the saw is familyMember
So in April I rescued this beautiful little beagle/coonhound mix and named her Sophie. Ever since I got her, she’s had the whole gamut of symptoms for what I have determined to be chicken and beef allergies. (my determination is based on her symptoms growing more severe when she eats chicken or beef.)
Let me say, as an aside, I’m a very pro-Orijen guy. I am the guy who scoffs at inferior foods and everything is inferior to Orijen. Well, my dog can’t eat Orijen. I tried a number of other brands I believed to be high quality, and settled on Zignature solely because of their hypoallergenic diets with a good potential to rotate flavors. I know it’s not the best, but if my sweet little dog stops suffering it’s worth it. It certainly is a good food, without question.
So here’s why I’m at a loss. I got her the kangaroo, and fed her that exclusively for 2 weeks. She started getting better. The bag ran low and the store was out of it, so I got her the pork. Stupid me also bought her a can of trout and salmon wet food as a topper. (she LOVES the Zignature without the topper, I just like her to have variety so she ENJOYS her food). She is scratching and biting herself more, but not nearly as bad as before. Now, I know I did a bad by introducing other proteins. Fine, fine. I won’t do it again, believe me. Here’s my real question:
How likely is it that she is allergic to the pork vs the fish? Also, if she is more likely to be allergic to fish, does that mean ALL fish, or can it mean only, say, Salmon? Help! I love my dog more than my own life. I want the best for her.
Congrats on the rescue of your pup. It sounds like a beautiful mix. And probably a handful! The best way to figure out an allergy is through an elimination diet with an Rx hypoallergenic food.
Just a word of warning, there has been a FDA warning on dog food that contain a significant amount of legumes and/or potatoes. There have been many cases of dogs eating these types of diets that have been diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyapathy due to low taurine. It is suspected that these ingredients may be blocking the absorption or inhibiting the synthesis of taurine.
There is a data table on a FB page that is gathering taurine test results. Acana and Zignature are both consistently showing very low results. I wouldn’t feed either! Kangaroo is very low in taurine. I’m glad it is not available.
Hi, with my dog and my experience is that when he eats dog food with chicken in it there is a problem, but when I cook chicken there is no problems. This raises a red flag as to why the dog food? All I know is when you introduce too many proteins example rotating, some dogs immune system goes on over drive so you don’t want to do that which I know you mentioned you are aware. Stick to on protein and if there is no problems than don’t change proteins. Only change if there is a true problem. Give him some boiled chicken and see how he does than you will know for sure if it’s the chicken. My Dr. (not a vet) I was asking him about dog allergies I know he is not a vet but he is a good Dr. and he is the one who told me to give the dog fresh foods to see how he responds. He also said to feed him oatmeal, pasta just to see if a dog is really allergic to grains as well. That would be a true way of finding out. B/c some times it is something else in the dog food that we are not aware of. I did what he said and my dog can eat grains and fresh chicken. As far a kangaroo try to avoid exotic meats if you can until this FDA clears. IF you can’t than you can’t. Do what the dog responds well too.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by joanne l.
The only way to know 100% what foods your dog is sensitive too is to do a food elimination diet..
Feed just 1 meat protein & 1 carb for 6 weeks & see does Sophie react” if Sophie doesnt react to the meat protein & carb your feeding then you can add another new ingredient into her diet but you can NOT feed any treats etc, it can take anywhere from 20mins for a reaction to show or take up to 6 weeks to see reactions but my boy reacts within 20mins raw chicken makes his back paw red hot & swell up but if I fed him chicken in a dry kibble he itches, red paws & smells less but he doesnt get the red hot swollen back paws, probably cause dry kibble meats have been broken down & cooked till there’s no real chicken protein left so he doesnt react to the chicken in a kibble as bad…
If you dont want to do raw or cooked elimination diet then best to use a Hypoallergenic vet diet this way you know 100% these vet diets haven’t been cross contaminated….
Baths – make sure you bath weekly or twice a week or as soon as Sophies starts to itch bad, baths wash off any allergens on skin, paws head etc also baths relieve the red itchy skin, I use “Malaseb”medicated shampoo weekly with Patch & I use baby wipes, Cucumber & Aloe wipes & I wipe him down after his walks or after being out the back yard, I use creams like “Bepanthen” Antiseptic Soothing cream for his red itchy rash on stomach & around his doodle from the grass & I use “Sudocrem” on his red paws & inbetween his toes at night is best to apply cream just before bed check out sophies whole body & head he a few baby wipes & wipes her down then apply a cream to any red itchy areas, the Sudocrem acts as a barrier & protects his skin & paws so best to re apply before she goes outside you will start to see a big difference & relieve her itchy skin… its all about routine, wash cream etc & you can get a control on her itchy skin this all helps her a bit & if Winter is coming this is when you start the Elimination diet …
Do you have any roll/loaf kept in the fridge section, that has limited ingredients like FreshPet Vital & try this & give Sophie bath twice a week or weekly, use the creams & baby wipes days she hasnt had a bath & see is she better but the roll loaf must only have 1 meat protein & a few carbs as you wont know what she is reacting too..
