Food for potential allergies?

Discussion in 'Dog Food and Recipes' started by *blackrose, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Gracie is currently eating Diamond Natural's Chicken and Rice food. However, to see if Gracie's allergy issues may be food based, I'm planning to switch her over to a different food.

    So, this is what they're eating now:
    Prior to us adopting her, she was eating Pedigree, Purina One, and Beneful in a rotation of sorts. She will be 5 in October, and her skin issues popped up about a year and a half ago, I think. We've had her since May. She's been on hydroxizine (which doesn't help), I think we've done three rounds of antibiotics (which keeps her skin cleared up while she's on them), and in a last ditch effort to avoid oral steroids we tried a betagen topical spray, which prevented her skin from breaking out (she was still itchy), but it made her skin horribly dry. I finally had enough and started her on Temaril-P and we're currently trying to find the lowest effective dose. She's done really well on it, but I'd like to try a food and see if it is maybe a food issue. Allergy testing is a bit outside my budget right now. I'm sure part of it is a grass/pollen/mold issue as she would REALLY break out if she would walk through tall grass (and for a Dachshund, that's pretty much any grass), but we had a good solid freeze spell there for a bit and she was still having issues with itchiness/skin breaking out.

    So. If I were to try a food, what would you all recommend? (Raw isn't an option.) It would be great if it were cheap enough to switch all of the dogs over to it, but I understand if that isn't possible.
     
  2. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Something without chicken or rice, for starters. I think Tractor Supply has a new grain-free lin of 4Health with things like fish or beef and potato. Haven't really looked at them closely yet (just happened to see them the other day), but I would imagine they're at least as good as or better than the Diamond Naturals, and run around $38 for a 30 pound bag.

    Ideally, you want ONE protein source and ONE carb source, neither of which your dog has had before. So, pork or fish is probably a good choice, since most dog foods have chicken or beef. Oatmeal, potato, sweet potato, or pea might be good choices for carbs. Problem is the Diamonst Naturals has fish, chicken, rice, barley, egg - so try to avoid those. Maybe look and see what's in the TOTW boar formula? Haven't checked if that one's a single protein source yet.

    With all the grains that are in the foods she's been on, I think the only way you're going to find a novel source of carbs is to go grain-free.
     
  3. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

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    I would start with California natural grain free. They are very limited ingredient so you can start with 5-10 pound bags and see how she does. They have all kinds of proteins (kangaroo, etc...)
     
  4. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    Ideally, like Saeleofu said, you want one carbohydrate source and one protein source - an elimination diet, of sorts. Right now I would try to eliminate chicken, beef, and gluten-grains. Canine Caviar, Instinct, PureVita, and California Natural all have formulas that would fit your needs.

    Canine Caviar has two grain-inclusive formulas (Chicken & Millet, Lamb & Millet) and four grain-free formulas (Buffalo, Venison, Duck, Herring) that all use chickpeas/peas as their carbohydrate source. They are truly limited - one protein, one carbohydrate. By far my favorite limited ingredient diet. Ever.

    Instinct has three grain-free limited ingredient formulas - Duck, Lamb, and Turkey. They all use tapioca as the carbohydrate source, which is nice because it's unique - not many foods include tapioca.

    PureVita has three grain-free formulas (Bison, Turkey, Salmon), all use a mixture of peas and potatoes as their carbohydrate source.

    California Natural has five grain-free formulas, and three grain-inclusives. My least favorite company by far (since the P&G buyout), but they do have the most options, and I have many customers who swear by it. They have a Chicken & Rice, Lamb & Rice, Herring & Barley/Oatmeal/Sweet Potato for their grain-inclusives, and then a Kangaroo & Lentils/Peas, Chicken & Peas, Lamb & Peas/Potatoes, Venison & Peas/Potatoes, and Salmon & Peas/Lentils for thier grain-inclusive.

    There are many theories in Chinese medicine in regards to heating/cooling properties of foods. Dogs that have allergies/inflammation are typically considered "hot" so you would feed cooling or neutral meats to cool them down, and avoid warming or hot meats. In dog food, the protein/meat source is making up the variety of the diet, so that piece is the most important to consider. However, the carbohydrate source might need be taken into consideration too.

    Cooling: rabbit, duck, barley, milllet
    Neutral: beef, bison, salmon, herring, rice, rye, lentils, peas
    Warming: turkey, chicken, sweet potatoes, oats
    Hot: lamb, venison

    So, based on that, my top choices would be Canine Caviar Duck, Canine Caviar Herring, PureVita Bison, PureVita Salmon, Instinct Duck, California Natural Herring, or California Natural Salmon. I have no idea where Kangaroo is on the scale of warming/cooling. I suppose it's not a commonly eaten food lol.

    Good luck!
     
  5. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    For finance purposes, I was going to try switching her to 4Health Salmon and Potato before spending the big bucks for a bag of food. Do you guys see anything that I should be steering away from in this food that may potentially cause a problem?
    It still has barley in it, and egg, but besides that I can't really see any obvious "triggers". She eats cooked egg once a week (when we make a big Sunday breakfast), so I can't imagine the egg will be a problem. Barley, I don't know about, but even the California Natural (non grain free) has barely.

