Orijen... Problems?

Postby call2arms » January 5th, 2009, 12:00 am

Anyone has had problems with Orijen? One of my teachers mentioned it being too rich, and a coworker has had a dig off of it because of urinary crystals.

I've started feeding Jessie the chicken formula over the summer (and coincidentally she started having some unusually high amount of ear "wax" and also yeastyness between her toes... The ear discharge was back to normal after a week or two into the new diet, but the yeastiness is slowly leaving now). I initially freaked out about the yeast but it's really not bothering her and my vets told me to leave it alone which seems like the only thing that works, tried vinegar, baking soda footbaths, etc. Her stools have never been so great than on this food - no mucus strings, no occasional soft serve, which is amazing.

She's also slowly lost 3 lbs (which on a thin dog like her brings her from normal-looking to lumbars peeking through) in the last month which is odd since she's been exercing less (the ridiculous rain-ice everywhere to frostbite temperature do not allow for that much outside time - she's quite content to curl up inside)... Normally, normal amount of food (1 3/4 cups a day for "chill" dog as indicated on bag, that's the same quantity that she had all summer when she wa smore active) + less exercise = fat...

I did a urinalysis on her in november (brought urine to school, then class blah-blah, analyzed about 2 hours after collection), she had LOADS of struvites, but my teacher told me that since her urine was so concentrated (1.050) to not worry too much and increase her water intake (I was puzzled at that one but I listened). I also did full bloodwork on her and everything was notmal except slightly elevated albumin. I'm now adding a good 1 1/2 - 2 cups of warm water to her food at each meal, and she's peeing like a water fountain.

Last Tuesday, I brought urine in at work (it takes me 1 hour to get there, and I had to do some x-rays before analyzing it too) and she had less but still quite a few struvites, urinary ph 7, density 1.050, protein 1+ on the stick. I was like, f*ck, and brought her to work on Friday to get her x-rayed for stones and get urine by cysto. No crystals there, so we assumed that the ones that I saw were from the urine standing for too long... but she does have a ph that can favor crystal formation. We sent the sample to the lab for bacterial culture, we'll see what we get. The x-ray developer was being an arse so I'll get her results on Monday.

I also freaked out seeing that she was losing some protein in her urine + she has been losing weight, but apparently the protein could be due to urinary tract inflammation, if she has a UTI (she has been licking her privates quite a bit).

I'm just not liking all these little things, since this all happened since she has been on Orijen. I've recently started switching her onto the fish version (to try and get rid of the yeast, if it is caused by some food intolerance)... I'm not keen on switching her onto anything else since it seems to be the only food so far that's she's digesting properly. Bah.

Sorry for the long, boring, slightly medically detailed rant.
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Postby demolitionic » January 5th, 2009, 12:12 am

I'm not really familiar with crystals and such and you're out of my scope of familiarity on most of this. Just wanted to throw in some good thoughts and say I hope Jesse's all right and everything turns out well.
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Postby call2arms » January 5th, 2009, 12:55 am

Thanks... I'm sure she'll be fine... I forgot to mention that I've calculated her maintenance energy requirement, for an "inactive" dog - hey, she's sleeping most of the day when I'm at school, still walking at least 30 minutes but I would not consider that "active". A cup of Orijen is 495 kcal, she's 19.5kg. For an "inactive" dog, her MER would be roughly 1293 kcal, which is 2 1/2 cups (bag indicates 1 3/4 cups a day, I know this is a recommendation, but still way off) and "active" would be 1754 kcal, which is 3 1/2 cups a day. I was initially giving her the 1 3/4 and she did fine all summer, I had her up to 2 cups in the last 2 weeks, and now she's at 2 1/2. Hopefully she won't lose more weight or I'll have to lipo my thighs and inject her some fat, it's winter and she already wears both her coats at the same time.

