I joined the forum over a year ago for my 2 dogs Tebow (Jack Russell Terrier) and LadyBug (Shepherd/Lab mix). They were both overweight and experiencing food sensitivities.
Upon advice I upgraded their food (from Pedigree). Blue Buffalo, made them sick, so I switched them to Pure Balance on which they’ve been doing very well. Problem is, PB does not offer a large enough variety of can food, so while staying with PB grain-free dry, I’ve switched them to Wellness and Nature’s Recipe grain-free cans. They love both, especially the stews.
Now comes the problem…….. !
Tebow is again itching and scratching incessantly (NO fleas), and shedding horribly. Also chewing at his paws. I noticed a week or more ago that he’d developed a raw area on his chest.
LadyBug has a series of raw areas on her lower back, backend, and upper tail. REALLY raw.
Now, Tebow’s seems to be healing up, while Lady’s was getting worse, so I took her to the vet this morning. After skin scrapes, flea combing (no fleas or flea dirt), and 2 blood tests, the verdict is…. food allergies! UUGGHH!
The vet said that ‘perhaps’ I should decrease their beef and chicken intake and feed more duck and venison. Also decrease their twice-per-week salmon meal to just once per week because her skin seemed oily (she was dirty, as I had not bathed her in a couple of weeks).
ALL of this was preceded by “perhaps” with no real clear instruction. Soooooooooo….
I am again here asking for feeding suggestions. Additionally, both are still overweight, Tebow is 5 lbs over, and Lady is 8 or 9 lbs over.
OK – hit me with it. And thanks in advance.
Please consider making an appointment with a dermatologist/specialist for diagnosis and testing. Environmental allergies get worse with age and have nothing to do with the food.
https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/search/allergies/ (I don’t necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed)
From what you describe, it sounds like your dogs are suffering. For serious conditions you need to go to a specialist, it makes a BIG difference. Best of luck.
The vet has a dermatologist on staff. That is who came in for the skin scrapes and analyzed the blood samples. We are going back next week for another test which takes 2 weeks for results. But as of now, there is no sign of any type of mange, mites, fleas, poisons, etc.
We came home with a medicated shampoo to use twice per week, and a bottle of low dose Hydroxyzine for itching. I have a bottle of Pet Calm which I use to calm them a bit, because I’ve noticed that my JRT gets really anxious which makes his itching worse. When he is calm, he doesn’t itch nearly as much.
Intradermal Skin Tests http://www.allergydogcentral.com/2011/06/30/dog-allergy-testing-and-allergy-shots/
“An intradermal skin test involves the injection of a small amount of antigen into your dog’s skin. This procedure is most often performed by a veterinary dermatologist or pet allergy specialist. Here’s how the process works”.
“First, your dog will be administered a mild sedative, and a 4”x8” area on their side (near the armpit) will be shaved – so it is easy to see the skin. Next, the Dr. will inject small doses of a wide variety of common, regional antigens into their skin”.
The above test is what I’m talking about, I never did the blood test. The specialist told me that IDT is the most accurate for identifying environmental allergies (which is often the problem).
It does not test for food allergies/intolerances.
You get the results right away and leave with a treatment plan (that was my experience).
Hi Peggy, this happened with my boy, I finally found a kibble that agrees with him (No Skin Problems or poo problems) then when he was doing really well I started feeding wet tin foods for breakfast & the red paws came back, rolling & rubbing on the carpet, rubbing his back up & down the wall,…. so I stopped all wet tin foods & just feed his kibble for 3-4 weeks to see if his skin cleared up & it did so then I made his meals, I bought chicken, sweet potato & broccoli & made little meals & froze them, I watched Patch to see if the scratching started again & it didn’t so the next week, I made beef mince potatoes & carrots he started scratching his ears a bit so i’d say it was either the carrot or potato, so I stopped the carrot & potatoes & went back to sweet potatoes…also I’ve been giving Patch the K-9 Natural snacks the Green Lipped Mussel snacks & Salmon Tails snacks, they’re high in omega 3 for his skin & joints, he gets 2 a day, a mussel in the morning & a Salmon tail in the afternoon & I feed “Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion kibble, so he gets his chicken or beef for breakfast, then he has his fish kibble & fish snacks & his skin is looking really good again nice a shinny…
*K-9 Natural Green Lipped Mussels
*Earthborn Holistic kibbles
Thanks Susan and Red.
