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612551 tn?1450025775

Milled Flax Seed

Flax seed is generally considered a good diet supplement for omega 3 and other good stuff - for humans.  Is it good to add to dog food, either canned or home cooked?   I suppose if you dog eats Kibble with water some could be mixed in there too.
5 Responses
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hi Jerry. There are some benefits of flaxseed, as the oils are similar to fish oils but without the smell. However, there is a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, which isn't too good. It's a complicated process, but effectively dogs find it hard to convert alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to the more active non-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, so although some omega-6 is okay (in fact, some say it's essential), it's the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 that's important. Therefore, the inflammatory effects of flax seed may not be quite as powerful as the effects contained in fish oils.

Dogs can also become hyper-allergic to extreme levels of flax seed oil (which symptoms show as flaky and oily skin). This is called seborrhea oleosa and isn't dangerous to a dog's health, as such (it's not toxic, for example), but it's worth noting.

Hope this helps.

Tony
612551 tn?1450025775
Thanks for the great help/information.  I'll look at the package to see what is lists for Omega 3 verses 6.

One of Wilson's (dog) chief problems is skin problem and hair loss.  In the past it has also included Yeast infection and in his ears too.  His current bout of hair loss doesn't seem to have any dermatitis? Yeast,, no much itching or smell.  I do shampoo him in a prescription shampoo to fight Yeast, about once a week.  I'll move forward with caution on the Flaxseed.

The current experiment with food was driven by his lack of appetite and loss of bowel control, both seem to be better today... he loves the chicken, my start at getting him eating.  The vet and I have explored food allergies and do not yet have a conclusive list of aggravates,  but beef seems to be one of them.  
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hi Jerry. Allergies are so difficult to identify, when the problem isn't obvious - and sometimes, of course, it can involve more than one thing. I have a rescue greyhound with similar problems, hair loss (bald patches) but no itching. I'm trialing pure coconut oil at the moment and it seems to be having some effect, but time will tell.

In your case, the yeast infection is almost definitely associated with food. Beef is one of the most common protein allergens in dogs. It may be due to over-exposure to this particular protein - or just something that has triggered. Unfortunately, as you know, beef protein is contained in a huge majority of dog food that is manufactured. Other potential problem agents could include dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, chicken eggs, corn, wheat, and soy, as all have similar protein elements.

You could consider undertaking a food trial, if things don't settle down. This involves trying to feed a protein source that your dog has never had before, (rabbit for example) mixed with something like rice and potato to give some carbohydrate. This is difficult though, because it's important not to give any treats for the 12 week trial ... almost impossible, I know, but worth it in the end if you find the problem.

Tony
612551 tn?1450025775
Exactly, that was out vet's recommendation...albeit I was not as strict as I needed to be - I'm a "push-over"  (not sure if that jargon translates to the true English) to begging eyes, especially those lovely eyes that go with the Westie breed.  We went to Venison then finally to a prescription with Hydrolyzed chicken as the protein source. That and treatment got him back to a nice full coat and I started adding Salmon and Sweet potato and the coat looked well, so the vet agreed I could try other foods in a strictly controlled wayl. I introduced "regular" chicken, and feeling they were the same thing, turkey  and then beef - all in Kibble some in matching canned.  His coat went bad and I went back to Hydrolyzed chicken and the Salmon and the coat remains very thin - I don't think he is getting worse, but if better it is very slowly.  

I used a food blender/chopper to chop some home cooked chicken breast, string beans, black beans, and peas (only about 10% vegetables) all cooked in minimum water to produce a broth worth drinking too.  I also added about 1/4th cup of Kibble in the chopping part.  The dog started eating immediately and I figure "good some more balance" but he did manage to pick out some of the larger pieces of Kibble and throw them aside...the little "stinker".  

Much of this is also related to the recent and first episode of Wilson (dog) pooping on the floor in the middle of the night  (wee hours of the morning). I have concluded that was due to a stomach distress - hes bowels were loose and both have passed, keeping my fingers crossed.  

I will be taking him to the vet but would like to work another week or two to see what I can do to progress the guessing game on the hair loss, then in he goes for some dental work.  He had his annual physical exam last April which included blood tests.  He gets regular medical attention, at least as much as I do.
1916673 tn?1420236870
Hi Jerry. Sounds like you're doing a great job, maybe despite the kibble (which you have probably figured by now, I detest, as it's full of secondary chemicals - and is linked to chronic kidney failure due to long-term dehydration). I agree though, dogs can be a push-over (yes, it translates,ha). My greyhound has eyes that speak, usually saying 'feed me'.

Good luck with it. Hope you identify the source of the problem.

Tony
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