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Discussion Starter #1
My Pepper is one year and one month. She currently weighs just under four pounds. I know this isn't unheard of for chihuahuas,but I can see her entire bone structure and she eats like she is starving. She has been losing more ounces than gaining over the last three or four months. So today I took her to the vet. After spending the day there and $400 the vet has told me to change her food to Hill's Science diet puppy small and toy (the kind the local petstore sells, not a perscription diet) and given a different dewormer along with instructions to let her eat as much as she wants 3-4 times a day.

She is currently eating wellness puppy along with a nutrical type supliment and alternating days of virgin coconut oil and fish oil. The vet did a fecal exam, blood tests, and a bile analysis to make sure her liver did not have a shunt.

I am rather torn as the ingredients in this new food are substandard compared to what she is already eating (the top ingredient in science diet is ground corn meal, a filler right?). The vet said science diet is the best food available, but all my research indicates otherwise. I am almost positive the "best" diet would be raw, followed by a high quality kibble and/or wet food.

So far Pepper has not gained any weight with my food, even eating 3 servings a day 1/4 cup each, the package says 1/4 cup daily is the recommended amount. That is why I took her into the vet in the first place. When we got home today I fed her lunch 1/2 cup wellness with 1/4 cup science diet. She ate like she was starving then promtly threw up from eating too much too fast.

I want to go ahead and change her diet as the vet suggests, but I am thinking of going to innova, it is one of the foods rated higher than wellness on the dog food analysis website. I hate to do anything against the vet's orders, she is a very good doctor in my experiance. I just feel vet's in general seem to push the science diet food, regardless of it's nutritional value.

I guess I am just wondering what everyone's opinion is. I don't want Pepper to lose any weight as she is dangerously thin, but I also don't want to give her a food long term that will cause more health problems.

I tried getting a picture of her, but she is still traumatized from the vet so I let her be.
 

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I am so glad that you have researched your foods, and took her to the vet. your a good mummy :)
In my opinion I would switch to raw, someone with more experience will come on soon and give you some advice as to how to do that. I just wanted to tell you that I think you have done everything right :)
 

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Most of the vets don't know of the high quality foods & they get paid to sell Science Diet. Go with your heart. I feed The Honest Kitchen which is dehydrated raw, ZiwiPeak which freeze dried raw and Acana kibble as an inbetween snack. My vet never heard of these foods & when she read the ingredients, she was very impressed and said that these were very good foods for my chi.
 

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Remember that vets only get a couple hours of nutrition in vet school and it is provided by Science Diet. They are trained to sell it and vet students get the food for free for their own pets by the SD reps. There are also incentives to selling it in your clinic.

Your gut feelings of the ingredients being sub-par were correct. If you want to investigate a raw diet, we will help you. As others pointed out, there are other good choices as well - Innova is a good choice (although I'm less confident of it since the Proctor and Gamble buyout), Acana and Orijen are top notch, ZiwiPeak is excellent - as is Honest Kitchen. There are also dehydrated raws that are very very good... Stella and Chewy's is my personal favorite in that arena.

I would say to try and put some weight on your baby using the choices listed above. You could always go to SD as a last resort if you didnt' see results. My guess is that you will have great success with anything OTHER than SD.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I read a thread a while back about ziwipeak, is it available in the states? I am going to drive an hour to civilization tomorrow to investigate my food choices. I'll let y'all know what I come up with!
 

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I read a thread a while back about ziwipeak, is it available in the states?
Yes. If you go to their website, you can plug in your state and get suppliers. Many of us just get it off Amazon. There are other dog food supply companies that sell it online as well.
 

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I love Amazon. They have some good deals sometimes, I buy from them regularly and stuff usually comes fairly quickly. I already bought a bunch of stuff for my planned chi on there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
update: I ended up getting wellness core at the store and am planning on changing foods to some variation of raw when I move in a few months. No need to stress my already stressed out dog twice in a row.

I took her in today and she weighs 4.4lbs, up from 3.69 the other day! The bigger servings along with grain free seems to be much better suited to her. She is eatting calmly and seems much more clam in general. I am sooooo relieved.
 

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Wellness Core is excellent. So glad it's working well for her! Great news.
 

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My newly adopted Chi is underwieght too - he's 5.5 but he should probably be more like 6lbs. His ribs and spine bumps show. The shelter we got him from didn't have much information on his past, just that he came from an LA Second Chance shelter and he is about 1 years old. I have him on an all natural organic petfood, Castor and Pollux Natural Petworks. It's a dry dog food and the chunks are small, so he can eat them easily. I have a bowl for him that he has access to at all times, but he still doesn't eat much. I don't want to chunk him up on treats, but he doesn't seem to like those either. I am at a loss for what to feed him as a reward for training, since he doesn't seem to care for much besides jerky! What else can I try for him?

