So I have a Staffy who is almost 18 months. She has already been allergy tested, and on a scale of 0-4 scored a 2 on numerous things, different types of grasses/weeds, dust and so on, with yeast also registering. We have also done a food trial prior to intradermal testing with Royal Canin HP and her itching really never got better on it. The main issue is she scratches herself bloody. Her neck, under her arms, her face. It’s a sin. We use Temaril-P when needed and it does help, have tried Atopica which didn’t work at all, have tried a new medication called Apoquel that didn’t work at all. Usually when she’s extremely bad(she was at the vet Tuesday, she sees a dermatologist at UPenn), she comes back positive for a yeast infection on her skin. She also started immunotherapy 5 months ago.
The worst of foods(on a relative scale) she has eaten would be Taste of the Wild as a puppy, and when the itching started around 4 months, we have tried, all for nearly 2 month periods, Earthborn, Acana, Nature’s Variety LID and now back to Earthborn since it doesn’t seem to matter.
Where am I going with all of this? Before I fully delve into trying a raw or cooked diet and seeing if it helps, should I just try the lowest carbohydrate food I can find to try and cut down on the yeast issues? If this doesn’t work, I am going either raw, freeze dried or cooked at the end of May. I was going to try Brothers Complete Allergy Formula but I’ve read it’s fairly high in carbs. Would I be better going with something that is 25% or so carbohydrates based on this site’s calorie weighted analysis, perhaps Orijen or Nature’s Variety Raw Boost, or something else?
We’ve tried so much…supplements, oils, she gets Phytovet CK baths 2-3x a week, and it doesn’t improve unless she’s on Temaril and we obviously don’t want that, but when she’s bleeding and will scratch herself for minutes straight unless you stop her, you have no choice.
Any ideas welcome, especially food related. Thanks all, love the site, been lurkin forever.
Hi Andrew, I too have a staffy with Cannie Atopy Demtosis, first as soon as u see her start to scratch stop her, as soon as Patch goes to scratch I say ‘no scratch’ & go & get his cream & apply where’s itchy also I bath him every 5 days in Malasab medicated shampoo, this is excellent, my boy also gets the yeast itchy ears when he has certin tin foods, ur dog needs a diet the she has never tried before eg..duck, kangaroo,venision,etc they say a hydrolized kibble.. Royal canin has the Hypoallergenic or Sensitive Control, The Hypoallergenic was OK with Patches itch BUT not with his red swollen paws that he’d get after some walks, In the end my boy was put on Eukanuba Intestinal this has cleared his skin cleared his paws as long as its not raining & he doesnt get his feet too wet, no more red swollen feet, but its a vet prescription & yes it has corn, but it seems to work for Patch.. People believe in the raw diet but my boy also has irritable bowel as well & vet said no to the raw as there’s to much bacteria…U’ll have to just keep trying different foods & start looking at the ingredients, & remembering what u’ve tried.. I write it all down.. Patch has a diary.. start to look for kibbles that dont have certain ingredients thats what Ive been doing, Like the carbs.. I was told potatoes are a NO NO. Most of these natural diets have the Patotes, Ive just Introduce the Nutro Natural Choice I think in America its the LID, Im in Australia, this so far has been Good, it has grounded rice, no potatoes or corn Poos are excellent he hasnt started the itching YET & has ears are good but its only been 2 weeks & Im still giving some of the Eukanuba Intestinal kibble with the Nutro, Eukanuba has the Dermatosis FP have you ever tried that I tried it but my boy got the runs from it cause of his IBD…. she may not have a real bad food allergy, it may be more the Pollens & grasses that affect her skin, Google ‘Cannie Atopy’ it will give you the 5 main things that cause skin allergies…but what may work for my dog wont work for ur girl… OH have u tried Antihistamine Tablets that humans take for allergies..My vet gave me a list that I can buy from my chemist when Patch gets the swollen lumps on his body again but so far he hasnt gotten them back this yr.. U’d be into spring now the worst time..Good LuckTMember
Itchy skin/atopy/food allergy/food sensitivity is rarely an isolated problem. It is often a symptom of a deeper health issue. Many things can predispose an animal to be more inflamed and react to foods, pollens, etc. In my experience, it is not usually as simple as giving an animal a “prescription hypoallergenic” diet. If only it were!
