Skin allergy in my French Bulldog

Dog Food Advisor Forums Editors Choice Forum Skin allergy in my French Bulldog

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  • #46262 Report Abuse
    Terri M
    Member

    After several skin scrapings to rule out sarcopic mange, demodectic mange and yeast (all negative), my vet wants us to try an elimination diet. Royal Canin specific protein -Rabbit/potato was what they wanted him to try along with wet rabbit food to mix with the dry. Have any of you had success with this food regimen? We’ve been asked to do this for eight weeks. I have two other frenchies (both brindle) with no skin/coat issues. This sweet boy is honey blonde. We also have him on omega-derm which I put on his food once daily. We have also done the corticosteroid injection followed by antibiotic and steroid therapy which worked for a while, but the skin condition came back. Prior to this, I had switched him to Acana a Grasslands grain free with wet food. I also use a special allergy anti-shampoo. I’m at my wits end trying to help my little guy. Any suggestions/advice are welcomed!

    #46267 Report Abuse
    Susan
    Member

    Yes terri, Elimination diets are best, but you can do ur own home cooked or raw, instead of the kibble, I found my boy cant have Potatos or sweet potatos makes him itch more, I started with just boiled chicken breast & pumkin, then after 2 weeks I added some sweet potato & within 2 days his ears were itching, so I stopped the sweet potatos & his ears stop itching, then I added a boiled egg, he was fine, I started gaving him a little bit of banana as a treat he was fine but I noticed that he started to get his yeasty stinky smell again & I looked up bananas & they are a high carb fruit that converts to sugar that causes yeast, so now Im stopping the banana, he’s not a happy camper, he loves his banana, Im sick of cooking & freezing chicken every 10 days, Im using tuna or salmon now instead of the chicken, my vet said try goat, I went to the butcher & he said that goat is dearer then lamb, around $35 a kilo, that idea went out the door, The vet did skin scrapping & got stuff out of his ears & he too came back negitive for yeast but he itched & stank like a bread shop, real stinky yeast smell..so I dont understand, Ive googled high carb fruit & vegies & I stay away from them…I will not try the steriods as I saw on one of Dr Karen Becker videos the steriods just mask the problem, a band-aid as soon as u stop the steriods the problem comes back, I think the enviornment adds to Patches itch problem as well, we walk alot so just rubbing against a plant, grass or sniffing pollen in the air can set them off, next dog will not have any white on their bodies, the vet said white dogs are normally more prone to skin problems..
    If your dog can stomach raw, then raw is best for elimination diets, there’s no carbs, that’s why Id say alot of dogs have these itchy problems….also alot of these grainfree kibbles have potatos, peas, sweet potatos, lentils, barley, legumes…

    #46273 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    Hi Terri

    Did your vet explain an elimination diet to you? The initial period is very important to allow the body to get rid of all the histamines that it has been accumulating. After those 8 weeks(my vet suggests 10), you start adding food back in one at a time and feed them for a while to see how your dog reacts. This way you can determine both what he is reacting to and what is safe to give him. When I put my dog on an elimination diet, I started adding back the ingredients that were in the kibble I wanted to move him to. It has taken 2 years of playing around with my dogs diet, but we now know he can’t have chicken in any form, many grains, tomato, and most recently, flaxseed.

    There are other limited ingredient diets that you can use to start with, but as Sue said, starting with homemade is best. That way you can start with even fewer ingredients. If you don’t notice your dog starting to get better within just a few days, you need to look for something else to start with.

    #46293 Report Abuse
    Terri M
    Member

    Thanks so much for your replies. Yes, my vet said NOTHING else, not even chew bones, while doing the elimination diet. I’m going to give it a try. I’ve also done quite a bit of reading about boosting their immune systems with probiotics. What are your thoughts on this? My vet said “NO RAW”. Not sure why….the holistic store I’ve been going to gave me a sample for him to try and you would have thought I had put crack in front of him! He loved it! Do y’all know why vets are so against raw? My vet did mention a homemade diet as well. If this doesn’t work, I’m SO there!

    #46300 Report Abuse
    DogFoodie
    Member

    If I were doing an elimination diet, I wouldn’t add any supplements either.

    #46305 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    A lot of vets are against raw diets. I think it is a lack of education on their part. They always bring up the possibility of pathogenic bacteria, but look how many kibbles have been recalled due to pathogenic bacteria lately.

