Got my lab 2.5 months ago. He was on Purina and thriving. We switched him to Iams because that’s the only thing my other dog does well on. He was on Iams lamb and rice for over a month, but I wanted something better for him. I switched him to Nutro max grain free salmon flavor. He immediately started licking and biting and now his inner hind leg hair is pretty scarce. He was only on that for a week before I switched him back to the Iams. He’s been back on Iams for 3 days now.. I’ve bathed him with soothing shampoo and gave him Benadryl. Think it’s helping for now. I want a permanent solution so I’m looking for opinions. Keep him on Iams if he starts doing better? Or do an allergy test at the vet and start trying new foods again? My family says if it’s not broken don’t fix it, but I don’t know.
Thanks for your help.
Hi Patterson, Iams don’t have the best ingredients, read ingredient list in the Iams Lamb & Rice, Lamb should be the only protein but there could be other proteins they often advertise 1 protein on the front of kibble bag & there’ll be chicken as well, then look for a better quality kibble minus the corn & other un healthy ingredients in the Iams formula..
My boy does real well on Lamb also he does well on “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb, it just has Lamb & limited ingredients, there’s “California Natural” Lamb meal & Rice it just has 3 ingredients, you could rotate with a couple of kibbles once you have introduce them & he doesn’t react to them this way he’s not just eating Iams 24/7 also read the ingredient list to the Nutro Max G/F Salmon formula, he’s definitely sensitive to an ingredient in the Nutro Max formula…
Blood & Salvia food testing can give false positives the only true way is by doing an food elimination diet, once he’s doing really well on his Iams formula start adding 1 new food with his Iams kibble, add tin salmon in spring water, drain the water, cause salmon was in the Nutro max Salmon formula, see does he itch & scratch again?? if not then stop the salmon & add another ingredient that’s in the Nutro Max formula, this way you will get some answers & know what foods he reacts too….
“Canidae Pure” formula’s are pretty good, they have limited ingredients for dogs with skin allergies & food sensitivities, or look at “Canidae Life Stages” formula’s, there’s Canidae Life Stages Lamb Meal & Rice formula http://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products
I rotate & feed the Canidae Pure Wild Boar, TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb & I’m trying the Hills D/D Venison & Potatoes vet diet, my boy has IBD & Skin allergies the Hills D/D Venison & Potato has just come to Australia, the D/D is for skin & food sensitivities, D/D has limited ingredients with single intact animal protein, grain free, gluten free, soy protein free, no beet pulp & is high in omega 3 what’s needed for skin allergies & IBD….
I want a vet diet where I know if Patch gets real bad with his IBD I can fall back on it, his environment allergies when get that bad by the end of Summer & put his immune system into over drive & starts attacking his intestinal tract, every March the end of Summer we are at the vets with Patch having an IBD flare, so when Summer comes back around this year I’ll start him on the Hills D/D Venison & Potato with the extra Omega 3 & ingredients to strengthen his immune system so by the end of Summer hope fully we will not be at the vets again in March with a IBD flare… keep a diary write down foods etc that cause a reaction, Food Sensitivities can take 1 day to react up to 6 weeks so best to test 1 new food for 6 weeks to see if there’s a skin reaction or intestinal stress….
For his inner hide leg put some Hydrocortine 1% cream on before bad at night or Sudocrem is excellent as well its for eczema, dermatitis & nappy rash or look for a baby cream with the same ingredients as the Sudocrem has, a lady found a baby nappy rash cream with same ingredients in America but I didn’t write down the creams name or she said you can buy the Sudocrem on Amazon, its excellent it acts as a barrier & relieves any itchy skin, red paws, itchy bum etc…
Thank you so much for your reply. It sounds like the diet I need to do is very expensive and time consuming. Unfortunately I don’t think I can really afford to buy multiple foods, and I don’t think I can stand the constant itching and kicking any longer. This is the first night he hasn’t licked himself to sleep! This is such a frustrating situation. My other pup just got past a serious bout of colitis so there’s been a lot of dog drama at my house.
I’ll keep your suggestions in mind as we continue on this journey. thank you againpitloveMember
Your family gave you good advice. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Keep him on Iams if that is what he does best on.
Pruritus can be very uncomfortable, untreated it can lead to skin infections, ear infections and malaise and sometimes even aggressive behavior.
This subject comes up at least twice a week. Rather than treat the symptoms and change the diet multiple ways. The first step would be to get h1s condition diagnosed by a veterinarian. Atopic dermatitis is often caused by environmental allergies, not the food.
Food sensitivities fluctuate and tend to result in gastrointestinal disturbances rather than pruritus. Food allergies are rare.