The vet recommended a medicated, anti-itch shampoo. You have to lather her up really good, leave it on for up to 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.
I must say, since doing so this afternoon, they haven’t been scratching much at all. (I used it on Tebow, as well). I have to do this twice per week until the raw areas have cleared up.
Hi, is it Malaseb medicated shampoo?? I use the Malaseb anti bacterial shampoo, I was using weekly but once I got his food right again Patch only needs a monthly bath cause his white fur looks dirty……InkedMarieMember
Feeding canned is probably going to make weight loss harder. You’ll have to weigh it out so you don’t overfeed, once you figure out a food. What about ground raw?
Have you tried using a limited ingredient food? Nature’s Variety Instinct, Zignature, Merrick and Natural Balance all have limited ingedient formulas. Some with unique proteins as your veterinarian suggested.
Seriously, if these symptoms you describe have been going on for over a year (4 seasons) with no significant periods of relief, despite diet changes, frequent bathing, etc.
It’s time to consider having IDT (intradermal skin test) done by a board certified veterinary dermatologist. That’s my recommendation, based on my experience and positive results 🙂
http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2011/09/integrating-myths-and-nonsense-with-standard-advice-for-allergic-pets/ (excerpt below)
Allergies are a serious medical problem that causes a great deal of suffering for pets and their owners. Causes are complex and involve both genetic, developmental, and environmental factors, and symptoms tend to come and go unpredictably, which makes evaluating the effects of any particular intervention challenging. While there are many safe and effective therapies that can help manage allergy symptoms, there is no cure. Only complete avoidance of the antigens the individual is allergic to can eliminate symptoms entirely, and this is often not possible. No treatment that has any benefit is completely without risks, and the risks and benefits must always be carefully and rationally weighed.
The variability and chronicity of the symptoms and the complexity of the causation create fertile ground in which to sow myths and misconceptions about causes and treatments, as this article does vigorously. Providing treatments based on sound scientific understanding of the physiology of allergies and supported by reliable scientific evidence of safety and efficacy is the best way to help patients with this serious condition. Myths about allergy causes and treatments that are without a rational, scientific foundation or any real evidence of safety and efficacy are not legitimate “choices” or “options” to offer pet owners looking for real help. Integrating unproven methods and outright nonsense with established allergy therapies doesn’t add value or reduce risks, it diminishes our ability to help these patients and their human families.
Red, these symptoms – the raw areas on the skin – are new. Only a couple of weeks.
As I said above, the vet has a dermatologist on staff. He is Board Certified. At least that’s what it says on the wall.
Peggy, I didn’t address your question regarding weight loss. You need to feed less to cause weight loss. You will have to include the calories in any treats you feed in the daily intake. There is a calculator on this site to give you an idea of how much to feed. You should base the amount to feed on the ideal weight.
When trying to feed for allergies, you must make sure everything you feed, including canned food and treats are the same protein as the food you feed. You also need to make sure there are no grains in the treats. This is basically an elimination diet. Most of the time this method works. If that doesn’t work, you may have to consider intradermal testing.
MY problem with Icy is her eyes & nose runs 24/7 and she is always swallowing because of her post nasal drip she has. I do not want to give her Benadryl every day for the rest of her life. Any good natural med’s that are safe to give out there?
Susan, thanks. The vet did say to try a LID kibble, so I picked up a bag of Pure Balance Turkey & Potato LID. I feed them broiled ground turkey a couple of times a week with sweet potato or green beans, so I’m going to do that more frequently, along with their normal canned salmon meals, etc. Laying off the cans for a few days.
I will say though that after that medicated shampoo bath yesterday, they both rested well last night. A marked decrease in the itching/scratching. It is HexaChlor-K Medicated, Anti-fungal Shampoo. The prescription says to use it 2x per week for 3 weeks, then once weekly for 1 month. Then, as needed.
C4D, that’s what the vet said too!
She said to find a brand, use their LID diet, and make sure everything – kibble, can and treats – are the same brand and LID diet.
Fortunately I don’t feed treats often, so that part should be easy.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and advice.
“I do not want to give her Benadryl every day for the rest of her life. Any good natural med’s that are safe to give out there”?
If the vet that is treating your dog has recommended prn Benadryl, and the dosage is correct for the dog’s weight…it shouldn’t hurt your dog (once a day, or however your vet has prescribed it).
