Brief backstory: 4 year old beagle who was completely healthy for the first 2.5 years of his life besides a slight chicken intolerance. I found 3 types of non chicken grain free dog foods that he did well on and would rotate every bag without issue. Seemingly within a few months of him being neutered he started developing protein allergies to all of his dog foods and nearly every other dog food I tried.
His symptoms are: yeast infection in his ears, licking/itchy paws, a more vibrant pink belly than normal, intense itchiness around his body with about a dozen hives on his legs, tail, and abdomen, butt scooting, and a heavy metallic smell from his rear end.
So far the only food that he can tolerate without symptoms has been Natural Balance Sweet Potato and Fish which seems to have had a formula change since I last purchased it. The challenging thing has been finding food without Chicken, Duck, Beef, Pork, Grains, white potatoes, or Lentils (Primarily Peas/Chickpeas). It seems as though when you go grain free you get a bunch of peas and white potatoes. Since I last purchased this food they seemingly have added white potato protein which may trigger my dogs allergies in the near future. I cannot locate a bag of the old formula nor can I locate another salmon+sweet potato formula that isn’t augmented by white potatoes and/or peas. I am getting desperate. Any help or advice is appreciated.anonymousMember
Have environmental allergies been ruled out? What you describe sounds like that’s what your dog may have vs food sensitivities.
They usually start around 1-2 years old and get worse with age. Environmental allergies tend to wax and wane making it almost impossible to tell which foods work or not.
Everyone blames the food, but I have found my dog tolerates a lot of different foods since beginning allergen specific immunotherapy (desensitization). The treatment tends to be lifelong, but no more ear infections, rashes, anal gland issues (5 years in)
The initial testing, intra dermal skin testing is expensive, maintenance isn’t that bad.
For best results, an accurate diagnosis and treatment options that work, I would make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist. Allergies are complicated and often require the expertise of a specialist.Sheila HMember
We have had three Shiba Inu’s and have experienced any and all of the same issues with each one. With each dog it has resulted from both food and environmental causes, but primarily food. I am having great success feeding Annamaet Salcha Poulet Formula currently. I know you can’t feed chicken, but look into the brand name website at all the variety of labels/ingredients and winnow them down to what you know so far regarding reactions.
What got my attention first off was that the label specifically mentioned ear infections, our current Shiba’s primary issue.
Do see a veterinary dermatologist as another forum contributor mentioned. Our dermatologist was quite helpful from the skin angle, but our regular vets have also been quite helpful, and the combination of their experiences works for us. The derm was able to give us products to relieve the awful pink tummy and misery of itching.
Do blood work testing in addition to consultation and you won’t have to depend upon hit and miss food buying, even though the two types of docs may have varying opinions about its efficacy. You are right that is food is the major factor.
Yes, this is going to be expensive.
Good luck. Your dog will appreciate your efforts and will be happy again when you hit the right formula.Matt AMember
Environmental hasn’t been ruled out, no. I just assumed that when 100% of his symptoms go away when he’s eating one specific type of food that it’s diet causing it. I will see what kind of specialists are in my area. What type of tests should I make sure I do?anonymousMember
When you call for the appointment with the veterinary dermatologist, the office will explain how to prepare the dog for testing, depending on the results of the exam, the specialist may recommend intra dermal skin testing to identify environmental allergies. The expertise of the specialist in interpreting the results is crucial to the treatment he will recommend.
He may want to do a blood test, in my dog’s case we skipped it as he determined the symptoms to be clearly environmental.
We were in and out in about an hour with a list of allergies and a course of treatment to begin.
Allergen specific immunotherapy, 5 years in and my dog is doing very well, we see the dermatologist once a year.
Now, if your dogs allergies are mild/seasonal he may suggest medication certain times of the year instead.
Forget about hair and saliva tests they are scams (imo)
Ps: Let us know how it goes, I was very pleased with how smoothly the testing went.
