I have 2 english goldens. (Cream) there bellys have red spots on them and then they like it and it gets worse. Not fleas. Vet (4 of them) say allergies. They take appoquil and if they get it every day it goes away. But the pills are pricey. Any recommendations? They have been on diamond lamb and rice. Tried grain free and same thing. Now switching to American Natural Premium legume free Turkey with pumpkin.
Consult a veterinary dermatologist for the best testing and treatment options.
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.
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