The thing is, Benadryl doesn’t always do much to relieve symptoms. I still use it for my dog with allergies, when she has a flare up. I think it helps a little, in conjunction with her regular treatment..
Some vets recommend a fish oil capsule once a day, may help with dry itchy skin (pruritus)
Can’t give her fish oil, she has a touchy pancreas.
If the Benadryl is helpful and the vet approves, I wouldn’t be afraid of it.
The specialist told me that with dogs, it goes through their system quickly, doesn’t accumulate like some meds do. Just make sure you don’t give it more than how it is prescribed.
It makes her tired and I hate to see a young dog tired all the time. It’s a waste of her life imo.. I thought maybe there is a holistic med that kind of worked for this problem.
Give it at bedtime. The “holistic” stuff isn’t medication. They are considered food supplements. It will say right on the package that they are not intended to cure or treat medical conditions.
Find a vet that you trust and go by what he recommends. If you don’t have one already.
Did a vet approve the Benadryl and clarify the dosage? What is the dog’s diagnosis?PitloveMember
Benadryl doesn’t cure allergies either. It masks the problem so they get relief, just like a holistic med would. If its environmental thats all you can do is block the histamines, so if Shirley wants to go a holistic route there really isnt any harm.
Hi Shirley, I understand about giving medications, I hate giving my boy any meds especially if he starts feeling sleepy or vomits….. Have you tried any antihistamines?
Patches vet gave me a list of human antihistamines that are very safe to give dogs……
at first Patches vet gave Patch Iramine-8mg tablets for his runny eyes & runny nose for his environment allergies one spring…The Iramine made Patch vomit it must of made him feel groggy, so when I went back to see his vet, I told her the Iramine made Patch sick, so she gave me this list of human antihistamines you can buy at the chemist, I know the first antihistamine Phenergan can make you feel groggy cause my mum takes it, so ask the chemist which one doesn’t make you feel sleepy….you never know 1 of these antihistamines may just help with your dogs runny eyes & nose & give her some comfort…
Give the following antihistamines ALONE for a 10 day trial, moving onto the next drug if there is no response or only partial response…
:Doses below are per 10kg (22lbs) you need to know the accurate weight of your dog so that you can dose correctly:
Phenergan-10mg tablet—-Give 1/2-1 tablet TWICE a daily
Periactin-4mg tablet—-Give 2 tablets TWICE or THREE times daily
Polaramine-2mg tablet—-Give 2 tablets TWICE daily
Zadine-1mg tablet—-Give 1 tablet TWICE daily
Telfast-90mg tablet—-Give 1/4 tablet TWICE daily
Zyrtec 10mg tablet—-Give 1/2 tablet TWICE daily
Claratyne-10mg tablet—-Give 1/2 tablet ONCE daily
Thank you for all the information you gave me. I will look into those med’s and ask my vet about them also.Bobby dogMember
Glad to see you stop by! Sorry to hear your guys aren’t feeling so well. I have been in your shoes, Bobby was a little worse off though. Bathing therapy helped a great deal!!!
Did the skin issues pop up for both at the same time? Have you started using any new cleaners, detergents, fabric softners, carpet cleaners, lawn sprays, walking them in new places, anything new at all?
What were the blood tests for?
How did they determine a food allergy?
What exercise are they getting? Bobby gains weight during hot weather because he doesn’t like to go outside, he loves his air conditioning. Exercise is key to weight control for our pups. I have success keeping Bobby’s weight down by feeding low fat foods during his in-active periods and getting him outside early in the morning or late in the evening. If you would like some foods to check out I would be happy to share them with you.ShawnaMember
As one who actually USES holistic medications, I can say they actually DO work and work very well. In fact, there’s even SCIENCE that shows that those “food supplements” actually cure autoimmune diseases (actually, they use the word ameliorates but same thing). It’s called oral tolerization, check it out.
Here’s one to get you started
The New York Times has a great article on oral tolerization titled “‘Hair of Dog’ Tried as Cure For Autoimmune Disease” http://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/18/science/hair-of-dog-tried-as-cure-for-autoimmune-disease.html?pagewanted=all
Pretty impressive if you ask me.ShawnaMember
There’s a product test being discussed a lot in the dog health circles on Facebook. The test is done on a saliva and hair sample and comes back with sensitivities and allergies plus more. Many of us have used it for our pets with really GREAT results. It’s cost effective too. The company is called Glacier Peak Holistics.
