I know a lot of people think that Science Diet is horrible, but I am trying to figure out the best thing for my old guy.
He has a bad elbow. Radiographs, a visit to a specialist and consult with another specialist revealed that they don't really see anything outstanding on the films.
The specialists recommended Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, high omega 3 intake, laser therapy and Adequan. We are doing that.
The regular vet recommends Science Diet JD. He has had great luck with his personal dog that has bad elbows with the food.
Dr. Regular Vet also told me that in order to get enough omega 3's in to him I would have to feed a peanut butter jar sized serving daily and that the food meets those needs.
One of the specialists we saw (who is a good friend) recommended the Purina JM.
Any experience with either?
Kanoe Godby www.dyrkgodby.com See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.
The rescue I used to volunteer with had a dog who was on the Purina JM. It was very expensive...my vet recommended a high quality food and high quality supplements. Better bang for your buck, healthier diet for your dog.
Yuck yuck and yuck. Read your ingredients. There are so many foods out there that are better than those two. You're going to be counter productive if you load the dog up with fillers and garbage that can cause inflammation (like corn and wheat products). Find a good quality food that has no fillers (maybe more expensive but you feed less and there is much less waste, the best proof that what you're putting in isn't just coming right out the other end), then look into a good supplement. Smart Pak carries dog supplements and even if you don't buy from them, it's informative to read the comparision charts and reviews to see how successful they have been for dogs with issues (and most of them are fairly inexpensive too).
the only active ingredient in Science Diet JD is fish oil- it's 3.74% fish oil, dry weight, of the diet. You can easily manage to supplement a much higher quality diet with that much fish oil. And the other ingredients in the Science Diet JD are likely to worsen the dog's arthritis because they are entirely the wrong thing to feed a dog with arthritis.
For an arthritic dog, you want to feed a high-protein non-inflammatory diet (that means no grain and no white potatoes). The best option would be a salmon/sweet potato diet with at least 30% protein (as listed on the bag), and a fat level of around 16% (because you're going to be adding a lot of fat to the diet). Unfortunately I am not aware of any such commercial food that is available. Taste of the wild's salmon offering is a bit low in protein and has white potatoes in it. Petsmart sells a food called Simply Nourish that has salmon/sweet potatoes, but it is low in protein again (24%)- you'd probably want to add canned salmon to the diet to increase the protein level, easy enough to do.
Ziwipeak might be a good choice for an arthritic dog- they have a fish/venison one, with a very high green-lipped mussel content, and no inflammatory ingredients.
Merrick has several grain-free offerings based on sweet potatoes that have sufficient protein.
Whatever you choose, simply weigh out the amount of food you feed on a daily basis on a kitchen scale, and do a little math to calculate how much fish oil to add to bring it up to 3%- for every 97 grams of dry food, add 3 grams of fish oil (I'm using 3% here instead of 3.74% because the kibble isn't completely dry). Many fish oils come in 1 gram capsules, so it's easy to dole out. Don't worry about being perfect with the dose- err on the side of more if you must err. Buy a generic version because you'll be buying a lot.
Also consider adding a good multi-component joint supplement, with glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and HA.
If you feel you must feed a prescription diet, the Purina JM is far better than the Science Diet JD in ingredients, but it's active ingredients consist entirely of a fairly low dose of glucosamine and a much lower dose of fish oil than is in JD- a dose that isn't high enough to be therapeutic for arthritis. You'd be better off supplementing better diets.
also note that one of the best ways to improve arthritis in dogs is to trim a few pounds off them, and engage in regular low-impact exercise like walking and swimming.
And don't forget you can use Adequan on dogs, too.
I was A HUGE HUGE HUGE skeptic when it came to J/D. I already had my dog on cosequin and fish oil, but the vet convinced me to give it a try. You know what, its really actually does work. Really!
I don't love the ingredients and I am pretty sure my dog is mildy allergic to it, but its working and I really have no other options down here. Its science diet or grocery store brand. When I move back to the states, I will get him on something different and go to Adequan shots is what I am thinking my current plan is.
I have to say I was extremely surprised that its worked and have been very impressed with it. He is only on that. I took him off the cosequin since you don't want to use everything at once and not have anything to build on to.
of course it works- but it's just a high dose of fish oil, which anyone can supplement any diet with, and even grocery-store foods might have better ingredients and give better results if supplemented with a high enough dose of fish oil. You should probably put your dog back on the cosequin- the glucosamine encourages the joint to heal itself over time, so it may prevent the condition from worsening. Most people see the best results if they use a multi-modal approach.
