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Itchy Dog...

June 28th, 2005, 10:51 AM
Spencer has been really scratching a lot. He has always scratched since we got him when he was a pup but it seems to be getting worse. How do I know if it is an allergy to something? I have switched his food once from Nutro Ultra Puppy to Nutro Lamb & Rice Puppy, I have been giving him olive oil on his food and nothing seems to help. My vet said that the only way to find out if he is allergic to something is to start feeding him things that are not in kibble and see if it gets better. She suggested like Kangaroo but there is no way that I am getting that let alone where to find that. I had been giving him yogurt but it seems to be the same either way. I did use Revolution flea and heartworm treatment so fleas shouldn't be the problem.

Any suggestions?

June 28th, 2005, 11:05 AM
Plan A would be an allergist. Plan B would be an elimination diet - doctors often do this with people as well - I have been put through B and A in that order. I do know of a woman with an Eskimo dog (they have sensitive skin and tummies) who put her dog on Lamb and Rice food as usually that is tolerable - but then spent $1,000 at the allergist's to find out he is allergic to Lamb. I am sure you have tried changing his shampoo - I would suggest to something that contains absolutely no botanical or "natural" ingredients - I have extreme sensitivities to products formulated for sensitive skin - which often contain botanicals and being allergic to anti-histamines does not help. One of my mini Dachshunds had a similar problem. You might also try a different laundry detergent - when your pup sits on your lap or on the bed skin touches the fabric. I once had a Lhasa who was allergic to everything - actually even to himself it would seem - this made a bit of difference. Trial and error. With humans they often suggest sweet potato and chicken - but sweet potato as a vegetable is high in natural sugar so might not be good for your dog if he has a low thyroid. My Eskimo does best on a Salmon dry food diet - no corn. But other dogs have not had the corn problem. But work on environmental things you can control first - shampoo - not too much bathing of course, detergents, any air fresheners you might use in the house or cleaners, that type of thing. One of the ingredients in my skin care is highly refined Emu Oil which works well for me. BUT I cannot use straight Emu Oil. My dog's groomer does sell Emu Oil though and some dogs with itchy skin have improved with its use. Frankly since my skin is so dry, I do scratch a bit myself despite overload on creams. Best of luck, but take it one day at a time - the allergist told me that if I have same reaction 3 times then remove from my list - and when the 3 times did happen, it overlapped to same family of foods - say broccoli and cauliflower.

June 28th, 2005, 05:26 PM
Ok, so I got talking to my vet earlier and this is what she told me:

We currently have Spencer on Nutro Lamb & Rice puppy food to help the itching. This will not work. We had to switch him to Medi-cal hypoallergenic food.

She also told me to give him Omega Fatty Acids so we got the Omega 10 (He is 21lbs)

She also told me that for his seasonal allergies, I can give him Childrens Benadryl.

We are going to have to keep him on this food for at least 2 months to see a side effect.

I have given him the Benadryl and the new food (which he loved both of them) so we will have to see how things go.

June 28th, 2005, 08:04 PM
I would first try a food change. Instead of the MediCal I would try Dick Van Patten's duck and potato. The ingredients are superior to those of the Medi Cal food. Your vet will tell you different but he sells the food and makes a profit on it.

June 28th, 2005, 09:31 PM
I said in the other thread that I think you should go on a different food, but not the medi-cal one... There are better foods. Medi-cal is not as bad as Hill's, but it's still not the best out there.

If you can afford an allergy test I suggest try that first...

Does the Nutro have flax in it? Apparently that makes dogs itchy...

Is it the Nutro "natural choice lamb and rice for large breed"? If so, compare the first few ingredients: Lamb Meal, Rice Flour, Rice Gluten, Rice Bran, Ground Rice, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of natural Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg Product, Vitamin E Supplement,

To these:

Solid Gold Wolf Cub:
Bison | Salmon Meal | Brown Rice | Millet | Cracked Pearled Barley | Rice Bran | Canola Oil | Flaxseed Oil | Garlic | Amaranth | Blueberries | Yucca Schidigera Extract | Taurine | Carotene | Choline Chloride | Vitamin E Supplement |

Merrick's Puppy Plate:
Turkey, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Oatmeal, Whole Barley, Duck, Whole Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols a source of Vitamin E and Ascorbic Acid, a source of Vitamin C), Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Natural Dried Chicken Liver, Whole Apples,

