Dog Food Allergies

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Dog Food Allergies

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    05-28-2014, 03:37 PM
Dog Food Allergies

So this may be a dumb question but...

Can dogs develop allergies to a food they have been on for 2yrs or so?

I know that with people their system can change and they can suddenly become allergic to something they've eaten their entire life. Can the same thing happen in dogs?

My 3yr old mini Aussie has been scratching like CRAZY the past couple of months. We have tried so many things to help her.

We ruled out fleas. We have a very strict flea program as one of our cats is HIGHLY allergic. But to be safe we had the groomer and 2 vets "search" for any signs of fleas and they could find none. Though the one vet was a bit of a smitch, but we'll get to that later.

She bites her paws and her legs but her behind area is the WORST. She will chew herself raw if we don't stop her. She's actually made herself bleed a few times. It's heartbreaking because she works so hard at chewing that she'll be panting by the time she's done.

We had her at the groomer when it first started and had them check for fleas and give her an oatmeal bath to soothe her skin thinking maybe it was the weather changing so she had dry skin. It helped for about 2 days then she was back to scratching. So off to the vet we went.

This vet was a real smitch! It's a shame we have been going to this practice for years but all of the good vets are leaving. She searched our dog for fleas and found none, even said she found none. Then when we tried to tell her where Jetta was biting and what she was doing to herself she held her hand up, shushed me(literally), and told me it's fleas. She had just said a few seconds ago that she couldn't find a single trace of fleas or flea matter! Anyway, she prescribed a flea pill and a script for something in case of infection (I forget the name of it and no longer have the bottle.) Even though we knew she didn't have fleas we gave her the flea pill as per smitchy vet's orders. Surprise, surprise there was no change in my poor dog.

We refused to take her back to that practice (which I said before is a shame since we've been going there for years.) so we found a new vet. They specialize in both natural and traditional forms of treatment. Boy are they NICE! And they listened intently to everything I said about what Jetta was doing to herself and then some. After looking her over they found her in perfect health other than the scratching. So they did a skin scraping to make sure it wasn't a type of mite. Everything came back fine. So they said it may be a food allergy and to try an elimination/bland diet. ~sigh~

So here are things Jetta does:
- bites paws and legs
- chews her behind unmercifully
- pants horribly after these chewing episodes
- when she lays in front of a fan she doesn't itch. If we have the fan going she will drop in front of it and just lay stretched out and won't itch.

What we've tried:
- Benedryl (works a little bit she still chews but not nearly as much as without)
- oatmeal baths in lukewarm water (not too warm because I know warm-hot water can cause dry skin)
- We've tried these 2 medicated itch sprays. The Petco Brand one worked AMAZINGLY! BUT we can't find it anymore So I got the Burt's Bees one which "works" but you have to apply a ton more than the other one.

- Skin and coat supplement (Did absolutely nothing for her)

We haven't changed laundry detergents, haven't changed her diet, we've lived in the same area since she was a puppy. There's nothing she could have gotten into (believe me, I checked)

My poor girl is ripping herself to shreds! I just cleaned the house yesterday and today there are a million fluffs of black hair and it's not from my cats. She also, has sometimes gotten hives and her skin can get red and hot.

She's a fairly active dog, not as active as she should be but active.

Before I started typing this I gave her 25mg of generic Benedryl and as I type she is lying in front of the fan on high speed perfectly content.

Here is the ingredients to the food she is on. She gets a half a cup twice a day. Purina Pro Plan Weight Management. Anyone see anything terrible that stands out?

What's the best "bland" diet to try? Recipes?(I've heard of just plain chicken and white rice) How much should I feed? (Jetta is about 32lbs, a smidge overweight.) Any other ideas? We've tried so many things other than the "bland" diet. I hate to see her suffer like this. And I don't want to shave her but if I have to I will =/

Any ideas? Jetta says "Thank you."
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    05-28-2014, 03:43 PM
Corn . Get a food without corn or corn gluten or corn meal. They are not cheap.
    05-28-2014, 04:04 PM
Yes, get the corn, soy and the wheat out of her diet! Also, I would look for a higher quality food that does not list "poultry meal". Any unspecific meat meals like that are a sign of a low quality dog food, you want all meat meals to be specific like the chicken meal that is also listed. There is also a lot of controversy on whether garlic is toxic for dogs and I see it listed on the food.

