I have a 16 year old red Collie. He is in very good health apart from some arthritis in his front legs, and rather odd looking bowel movements. Quite often he produces faeces which is bright yellow and runny. I changed his diet some months ago to Senior tinned dog food as I thought his food might be too rich for him. The problem still occurs. He will not eat dry food. Please can you advise me? Many thanks.
Dr Monica Lundervold, veterinary services manager replies.
A) I’m sorry to hear that your collie is suffering from arthritis and bowel problems. My advice would be to get him checked out by your vet straight away, to see if there is an underlying disease causing either of these problems. From a nutritional perspective, you are right in feeding a senior diet, however, not all senior diets are the same.
I would advise feeding a good quality dry senior diet that contains glucosamine and balanced levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to help support the joints. The diet should also contain FOS and beetpulp, which help keep the digestive tract healthy and helps the dog produce small firm stools. Senior dogs have different nutritional requirements to adult dogs, which is why you should choose a diet that is balanced for seniors, rather than adding supplements to an adult diet. You should introduce the dry food very gradually over a period of 1-2 weeks, moistening it initially and mixing it in with his tinned food, so that he eventually is eating only dry food. If you have any problems changing his food, you should speak to your vet.
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