I got this calculation from my nutrition book, basically it's (body weight in kg * 0,67)* 99 (inactive - now they don't specify what inactive is, I imagine couch potato) OR *132 (active) OR *160 (very active) and then different formulas for endurance/performance.
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Postby pocketpit » January 5th, 2009, 4:03 am

You can put her on cranberry extract to get rid of those struvite crystals. I usually buy a bottle of the kind that comes in soft gel capsules and put them in my dog's food.
I've fed Orijen with great results as have many of my dog friends and co-workers. But not every dog tolerates every food the same so it sounds like either your pooch has mutiple problems that are plaguing her or she may not tolerate the diet that well.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 5th, 2009, 9:11 am

I have absolutely no idea what the majority of your post said, but like Amanda I wanted to send some good thoughts and hopes that Jesse is a-ok. :)
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Postby SisMorphine » January 5th, 2009, 9:17 am

I had a good deal of digestive issues with my guys over the years when feeding Evo, but since switching my emergency stash to Orijen I haven't had an issue. Blue's urine has gotten MUCH better since he's been living with me, but I attribute that to the fact that he was on Dog Chow for so long that it's now just finally working it's way out of his system.

Unfortunately since I feed mostly raw and the rare Orijen meal I'm not of much help when it comes to crystals in the urine. I would do what PP said and add some cranberry extract. Solid Gold makes one called "berry balance" that is palatable and easy to add to the meals. That will also help with a UTI.
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Postby maberi » January 5th, 2009, 9:27 am

I have been feeding Orijen for about a year now (going to switch back to raw when I get my butt into gear) and haven't had any noticeable issues with my guys (but haven't had any blood work or urine tested).

Earl is a lean 70 lb Lab and he gets about 1 cup of Orijen a day and he runs around 20 miles a week with me. He lost a little weight while on Orijen but his increased his lean muscle mass. I'm a big fan of raw so I plan on going back to it sometime soon but not due to any issues with Orijen (although every dog reacts differently).
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Postby nicole » January 5th, 2009, 10:27 am

I was doing some research on Orijen b/c I was thinking of switching my foster to it and I came across a few threads on dogster about people having problems with it. Mostly tear staining or an increase in red eye discharge...other than that, I've only heard positive reports.

Here is the thread if you are interested: (hope its okay to link it here?!) http://www.dogster.com/forums/Food_and_ ... ead/586308
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Postby BritneyP » January 5th, 2009, 1:12 pm

I have had no issues w/ Orijen and personally, I think it's the best kibble on the market, ingredient for ingredient. Champion Foods is also an outstanding company w/ GREAT quality control and customer service.

I currently feed Evo, which my guys do great on, only due to availability of Orijen being sparse.

I know that wasn't much help, lol. Could Jessie have a chicken allergy? Have you tried her on the Fish?
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Postby call2arms » January 6th, 2009, 12:05 am

The odd thing is that Jessie's urine was full of crystals after standing for 1 - 1 1/2 hour, but at cystocenthesis (sucking urine out of the bladder w/ syringe) she did not have any crystals. I saw her x-ray today and no stones, and the urine bacterial culture so far is clear. So I guess there's no crystal problem, her urine is just wicked concentrated even though she pees fairly often (I'm totally anal about getting her out as often as possible since I saw the crystals the first time) and I add water to her food.

She was on chicken, she is now on the fish fomula, and so far the only difference is that her poops are much smaller but she goes 4 times instead of two. She was on EVO before and did ok on it, she just had bit of mucus in her stools constantly.

I've actually read through my research that bone shards were found in Orijen in Australia, in several batches. Fun times.
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Postby SisMorphine » January 6th, 2009, 7:13 am

call2arms wrote:I've actually read through my research that bone shards were found in Orijen in Australia, in several batches. Fun times.

They were found here, too, in the fish formula. I just threw out that bag, though I saw the shards and they were so small that it didn't look to be a huge problem. I still think it's one of the best foods on the market. A little bit of bone isn't gonna deter me ;)
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Postby call2arms » January 6th, 2009, 2:10 pm

Interesting.

Still better than melamine, or other things that you can't see...
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