I've tossed and turned changing foods on Elvis, and started looking into some higher fiber foods.
I also spoke with Tim over at the shelter and Melody at the clinic.
Elvis is currently on Purina ONE Sensitive Systems because I like the protein source and he does really well on it. I've been taking two cups of kibble, mixing it with two cups of hot water and then blending it until it was relatively smooth. He would get 1/3 cup in the morning and 2 tablespoons at night. With each feeding, he also had 1/2 tsp canned pumpkin.
Having looked at different foods, I was mulling a switch to either Wellness Senior or Avoderm. My only issue with the Wellness was it included some ingredients I'm just not too fond of (cranberries, etc) and Avoderm's smallest bag was 4.4 lbs, and I really wanted a 6-7 pound bag.
Both had fiber content between 5-6%, so I liked that (ONE is 3%, but I do supplement with pumpkin).
Tim and I talked over some food ideas (he came from Petsmart and has some decent knowledge of pet foods), and I also talked to Melody (she said Dr. Walthall would recommend Hill's ID...I loathe Hill's/Science Diet, so I was pretty sure unless something changed here with the food that I couldn't work around, I wasn't going to go that direction). I got some good input from both of them.
Elvis' main problem isn't constipation. It's soft stools. They're not loose, but they reflect the fact his food is ground up. And that does make him strain because I suspect he never feels like he's "done." So I've decided that's my first change.
Last night and this morning he's gotten his food whole, but soaked in water for a few minutes. Lack of teeth always concerned me, but since he eats in his crate and can take his time with no competition, he does OK.
So this is where I will start. I'll keep him on ONE, but it will be kibble, not ground. And rather than 1/2 tsp pumpkin twice a day, I'll give it once a day.
I'll try this for a few days and see what happens. I may still end up switching him to a different food, but I do want to try the whole kibble first since I know the form can make a difference.
I'll post an update on how he's doing towards the end of the week. It appears he has a second hernia showing up on the OTHER side of the base of his tail, but if we can keep what's there the same and no worse, I think he'll be fine.
I just refuse to let something like this be the end of him. He's come so far and doing so well that I'm going to dig my heels in and work this out. He deserves that from me.