Glad to have found this site, it’s a wealth of information.
Needing some advice for my dog I adopted from the local shelter last August.
He came with the itches, pink/red patch on his belly, under his chin, face, around the eyes etc. Fur was really coarse yet greasy to touch. Chews his paws till it bleeds.
The fosterer recommended that we put him on a fish kibble. They weren’t sure what he was allergic to but it may have been chicken. So we put him on Wellness Simple –Salmon & Potato. Since then he has gone through:
Wellness Core Ocean
Topper: Fish 4 Dogs Salmon or Trout Mousse. Cooked salmon or any other fish once a week.
He was on Orjen 6 Fish till recently. We had him on through 3 bags, and he gets 1/3 cup + 1 /4 pack of Fish4Dogs Fish Mousse per meal. Twice a day.
He actually did quite well on it, less itchy, and started putting on weight. Still chews his paws though, I think he may have some allergies to grass. He was also getting quite chunky.
I thought I should started rotating him on different protein so he can eventually get some variety in his diet and went for Acana Lamb and Apple.
Before I committed to the Acana Lamb & Apple, I mixed a can of lamb and tripe to his kibble and he ate fine.
He’s been on it for 2 weeks. I mix the Acana Lamb & Apple (1/4 cup) with the Orijen 6Fish (1/4 cup). I had the kibble serving reduced as he was putting on weight.
I also switched to an oatmeal shampoo.
He seems to be worse now. Scratches more, the dry coarse fur is coming back, pink around the eyes, nose and under his arms, paws. One ear seems to be red inside, the other is fine (is it normal to have 1 inflamed ear instead of both?). Smells more ‘dog’.
So should I ditch the kibble? Or could it be the shampoo?
I was hoping he could eat more than just fish based food. I’d like to have him on a mix of kibble, canned food and homecooked meals 2x to 3x a week. Raw – I can get Primal, Addiction and some THK.
He didn’t do too well on THK zeal though. Went through 2 packs of the Zeal. He was pooping 4x a day (poop had stalks and bits of stuff that.. doesn’t seem digested), ate lots of grass (grazing like a cow), and was losing weight that’s why I put him on 6Fish. I though he needed more protein.
Any suggestions? I could go back to 6Fish, or I could go with another fish kibble like Core Ocean?
Have you had him to the vet to be checked? When my dog was itchy, I took her to the vet and he did a skin scraping on one of the itchy spots to check for mange. The skin scraping didn’t show any signs of mites. Even then she was still treated for Sarcoptic mange to rule that out because the mites can rarely be seen under the microscope. I treated her with Revoluiton and still saw no difference. So it was probably not Sarcoptic mange. Then you have to look at environmental allergies and food allergies.
The one thing that stands out is that he started getting itchy again when you added the Acana Lamb & Apple. If it is the old formula (I don’t think the new one is available for purchase yet) it is grain inclusive. So it could possibly be due to the grains. One way to find out if he is sensitive to one type of food, you could do an elimination diet. I personally have not done this, but others on here have. So they will be more helpful with that.
As you will find out that some types of foods are better than others. For example, canned is better than kibble. Homemade raw is better than canned and so on… You can check out Dr. Karen Becker’s rankings at http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/07/21/13-pet-foods-ranked-from-great-to-disastrous.aspx
I’m agreeing with Amy. Maybe try an elimination diet…if you’re switching Kibbles, try to make a list of identical and different ingredients and which kibble he did good or bad on.
There’s that possibility of environmental allergies as well. I think you can get allergy pills for dogs, so you might try that if you’re pretty sure it’s not food related. Try giving raw local honey daily, too. I know many people who swear by it for theirs and their dogs’ allergies.
Only way to see if the shampoo does it is by ditching it and seeing if that makes any difference. My lab is occasionally itchy, so I use a medicated shampoo (I can’t remember the name of mine, but Malaseb is very similar I think).