Environmental allergies tend to wax and wane, they may be mild and may be treated with prescribed meds such as Apoquel certain times of the year or severe and need year round treatment such as allergen specific immunotherapy (desensitization) which is now available sublingual (by mouth).
I got the best results after going to a veterinary dermatologist. I spent a year going back and forth to the regular vet and didn’t get any answers. Although, they did offer temporary comfort measures. Allergies are complicated, they don’t go away, there is no cure.
However there is effective treatment.
Here is my response to a similar question:
“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.”
“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”
If you click on my avatar and scan “replies created” you will find a multitude of comments I have provided related to allergies.
Ps: I can’t stress this enough. I would not apply anything to the rash, no over the counter meds, creams (nothing) unless recommended by a veterinarian that has examined the dog. Also, too much bathing may make the rash worse.
You can’t treat a condition until you know what it is 🙂
I agree with pitluv, if Iams works, stick with it. Maybe the fish doesn’t agree with him?
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.
You may find this article helpful, it describes the various treatments, written by a veterinary dermatologist.
Another option, ask your vet about an elimination diet/prescription food.
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.
Hi, what are you feeding your dog with Colitis ? so your looking for a dry food that can maybe cater for both dogs health problems….later on when both dogs are doing better give the TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb a try, it’s a single protein Lamb meal, limited ingredient kibble….
When I first rescued Patch he was diagnosed with Colitis from food intolerances & has Environment skin allergies as well, double whammy, poor dog, I had to do the elimination diet to find out what foods were irritating his bowel & skin, it was time consuming but worth it in the end, “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb was the first kibble after 2 yrs of trying vet diets & premium kibbles that helped my boy with his IBD & skin problems as well, it was like winning the lottery, I finally found a dry food that didn’t irritate his stomach & bowel & make his skin itch, even Patch was soo happy & started to gain some weight, IBD is an awful disease….. Patches vet rung me a bit worried cause we had not seen her in a while, we were at the vets monthly & she’d ring me weekly instead of me having to pay to see her at the vets office, Patch is very lucky we finally found a good vet & she has IBD as well, which is good cause she understands what poor Patch is going thru, she a very good vet, she’s originally from America & came to Australia…she explained how Colitis IBD can be painful, cause Patch sometimes starts being real clingy & whinges & follows me around the house, he drives me nuts some days, there’s been a few times I have asked her about putting him to sleep, I understand when you say this is the first night he hasn’t licked himself to sleep…..So he definitely has food sensitivities if you’ve change his food back & he’s back to normal after 5 days….like I said there’s no magic test for food sensitivities except food elimination diet….
I’m pretty sure TOTW cost the same price as Iams…..”Costco” does their “Kirkland Signature” Domain, they’re the same as TOTW formula’s, later when both dogs are doing really well, if ever you need to change kibbles, Costco do a Lamb & Rice formula, I don’t live near a Costco’s, I’ve heard Costco pet foods are good & cheaper…..
My older dog with colitis has it due to stress, which is what the vet says, and that makes sense because she’s gone through a lot the past month. She has been on Iams her whole life and there was another epic fail when we tried to switch her to a higher quality about 5-7 years ago. She’s 10.5 years old now.
Last week was the first time she’s ever had blood in her stool, which freaked me out so I took her to the vet and she got the Hill’s bland diet for a few days and rice, and an antibiotic. She’s been fine since!
Where I live, TOTW is about $23 more than Iams.
Has anyone heard of or tried dinovite?
Forget about it! It’s a scam. Not only is it ineffective, adverse reactions have been reported.
Click on the checkmark (upper right) to get rid of the annoying vet popup, lol
Ask your vet. I would stop listening to well meaning homeopathic supplement supporters. Stop looking for miracle cures. Your money would be better spent consulting a specialist, assuming that your regular vet has not been helpful within a reasonable amount of time.
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.
Thanks for your opinion. I’m definitely hesitant with any dog products that say they stop itching, because itching can have so many causes. I just wish I knew for sure what was causing it. I would assume it was the food since it happened as soon as I switched him. It’s been 4 days back on his previous food and he’s definitely still itching.
I don’t think my regular vet can help much with this, but I may try. All dog dermatology specialists in my area receive poor reviews.
You could ask your vet for a referral or call the nearest School of Veterinary Medicine. A dermatologist is the only way to get an accurate diagnosis.
They do specific tests to identify, plus they have examined thousands of dogs and can often tell a lot just by examining the dog.
I get it, you don’t want to spend the money. But, in my experience you are likely to spend a lot more going back and forth to the regular vet for band aid treatments, various diets, bogus remedies, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, meat grinders for raw diet.
