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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    242

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    I have completely taken away all corn, wheat, soy, and animal proteins. He seems to be healing and not chewing as much. Does anyone have experience with this? How long before I know that this food is working? I've read it can take 6-8 weeks before you really know? Is that true? I use topical creams and have given him a benedryl a couple of times. My poor little man, his name is Rebel by the way. The guy is the photo.
    Before I got my pup Pascal I did a lot of research on pet foods. Mainly because our first Sheltie died due to blader cancer and his diet! I fell in love with the Sheltie's and knew I would get another but wanted to do things better for this pup. Long story short I decided on this for our pup:

    http://www.darwinsnaturalpet.com/index.html

    One of the claims is that it helps with allergies, you might want to check it out. Pascal loves it and although it's a bit pricey for the overall health benefits I think you'll find it to even out with less vet bills!

    Give your Rebel a big hug for me he's got to be rather miserable I hope you find a suitable solution for him.
    Life is like a 10 speed bike, we all have gears we never use.
    Charles Schultz

    "The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community." Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    894
    I give mine fish oil capsules and vitamin E capsules. They both come for the pharmacy and are for human use
    He does not like them though - he chews on them for a while with a very disgusted face...

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    south georgia
    Posts
    949
    Thanks everybody. I have a sleeping Rebel in my lap as I write and he appreciates the help. I think I will keep things status quo and see what happens. I know that the last food he was on when the allergies surfaced included fish so I will wait on the oil. Cyclenewbie08, when you had your dog tested was it blood work or the actual spot testing? I was told that the blood work is a hit or miss. You guys are the best. Knock on wood that fleas/ticks have never been an issue. I have a K9 with the police dept. as well, a belgian malinois (a bomb sniffer) and the yard gets sprayed courtesy of the county. One less thing to worry about.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,297
    Quote Originally Posted by kerryhb View Post
    My terrier has a perpetual mild itch..nibbles on his feet too. The vet has suggested changing his food, which we have...he also gets Missing Link supplement, but I would like to try the fish oil. Is it people fish oil from the vitamin section, or special veterinary fish oil? Can you get the liquid in a bottle, or do you squeeze the capsules over their food? Thank you!
    Mine get the capsules which they chew and therefore smell fishy. Their little beards (schnuazers) have the fish oil in them, yuck but necessary.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    41
    Both my guys get human fish-oil capsules, whole, with each meal. They love it - I've even seen Augie pick his out of his kibble and eat it first.

    I haven't noticed a particularly fishy smell from either of them.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    south georgia
    Posts
    949
    I have some reservations about the fish oil since his original food had salmon and fish oil in it. I did give him some flaxseed which he ate right out of the bag. I think thats safe for right now with the veggie food. I know that that fish oil tablets I used to take would haunt me for hours.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Skagit County, Washington
    Posts
    1,306
    I just saw how long this is... SORRY!
    I'll try to answer much of this the best I can (remember -- I've been ER for 3 yrs, not daily skin stuff - but it hasn't changed much in three years!). Skin problems are one of the most frustrating and common problems we vets encounter! It is one of the things I miss least about being a day-practice vet!

    Dietary changes take 4-6 weeks to make a difference sometimes -- hang in there.

    I do have concerns about "protein free" -- what is the source of protein and be sure it is enough (ie, the side of the bag should have AAFCO regulations posted). otherwise you could end up with worse problems. We typically began a single protein source and did that for 6 weeks before deciding if it was helping or not.

    There are some great over-the-counter diets that I've seen make a huge difference in some pets without any previous testings... Wellness WhiteFish and Sweet Potato. The VanDyke limited allergen brands listed by someone else are also pretty good.

    Fish Oil supplies large amounts of Omega 3/6 Fatty Acids which are excellent for the skin, as well as many other parts of the body! If there is an allergy to fish, obviously, Flaxseed is a better choice. But the fish is a more balanced 3/6 ratio for them.

    Don't forget that you can use anti-histamines for itching when it is bad -- plain diphenhydramine (ie, benadryl) -- without any additives of cold / pain relief -- can be very helpful at 1mg/pound or less. You may give this 1 to 3 x daily to a healthy pet (check with your vet), and when used with the fish oil is an excellent combo.

    Blood tests: Skin testing is the gold standard for allergy testing of any kind. Blood tests are not supposed to be quite as good for inhaled allergens, and I've read many times that food allergens are not able to be tested with blood or skin testing. Dietary elimination is the gold standard here. Don't spend your money of blood "food allergy" tests -- it is a waste. However, sometimes these guys also have inhalant or topical allergies, also, and skin testing or blood testing may help you figure this out. I would see a skin specialist for this if you are considering it. It is money well spent.

    Prescription diet -- there are several very good diets on the market that are Rx at your vet's office....
    IVD makes wonderful hypoallergenic diets: Venison and Potato is excellent
    Science Diet makes a z/d that I use in Last Case scenarios: It is chicken but they put it through "hydrolization" which means that it breaks the proteins into tiny pieces, too small for the body's immune system to recognize, and therefore it will not create an immune response. Sounds great, but there are some side effects in several dogs -- you must introduce it very slowly / transition... or diarrhea / gas can be a huge problem.

    Bathing can help -- there are prescription shampoos that put EFA's onto the skin and are soap free / hypoallergenic. There is also benadryl shampoo and conditioners that help with itching. Relief spray has colloidal oatmeal and is helpful

    Stay away from steroids as much as possible. Way too many side effects! In terribly severe cases they can be useful as short term relief until you can get a handle with other treatments, but do NOT use these regularly. Many dogs end up with diabetes following long term steroid use, and there are many other problems that it can create.