This is one of Hill's studies on fish oil:
J Vet Intern Med. 2010 Sep-Oct;24(5):1020-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0572.x. Epub 2010 Aug 12.
Dose-titration effects of fish oil in osteoarthritic dogs.
Fritsch D, Allen TA, Dodd CE, Jewell DE, Sixby KA, Leventhal PS, Hahn KA.
J Vet Intern Med. 2011 Jan-Feb;25(1):167.
Food supplemented with fish oil improves clinical signs and weight bearing in dogs with osteoarthritis (OA).
Determine whether increasing the amount of fish oil in food provides additional symptomatic improvements in OA.
One hundred and seventy-seven client-owned dogs with stable chronic OA of the hip or stifle.
Prospective, randomized clinical trial using pet dogs. Dogs were randomly assigned to receive the baseline therapeutic food (0.8% eicosopentanoic acid [EPA] + docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) or experimental foods containing approximately 2- and 3-fold higher EPA+DHA concentrations. Both veterinarians and owners were blinded as to which food the dog received. On days 0, 21, 45, and 90, serum fatty acid concentrations were measured and veterinarians assessed the severity of 5 clinical signs of OA. At the end of the study (day 90), veterinarians scored overall arthritic condition and progression of arthritis based on their clinical signs and an owner interview.
Serum concentrations of EPA and DHA rose in parallel with food concentrations. For 2 of 5 clinical signs (lameness and weight bearing) and for overall arthritic condition and progression of arthritis, there was a significant improvement between the baseline and 3X EPA+DHA foods (P=.04, .03, .001, .0008, respectively) but not between the baseline and the 2X EPA+DHA foods.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:
Increasing the amount of fish oil beyond that in the baseline food results in dose-dependent increases in serum EPA and DHA concentrations and modest improvements in the clinical signs of OA in pet dogs.
this is from the discussion section of another study on fish oil, one not conducted by Hill's, about doses of fish oil:
The Hill’s studies give the ω-3 dose as % of food on a dry-matter basis and conclude that the test food had 3.47% ω-3 s and the placebo food 0.11%, meaning that the test food had an over 31-fold higher amount of total ω-3 s, compared to the control . Hall used 6.2 g ω-3 fatty acids per kg of food . As we do not know how much the dogs ate in that study we can, however, not calculate the mg/kg BW daily doses. Blonk showed that, in humans, doses over ~1.2 g DHA/day (given as fish oil) saturates the plasma DHA concentration and further increase of given DHA increase the plasma concentration only incrementally . This has not to our knowledge been studied in dogs. Hall concluded that 175 mg of DHA/kg BW/day was needed to attain maximum plasma levels of DHA in dogs . As EPA will change into DHA in the EPA cascade, it is however unclear how much of EPA and DHA combined is needed to achieve maximum plasma levels. In fish oil the EPA concentration is usually about 60% and the DHA 40% . In the product we used the DHA was about 22% of the EPA amount. Although we had a significant increase in both DHA and EPA in our end-of-trial samples in the fish oil group, it is possible that we did not come up to the maximum plasma levels. Therefore we cannot say if a bigger dose still would have benefitted the outcome. However, as our oil contained only fish derived EPA and DHA and as there was a big difference in the ω-6:ω-3 ratio between the fish oil and the placebo, we think that our dose and ratio used led to at least some positive results. As EPA, DHA and other EFAs from the EPA cascade have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, this supports the clinically positive, although mild, results seen in our treatment group and not in the placebo group.
It makes a lot more sense to dose dogs by body weight instead of by percent of diet, because dogs eat varying amounts, and an older inactive dog may eat very small amounts and yet still need lots of fish oil. From this info, you'd want to feed somewhere around 200 mg of fish oil per pound of dog. Trying to compare to the Hill's, which has fish oil as % of diet, if we follow their feeding instructions, we can estimate their food is supplying about 300 mg per pound of dog. This is much more than the amount usually suggested for general dog health, so if you thought you already tried fish oil, and didn't like the results, check your dose.
Purina PM is only supplying about 85 mg of fish oils per pound of dog and has only 1 mg of glucosamine per pound of dog- the usual suggested dose for glucosamine is 25 mg per pound of dog.