I have a 6 year old Great Dane. He is allergic to what seems like everything. He was finally allergy tested after chronic ear infections and has been on shots for the last year. The shots do not help as much as I’d hoped. He is allergic to white potato, sweet potato, flax, peas, corn, and soy. This has left us with few options. Even high quality kibble has at least one of those ingredients. We found a few that didn’t and had horrible results. We thought we were making progress with Big Dog Natural until his neck and ears went crazy. Come to find out they use potato as a binding agent. Next we tried Sojos original and added meat. We could not figure out why his ears swelled up like pork chops. They were even worse than with Big Dog. There seemed to be no listed ingredients he was allergic to. The only thing I could figure was it had pecans in it and he is allergic to pecan trees? Now I am making his food. I am lightly cooking meat, veges, oats, and egg with shell. His coat is dull, he is tired, and still itchy. His ears are not 100% but better. I can’t continue this. I know he’s not getting all the nutrition he needs out of my homemade food. I want to try raw. We’ve attempted it before but he has no interest in raw meats especially organs. I’m thinking of trying the Dinovite recipe. It seems to be a simple place to start but I’m afraid it’s also lacking. It’s only egg, shell, ground meat, rice and their supplements. Can anyone help with suggestions or experience with anything I’ve mentioned? I feel like I’m failing my dog and all I want to do is feed him. All opinions and advice will be respected and greatly appreciated. Sorry about the book. I just want to give as much info as possible so that one of you could possibly help us. I’m begging! Lol I feel like I’m going crazy.
Hi Amanda, I have just started a raw diet with 1 protein Kangaroo & 3-4 veggie/fruit.. I blend 1 broccoli head 5 celery sticks 1 apple & 1 banana all blended in a blender then I freeze 2 spoons portions & take out the night before I add 1-2 spoons with 1 cup Kangaroo….I’m not feeding any organ meats yet… its a elimination diet
have you joined the F/B group “Dog Allergy International group” look in the files at “Raw elimination diet” candida-yeast itchy smelly dog” … I’ve just started a raw diet thru a Naturopath & posted in the files what I used & did , Patches red paws itchy skin & hive like lumps all went away within 2-3 days on the Raw diet, I couldn’t believe it, 1 year going from kibble to kibble then it took just 2 days & all his skin started to clear up, no more red paws, I always thought it was from the grass his red paws ….also there’s limited ingredient foods in the files with just 3-4 ingredients are in the files … someone was asking about the Dinovite yesterday… have you tried tin sardines in spring water drained, they are high in omegas & his coat will start to come good again also a good medicated shampoo.. I use Malaseb medicated shampoo…. https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogallergyinternationalgroup/
Enzymes also help with dry flaky skin I add enzyme 1/2 capsule with the raw diet
My dog receives immunotherapy for allergies (2 years) and is doing very well. She has a sensitive stomach and does well on Nutrisca salmon and chickpea (no grains, no potato)
I never had her tested for food allergies, as the environmental allergies were the most prominent. As they are under control I find she can tolerate more variety of foods.
I would continue to communicate with the specialist that is treating him, maybe the solution and regimen need tweaking?
Thank you guys for the response. Yes L M. We will be visiting our vet soon. My only issue with our vet is the reccomended prescription diet. It is not good food. Thank you so much Susan! I found the group and wow! Where have they been all my life! Lol I’m hoping this is the start of me figuring this out. We do feed sardines and salmon at least twice a week and I’m adding fish oil to his homemade food. Something just isn’t right. He’s always been so high energy and since I’ve started making his food he’s tired and again that dull coat. I also feel like he could use a few good pounds. Maybe I’m not feeding enough but everywhere I looked said for an active dog his size 3lbs of fresh food a day. I tip the scale a little over that. Thank you again for your help. I was really excited to find that group 🙂
Hi Amanda G:
Environmental, food sensitivities or allergies, and an unbalanced diet can all contribute to the symptoms your dog is plagued with. I would also look for a Veterinary nutritionist to help formulate a balanced homemade diet. Most will do phone consultations with your regular Vet if you are unable to find one local. Most Veterinary schools provide nutritional consultation services too. Good luck!
Here is a site with info on homemade diets:
My yeasty dog finally had clear ears & no paw licking once he went on raw.
My shih-tzu constantly licks her paws and she has frequently recurring yeast infections in her ears. I was so excited to try Dinovite, but after three months of daily use, as well as using the omega oil supplement Lick-o-Chops, she is still licking and still getting the infections. It is absolutely not worth the money in my opinion. They have done a great job at marketing, but it has made no difference whatsoever. Save you money.
If you don’t remove the offending ingredients, regardless of what supplements you add to your dog’s diet, the reaction isn’t going to stop. Also, keep in mind that sensitivities can also be environmental.
What are you feeding your dog? What treats & supplements does she get?
