Does My Dog Have Allergies? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 07-02-2011, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Obviously, I'll call the vet on Monday, but we're running out of dog food and will need to buy more before Monday.  I'd like to try something that may be good for dogs with allergies, just in case.  Plus it seems like the foods good for dogs with allergies are really the best for all dogs anyway.  Just wanted to pick your brains a bit if you don't mind :)


First, we have an 11 week old lab/shepherd mix.  He tends towards the lab side in appearance and personality as far as I can tell.  Anyway, he scratches a lot on his stomach and sides.  A lot.  He bites his legs.  While he is biting he makes a weird sound, not really a whine, more like a sigh of relief mixed with a bit of pain.  He does not scratch his face and he does not lick his feet (those seem to be common symptoms in dogs with environmental allergies, from what I have gleaned from google LOL).  He has patches of fur missing on his belly, legs, and a bit on his sides.  More alarming, he has raw patches and sores in these areas.


Now for his food history.  His previous owner was feeding him Puppy Chow, so I started with that because he was used to it, but then went to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Blend.  We bought a really small bag and it didn't go far, plus it wasn't a puppy formula, or a large breed formula.  About that time, our grocery store has Beneful on clearance sale for half off, so I bought a 15lb bag.  He's been eating it for two weeks now.  He has always been a scratchy puppy, ever since we got him.  He does not have fleas.  But the sores are quite new.  He wasn't on the grain-free Blue Buffalo blend long enough, in retrospect, for us to notice a difference.  He was on it for about a week.  We didn't realize how much a growing large breed puppy ate.  He liked it, though.  Gobbled it right up.  That's the other thing about Beneful.  He doesn't gobble it up.  We are having a hard time getting him to eat as much as he is supposed to and he's looking thin.  His stools are usually rather loose.  Occasionally he has all-out diarrhea.


We have a routine vet appointment next Friday, but I'll call on Monday to see if we can have it moved up.  But, you know, the internet age.  Just wanted to throw this out there and see if any one else had similar experiences and what food was good.  From what I gather, we'd have to try a new food for 12 weeks to see if it alleviates his condition anyway, so might as well start now.  And if it's not an allergy, they still tend to be healthier dog foods.  Oh, and since we will need new food soon, we cannot order it online, so it will have to be something available at Petco.  Bonus if it's available in large breed puppy formula and available in large bags (30-40 lb) :)


And we are not interested in feeding raw right now.

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#2 of 4 Old 07-02-2011, 05:32 PM
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My dog was rx with allergies back in 2007. His symptoms are itchy skin on his belly and legs which he scratched to the point of loss of hair and darkened thickened skin in that area plus he likes to rub his belly on the carpet to scratch. He also had problems with his ears getting waxy and red. I'm convinced at this point it's environmental allergies due to it's seasonal nature and the fact that it reduced significantly after we moved houses. He still gets flare ups seasonally but not nearly like it was. He got a full work up at the vet including checking his thyroid since the symptoms can be caused by other things. His treatment plan was permanent switch to a raw diet, and Zymox otic treatment for his ears, medicated shampoo from the vet called malaseb, antihistamines, Eqyss Micro-tek spray to reduce the itching. 


He is doing much better now, and in fact doesn't use antihistamines anymore. He is still on raw as are all our dogs, and gets bathed when it acts up and gets the Zymox for his ears as needed same with the micro-tek spray. 


It could be a variety of things though, a vet visit is the best idea. My vet tried to put him on Hills allergy diet but I was having none of that. Really, here is the list of their so called "allergy" food 


Starch, Hydrolyzed Chicken Liver, Soybean Oil (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), Hydrolyzed Chicken, Powdered Cellulose, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid, Taurine, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.



Nice, starch and powdered cellulose. uh huh.


Anyway off my soapbox on the crappy Hills food. 

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#3 of 4 Old 08-19-2011, 11:00 AM
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I could suggest the dog food that my GSD currently eats, but I know each dogs has different needs. (He eats Acana BTW, they are a slightly lower protein brand made by the same makers of Orijen).


The main thing to consider when looking at kibble, it to look at the ingredients. I would stay away from anything with corn, soy, wheat, or unnamed meat, or by-products in it. You will find that almost 100% of dog food in grocery store contain at least one of these. Since he seems to have some sort of allergy, I would try a novel protein source and possibly grainfree, but I've also seen some good kibble made with oatmeal, so not really a horrible idea. Also some dogs have a problem with gas when potatoes are they source of carbs. So for a food, I would see what stores are available and check the ingredients list. No one can tell you how much you can spend or what dog food will work best for YOUR dog, so I would get out there and check a few out. Ones I like for sensitive pups are California naturals (they have a grain free now), Taste of the Wild, or Pinnacle.


I know this is an older thread, so maybe you have found some relief for his scratching, but if not. look into dog shampoos with aloe and tea tree oil. When dogs have itchy skin like that it is similar to a bug bite, sometimes if its not bad you can put a bit of benedryl on it and it will heal on its own, but if you scratch it and the skin breaks, then its more itchy, it hurts and it could get infected. I don't know how itchy he is but you might also have to help the skin heal as well before you will notice a difference.


One last thing, If a vet automatically offers you a steroid to stop the itching, hold off until you get a chance to adjust the diet/environment because it is very harsh on the kidneys and does NOT SOLVE the issue of the itching, only masks the issue, so once you stop, the dog will still be itchy.


Okay, done with my speech orngtongue.gif

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#4 of 4 Old 08-19-2011, 07:21 PM
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the vast majority of allergies are not food related, they are usually environmental, so first look for any allergens in the home esp new soaps and detergents, and also look outside or if he has been to a new area. For food allergies you can get limited ingredient kibbles from several different manufacturers, Natural Balance and acana are the two I use.

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