We walk 2 times a day to be sure he is getting enough exercise. Nothing like a marathon, just up and down our little street, and he plays alot. I am not worried he is going to balloon up, but I do want him to gain in a safe, healthy way so he isn't putting on too fast or too slow, and doesn't go overboard.
 

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update: I ended up getting wellness core at the store and am planning on changing foods to some variation of raw when I move in a few months. No need to stress my already stressed out dog twice in a row.

I took her in today and she weighs 4.4lbs, up from 3.69 the other day! The bigger servings along with grain free seems to be much better suited to her. She is eatting calmly and seems much more clam in general. I am sooooo relieved.
Sounds to me like you're doing everything right! I wouldn't have switched to Science Diet either.
My only (humble) suggestions (not that you need them), would be to maybe feed her some quality canned food occasionally and to free feed her dry food. Maybe she wouldn't wolf down her food if she always had access to it.
These are just my thoughts....there are those who will disagree, and you might too. That's not a problem. I'm thrilled that she's gained weight for you! Here is wishing you much continued success!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've been giving her large portions three times a day and her eatting has slowed way down. She doesn't bite my hand off for treats anymore either. I'm thinking she just wasn't getting enough at a time or that she did indeed have a parasite of some sort and the medicine for that cleared it up. Thanks everyone for all the good advice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE: Just got back from the vet recheck and I am rather dissappointed. I told the vet that I would not be giving my dog science diet and showed her the food I got as well as the various independant sites supporting said food. She still insisted that if I must choose another food then I should go with nutro or blue buffalo. I know these aren't bad foods, but I switched off of nutro in favor of wellness because I saw it as a step up.

She look horrified when I mentioned raw and said never to do it because my children would catch salmonila. That's just silly, I'd never prepare or handle raw meat without washing my hands etc. I'm not feeding us raw meat, just my dog! She said dogs need grains because they eat them in the wild, I bit my tounge and didn't say "I don't think it counts after another animal has digested it".

All in all this ahs been an experiance. After running tests all at once instead of one at a time, and charging me a lot of money, and acting like I was harming my dog with food I carefully researched, I am thinking I may just start seeing the vet I take Coco puppy to. I dearly love the staff and vet at my current office, but I just feel like they aren't listening to me and costing unneccissary money. I'd spend any amount to keep my animals healthy, but there is just no reason to throw money away needlessly. Sorry for the rant!! Thanks all for supporting my food decision and listening to me :)
 

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Stick to your guns, follow your gut feeling. It sounds like your vet doesn't listen to you, or take the time to do research on nutrition. Time to find a new one, one that supports you, gives you tips and knowledge, and can READ an ingredience list! Good for you for doing your homework, and following your instincts!
 

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Which Vet? Is it the one you saw me at that day? If it is them they have 6 chis of their own and are very saavy on Chi's so it is a great vet for our area as area doesnt have a lot to offer. I have yet to find a vet around here that do not support the foods that they sale. That goes for RAW to. It is just a fact of life. They are also a good priced vet as well compared to a lot. They are not pushy if you stand by what you believe in do not give them the option to disagree with you. I see John as he isnt pusy at all and listens, gives his opinion and that is it ;-) I love them up there for the simple fact that they respect my wishes and know that they work for me. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I take Coco to the vet you go to, I wanted to try them when I got her and I love them! My other two started at Crestview when I moved here so that's where I have been taking them. I am most likely going to just take everyone over to the other one. I see the lady there, can't remember her name for the life of me. I think John's wife. She has been excellent with Coco and I can't wait to take her in for her spay next month. The price is soo much better too. $350 spay (even for my cats) versus $110 spay. I know it varies place to place, but in the same town that's a big difference!
 

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Yes her name is Jennifer. I like her to but John's bed side manner is just unbelievable. I think they are a pretty amazing practice and I am so thankful we have them here :)
 

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Wow it was as if i wrote this thread! lol
I am going through the exact same thing at the moment.
My Daisy goes in again tomorrow to get a bile acid test cause her liver enzymes were slightly elevated, although last visit, last friday, they had lowered.
Anyway she has been losing weight and is now 4.4lbs.
They too wanted me to do the same as you and either put her on SD or RC.
I said am not keen on those foods so they want me to take a breakdown of her food in with me.
I feed Acana, and all 3 of mine do great on it.
I think something else made Daisy lose the weight, then again,it could be she is meant to be that wieght like a pal said to me that used to be on this forum.
Cheers Sarah. lol

Anyhow, am glad you stuck to your guns too, and didnt let them pressure you into buying a bag of crap from them.
They really dont have a clue.
The vet back home (our Huskies vet) has at least heard of Orijen, and i will be taking mine to him when i move back. lol
Hope your wee one continues to strive on the new food. x
 
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