Been there, done that.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.Randy DMember
Look, I am a complete novice, but it seems the common sense approach is one you have already taken-go back to the iams. If that resolves the problem, then you know it was the other food that was the cause. If not, then proceed accordingly.
Regarding frequent bathing and prescription shampoo (from a previous post/thread)
You can find the malaseb at chewy dot com at possibly a better price. I have found that after the first year of treatment by a veterinary dermatologist, I can now alternate with other gentle shampoos with good effect.
However, I had tried malaseb before seeing the dermatologist and it didn’t help. But, in conjunction with ASIT, it did.
I stopped recommending it unless prescribed by a vet as it is expensive and people expect too much. Plus, depending on the allergies, it may not be necessary.
Update: I spoke to the veterinary dermatologist today and he confirmed that malaseb shampoo was not always necessary and works best in conjunction with other treatments as prescribed by a veterinarian.
In fact, now that my dog is stable and responding well to ASIT (allergen specific immunotherapy), I can use inexpensive gentle otc (over the counter) dog shampoos instead.
He said often that just rinsing the dogs paws/feet off with plain water every time the dog comes in from outside, can be effective for removing pollens, especially after walking in grass covered in morning dew.
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian
“Look, I am a complete novice, but it seems the common sense approach is one you have already taken-go back to the iams. If that resolves the problem, then you know it was the other food that was the cause. If not, then proceed accordingly.”
@ Randy D
Apparently, the food changes are not working.
The dermatologist (that treats my dog) told me that most of the time pruritus (itching) is caused by environmental allergies.
The OP’s last post indicates that the dog is still very uncomfortable.
“It’s been 4 days back on his previous food and he’s definitely still itching.”
If it was my dog, depending on the severity of the symptoms, I might take the dog to the vet for a shot of prednisone to stop the suffering.
This is not veterinary advise; consult your veterinarian.
I switched him back to his old food on Monday night, it’s now Thursday night. I wonder how long it would take for the situation to resolve if it was the food causing a problem? He’s also had a bath and one dose of benadryl yesterday. He is better than he was a few days ago for sure. Still moderately itchy.
As I told you before, environmental allergies wax and wane. It is impossible for anyone, except a veterinarian that has examined your dog to answer your question.
My posts are getting repetitive as you keep asking the same questions over and over again.
You will not find medical help here or on any other forum.
Go to the vet. Get a diagnosis and see what is recommended.
Ps: Stop it with the over the counter meds.
This is not veterinary advise; consult your veterinarian.
Well I appreciate all of your knowledge and patience with me. He has an appointment set with the vet. He recommended benadryl in the meantime.
I just didn’t know. Sorry for being repetitive.
I know how frustrating it can be, if you call your vet’s clinic number they will tell you the nearest emergency 24/7 vet clinic you can take your dog to, if his symptoms are extreme.
As I mentioned in a previous post, one shot of prednisone can make the symptoms disappear (temporarily).
Benadryl has minimal effect…as you are finding out.
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.
PS: Sorry if I came across as harsh….not my intent.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by anonymous.
Oh I thought he was doing much better after going back to his Iams, it sounds like environment allergies, my boy has seasonal environment allergies & food intolerances, he’s fine thru the cold Winter months when all the pollens aren’t around & as long as he doesn’t eat any foods that he’s sensitive too, then as soon as Summer comes that’s it he’s one itchy mess…..
Best thing to do to relieve his itchy skin is BATHS, I give weekly baths or bath twice a week when Patch is one big itchy mess, I use “Malaseb” medicated shampoo, it can be used daily, when you bath you wash off the allergens on the skin & I use creams Sudocrem & Hydrocortisone 1% cream, at night I check his paws, head etc where ever looks red & sore I apply the cream to relieve his itchy skin or red paws, when he wakes up in morning he has clear skin, his red paws have all gone away, then we go on our walks & he starts getting his hive like lumps, red paws again, this is why it’s best to keep a diary you’ll start to see a pattern, as the years go by, what you used what worked best what foods he seemed better on etc…. normally fish kibbles are best cause they’re higher in Omega 3 fatty acids…..Costco has their Kirkland Signature Domain Smoked Salmon & Sweet Potatoes its the TOTW Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon but cheaper…
You need to feed a diet that’s high in Omega 3…..I wonder if the Iams isn’t balanced properly & too low in Omega 3 & too high in Omega 6 fatty acids??
I’d say Dinovite has ingredients higher in omega 3 that reduce inflammation & why Dinovite probably helps some dogs health wise….