She eats Blue Buffalo Wilderness for small dogs and their cookie treats, and some beef jerky treats, so she is grain-free. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. These ear infections just keep coming back…..the vet puts her on Mometamax ointment, which takes care of it in the short-term, but it comes back within a month of stopping the ointment. Poor thing is constantly itching her ears and licking her feet, which are quite red most of the time. Has anyone ever tried coconut oil on their feet for the irritation? I really wish I could get to the source of the problem. My vet thinks food is not an issue, and I completely disagree with him, but don’t know what else to do.
does your vet think that it could be environmental? i thought for a long time that my dog was allergic to chicken because of him constantly licking his feet. came to find out he A) had a yeast infection under his nails and B) my vet felt it was most likely environmental. possibly grass and pollen. ive been trying to get better about wiping his feet off when he comes in from outside and we did a anti-fungal shampoo soak and meds for the yeast infection. he licks still but its not NEARLY as much as before and he eats whatever protein source he wants including chicken.
i would suggest switching the food and the treats and finding a food that is completely devoid of the same ingredients that are in the BB Wilderness and the treats. If you notice a change then it i’d say its the food, if not talk to your vet about the possiblity of an environmental allergy. those are far more common than food allergies.
also I would check into the recent problems Blue has been having and decide for yourself if you still want to support them as a company. you can find the info on google about the outcome of their lawsuit.
Have you ever tried a limited ingredient food, Karen? I’m not a fan of Blue Buffalo at all and guaranteed, your girl is eating chicken if she’s eating Blue Buffalo products. But, keep in mind, food sensitivities like your girl has can be the result of exposure to problem ingredients far beyond chicken and grains. For example, one of mine can’t have fish (including fish oil), flax, chickpeas, lentil, tomato, garlic, barley or millet. Right now, he’s eating Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Duck. He’s doing well, but has recently developed what appear to be seasonal allergies – which yours could be as well. I’m using some supplements (Quercetin with Bromelain and Papain), but something as simple as a foot rinse each time he comes back in from outside helps eliminate the pollen that he tracks into the house.
How old is your pup and how long has she been having sensitivities? How long has she been eating the food she’s eating currently.
Even if the vet thinks it’s not the food, it’s worth a try and easy enough to change.
@karen You said in your first post that your dog was on shots. I assumed that you meant ASIT (Allergen-specific Immunotherapy).
If not, I suggest that you see a specialist/dermatologist for skin testing, that is the only thing that identified the problem for my dog. Most environmental allergens are airborne, impossible to avoid.
Click on my screen name, replies created, to see my posts regarding environmental allergies.
Give the guys at Allprovide (www.allprovide.com) a call (678-585-1606) – they had a dog with horrendous skin/yeast issues and switching to a raw diet saved her life. They’re always happy to talk about canine health issues and advise about diet and possible causes of problems. Their food has supplements in it such as coconut oil, salmon oil, turmeric etc all of which are good for coat and skin issues.
I didn’t see that Karen mentioned shots, LM. Was that in another thread or something?
Karen, I would suggest adding the coconut oil, but would offer it with meals by mouth rather than topically.
Also, shouldn’t you be pointing out that you’re one of the owners of the company when you post, MaggiesDad? Each time I see one of your posts, the way it’s written appears as though you’re a consumer. That seems a little misleading (not to mention spamming).
I looked at the Allprovide product once, unfortunately, it has added fish oils and other ingredients to which my sensitive dog reacts.
@karen, Maybe I have you mixed up with someone else (regarding the shots), anyway it seems like so many pet owners have an aversion to going to a specialist. I don’t understand it, you can end up spending much more money on all kinds of stuff that doesn’t work.
Best of luck
PS: Okay, I see what happened, the first OP in this thread said her dog was on shots.
Sorry, had no intention to mislead, although reading back I can see what you mean DogFoodie! Am not in the office at present which is why I posted as above… Still, we are ALWAYS happy to talk dog health with anyone, whether they are a customer or not, as we only ever want what is best for our dogs – have been in this business far too long not to appreciate that what we do isn’t for everyone – but we have always been about trying to educate people about what they feed after changing diet saved our dog’s life (our previous lack of knowledge and that of our vet caused Maggie to lose an ear not to mention costing us $$$$!).
Thanks for the information about Blue, I had no idea about their problems. Phoebe is 9 and has had the sensitivities for about 3 years and it seemed to coincide with a move to Michigan from Nebraska. She had one bout of it in Nebraska, but since moving to Michigan three years ago, the problem is almost constant. It’s entirely possible that it’s environmental. Also, I was not aware that chicken could be a problem for allergic dogs? Is it better for them to eat fish? What about beef? Thanks all for the help.
