Search Results for 'environmental allergies'

Dog Food Advisor Forums Search Search Results for 'environmental allergies'

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  • Danielle V

    Hi everyone, I could really use some help on next steps for my 3-year-old Westie. She has been diagnosed with bilious vomiting syndrome, and the internal med vet figures she has acid reflux/GERD. She has, for over a year, off and on, vomited bile very late at night or really early morning. Then often, not the next, but the following day, she will not be able to eat breakfast, her tummy will growl horribly for a few of hours, and she is quite nauseous but does not get sick again. Sometime later in the day, she can start eating again.

    This started with just an incident once or twice a month and then went to once a week and then every couple of days to the point that she is npw having some degree of nausea and issues daily. She never throws up food, and almost always, the bile incidents are in the AM – also, she never has diarrhea.

    She has been through many diet changes and has a boarded nutritionist. We are pretty sure that a food change in December made things worse, as she began to burp a lot! The smacking, hard swallowing, a lot of yawning, and occasional odd sound when eating or trying to play started as well. She appears to be nauseous to some extent most of the time now. Also, several weeks ago we tried the probiotic visbiome and that made things much worse! She was so nauseous and could not stop burping! We obviously stopped giving her this.

    On top of this, she has nasty environmental allergies that are horrible in spring and not great in the fall. Also, some food allergies and certainly food sensitivities. Chicken is definitely a no go!

    Yeast, she battles with on her mouth and on her personal area. Sadly the creams and shampoos for this she is so sensitive to that the cure is causing her as much discomfort as the yeast. Has anyone found something that does not cause massive skin irritation?

    We are working on transitioning her over to home-made venison, sweet potato, butternut squash, and plain old pasta diet — she seems to have trouble with digesting grain; even white rice does not go well – worried about heart issues, though without it.
    The nutritionist is going low-fat with this for GERD, but does anyone have thoughts as to if this combo looks good for acidic belly/reflux issues?

    Here is the big question though — she was on Pepcid for 12 days, and it stopped the morning vomiting, and she was able to eat all her meals each day. She was still nauseous off and on, but better than before. Then it stopped working which I read a study saying that by around day 12, the drug lost its potency for dogs, and this sure seemed to be the case her.

    We tried Prilosec, and it made her so sick! The burping kicked back into high gear, the nausea was awful, and she threw up and not just bile. She just does not seem to be able to tolerate this. The vet has recommended Raglan, but it scares me. Have others tried this and did it work, and what were the side effects? Also, it is for short-term use, so I do not understand what to do for the long term. All these drugs you are not supposed to keep them on, so how do you manage this ongoing? Does anyone have recommendations? Is Raglan a good next step, or should we be trying something else less extreme? Are there other options? Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. We are feeding her 4 smaller meals throughout the day, and she has a raised dish. We tried feeding before bed, but that seemed to make it worse. She did have an abdominal ultrasound, and everything looked normal. I know we may need to do more aggressive testing, but we would like to try everything we can before going there – putting her through anesthesia and more stress is not something I take lightly in her current condition. Thank you very much!

    Mutts and Cats

    I’m interested in people’s opinions on the validity of food allergy testing for dogs. I did read this Topic: “Help with Allergy Dog food– Unable to find suitable food”. It seems that most who replied there are Non-Believers (in the validity of testing). Thought I would start a new Topic for some more discussion.

    I recently had one of my dogs tested and the results were pretty surprising. But I’m wondering if they are actually meaningful. I’ve read articles that go both ways on the subject, but it seems that most reputable sources say the testing is not valid for foods (for dogs anyway). I have food allergies myself and my blood test from years ago did prove to be valid for the IgE reactions. At least I concluded that. So I started out as a Believer regarding testing for dogs, but now wonder if Non-Believer is the more reasonable position.

    I had the allergy testing done because my dog’s health has been declining in the last 9 months, including seizures that started 6 months ago. But he really didn’t have classic food allergy symptoms. At the time his poop was fine and he wasn’t particularly itchy. Now, after eliminating the foods he is supposedly allergic to his poop is much too soft. But that may be from changes I’ve made to his food – or related to his other health problems. I do notice now that he licks his front legs/paws more than the other dog does, but not obsessively. I suspect this is related to allergies, but not sure if it is food or environmental allergens. His eyes produce a lot of tears too, which presumably is environmental allergens.

    This was a blood test for IgE reaction (by Heska). He tested positive for all of the foods listed below (number is the IgE reaction), but no reaction to any meats. He also tested positive for pretty much every environmental allergen they tested for.

    Reaction to:
    White Potato 304
    Carrot 295
    Green Bean 184
    Sweet Potato 141
    Oats 76
    Soy 75
    Wheat 65
    Barley 55
    Corn 48
    Rice 48
    Peanut 43

    No reaction to:
    All meat tested for (beef, chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, turkey)
    Brewer’s yeast

    I was really shocked that he had a reaction to every vegetable that they tested for, but no reaction to any meats. This seemed very atypical, but I did read in the other Topic that Amy H reported the same phenomena with her dog, so maybe that isn’t as unusual as I thought.
    I was disappointed that Heska didn’t test for more foods because I’m now left assuming that my dog is probably allergic to many more vegetables (if I believe the test results). So I had thoughts of finding another company who could test for more foods, but now that I’m starting to lean Non-Believer, I wonder if maybe it is best to not waste any more money on testing. I am giving him the immunotherapy drops by Heska for some of the environmental allergens. I’m not terribly enthusiastic about continuing those either.

    I welcome all thoughts.


    Hi Amy H!
    How were your pup’s allergies determined? Most allergy tests are not reliable and most dog allergies are usually environmental, not food related.

    That being said, the best way to determine food allergies is by an elimination diet. An elimination diet might be started with a novel protein or a hydrolyzed Rx food to clear the system and then slowly adding in a new protein one at a time to determine a possible allergy.

    Glad you are not feeding Orijen any longer. It along with Champion’s other formulas are some of the most that are correlated with dilated cardiomyopathy. Mars is a great dog food manufacturer. They employ experts, own their own manufacturing plants, do a ton of research and perform feed trials.

    Best of luck to you figuring this out!

    Kate L

    Hi! I know this topic has been covered endlessly, but I wanted to share my experiences with allergies and maybe gain some insight on different kinds of food for my 7 year old staffy, Gumbo.

    We adopted Gumbo when he was 2. He was missing hair, his coat was dull and rough, belly and paws were red and irritated, and he was constantly scratching. The only allergy we were informed of was chicken. He was immediately started on a prescription diet of Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Protein. It helped slightly, but still itchy and red.

    After not seeing much of a difference with the prescription diet, I tried a few store bought foods. Zignature Kangaroo, Taste of the Wild (with fish) and Instinct (can not remember which we tried.) Nothing really helped and we put him back on the prescription diet, this time Royal Canin Ultamino. We do not feed any treats-just carrots and cucumbers.

    Monthly cytopoint shots started two years after we got him which I would say brought him the most relief. He also got groomed monthly and bathed with oatmeal bath. Still not 100% but the best he had been. His nails were still red, raw and yeasty. I almost feel he has more of an environmental allergy at this point-different times of the year he seems better or worse.