When they did research they found some dog kibbles are lower in omega 3 & higher in Omega 6 causing skin problems, omega 3 is anti-inflammatory & omega 6 is pro-inflammatory, if you don’t want to change from the Iams to a higher omega 3 kibble then start adding 1 fish oil capsule a day to diet or buy the tin sardines in spring water & add about 2 small sardines to one of his meals a day, Aldi’s sell good cheap sardines in spring water..
Do you have a good vet that’s up to speed with new drugs & pretty good with dogs with skin problems?? some vets will specialize more in certain fields Patches vet specializes more in IBD & Skin problems sometimes you don’t have to see a Dermatologist & pay double the price certain vets can do skin scraps, tests & have all the new drugs that have come out…Vets are seeing more & more dogs with skin problems, my vet said she saw double the amount last Summer, we had a bad Summer that’s why Patches immune system went into over drive & had a IBD flare, reacting to the environment allergies.
Hills has a new vet diet that’s high in Omega 3, the Omega 3% should be 1/2 of what the omega 6 % is, it’s called, “Derm Defense” for Environment Allergies..
There’s a new drug called CADI – Cytopoint injections, same markers of Apoquel have brought out Cytopoint injections (CADI) is a new miracle drug for dogs with environment allergies these dog are finally getting some relief after years & years of having itchy skin, hopefully we’ll be getting it this Summer my vet said….& it has minimal side effects..
How CADI Injection works & is different from all the other drugs for skin problems it blocks the receptors completely, where Apoquel blocks the reaction from the allergen receptors, so many dogs are doing really well since having a monthly shot of CADI it can last from 4-6 weeks depends on your dog & they are finding it builds up in their system, as you get more injections you need less & less…….
Find out does your vets office hold this new drug just shop around in your area & find a vet that has the Cytopoint, that vet will be up to speed with skin problems, if your vets office doesn’t have the Cytopoint, then don’t waste your money seeing him he’ll just do the old fashion Prednisone injection & prednisone tablets that cause more health problems further down the line…
a really good Face Book group called “Dog issues, allergies and other information support group” join the group & read people response since trying the Cytopoint injections they have their old dog back itchy free & happy..
Thanks so much for all your info! It helps so that I can mention some ideas to my vet. He does not specialize in anything but I’m going to see what he can do and if my dog gets any worse then I’ll take further measures by finding another vet or something to do the testing.
I am going to consider the Malaseb shampoo, I’ve heard great things about it.
He takes a fish oil supplement but I am going to check to see that it has Omega 6.
I kind of think the bath is what helped soothe his skin. I used a hurts bees shampoo, I’m not sure how good that is but it seemed gentle.
His coat has also stayed nice and shiny through all of this though. A small amount of dandruff which I believe he’s had since I got him 3 months ago.
Hello Patterson C:
Asking questions on a forum intended for just that purpose? No apologies necessary IMO, ask away! 😉
Nice to read he is more comfortable now since he had a bath and a dose of Benadryl.
You sound like a caring dog owner that is reaching out to others for information. That’s how most of us found DFA. The next step is to sort through it all as you wrote above, “It helps so that I can mention some ideas to my vet.”
I bathe my dog with Malaseb shampoo, along with other brands with key ingredients, for his skin issues. Most times it is not used in conjunction with anything else, but it is a very important part of maintenance for him. If I fall behind I am reminded by him…he begins his frequent scratching and licking. During the winter/spring I bathe him about two times a month. During the summer/fall I bathe once sometimes twice a week; rinsing him off daily goes a long way most times.
I also give him Benadryl during his allergy season.
One thought, in your original post you wrote your dog “thrived” on Purina. I would switch back to what he did well eating as a starting point.
Here’s a site run by two boarded Vet Dermatogists. I like their library (under resources tab) and blog. They will also answer questions on their FB page:
Here’s the U.S. directory for ACVD Diplomats:
Good luck, maybe it is as simple as switching back to the food he thrived on!
Hello Randy D,
I agree it’s a good place to start. Although, I would feed the food that he did best on Purina.HoundMusicMember
I fed Purina for years, without a single issue. Started with a rescued GSD in 2003 who was so thin and malnourished, her body could no longer even handle food. I went with Purina ONE because a.) I was desperate b.) the Vet had recommended a lamb & rice diet just to get her system back into order c.) it was higher fat, protein, calories than most lamb based foods.
That dog went from eating 8 cups of ultra expensive designer food to about 4-5 cups, gained weight to boot, and I fed Purina, from Dog Chow to Pro Plan, on/off for several years, until a formula change in the Dog Chow. I used it on rabbit dogs being run 2-3x weekly, in whelp and nursing bitches, and later, conformation show dogs, all without a hitch. One of my bitches had her milk dry up within a few days of whelping on Merrick – after one meal of Purina ONE, she started producing it again. Her puppies mysterious skin condition also cleared up. So which, in that instance, was the inferior food?
