Indigestible protein?

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MsChopsy
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Indigestible protein?

Postby MsChopsy » Mon May 11, 2015 9:32 pm

Hi

I wonder if anyone has any advice about indigestible protein and staining? My 2 year old Coton de Tulear X suddenly started getting staining around his mouth a few months ago. This also affects his paws a little and his bum (a lot) due to licking.

I've been emailing back and forth with the pet food company who produce the kibble I've been feeding him daily, mixed with a good quality wet food. They seemed to think he might have become suddenly allergic to a protein source and suggested I change kibbles. My dog won't eat anything but the lamb and rice kibble but he is not as fussy with human food or his wet food.

I was thinking the staining might be related to the colour of the wet food so I stopped giving him the lamb and rabbit varieties and fed him exclusively on chicken and turkey varieties. The staining increased. Then I read on a couple of Maltese terrier forums that the owners think chicken and/or turkey caused staining in their dogs, so I excluded that from his diet for a few weeks and started mixing his kibble with either salmon and rice wet or the lamb and rice wet. Yet again, the staining is getting visibly worse.

I have started to wonder if he is sensitive to Lamb as it's the only thing he has had consistently throughout the whole period but many people I speak to seem to think this is unlikely.

I think I might have hit on something though when I asked a pet food company nutritionist about the pig's ear I gave my dog about five months ago. He stained instantly after he ate it (it never occurred to me that would happen) but I trimmed a lot of it out and it started to fade over the next few days. Then all of a sudden, about two weeks later, I noticed his bum looked sore. On closer inspection, the hair around it was tinged red. I also noticed the staining around his mouth seemed to be getting darker again. I never made the connection at the time but the nutritionist told me recently that pig's ears are mostly indigestible protein and this can cause allergic reactions in dogs that can cause excess saliva. If that is the culprit, then should I be feeding him kibble at all now? From what I read, lamb meal is legally allowed to have up to 11% indigestible protein. If he is sensitive to that, could this be what is causing the staining? His stools also smell a lot. Again, from what I read, this could be a sign he is getting too much indigestible protein.

He doesn't get any eye stains, just stains around his beard, concentrated mostly in the corners, and anywhere he licks a lot (genitals, bottom, etc). He gets a little mucous in the corner of his eyes that can be tinged a little red but it is not copious amounts and I clean it away daily.

I am happy with the wet food he is on but the last time I tried him on that alone, he had giant, sloppy stools. I kind of feel owners have been brainwashed into thinking a dog should only do small, firm poos, but it did alarm me a little to see how much more he produced.

Finally, I've been researching dehydrated foods today. They seem good at first glance. Do you have any advice regarding this method of feeding?

Sorry for the long waffling post.

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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby maxs_mommy » Mon May 11, 2015 10:20 pm

Welcome! I honestly don't know a lot about staining (perks of a brown/tan dog, I guess). Technically there is lots of indigestible protein in the world, shoe leather comes to mind, and pigs ears, bully sticks, etc, may fall into roughly the same category I'd think. I'm at a loss for foods if it seems to be a salivation issue. If you think it's lamb based on observations then "unlikely" could be "likely" for your dog. Nothing's impossible. I wonder if a saliva test for sensitivities could be an option?

As far as dehydrated foods go, the brands on the market generally have very good reputations. Some are even just the non-protein ingredients so you can add fresh protein that works best for your dog. They look spendy, until you realize how little mix you actually feed once rehydrated.

With poops, for my guy, the less that comes out the more I know got utilized by his body. When we went raw his poops got insanely smaller, dehydrated may work the same way.
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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby SherriA » Tue May 12, 2015 6:44 am

I'm feeding The Honest Kitchen dehydrated food and am very happy with it. I do find that poops are larger than when I was making home prepared food, but not so big that I'm concerned. Larger poop says to me that more of what I'm feeding isn't doing my dog much good nutritionally, so I can certainly understand that preference for small firm poo - very little waste means the dog is able to utilize more of the food.

Just curious, but how are your dog's teeth? If the staining is from saliva (I think that's the most common cause, but don't take that to the bank), then I'd be checking mouth health.

You might also think about using filtered water. I've heard (again, second hand, so don't bank on it) that some deposits in tap water can cause staining in light coloured dogs, and that switching to filtered water can resolve it.
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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby MsChopsy » Tue May 12, 2015 9:23 am

Thanks for the feedback. His teeth are fine. He gets Plaque Off daily (which does alter the mouth chemistry but never caused a problem before. I have stopped it recently in my efforts to see why he is staining and it makes no difference) and I also use an enzymatic toothpaste (mostly) every day but I have stopped that too while I try to narrow down the problem. Our water supply has been the same since we moved in over a year ago. If that were the culprit, I would have expected problems in the months following the move? I am convinced it is something to do with the pig's ear. I so wish I hadn't given it to him.

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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby JudyL » Tue May 12, 2015 9:45 am

One of my dogs couldn't tolerate 100% canned food either because she got runny, sloppy poo also after fed her that after some extensive dental problems and teeth removed so requiring a soft diet. She ate a variety of things over the years including kibble. I now feed her mostly The Honest Kitchen (Thrive) but sometimes use other dehydrated products from Stella & Chewy, Nature's Variety or Only Natural Pet. Sometimes I do give her some kibble that's been softened with some water if I'm running low before I can get to the store again. Her poo has been perfect on all of these, but The Honest Kitchen does make for a more bulky stool.