    Like Betsy, I wouldn’t add anything to the elimination diet until it is the thing you are testing.

    #46316 Report Abuse
    Susan
    Member

    Hi, Patches vet said no to raw but that was cause he has IBD, he said too much fat & bacteria..next time ask ur vet why he said NO, what are his reasons…I’m reading Dr Karen Becker book called “Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats”, she explains that when changing to a raw diet it takes up to 3 months for dogs with digestion problems. here’s a link to her probiotics for dogs, her probiotics have 14 strains.. http://probiotics.mercola.com/probiotics-for-pets.html

    #46400 Report Abuse
    Judy M
    Member

    I am a holistic veterinarian. I have had the best luck in allergic dogs using raw diets like Stella N Chewy’s frozen raw. They have rabbit, which is a novel protein. Lamb works sometimes, but not always. I have found almost all American, English, and French bulldogs do better on raw diets. They are very prone to skin allergies. Also, probiotics are a must.

    #46401 Report Abuse
    Judy M
    Member

    The probiotics need to be vegetarian, made for dogs, not humans. I like Rx Biotics by Rx Vitamins. Don’t use Fortiflora – it has Animal Digest. YUCK

    #46407 Report Abuse
    Terri M
    Member

    Thanks so much for all the help regarding raw diets! My holistic pet food store highly recommended it as well.

    Judy, thanks so much for your reply as well. Wouldn’t you know….my vet gave me Fortiflora!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do I need a prescription for Rx Biotics??? Do you advocate the use of rabbit in raw the most?? I’ve heard so many negative things about fowl – no chicken or duck (anything with feathers) so it certainly doesn’t leave many other options except for beef. Also – do you give any other foods (i.e. fruits/veggies) along with this diet? OmegaDerm was also given. Please advise!

    Thanks!!!
    Terri

    #46461 Report Abuse
    InkedMarie
    Member

    Terri,
    I’ve never heard not to feed fowl. I feed duck, turkey & chicken. If you’re looking to feed pre made raw, Primal has a bunch of proteins. I feed ground raw: lamb, goat, beef, turkey, duck, beef and that’s just what’s in my freezer. There are many others: bison, emu, rabbit, etc.
    I disagree with Judy about the probiotics. Human grade is much better, human supplements are regulated, pets are not. Judy, I want to point out & I may be wrong but I believe if you are a veterinary professional & posting here, you are supposed to post under your real name.

    #48089 Report Abuse
    Brenda C
    Member

    Terri

    I have French Bulldogs, too, we have 6. And yes, i’ve heard in the French community over the years that there is a higher ratio of light coloured coats (cream, fawn, pied) with skin allergies than the darker ones, such as brindle.

    WHAT WORKED FOR MY FRENCHIES: bathing with Nizoral shampoo (at the drugstore), and Natural Balance Potato and Rabbit. This food has worked well – it is a single protein source food, so it really is only rabbit (many other so called single protein source foods have, chicken, turkey, beef, etc. added to it, all of which can be allergy triggers. This food is just the rabbit. They are now coming out with a sps. kangaroo kibble as well.

    Best of luck! 🙂

    Brenda
    Force Majeure French Bulldogs

    #48090 Report Abuse
    Brenda C
    Member

    PS my allergy specialist has pointed out that many species are genetically closely related, eg., cattle to bison to deer to sheep…. Same applies to fowl, chicken to turkey to duck, etc.
    If your dog has an allergy to chicken, best to avoid all fowl protein sourced foods.

    I guess after numerous stubborn cases, this is why allergy specialists recommend rabbit or kangaroo now.

    #50163 Report Abuse
    Dawn R
    Member

    Hi Terri,
    I’ve got two pugs (brindle and fawn) that are 5 and 6 years old and have suffered from both food allergies/sensitivities and seasonal items for years. I’m had them on raw diets for the past 3 to 4 years and fed kibble prior to that. I’ve tried just about every medicated shampoo, supplements, probiotics/enzymes and testing that is out there including taking them to a vet dermatologist. In the early years the boys had been on antibiotics and steroids until I decided to pursue a more holistic program with them. The most informative testing that I did that helped get me started down the right path was with a company called Glacier Peak Hollistics. They have a Healthy Dog Sensitivity Assessment that costs $80.00 which is a hair and saliva test. You submit hair back to them as well as swabs and it gives you a really extensive report back. You get results back fairly quick and then can make decisions on food proteins you should eliminate from their diet, or allergies to ingredients. I’ve done the more traditional IgE and IGg testing on them and paid close to $250.00 for testing and the results didn’t come close to the holistic testing.