They say it may take a while to see results, but I saw improvement right away 🙂Anna BMember
My dog has those exact symptoms with a food he can’t tolerate and he also has environmental issues. We’ve had luck with Petcurean’s Go! Sensitivity + Shine Limited Ingredient Diets. He specifically does well on the duck but I know they have salmon, turkey, duck, and venison formulas in their limited ingredient line. It doesn’t have potatoes but does have peas/lentils. If you aren’t certain that peas are a problem, I would recommend giving it a try! The Honest Kitchen Zeal is fish and sweet potatoes, so that might work for him. Finding a dry dog food that only has sweet potatoes as the binder in the kibble is difficult. Have you considered trying a commercial raw food?SusanMember
Sounds like your dog has Seasonal Environment Allergies & Food Intolerances. My boy has both, his vet said if they have food sensitivities they normally will have some type of environment allergies as well… as soon as I read your post about his hives on his legs, tail & abdomen I knew environment allergies probably from grass, tree or plants pollens, that’s what Patch gets as soon as Spring starts, my vet said, keep a dairy & as the years pass you’ll start to see a pattern & I did every spring Patch has itchy hives all over his body & face/head, red paws when he walks on wet morning grass, a yeasty smelly mess, but thru the cooler Winter months he’s pretty good, no itchy skin or red paws as long as he doesn’t walk on wet grass or eat any foods he’s sensitive too, Winter we get a break,…
Baths are the best thing you can do, bath as soon as he’s real bad with his hives & itchy skin, give him a bath, I do weekly baths now but I was bathing every 2nd 3rd day at one stage, I use a medicated shampoo “Malaseb” medicated shampoo it’s mild & can be used daily & kills any bacteria, yeast on the skin & keeps their skin nice, moist & soft, when you bath your washing off any allergens, pollens & dirt that’s on their skin, I also use creams on his paws, head around chin & around tail & bum area when he’s bum surfing on my rug, “Sudocrem” is excellent it stops his itchy bum within mins of applying it, Sudocrem is a healing cream for Nappy Rash, Eczema, Dermatitis, Pressure Sore etc, sold in the baby section at any Supermarket or Chemist, the Sudocrem acts as a barrier & protects their skin especially their paws & where their skin is red/pink on stomach area & back of legs, I’d love to show a before & after photo’s after a lady applied the Sudocrem to her dogs red stomach, it’s posted on the Dog issues allergies F/B group link below. I also use Hydrocortisone 1% cream at night I check Patches whole body before bed & if something is still red like in between his toes, I get a cotton tip & thinly apply some Hydrocortisone 1% cream, when he wakes up in the morning all his paws are nice & pink all clear again, you can put on socks & bandage around the paws to stop any licking as licking makes things worse, best to bath the paws in Malaseb & dry them off then apply the Sudocrem,
The only way to know what foods your boy is sensitive too & can eat, is to do a “Food Elimination Diet”… you can use a vet diet like “Royal Canine” Hypoallergenic wet tin food, then once your dog is doing well & not reacting start adding 1 new ingredient to the R/C HP wet food, every 6 weeks add 1 new ingredient, no treats or any extra things are to be feed while your doing an elimination food diet, it can take a dog 1 day up to 6 weeks to react to an ingredient & show symptoms, that’s why sometimes you’ll start a new food & think your dog is doing really well then 3-4 weeks later he’ll start reacting to an ingredient in the new kibble…
Probably half the foods you think he’s sensitive too he isn’t..
I tested & added ingredients that are in the kibbles I wanted to feed… I worked out my boy reacts to chicken, he gets red paws, itchy yeasty smelly skin & itchy bum after I added raw & cooked chicken to his diet, carrots made his ears real itchy & he’d shake his head 20mins after eating the chicken & carrots he reacted, oats & barley made Patches poos very sloppy, I always thought potatoes & peas were causing Patches yeast problems cause potatoes are a high sugar starch but later I learnt a dog will only get yeasty smelly skin, paws & ears if they’re sensitive to a certain ingredient (CARF) or have environment allergies.. Read this link “Myths & Fact about yeast Dermatitis” scroll down to “Carbohydrates & Sugar in your dogs diet. http://www.healthyskin4dogs.com/blog/2015/9/8/facts-myths-about-yeast-dermatitis-in-dogs, Dr Karen Helton Rhodes DVM DACVD often pops into this Face Book group called “Dog issues, allergies and other information support group” join you’ll learn a lot..
Once you have done the Elimination diet, you’ll know what foods are causing what but its best to do a elimination diet in the cooler months Winter when pollens aren’t as bad as the Spring/Summer months..
Can you cook or feed a raw diet? you’ll have better control with your dogs diet, even if you do what I’m doing, I feed a few meals “Canidae” Pure Wild Boar kibble & the other meals are wet tin food Royal Canine HP wet tin or cooked pork rissoles with sweet potatoes. Patch eats 4-5 meals a day, he has IBD as well, if you join the Face Book group I recommended above https://www.facebook.com/groups/240043826044760/
you’ll read some people post their dogs are allergic to mites & the mites are in the dog kibble, or your dog may be allergies to dust mites in your house…. dog allergies starts to get very confusing & as they get older they get worse, but once you get into a routine with weekly or twice a week baths, apply creams, using Huggie baby wipes Coconut oil wipes or Cucumber & Aloe wipes when the dog comes back inside wipe him down days you don’t feel like bathing him & work out his food intolerances.. it gets better..
Here’s a link for Canidae Pure formula’s, the omega 3 is balanced in Canidae kibbles, some brands of kibble are too high in omega 6 & too low in omega 3 causing skin problems in dogs.. http://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products
Zignature is another food people say has helped their allergic dog….Make sure your dogs diet is high in Omega 3 it will help with their allergies, ad few sardines to 1 of your dogs meal a day.. buy tin sardines or salmon in spring water also green lipped mussels are good to give as a treat.PATTI LMember
Why are so many people thinking their dogs are allergic to foods, it can’t be that difficult ,
people have been feeding dogs scraps , porridge , leftovers for many years no trouble
Must be the same as so many people being Gluten free or allergic to milk.
Could be dog food these days just has to many ingredients mixed together and is a lot more
difficult for dogs to digest.joanne lMember
if your dog can eat some grains try Fromm they have fish formula’s and or dr garys best breed.
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