I adopted my first dog, Beast, in October. He is a 1 year old Cattle Dog mix.
We noticed pretty much right away that he is always scratching his mouth/ears after eating his breakfast. He doesn’t have any hives or hair loss or anything like that. Just always itching his mouth (it looks like he is trying to get something out of his teeth but theres never anything there) and itching his ears after eating. He also seems to have lots of eye boogies.
We completely eliminated poultry and potatoes(white and sweet) from his diet but he seems to still be doing it. Right now he is eating Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon so I’m wondering if it’s a sensitivity to peas.
At the same time I’m not sure if it even is an allergy. We’ve discussed it with his Vet who has been understanding of us switching his food, and suggested Benadryl for possible environmental allergies, but that seemed to make it worse so we stopped.
His previous owners were feeding him chicken and rice, so I’m thinking I may put him on a chicken/rice based kibble if possible. Or a lamb/rice since we haven’t given him lamb yet. What do you guys think? Everything I’ve heard for allergies have been red/swollen skin, hair loss, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. and he doesn’t seem to have that. Could it just be mild allergies or am I just being a crazy dog mom?
I would encourage you to make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist. It may be seasonal, it may be mild, or not. Only testing by a specialist can give you answers and a treatment plan.
Per the search engine here: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/search/allergies/
Saliva and hair mail-in tests are not allergy tests.
“Atopic dermatitis is a hypersensitivity or over-reaction to a variety of commonplace and otherwise harmless substances in the environment such as plant pollens, house dust mites or mold spores. Most pets with atopic dermatitis either inhale or absorb their allergens through their skin. Allergy tests are used to identify what a pet is allergic to in their environment”.
“There are two types of allergy tests, the intradermal allergy test and blood testing for allergies (serologic allergy testing). In an intradermal allergy test, the fur is clipped on one side of the chest and very small amounts of common allergens are injected into the skin. This test is very precise and is only performed by Veterinary Dermatology services. Because most pets with environmental allergies become exposed to their allergens through their skin, the intradermal allergy test may also best simulate a pet’s natural allergies. In a blood allergy test, a blood sample is obtained and submitted to a laboratory for testing”.
“If a pet is diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, there are three methods of therapy. The first method of therapy involves removing the allergen from the pet’s environment”. “Unfortunately, this is not possible in most cases. The second method of therapy involves the use of anti-itch drugs such as anti-histamines or steroids (cortisone). Some of these anti-itch medications do not work in every pet. Other pets develop side-effects from taking certain anti-itch medications”.
“The third method of therapy for atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies) is allergy injections. Other names for allergy injections include desensitization, hyposensitization, allergy vaccine, or allergen-specific immunotherapy. Immunotherapy involves a series of injections of diluted allergens. Over time, these injections make a pet less sensitive to their allergens and thus less allergic. Most pet owners are able to learn how to give the injections at home. When based on the results of intradermal allergy testing, immunotherapy helps manage the allergies in approximately 70-90% of pets. Most pets will respond to immunotherapy within 6-9 months, but some pets will require up to a year of immunotherapy injections before a full benefit can be noted”.
Another previous post:
What you describe sounds like environmental allergies, food would have little impact, if any, on this condition.
I would continue to work with your veterinarian, however, for best results, I would go to a specialist, a veterinary dermatologist.
Have you tried the search engine here? This subject comes up frequently.
“Food allergies are rare. Food sensitivities tend to result in GI disturbances such as vomiting and diarrhea. Environmental allergies tend to show up as pruritus, ear infections and such”.
“You could try a limited ingredient grain free food. My dog does well on Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea. Wipe down her feet with water and gently dry when she comes in from outdoors”.
“Bathe her using a gentle shampoo, I use Malaseb (see chewy dot com).
I tried all kinds of things times 1 year (including going back and forth to the veterinarian), but, did not get results till I took her to a dermatologist for testing. Allergen specific immunotherapy worked in her case”.
Unfortunately, steroids and such are often necessary (for brief periods) to stop the suffering and prevent infection.
Allergen specific immunotherapy is the most natural treatment.
Also, I have heard that some dogs do well on apoquel, you may want to consider staying with that, talk to your vet.Denise RMember
At times our dogs mouth are would get red if her allergies were active but mostly she’d lick open area on her skin & her fur thinned out. A simple blood test can tell you what your dog is allergic to. I don’t remember the cost but it was not an outrageous cost that I’d have remembered it. Living in a rural area, we did not have access to a veterinarry dermatologist. We did take our dog for allergy shots but eventually Just managed them through her diet. She did have environmental allergies too but when they were bad, she’d manage he time outdoors herself. Two important things to remember are: even though you may find a certain food that is working, you need to read the ingredients list on the bag every time. The companies sometimes change their formulas & the only ways you’ll know is by reading the bag, or by your dogs allergies flare up. Also, our dog was not diagnosed as being allergic to peas but the current trend is to add peas to the dog foods. I have read that a lot of the peas are imported from China and the chemicals used as pesticides & preserves are not good for your dog. Our dog definitely had reactions to formulas with peas in them. The blood test our dog had for allergies told us that in addition to various environmental allergies she was allergic to potatoes, peanuts, & soy beans. The test was accurate enough to make a significant difference in eliminating reactions & keep her comfortable. Good luck!CockalierMomMember
Since this is happening immediately after eating, has your vet ruled out a contact allergy? What type of bowl are you using to feed and give water?
