Monday, January 14, 2019

Hazel and Food for Thought

First we want to thank everyone
 for their POTP, prayers and well wishes for Hazel

We are happy to report the new heart medicine has helped Hazel be more comfortable with her breathing.  This medicine is to help her heart pump better. She did have some fluid build up when she was checked on Thursday so we doubled her afternoon dose of Lasix. We hope now between the two medicines we can keep things in check. She is scheduled for a recheck on the 24th. 

We have some other developments (don't panic) as a result of Hazel's issues so we are going to let Mom take over.  She may be a bit long winded but we hope you will read through what she has to say

Friends, all of us love our pets and always want to do what is the very best for them, which includes feeding good food. You may have heard there are new reports that grain free food may cause heart problems in dogs. Because of some things that transpired at our vet last week, I went looking for information.  I am writing this post as information only, not as an expert by any means and not to influence anyone.  I hope you will read carefully and not make any rush to judgement. 

When I took Hazel to the vet last Monday and it was determined by x-rays that her heart was enlarged our vet asked me if we fed grain free food. I said yes. She then told me about the recent reports that some grain free diets may be leading to dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.  At 14, Hazel's condition can very likely be attributed to her age, but we made the decision to x-ray Mabel as well.  So we took Mabel in on Thursday as a precaution not expecting the answer we got. Mabel shows a slight enlargement on one side of her heart. I just wanted to cry. When I got home I started looking for information and what I found was quite interesting. 

First - If you feed grain free food DO NOT PANIC!
It does not seem to be the lack of grains 
but some of the other ingredients that are added to SOME of the grain free diets.
I am going to tell you some of the main points I took from a couple of articles I found and then I will provide links to those articles for you to read if you want

The report included the fact that all of the cases had something in common: all the dogs had been eating diets heavy in peas, lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes.
“Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes [our emphasis again] such as peas, lentils, other ‘pulses’ (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch, and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients.”

Not All Grain-Free Foods Are Under Suspicion

Please keep reading to the end of our post but here are links
 to two very informative articles from Whole Dog Journal 
that will give you more complete information
Please read if you have any concerns about the food 
you are currently feeding your dog.

Again I want to stress, these reports are very new and we just wanted to put this information out there and you can draw your own conclusions and thoughts. 

Yes, Hazel's age could be the main cause of her enlarged heart.
Mabel had her share of health problems in her first year and her x-ray results could be related or just coincidental.  At this point Mabel is totally fine but by changing their diet we have a good chance of stopping and maybe even reversing the slight enlargement. After much searching I found a good quality kibble that has none of the suspected ingredients.  It is not grain free but neither of the girls have problems with grain. That may be over doing it but at I would rather be safe than sorry.  We will be monitoring Mabel by doing x-rays again in about 9 months.

Thanks for reading
and thank you again for all your love and well wishes for Hazel

We are the PugRanch Kids
Hazel & Mabel


  1. Hari OM
    Well, I am taking away from this that there is a degree of hope and uplift as Hazel has at least not worsened and early warning is at full tilt for Mabel. Take the positives where one can!!! Everyone must make their own decisions, as is always the case, but as a (retired) health practitioner who specialised in nutrition - for humans - the same rule applies to pets as far as I am concerned. I fed Jade raw bones and home-cooked rice and oats 'pilafs' with offal and gravy. The only health scare I had with her the entire 14+ years was a broken tail... (that thing wouldn't stop whirling and whacking immovable objects!) I continue to send POTP and much Love to you with hugs and wags to the puggies!!! YAM-aunty xxx

  2. Thank you Linda for taking the time to share all of this with us. Eye openers are good! And your such good parents taking care of your babies!
    Sending positive energys to both Hazel and Mabel!

  3. We are so happy to hear that Hazel is responding to her medicine and we will be checking the ingredients in our grain-free kibble. Thank you so much for the info, Miss Linda!

  4. We too are thrilled to hear that the medicine is helping Hazel. We hope it continues.

    As for the food issue, Mom has been thinking about that grain free issue for a long time. She moved to it when Angel Ciara had trouble with food. We have been eating the same grain free kibble for about 8 years now. It is so hard to know what is right. Thank you for all your information. Now if only we knew what to do . . .

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

  5. Thanks, will check the ingredients of our Grain Free. So happy to hear that Hazel is breathing better. You go, girl.

  6. Thank you for sharing this important info with all of us. It's so hard to know what is the right food.
    Continuing to send hugs and prayers,
    Cam and Mags
    and our mom, too

  7. Dearest Huggy Puggies Hazel and Mabel....let me just say and I know you 2 know it...BUT you have very devoted parental units!! You both are precious to all of us and we keep your wellbeing close to our hearts.

    Linda you did an excellent job of explaining and linking for folks. You provided more than enough information for all to be properly informed and they can carry away from this what is needed for their particular situation.