    And as someone else mentioned -- always use flea treatment in these guys -- they cannot handle even one b/c they are so sensitive!

    Hope this is useful information. Good Luck.
    Jes
    Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    south georgia
    Posts
    949
    Thanks Jes, that was excellent info. I have isolated all the proteins he has been exposed to and the one that he has had the most is fish. He has also had chicken and lamb. I think that the fish is the culprit. I want to inroduce a protein after maybe another week with his improvement on the veggie diet, maybe beef. What do you think about cheese as a protein? Or is the dairy a bad idea? I was told before that yogurt may help. I have used benedryl sparingly and have Ketochlor shampoo and cream. He is improving and really only licks his feet after they get wet from the morning dew. I don't want to do the allergy test unless I have to. I think this maybe aggravated by summer heat, but he is improving. Thats a good thing. Rebel and I thank you immensely.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    8
    Hi Kermit,

    I had the blood allergy test done on Titan(my dog). He had been through so much already with the open sores, sneezing, itching, and such that I couldn't put him through the skin test. The blood test was enough to give us what he was allergic to the most. Changing his diet and removing as much dust as possible from my house has worked wonders. It's funny....the type of food Titan can eat(fish) is what your dog seems to be allergic to the most. Having all of these allergies proves to me that dogs are much more human like than we give them credit for!

    Good luck and let me know how it all works out for you and Rebel. If you have anymore questions, just let me know.

    Chris

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Penticton, BC
    Posts
    42
    My girls doesnt have allergies, but my old pup did and we went trough a lot of trial and error with him...i found it normally took between 2-3 weeks to really make a difference with his food, but he was quick to repsond once we found the right one! Also, i noticed that with him it was not about one particular food to avoid, really think it had more to do with the preservatives that are used.
    Hope you're little guy is alright!! i know it's difficult. Benadryl works welll, so does an oatmeal bath and for sore spots i used diaper rash cream (zinc cream) on him...it stopped him from scratching!!

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,505

    A Holistic Approach

    After one year of painful allergy shots, my shepherd is not any better. Yesterday, we saw a vet who also does alternative medicine. Here is what he suggested:

    Probiotics - helps heal leaky gut syndrome.
    Vitamins C & E
    Fish Oil - if your guy reacts, try salmon oil. Always get the capsules because the bottled stuff can be rancid. Do not use cod liver oil because you'll overdose vitamin A.

    Food - when I did the food trial, I got IVD rabbit from my vet. I wanted to be absolutely positive that the protein source wasn't contaminated. Since you have to do it 6-8 weeks, it pays to do it once. Watch all treats, even rawhides, etc.

    Douxo calm shampoo - leave on 10 minutes & rinse
    Hylyt bath oil spray - daily. Can be diluted if he gets too oily.

    Food - I home cooked for him. Vet said a food called Orijen is excellent. It is made in Canada & all parts of production - from fish catching to final product is done in one place. Nothing is out sourced. It's a small company.

    Stay away from grains. Read labels.

    I went the alternative medicine route because I couldn't stand him being so miserable. The allergy shots were painful & he hated going to the doggie dermatologist. They didn't help at all & often made him worse. My regular vet suggested that I consult with this guy (who does allopathic and alternative medicine).

    Keeping fingers - and paws - crossed!
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    south georgia
    Posts
    949
    Thanks everybody. Just a heads up, I tried Desitin with zinc, which worked great on his itchy feet, but he vomited alot. The zinc is toxic and can cause bad things. Of course something that works made him sick. Its a work in progress.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Skagit County, Washington
    Posts
    1,306
    I think that the fish is the culprit. I want to inroduce a protein after maybe another week with his improvement on the veggie diet, maybe beef. What do you think about cheese as a protein? Or is the dairy a bad idea? I was told before that yogurt may help.
    I really don't like beef as a protein in general... this is because it seemed that corn and beef were the most common problems that I saw over the years. Of course, some may not be allergic at all to beef, but I always stear clear of it. Venison, Rabbit are good choices for you, it sounds like -- IVD makes excellent diets of both. There is also kangaroo out there which is supposed to be great, but I don't know the source .. and it kind of creeped me out to think about eating kangaroo!. Lamb and Beef tend to cross react some, so avoid both.

    Yogurt can always be very helpful to the gi tract as a source of probiotic / helpful bacteria. Careful if you are thinking about "probiotics" as some sources are beef flavored powders (you have to think about EVERYTHING!).

    Snacks: I used to have clients buy the canned version of whatever diet they were feeding and then make bite sized cookies by baking in the oven at about 350 degrees, for 10-30 minutes (experiment).

    As for cheese, temporary, occasional treat, maybe, but not a good a good enough source of protein for long term.

    Sounds like everyone has given you some great advice. Good luck! Perhaps when the summer / fall pollens are gone he will be more comfortable... it only adds to the problem sometimes.

    Jes
    Everyone Deserves a Lifetime

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Beantown
    Posts
    41
    Quote Originally Posted by jesvetmed View Post
    I really don't like beef as a protein in general... this is because it seemed that corn and beef were the most common problems that I saw over the years.
    Couldn't that just be due to beef and corn being so common, though? Or was the incidence of allergy out of proportion to the incidence of beef/corn in the dog food supply?

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    south georgia
    Posts
    949
    I had originally wanted to try a venison food. The natural Balance brand makes it. I went to get it and the manager at the pet store told me there are problems with the venison foods and some have been recalled. The next week I went it was back on the shelf but now I'm worried. Thought the beef would be safer. I got the Natural Balance canned beef food, really nice, no fillers and he loved it. Just a teaspoon for protein.

 

 

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