You should consider environmental toxins (including materials the toys/beds, etc. are made of), over-vaccination, stress, sleep, and so many other things that can contribute to irritating the body systems. Do this in addition to simplifying the diet, using fresh/minimally processed foods, avoiding inflammatory foods (especially GMO grains, maybe all grains), and supporting gut health (probiotic, glutamine, digestive enzymes, etc.). It’s a big puzzle you have to work on one piece at a time.
I’m a holistic veterinarian in Phoenix and I have a blog here: http://naturalalternativesvet.com/category/blog
Good luck! I know it can be really challenging, but you CAN make positive changes. Don’t give up!
I own a natural/holistic pet food store, and the best results we have had for yeast problems was a combination of Canine Caviar dog food and N’zymes supplement. N’zymes is available either as a treat or sprouted granules which are added to the pet’s food.Lisa DMember
I cook my Yorkie’s food everyday. For breakfast it is a combo of scrambled egg with low carb vegies like green beans, cauliflower, bean sprouts, kale, celery……whatever is in the frig. For dinner it is some sort of fish…canned salmon, sometimes fresh salmon, tilipia and again with a low carb vegie medley. I used to feed him carrots, sweet potatoes but now I am buying into the NO SUGAR. I bathe him in the Malapet shampoo which does not require a doctors prescription. I spray him with white vinegar mixed with water, rinse him in it and I try to stay away from ACV because I think it might have a sugar property. Next I am researching for his immune system. Best of luck to you!Nancy AMember
Hello, We have a mini long-haired Doxie mix (with what, we wish we knew!), who also scratched himself silly. We learned from the doggie dermatologist that food allergies rarely respond to steroids (the “P” in Temaril-P is prednisone). His scratching did not respond to steroids, which indicated a food allergy. His food had just about every common allergen (see article on this site regarding allergies). We switched him to a buffalo-based canned food (he hated it) because it was unlikely he had been exposed to that protein (he has a tender tummy and many of the novel proteins and hypoallergenic foods are higher in fat). It took about 2 weeks, but his licking stopped and he was cone free! After 6 months we were told we could add one of the proteins contained in his previous food. Because he loves, loves, loves chicken, I poured some homemade chicken broth on this food. Within about 24 hours, he was attacking his body again. He is now on an all-beef diet, which is hard to find because it seems like there is some kind of chicken in every food or it is too high in fat… sigh.
If you find that it is a food allergy–and you can figure out the offending ingredient–you may want to consider a product called BalanceIT. BalanceIT was designed by a vet (formerly on the UC Davis faculty) and products include supplements for making homemade food as well as a product that you simply add to meat if you want to make homemade food. I understand from our vets, as well as a recent peer-reviewed study, that it is extremely risky to make food for your dog without the proper supplementation:
With vigilance and a good plan to rule out problems, you will figure it out. Hope this helps. Good luck.Amy BMember
I’m finding this thread quite interesting. My 2.5 year old Maltese x Pomeranian has been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. He is allergic to fleas, dust mites and has food allergies. We still haven’t gotten the food part down pat yet and are a bit unsure what to do.
When he was younger he used to be on kangaroo mince and veggies, or beef and veggies. He seemed to be allergic to these so the vet suggested we put him on a novel protein of goat and sweet potato. He was doing well on this diet until the goat was costing us $80 per 3 weeks!
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we should put him on?
Lisa D I also heard from a pet store employee that fish is good for them. Could you explain to me more how long your dog has been on this diet for? And also why you spray him with white vinegar?
I was told to purchase fish mince from BARF dog Big Dog pet food range (all natural) but I saw it contained fine chicken bones (only after I purchased it) but I wanted to see how he would go on dry food as well. Has anyone had any positive experiences with sensitive skin dry food products?
PS. I’m from Australia
Thanks in advance! 🙂
Hi Amy, where in Australia are you from, I live Newcastle, I few friends from the dog park have had great success with the “Holistic Select” Adult Health Anchovy Sardines & Salmon meal kibble, sold at Pet Barn or Pet Stock also sold there is the Malaseb medicated shampoo this kills any bacteria in their skin & has helped my boy its excellent vet told me to bath every 5-7days as soon as they start to scratch you leave on as long as you can about 10mins then rinse off & stay away from high carbs like Potato sweet potatos etc….Vincent CMember
Everything people are saying sounds so familiar. I definitely agree with what Susan said about trying different meats (kangaroo, venizen, etc), special shampoos (I found MalaPET to work better for me than Malaseb – perhaps due to the ketoconazole), and avoiding foods with potato ingredients. Rabbit meat (Nature’s Variety Instinct Rabbit Meal) really seems to have made a difference for my dog, but there are still bad days. My next step is to try a raw food diet or at least home made diet at some point if things get worse.
