Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grain-free for bad sinuses?

It seems like everyone has been having sinus trouble and allergies.  Is there a pug out there that hasn’t had some sort of related issue?  I guess sometimes it’s the price we pay for being so darned cute.  Anyway, I know many of you have been tested by your vet and prescribed those customized shots.  About a year before I was diagnosed with PDE, I was in the same boat.  After not being able to find any relief from my itchy back legs, I started the shot regimen.  Like your humans, my mom wasn’t keen on the idea, but it did help.  Then when I got sick, the shots had to stop.  Luckily, I haven’t been itchy since.

But now, I’ve been feeling more like a Saint Bernard than Pug since last fall. I drool like one of those big dogs almost every morning…3 to 4 inch long stalactites. And when I sneeze, you better watch out. Large projectiles of snot go flying!  Here's some pictures mom got a few days ago on our back patio.

a 6 inch fallen stalactite after a violet sneeze - looks like a hammer, huh?
me being cute after the sneeze
My sinuses are so dreadful that I don’t breathe very well sometimes. I know us pugs usually have this kind of problem, but to be honest (and mom will vouch for me), I’ve never been much of a snorter or snorer.  It’s so bad that my local vet could see the drainage down my throat. YUCK! They prescribed anti-histamine pills, but those didn’t work. Then at my last visit with Dr. Podell, he suggested trying two things.  The first idea was to try the drug Phenylephrine (think Sudafed).  It seemed to clear up the mucus very well, but it made my hair stand straight up along my back and gave me a nasty upset stomach…even as little as 5mg (1/2 a tablet).  So unfortunately that was a bust.

The second thing Dr. Podell recommended was to try a grain free diet with non-poultry based protein.  Right now, I eat Hill’s Science Diet w/d since it is low in fat and low in calories.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I get really hungry because of some PDE meds I take.  With the w/d, I can eat more frequently and more per serving.  So mom says we are going to try grain free, but the trick has been to find one that is low in calories (so I can still eat a lot) and low in fat (I don’t have a gall bladder so I can’t process fat very well).  Mom is using Dog Food Advisor to find out more information on any potential contender.  Regardless of what she picks out for me, I hope it's yummy!  I’ll let her take over the rest of this post…


Christy here.  Dr. Podell said to look at Hill’s Science Diet d/d potato and salmon formula, but it got slammed in the review…as did most of the Hill’s kibble for that matter.  Nutrisca lamb and chickpea formula is another option since it seems to be one of the highly rated, lower calorie options…but it has slightly more fat than the d/d.  Blue Buffalo Wilderness salmon and California Natural lamb varieties have the least fat percentages, but both have the highest calorie count per cup that I've looked at.  Right now I think we are leaning toward the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon.

Has anyone out there had any luck with this kind of food?  A few of you have mentioned in your blogs that you are on a grain free diet.  What brand and variety do your dogs eat?  Has it helped with their sinuses and allergies?  Do they like it?

We are also toying with the idea of home-made food (either all the way or mixing in with whichever store bought grain free food we go with).  I stumbled upon this website the other day that details a diet that is good for the liver, and Payton needs all the help there that she can get.  So many of her PDE drugs metabolize through the liver – that’s why she is on so many liver supplements.  Minnie Moo (and Lincoln), I remember that you guys are on a home-made diet.  How are you able to travel with this kind of food?  Do you have any tips and/or warnings?

One last thing (I know this post is turning into a book)…any grain free suggestions on what to use for disguising pills?  She’ll need something low in calories and fat.  We use bread now, but that won’t work with a grain free diet.  Maybe canned pumpkin?

Please let me know your thoughts/experiences with grain free food (purchased or home-made).  Thanks so much for being patient and reading this to the end and for all your help and advice!



Minnie Moo said...


Our mama feeds us homemade food(rice, chicken/lamb/pork/turkey/beef with veggies) to help our allergies but Lincoln is still suffering in the this heat and from all the grass. Everyone has suggested to us to do allergy shots for Lincoln since his fur starts falling out from his allergies. Lincoln also gets a zyrtec everyday, he has a medicated spray for his spots and has oatmeal baths.
Mama had a vet tell her to not do too many steroid shots since it would shorten his life though...
Good luck. Hope you figure it out sweetie!


Minnie Moo

Salinger The Pug said...

Wow Payton....that is some IMPRESSIVE SNOOTERING!

My PugSnot is all over the front glass door where I like to patrol the neighborhood. Mom quit cleaning it so often because I just mess it up again!

As for the grain free....we personally have no experience with this...but a few of our PugFriends eat Taste of the Wild and have had really good luck with it.