    Over the past few months I have noticed the cytopoint injections are not helping at all. I know it is dry in December where we reside, but his itch became unbearable. His breath was rotten. Coat looked terrible. Vet put him on antibiotics for a “skin infection.” The stink and extreme itch went away, but he was still uncomfortable.

    Out of desperation I found an article online that said dehydrated beets had helped their dog considerably.
    I immediately ordered and I can not even begin to explain the difference I’ve noticed in Gumbo this month. His nails are growing in completely white (which I have never seen before-they are always brown/red/streaky) his coat is gleaming and his energy is great. He is barely scratching himself. If anything he is still licking his paws, but we are trying to be diligent about wiping them down when wet and using medicated wipes and cream. Then we wrap him like a burrito so he can’t lick the cream off.

    I know I shouldn’t mess with something that seems to be working-but I am also tempted to try another type of food with limited ingredients. At $100/month and our first baby on the way it would be great to find him a more cost-effective food and I just don’t love the idea of a kibble that is made in a lab. I’ve considered making his food-I just haven’t done enough research and want to make sure he’s getting the correct ratio of protein, vitamins and nutrients.

    I just received a sample from Verus. I spoke with the operations manager and she recommended the menhaden fish formula. Gumbo loved it but it immediately gave him terrible gas..
    “We truly believe that VeRUS could be the perfect fit for your furbaby. In addition to offering chelated and proteinated vitamins and minerals (where the body can absorb more efficiently than standard vitamins and minerals), we utilize wholesome ingredients without the use of synthetic chemical preservatives, fillers, or by products. Our cooking methods and standards of manufacturing are of the highest possible being that we are manufactured in an EU certified (European Union) facility. This mandates that each ingredient must be fit for human consumption with an increased level of testing to confirm only the best ingredients are trusted and safe to be used in our formulas. Reliability and transparency are the principles of VeRUS with dedication to nutrition being the guiding force.”

    So I’m leaning towards trying a full bag of this food but wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions on what has worked for their pup. I always feel for anyone going through allergy troubles because it has been something we have been dealing with for years. We really do everything we can for our furbabies! Thank you for reading my novel and any insight you may have.

    Michelle A

    My dog eats the Kangaroo low fat kibble which I mix with the Kangaroo wet. She loves it. Her stool is so much better than it used to be. She has environmental and food allergies. You may want to switch from Rabbit as it just may be too rich for your dogs stomach. I have not tried the rabbit on Rayne, but I used to use the Rabbit by Nature’s Variety and even though it is a high grade food, it was too rich for my dogs belly. I like Rayne. It is expensive, but a better more well dog is worth it.


    Hi all! Hoping someone out there can help me out.

    My service dog has had extreme food and environmental allergies since 2017. Back then, the vet felt he could eat a non-prescription diet as long as we avoided the proteins that he was allergic to. For anyone that has done allergy tests at the vet, they’ll know a 300 for each allergen is severe. My boys tested anywhere from 300 to 2000+, mostly on the upper end of that scale. However, there were still enough types of food that he was not allergic to thankfully which meant I could just avoid what we knew he was allergic to and feed what we knew he wasn’t allergic to. I just had to carefully read labels if I gave him new treats and we kept to the same food formula.

    I recently noticed changes in his symptoms to the environmental allergies during/after he was going outside, so we redid his allergy tests again since it’s been a long time. To my surprise (because I don’t see any obvious symptoms after I feed him any food/treats), we learned that he’s now allergic to so many types of food and environmental allergens that he’s practically allergic to himself! Some allergens go as high as 2800 — it’s dairy, some plant based foods/oils, and all proteins they can test for (they can’t test every type of food out there obviously), Amazingly, there are no issues with wheat, corn, etc.

    Anyway, the vet initially suggested Ultamino from Royal Canin. Problem number one is that I’m bothered by the main protein is chicken by-product (aka junk) rather than chicken or chicken meal. This is a service dog that needs the best possible nutrition, and the service dog organization told us to stay away from anything listing byproducts on the label. It’s a bit shocking that a prescription diet could theoretically contain who knows what in it. I am also concerned why corn starch is listed as the first ingredient — and I see a similar trend of some weird ingredients being listed as the first ingredient when I looked at some other hydrolyzed brands like Science Diet. Doesn’t seem very nutritious to have weird things like corn starch as the first ingredient.

    The second problem is the price. There’s no way I can afford these prescription options. My boy has been eating Science Diet Chicken and Barley formula for a very long time now. A 35 lbs bag is usually $55-$60 and lasts and 6-8 weeks. Ultamino, as an example, is only sold in 19 lbs for $99 each. That means I’d have to spend WAY more on Ultamino for the equivalent amount of pounds (ie, two 19 lbs bags for $200) than what I’m spending now on SD. I don’t mean to put a price on my priceless boy, but I sadly just don’t have that kind of money given my financial circumstances.

    That being said, I’m looking for alternatives that may cost less and have the maximum nutrition value possible. The vet told me that any brand/formula I feel is suitable (he knows I’m knowledgeable about canine nutrition and labels) so long as it’s a hydrolyzed formula. I’d prefer a non-prescription option because I have more of a chance of being able to catch sales, apply coupon codes, and not have to constantly request refills — however, I am also open to less costly prescription options that are healthier without byproducts and weird ingredients than Ultamino. It also must be kibble to abide by rules set by the service dog school due to the way they are trained. He cannot eat wet food.

    I would also like to understand why the diets I’ve looked at have weird ingredients as the first ingredient. I’m guess it has something to do with the hydrolyzing process, but why would the amount exceed the amount of protein and most of the actual food in the ingredients? It’s concerning to me, and I’d love more information about this if anyone has it.

    There is an old topic that is closed to posts where a someone there recommended a specific formula from WholeHearted that is hydrolyzed and sold without a prescription. /forums/topic/nonprescription-hydrolyzed-protein-dog-food/

    I am hoping there might be more options being that the above post is from 2018. This WholeHearted formula is a pea-based, grain-free formula that can lead to DCM in dogs. Being that my boy isn’t allergic to grains, I’d prefer a food option “with” grains that so I won’t have to start supplementing taurine and monitoring him for potential DCM issues.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond! I’m very passionate about my boy’s health and well-being. He’s perfectly healthy thankfully other than the allergies he developed shortly after I brought him home from service dog school at age 2.5. Any input would be deeply appreciated.

    Elizabeth B

    Great Information thank you all. But I’m confused. I have a Great Pyr 125lbs of love, and gets a lot of belly groin pustules. So I thought it was food allergies. Thanks for suggestion it might be environmental instead. Nevertheless, all the suggestions for good food for large breed are grain free. Yet studies came out in the last two years AGAINST grain free because of development of cardiomyopathy. In the studies, 93% were eating peas and lentils. Vet warned about this. So do you still recommend Gentile Giants or Pro Plan or Wellness simple? but maybe supplement? thanks


    Hi Kathy,

    It is more common to have environmental allergies the food allergies . As i understand it ,characteristics of food allergy are signs starting under 1 year of age, Itchy butts and ears, Skin signs combined with GI signs like more than 2 stools a day and “sensitive stomach” make food allergy be more likely than environmental. Itchy paws alone may more commonly be environmental signs. Some dogs have both.

