Rescue – Possible Food Allergy?

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Rescue – Possible Food Allergy?

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  • #109327 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    This is my first time here, please let me know if i am in the wrong place for this question.

    In May we rescued a mixed breed dog, about 3-4 years old (Not sure of the breeds). She has constantly had an obsession with licking her feet, to the point where she would break the skin open and the feet would develop sores and puss. I always thought it was a possible environmental allergy such as grass or something of that nature. However, she has also had constant ear problems. itchy, stinky and gunky ears as well as stinky body odor and constant gas.

    Since winter has come around and we have a lot of snow, i thought that her “grass allergy” would subside as she is not in contact with it anymore. None of the above mentioned symptoms have gotten better.

    Does this sound like a possible food allergy? I have tried everything else to help her symptoms but only recently realized a food change is something i should definitely look into.
    Thanks so much for your help. I feel terrible for my pup.

    #109328 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    I wanted to add that the people we rescued her from also told us that she suffered these same issues when the dog was with them as well. She has always been fed a dry dog food.

    #109330 Report Abuse

    Please, please, please. Just make an appointment with a board certified veterinary dermatologist asap.
    For the best results.

    See MY posts. /forums/topic/allergies-and-yeast/


    Lots of misinformation on forums and such, and don’t fall down the homeopathic rabbit hole.

    For science based veterinary medicine go here

    PS: Most likely, it’s not the food.

    #109331 Report Abuse

    There is lots of GOOD information on these forums. What are you currently feeding her? Start by finding something that is a single source protein, or at the very least remove corn and chicken first. I usually like something with duck to start with.

    The poster above does not believe food allergies exist, so you’re likely to get the same answer from them each time. At least 75% of the people who described your issue has seen results with a change in food. I would however talk to your vet and see if there’s anything you can do for immediate relief especially if the dog is itching itself raw.

    #109332 Report Abuse

    “The poster above does not believe food allergies exist, so you’re likely to get the same answer from them each time.”

    A little rude, no? How do you know what I believe? I don’t want to see the poster waste her money trying all kinds of crap that doesn’t work while the dog continues to suffer, that’s my motive.
    What’s your agenda?
    PS: If the dog does have food allergies/food sensitivities the only recommended course would be to talk to your vet about a prescription/therapeutic/elimination diet.
    All commercial dog foods are subject to cross contamination of ingredients, so that plan (single protein) won’t work unless in conjunction with other vet recommended treatment..
    Good luck

    #109334 Report Abuse

    Every single time someone has voiced a concern about dog food allergies, your immediate response is that it’s likely not the food and you need to go to a vet. There’s no agenda. Just summarizing the same spiel you give to most posters here.

    #109335 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    Before we got her she was eating the absolute cheapest dog food the owners could get. They also had the same issues with her at that time with itching, licking, gunky ears, etc.

    We took her to the vet when we got her for her check up and she was put on an antibiotic regimen for her ears. It helped for a month or so but that’s it. (Did not help her feet or body odor).

    When we brought her home she was put on Purina One Pure Instinct (the Venison one) in combination with regular Purina One (Chicken or Lamb), which I know is not an incredible food but my other dogs absolutely love it.

    I have thought about switching her to Nature’s Recipe Grain Free (Salmon) as she has had a variety of other proteins in her food with no changes in her symptoms. I know grain allergies are fairly rare in dogs but so far in her life she has had these issues on a wide range of dog foods containing grains. I’m no expert, just trying to pin point something and change it. We have an appointment with the vet on Saturday morning.

    #109336 Report Abuse

    Earthborn has a new line called Venture that is pretty limited as far as ingredients go. It’s not my favorite long term food but it may be helpful in narrowing down what the dog isn’t tolerating.

