Hank has had digestive issues for quite a while now. We have tried him on a number of different brands and flavours of kibble but have been struggling to find something that really suits his stomach. After taking some advice I decided to get him intolerance tested.
Towards the end of April, I decided that Hank’s digestive issues had been going on for too long. It didn’t seem to matter which food we tried him on, his poop was always soft and often watery. I collected fur samples and sent them off to BB Herbal for intolerance testing. I thought it made more sense to spend the money and get some kind of indication of what was going on than just keep wasting money on food after food that didn’t agree with him.
It seemed like a long wait at the time but in reality it was actually less than a month before we had the intolerance test results. Hank doesn’t actually have that many intolerances, the problem is that they are pretty much everything Hank eats!
There are 2 categories of items on the report; items written in red and items written in black. The red items showed a higher level of reaction and need to be removed from his diet, while the black items are less problematic. However, it is best to remove all of the items on the list from his diet for a minimum of 3 months before slowly re-introducing them individually.
- Oats and gluten – this won’t be a problem as we usually feed a grain free kibble. However, his current food does contain grain and so will need to be changed.
- Beef – this isn’t great as I usually use beef marrow bones in Hank’s bone broth. Hank also has beef head skins for a tasty treat. These will have to change and it also means there will be no more table scraps for Hank after a roast beef dinner.
- Chicken – again this is another ingredient that I use in bone broth (chicken feet). Hank’s current food is also chicken flavour so definitely needs to be changed.
- Crustaceans/green lipped mussel – this one is a real pain in the butt and probably the worst of the results for Hank. This is the main ingredient in the YuMove Young & Active that Hank takes for his hip dysplasia! A lot of other joint support supplements are also sourced from shellfish. This one will need some consideration to find an alternative.
- Hake – this explains why Hank couldn’t tolerance the Eden Fish Cuisine kibble that I had been trying to move him on to. Even 10% of his daily kibble allowance being changed to Eden was giving him terrible stomach issues. I now need to avoid all products that list white fish in the ingredients as there is no way of telling if it is or isn’t Hake.
- Beet – not a problem as we don’t feed any foods with this ingredient anyway.
- Garlic – this is a little annoying. I have been including small amounts of garlic in the bone broth. It’s more of a flea preventative than anything else but I will have to look for alternatives now.
- Apple cider vinegar – it’s disappointing to see this on the list of Hank’s red ingredients. I normally use this in the bone broth as it’s an acid and helps to draw the nutrients out of the bones. Apple cider vinegar can also play a big role in lots of useful home remedies.
- Carob, rapeseed oil, flaxseed/linseed, eucalyptus, mint, nettle, wormwood – these are lesser ingredients and shouldn’t really cause too much issue. I do still want to avoid them for 3 months if possible; it just means I have to pay very careful attention to the full list of ingredients in food and treats.
Overall, I don’t think Hank really has too severe a reaction to any of the ingredients. I think Hank has too many smaller reactions that his body just can’t cope with it all. I hope to avoid as many of the ingredients as possible for 3 months and see if he improves. Fingers are crossed that Hank’s digestive issues will disappear with time once changes have been made.