You could try going homemade. DO some research on what they need nutritionally from homemade food and see what you can do. My parents switched their dogs to homemade and it stopped one of their dogs from getting impacted anal glands and they all became shinier. They also love their food. It's chicken based stew with veggies, rice and oils.
Phantomcolt18 and Wallaby like this.
    05-28-2014, 04:09 PM
Try a grain free food, such as Blue Buffalo. My dog had the exact same problem when I got her, and I feed Blue Buffalo, within two weeks it had all ceased. She was on Purina at the owner before me.
Phantomcolt18 and Wallaby like this.
    05-28-2014, 04:19 PM
I have been researching all afternoon. I'm at the end of my rope with this I feel so bad for her.

We had just bought a new bag of her old food (big 40lb bag) but haven't opened it yet so this afternoon we are taking it back to the store and looking for something of better quality. I've been reading good things about blue buffalo but I'm so not good at this. Ask me horse nutrition I got it, dog nutrition? Nope!

I have read a lot of things that say something like "Less is more" ingredients wise. The less ingredients (aka no fillers, byproducts, meals, etc) the better.

Any recommendations food wise? Like I said I've heard good things about Blue Buffalo but I don't know. My one uncle feeds it to his dog and he has one of the softest, shiniest coats I've seen.

When I go to Petsmart I will be spending a lot of my time reading the ingredients of the foods.

My poor girl, I feel so bad for her with all of the itching. We've scheduled her for another oatmeal bath at the groomers this coming Monday to soothe her skin. We plan on starting the food switch tonight after we find a new food. We have enough left from the old bag to make a nice gradual switch. I'll be working from home most of the time so I'll be able to keep an eye on her to make sure it settles with her.
    05-28-2014, 04:21 PM
Originally Posted by SullysRider    
Try a grain free food, such as Blue Buffalo. My dog had the exact same problem when I got her, and I feed Blue Buffalo, within two weeks it had all ceased. She was on Purina at the owner before me.
We must have posted at the same time.

I was thinking about Blue Buffalo, my uncle has been feeding it to his dog and has had nothing but good things to say about it.
    05-28-2014, 04:25 PM
Originally Posted by Phantomcolt18    
We must have posted at the same time.

I was thinking about Blue Buffalo, my uncle has been feeding it to his dog and has had nothing but good things to say about it.
I love Blue Buffalo, all three dogs are on it. I've found I have to feed less than with other foods I've fed and all the dogs look good. In fact, one of them needs to be cut back even more because he's getting a little chubby lol.
doubleopi likes this.
    05-28-2014, 04:29 PM
Green Broke
Yes they absolutely can my doberman did. She was on pedigree from the time I got her at 12 wks till she was 2 and a half when she started to throw up after every meal. I switched her to taste of the wild grain free and not only does she look healthier she has not thrown up since unless she gets into the other dogs food.

My girl has also done well on merrick (although I found she is allergic to chicken) and natures recipe salmon and sweet potatoe both grain free and she's done well on every type of TOTW I've given her. I have to switch up her food often as she gets bored.

Eta-the way I found out teagan was allergic to chicken was she started to lose hair near her back legs and would lick her paws (shes not a licker) switched her back to salmon and no more problems :]
    05-28-2014, 04:39 PM
So I'm reading the various ingredients to the Blue Buffalo foods and most of them contain "Chicken meal." Is this okay? Some of the things I was reading said to not feed anything that has "meal" in it. Also, I want to attempt to avoid chicken as the food she's on now is HEAVY chicken so if that's an issue I want to rule it out.

Here's the three I've been reading about. Thoughts?

Rocky Mountain Recipe with Rabbit
BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipes Rabbit Adult Dog Food – Grain Free

Blue Wilderness Duck Recipe
BLUE Buffalo Wilderness - Natural Evolutionary Duck Diet for Dogs – Grain Free

Rocky Mountain Recipe Healthy Weight with Red Meat
BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipes Red Meat Healthy Weight Adult Dog Food – Grain Free

This is like a whole new world for me guys. I mean growing up my parents fed our dogs Ol'Roy and Kibbles n Bits. Haha
    05-28-2014, 04:46 PM
Green Broke
Chicken meal in the higher end dog foods is only a small fraction of the rest of the good stuff. Teagans on high prarie now and it does have chicken meal however I have had zero problems with it.

The only way to 100% avoid it is to feed raw in all honesty. I eventually want to do this with teagan but it is time consumig and you need a big freezer and access to hunters and/or butchers.
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