    Parasite or bacterial or yeast infections and contact reactions can also cause itching. Best place to start is at your veterinarian. There are no accurate tests for food allergy. Very specific diet trials are used to diagnose. Additionally, testing for environmental allergies is done to select which allergens to include for desensitization, not to diagnose allergy.

    I believe that there are foods in the Pro Plan line formulated for skin support.

    Jewel P

    You know it is the food when right after they eat they start coughing or scratching or chewing on their legs or their paws. Another sign is if they keep getting yeast infections in their ears! I have been having the same problem with finding a dog food that agrees with my dogs. It is so frustrating!! If they are in allergy medicine for I environmental allergies it will obviously help them to tolerate their food better. But it shouldn’t be this way. They are putting something in dog food days that is causing it. Dogs were meant to be meat eaters so it makes zero sense that they are allergic to most meat food groups. I wonder about additives such as preservatives that could be in the food causing all these issues. It makes me so mad! I wish someone could test the food ingredients and figure it out!

    Jake G

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new to this forum but I really wanted to reach out to see if I could get some good advice. My 5 year old Golden has battled allergies since he was a pup. He also had puppy strangles so I do know if that had any long lasting effects or if the allergies are genetic.

    I also used to think it was environmental because he use to do better in the winter. However, the past couple years its been basically year round. So I am thinking it could be food related. He has really dry skin around his eyes and muzzle while also licking his paws with some scratching. He does not have dandruff and no red marks around his stomach or anywhere else. The major areas are around his eyes and muzzle like I mentioned…does this give any indication if it might be food related or environmental?

    I give him apoquel here n there but I worry very much about the long term use. Are there any natural allergy relief? I know I read some things about Callogen and Quercetin. Also thinking about putting him on a hydrolized diet but would rather try something else that has more nutritional value.

    Any advice, comments or pointing me in the right direction would be much appreciated.



    A Veterinary Dermatologist can do a skin test that will tell you exactly what environmental allergies your dog has.

    Food sensitivities tend to fluctuate so the blood test is not accurate even when done by a vet.

    The mail order hair/saliva tests are a total scam.

    Michelle D

    I have been through several types of food with my 1.5 year old Beagle. When he was a puppy we had him on Science Diet and then Fromm. He had urinary crystals and was placed on Royal Canin Urinary S/O. He had problems with scratching his face, chewing paws and ear infections. I chose not to use the Apoquel the vet suggested and asked if food could be changed. After neutering him at a year old with the vet’s approval, we took him off the urinary diet and put him on Victor grain inclusive Ocean Whitefish. The itching and ear infections stopped but he gained weight and had gastritis a couple times. He was placed on Science diet canned low fat gastrointestinal and had some paw chewing and face scratching so switched to Pro Plan Sensitive Salmon. The itching, paw chewing occurs when he goes outside sometimes but not nearly as bad as it was. However, he needs to lose weight. He is a 15 inch Beagle and 37 lbs. The vet only wants him to have a cup a day and said I could use green beans. They only like the Big 3 food companies so I am limited on recommendations. Of course he acts like he is starving all the time and has started some bad behaviors in an attempt to steal food. I am searching for a weight management food, but most have chicken. I am not sure if the allergies were to chicken, corn, wheat or soy…they possibly could be environmental also. I have read up on so many foods here and then read reviews with scary stories in the comments sections and just don’t know which way to go. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.


    In reply to: Extreme allergies


    Make an appointment with a board certified veterinary dermatologist, asap. The blood test that you paid for is notorious for being inaccurate.
    The dermatologist will most likely recommend a prescription (hydrolyzed) food trial. The dog will not react to any of the ingredients. You could ask your general practice vet about it while you wait for the appointment with the dermatologist.

    Food sensitivities tend to fluctuate. Environmental allergies are more common and if you are not seeing results from the treatment that your general practice vet has provided, time to see a specialist.

    The most accurate testing for allergens (not food) is intradermal skin testing can only be done by a dermatologist.
    ASIT (allergen specific immunotherapy) is the treatment for environmental allergies that has the least possibility of side effects, it’s not even a medication. It allows the dog to naturally desensitize from allergens.

    I hope the articles you will find at this site and the comments that follow them help:

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 8 months ago by anonymous.

    In reply to: Vaginitis

    Holly N

    I have read through most of the thread on this subject and wanted to weigh in. I have a female pug who supposedly was diagnosed with an enlarged vulva. She was scooting on the floor and that’s why I took her to the vet and when she was diagnose. She has food sensitivities as well as environmental allergies. Quantum leap one year later, my pug wasn’t feel well at all, with a long series of test, she was diagnosed with liver disease. She had lethargy, didn’t want to eat, constant drinking of water and urination. She now has vaginitis, which is a result of her liver disease. Just something to think about (but not too long) if you’re pup doesn’t have her symptoms clear up right away with the current treatment your vet has your dog on. Who knew that female dogs urinate through their vagina, which because of her liver disease, has created a secondary problem of vaginitis. Like I mentioned before, I didn’t read through the entire thread, so I’m not sure where you current treatment plan is with your pup. Keep in mind if your current treatment plan isn’t working, make sure your vet (or specialist) looks into things deeper. If it is liver related, the sooner it is discovered the better. Best of luck.

    Joseph G

    If your dog does have environmental allergies, the food still makes a difference because dogs show signs of environmental allergies through their skin and GI tract as well. It’s possible the Stella and Chewy’s didn’t cause issues because sometimes raw is easier to digest and/or the lamb protein was one your dog was not previously exposed to or did not develop an allergy to. I’m not sure if Rayne has a lamb formula. You could always try the kangaroo, assuming your dog never had it before. It’s a really good food and great for dogs with skin allergies due to high omega fatty acids naturally in the meat, yet it is lower in fat that most meats.

    One more thing. If after trying everything and you’re still not having luck, they make a sublingual (under the tongue) immunotherapy for dogs which has the same effects as getting allergy shots, but no shot is required and only a liquid is squirted in the mouth. I did this for about a year with my dog and it helped. She has severe allergies. My dog is now also on Apoquel which is a medication your vet would need to prescribe. Certainly not as natural as the sublingual therapy, but if your dog is bad enough and nothing else works it can be a lifesaver. Further, they also have a shot your vet can give once a month or so and it is similar to Apoquel, but supposedly a bit safer. It’s is called Cytopoint. My dog actually does better on the Apoquel, but every dog is different. Please check with your regular vet. You may or may not need to see a derm vet depending on what you do.

    Here’s a link regarding a few things I discussed:

    Sub-Lingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)


    Monthly Injection

    Good luck!!