I have a sensitivity to dairy and my scalp gets sooooo itchy I scratch till it bleeds while I’m sleeping. A shampoo with tea tree oil in it works GREAT to keep the itch at bay for several days. There are dog shampoos with tea tree. When I was going through this with my dog I used witch hazel with aloe and lavender and it seemed to really sooth Audrey’s VERY inflamed skin. (I did an elimination diet with her as it was LONG before I knew about GPHs)
I didn’t know as much about essential oils back when I went through this with my Audrey but I would totally try them now. They have been shown to cure cancer, have antimicrobial benefits and so much more. Dr. Melissa Shelton DVM is the guru of EOs for animals. I wonder if her Skin Spray Base might benefit your pups? http://www.animaleo.info/skin-spray-base.html
Hi Bobby_dog! Good to be posting with you again.
Yes this issue popped up for both Tebow and Lady at the same time. I actually noticed it on Tebow first, as he was scratchng more intensely, rubbing his back on the carpet and scooting around on his butt.
Lady was scratching too but being sooooo laid back, not as bad. Of course first thought is FLEAS. I checked, combed, brushed and bathed them. Not a single sign of fleas anywhere. PLUS the fact that I myself am a flea magnet. If we ever have fleas (which we have not had in years), they are all over me. Yet the scratching has continued.
At the vet, after their examination, which included a search for fleas, flea dirt, etc., we talked to the board certified dermatologist who is on staff there. LOTS of questions about changes in environment, cleaning products, etc. He did quite a bit of testing, skin scrapings were taken to test for mites, mange, yeast infection, etc. Blood test for worms, and I don’t know what all else.
Since everything came back negative, the dermatologist narrowed it down to 2 things – either food sensitivities, or ragweed allergy. It is BAD here this year.
We’ve had issues with food allergies before, a couple of years or so ago, they were diagnosed with food sensitivities, We switched to grain-free Pure Balance, and the symptoms disappeared for almost 2 years. Yet here we are again. I’ve been wracking my brain about their food, and realized I have gotten a bit lazy about what I feed them. A couple of times I have veered off the grain-free food. I don’t know if that’s it or not.
Thank you for the information, Shawna.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Peggy.
“Dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries that turn up in hospitals, up from 7 percent a decade ago, according to an analysis by a national network of liver specialists. The research included only the most severe cases of liver damage referred to a representative group of hospitals around the country, and the investigators said they were undercounting the actual number of cases”.
“Americans spend an estimated $32 billion on dietary supplements every year, attracted by unproven claims that various pills and powders will help them lose weight, build muscle and fight off everything from colds to chronic illnesses. About half of Americans use dietary supplements, and most of them take more than one product at a time”.
Excerpts from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/22/us/spike-in-harm-to-liver-is-tied-to-dietary-aids.html?_r=2&
Just one example, in response to: “so if Shirley wants to go a holistic route there really isnt any harm”.
Well ladies, when I went shopping on Friday for dog food, I was ecstatic to learn that Pure Balance has produced a LID line of their grain free can food!
Turkey & Potato, and Turkey & Sweet Potato; Salmon & Potato and Salmon & Sweet Potato.
Their Turkey & Potato LID dry has been out for about 9 months, and I’ve been rotating it with the PB Bison & Pea grain free. My dogs love these.
Friday night I fed them the Turkey & potato can with the T&P dry and they loved it.
So I think I’m going to stick with Pure Balance’s LID recipe’s, plus what I cook for them.
A side note: Their scratching has decreased dramatically since using this shampoo twice. that we got from the vet.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Peggy.
Glad your dogs are doing better. I was pretty happy to see them come out with the LID canned line myself. I’m not using canned anymore for particular reasons, but I did get some when I was still using canned.
I’ve had great success this year treating my dog’s seasonal allergies with Quercetin with Bromelain, Papain, and an Omega 3 supplement.
Dr. Becker discusses those products here: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/07/05/valuable-nutrients-for-pets-who-suffer-from-seasonal-allergies.aspx
Thanks for the link DF. My dogs don’t have the ‘normal’ environmental allergy symptoms of sinus drainage, coughing, runny eyes, etc. But the dermatologist that saw them at the vet said that the symptoms of EA’s also include dry skin, excessive itching and scratching, etc. But blood tests came back negative to EA’s, so next on the list is food sensitivities, which they’ve experienced before. My son’s dad last night mentioned that “now that I think about it” (you know how men are) – the itching seemed to begin when I introduced other can foods into their diet – Wellness, Nature’s Variety, etc. I did that because Pure Balance didn’t offer much variety in their recipes. Now that they’re producing a new LID line in addition to their original grain free recipes, I’m going to forget the other products and stick with PB. They love it, and it’s a lot more economical for me. Whew.