You also might try another shampoo: Shea Moisture African Black Soap shampoo. It’s not designed for dogs, but it is an organic shampoo that has ingredients to help dandruff and itching. I use it myself and we loooooove it. (You can prob find it online, but it’s usually at Walmart, Target, and Walgreens for about 10$)
Shampoos usually won’t fix a problem though, just mask it. Get a skin scraping done to make sure it isn’t something like mange. Best wishes and hopefully you can get through this!
Thanks for the replies.
Yes, I did go to the Vet. The 1st vet ruled out any issues. Same with the 2nd vet. They felt it’s either food or environmental allergies or both.
You’re right, the lamb and apple has oats in it. I decided to stop the lamb kibble and get back on 6fish. The next time, will probably rotate on the canned formulas..at least I can just get a can to try instead of committing to a bag of kibble.
Hi Serena. One of my dogs has a lot of food intolerances as well as environmental allergies. Definitely going grain free will help. Also try to avoid foods with corn, soy, white potatoes and too many peas. As far as the shampoo is concerned, notwithstanding the fact that oatmeal shampoos are typically recommended for itchy dry skin, my girl does much worse when shampooed with an oatmeal shampoo. I’ve tested this out with her. I use dog shampoos for sensitive dogs, usually soap free are more gentle.
Yes the vet gave some anti-histamine pills. When its really bad, I give the dog 1 pill and he’s fine (& very sleepy). But once he’s off it, its scratchy-scratch.
I feel the same about the oatmeal shampoo. It worked great with my previous Chi (passed last year at 14yr), made her all fluffy and soft feeling, smells great!
On Happy (the JRT-CHI mix), it seems to have the opposite effect – makes his fur dry and smells more ‘dog’ after 1-2 days of the bath.
Canned vs Kibble. Canned is better (thanks for the Mercola link to Dr Karen Becker). Would canned food be less likely to cause allergies although it may have a similar ingredient make up as the kibble? I have been feeding grain free kibble with the exception of the Acana & Lamb. Could it be possible that the way kibble is processed just isn’t very good on the whole for dog with allergies, regardless if it is grain free or grain inclusive?
And would an allergy to a certain protein mean the dog would be predisposed to be allergic to similar proteins for example:
Chicken -> Duck, Turkey (all birds?)
Beef -> Bison, Kangaroo, Lamb (all red meats?)
I ordered the Mercola Probiotics. Hopefully some probiotics would help.
Hi Serena. I don’t feed any kibble but definitely canned would be better. Kibble food generally has a lot of different ingredients in them similar to most kibble foods including whatever binder they are using to keep the kibble in tact. Your dog could still have issues with canned food depending on what her ingredient intolerances are but it’s easier to keep track of ingredients and intolerances. A lot of dogs with allergies and intolerances do better on canned, imo, than kibble.
When I first started doing an elimination test with Katie, the first ingredient was chicken. Then discovered that she is badly intolerant of all fowl. It’s not the same with red meats. Beef, Bison, Kangaroo, Rabbit, Goat, Lamb, Vennison will have completely different reactions from each other. Katie cannot eat Lamb or Goat but she does fine with all the others so far anyway.
If you’re going to switch to canned food please try to make sure that the cans themselves are BHA free, No Carragean (sp?) and also look for the least possible ingredients made from human food ingredients. My rule is that if I can’t pronounce or would not eat it myself then my dogs don’t eat it either. Another way you can feed your dog is to try rotating with freeze dried foods. Closer to raw, but not exactly. There again, keep in mind what the ingredients are (human grade) and what he may have an issue with. I’ve had my hands full with Katie and her allergies and intolerances since I got her at 9 weeks old. She’ll be 5 years old on 6/24/14. It’s been a challenge and she and I have suffered through it. She always comes up with something she once ate that can no longer tolerate. Some of her latest have been alfalfa in any form and kelp in any form. So you just have to keep trying.
Oh, with the canned or any food, just cause it says Beef doesn’t mean that they haven’t added somewhere in the ingredient list chicken fat or lamb or some other protein so please please please read all the ingredients. Good Luck. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I’ve been busy with my older gal Hannah, almost 15 year old Maltese who was finally diagnosed yesterday with bladder cancer so, understandably I’m in denial and totally freaked out. My best to you and your dog.
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