possible food allergies

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby donkeymilk13 » August 23rd, 2006, 2:28 am

Ok here is my problem. I have an 8 month old probably APBT/mix with considerable hair loss on her abdomen and top of her hind legs. On an occasion she will even break out with a rash on her abdomen or scaps will show up on her and almost in some place like she’s been eaten bye a moth. She has had this problem since I’ve had her, and hasn’t seemed as bad since I switched her to Timberwolf Organics and stopped giving her raw hide bones. So for the past 7 months she has been on a diet of Timberwolf, raw buffalo marrow bones, chicken livers, eggs, and sardines. She had a skin scrapping 3 times now and nothing shown up. I’ve taken her to two different vets and the latest one wants to put her on Canine Z/D by Hills Science diet (he’s thinking it’s a food allergy), which from all the research I’ve done people who understand good dog food don’t recommend Science Diet as a good dog food. He had never heard of Timberwolf and recommends Science Diet. He also prescribed Cephalexin 500MG twice a day and some Sulf OxyDex shampoo. So what I’m looking for are maybe some recommendations from people with maybe similar problems or just some help in general with this condition.
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Postby katiek0417 » August 23rd, 2006, 6:25 am

When do you notice these issues? What months? Could it be seasonal? Does it happen more when the grass is taller (right before it's cut)? Is she on flea/tick preventative? Fleas love the abdomen and arm/leg pits....could she be allergic to bites (remember, dogs on Frontline can still get bit by fleas...they just die right away, and if they don't, they can't reproduce)? Have you thought of an entirely raw diet?
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Postby rockermom » August 23rd, 2006, 7:34 am

Rocky started having skin issues all of a sudden with the heat. Never found out what type of allergy it is but I do not believe it is food. He does get noticable bites on his belly I have actually seen the bugs biting his pink belly. However the rash is located on the thickest darkest hair part of his body. I think it is from some kind of plant he rubs against in the yard or on walks. He likes prviacy when doing business and will look for bushes and plants to hide behind. It seems to flair up if he lays on that side. Since he is not itching or bothered by it, I have decided to leave it be and I am almost sure when everything dies back and winter arives it will clear up. Vet seemed to think it was hives from reaction to poison ivy or something or reaction to bug bites. I was advised to just not worry about it if it is not bothering the dog. Well as long as it does not get any worse or itchy or sore.
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 8:33 am

Has your vet recommended allergy testing yet -- getting either blood drawn for the test or seeing a dermotologist?

Hill's isn't the best food in general, but in the vet office where I used to work, we saw really good results with the z/d for dogs that had proven food allergies.
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Postby Hoyden » August 23rd, 2006, 10:57 am

We had the same exact experience with our dog Birdie. Same exact regimen of food, RX and soap was prescribed as well.

Through observation and trial and error, I discovered she was allergic to corn. I also discovered that she is sensative to large amounts of chicken, as chickens eat corn.

I've had her on Timberwolf for over a year and her coat literally stops traffic. No more rashes, staph infections or hair loss. Her fur has filled in nicely and started to thicken a little bit.

For months, I kept a food journal and logged everything. No one but me was to feed her unless I handed them the food/treat. I also logged what laundry detergent we used and what we did so that if a flare up occurred, I could look at what we did previously.
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Postby donkeymilk13 » August 23rd, 2006, 12:03 pm

When do you notice these issues?

her hair is always been on the thin side on her abdomen.

Could it be seasonal?

i'm only had her since the spring

Does it happen more when the grass is taller (right before it's cut)?

not that i've noticed

s she on flea/tick preventative?

yes - advantage

Have you thought of an entirely raw diet?

it has been crossing my mind of late yes.

thanks for you help Katiek,

Jim and Athena
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Postby donkeymilk13 » August 23rd, 2006, 12:10 pm

"Has your vet recommended allergy testing yet -- getting either blood drawn for the test or seeing a dermotologist?"

was told by my vet test the there is no reliable food alleregy test for dogs yet.


"Hill's isn't the best food in general, but in the vet office where I used to work, we saw really good results with the z/d for dogs that had proven food allergies."

going to try it as a last resort, have an appointment with a new vet in the morning to see what he thinks about the situation.

thanks for all your help marinepit
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 1:04 pm

donkeymilk13 wrote:

was told by my vet test the there is no reliable food alleregy test for dogs yet.


That is correct -- my vet told me the same thing when I asked about our dog Mac's possible food allergies. She suggested getting him tested anyway and it turned out that he's allergic to dust mites, storage mites, and a few different types of mold (his scores were off the chart). Once we got him started on allergy shots and got religious about vacuuming, all his symptoms went away and he can now eat virtually anything.

His symptoms included hair loss, "bully bumps" and scabs, constant scratching to the point of bloodying himself, and severe gas/diarrhea when he ate any other meats except venison.

There are dogs out there that have legimate food allergies and the only way to reliably discover if food is the source of the allergies is to rule out every other possible allergen in addition to "trial-and-error" with the food.

You're welcome! :wink:
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Postby Malli » August 23rd, 2006, 1:43 pm

I agree with Marinepits advice.