    #109337 Report Abuse

    “Every single time someone has voiced a concern about dog food allergies, your immediate response is that it’s likely not the food and you need to go to a vet. There’s no agenda. Just summarizing the same spiel you give to most posters here”

    That’s because I am sharing my experience, I have a dog with allergies.
    Food allergies are rare and usually manifest as gastrointestinal disturbances such as vomiting and diarrhea.
    Environmental allergies show up as pruritus, ear infections…..
    My dog sees a specialist. The regular vets were not helpful, changing foods willy-nilly was not helpful. Folks on internet forums were not helpful. That was my experience.
    There are no magical cures. Treatment for environmental allergies is lifelong.
    There are new treatment options available now, if the allergies are mild/seasonal it may not be too bad $

    #109338 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    Thank you for the suggestions. As for her symptoms, they’re not seasonal but are year ’round.
    I love my pets and have done and spent everything on them for their medical issues in the past, but i feel as though there are things i can try with this rescue before I dish out the money for a specialist at this time. If i don’t see results in the next 6 months with dietary changes then I would consider seeking specialist care.
    Like i mentioned originally, not only are her symptoms itching and ear problems, but also gastrointestinal as well. She has stinky gas and passes it every 10 to 15 minutes. She has always been this way.
    She was my ex brother in law’s dog before we took her from him. So I have been familiar with her life and medical issues since she was young and what i am describing has been plaguing her year around since back then…

    Taylor C – I will look into the Earthborn and see what it is all about – Thank you again for your input.

    #109339 Report Abuse

    The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis.
    She could have both food sensitivities and environmental allergies, or some other medical condition causing the symptoms you describe.
    The only accurate test for environmental allergies is intradermal skin testing done by a veterinary dermatologist.
    The only accurate way to rule out food sensitivities/allergies is prescription/therapeutic/elimination food diet. Very difficult to stick to.
    Your vet will confirm what I have said (based on my experience)
    Be aware that the blood test that your vet may recommend may not be accurate, that’s why my preference is to go directly to the dermatologist after medical clearance and other causes for the symptoms have been ruled out.

    #109340 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    I will definitely talk to her regular vet this Saturday to see if we can rule out anything at all such. She has had a terrible life up until May and little to no veterinary care until she came to us so I think finding out all her issues is going to take some time.

    We have a wonderful Vet Hospital and specialist complex that we have taken her to for full blood screening and testing for every disease under the sun. The only thing that showed up in her blood work was high inflammation which they said was “nothing or could be a muscle injury, etc. etc.”

    I’m sure that a separate set of testing will have to be done in order to test for allergies but luckily the specialist complex has a vet dermatologist that I can consult with and look into testing.

    Thank you for all of the suggestions. I really appreciate it.

    #109341 Report Abuse

    Sounds good. I wish you the best of luck. When my dog was going through all this stuff, she did best on Nutrisca salmon, now on Zignature whitefish. Both are no grain and no potato.
    See what the vet recommends.

    #109342 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    Oh great, I will look into those foods. Thank you

    #109344 Report Abuse

    You’re welcome. The other thing I wanted to mention is that as she responded to the treatment prescribed by the dermatologist for the environmental allergies, her food sensitivities decreased immensely.
    She now tolerates a variety of toppers, I just use the kibble as a base.
    She’s sees the specialist once a year, has occasional flare ups, but nothing extreme.

    #109345 Report Abuse

    Hi Misti-

    If you are truly concerned that your dog might have a food allergy, the first place to start is with an elimination trial. This will be the best way to spend your money.

    You will need to discuss this with your vet, but what you would do is get a prescription from her/him for a hydrolyzed protein theraputic diet. She can eat that food and only that food for usually about 3 months. No treats, no flavored meds, no table scraps, nothing.

    These foods are extremely different from over the counter limited ingredient foods on several levels. One, the companies sterilize the machines that are processing the food before they run the hydrolyzed protein diet each and every time. This makes certain that the food is not being contaminated with other proteins. Secondly the hydrolyzation of the proteins makes it so that the immune system can not react to the food at all. This is not the same for OTC limited ingredient foods.

    This is going to be the best route to take instead of purchasing LID foods from a pet store.

    #109347 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    pitlove – Thank you for the great explanation. I am no expert and admittedly not super educated on these things. I appreciate this input so much! I will follow up with her vet on Saturday on these issues we are having and express the concern of possible food allergy 🙂

    #109353 Report Abuse

    Please let us know what the Vet says and does. There is SO MUCH TO LEARN about dog foods and most of it is horrendous. That is why this site has been a true boon to me and many of my friends. We are in Canada with very few of the choices named here, but enough that it sends us in the right direction. My best friend adopted a Boxer from a rescue organization and they immediately advised her never to give chicken to a Boxer for allergy reasons. I, myself, had never heard that before. We learn as we go along and, when we KNOW better, we DO better. So, don’t get frustrated; just keep researching and testing