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Joseph G.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 12 months ago by Joseph G.
    Sherrie D

    Hi. My frenchie had pyoderma with skin eruptions which turned into a systemic infection. Every vet we went to put him on a different antibiotic and none of them worked to get rid of the infection. Finally we went to a dermatologist who did testing for allergies . After another round of antibiotics that didn’t work he had a special test done which showed my dog had a particular strain that did not react to any of the previous drugs. He put him on Rayne Rabbit Maintenance diet and ever since he has had loose stools even though we changed over to the Rayne food very gradually. I tried added boiled white rice to firm up his stools, with uneven success. I had previously given him Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried Lamb and his stools were fine. I had originally thought the Stella & Chewy had caused the skin allergies, but now I think his allergies are environmental. I understand that Rayne is very particular about the way they process their food so it’s very clean and they don’t contaminate different ingredients, but I would love to know if anyone else has had the experience of it causing loose stools.


    Hi Randy.

    Did the vets say what kind of allergies? The most common allergies in dogs are inhalant (like pollen) and environmental allergies (like dust mites, shampoos, their beds, your carpet, household cleaning chemicals), which dogs unlike people show symptoms of through their skin.

    For these types of allergies, a food change won’t help. The best you can do is address the indoor allergies and products you use on or around your dogs/in the home, try to remove outdoor allergens brought inside by you and your dogs, use hypoallergenic wipes and hypoallergenic baths with skin soothing and skin barrier repair ingredients, and make use of drug options as necessary such as Atopica, Apoquel (which you’re using), and Cytopoint. Alternatively, some dogs with outdoor seasonal allergies benefit from a steroid injection alone seasonally, which might be a lower cost for you.

    Natural anti-inflammatories can also help, such as therapeutic level dosing of Omega 3 EPA-DHA, which your vet can prescribe for your dogs.

    Zoetis has added Apoquel recently to its customer rewards/rebate program. So be sure to take advantage of that for a bit of financial relief. And, of course, if you use any of their other products, saving there as well will bring down your overall care costs:

    Honestly, the costs of drugs like these, conditions expensive to treat like cancer (common in Goldens), surgeries, etc. are reasons that I really advocate for high quality pet insurance.

    To diagnose and treat a food allergy, less common than other allergies & conditions, the gold standard protocol is to feed a strictly limited novel protein & ingredient diet (new to your specific dog) for up to 12 weeks, watch for symptoms to resolve, and then add ONE ingredient back at a time for a few days (and then wait up to 2 weeks) to determine what your dog is allergic to. This last part is the challenge test, to confirm a specific food allergy.

    You can do this with your regular vet, via your vet consulting with a boarded veterinary dermatologist (often free), or you can ask for a referral to the veterinary specialist (more costly) to take over the case.

    Constantly switching foods, like you’re doing, will not help and will make things harder, take longer to resolve vs a genuine novel protein diet trial. Grain free is not the answer.

    Food allergies are to a protein and can be ANY protein to which your dog has been exposed. The most common allergies (per the research from boarded specialists) in dogs are beef, chicken, dairy, eggs, wheat, corn, and soy.

    OTC diets are commonly cross contaminated with these common allergen ingredients not listed on the label’s ingredient list, and can cause a reaction in truly food allergic dogs. For this reason, if a food allergy is suspected, you may wish to feed a home prepared very limited novel ingredient diet or a prescription hypoallergenic food, even if just for the trial.

    I wish you good luck and some relief for your precious dogs! Goldens are wonderful, and I love the English ones & cream.

    p.s. Dogs can also be allergic to food storage mites (alive or dead). So you might wish to take steps to prevent and control for this w/their food.


    @ Mary Lynn L

    Just go with the prescription food that I assume your vet recommended. It’s hydrolyzed, therefore the ingredients don’t matter as your dog will not react to them.

    Don’t know what you mean by “allergy shots” but that sounds like treatment for environmental allergies.
    I would have a serious talk with your vet. Does your dog have food sensitivities? Food allergies? Environmental allergies?
    A combination of two or all three or just one?

    Also, have you considered consulting a veterinary dermatologist? They treat allergies and are the best regarding testing/diagnostics and what would be best for your specific dog.


    In reply to: Itchy doggo??


    Continue to work closely with your vet. The prednisone is effective and will stop the suffering temporarily however it is not good to give long term and may cause other health issues At least the prednisone will give his skin a chance to heal, without it he would be vulnerable to skin infection and also need antibiotics.
    The prednisone is an emergency measure but not a long term treatment.
    The pruritus tends to come right back when the prednisone is stopped.

    Ask your vet about Apoquel and the other treatment options for environmental allergies.
    Good luck

    Gretchen B

    Have you had his thyroid checked? And, bloodwork to check if he is diabetic. Both of those can cause excessive drinking and weight loss. He could also be allergic to the fleas. I had a dog that was allergic to flea bites and the vet gave him steroids, long story short, the steroids induced diabetes. The fleas were brought in by my mothers dog from the groomers. I also have a little long-haired chihuahua that is allergic to environmental things, such as mold and grass, she has to take cortisone pills for her allergies.

    Just a few things for you to check on. There are also some good shampoos for itchy skin and dermatitis.


    Hi Karen.

    You really do need to see a vet, sooner than over a month from now.

    Pruritus (itching) can make a dog feel utterly miserable and can quickly spiral into bigger problems, whether from injuring the skin from scratching/biting/chewing to soothe itself which can then create secondary skin infection, or an ear hematoma (which I promise you, you do NOT want to have happen) from a hard shake or scratching.

    Did you know that most itching is not from a food allergy? It is more common for a dog to have other things causing the symptoms, like flea bites, mites, fungal/bacterial infection, or environmental & inhalant allergies.

    It’s great that your breeder is involved. Your breeder is right that chicken could be a food allergy for your puppy and food allergies do commonly show up before 1 yr of age. Chicken and beef are top food allergens for dogs with food allergies.

    But did you know that food allergies are actually not very common in dogs? Or that, in a food allergy, symptoms typically can continue for some time after switching over to another food? This is why a novel food must be fed for up to 12 weeks to see results, relief from symptoms. And it must be fed exclusively, without any treats or flavored medicines.

    In the vast majority of cases, a vet will be able to diagnose something OTHER THAN food allergy and be able to help your dog get relief very quickly from itching — whether diagnosing external parasite, fungal, or bacterial infection and treating for that, or providing relief from environmental allergies.

    For the environmental allergies, there are hypoallergenic and skin soothing shampoos and rinses, a cortisone shot, oral antihistamines, even a Cytopoint/CADI injection (a drug that can relieve itching within 24 hours and last up to 1-2 months) which has safe use approved for puppies as well as adults. Some dogs with pollen allergies just need a little extra help seasonally.

    Throwing up in young dogs can be nothing serious and pretty normal or it can be something that really means your vet should be involved and treating. Joanne is right that it matters also when your puppy does this and what it looks like/consists of, even though that may seem gross!


    I’m receiving an error message that does not correspond with what I see on my screen here. I don’t *think* this is a duplicate post, but a technical malfunction. (Please pardon me if it is.)