I also have an allergic dog. Because of the location of his reactions (stomach, ears, and feet) and the multiple food trails he has been on, we (my vet and I) have guessed that he has Atopic and/or Inhaled and environmental allergies. His are not seasonal, there does not see to be any pattern or connection to anything we've tried. I do not feel at this point that allergy testing is necessary (#1, the skin test, the most reliable one, is only accurate in about 60% of dogs, #2, my veterinarian personally feels that we should only get the testing done if I want to go ahead with the desensitization shots, wich I do not feel are necessary at this point, #3 the shots do not work for every dog)
I am currently managing him fairly well on Royal Canin Skin Support food (to help the skin regenerate from infections etc), fish oil supplements, and very frequent medicated bathing. He still gets infections, but they take longer to crop up and don't seem to be nearly as severe. We've been doing this for about 6 months and fighting this issue for about 4 years.
I've heard from many veterinarians (I work at a hospital that about 20 Vets use, so I work with all of them occaisionally) that if the allergies are truly food related, Z/D is a really good shot.
Remember, when you do a food trial, your dog must eat ONLY the food you are trialling and NOTHING else (no other scraps, treats, chews, or people food), and you must keep this up for at least 8-12 weeks, the longer you keep it up, the surer you can be that it will or won't work for you.

Hope that helps :)

Oscar and I feel your frustration :)
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 1:52 pm

Malli wrote:I agree with Marinepits advice.

I also have an allergic dog. Because of the location of his reactions (stomach, ears, and feet) and the multiple food trails he has been on, we (my vet and I) have guessed that he has Atopic and/or Inhaled and environmental allergies. His are not seasonal, there does not see to be any pattern or connection to anything we've tried. I do not feel at this point that allergy testing is necessary (#1, the skin test, the most reliable one, is only accurate in about 60% of dogs, #2, my veterinarian personally feels that we should only get the testing done if I want to go ahead with the desensitization shots, wich I do not feel are necessary at this point, #3 the shots do not work for every dog)
I am currently managing him fairly well on Royal Canin Skin Support food (to help the skin regenerate from infections etc), fish oil supplements, and very frequent medicated bathing. He still gets infections, but they take longer to crop up and don't seem to be nearly as severe. We've been doing this for about 6 months and fighting this issue for about 4 years.
I've heard from many veterinarians (I work at a hospital that about 20 Vets use, so I work with all of them occaisionally) that if the allergies are truly food related, Z/D is a really good shot.
Remember, when you do a food trial, your dog must eat ONLY the food you are trialling and NOTHING else (no other scraps, treats, chews, or people food), and you must keep this up for at least 8-12 weeks, the longer you keep it up, the surer you can be that it will or won't work for you.

Hope that helps :)

Oscar and I feel your frustration :)


Good stuff, Malli! :wink:

We tested Mac because he would scratch so much that he'd bleed and then scratch more which led to a vicious cycle of infections. That's the primary reason we started him on the shots.

Mac (and the rest of the crew) are all on Merrick Wilderness blend and they all look fabulous! I also supplement occasionally with steak, chicken, or whatever we're having for dinner (cooked plain, no seasoning for them), and their treats consist of baby carrots or chopped apples or pieces of cold pasta.
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Postby Malli » August 23rd, 2006, 1:58 pm

right, luckily Os and I have been able to avoid that via other routes.

I have seen him so bad that he had "road rash" from scratching everywhere, a bright red belly, and stunk to high heaven.

Also, to give him a break or help him deal with the allergies, I sometimes use Chlortripolon or Novo-pheniram (generic stuff) antihistamine, his dosage is 2-3 tabs 2-3 times daily and he weighs about 75 lbs. This med does not help all dogs but seems to give some minor relief to him.

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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 2:04 pm

Because Mac is doing so well on the shots, he rarely needs an antihistamine now, but he was getting hydroxizine three times per day at the worst of his symptoms. It worked very well, but has a heavily sedating effect on him.
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Postby Malli » August 23rd, 2006, 2:07 pm

oh, sorry :oops: I meant for the poster!

I can see you're totally on top of it with mac :)
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 2:18 pm

Malli wrote:oh, sorry :oops: I meant for the poster!

I can see you're totally on top of it with mac :)


Haha! I know -- I just figured I'd say what Mac used to use. :D
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Postby Jenn » August 23rd, 2006, 3:22 pm

So allergies can cause stinking, and sores as well?
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 3:25 pm

JennKBM wrote:So allergies can cause stinking, and sores as well?


The "funk" usually comes from the bacteria that cause the skin infections that are usually brought on by allergies.

allergies => scratching and itching => sometimes bleeding sores => possible infection brought on by bacteria that get into the sores

The "funk" can also be caused by a yeast-type infection that most allergy dogs are more prone to catch due to poor immune systems.

ETA: Bacterial "funk" smells like something is "wrong" or "bad", while the yeasty "funk" smells more like corn chips or baking bread.
Last edited by Marinepits on August 23rd, 2006, 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby katiek0417 » August 23rd, 2006, 3:40 pm

JennKBM wrote:So allergies can cause stinking, and sores as well?


When Sacha's allergies are acting up she smells like dirty feet....
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Postby Malli » August 23rd, 2006, 5:21 pm

allergies can also cause pustules or pimples that form on the skin, usually the bacteria is staph. something or other (I can't remember the spelling)
allergies can make a dog go bald, break out in hives, have dandruff, be oily, lick their feet obsessively, have ear infections, they can even cause anaphylactic shock (asthma, bee stings/bug bites, severe food allergen)

they are just one of the lovely percs more common in a pure bred dog!
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Postby donkeymilk13 » August 25th, 2006, 2:38 am

thank you all for your help. hopefully from what i've learned here, and what the vet says we can get this situation under control.

Thanks again,
Jim and Athena
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Postby katiek0417 » August 25th, 2006, 6:48 am

Malli wrote:
they are just one of the lovely percs more common in a pure bred dog!


I LOVE my PUREBRED malinois MUTT!!!!! :clap:
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