It was funny, I have always thought my Golden was intolerant of fish. To make a long story short, it turns out that it was more a matter of timing. Each time he reacted, he was eating something that includes fish. I had been avoiding fish of any kind for him. I decided to do the Glacier Peaks Holistic alternative sensitivity assessment test and it said most fishes were OK. After a few weeks, I got brave, feed him a fish based food and he was fine. I couldn’t believe it. What I’ve determined is that he has environmental allergies (seasonal) and the supplements I mention have helped. His symptoms typically would present as an ear infection and itchiness. My Sam is young, he just turned three, so it took a couple of seasons for me to put together the timing of the onset of his “allergies.”
A couple of my dogs have food allergies to specific proteins. They’re symptoms included ear infections, excessive itchiness, a red rash on tummies and a bit of hair loss (most likely from butt rubbing). I tend to feed individual proteins so that I can see a problem fairly easily. If someone is suddenly becoming itchy, etc, I switch to a different protein. It generally solves the problem. One of them had what looked like a seasonal allergy, but cleared after switching the protein. It’s so difficult to tell sometimes, you do have to look at all of the symptoms and timing.
I should also add to my previous post that my dog also has known food sensitivities, in addition to his seasonal allergies, just not as many as I previously thought. 🙂
Evidence Update- Evidence-based Canine Allergy Treatment
I hope someone finds this article helpful 🙂
- This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Anonymous.
Here is my story on allergies. My dog suffered for 3 years being treated by antibiotics and otc allergen meds. Finally went to a specialist who told me that they only test for environmental allergies because food testing can be unreliable. She suggested my dog eat a food that they had, Rabbit and sweet potato, and stay away from everything else. This cost me $300.00 just for the food. Carolina still was at herself biting and itching. So I after 6 weeks I had them test her for the environment allergys, found she was allergic to birch tree pollen and dust mites, they wanted her to do allergy shots. In the mean time I came across a vet who does believe in testing for food allergies, brought Carolina up, cost $200.00 for the test. Lo and behold Carolina is allergic to pork, peas, sweet potatoes, and oats. Do you know how many good dog foods have pea flour or sweet potatoes, my dog never would have completely healed. She is none doing great. My suggestion to you all, insist that they do a food allergy test.PtcbassMember
My dog I just lost had horrible allergies. They were finally getting better after I switched her to Grandma Lucy’s Venison. Her face would get red and swollen, her paws red and sometimes she would break out in little bumps. During her bad break outs I would use aloe vera (natural from whole foods) and rub it on her face and all around her mouth. I would put coconut oil on the rest of her spots and sometimes I would use Vets Best Ear Relief. Unfortunately she did take benedryl every day. We tried Zyrtec but then we found out that with some when it is wearing off it can cause itching. Crazy that a allergy medicine can cause itching! Anyway best of luck with your pup. Oh and I sometimes used apple cider vinegar as a rinse after a bath.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Ptcbass.
I’m conscious of overloading you with loads of solutions but I’ve really found Pooch & Mutt’s Bionic Biotic to stop my dog’s scratching and biting paws altogether. It took about 4 weeks of sprinkling it on his normal food, 2 teaspoons a day.
They also have an offer on it now for 15% off that ends this week so I’ve been stocking up!
If it doesn’t work you can send the empty pack back and they give you a refund, so nothing to lose really!Cheri AMember
I got my dog last year and changed his diet to “good” food. I noticed he would get very bad rashes, oily, flakey skin and coat until I found American Natural Sensitive. No Rashes. I tried their Original formula thinking maybe his rash was environmental and the rashes came back. I’m going back to the sensitive and I hope it works. My heart breaks cause I can’t even pet him because of the reaction to the rash.
I have been reading about so much in the “allergy” of animals. Love my dog but I hate the Vets because they charge so much money. 14 pills are $135 and they won’t do allergy testing. I will Just have to keep trying different things and get more educated with forums like these. Thank youtheBCnutMember
There really isn’t a reliable allergy test for food issues. They all have both false positives and false negatives. The gold standard is the elimination diet.
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