    The only guidance I’ve ever received or read from trustworthy experts in diagnosing and treating dog food allergies is a food trial:

    *Novel protein diet for up to 12 weeks (or other hypoallergenic test diet, like hydrolyzed) to evaluate for relief
    *Followed by challenging testing the dog with one single food at a time, a former/suspected ingredient allergen

    I’ve been there, with a very itchy dog with food and other allergies. And the above is the route I’ve followed, with a primary care vet and boarded specialist. We also did things to exclude other diagnoses. That’s what I would recommend.

    I’ve heard (and read here) of others referencing blood tests, saliva tests, hair tests, etc. But to the best of my knowledge, there is not medical evidence to support their efficacy and they are not the standard of care in the medical community.

    I worry that such tests not only scam well-meaning pet owners out of money (which they could use otherwise to help their pets), but also lead people to come up with long lists of ingredients that their dogs are supposedly allergic to such that diet choices become severely limited. (IMO, it is very unlikely that these dogs are allergic to numerous and very uncommon things, things that the dog has never been exposed to.)

    Re fleas, allergy or standard reactions to them are more common than are food allergies. (Inhalant and environmental allergies also are common culprits for itching.)

    Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. It will eliminate a lot of flea problems. Flea dirt is more likely to be discovered than fleas and fleas spend more of their life cycle off the dog in its environment than on. Vacuuming will also help keep pollen, irritants lower inside (as will removing shoes, etc.)



    The only guidance I’ve ever received or read from trustworthy experts in diagnosing and treating dog food allergies is a food trial:

    *Novel protein diet for up to 12 weeks (or other hypoallergenic test diet, like hydrolyzed) to evaluate for relief
    *Followed by challenging testing the dog with one single food at a time, a former/suspected ingredient allergen

    I’ve been there, with a very itchy dog with food and other allergies. And the above is the route I’ve followed, with a primary care vet and boarded specialist. We also did things to exclude other diagnoses. That’s what I would recommend.

    I’ve heard (and read here) of others referencing blood tests, saliva tests, hair tests, etc. But to the best of my knowledge, there is not medical evidence to support their efficacy and they are not the standard of care in the medical community.

    I worry that such tests not only scam well-meaning pet owners out of money (which they could use otherwise to help their pets), but also lead people to come up with long lists of ingredients that their dogs are supposedly allergic to such that diet choices become severely limited. (IMO, it is very unlikely that these dogs are allergic to numerous and very uncommon things, things that the dog has never been exposed to.)

    Re fleas, allergy or standard reactions to them are more common than are food allergies. (Inhalant and environmental allergies also are common culprits for itching.)

    Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. It will eliminate a lot of flea problems. Flea dirt is more likely to be discovered than fleas and fleas spend more of their life cycle off the dog in its environment than on. Vacuuming will also help keep pollen, irritants lower inside (as will removing shoes, etc.)

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by GSDsForever.

    I knew it (carpeting)! If the dog has a flea allergy, you may not see any signs of fleas. Again one flea bite can wreak havoc.
    Work closely with your vet, however…
    If the dog’s symptoms continue, please consider consulting a veterinary dermatologist, that was the only thing that helped my dog. Intradermal allergy testing
    Final words about atopic dermatitis in dogs
    “It is also very important for any dog with atopic dermatitis to be on a year-round, comprehensive flea control program. Atopic dogs tend to be more sensitive to the bites of fleas, so even occasional fleabites should be prevented. Speak with your veterinarian about a safe and effective flea prevention program for all the pets in your home, and learn more about fleas here”.

    “Managing this lifelong condition takes some patience. By using various combinations of therapy, and altering the treatment when needed, your veterinarian can help your atopic dog feel and look their best. And for cases that prove difficult to manage, there are board-certified veterinary dermatology specialists that are available to help. You can search for a specialist in your area on the website for the American College of Veterinary Dermatology”.

    The only accurate way to do a food elimination trial is with prescription/therapeutic diet food.

    Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.


    Have fleas been ruled out? Let me guess, you have carpeting? Flea allergy is common and can wreak havoc even after just one flea bite.
    Talk to your vet.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by anonymous.

    In reply to: Anal Gland Problems


    Yeah, tried all that.

    The only thing that helped was having the anal glands expressed at least once a week by a vet tech.
    You can ask your vet to have the vet tech show you how to do it yourself.

    My dog with environmental allergies had anal gland issues, once she started treatment for atopic dermatitis by a veterinary dermatologist all anal gland issues went away.

    She does well on a variety of foods. The dog food did not appear to have anything to do with it.

    PS: GSDs have specific anal gland problems related to the breed.


    Allergic or food sensitivities? Food allergies are rare. Best to work with a veterinarian, he may need a prescription food till you get an accurate diagnosis as to what he can tolerate.
    Then you should rule out environmental allergies if his symptoms continue. Talk to your vet.



    Antibiotics and steroids are often prescribed for environmental allergies and other ailments. It’s a band aid fix. You are not getting to the root of the problem.

    The first step would be to get an accurate diagnosis via an internal medicine specialist or a veterinary dermatologist, whatever your vet thinks might be the most helpful.

    PS: Hope this helps

    How long did you try the prescription food for? Did you contact the vet to let him know of your concerns?
    Maybe more diagnostic testing is indicated? See what the treating vet advises, not the internet.

    How old is the dog? Has she had annual checkups? How did her last lab values look? Blood work is a good diagnostic tool.


    Had a great visit at the Vet Dermatologist and it is pointing more to Food Allergies. Dermatologist notice some things that neither my regular vet nor I saw before. Specifically his paws and skin as I just kept concentrating on his head shaking only.

    Dermatology Physical Exam: Non-seasonal mild pedal licking lately shaking of the head and digging at the neck, tried
    apoquel in the past did not help ear symptoms.

    Skin Description: Mild erythema of a few areas under each ear and mild alopecia and oily seborrhea of the plantar
    aspect of the paws, subtle changes on his chin from prior pedal licking

    AS (left ear): Mild lichenification on concave pinna, no major excoriations noted AU (both ears)

    AD (right ear): No odor or pain reaction from ears AU, negative pinna-pedal reflex

    Otoscopic Exam – Left: Mild cobblestone hyperplasia on surfaces of all aspect of the ear canal, no stenosis and no
    ulcerations, mild edema and slight erythema AU

    Otoscopic Exam – Right: No excessive exudate note

    Assessment: We talked about how the diet trial would have to be a little stricter for the full 60-90 days to yield a
    conclusive answer… and if not seeing a significant effect over the next 5-7 weeks then we could potentially be going
    more towards environmental allergies as the likely life long trigger of the mild skin, paw and ear issues

    Also we looked within his ear canal and on the screen we saw his ear canals were red in irritation. Cool to see the inside of his ear cannals on a giant tv screen as he used his scope with a flashlight to go down deep into his ear.. The ear cannals were visibly red with mild irritation.


