in sixty-three pruritic dogs. Vet Record 2003

Yamka RM, Frantz NZ, Friesen KG. Effects of 3 Canine Weight Loss Foods on Body Composition and Obesity Markers, Intern J Appl Res Vet Med Vol. 5, No. 3, 2007.

Allen TA, Fritsch D. A multi-center clinical study of therapeutic foods in dogs
with chronic, non-seasonal pruritic dermatitis due to atopy and/or adverse
reaction to food. Final study report #CLIN28983R. Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center,
Topeka, Kansas, 2005.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS IN CANINE OSTEOARTHRITIS: A RANDOMIZED,
DOUBLE-MASKED, PRACTICE BASED STUDY, 6-MONTH FEEDING STUDY, 2003.


CANINE GINGIVITIS STUDY SYNOPSIS
Logan EI, Finney O, Hefferren JJ. Effects of a dental food on plaque accumulation
and gingival health in dogs. J Vet Dent 2002; 19(1): 15-18.


How do you all know how much nutrition training vets get? It has to be different depending on the school I'd assume... ?
 

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It would also be nice if you could share these studies that back up those foods.
The funny thing is that the studies come from the dog food companies. Sorry to say with out an independent study I would not believe the result. The dog food companies can say anything they want. There is no one to police these companies. I feed the most wholesome diet I can and in the past added glucosamine to the diet when needed. Why feed inferior food when you can just add what is needed to a quality food. Can you believe this is who we have looking after our dogs best interest.

Dog Feeding Trials done by AAFCO

In this method, the product (or a similar product made by the same company) is tested in dogs, under AAFCO guidelines, to ensure it provides adequate nutritional levels.
If it meets the profile, you will find the following AAFCO statement on the dog food label:

"Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (name of product) provides complete and balanced nutrition for (specific life stage)."

The labels on many commercial dog food brands will proclaim to contain a nutritionally adequate dog food diet, by passing "stringent testing as required by AAFCO."
However! ... Read on ...
A minimum of only eight dogs are required for the tests.
The tests run for a six month period.
During the duration of the test, 25% of the animals can be removed for varying reasons, and
It is permissible for the remaining dogs to lose up to 15% of their starting body weight.
Now, based on the above, what conclusions can we draw as to the "stringency"(?!!) of this testing, and the value of this AAFCO statement?
Considering only six to eight dogs ate these particular dog food ingredients for six months and survived with no more than an "acceptable" 15% loss of body weight!?
We wonder how many dog owners would consider it "acceptable" for their 30 lb pooch to lose 4.5 lbs in six months?

Kind of like letting the fox guard the hen house.
AAFCO advisors and committee members include representatives from major feed manufacturers and ingredient suppliers such as Nestle Purina, Hills Pet Nutrition, Nutro Products and Cargill Animal Nutrition. Despite this, AAFCO claims that its function is to protect the consumer. Despite its regulations, AAFCO has no means of enforcement, nor do they perform any analytical testing of foods. Regardless, AAFCO’s regulations are adopted by most states and are the standard to which pet and livestock feed manufacturers must adhere.
 
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