    Or, looks like they have a grain free versions now that are still in my poor-college-student budget:
    The Turkey + Potato version is out, as it lists "poultry meal" and "poultry fat", and if I'm trying to eliminate chicken, that won't work out too well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  6. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    I know a collie that's VERY allergic to both peas and potatoes. Go figure. But in general, it's probably a good starting point. Barley is a grain, but it's not as common of an allergen as most of the other grains are.

    Egg is only a problem is that's what she's reacting to. For some dogs, once a week is enough to set off a reaction. BUT, in general, egg isn't a common allergen in dogs, as least from what I've seen. Chicken, though, is a very common allergen, so switching to fish is probably good.
     
  7. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I'm feeding 4Health and my dogs love it. I would go ahead and buy the 4Health.
     
  8. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Well, I didn't feel like driving all the way across town to go to TSC, so I stopped by the local feed depot and picked up the dog food there.

    Gracie will be trying California Naturals Grain Free Venison formula.
    Her 15lb bag cost almost as much as the 40lb bag of food I bought for the other two, but it will have been worth it if it keeps her allergies in check. I'm hoping that this bag will last her at least 6-8 weeks and that by then I'll start seeing results. If I begin to see an improvement and a food allergy is looking likely, I'm going to try switching her to the 4Health grain free fish formula. Then if she reacts, I know it is either the fish (which is doubtful) or the beet pulp/flaxseed.

    Wish me (and her) luck!
     
  9. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    Isn't Gracie the dachshund? If so, a 15lb bag should definitely last her at least 8 weeks. Rosey (40lbs) gets about 2 cups of food a day and a 15lb bag lasts us about 4-5 weeks.
     
  10. Roger Biduk

    Roger Biduk New Member

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    Hello blackrose,

    I don’t know where to start, Gracie’s had a rough time right from the beginning.
    Bad food and steroids are a recipe for disaster... Gracie can’t be doing well.
    The first thing you should do is visit a holistic vet in your area. They are experts in diet and drug therapy (steroids) and will tell you much of what I’m writing about. If there’s none around, here’s a list of 58 holistic vets in the U.S., most do phone consultations. Gracie needs this big-time.

    The best diet you could feed Gracie is a biologically/species-appropriate raw meat diet. This could also be bought frozen, ready-made.
    Wet food is next best followed by kibble following the above criteria.

    Pet foods from Purina and Pedigree are among the absolute worst on the market. Most have no meat (Gracie is a carnivore) and the ingredients are a “who’s who†of what to avoid, some even being carcinogens.
    Beneful is in the midst of a media nightmare, being accused of poisoning dogs.
    Here’s a site titled 443 Complaints and Reviews about Purina Beneful Pet Foods.

    Diamond Natural's Chicken and Rice is not a good food. The good thing is that this food doesn’t have the dangerous ingredients that are in Purina and Pedigree. But the following ingredients should definitely be avoided in cat/dog foods:
    Whole grain brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, oatmeal, dried plain beet pulp, egg product, fish meal, salt.

    Four of the first seven ingredients are grains which are horrible for carnivores and cause allergies and a host of other problems. Holistic vets have said that grains cause most or all of the illnesses and diseases that pet owners pay vets thousands of dollars to cure.

    Dried plain beet pulp - waste product, pure junk. Cheap filler/fiber causes sugar rush/addiction to food, hyperactivity and allergies.
    May cause allergies, seizures, skin problems such as itching and excessive shedding, ear and eye infections and causes irritable bowel problems.
    Dried beet pulp is known to be an artificial stool hardener. This is dangerous because when the stool remains in the colon too long, it exudes toxins into the blood stream, which could lead to a variety of short term (E.Coli) or long term health problems.
    Sugar in beet pulp causes diabetes, hypoglycemia, weight gain, nervousness and fearful behavior, cataracts, ill health in general and a host of other symptoms and diseases.
    Even if they say the sugar is "removed" this is not a good ingrfedient.
    In nature, carnivores (dogs) do not eat dried beet pulp.

    Egg Product - Cheap source of protein, waste product of egg industry, can contain undeveloped and diseased eggs, floor sweepings, etc. Not fit for human consumption. Found in low quality pet food.
    Pet foods containing quality ingredients never, ever use dried egg product in any of their foods. They only uses fresh, whole eggs.

    Fish Meal - Generic product name, waste not fit for human consumption. Often from from rancid fish, high mercury content.
    This particular ingredient is anonymous, meaning it doesn’t even specify the fish source because the manufacturers don’t know what they are!
    Made from unspecified parts of unspecified fish. The origin of the fish are definitely suspect, as they aren’t named. If the manufacturers wanted you to know what the sources were, they’d name them.
    According to U.S. law (Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security) fish meal MUST be preserved with ethoxyquin, a know carcinogen. http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/fishmeal.html.
    Plus, fish meal is often imported from China, which is rarely a good thing.