    #53457 Report Abuse
    Terri M
    Member

    I really appreciate all the feedback I have gotten. I am determined to heal my dog holistically, if at all possible, and I believe I can. I am not anti-vet by ANY means……I just believe his immune system is not where it needs to be along with the allergy problems and I believe it starts with nutrition. I picked up some raw food today at the pet health food store (Stella and Chewy’s) and also some freeze dried raw. It was also suggested that adding raw virgin coconut oil (1 TBSP per day) to their food, in addition to 4 oz. raw goat’s milk and omega 3 supplement (1-1 1/2 tsp) per day. Do any of you have any experience with this? I was told it works particularly well to cure yeast as well as heal the skin.

    #53459 Report Abuse
    Dori
    Member

    Hi Terri M. Please make sure that the raw virgin coconut oil is organic. Also, with the coconut oil, don’t start at 1 TBSP. start by adding very little per meal and eventually work your way up to the TBSP. Giving your dogs that much coconut oil without having introduced it slowly is sure to cause diarrhea. As far as the raw goat’s milk, I would also introduce that slowly until you’re sure that your dog is tolerating it well. I would also not start with both the coconut oil and raw goat’s milk at the same time. If you’re dogs have any issues you won’t know what caused it. What omega 3 supplement were you thinking of using? Canned sardines in water with NO salt that you buy in the grocery store is a good way of adding omega 3. Another way is also adding a fish oil. I use Nature’s Logic Sardine Oil. I keep it in the fridge and splash a little on one of their meals in the day then the bottle goes right back in the fridge. Fish oils go rancid pretty quickly so even though a food will say it contains fish oil, it’s viable really to be of any use which is the reason that fish oil should be kept refrigerated. I feed my girls canned sardines two or three times a week either as a mid day or evening snack or as a topper on their meal and on those days I do not add the sardine oil. I prefer sardine oil to other oils because sardines have a very short life span. In other words they’re not swimming around in waters long enough to absorb a lot of the dangers and toxics that have now so contaminated our waters. I never ever feed my dogs salmon or salmon oil because of the contaminated waters that they general come from. You have to really trust your fish monger when selecting fish for your dogs and make sure they know where the fish came from.

    I noticed that you said you also bought freeze dried. Keep in mind that freeze dried is the most expensive way to go.

    Let me say that I am delighted that you are going to feed your dogs raw. I’ve been feeding my three dogs commercial raw foods for a little over 2 and 1/2 years, maybe closer to three and the difference in them is nothing short of miraculous. I have a maltipoo, Katie, who I used to say was allergic to life in general. She was a complete and total mess. She was always itchy, tear stain,, gas to clear a house out, diarrhea, yeasty ears, shedding like crazy (her breed is not suppose to shed, they have hair not fur…..I’m allergic to animals), I could go on and on and on. Other than the occasional bout of seasonal allergies (Spring, Fall), all those issues have cleared up. No more scratchy, stains, gas, yeast, her hair is now not shedding at all and very very shiny. Good luck I know you’ll be happy you made the switch. Eventually when you have things better under control I hope you’ll give thought to rotating your dogs commercial raw meals with different brands and the different proteins within those brands.

    Sorry, one more thing. Don’t forget the treats you feed. Most commercial treats contain grains and other garbage. Not all, but most. I feed little bits of organic fruits and veggies as treats. Healthy and none cause harm as commercial treats do. You also don’t have to worry about the dreaded recalls.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Dori.
    #53461 Report Abuse
    Terri M
    Member

    Yes! The coconut oil is organic, virgin pressed. Thanks for all your feedback/help. I value others opinions as this is the first time I have had to deal with allergies in my frenchie. My other 2 are brindle and they never had issues. He (my honey one) seems to be allergic to air! I agree about adding things slowly. 🙂

    Check out this site: http://www.healx.com and look at the Omega3 Booster. This is what was recommended to me. It is a whole food supplement. Let me know your thoughts on this.

    I know what you mean about treats. I came home one day to a big bag of animal cookies on my kitchen counter. My husband was trying to be sweet and fed the dogs animal cookies! LOL I knew he meant well. I have tried berries and sometimes they will eat and sometimes not. They love apples. What is your opinion on chicken? Everyone is telling me to stay away from it. We have had them on rabbit and geez it is SO expensive. Thanks for the tip about sardines!