The only other thing I will add is that acidophilus probiotic also seems to help — but it’s really hard to measure the effect.
There’s this new Face Book group that has just started as there’s no Dog Allergy groups on Face Book, if anyone wants to join that needs help or has had experience with a dog with Skin, Food, Environment, allergies or intolerances, please join.. its called “Dog Allergy International group” https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogallergyinternationalgroup/InkedMarieMember
There is another group on fb. I typed Dog allergy group into the search and the one Susan posted came up along with another.Emer CMember
I’m loving this resource. I combated my pugs skin for over 2yrs with buffalo Taste of the Wild but noticed a decline since last summer with her itching. There’s nothing visible on her skin (no redness, rash etc) but she will suddenly burst into scratching like she has been stung.She’d always scratch a little over summer but flea doses and mite sprays controlled that.
Her ears have been an issue for a year and a half too and both came to a head before Christmas. Also she couldn’t eat her new bag of Taste of the Wild so had to change. They replaced the bag no problem. Because I this I bought a bag locally and highly recommended for sensitive dogs (Wafcol) no real change so went back to Taste of the Wild after 2 months (because I had a new bag sitting there). Oh dear, things exploded. Itch went insane, brown junk pouring from her ears, eyes gummy. Poor thing but I was definite then it was food. Retried homeopathy with a cooked mix of sweet potato, carrots, peas and coconut oil. Within 4 days ears had dried, still some itching but wonder is that habit as urgency is gone.
My problem is…… I can’t give her a protein source 🙁 Lamb set of the itching, chicken was thrown back up, salmon does seem to increase itching too. Have tried some egg but don’t think too many would be a good idea. I’m a bit lost where to go long term 🙁 But for now, even my vet agrees to just stick to the veg. Any thoughts or advice greatly appreciated.
Wysong has a vegan food, Evanger’s has a vegetarian canned food.
Has your dog had the skin testing to identify environmental allergies? In my experience environmental allergies are much more common that food allergies.
People often refer to food sensitivities as allergies.
If your dog was allergic, for example, to microscopic dust mites (common allergen) she would be scratching and uncomfortable no matter what you fed her.
I would consider taking her to a specialist/dermatologist, if you haven’t already.
My dog is doing well, she receives immunotherapy, she now eats a variety of foods with Nutrisca (fish) as a base.Vincent CMember
Can u answer a few questions about the immunotherapy? Was your dog analyzed as allergic to dust mites? what level? did any other allergens show up? My dog is at level 2 out of 4 for dust mites, and also level 2 for mold and maple trees.
I’m considering immunotherapy but our house was analyzed for mold and it’s safe. And I read that dust mites can’t survive unless the humidity is 40% or higher — our house has a humidity of 20% – 25% usually. So I’m skeptical those two items are the problem.
How long did it take before you started seeing improvement with the immunotherapy?
My dog’s skin test showed allergies to a variety of grasses/weeds/trees, wool, Cockroach, American (specialist explained this doesn’t mean you have roaches) this stuff is dander, waste of all living things, it is everywhere, in the air, dirt, she scored a 3 for this one, plus the wool and one of the trees.
Three 3s. The other 13 were 2’s
The scratching, skin irritations, stomach upset, 2 ear infections, red rashes, 2 prednisone trials went on for a year before I took her for testing. I never had the blood test that identifies food allergies done. A lot of the allergens are airborne….impossible to avoid.
I tried an air purifier, dehumidifier….useless and noisy.
The link I provided (previous post) to Dog Allergy Central explains immunotherapy in detail.
I noticed a little improvement right away, it will be 2 years now, she’s sees the specialist once a year. She is much improved. She still scratches occasionally, but not that crazy, intense stuff.
The specialist I went to doesn’t even recommend the skin test unless the symptoms have been going on for 1 year/4 seasons without any periods of significant relief.