Sorry I don't have any advice on the staining as I've never had to deal with that issue.

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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby Amanda » Tue May 12, 2015 9:49 am

The pig's ear is long gone from his system at this point. You said you fed that 5 months ago? Yeah, whatever didn't digest has certainly been passed by now. I wouldn't worry about that at this point. If the staining is continuing, then it has something to do with whatever is going on with him currently. Could it have to do with maturity and changing body chemistry? Has he been neutered or any other medical changes in the last several months? You say his poop stinks, maybe adding a probiotic and/or digestive enzymes could help with both issues.

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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby MsChopsy » Tue May 12, 2015 10:25 am

Hi Amanda

I agree that the pig's ear is long gone but my point was that it could have caused a sensitivity to indigestible protein...and that the kibble he has been fed before, and since, contains it, albeit in small amounts. He might not have been sensitive to it before but the pig's ear might have changed that. Once someone is allergic to strawberries, does it matter how much strawberry they eat or just that they have eaten some? You see my point?

He was neutered well over a year ago and his food already contains probiotics and digestive enzymes. I know that dogs can develop sensitives to certain ingredients or protein sources for no apparent reason at all at any age. I simply wondered if anyone had any experience of problems with indigestible proteins or any research they could point me to regarding this.

Thanks for your comment.

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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby SherriA » Tue May 12, 2015 11:05 am

I suppose it's possible, but he's been getting indigestible protein all his life, via kibble, treats, canned food, etc. I don't know what it is about a pig's ear that it would cause a sensitivity that nothing else would. I wouldn't be investing so much time into the pig's ear theory.
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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby MsChopsy » Tue May 12, 2015 11:28 am

"Pigs ears are quite often associated with adverse

reactions, the reason being that they are by and large comprised of indigestible

protein. Easily digestible protein sources are important because incompletely

digested food protein has the potential to incite an allergic response because

of residual antigenic proteins and large polypeptide molecules. As mentioned

before, allergies can be relevant in cases of porphyrin staining because

increased saliva production can be symptomatic."

I just wonder if the pig's ear caused the sensitivity and now he is reacting to the indigestible proteins in the kibble. It seems possible to me? I guess the best way to find out is to exclude kibble and see how he gets on. I thought it was worth asking here because of the wealth of information about kibbles that I read on the dog food project website that linked to this forum. I apologise for intruding.

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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby MsChopsy » Tue May 12, 2015 11:37 am

If anyone does have an experience or advice - SPECIFICALLY about indigestible proteins - to share before I delete my profile then please send me a PM. Trying to explain, over and over again, that I am only asking about one specific issue is time consuming and frustrating for me and, I am sure, boring for the other members of the forum, so I won't make any further attempts. Thank you in advance.

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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby Sabine » Tue May 12, 2015 11:45 am

Pig's ears are not indigestible. They are fatty and have some cartilage, but break down easily. Humans can (and do) even eat them, and some people feed them to dogs as part of a raw diet:
http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes ... sauce.html
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009 ... ecipe.html

Bully sticks, dried tendons, etc. are also fully digestible.

It may well be that the issue lies with the pork protein itself. Not sure if you are aware, but pet food manufacturers don't have to disclose all the ingredients in a food on the ingredient list (and even if they have to, sometimes they don't - chances that they ever face any penalties are slim), and various flavoring agents can contain pork products even if they aren't specified.
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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby LisaT_II » Tue May 12, 2015 12:40 pm

I thought I posted a response earlier, but I suspect I posted when someone else did and thought it posted.

Staining is usually caused by saliva, licking, excretions, and I believe it's often a form of yeast.

Indegestible, to me, means void of nutritional value and passes through. I would suspect the things that are being digested over the things that aren't. The things that aren't digested often affect stool quality, and perhaps gut bacteria. As Sabine said, there are all sorts of things that can be in foods that aren't on the label, and I would suspect more of an allergy or intolerance.

What brand of food are you feeding, and which of there foods? Sorry if I missed that earlier.
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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby LisaT_II » Tue May 12, 2015 12:43 pm

"... Easily digestible protein sources are important because incompletely
digested food protein has the potential to incite an allergic response because
of residual antigenic proteins and large polypeptide molecules. As mentioned
before, allergies can be relevant in cases of porphyrin staining because
increased saliva production can be symptomatic."

I just wonder if the pig's ear caused the sensitivity and now he is reacting to the indigestible proteins in the kibble.
Allergies cause foods to be incompletely digested, so you essentially have to suspect everything. Typically, a one time event will not cause ongoing problems if the rest of the diet is working. Ongoing problems, unless there is an infection of some sort, means that there is something not right with the current diet.
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Re: Indigestible protein?

Postby maxs_mommy » Tue May 12, 2015 6:42 pm

Also, wouldn't every type of protein have some portions that are indigestible? I guess I would look more at the protein or ingredients than the digested vs. not- digested parts? Sorry if I'm being dense. My logic says that since all animals produce waste and nothing is 100% digested then somethings in everything would be indigestible because the body either doesn't need them (lots of Vit. C that gets urniated out or insoluble fiber in the stools for ex.) or because of malabsorption issues. Unless you can get to no-waste, there's always something indigestible.

ETA: What is a Maltese terrier? Inquiring minds want to know.
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