Hill’s Prescription Z/D: wow, that was a bad idea

I follow a lot of bully breed Facebook pages & had a conversation about kibble. I had my dogs on Infinia Bison & Potato, which was ok, but Boomer was still itchy around his butt &, well, his penis (penile discharge irritating his belly & thighs). I had a feeling it was the potato. Someone recommended Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D; she said her white APBT had no allergic reactions on it. Z/D is sold by any local veterinarian, so it was easy to get, & in fact I had to stop by my vet to get Madeline’s eye ointment, so I picked up a bag just to try it out. It was just over $100 for a 24 lb bag, if I recall correctly. I no longer have the bag since I took it back to the vet for a refund.

I began introducing the Z/D gradually. It took a few days to reach a 50-50 Hill’s-Infinia mix. And all of a sudden Boomer’s moderate itching turned into full blown, entire torso friable pus & utter misery. He wouldn’t let me sleep; he kept crying. I thought he needed to go outside to pee, but when I got a look at him it was pretty dreadful. Image in next paragraph; it’s not NSFW but I put it on Page 2 just in case.

Boomer was just one big hot spot. I peroxided repeatedly. The spots wouldn’t dry out or calm down. The blood smell wouldn’t go away. He was in agony. After a couple of hours of basic first aid & no improvement, I put him in the shower & gave him a bath with Malaseb antibacterial/antifungal shampoo. Then I forced him to sit through a full body blow dry. It was his first encounter with a blow dryer but he took it like a champ. I made sure every inch of him was dry, then I pretty much coated him with my dear & departed grandmother’s Gold Bond medicated talc; sadly, you can’t really buy this stuff any more, or at least not the one with zinc oxide plus menthol. I wanted to keep him as dry as possible, since moisture breeds both bacteria & yeast & I didn’t know which was tormenting my dog.

I also had no way of getting another bag of Infinia right away because the only place that sells it locally is City Feed, which is only open rather limited (& arbitrary) hours as well as 20 miles away, so I actually sat down & picked out the bad kibble so I could have something to feed my dogs until I found something else.

By the next day, after 2 meals free of the Hill’s dog food, Boomer looked significantly better. I had also kept up the first aid regimen – peroxide, dry, Neosporin, talc for the shrinking hot spots.

I also found another food at my nearby Petco called Under The Sun, lamb. Petco is about 20 miles closer to me than City Feed, which was where I was getting the Infinia at $62.95 for 30 lbs, & open way more convenient (& set! Set hours are nice!) hours. Under The Sun is currently priced ~$50 for 25 lbs but just went on sale at $40.99 for 25 lbs. And it has no potato. No grains, no chicken, no beef, no soy, no potato.

This is Boomer 19 days later.

The skin on his inner thighs had looked like red, bumpy asphalt, & if you even lightly touched his belly button area, he’d start frantically itch-kicking immediately. Now he has no response when I rub his belly & his skin in that area & his thighs is smooth & pale. You’d never know what it used to look like. I’m frankly amazed & grateful & I really hope Petco continues to stock Under The Sun.

I also hope the people who make Hill’s dog food all get a rash.

From the Dog Food Analysis website:

This is an extremely low nutrient food relying on starch to hold it together and hydrolyzed chicken liver/chicken as the primary source of nutrition. Soybean oil provides a small amount of additional low quality protein. We note, however, that soy is one of the most common causes of food allergies in dogs and in this instance is preserved with a chemical (BHA) that is believed to be carcinogenic.

Powdered cellulose is filler – better known as sawdust. The food uses a further chemical preservative, ethoxyquin, which is banned from use in human food due to the belief that it is carcinogenic.

Overall, this is a very low quality product. It is a prescription food that is not intended for long term use and does not have a macronutrient content adequate for adult maintenance. For food allergies and intolerance, there are far superior mainstream products available – without the accompanying chemicals.

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2 responses to “Hill’s Prescription Z/D: wow, that was a bad idea

  1. I have a bully dog and a boston terrier who both have skins issues, of course. We tried all kinds of foods until the CSR at Petco told me about Under the Sun and the potato free. We tried a bag and they Love it! Their skin has cleared up and no more itchies! They prefer the stinky fish – but if they eat it and it helps them this much, I can do with a little smell – they gobble it up so fast it doesnt smell for long 🙂

    • That’s great to hear! I ended up signing up for Petco’s Repeat Delivery service since the Petco in my neighborhood kept running out & then I’d have to drive all over town looking for it at other locations. Madeline’s not crazy about the lamb, so maybe I’ll try the fish for a spell. =)

      I DO notice a lot more poop, which normally would be a bad sign, but since I see no weight loss or extra hungry behavior (hungry being their natural state no matter how much they’re fed), I think it’s just from all that vegetable content.

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