Good luck sweetie! Keep us posted on your foodable situation!


HILARIOUS PEE ESS...our word verification for this post was "GLOPS"!!!! HAHAHA...just like your snooter hammer!!!!

Amanda said...

I would suggest trying something like The Honest Kitchen for her, they have grain free varieties and it's a dehydrated food. Also to bulk up her portions and make her feel full add some green beans, they're very very very low calorie and they'll add some bulk to her meal. If you'd rather stick to kibble, look into Natural Balance or Wellness Core Reduced Fat.

For grain free pill hiders? Greenies Pill Pockets come in a Duck and Pea, still not the greatest ingredients but they're grain free and perfect for hiding the pills in. I believe they're available at PetSmart.

Izzie is fed a raw diet but i know the meds for PDE lower the immune system so i don't suggest doing the raw diet, even a pre-made one, but dehydrated is fair game.

If you were around i'd get her doing a liver detox too (i work at a health food store for pets) to help her liver out (and help her allergies), one supplement you could try is Cranimals Vibe for Detoxification and it's grain free as well. Detoxing helps the body get rid of the nasties built up in there and helps reset the immune system, kind of like degfragmenting a computer where you clear out all the junk to help things run more efficiently.

Kelly said...

Hi Payton!

I wish I had better advice for you. Momma is always struggling with what to feed me. I have eaten Hill's W/D just like you for the last few years to help my bladder problems and keep me from gaining weight. But momma hates the ingredients in it, especially with my bad allergies! Anyway, right now I am eating a Blue Buffalo food and really enjoying it. We'll see how my bladder reacts to it...

Good luck, cutie pie! I know these decisions are so hard and there are so many conflicting bits of information on the internet.


Tiffy said...

I am a hot mess so it's probably not good for me to give out health advice. I like to eat my tootsies and someone suggested giving me sardines to help with my skin issues. Who knows if it will work but Momma says she'll try anything at this point.

I'm grain free but I eat poultry. Momma rotates my food so I don't get bored with what I'm eating. Lucky for her I'll eat anything (and everything) but the experts agree that I don't need grain. The four brands of food I eat are: Fromm (made in Wisconsin), Taste of the Wild (made in Missouri), Born Free (distributed by a West Chicago, IL co.), and Now! Small Breed Formula (made in BC, Canada). All 4 of these were recommended by the owner of Page's Healthy Pets in Lake Zurich.

I also get 1/2 a Dasuquin tablet every morning to help with my joints. Stubby started taking it in his later months but the vet said that all dogs should begin taking it when they are puppies.

I used to get fresh, homemade food supplemented with dry kibble at my foster home. Auntie Nancy makes it for my hero Howie because he has pancreatitis.

Good luck with your issues!


Tweedles -- that's me said...

Hi Payton
I don't have the allergies like you describe,, but I always make little pug snot on the window in back of the couch,
I eat Blue Buffalo... my moms mix "light" and regular. I eat 3 times a day, but i also eat brockli and yougurt and fruit
I hope you find something that works for you

Pug Slope said...

Payton, so sorry to hear you've been having sinus/allergy issues. That pic of you is really cute, though. We love your purple shirt! Sid's been on various formulas of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet (L.I.D.) which are all grain-free. He's been on the venison/sweet-potato formula for over a year now and is doing well on it. I'm not sure of how the fat/calories stack up against other foods (I think they have all the info on their website: We also like to supplement /add some variety with healthy treats like apple slices, blueberries, and carrots. Good luck and keep us all posted!

Anakin Man said...

We were going to suggest the rice too with a little bit of chicken- and our Momma puts carrots in it too-

but we don't get that all the time-
She did make that special for Josie-

She would give that to use on occasion-
our bro has bad itches -
him on benadryl 3/4 tab in morn and same at nite

and it does NOT make him sleepy - tee hees

We all eat solid gold food-
but it does elvate protein levels.

Momma hides our pills in velveeta, but that's 'prolly not good for a cutie pie Payton-

There must be wheat-free gulten pill pockets out there

Plus- Momma baths our bro more than us- and with special shamp for itches/hot spots-

Let us know what you find out-

IzZY & TriXie :)

Vito and Gina said...

HI again Payton! As I said, I eat grain-free to keep the weight off so I don't know if it helps with allergies. But I eat Now! brand and I love love love it. It's the salmon & duck formula though so I guess the duck wouldn't work with your non-poultry requirement.

As for pill-hiding - what about stuffing it in a little bit of cream cheese? Yumm-ME!

Hope this helps!
Vito (and Gina too!_