    #53466 Report Abuse
    theBCnut
    Member

    Coconut oil is good for a number of reasons, so I use it with all my dogs. And the goats milk is a wonderful source of natural probiotics. As Dori says start slowly and build up.

    Chicken is a common allergen, so that’s why they say to avoid it.

    #53571 Report Abuse
    Dori
    Member

    Hi Terri M. I went onto the healx.com site. I’ve never heard of them but that’s not so much my issues with them. My issue with anything I give my three dogs (or myself and husband) is they say it’s a proprietary blend. So you don’t actually know what’s in it. I don’t give them anything that I don’t know exactly what’s in a food, supplement, whatever. There are more natural ways that you can give omega 3’s to balance out omega 6’s in foods. Sardines, sardine oil, as I mentioned before. I try to go natural before I start adding pills.

    As to the chicken, I don’t feed chicken, chicken fat, turkey, pheasant, quail. In other words, I don’t feed any fowl whatsoever. They are very high as a common allergen as BC noted. You’ll also note that when dog foods are recalled it’s typically, not always, some sort of poultry. If you choose to avoid fowl in all it’s forms don’t be fooled if a food says they are Venison or some other protein on the front of the food. Read the entire ingredient list. More than half the foods on the market will have some sort of chicken or turkey in the ingredients.

    You didn’t ask but I will also tell you that I avoid canola oil like the plague. I don’t like anything about canola, don’t use it myself and it has a horrible allergic effect on all three of my dogs. Two of my dogs have no food or environmental issues whatsoever, they never did. Katie, 5 year old Maltipoo is the first dog I have ever had that has allergies. I adopted her at 9 weeks of age and she was a mess back then. It has been trial and error all the way with her but because of Katie I have had a wonderful experience on this forum and other canine forums and have gained a wealth of knowledge that I had never had a reason to know in the past. One benefit of Katie’s allergies and intolerances is that my other two girls have benefited from her having issues. They are all on raw food and look and feel great. Hannah, my 15 year old Maltese with multiple cancers (bladder and lung) has no idea she’s ill. No one would believe it including myself. No one that sees her or plays with her or watches her playing with the other two dogs can believe she is 15 years old let alone has cancer. I attribute all this to the raw food, fruits and veggies. I only wish I had started on raw many years ago.

    When Katie was very very young vets had her on antihistamines, Atopica (horrible horrible medication that screws up their organs and lord knows what else). I’d taken her to a canine allergist who wanted to do skin testing which I refused to do. The poor baby was a real mess I wasn’t about to put her through that. Anyway, the long and the short of it is that not only does Katie no longer have allergy problems as related to foods, I can’t remember when the last time was that she had a antihistamine.

    Rabbit can be one of the more expensive ones but there are so many other proteins you can use. Chicken is the cheapest but I always recommend anyone that has a dog with food intolerances to stay away from anything and everything with feathers. It’s worked for Katie who was in pitiful shape. There is a theory out there that just because they are allergic to chicken in a kibble doesn’t mean that they can’t eat chicken raw. That theory is just that, a theory. It is very possible to be allergic to the raw chicken as Katie is. I’ve asked before, I’d love to know who makes up all these theories out there. Most of them aren’t true. I guess sort of like “old wives tales”, some worked some didn’t.

    By the way, as to the amounts of organic virgin coconut oil and the raw goats milk, you didn’t mention the weight of your dog. We would have to know that before advising you how much to add to your dogs food.

    Unless your dog has an active infection, he should not be on antibiotics. They wreak havoc with the system. Also, steroids is only dealing with the symptoms and not whatever he is allergic to. I had been advised to put Katie on steroids but I and her vet said no, also no to the antibiotics. Her vet is very strict about antibiotics. ONLY if a dog has an infection either visually or proved by blood tests. She’s not real thrilled about prednisone either. The practice I go to has four vets. The one I see now that joined the practice last year is good with raw foods. The other three just push the garbage they sell and think you’re misguided feeding raw. The new vet that I use trained for a couple of years at Georgia Veterinary Hospital under the tutelage of Dr. Susan Wynn (homeopathic, holistic nutritionist). Dr. Wynn was thrilled when she found out who I was using as a regular vet. Said my dogs couldn’t possibly be in better hands.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Dori.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Dori.
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