Thank you everyone! We dont really have the money right now for an allergy test as im looking for a new job but it is definitely something i’ve thought about and something I will look into if nothing improves.
Our vet did ask what type of bowls he has and currently he has stainless steel bowls which she said was fine.
I think i’m going to try a pea free food and see what happens. Thank you!
Do you have pet health insurance? It might be something you want to look into. Ask your vet if it would be a good idea. Allergy treatment tends to be lifelong and can fun a few hundred a year for maintenance after testing. Insurance would cover some of it, if it isn’t a pre-existing condition
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by anonymous.
A lot of times dogs are diagnosed with allergies when really what they have is Candida. Does your dog have rust-colored spots on the feet, under arms, and around the genitals? Does he/she have bad breath? If so, you likely have Candida (yeast) as AT LEAST a contributing factor.
Stay away from chicken & rice. Rice will just feed the yeast & chicken often has enough antibiotics in the meat to kill off good bacteria. A lot of dogs have trouble eating chicken.
Feed complex carbs, raw veggies like carrots, broccoli, and green beans. Stay away from potatoes, sweet potatoes (more starch = more sugar = more yeast).
Pork is a good alternative to chicken. If you’re going to feed a commercial dog food, find one that is fish-based and has fewer fillers (like corn & other starchy things). Try to find a dog food that does NOT use salmon as it is usually farm-raised & not as healthy as wild-caught fish. Foods using menhaden fish is good because it is always wild-caught & it’s a renewable resource.
If you suspect your dog has Candida – or the vet agrees that he/she does – shout back at me here. I can give you some pointers from my own yeast battle experience. And try to discourage antibiotics or long-term allergy shot regimens.
Allergen specific immunotherapy is the most natural approach to environmental allergies, it is also now available sublingual, so you don’t have to give “allergy shots”.
Only a specialist (veterinarian) that has examined, tested and diagnosed your dog can advise you accordingly. Otherwise, people are just offering opinions, not to be mistaken for veterinary medical advice.pitloveMember
Hi Susan W-
The yeast that you are refering to is actually the yeast that lives in the gut. Could you possibly mean Malassezia? Malassezia is the yeast that is found on the skin of the animal. You can not control Malassezia by eliminating or limiting carbs as it is not a carb loving yeast and does not feed off of it. The only way in which food plays a role in the control of Malassezia yeast overgrowth is if the immune system is weakened by a sensitivity or in rare cases a true allergy to a specific protein source. The body will always produce glucose(sugar) whether fed carbs or not as glucose is needed to sustain life. That is another part of why Malassezia is not treated through limitation or elimination of carbs.
Hope this helps!
Edit to add: Also it is note worthy that all livestock that has been treated with antibiotics MUST by law be held before going to slaughter for the withdrawal time of the antibiotic. This is the time need to eliminate the antibiotic and all residue of the antibiotic from the body. Each drug will have a different withdrawal time. So in fact there are no antibiotics in the food supply unlike the marketing of certain brands being “antibiotic free” might have you believe (implying that livestock given antibiotics will still contain those antibiotics when slaughetered). This is true for both the human and pet food supply.
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by pitlove.
Hi – here’s an addendum to my post. I stand corrected!
From my more knowledgeable friend:
What does she clean her food bowl with?
If it was a food allergy- the whole body would be having issues. And its not. Something is getting on the mouth itself.
I wouldn’t focus on ingredients with her, in terms of what is normally allergens. Brown rice definitely doesn’t contribute to candida, or yeast. It’s a complex carb with very low sugars. White rice does. So your statement wasn’t fully accurate.
Focus on a higher quality food. Get her off taste of the wild to start. They’re made by Diamond, known for countless recalls. Evangers- and anything made from the evangers plant should also be avoided right now.
Then focus on omega 3s… higher omega 3s are flaxseed and menhaden
Thank you everyone for all the advice! He is still eating the same Taste of the Wild right now, while working to finish off this bag. I’m almost 100% sure he’s not allergic to chicken or rice because that is what I fed him when he had diarrhea and he was fine, also I have boiled unseasoned chicken to use as treats/meal topper and he is fine with that as well. He doesn’t have any darkened spots or stinky breath/ears so I don’t think it’s a yeast issue. He is generally a stinky dog and gets a bath about once a month with Oatmeal shampoo which helps.
and Susan and CockalierMom, maybe you guys are right, maybe it is his bowl. Maybe I should try a ceramic bowl. It’s always after he eats he goes for his mouth and then starts scratching his ears and licking his knees/thighs. No hair loss and it’s not excessive, just noticeable because it’s always at the same time. It never seems to be after eating any treats or anything, and I did watch him scratch after drinking water from a stainless steel bowl at training as well so maybe I should switch just to be safe.Lynn SMember
As a heeler mom of 4 heelers we have one that did the same thing. Have a skin scraping done and have it tested for yeast. Most important. I can not feed her anything that has carbs or starch since they both feed yeast overgrowth. She had fur loss around her eyes,smelly ears and smelly paws. If grain free dog food didn’t help. I would highly suggest a yeast test be done. Also if it has brown rice in the grain free dog food brown rice is a grain along with corn and barely
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