    For best results I would go to a veterinary dermatologist, especially if this is becoming a chronic condition and has not responded to treatment by the regular vet. The veterinary dermatologist can do skin testing to identify the environmental allergens responsible then they will discuss treatment options.
    If you suspect food sensitivities then the only way to rule out is to have the vet prescribe hydrolyzed food, difficult to follow, commercial brands do not compare.
    There is no cure for allergies but there is effective treatment and management. excerpts below, click on link for full article

    Otitis externa is an inflammation of the ear canal. Because dogs’ ear canals are L-shaped (Figure 1), fluid does not drain easily from canal openings. Additionally, the lining of the ear can become inflamed and thickened, blocking air and fluid flow in and out of the canal. Animals with otitis externa can also develop otitis media (middle ear inflammation). Similar to the problem seen in children (especially after airplane flights), fluid can build up behind the ear drum, causing pressure and pain. Otitis externa and media are common conditions in dogs, particularly in specific breeds such as the Cocker spaniel and German shepherd.
    In puppies and kittens, otitis externa is often caused by ear mites. These tiny parasites cause terrible itching and a thick brown discharge. In adult dogs, the most common underlying cause is allergies- sensitivity to something in the environment or to food. In older animals, tumors can cause blockage of the ear canal and secondary infection. Other predisposing causes may include foreign bodies (such as grass seeds), or small ear canals (often seen in Shar peis) or long floppy ear flaps (for example, Basset hounds) that prevent air flow. Hormonal problems, such as poor thyroid function, or other underlying skin disorders may also be present.


    I have a dog with environmental allergies. It started with ear infections, then pruritus, If you go to the search engine “environmental allergies” you will see my numerous posts.
    Of course there are other causes, get the dog properly diagnosed by a veterinary dermatologist.
    Or work closely with your regular vet, the steroids and antibiotics are just bandaid stuff. Get to the root of the problem.
    I am sorry but you may have a high maintenance pup.

    I hope this helps. Diseases. excerpt below

    Otitis externa is the medical term for ear inflammation. Most cases of otitis externa also have an infection that is causing the ear inflammation.

    The structure of the ear in dogs and cats can make them more prone to ear infections. The ear canal in dogs and cats is longer than the ear canal in people. The ear canal is also “L-shaped” with vertical and horizontal parts.

    Because only some dogs and cats develop ear infections, other conditions often contribute to the development of otitis externa and ear infections in your pet. Allergies, parasites, and masses or tumors can all cause ear irritation and infection. Allergies are the most common cause of ear infections in dogs and cats. Since an ear infection can be secondary to an underlying problem, it is often important to diagnose and treat the cause of the ear infection while treating the ear infection.

    An ear infection can develop into a severe health problem for a dog or cat. Left untreated, ear infections can spread deeper into a pet’s ear (middle ear infection) and cause permanent damage to the ear canal (ear canal mineralization). Some chronic ear infections can develop resistance to antibiotics and become untreatable with medications.


    If you click on the link you will see hundreds of comments I have posted on the subject.
    It would take several hours to repeat the information you will find there.
    There is a search engine here for that reason.

    Better yet, make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist asap to get your dog properly diagnosed and treated. There is no veterinary healthcare professional at this site. Even if there were they have not examined your dog nor can they provide specific advice regarding your pet. Best of luck!

    Example “The diet helps but it can only do so much.
    A multifaceted approach is often needed for environmental allergies. There is no cure.
    But there are effective treatments/management.
    PS: Bacterial skin infections that require antibiotics are common with atopic dermatitis. It is painful. Itchiness and burning….
    Next, ear infections.”

    example: “Please visit a board certified veterinarian asap for testing/diagnosis/treatment.
    It’s been a year/4 seasons without significant results by the regular vet.
    Do not give over the counter meds/supplements or apply ointments, creams that are not intended for veterinary use unless advised to do so by a veterinarian that has examined your dog”.

    Example: /forums/topic/hes-got-good-and-environmental-allergies/#post-113364
    “Make an appointment with a board certified veterinary dermatologist. It’s not the food. Just my opinion, based on my experience and knowledge”.

    Very good information here:




    Stop the foolishness.

    Take the dog to a vet , have him examined , see what is recommended.


    Well, it certainly sounds like atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies) or some other skin condition. It sounds like the dog is in extreme discomfort and at risk for bacterial skin infection.

    Anything anyone tells you on these forums is just speculation and opinion (myself included)

    If your veterinarian has not been helpful I would ask for a referral to a veterinary dermatologist for testing to come up with an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

    There is no miracle cure or magical supplement or food that will fix this.

    In fact the dog may have to go on steroids and antibiotics again to temporarily stop the suffering.
    Consult your vet, asap.


    The diet helps but it can only do so much.

    A multifaceted approach is often needed for environmental allergies. There is no cure.

    But there are effective treatments/management.

    PS: Bacterial skin infections that require antibiotics are common with atopic dermatitis. It is painful. Itchiness and burning….

    Next, ear infections.

    Cody D

    He had antibiotics about about 2 months ago because the vet thought it was an infection. The scabs went away. Looked great for a while, then after a bit they came back. Idk how long before they came back my wife is actually the one who took him in for it both times. That was when we went to the diet he is on. Hills derm defense. Fights environmental allergies I guess. Not working a month or so in now. Oh well, I pine for the days where we jsut worried about stuff like that.


    But what did the specialist suggest it is? Surely she must have an idea, what did she advise to do next? Besides the scope.

    I have been through it, it’s a nightmare.
    I never had a dog scoped though, usually they have a diagnosis after labs and x-ray.

    I currently have an a dog with atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies) there is no cure, just management ($$) and even with the best of treatment they can have flareups. She’s on antibiotics currently for a bacterial skin infection and we are trying Apoquel. Immunotherapy worked for years till now…

    I sure hope your dog feels better soon. And you and your wife too.

    Deb D

    Samanthia, please do work with a veterinarian. We adopted an eight year old German shepherd dog nine months ago. She was a mess because of neglect and allergies. Imagine a GSD with no hair and infections in eyes, ears, urethra, anus, and toes. We have never dealt with a dog with allergies and, thankfully, let our vet guide us. We went through countless medicated baths and bottles of medicated ear cleaner, two Cytopoint shots (They were a real game changer for our girl.) and Z/D dog food. (Yep, we have also had to deal with the recall but, thank God, her Vitamin D levels are okay.) She is now on a maintenance schedule of one medicated bath a month and weekly ear cleanings. We think she has both environmental and food allergies so it is an excruciatingly slow process to figure things out BUT she is relatively comfortable so we can all sleep. She is not itch free but almost, and a world improved. And, we now have her at a point where we can experiment with one food and see if it causes increased symptoms.

    The hardest part for us is the food. First of all, we would never have fed a food like Z/D. Second, she is not fond of it and we want a highly palatable food for training because she was neglected in that area too. Hill’s Hypo Treats are not gonna make her do back flips. We hope that one day we can find food she loves that loves her and is not grain-free. But meanwhile, we are grateful for Z/D and know that if we have to, we can stick with it. (Hubby and I find it Very difficult to withhold treats because we have always shared our food with our dogs. Her allergies hurt us almost as much as they do her.)

    But our vet was the key. She tested swabs from between toes, from the ears, from everywhere so she would know exactly what was needed to treat her. Then she did it again after a few weeks so we made steady progress without overwhelming her (and us) with chemicals. It was beyond expensive but became less so as the diet/drugs/and chemicals did their job. She goes everywhere with us and now we hear, “What a beautiful German Shepherd.” A far cry from a nearly bald dog a year ago.


