Recently took our 1 year old to the vet for an underarm rash. They gave her antibiotics and allergen pills for 2 weeks but did not identify the problem. The vet does not believe it is diet related, however she recommended we start feeding her 75% from one source and get a nutrition consult from Tufts. I feed both my dogs a combination of commercial raw (30%) homemade raw (50%) and a small amount of Orijen kibble (15%) plus raw meaty bones 1x per week. The raw is a variety of chicken, beef, duck and turkey. I did a lot of research working up to their current diet and am confused with the varying opinions out there, and now worried about the balanced nutrition. They are both energetic, glowing, and their stools are consistently as they should be. My concern with Tufts is they don’t seem to advocate raw diets and I don’t want to switch them to that much kibble. I can feed both dogs different proteins at every meal, and different brands, and they have no problems I believe because it is all high quality food. I am looking for some dialogue here from a knowledgeable raw feeder to get an opinion on my approach.
As a follow up, I feed Darwin’s and Nature’s Variety raw and Orijen 6 Fish kibble. I usually add cottage cheese or yogurt to the kibble meals. My homemade consists of 65% meat, 10% organ, 5% liver, 15% pumpkin or sweet potato, 5% veggie pulp from my juicer, plus eggs. I add a half teaspoon eggshell per each pound of meat and some fish oil and vitamin e. RMBs consist of chicken backs, turkey or duck necks. My homemade is chicken and beef, beef I can get more variety of organs. Sometimes I use a pre-mix (Sojos grain free) if I don’t have time for the veggie pulp. I usually give 1 or 2 small dried beef trachea during the week too, not too many other treats.
Hi Kristin C-
I am not a knowledgeable raw feeder by any means. However, it sounds like you are doing an amazing job! I can’t even imagine the work you put in to feeding your lucky dog! I was wondering how long your dog has been on the meds and if there has been any improvement? It seems a little early to stop what you are doing and change things up to do a nutrition consult. The rash at this point could be anything. It could be something from the grass that she came in contact with. Or, even a reaction to a new laundry soap or something. Hopefully, the problem goes away and doesn’t reoccur. If it turns in to an ongoing issue, then I think maybe a diet change should be something to think about to try and pinpoint the offending ingredient. Of course, your vet most definitely knows A LOT more than me. Good luck and keep up the good work with your pup!
Hi Kristen. My dog Katie (5 year old Maltipoo) used to get underarm rash also, sometimes it would look more like a grayish area also. It went away after a couple of weeks when I put her on raw diet eliminating all grains, soy, corn, white potatoes and most especially chicken, turkey, duck, quail. In other words all fowl was removed from her diet. She and my other two dogs have been on raw food diet for a little over two years. Katie has never gotten the underarm rash again. IMHO your vet is mistaken. It is the diet. I would definitely NOT spend the money on any nutritionist that does not believe in raw feeding. I figured all this out with Katie through years of trial and error. I would take away any and all grains and definitely switch out all poultry for a couple of weeks and see what happens. Never give antibiotics for allergies or an undiagnosed issue. Most traditional vets in my experience are very quick to hand out antibiotics. The only reason I would go along with giving any of my dogs antibiotics is if it was a true diagnosed issue that was an infection that needed antibiotics and that the antibiotic was specific for whatever the infection was. That was a really bad call on the part of your vet.
C4C. I think if it was laundry detergent or something on the lawn or on the property it would not be just an underarm rash, it would be on the paws, belly and other areas, don’t you think? Anyway, it’s just my opinion for whatever it’s worth.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Dori.
I don’t really know for sure. I just wanted to bump up her post and let her know I thought she was doing a great job. Also, thought it was very weird to administer antibiotics for a rash. A lot of times antibiotics can cause rashes! Thank you, Dori, for helping her out. My post worked!