Dogs who suffer with food sensitivities normally have Enviroment Allergies aswell, so its not just the food making Sophie skin itch, she could be sensitive to a certain grass, a tree in your yard or neigbours yard, pollens, dust mites, flea salvia, this makes it very hard working out what is making the dog itch, Keep a Diary write every down at night, then look back thru the diary as the years pass & you will start to see a pattern, she might be more itchy thru the Spring & Summer months & in the cooler months she is better ?? this is seasonal environment allergies, with food sensitivities the dog gets bad wind, farts, sloppy poo’s, diarrhea, vomiting,& yeasty smelly ears, paws, skin,….
Its best to see a Dermatologist or a vet that knows about skin & food senitivities..
Best to do food elimination diet in the cooler months when allergens aren’t as high, this way its easier to work out what Sophie is reacting too…
Just becareful with Zignature its very high in Legumes especially the Kangaroo formula..
Join this f/b group “Taurine-Deficient Dilated Cardiomyopathy”
then go into their “files” click on
“2018-09-07 Copy of Diet and Taurine.pdf”
you will see all the dry food brands these dogs were eating when they got DCM Heart problems, the cases marked in light orange, “Orange = DCM or CHF w/o low Taurine; diet related” are diet related & the Zignature kangaroo is has 2 Orange cases, 2 GSH, Id say 1 has passed away by know as he was given 6-8months to live & that was 2015….
Years ago Zignature Kangaroo formula was really good it had more meat proteins then plant proteins then Zignature changed their Kangaroo formula & added less kangaroo meat & more Lentils & now dogs are ending up with heart problems & some have died, they cant absorb the Taurine…
They don’t know if it’s the Legumes blocking the Taurine, they dont know whats happening yet till they do more research, so until then best to fed a dry dog food thats less then 20% in Legumes maybe try a grain limited ingredient formula??
“Wellness Simple” has their Lamb & Oatmeal, Duck & Oatmeal, or Turkey & Potatoes Salmon & Potatoes formula’s these formula’s have very limited ingredients, just feed the same food for 2 months, no treats, no cooked foods, nothing then if she start getting better & she’s not reacting, then after 2 months add 1 new ingredient thats cooked or raw o her diet, no wet can foods as these have cross contamination ingredients..
As Susan said, the only way for you to properly determine if this is a food allergy is by process of an elimination trial. This is the gold standard.
If the dog is food allergic, one of the worst things you can do is rotate their foods. Find one food that does not cause a break out of symptoms and stick to that. My food allergic dog has always done awful when his food is switched too much due to the fact that I could not figure out what was causing the symptoms. We now have him on one food that he does well on and we don’t change it. It has made him and us happier.
I just wanted to share and by no means an expert however, we had a big boy who the vet thought had food allergies and did the elimination diet for almost a year. It was frustrating and expensive but finally took him to a dematologist in Florida. Best thing we could have done, turns out a simple blood test revealed his thyroid levels were low. Put him on meds twice a day (inexpensive) and he has become a new boy!
the saw is familyMember
Thank you everyone for your replies. I realize I wrote this three weeks ago but my job is hectic and i’ve been very busy with studying/training for a new position. That said, I took Sophie to the vet about 2 weeks ago. I discussed with the vet her symptoms and explained that I had tried isolating single proteins (which is actually very difficult to do, which is why I started feeding zignature) for weeks at a time with no improvement whatsoever. She looked Sophie over really well and put her on Apoquel. That alone has made a tremendous difference for Sophie. No more scratches.
She also prescribed Otibiotic ointment for her ears, as well as a eucalyptus ear wash twice a week. Finally, she gave me a shampoo with chlorhexidine and miconazole for her feet that she licks and chews non-stop. The vet said it sounds more like a grass allergy. We’re going to wait for the winter wonderland and stop the apoquel to see if her itching comes back. That plus 6 months of Simparica and Interceptor plus means this dog lover is going hungry until payday and every penny it cost me is worth more than I can articulate here.
Thank you again everyone for your replies. Extremely helpful and I get a good vibe that this forum is very supportive, which I appreciate.
I am so glad you are working closely with your vet.
If her problems continue even through the winter, I would ask for a referral to a veterinary dermatologist. Unless your vet feels confident he can treat the condtion.
A positive response to Apoquel is indicative of environmental allergies.
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