    #109360 Report Abuse

    Hi Misti,
    yes start with a Limited Ingredient food that has 1 novel protein & 1 carb she hasnt really eaten before there’s “California Natural” Lamb & Rice it has just 3 ingredients or there’s “Natural Balance” Sweet Potato & Fish or Sweet Potato & Bison, Sweet Potato & Duck the NB is very similar to the Vet diet Hills D/D Potato & Duck or the D/D Potato & Venison also Royal Canin has their Select Protein formula’s Potato & Rabbit, Potato & Salmon but the Natural Balance is cheaper then the vet diets, or look at “Canidae Pure” formula’s the Pure Sea is really good for skin problems, it’s high in Omega 3 fatty acid what’s needed for the skin problems..
    The vet will probably put her on a steriod (Predisone) this is just a bandaid as soon as you stop the steriod it will all come back & he’ll probably put her on a vet diet & a medicated shampoo so maybe first try the LID Premium dog food, do weekly baths in Malaseb shampoo & wash her paws twice a week in the Malaseb & use the Sudocrem morning before she goes outside & at night before bed I also use “Hydrocortisone 1%” cream on Patches paws just before he goes to bed I check out his whole body & see where is red & lightly apply the Hydrocortisone cream & use a cotten tip to apply inbetween his toes where’s red by morning he has no redness paws are nice & pink then I apply teh Sudocrem before he goes out teh door, chicken, barley, oats, tapioca all make Patches paws red 20mins after eating these ingredient….. Keep a diary & start writing everything down & over the years you will start to see a pattern, I have a rescue who has IBD, Seasonal Environment allergies & food sensitivities & he gets the red paws, itchy smelly skin from certain foods, I bath him in Malaseb medicated shampoo weekly, the Malaseb is excellent, relieves the redness stops their itchy paws & skin & puts moisture back into their skin, when you bath them you wash away any allergens on their skin & paws etc also the snow?? when Patch walks on wet grass the morning dew or its been raining more then 2 days he also gets his red sore paws I have a small towel near the front & back door & I wipe down his paws if its raining I also buy teh Baby wipes & use them as well try & get some “Sudocrem” sold on Amazon this is what we use in Australia & the UK, the Sudocrem a healing cream for Dermatitis, Excema, Nappy Rash etc & it repells water & protects the paws & skin from allergens, I cant up load photos I have of a Staffy that had a really bad red stomach & then her owner got the Sudocrem & the dog stomach was all clear the next day, can you afford the Pre made raw? maybe try a premade raw instead of a dry kibble…
    also are you on Face Book? join this group, “Dog Allergies, Issues & Other Information Support Group” its a really good group & good info & a Dermatologist frequents the group.
    Misti will get better but you need have a strict routine when doing the food trial, with time it gets easier but allergies dont go away they get worse as they age, she probably is like Patch & has both Seasonal Environment allergies (worse in the Spring/Summer months) & Food Sensititivies so best to start now & you’ll work out what she can & cant eat, it the snow/water makes her paws worse she might ned some type of shoe Patch wouldnt wear shoes so I use the Sudocrem it repells, allergens, the water & wet grass, Good Luck

    #109365 Report Abuse

    If you can find the California naturals and she does wel on it, stock up because it’s being discontinued. We can already no longer get it in south Texas. If you can’t find Malasab for some reason online, Keto-C works very well also. It’s for dogs but my husband even uses it for psoriasis on his scalp. A rescue group in this area had a very yeasty dog and had some luck temporarily treating with apple cider vinegar sprayed on the itchy areas.

    #109388 Report Abuse


    Just so you are aware, California Naturals has been discontinued by Mars.

    #109392 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    You guys are so awesome! Thank you for all of this advice. I have never heard of Malasab before but it sounds like we could Definitely use it for her sweet little paws 🙁

    Over the last night she has licked between her toes completely raw. I try so hard to relieve her sore itchy paws and curb her licking with a lot of success but it seems like the allergy has been worse than ever this week! It’s so confusing because our area is -8 degrees, completely snow covered, I keep my house super clean, wash all my dog bedding once a week. I just don’t understand what allergen she is coming into contact with. The only other thing i can possibly think of is our laundry soap (Unscented, dye free ALL)! But in that case wouldn’t the reaction be all over her body?