    Well done and thank you for taking the time to look up links and provide them.
    You are an excellent researcher and Mom. Hazel and Mabel are lucky to be Divas i your home
    Hugs Cecilia

  8. This is such a confusing issue! We are glad that Hazel is feeling better! We want to know which dog food you ended up with. Mom will message you on FB.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  9. I'm so glad Hazel is doing okay and those food issues are scary, especially when what is supposed to be good might turn out to not be so good. Hugs to your sweetie gal from all of us.

  10. What a well informed post Linda, thanks so much for sharing!

    We are happy to hear Hazel is doing a bit better and are sending POTP that Mabel's heart issues can be reversed with a change in diet.


  11. We're happy to hear Hazel is doing well. Our vet had some literature out about the heart problems with grain free food too so we have heard about this issue. We hope the food change helps Mabel. Did you discuss the new food with your vet too?

  12. Furst all, glad Hazel is doing better.

    Finley has a congenital heart murmur and she's allergic to potatoes - so we've never eaten kibble with potatoes, although some of da peas/lentils are up there on da list. So far, we're all doing good on it, but it's good to stay aware of these things. Sending POTP to Mabel's heart issues can be helped by a change in diet.

  13. I am so happy that Hazel had her meds adjusted and I am hoping it helps. My Vet had sent all of their clients and email about grain free food......I promptly took Dakota off of it. He wasn't always eating grain free but he did sometimes. They are also looking for a correlation in reference to grainfree and cats too.

  14. We are so glad Hazel is doing better. We have read the same things about grain free food. We eat Blue Buffalo Basic Grain Free because of allergy and digestion issues. My parents understand there is a slight chance it could lead to problems, but it is also a quantity of life issue. I think it is the smaller brands that have sprouted up lately with a lot of protein being taken from peas and lentils that are causing the problem. Best of luck Hazel. We love you.

  15. Hazel, we're so glad you feel better and your new pills are working.

    Mom is also going back and forth about the grain free food. I really don't care just as long as she feeds me. :) Just sayin'

  16. Oh Hazel, I am overjoyed you are doin' betters!!! I've been sendin' tons and tons of POTP and healin' vibes your way gurl! I've been on an rx diet foods from the vettie furevers. I knows it's not grain free, butts I don't knows if the offending ingredients are in there....I told Ma to check tomorrows. Thanks for all the hard work in sussing out the good info ~ I knows there is a lot out there.
    {{{hugs}}} to you gurls, and good work Moms!
    Ruby ♥

  17. I am so happy that Hazel is feeling a bit better. Hopefully, her sweet heart will continue to respond well to the medicine. I don't feed grain-free but we have changed Pierre to a prescription only diet with absolutely no cheating. Thanks for sharing your research.

  18. You did a lot of research. Very interesting thanks

  19. we are so happy to hear that the new meds brought such good results... that was interesting to read about the grain free dog food....
    we send lots of potp and a BIG hug to you dear Hazel

  20. Whatever has been the cause and whatever lies ahead, you know your Mommy will give you the very bestest care pawsible ... stay well, sweet girls!

  21. Thank you for sharing this very interesting info. We hope Hazel continues to do well with the diet and the new meds.

  22. We hope Hazel continues to improve. Thanks for the info.

  23. I had never heard that and will do more research. Thanks for the info. So glad Hazel is improving.

  24. Wow. That was interesting information. My mom's gonna check my food.

    I'm so glad that the medicine is helping you Hazel.


  25. Thank you so much for the info. I've been reading about taurine, and now I am supplementing our dogs with taurine. Like you said, better safe than sorry. You might consider supplementation to try to reverse Hazel's situation. I have a vet friend whose dog when into congestive heart failure at age 6 and supplementation completely reversed it.

    Thanks so much for the great synopsis and links.

    Still sending POTP to sweet Hazel.

  26. PS your second link doesn't work due to a period at the start of it. Just thought that you'd want to know... Thanks again!

  27. So glad Hazel is doing well on the new meds and Mama is gonna check my food STAT!!! Fanks fur all the info :)

    Matt (& Matilda)

  28. Hey Gals
    Mommy is FINALLY taking some time to let me comment on my FURiends' blogs. I am very hap[y about that. I have to say we often eat grainfree foods BUT Mommy found that I have a very serious reaction to foods that include pea protein and lentils as a major ingredient - I BELCH. And we are talking really constant and very stinky belches. When I eat foods that do not have pea protein or lentils as a major ingredient, I belch a lot less. So there just may be something to these studies that maybe our humans should be cautious when including either of these proteins as major components of our diets?
    I hope both Hazel and Mabel are doing better.
    Love YOUR FURIEND Noodles

  29. Charlee: "We are glad to hear that Hazel is doing better on her new medicine!"
    Chaplin: "And we're glad that you had Mabel's heart checked out. Knowing that there's something to keep an eye on will help keep her healthy."
    Charlee: "We've heard about the issue with the grain free foods. Dennis was on grain free for awhile but towards the end he was on the 'anything he is willing to eat' diet."
    Chaplin: "I'd like to be on that diet!"
    Charlee: "I'm not sure it was as fun as you think it was, Chaplin."