My vet told me that my 2 year Great Dane has food sensitivities and prescribed us Z/D Hill’s Science Diet Prescription dog food. The dog food worked wonders, but it is $92/25 lbs which lasts 2 weeks. Has anyone had a similar issue with their dane? We have tried at least 5 other dog foods that are limited ingredient, no grain, single protein source etc. We have had no luck and the poor dog is scratching the back of his ears raw. We have also tried feeding him some coconut oil with his food and benedryl with no success. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. thanks!
If you have found a food that works, consider yourself lucky.
What you describe sounds like environmental allergies which have nothing to do with the diet.
Have you checked the search engine here? https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/search/allergies/
Consider making an appointment with a dermatologist:
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.
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.
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.
Hi, when you tried the 5 limited ingredient kibbles did you try kibbles with different proteins? I found Patch did really well when he ate a kibble that was just Fish & Rice, some grain free kibbles made him itch, smell bad & did very sloppy poos….. Patch has Food Sensitivities, Environment Allergies & IBD…..
Purina has their HA Hydrolyze kibble & the ingredients are similar to the Hills Z/D Ultra…Are you feeding the Hills Z/D Ultra with Starch as the first ingredient?? Purina HA Hydrolyzed is cheaper then the Hills Z/d.. Chewys has free delivery on Purina HA 25lb bag for $81 Auto delivery…you’d need your vet to write a veterinary Prescription…
Try a kibble with just Fish & Rice mix with the Hills Z/d add 1/4 cup per meal for 3-4 days & see if there’s any change…. also now he’s doing better on the Hills Z/d, now you start introducing 1 new food to the diet over 2-4 weeks & find out what foods he’s sensitive tooo…I was adding a new food at breakfast time & then I knew when Patch did his poos or if his ears started to itch & he was shaking his head, or had his red paws he couldn’t eat that ingredient… I found chicken gave him red paws & sloppy poo, barley, wheat & corn, makes him smell & have itchy ears & red paws, its taken me 3 years & I know what he can eat & cant eat…
Have you tried Canidae Pure Sea?? a lot of dogs with allergies do really well on the Pure Sea & you don’t need to feed as much kibble cause the Kcal per cup is 496, Canidae, Pure Sky has 520Kcals per cup & is money back guaranteed if your dog has any problems…
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