    I’m at my wits end. I cannot wait to see the vet tomorrow and see what his recommendation is. He will probably refer us to an allergy/skin specialist but at this point i just want answers and relief for my dog. 🙁 Sorry I’m just a mess on this thread haha!

    #109393 Report Abuse

    There are thousand of allergens and some are present all year round. For example, the microscopic household dust mite that is present on the skin of all living things including you.
    Cotton, wool, dust……..the list is endless. Avoidance is impossible.
    I would wait to talk to the vet before you buy the Malaseb as it is pricey and the vet may have a different shampoo he prefers.
    In the meantime, any gentle puppy shampoo will do. But is the skin is raw and bleeding it may be best to leave it alone till it heals up, as the bathing may increase irritation.
    The vet may want to start the dog on a prednisone taper, this is often necessary to stop the suffering and give the immune system a rest. Short term it will help, not cause harm.
    Also, antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection. The more you reveal, the more I’m thinking this dog needs a VETERINARY DERMATOLOGIST.

    #109394 Report Abuse

    Some allergens are airborne, like I said, impossible to avoid.
    In the summer these allergy dogs do best in air conditioning.
    At one point I had an air purifier and a dehumidifier going (all went to the Goodwill), even tried raw food (disgusting and caused an emergency vet visit) absolutely nothing worked till she saw the dermatologist.
    I also had countless shampoos and creams going on, all a waste of money.
    The Malaseb did nothing until it was used in conjunction with other treatments prescribed by the specialist.
    Allergies are very complicated and every dog is different.

    Here is a good article about what you might be looking at, keep in mind there are even newer treatment options than when this article was written

    #109396 Report Abuse
    Misti W

    Yes thank you I have your suggestion written down to see a Vet Dermatologist. Thank you. Again.

    And yes we are being seen tomorrow morning by her regular vet.

    #109402 Report Abuse

    Pouring apple cider (acid) on open wounds?

    Not a good idea.

    Acid burns.

    Applying creams and such that are not approved for veterinary use, unless recommended by a vet that has examined the dog. I would not.

    Folks mean well when they suggest these things, but the reality is that you could cause harm by doing these things.

    #109404 Report Abuse

    Misti, the constant gas is definitely a symptom of a food problem and not environmental. All of the issues could be due to food. I hope your vet recommends and a hydrolyzed diet and a steroid.

    It is important that you take a list of the ingredients in the foods you are feeding to the vet. They all seem to have corn, wheat, and rice and it is probably one of those ingredients causing the gas. The prescription hydrolyzed diets I am familiar with are rice, starch, or potato based and knowing the current ingredients you are feeding may make a difference in which food your vet prescribes.

    #109409 Report Abuse

    Did I say pour it on the dog, let alone open wounds? No. I also said itchy areas, not open wounds.

    #109420 Report Abuse

    Well, there is a thin line between itchy areas and irritated skin vs red, raw open areas, infected sores.

    Often pet owners can’t tell the difference..

    Without a diagnosis you don’t know what you are treating and can make a condition worse by applying a home remedy.

    I say this because I have done it, applied a home remedy and ended up at the emergency veterinary clinic.

    Maybe these home remedies work for a minor cut/abrasion. But allergies can be a very serious condition and often require the expertise of a veterinary health care professional and/or specialist.

    PS. I apologize if I offended you. I may have misunderstood your comment.