I’ve found through chatting to hundreds of dog owners over the years that many dogs have allergy issues with chicken first of all, closely followed by beef. The reason seems to be that over feeding one protein for a long period of time (some people make the mistake of always just feeding one food because their dog likes it) can cause the body to just suddenly decide it won’t deal with it any more, giving rise to numerous problems and allergic reactions. If this is likely to be the case, a break of a few months is advised before trying that protein again but be aware that it can only take one meal to cause the problems to reoccur, and months to rid the system of those problems! You should also note that just because a reaction has occurred feeding a dried chicken based kibble (for example) does NOT necessarily mean that the dog has an issue with raw chicken – just as an allergy to beef does not always mean that ALL beef is a problem – it may still be possible to feed beef offal for example without any issues. It can be very confusing and frustrating to get to the bottom of such issues, and it may be that the advise of a nutritionist is required as well as an elimination diet for a few months.
One of my girls had severe ear and head scratching along with yeasty ears that were hard to clear up when she ate BB products (Wilderness and Basics) that contained tapioca starch. Their Freedom line use to be tapioca free, but last year they quietly changed the formula and added tapioca starch to it. Within a couple of weeks of eating the new formula, her ear problems started back with a vengeance and then cleared up, with no medication, after getting her off BB.
The BB food could be the source of your problems also. You may want to change to a brand of food that does not contain any tapioca to see if it helps.
Nutrisca salmon and chickpea is grain free, no potato, no tapioca
“Nutrisca is a high protein, natural dog food with added vitamins and minerals. It’s formulated without grains, potatoes or tapioca starch to align with a dog’s natural diet. Made with antioxidant-rich ingredients such as blueberries, carrots, cranberries and apricots, this recipe has all of the good stuff and none of the bad stuff. Give your dog something to look forward to at meal time”!
CockalierMom: I see that BB added tapioca….how sneaky. Thanks for the guidance!
LM: Looks good, I’ll give it a try. Thanks!
Oops…..did you see about Nutrisca’s recall because of Salmonella? Anyone every try Zignature?
“Oops…..did you see about Nutrisca’s recall because of Salmonella”?
Yes, I did. It didn’t concern me, as a nurse I know that all dog foods containing chicken are vulnerable. Only the chicken kibble was involved.
I avoid all kibble that contains chicken, that’s why I suggested the salmon and chickpea.
Nutrisca is a dogswell brand, they’ve had their share of QC issues so i’d avoid. I know a few people who love Zignature, haven’t used it myself
Nutrisca salmon and chickpea is the only kibble my dog with environmental allergies doesn’t vomit up after eating. Her dermatologist agrees it is a good food for her, limited ingredients.
So, I wouldn’t avoid it, my dog loves it and is thriving! She’s been on it for over 2 years, 50% homemade 50% kibble.
I’ve never heard of Zignature, is that one of those boutique foods?
PS: Oh wait, I think I’ve seen Zignature at Especially for Pets, in the high end dog food section, I have never checked it out though.
wouldn’t hurt to add a little coconut oil to the dog’s diet as well as topically. Will soothe the feet and ears if nothing else. One of my cats is prone to yeasty ear infections and once I started putting a dab of oil in her ears each day she’s a lot better. Antifungal properties could help keep it at bay at least, while you’re working out the allergy issue.
This is so confusing….the more research I do, the less I know what to feed my itchy baby. Salmon has mercury, chicken causes allergies, menhaden fish meal can be very low quality in protein by the time it reaches the dog food factories, and on and on. Anyone tried the raw diets? They make me nervous because there have been some issues with bacteria related illness, but at least the food is whole. She is so used to having some cooked chicken with her kibble, I can’t imagine that she would eat any kibble by itself. Thanks to all for your help!
Many people on this site feed raw. Check out the raw forum here, you’ll find good info and a lot of support. Some say their pet’s problems cleared up completely once they were on a raw diet.
“This is so confusing….the more research I do, the less I know what to feed my itchy baby”.
IMO, you are over thinking it. Just find a limited ingredient food that agrees with her, keep it simple. And make an appointment with a dermatologist….that is what I would do.
Food and supplements are not cures, chronic conditions need the expertise of a specialist.
Especially a senior dog (over 7 years old).
If you decide to go homeopathic, that’s an option too. But, chronic conditions are not DIY projects. Find a homeopathic veterinarian in your area, many of them do phone consults. http://theavh.org/
PS: I hope I am not annoying anyone, I’ll step out now.
Find a fish kibble with just one carb, I always pick brown rice as potatoes peas etc are too starchy & can cause yeast… if she is use to a topper on her kibble put some tin salmon or sardines or pick a novel protein meat that she has never eaten before to add with her kibble….remember less is best especially in the beginning, I’d stick with a raw diet as it has no carbs you watch her skin & itch all clear up on raw… 1 novel protein Rabbit Kangaroo etc Lew Olson has a F/B group called K9 Nutrition & can help with the raw diet…
You’ve been a huge help…..not annoying at all!! Thanks so much, it’s helping me get this all figured out!
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