    Salt – Added salt has no place in pet foods. Can lead to stomach ailments and pancreatitis. Dogs, especially large breeds who gulp too much water after eating salty food may develop a life-threatening condition called bloat during which the stomach fills with gas and twists, leading to painful death unless emergency medical help is received immediately.

    Pet foods containing quality ingredients never use the above ingredients in any of their foods.
    You will never find these ingredients in high quality commercially available pet foods, nor will you ever find it in healthy recipes for homemade pet meals. Where you’ll find it are in very affordable, highly processed, very low-quality pet foods.

    Diamond sells a brand of grain-free foods but the problem is on their website I can’t find the ingredient list, which is unusual.
    If you just want to feed kibble, the best is Orijen. Contains up to eleven fish/meat ingredients, voted best pet food for three years in a row.
    I’ll comment on steroids in another post.

    My equation:
    No annual vaccinations + no misuse or overuse of drugs (corticosteroids, steroids, antibiotics, etc.) + feeding a species [biologically] appropriate diet = Healthiest Cats/Dogs = No Vet Visits = Unhappy Vets, AVMA, AAHA & Big Pharma = Happiest Cats/Dogs = Happiest Pet Parents!

    Best regards, Roger Biduk
     
  11. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Dear Roger;

    Nobody actually reads these enormous, repetitive posts of yours. Nobody takes your advice because of these posts (there are enough legitimate members here that are pro-raw and experienced in raw that there should be no trouble finding help when needed) . It's really just propaganda. Your equation is crap and is irrelevant to this thread.
     
  12. Roger Biduk

    Roger Biduk New Member

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    Not nearly as crap as your comment... the equation is very relevant...
     
  13. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    Sorry, I agree with Saeleofu. I know what my dogs do well on...and I'm certainly not hurting them in any way. I completely ignored your post.

    But, for everyone else, Gracie is doing quite well. Although the food itself does not seem to be doing much in terms of her reacting, we have managed to wean the Temaril-P down to once a day, if not every other day. She went two days without it before I could get a refill and her arm pit started breaking out. :(

    If when this bag of food is done (which should be awhile...) I'm not happy with her dosing of the steroid, I'm planning to get her allergy tested. I'd rather spend the money on that and get a vaccine devised for her than keep her on prednisone the rest of her life.
     
  14. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

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    Me, too, on both counts.


    Here's a thought- could Gracie also be reacting to the potatos? Caleb did pretty good on Natural Balance LIDs, but still always had reddish, slightly inflamed ears. I was chalking it up to something environmental. Last spring I had enough of NB's lousy customer service and I switched him to Earthborn Holostics. About a month later, I notived his ears were pink instead of red (EH doesn't have potatos).
     
  15. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    To do a true food trial, I would home cook honestly. One novel protein source, one carbohydrate source for 8-10 weeks, then challenge with the old diet. (2-3 parts of carbohydrate to one part of protein.) No supplements, no treats, nada.

    Don't worry about it being nutritionally complete for that short period of time, it's a diagnostic test more than anything and you aren't going to create any serious nutrient deficiencies in 8-10 weeks.

    The reason is that it is highly probable that any commercially prepared (OTC or prescription) limited ingredient or novel protein diet has some cross contamination of ingredients from other foods made in the same facility.
     
  16. Mach1girl

    Mach1girl New Member

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    My dog was breaking out in hives after he ate so we did some switching & finally we found that 4Health, lamb & rice worked wonderfully! He was allergic to corn and chicken. And he hasnt always been like this, it just started with his old age LOL.

    I also saw a bag of food at the vets but I cannot remember what brand it was. It was guaranteed to be hypo allergenic & guaranteed to rid of skin issues if related to feed.
     
  17. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    She could be. And if this food helps, but isn't quite cutting it I may try the kangaroo/lentils version. She's never had potatoes or peas before, so while she could be allergic to them, its definitely a novel ingredient for her.

    I see your point, but that isn't really feasible for me right now, unfortunately. Her food is about as limited ingredient as they come (venison, potatoes, peas, and sunflower oil) and otherwise she's actually doing really well on it. Her coat is shiny, her hair is growing back in on her chest where it wasn't before, her poops are good, etc., etc. And whether it is the food or not, I have been able to wean her down on the meds where before I wasn't able to.

    Also, question for those of you that have allergy tested:

    What is better, interdermal, or serum testing? I've spoke with three vets at work and one said, "Interdermal, hands down." The other two said, "Eh, both are good, both have pros and cons, but serum could work for you."

    If I have her tested via the interdermal method, I'm going to have to drive an hour and a half and it is going to cost me $$$. If I have her serum tested, I can do it at the clinic I work at and the cost goes under my employee benefit. But I don't want to waste that money if it isn't really going to tell me anything.
     
  18. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

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    Interdermal is better and more accurate, BUT serum is an excellent place to start, especially if you can get it for a good discount. We do mostly serum where I work, and it works pretty well. We've had maybe one person go up to the dermatologist in the 7 years I've been there?

    If it were my dog, in those cirsumstances, I'd do serum.
     
  19. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Interdermal.
     
  20. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    Interdermal. I've heard that Serum is a waste of money. Regardless of how cheap it is.
     

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