Helpful article below:
By Klaus Loft, DVM
Angell Dermatology Service
Anyone who suffers debilitating environmental allergies tied to changing seasons, pet dander or household dust mites knows first-hand the misery of a scratchy throat, itchy eyes or painful rashes.
Not everyone knows, however, that our pets can experience similar allergic reactions — and other very bothersome dermatological issues. But our pets need not suffer in silence. Modern veterinary science has evolved such that advanced, comprehensive treatments are now available to treat a range of skin conditions.
Top pet dermatological issues
Our four-legged friends suffer from some of the same skin issues as we do — and several that we do not. The most common conditions we see at Angell include:
•Parasites, such as mites, fleas and mange (scabies)
•Infectious diseases, such as Staphylococcal pyoderma (“Staph”) skin infections, yeast and fungal infections and skin fold infections
•Systemic diseases, such as autoimmune diseases
•Skin cancer, such as Squamous cell carcinoma, cutaneous lymphoma, Mast cell tumors
•Allergies, such as flea allergy dermatitis, adverse food reactions, environmental allergies, etc.
All of these conditions can become serious and, if untreated, dramatically reduce quality of life. But the tremendous strides made in veterinary innovation, however, is very good news for our pets. Specifically, the testing and treatments for allergies now rivals human healthcare in its sophistication, quality of care and long-term health outcomes.
‘Doc, it itches when I do this!’
Unlike humans, dogs and cats cannot tell us about their dermatological health issues. So we as pet owners must look for the signs. The most common indicators that a pet is suffering from some kind of allergy involve frequent episodes of ear infections, red raised or open sores on the skin, constant licking or biting of paws or groin — sometimes causing wounds that will not go away.
Allergies present a particular challenge because there can be hundreds (even thousands) of potential allergens that impact pet health, from foods to pollen from grasses, weeds, trees, dust mites and more. Today’s specialty veterinary hospitals have access to the very latest diagnostic tests to get to the bottom of what’s ailing our pet. Among these tests is the Intra Dermal Test (IDT).
IDT is generally considered the gold standard of testing for identifying allergens that cause pets to suffer from chronic skin and/or ear diseases. IDT involves injections of a series of concentrated allergens into the skin to determine which of them generate allergic reactions in a given animal. The use of fluorescein — a chemical that illuminates the inflammation caused by the injected allergens in order to visualize the strength of individual reactions — is key to accurately diagnosing pet allergies, and is just one of the many ways veterinarians use new technologies to improve care and diagnostics.
The results of IDT (as well as a review of the pet’s medical history) can then inform comprehensive immunotherapy treatments to relieve suffering. Veterinary dermatologists rely on IDT to build customized treatment plans for patients called Allergen Specific Immuno Therapy or “ASIT” for short.
ASIT involves a series of injections specifically created for the allergic animal’s skin. These injections, of diluted allergens, are designed to make a pet less sensitive to their allergens over time. In most cases these injections must be continued for life to reduce symptoms, but they are highly effective. Seventy to 90 percent of pets experience a reduction in symptoms as a result of ASIT treatment. These treatments can be delivered even more easily via droplets under the tongue, perfect for pet owners who are squeamish about giving injections to their pet.
Dog is prepared for Intra Dermal Testing
This treatment is very new to the North American field of medicine (both human and veterinary) and underscores just how far innovation in veterinary medicine has come.
When it’s time to see the vet
Many pet owners are understandably concerned about taking their animals to the veterinarian because the cost (to say nothing of the fear some animals experience when going do the doctor) may outweigh any perceived reduction in suffering. To help pet owners know when it’s time to bring Fido to the doctor I’ve compiled my “Top Ten” list of dermatological symptoms that should never be ignored:
•Intense itching of the skin (head shaking, running the face into the carpet, furniture, etc.)
•Biting at the skin that creates red, raw crusting areas of the skin
•Multiple ear infections (head shaking, odor from ears, scratching at the ears with hind legs)
•Paw licking or chewing and frequent infections of the skin in the webbed skin of the paws
•Staining of the fur of the paws and nails on multiple feet
•Reoccurring skin infections in the groin, under the shoulders, perianal areas (on or under the tail)
•Greasy scaling skin and/or fur with odorous skin
•Hair loss, or thinning of the fur
•Dark pigmentation of the skin that is chronically infected
•Sudden depigmentation of skin
Allergies and other dermatological issues can be as frustrating for pet owners and their veterinarians as they can be for pets. I encourage any pet owner whose animal is experiencing any of these symptoms to consult with their veterinarian.