Thanks to you too C4C. Your post did work. 😉
Even if antibiotic doesn’t cause a rash (sometimes yes, sometimes no), why on earth would a vet administer antibiotics without know what the problem is. Arrrrrrrrrrgh……antibiotics just like vaccines! Drives me nuts that vets and medical doctors think that they are a cure all for what ails you or your pets. Just adds to the problems we all have and makes them worse. 🙂
Thanks for responding! She went on the meds last night after watching the rash ourselves for 2 weeks. At first we thought it was from the harness we left on her one weekend we went camping. There is some hair loss and grayish discoloration. At this point it’s definitely not worse, it’s better than when I first noticed it but took her to the vet because it’s not going away entirely. She has one hot spot on her back leg. I have added some additional fish oil plus coconut oil to her food at this point but not going to do anything else right now, not even the consult. Thanks for the input on that.
Dori-thanks for the info on your dog. I will keep that in mind if this rash goes away and then comes back. Guess I was just wondering if I am doing too much variety, the vet seemed to think so.
I’m not a fan of the medical community myself. I actually like our vet but was irritated she didn’t do any troubleshooting on this rash. Since my husband took her to the appointment I am letting him take the lead. I actually wonder if it was a harness rash she scratched, ran through all the woods at our house and got some bug in her system. She’s a very sensitive dog.
Perhaps this can help you understand why a vet may choose to put a dog with an unknown skin eruption/rash on antibiotics. http://www.cliniciansbrief.com/sites/default/files/8.27.pdf
This is a diagnostic tree for skin eruptions written by a board certified veterinary dermatologist. Note that the first diagnostic steps all converge on doing an antibiotic trial. The response to antibiotics is then used to guide further tests and help rule in/rule out other causes. Certainly we don’t have all the information involved in the vets decision to use antibiotic but I wouldn’t fault this vet in any way for choosing to recommend them.
Also the OP said the vet did not think it was diet ( I saw you posted you think it is “IMHO your vet is mistaken. It is the diet” not sure that is what you meant to say) but recommended a nutritional consult. In my mind this is a very reasonable recommendation. The vet herself/himself doesn’t have the databases, time, nor expertise to ensure this dog’s needs are being met. In that case it is reasonable to recommend the owner to consult with someone who can evaluate well. There are some ACVN that will balance raw diets for their clients. The difficulty comes in that many food item used by raw feeders do not have nutrient profiles established for them.
Hi Aimee. I have read that brief before when I was having so many issues with Katie. As far as the other parts of my reply to Kristin C., I stated that it was in my humble opinion. I didn’t state it as a fact, only my years of experience with Katie. I do believe Kristin’s dogs vet is mistaken when he told her he did not believe the issue was diet related. I do believe it’s diet related. I had similar issue with one of my dogs and I explained how I solved the problem.
I don’t want this to wind up some long drawn out debate. Again I stated it was my opinion, not anyone else’s just mine and my experiences with a dog who suffers from food intolerances and allergies. Just passing Katie’s experience along.
Thanks for the diagnostic tree Aimee. It is helpful, although I don’t think my dog’s rash looks like the pictures. Am going to let the meds run their course and go from there.
Dori-I don’t feed my dogs grains but I will take the poultry elimination into consideration if the rash goes away and returns. I started her on raw because she was constantly throwing up and pooping out (diarrhea) chicken kibble for weeks and weeks. I figured it was something in the kibble other than chicken though. May I ask what you feed your dogs?
Hi Kristin-Rashes can be caused by anything, and seem to be more common place in the summer time. The fact that she has a rash and a hotspot would make me use the antibiotics in a heart beat. Hot spots can literally grow into weeping nasty messes in a matter of hours-Antibiotics will help alleviate that, and often a gentamycin spray is also recc for topical use. I have never had hotspots on any of my dogs-with that said, someone gave me two bags of iams fish-the higher line of the Iams. I figures what could it hurt? So, I fed it mixed with the raw for two days. On day number three one dog had a weeping hot spot on his neck, and 24 hrs later the hair had fallen out. Off to the vet. I literally walked in the door to see another dog come running over with a freaking hot spot in the middle of his back, that had no been there 1 hr before when we left for the vet with dog 1.
Hmmm! It’s just a very small bald spot on her back leg. My husband’s not clear now on whether the vet called it a hot spot. She used to get them when we first got her at the beginning of the year. She’s very anxious at times so when she gnaws I attribute it to her nervousness. I’ve wondered if her armpits are a friction rash, being the summer, hot and humid. She runs a lot and has short hair, although it’s thick in spots it’s thin under her legs.