    In reply to: Anxiety Scratching


    Yes, make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist and get the dog diagnosed.

    Pruritus is not a typical response to anxiety. Your vet is correct.

    She probably has atopic dermatitis/environmental allergies. There is no cure, allergies wax and wane. There is effective treatment but it will cost a few bucks.

    Environmental allergies tend to show up between ages 1 to 3 and get worse with age.
    Maybe that was why she was given up/abandoned.

    Don’t keep changing the food and trying all kinds of bogus remedies, it won’t work.

    Please see my posts, you may find something helpful.

    Take the dog out for bathroom breaks every 2 hours and first thing in the morning and the last thing before bedtime. Try to be patient, it sounds like this dog has been through a lot.
    When her skin condition is properly diagnosed and treated you may notice a much more relaxed and comfortable dog.

    Regarding the separation anxiety you may want to talk to your vet about medication, as the dog continues to stabilize after a few months to a year she can be tapered off. It doesn’t have to be forever.


    In reply to: Upset Stomach Drooling

    Candice A

    Hi Christie, that’s going to be really helpful to observe for triggers with the symptom journal. A couple of things to think about might be:
    ** A cyclic pancreatitis caused by protein-rich or fatty foods – this could cause nausea and drooling and maybe the skin irritation is due to the drool wetness.
    **A lack of acid in the stomach, which can be due to medications, dairy products, grains and large amounts of water- this lack of stomach acid leads to prolonged transit time of foods- and the protein begins to turn rancid. The body’s response is to push it through ASAP- and saliva helps that happen.
    **Imbalance of bacteria- this often results in random or intermitant signs of nausea with or without gassiness. I see great results with Herbsmith Microflora Plus as a probiotic. It helps the digestive tract do its job and also contains stomach calming herbs such as ginger and licorice. I usually have clients use this for 30 days and then re-eval.
    **Food sensitivity-or AKA food allergies-The signs and symptoms that you described do often correlate with food allergies. If your pup is doing a lot of paw and leg licking I have seen some pets get an upset tummy from all the hair. It can be irritating to the stomach so I guess that makes sense.
    **And lastly I always ask families to watch for any potential environmental allergies such as: laundry soaps, fabric softeners, fabric sprays like Feebreeze, air fresheners, candles, plug ins, strong essential oils, floor cleaners, dish soaps, added chemicals to city water sources ( just the chlorine and fluoride can sometimes cause my dogs to vomit), chemicals from hoses and wool rugs. These are the most common situations I see.
    I am happy to do a complimentary nutritional consult if you would like 🙂 ( Good Luck!

    Christie B

    So for years now my dog has had issues with excessive drooling. I’ve never been able to pinpoint what causes it. Medical tests all come back normal. But the drooling never last for more that an hour or two so by the time the vet sees him he can only offer suggestions.

    The last time he noticed what he called signs of allergies: inflammation around his nose and mouth, head shaking and ear debris, watery eyes, paw and leg licking. He said that dogs can drool excessively when they have an upset stomach. Or if they come in contact with something in the environment that they’re allergic to.

    So he basically told me to give him 5 benedryl twice a day to prevent symptoms.

    Which I kind of thought was nuts because the drooling wasn’t happening all the time. So he told me to do it for 5 days, then give him a dose whenever symptoms presented.
    Benedryl does work, unfortunately it takes a while to kick in.

    But what triggers the episodes? How long does it take from exposure to symptoms?

    It didn’t occur to me or my vet, but someone in a dog wellness FB group suggested keeping a journal of when these drooling attacks occur. That way I can write down when he last ate, what he ate, did he go outside prior, did he do anything unusual before the drooling started while it is still fresh in my mind.

    He had a drooling episode today. The last one was a week ago while I was away. That day neither of my dogs ate much of anything (which happens sometimes when I go away). Thinking about possible food issues, all this past week I had given both dogs cooked ground beef. No incident. I ran out last night. This morning, I probably made the mistake of putting in a few crumbles of sausage that I had leftover. To make matters worse, when I ate eggs, sausage and cheese for breakfast about 60-90 minutes later, I gave the dogs the small remainder that I hadn’t finished.

    Within 20 or so minutes the drooling began.

    I’m kicking myself because I’ve been really good with the no table scraps treats.

    The vet had said that because it doesn’t happen every day and only 1 or 2 a week (sometimes even less) that it’s probably something he’s eating. That the environmental sensitivities can be a totally separate issue and that dogs can develop really sensitive stomachs as they get older. He suggested either a sensitive stomach dry food or limited ingredient food to make digestion easier. He also suggested staying away from bird proteins as bully breeds are known to be sensitive to fowl proteins.

    Any suggestions?

    Cameron M

    perhaps read my post to Patti. You mention the fish kibble seems to work best..maybe it is the protein? I assume the others you tried had protein other than fish – such as the chicken you mention or beef which is common?

    My gal seems to do equally well on either grain free or regular salmon based food. beef seems the worst for her. Due to the concerns regarding “grain free” I am trying the regular salmon based food.

    Also – I have learned that only a small percentage of dog allergies are food based with the majority being caused by environmental triggers just like humans. Grasses, pollen and even dust triggers reactions in effected dogs.

    I hope your issue is easily resolved and hey a 3.5 star food isn’t necessarily bad. The reviewers tend to place emphasis on protein content etc…and frankly I try to have a lower but high quality protein percentage so as to avoid kidney issues later in life.

    Solid Gold has a great Salmon based dry kibble but since the protein is only 21% it has a lower rating. Just food for thought. ( and btw I am not pushing a certain brand…I used to stand by Solid Gold but haven’t checked…they may be sold out to some super large corp now? And I do realize marketing image is always in play)



    Hi Pat,
    Sorry for what has happened 🙁
    if you can afford it I’d cook meals or feed 1 cooked meal & the other meal feed a freeze dried dog food that has human grade ingredients, I’d stay away from dry kibbles & wet can dog foods…
    Take back the 3 bags of TOTW food & get your money back..if pet shop wont refund then contact TOTW..
    also here’s link for FDA to report a problem.

    Ask vet to do full blood test see if liver is OK ??

    My Patch was doing really well on TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb from 2015-2017 then 2017-Nov he started to go down hill & refused to eat his TOTW Lamb kibble, Patch NEVER refuses food, thats when I knew something was wrong.
    I blammed the TOTW Lamb kibble he was eating had made him very ill being a Diamond product he didnt get better after I stopped teh TOTW kibble so in January 2018 he had endoscope & biopsies done & he has LES – his Lower Esophageal Sphincter flap doesnt close properly this was causing bad acid reflux washing back up & was burning his wind pipe & esophagus were both red & inflammmed but I still think TOTW made him ill aswell, his liver results weren’t good, I’d say a few things were happening cause he does have IBD & Skin Allergies but we are what we eat & he was eating the same dry food I wasnt rotating & feeding any other foods like I normally do….

