KimJay Pits wrote:
I Have beed reading some of the posts on here and it all looks so overwhelming!
Marinepits wrote:Well, if it's not a food allergy, then all the food trials are for nothing, know what I mean? In my experience with allergies, itchy feet are more of a contact allergy -- such as grass, dirt, dust mites, etc. (That's not to say that itchy feet are not caused by food allergies because that can sometimes happen, too.)
Itchy yeasty feet can also be caused by dogs that like to swim or wade through wet areas, splash through puddles, etc, and the feet don't get completely dry before getting wet again. That's prime breeding ground for yeasty-beasties to live in between her toes. Licking just makes the problem worse and worse, and the more the yeast grows the itchier she'll get and the more she'll lick. It's a vicious cycle. You can also check this link for more info: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2028
How long do you give a new food to work (or not) before you switch to the next one? You need to feed a new food exclusively for at least several weeks to see results, either good or bad. If the new food turns out to be high-allergen for your dog, you'll probably see a reaction almost immediately. If not, then it can take several weeks or longer for the old allergens/food to work their way out of your dog's system and for the new food to take effect. Start with one protein and one grain (or no grain at all), then build up very slowly from there. If the dog has a reaction after you add that one new ingredient, odds are good that the dog is allergic to that one ingredient.
If cost is a concern, maybe get a blood allergy test done. That's relatively inexpensive and tests for a LOT of different allergens. Plus, it's way less expensive than getting the patch-allergen test done -- the one where the dog's hair is shaved and common allergens are applied to the skin (the name escapes me right now, LOL ).
I've had good luck controlling the yeasty-beasties with acidophilus supplements, BUT they are used in conjunction with Mac's allergy shots (he's allergic to several different environmental sources, including dust and storage mites and several types of molds and grasses) and the one food he processes best -- Evangers Pheasant and Brown Rice. If he has yeast flare-ups, we use the peroxide mixture mentioned in the link above until his skin calms down again. Since he's been on the allergy shots, his allergy flare-ups have been far fewer in occurance and we've also been able to cut way back on the frequency of the shots.
All this just touches on the allergy issues we've had with Mac and now with Tucker. If you have other questions, I'd be happy to elaborate further. Allergies are VERY frustrating and are a multi-focal problem -- most often there is not just one cause of allergies. It's figuring out the puzzle that's a major PITA, LOL.
Marinepits wrote:With allergies, there are so few things that will help you definitely rule out causes -- the blood allergy test is one of them. If the test comes back positive for certain allergens, YAY! You can treat that. If the test comes back negative for allergens, YAY! That means your dog has either food allergies or is allergic to something very unusual and you can start food trials or looking around your house for some freaky allergen -- like the bathroom potpourri from Siberia or the mittens made from elk fur that shed all over the house, LOL. The testing gives you a starting point, either way.
Plus, the test is only a couple of hundred bucks (if that), depending on your vet clinic. You can easily spend that much switching foods and supplements around and not ever finding a cause.
The only thing, is we are finding that allergy tests are only diagnostic of allergies. The actual reactivity, and sensitivities are not relative.
And, they change. We have a westie that had testing done last year, and again this year, and its changed significantly. We see mites a lot, and mold too. Neither of which you can really get rid of. If its a tree or a food, its fine, but its likely to change over time.
dlynne1123 wrote:My girl, ended up having to go on Atopica after 4 years of the juggling tests and food, and steroids. She seems to be much more comfortable now and hopefully it will last a lifetime! Without cushings disease too.
KimJay Pits wrote: Would a contact allergy cause yeasty ears also? My vet had originally said the samething but when the ears started having problems she went to food. The ears are not bad but if I don't stay on top of them they get a stinky smell and one ear in paticulr will get a little red and a tad bit swollen. She is a little itchy on the body but not much. Her coat overall is shiny and healthy.
I realize alot of vets know the very basics when it comes to nutrition. But now I am confused because my friend works at a vet and my vet said over 80% of the dogs they see are food allergies and not contact allergies? And that most of the dogs have a protein allergy and not so much a grain allergy. I think my dogs has the same symptoms as alot of the dogs she is seeing with food allergies so she is *assuming* that's what it is.
I don't mean to sound like I will not pay to have my dog checked out because I will do anything to make her comfortable.
Or maybe it's time for a second opinion.
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