I recently tried Dog Chow again and it wasn’t half bad. My dogs just do better on another feed. That is what it really comes down to. What food does *your* dog do well on? Listen to your dog, and not scare tactic sites on the internet.
@ Bobby Dog
Is that the rear end of a bluetick Beagle I spy in your avatar? 😀
- This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by HoundMusic.
I don’t know what he is, but definitely has a barrel of monkeys in there. He always has something to do so I have lots of pics of body parts. He has no time to pose. My guess is part Cattle dog and GSP, both common breeds where he was born. He is obsessed with birds, he points, and he likes to herd, so who knows!
A few years back I started feeding Bobby a food my JRT did so well on most of her life, Pro Plan. I fed her several different five star foods in her later years. Some of the foods were promoted at expos or local pet stores; I succumbed to marketing. Her later years were plagued with skin/fur, anal gland, and digestive issues.
Bobby had skin and fur issues I was working on with my Vet. He was healing, but I felt I hadn’t found the right food to help him further. Through the years I would read a post on DFA about an owner that either gave Pro Plan a try with good results or went back to it after disastrous results with another highly rated food despite the bad reviews on Purina products. So after thinking about how well my JRT did on it I made the leap. Very, very happy with how well he does on it. I feed a few other brands too, but he does best on Pro Plan and Exclusive recipes.
I wholeheartedly agree, listen to your dog. Researching and trying different foods is fine, but most importantly look at the results and listen to your dog. Pro Plan is definitely five stars for Bobby. 🙂
What none of you have taken into account is this dog has only been in the family for 3 months so came into family end of Winter, feeding the Purina probably had nothing to do with the dog being OK it was probably the cooler weather & the pollens weren’t around yet, looks like this dog has environment allergies, so he can probably end high end food or $2 kibble & still have his itchy skin…. Need to find out what in the environment is causing his itchy skin, this can be hard to do, there could be a few different allergens he’s reacting too, the best test is a Intradermal skin test is needed, where vet put allergens under the dogs skin & then see what does he react to, he may be allergic to dust mites from inside the house in carpet???
If Patterson has some savings make appointment with a Dermatologist or a vet that’s up to speed with all the testing involved cause owner will be going around & around in circle wasting more & more money as the years go by….
Allergies seem to get worse as they get older… the cheapest & probably the easiest is to have the Cytopoint injections excellent for environment allergies & relieves the dog within 24hrs…..& a diet high in omega 3 & dog high potency vitamin C is a natural anti histamine…
I never diagnosed the dog’s issues, I just gave my POV regarding the info posted by the OP and shared my experiences… 😉
Hi Bobby dog
I’m not saying you diagnosed, the dog has only been with poster for 3 months, I didn’t know this either till I read poster’s post above your original post then it clicked, the food probably has nothing to do with the dogs skin problems, if he’d been on the Purina for over 1 yr then changed formula’s & he became itchy then yes it’s the new food.. 🙂
From the very first post on this forum, “Got my lab 2.5 months ago.” As I wrote above I am replying to information the OP posted and sharing my experiences.
Let’s share the forum. I always find different POV’s and shared experiences helpful. Perhaps other posters do as well.
Bobby dog, I’m sharing, I was just pointing out how long poster has had her dog; it wasn’t to you by the way, YES I know DIFFERENT POV’s shared experiences are very helpful, I’ve been posting about sharing for over 6months now about Anon 101, posting & posting & reposting & knocking other poster POST continually …., there’s a few bullys on this side maybe your not familiar being on the other side more???
I think we are way off topic, let’s call it a day, cheers.
Another random thought, the majority of his biting and licking is in the am and pm when he’s closed in my room. He does this before he falls asleep and it’s also what I wake up to in the morning, the sound of him licking himself. Maybe some of it could be boredom or just routine. Don’t know
We’ll start getting answers on Monday at his appt, not sure how long the test results take.
Yes. Good luck! Did you see the article I posted this morning?
Hope it helps.
The reason I suggested going to a veterinary dermatologist is that if the vet determines the dog’s allergies are probably environmental, intradermal skin testing is much more accurate and precise than the blood test. And often if the band aid treatments and elimination/prescription food trials don’t work, intradermal skin testing would be the next step prior to allergen specific immunotherapy.
This is not veterinary advice; consult your veterinarian.
Just a guess, is your room carpeted? If so, fleas (common allergen) need to be ruled out, also carpets are notorious for harboring dust mites (another common allergen).mason jMember
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