She had a 2 for tyrophagus putrescentiae.
Commonly referred to as the mold mite, tyrophagus putrescentiae is a grain storage mite. Increased moisture and humidity are the perfect environment for storage mites to develop. Colonization of the storage mite generally goes unnoticed until your dog or cat develops symptoms. Such mites are often found in dry kibble dog and cat foods as well as boxed pet treats.
L M, My Patch has been getting a real sore throat started in Spring last October (I live Australia) vet thought it was an ingredient from a new food I had tried cause this sore throat happened 3 days after introducing the new kibble, he then got his sore throat & making his weird swallowing noise like when you have a sore throat when its hard to swallow noise, I asked Patch is it sore & felt around his throat & he licked me when he licks me that means yes he even gets real excited if I say is here sore & licks & licks me so his throat is real sore…
He has his sore throat again started after I gave him some of his vet diet kibble for breakfast he hasn’t eaten his vet diet since he was real sick from the Metronidazole now Im thinking it the turkey his vet diet has Chicken & turkey in it I’m thinking he’s Allergic to turkey cause all 4 times he has had this sore throat he has either eaten a kibble with turkey or I had him on turkey breast mince for 10 days after he had a bad reaction the Metronidazole… Can dogs get a swollen sore throat from certain foods I know humans do from peanuts also could it be an environment thing & its happen aswell..
I’ve googled Dog with a sore throat last year when this first happened & EOE & EGID Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders came up….
When Patch had an Endoscope done last December I printed out the info on EGID so vet could look real good down patches oesophagus as there would be virticle lines or rings around the oesophagus, the vet said he doesn’t have EGID after the Endoscope was finished but he has all the symptoms…. We kept thinking that his acid reflux has burnt his throat but now I’m thinking its a reaction either to turkey or from the environment…I was going to do the Jean Dobbs Salvia testing for food intolerances & sensitivities I know that Blood testing isn’t 100% but after visiting the Jean Dobbs Nutri-Scan site I’m starting to think it may be OK…
if turkey does come up & potatoes & foods that I know he has intolerances tooo then I’ll know that her Salvia testing is correct I’m just sick of guessing & doing elimination diets especially with his IBD its not worth him having a flare… what are you thoughts… skin testing is around $2000 I think that includes the follow up injections as well not sure I know the Dermatoligist is dear to see
I don’t know. I am not a veterinarian. All I know is that when my dogs allergy issues were not resolved by a few visits to the regular vet, I decided to take my dog to a specialist.
The initial testing was a few bucks (much less than what you quoted), cost differs depending on location.
I was pleased with the results. We only see the specialist once a year. I have found it to be cost effective. Maintenance costs are reasonable.
There are a variety of tests, the specialist can determine what would be recommended for an individual dog after examining him and learning his history, and then prescribe treatment based on the results.
Hi L M Proper skin testing where they shave the dogs hair either on their side or back & prick about 20 little holes then insert the allergens doesn’t cost a few bucks even in America its very expensive, this is the only proper testing for environment allergies as blood test will give false positives…I though your dog had a proper skin testing done.. Some Dermatologist will guess what is wrong with our dog & come up lucky that probably only cost a couple of hundred dollars to see the Dermatologist as they are dearer then a vet visits…I thought you may have known about environment & food allergies…
That is your opinion.
I had a positive experience from taking my dog to a specialist/dermatologist and finally got some results.
I did not get positive results the year I went back and forth to the regular vet, and tried many different dog foods, I felt I wasted time and money.
Seeing a specialist is an option, just as seeing a homeopath is another option. It is up to each individual pet owner to decide what avenues to explore.
Regarding the expense, I am on a fixed income. I gave up cable.
You’re a smart dog owner, LM!
This is the best test for environment allergies its done at a animal Dermatologist its called Intradermal Skin Testing it gives 100% correct results as blood testing can give false positives… Its safe, its pain free & easy they do this testing on humans horses etc
There’s a really good group on Face Book called “Dog Allergy International group” that has just started & has information on dog Environment allergies & food intolerances & sensitivities, limited ingredient foods to start your dog on while you work out what your next step is… https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogallergyinternationalgroup/
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