Elimination diet q's

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Taqroy, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    I think Mu is allergic to...something. I have no idea what it could be as nothing in our environment/food has changed. But she's been shedding like mad for a couple months now and just recently she has been insanely itchy. We did a blood panel when I first noticed the shedding and itchery and it came back totally fine. I'm looking at doing an elimination diet and was hoping someone could recommend what to start with.

    She's currently on raw, mostly chicken but we switch it up with elk and beef and whatever else I can find. I'd prefer not to buy an entirely separate raw protein source because we buy in bulk and just don't have the freezer space. Ideally I'd like a freeze dried raw that isn't going to bankrupt me, but barring that I'd go for grain free kibble. Help? I'm worried about her, even though she's acting fine it can't be comfortable to be that itchy.
     
  2. AmandaNola

    AmandaNola Wanna Pet My Wiener?

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    Nola is allergic to corn and soy, and was diagnosed with her allergies at 8 months old. She's also recently developed a sensitivity to egg.

    What do you feed for treats? Is she on flea prevention? Is she having watery/runny eyes, ear infections, biting her tail area, chewing her feet?
     
  3. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Um....pretty much anything. Lol. Zukes, pepperoni, cheese, Matt likes to give her things while he's cooking...whatever really. Nothing has changed there, that's what we've always done.

    No, I haven't seen any sign of fleas either. I assume that if she had them everyone would have them. (We've never had fleas. In fact, I've never seen a flea. Is that a valid assumption, that everyone would have them?)

    No, no, no, yes. She scratches her armpits and chest a lot and has been licking/chewing her feet recently. The scratching has gotten worse just in the last couple weeks, I had noticed it before but it definitely wasn't this bad.

    I was just informed by a coworker that environmental allergies have been really awful for some other people's dogs this year. Maybe she had an allergy before and it just got triggered this year?
     
  4. AmandaNola

    AmandaNola Wanna Pet My Wiener?

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    Food allergies can crop up at any point in the dog's life; they can be on a food for years and years and suddenly become allergic.


    Nola is also allergic to fleas, and all it takes is one flea bite for her to be an itching mess. I have four dogs, and when I'm not regularly treating for fleas (so Nov-March) I know I need to treat everyone when Nola starts itching, even if I don't see a flea on anyone.

    If you want to do an elimination diet, I'd start with cutting out chicken for 4-6 weeks. No other food, no treats, no scraps. If she's still itchy, add back in the chicken and cut out beef, same process. So on and so forth.

    Oh, is she having any stomach issues? Gas, iffy poop, vomiting, ect?

    I don't have much experience with environmental allergies. Her symptoms do sound mild for a food allergy, but then again Nola's are really severe.
     
  5. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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  6. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Food allergies are actually really rare. Food intolerance's are more common, but a different thing. I would guess it's more environmental.
     
  7. MisssAshby

    MisssAshby Richy Rich HM Twit!

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    The key to an elimination diet is no more than two items (only one being protein) and doing it for 4-6 weeks.

    Be sure you cut out all treats (use one of her two foods in place of) and any kind of supplements.

    As others have mentioned food allergies are pretty rare, so most likely environmental. Have you tried an allergy med (something besides Benadryl)?

    Good luck, I know how much it sucks. :(
     
  8. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Seasonal allergies with my two and dogs I know have been exceptionally bad this year. That's what I would assume.
     
  9. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Environmental allergies are AWFUL this year. A lot of dogs who have never had problems before are having problems this year. True food allergies are relatively uncommon compared to environmental allergies.

    If you're doing an elimination diet you can either go to completely novel ingredients, or eliminate one thing at a time. It's more efficient to do the former, but since you've fed a variety it might be challenging for you to find something truly novel. Home cooked or raw is best, there's a ridiculous amount of cross contamination of ingredients in commercially prepared diets, even "limited ingredient" diets.

    In any case, do the trial for 8-10 weeks and then challenge with the old diet. It's possible for signs to coincidentally wane over the 8-10 week period and the challenge will rule that out.
     
  10. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I was thinking the same thing with the allergies. Two years ago it started really bad down here when grass & rag weed pollen comes along. My friend gives her dog Benedryl every other day, and now I've started to try to help. At first we thought it was the food this year and remembered the allergy symptoms started the same time last year.
     
  11. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I seriously know nothing about allergies - I had no idea that food allergies were not common! It seems like I hear about them a lot, but I hardly ever hear about environmental. I do think it's weird Mu is affected so badly but Murphy and Tipper hardly at all. The only strange thing for them is how incredibly much they're shedding.

    Thanks for the link! I skimmed it yesterday but hopefully I'll have time to take a closer look today. What supplements would you start with?

    Given that info I'm guessing that this is environmental, not food. What would you recommend in that case? Do people give benadryl every day and/or multiple times a day? Is that okay?
     
  12. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    You can start with antihistamines. Some dogs respond really well to them and others don't seem to. There are a couple of herbal formulas that I've had good results with, too. One is Kan's Damp Heat Derma and the other is Herbsmith's Clear AllerQi. Some dogs might need stronger medications.

    In the long run, if this is confirmed as environmental and is an ongoing seasonal problem, I can't say enough good things about allergy shots. They've transformed Pip's life, no exaggeration. He's almost a normal dog.
     
  13. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Is there any symptom "marker" that generally says "Yup this is food" vs "Nope, all environmental"?

    Logan's been SUPER itchy and sheddy and flaky and crusty this year when he never really was. I've switched him to a food with no chicken/peas/potatoes to see if it helps, but it's been less than a week so I can't say yet. He's been on benedryl and/or pred almost the entire summer :( He never gets yeasty/infected ears, though, which is why I ask about symptoms. He's on antibiotics for the 4th or 5th time this year.

    Is there an antihistamine, besides benedryl, that you recommend? I meant to take a picture of our antihistamine dosage chart before I left the clinic, but I forgot >.<
     
  14. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    One thing I've heard good things about is boosting the Omega 3s to "anti-inflammatory" level, which is about 50mg/kg. I use the Grizzly Pollock oil because I have to give the least to reach that amount.
     
  15. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Personally, I don't think so. And every dog is different in where they get their symptoms.


    You can use almost any antihistamine, really. For whatever reason, I've had the best luck with Zyrtec and Claritin this year. Some years a particular one seems to work better than others.
     
  16. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    Allergies have been wicked this year. Pretty much every single day it's a guarantee that we'll have at least one "itchy dog" appointment scheduled and many times the story is "he's never had allergies before." The consensus also seems to be that most people are not noticing an improvement by giving Benadryl.

    Unfortunately lots of them end up just getting put on steroids.
     
  17. Oko

    Oko Silence, peasants.

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    This is good to know, Wesley has been super itchy as of late. Thought it was his food, but could very well be seasonal. I know mine are raging right now.
     
  18. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I feel like I live in a bubble now. I was just thinking how non-itchy Ren has been this year/how his allergies really haven't been affecting him :lol-sign:
     
  19. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Zander has been super itchy and yeasty smelling this year too. He's on Fromm, and he's been on different varieties of grain-free Fromm for the last two years off and on, so I really didn't think it would be the food. But he's allergic to....everything. So there isn't any telling. I'll probably switch him back to a fish-based food, put him on Solid Gold's Seameal and start raw eggs again. His coat and skin were best with that combo, so I'll go back to it and see if it makes any changes.

    We didn't have these issues up north either. It was only when we moved from Montana back to Memphis area.
     

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