Hi Kristin. I switched all three of my girls a bit over two years ago due to all the issues that Katie was having. At that point while I researched dog foods and her issues on line I was fortunate to come across the Dog Food Advisor and as I have mentioned more times than I can count my girls and I will be eternally grateful to Dr. Mike. Unfortunately it was Dr. Mikes loss of Penny that set him on his quest to find a better dog food his canine and we have all benefited from it. I still grieve for him, his family, and, of course, Penny. Anyone of us that has lost a dog or any other pet understands his plight. He actually did something about it that has benefited so many of us and our pets.
Anyway, your question to me, specifically, was what am I feeding Katie. I feed all three of my little girls the same exact food because I don’t want to take a chance that my “delicate flower Katie” gets into anything other than what seems to work for her. I mostly feed commercial raw foods: Primal Formulas, Answers Detailed, Stella & Chewy’s Raw Food, Darwin’s (on line delivery and auto-delivery only), Natures Variety Instinct Raw, Vital Essentials Raw. I rotate their foods between these are probably other raw foods also. I do add at times proteins that I’m preparing for my husband and myself. I add either Natures Logic Sardine oil, or canned sardine’s in water two or three times a week. On the days that I split a can of sardines in water amongst the three of them I omit the sardine oil (kept refrigerated-important to keep oils refrigerated), I add a little coconut oil to their meals once a day every day. I also give them as snacks organic fruits, veggies. I do not feed any commercial treats whatsoever. To many recalls, too many issues with gmo ingredients, too many ingredients not disclosed from China. Katie has too many food intolerances for me to feed any commercial treats. Most are bound by oatmeal, barley, or some such grain. I choose not to do that. We adopted her at the age of 9 weeks old. She was the runt of her litter and was going to be “euthanized”. Friends told me about her knowing what a complete SUCKER I am. I need to have that tattooed on my forehead. She has food and environmental issues. She has had many dental issues and at the age of 8 months old she had a severe luxating patella issue that was severe enough that she had to have surgery, water treadmill therapy, etc. etc. With all her issues she is the mushy gushiest lovey dog I have ever come across in my 65 years of age. You get what you give. The reason for my reply to you initially is that I truly believe that you have to pay it forward in this life. Some people read and study the science, I have always learned and lived from experience. Not saying that the science is wrong or that anyone that wants to go that way is wrong, not at all. It’s everyone’s choice. I choose experience. I know that Katie was a mess, completely a mess when I got her at 9 weeks. She is a fabulous dog and a real happy camper at this point. She loves everyone and everyone loves her. Anyway, Kristin C. That’s my experience with Katie. I have also thanked Dr. Mike, Sandy S., and HDM as well as anyone and everyone here on DFA for their kindness, knowledge, and love of animals. MY other two dogs that have had no issues concerning diet whatsoever, Hannah my 15 year old Maltese, and Lola my 5 year old Yorkipoo but have benefited exponentially from everyone here on DFA. That’s what I’ve learned from my fellow posters and that’s what I’ve tried to “pay it forward”. Gotta go now. My husband is yearning for some “Cold Stone” ice cream. He has macular degeneration and can no longer drive so I reap the benefits from his ice cream urges. Hot Fudge sundae for me. I hear it calling my name.
- This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Dori.
Hi Dori – thanks for answering my question. Hope your ice cream outing was enjoyable.
So you don’t rely on a certified nutrition expert to analyze what you feed your girls? Joking:) Sounds like you feed a variety and they are doing well. My husband told me the other day we have our own “trial” going at our house. Our older dog, 4 and 1/2 years, seems to be very hearty. Our 1 year old has been delicate since she found us. I think I have found a system that works for her and my older dog enjoys the benefits too. I may try a nutrition consult at some point just to be sure, but I don’t feed myself a balanced diet all the time and I’m still alive.
In regards to diet I was looking at it from a perspective of nutrient deficiency vs an adverse food reaction. So I interpreted what the OP said as her vet doesn’t think it was from nutrient deficiency. I don’t disagree that it could be adverse food reaction but it doesn’t seem typical.
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