    Never feed the same brand of pet food month after month, year after year, this is when health problems can start to happen…
    Now I rotate his foods again, I change between 3 different brands now & try & add as much fresh food as possible in his diet.. When I started feeding him “Wellness Core” Large Breed Adult dry & “Wellness Simple” Turkey & Potato he started to get better, he hasnt become ill again..but it took a while for him to get well again

    There’s a company that test/studies for toxins, heavy metals & contaminates they test
    the best selling Pet Foods in America, these dog foods are tested in an accredited analytical chemistry laboratory for 130 harmful environmental and industrial contaminants and toxins. Results are published as Product Ratings.
    I cant post the link as DFA, DFA doesn’t believe in this testing & blocks the link, different batches of Dog/Cat wet, dry & treats get tested every 3-4 months these are all “new different batches” that are being tested everytime, certain brands of pet foods keep coming back time & time again very high in toxins, heavy metals & contaminates &

    TOTW High Prairie adult formula & TOTW Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon have been on the 1 star – high toxins, heavy metals & contaminate list for nilly 2yrs now cause they have poison ingredients in them… 🙁

    Google, heavy metals, toxins in dry dog foods,
    so you can see all the 5 -1 star foods –

    Here’s C L P first 13 x 5 star dry dog foods that tested very well, if you cant find the dry food site C L P I’m talking about.
    Thats if you want to continue feeding a dog food..

    * Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Beef Recipe Dry Dog Food
    * Buckley Grain Free Liberty With Lamb Dry Dog Food
    * Buckley Liberty Freeze-Dried Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food
    * Buckley Liberty Grain Free with Chicken Dry Dog Food
    * Canisource Grand Cru All Life Stages Turkey Formula Dehydrated Raw Dry Dog Food
    * CaniSource Grand Cru All Life Stages Pork and Lamb Formula Dehydrated Raw Dry Dog Food
    * CaniSource Grand Cru All Life Stages Red Meat Formula Dehydrated Raw Dry Dog Food
    * BIXBI Rawbble Freeze-Dried Dry Dog Food Duck Recipe
    * BIXBI Rawbble Freeze-Dried Dry Dog Food Chicken Recipe
    * BIXBI Rawbble Freeze-Dried Dry Dog Food Salmon & Chicken Recipe
    * BIXBI Rawbble Dry Dog Food Lamb Recipe
    * I and Love and You Grain Free Naked Essentials With Lamb + Bison Dry Dog Foo
    * I and Love and You Grain Free Naked Essentials With Chicken + Duck Dry Dog Food

    Morgan A

    Thank you for the helpful reply, Susan!
    I did not consider omegas, I will have to ask my vet about that as far as fat in his diet.
    I have gotten his food allergies under control and that has substantially helped with his itchiness (white potatoes are a mild allergen for him, but not one that would trigger a severe reaction). He actually has a really great coat now! But he does also have a plethora of environmental allergies and there’s not much I can do about that other than what you’ve suggested. I will join the pages you mentioned and bring up these things with my vet! Hopefully something will help put a stop to this issue.


    How about Purina ProPlan Beef and Rice or their Sensitive Skin Salmon formula? Neither have chicken and are made by a company with years of research and testing. They also have veterinary nutritionists on staff and own their own manufacturing facilities.

    Until a definite answer is found to the recent rise in DCM cases, I will only feed my pets a food made by a company that meets all those qualifications. Many dog owners who said they would never feed one of these brands have switched and their dogs are doing great. Including, my own!

    It’s not worth the risk!

    Have you done an elimination diet with a prescription food to find out exactly what your dog is sensitive to? Often it is discovered that the dog actually has environmental allergies. It would probably be beneficial for you to do one. Instead of switching food after food. I know that can be stressful. Good luck!

    Christie B

    My American Bulldog mix has allergies to chicken, which I’ve heard is common with bully breeds. I rotated many different foods for the past 9 years that I’ve had him, in the hopes that I’d one day find the formula that wouldn’t trigger an attack.

    So many non chicken protein formula’s have chicken or chicken meal as the 3rd or 4th ingredient. I guess it’s an inexpensive protein to add to formulas.

    I’ve tried lamb, beef, pork, turkey… after a few weeks more often than not allergy symptoms appear. It’s harder to try a new food in the spring and winter because he also has environmental allergies, so it’s hard to figure out what triggers him.

    So far, fish seems to be the safest protein. He used to eat Blue Buffalo with no issue when he was younger but the vet recommended stopping it because he was gaining too much weight on it (even after I cut back on the feeding amounts).

    I went to Petsmart two weeks ago in search of a limited ingredient food. The previous bag that we tried was Zignature, but reviews here along with neither of my two dogs wanting to eat it (I literally had to put a small bit of shredded cheese on the food to make it appealing) turned me off that brand. I was looking at Nulo’s formulas when an associate wearing a Nulo shirt approached me (of course). She said they have a Salmon based limited ingredient formula. I read the label: Deboned salmon, salmon meal, yellow peas, chickpeas, canola oil, died sweet potatoes… didn’t see any chicken, beef, pork, turkey and gave it a shot.

    The bag is almost gone. Both dogs are actually eating it. Stool is ok. I haven’t noticed any excessive drooling that indicated a possible upset stomach. No uptick in eating grass (sometimes they just like to graze). It seems like so far, so good.

    However, there were some concerns in reviews that I read. I heard that peas and pea protein are also common allergens. Nulo has two product lines: Freestyle and Medal. Petsmart exclusively sells the Medal series and Freestyle is found online. I asked the rep in the store what the difference was and she said it was name only. The formulas were the same. However, when I went to order from Chewy yesterday (usually cheaper than Petsmart), their Freestyle was almost $20 more than the Medal at Petsmart. It made no sense. I contacted Nulo on their FB page and this was their response:

    Thanks for reaching out to us here at Nulo. We appreciate the opportunity to help!
    Our FreeStyle Limited+ and MedalSeries L.I.D. recipes are formulated using only one animal protein source and do not include the fruits and vegetables found in our other recipes. The difference between our FreeStyle Limited+ and MedalSeries L.I.D. recipes is simply the inclusion or exclusion of peas – our FreeStyle Limited+ recipes do not include peas or pea fiber.

    Is the exclusion of Peas worth the $20 difference? Are fruits and vegetables usually the cause of allergies that they would be omitted in the Limited formulas?

    Christie B

    My 10 year old American Bulldog mix has food and environmental allergies. Paw licking, face rubbing, excessive drooling…it’s worse in the Spring and Fall but sometimes changes in diet can trigger a few days long reaction. The vet told me to give him 5 1mg Benedryl twice daily when he shows symptoms and if he’s drooling excessively to give him a Pepcid twice daily.

    10 Benedryl pills a day seems crazy. I know my dog is large at 120 pounds, but an adult human is only supposed to take 1-2 pills daily. Do dogs process the drug differently? Two pills twice daily has always ceased the licking and rubbing. I’m afraid to give him 5 at a time.

    • This topic was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Christie B.

    I am so glad you are working closely with your vet.

    If her problems continue even through the winter, I would ask for a referral to a veterinary dermatologist. Unless your vet feels confident he can treat the condtion.
    A positive response to Apoquel is indicative of environmental allergies.



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