    #109428 Report Abuse

    Hi Misti,
    when you see vet tomorrow ask him/her is she up to date & know alot about skin problems?? it’s just some vets are better with certain health problems, I’m lucky I’ve finally found a vet after seeing about 4-5 vets & she has a rescue dog with food Sensitivities & Skin allergies, now my vet writes me out prescription & I take to the pharmacy & get heaps cheaper as you probably know vet medication is triple the price why I do not know?? I was paying $4 a tablet for Patches acid reflux now I get 30 tablets for $7.99 a month thru my pharmacist a big difference…or there’s online pet pharmacys if your girl is put on any medication for skin they’re expensive see if vet will write you a script so you can buy online or go pharmacist if your vet wants to put your dog on Apoquel or Cytopoint is heaps better, Cytopoint is a newer drug made by the same company & its given every 4-8 weeks Cytopoint has less side effect then Apoquel so ask your vet about applying Hydrocortisone 1% cream to start with & using teh Malaseb medicated shampoo & change her diet, the Hydrocortisone cream is also called Cortic-DS 1% Patches over the counter cream from pharmacist I’m using at the moment says “Hydrozole” for Sensitive inflamed fungal skin conditions contains Hydrocortisone (1%w/w) and Clotrimazole (1%w/w) cost $11 its a cheaper cortisone cream without a script thats sold over the counter at Pharmacist or Walmart but ask can you try Hydrocortisone 1% then ask how much it cost thru him/her the vet then if its over $15 just say oh I can get from at chemist/pharmacist for around $8-12$ it can come under differerent name at Walmart but read smaller print & you’ll see Hydrocortisone 1% as soon as I apply the Hydrocortisone cream Patch gets relief with the itchiness & the redness inbetween toes & up his paw starts to goes away & how I use to stop him licking his paws is I’d apply the Hydrocortisone cream then I’d get the white elastic bandages cut about 20cm off & put around his paws not to tight & not to lose so it can fall off then I get the white bandage tape & tape the bandage his 2 front paws were always worse then his 2 back paws & then I’d get those baby sock & put a soak on front paws only at night so the bandages wouldnt fall off the socks came off but he’d still have his bandages on his 2 front paws & his vet said if he did like off te Hydrocortisone cream it wouldnt hurt him instead of giving a steriod tablets your using teh cream instead & the cream is going straight to the problem area, when she is going outside try & keep her paws covered so the snow cant wet her paws or as soon as she comes back inside wipe down & dry her paws then when paws are dry apply the Hydrocortisone cream & her paws will start to get better as long as she isnt licking them she has to stop licking the paws as they make them worse then order some “Sudocrem” or look at the Ingredient in teh Sudocrem look in the baby section at your supermarket for a baby rash cream that has similair ingredients as the “Sudocrem” has Zinc, Anti fungal & antibiotic in it & during the day when she is going in & out side apply the zinc/antibiotic cream & it will protect & repell the water off her paws from & help heal them as well……later on you will get the hang of all this there’s no magic tablet or diet when they get red itchy paws you just have to use creams protect & wipe & keep her paws dry, I bet the wet snow isnt helping her???? you can try the water proof booties but if the dog wasnt brought up with booties from a pup they normally dont except shoe, Patch walked like he was walking on the moon & wouldnt walk in them so I took the booties back to pet shop & used the bandages until I got his paws better again & like I said every night while he’s sleeping on my bed I check his paws, around his mouth chin, above his left eye anywhere his fur is white & his skin is pink goes red & itchy worse in Spring/Summer months & when it rains or if he eats Chicken, Barley, Oats, Tapioca, Corn, theres probably more ingredients he cant eat aswell…
    Buy a cheap 2018 diary a diary where it has a whole page for each day cause some days you might have to write down a lot, write down what she is eating & what cream your using what medicated shampoos your using, the “Malaseb” is really good its an antibacterial anti fungal shampoo & kills any yeast, bacteria on paws & skin it can be used daily if needed & you dont need to apply much a small bottle last a while..

    #109462 Report Abuse
    ginger s

    Good luck with your new addition to your family. Please seek the help of a veterinarian before diving in and trying home remedies. I literally tried everything before the vet put my baby on Apoquil. I’ve also run myself ragged looking for an affordable dog food her tummy can tolerate. She was diagnosed with colitis so we need to keep the fat content low. I’m about 2 years into the process and I think I have a regimen that works for her and she enjoys.

    The point I’m making is there is no quick fix out there. I can say if you wash your dog bedding frequently go for fragrance and dye free brands if your dog is having skin issues. Sometimes the perfume from the soaps can irritate already irritated skin.

    Good luck. It’s hard watching your dog go through stuff like this. They look so uncomfortabl. It’s so sad. Good luck with everything.

    #109463 Report Abuse

    @ ginger s
    Thanks for your input. I too wasted a year trying out all kinds of bogus crap recommended by folks on internet forums, pet food supply stores, homeopathic sites (the worst)
    The regular vets were not that great either, but as soon as we found the right dermatologist, we saw improvement right away.

    I hope we get an update from Misti soon 🙂

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