Wellness Super5mix Puppy:
Deboned Chicken, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Barley Flour, Ground Brown Rice, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomatoes, Flaxseed, Peas, Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Bananas, Whole Apples, Whole Pears, Garlic, Beta-Carotene

As an adult, there are tons of foods that are made for allergic doggies, like Wellness Fish and Sweet Potato:
Whitefish, Ground Barley, Rye Flour, Menhaden Fish Meal, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil

Now, Medi-cal Hypoallergenic:
Water Sufficient for Processing, Pheasant, Rice Flour, Duck, Brown Rice, Duck Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Guar Gum, Flax Meal, Minerals (Salt, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Iron Bioplex, Zinc Bioplex, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Bioplex, Calcium Iodate and Organic Selenium), Dextrose, Potassium Citrate, Fructo-Oligosaccharides, High Chromium Yeast, Vitamins (Vitamin E, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Inositol, Beta-Carotene, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Biotin, Vitamin A, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 and Folic Acid), L-Carnitine and L-Glutamine
It's not terrible-- for a vet food, it's pretty good...

I don't know what your budget is, but if you have the means, I'd look into these other foods, too. They'll conquer the allergies, if they are indeed food allergies, and they're tasty and they'll get your doggy into super health at the same time... And you'd be able to keep them on it long term...

June 29th, 2005, 07:12 AM
The ingredients for Medi-Cal that oyu gave are for the wet food, we are giving Spencer the kibble. The whole point is that I need to have him on something that is hypoallergenic. I checked the ingredients in the Medi-Cal and there is not by-products or corn. We are trying it out for 2 months. I had Spencer on the Puppy Lamb & Ruce whick seems like a good food but my vet is concerned that he might be allergic to something in it.

These are the ingredients for the Midi-cal kibble:

Oat Flour, Brewers Rice, Duck Meal, Oat Hulls, Natural Flavour, Vegetable Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Citric Acid and Lecithin), Yeast Culture, Herring Oil, Potato Protein, Flax Meal, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Zinc Oxide, Zinc Bioplex, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Bioplex, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Copper Bioplex, Calcium Iodate and Organic Selenium), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Inositol, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Beta-Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Biotin, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3), Fructo-Oligosaccharides, DL-Methionine, L- Lysine, L-Carnitine and L- Glutamine

We might even mix a bit of the canned food in too. We'll see how the kibble goes first.

June 29th, 2005, 08:15 AM
Does Merricks make food for allergic adult dogs? I feed my new boy wellness super5mix chicken, but he very much prefers my girls merricks cowboy cookout. And he is itching like crazy and front paw hot spot galore.

June 29th, 2005, 11:10 AM
Try feeding your dog a home cooked meal for atleast 10 days, IF the itching subsides you KNOW it's food allergy related.

Increase immunity and boost good skin and coat health by giving your dog fish oil.

June 29th, 2005, 11:33 AM
If you compare ingredients, you just have to find a food that has no overlap.

The medi-cal canned is so much better than the dry-- Brewer's rice is not a great ingredient, especially since it's#2... It is a by-product of rice...

Just because some foods are not advertized as "hypoallergenic" doesn't mean they aren't. The WolfCub and the Super5mix both have no overlap with your previous food. The Nutro was loaded with not-so-great rice (it's not brown rice), and now you're switching to brewer's rice. I sure hope it's only the lamb he's allergic to, because that's the only major ingredient the new food is missing. What I'm trying to say is, if he's allergic to a component of the white rice, there might be some of it in the brewer's rice. The idea is to feed them something they have never eaten before.

savannah, if the ingredients are completely different, you're set. But don't forget to rule out seasonal allergies too.

June 29th, 2005, 11:52 AM
I have never heard of either of these brands of food. Where do you buy them?

June 29th, 2005, 11:56 AM
You can buy either at any holistic dog food shop (the kind of shop where Eukanuba and Proplan are the worst foods they carry). You can go to Solid Gold's website, or the Easter Canada distributer for them: to find a store. Usually, whoever carries Solid Gold will carry Wellness, but Merrick is hard to find.

Here's Ottawa:

June 29th, 2005, 12:11 PM
Thanks. I will talk to my vet about these.