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suggestions for food allergies

August 31st, 2007, 06:06 PM
Hi guys, I am dog sitting for friends of mine. She is an 18 month boxer named Ruby, very sweet girl :dog: :lovestruck: . I have noticed while watching her that her allergies are getting more severe than they have been when we watched her in the past. We have had her for a couple days and she is itching constantly, has hives on her back, red skin on inside of her ears, and her muzzle is red and a little puffy. She has been in and out of the vet since they got her for her allergies (last time one week ago). She has had food reactions in the past to lamb and rice and has been on the same food now for about 6 months (nutro beef) I KNOW there is better food for her and I wanted some suggestions to give them when they get back. I know they will be receptive (they are great doggy parents) they just don't realize that the food could be an issue because she has been eating it for a while now. Her vet told them that the heat is likely causing the flare up. I think her allergies are getting worse because of the heat, but I also think her food is probably an issue too.

Sooo... Couple questions

Are food allergies to beef common?

What are good protein bases to try if allergy testing has not been done?

I know some of you are well versed in the food allergy stuff, I never had issues with Shade so I welcome any and all suggestions :2cents: .


August 31st, 2007, 06:24 PM
Food allergies can occur to any kind of protein the dog has eaten before. A good allergy food is anything the dog hasn't had before - a completely new protein and carb that she's never eaten. My dog is allergic to chicken and a bunch of other things. We currently use Solid Gold - a bison/salmon mix, combined with Eagle Pack fish/oatmeal mix. We've used venison in the past too. We never went through the testing, we just got sample bags of different foods and watched what happened after a few weeks - things either stayed the same, got worse, or got better. Natural Balance makes a fish one and even a vegetarian one, Orijin has a new fish one out now too, Eagle Pack has a fish blend, Solid Gold has bison/salmon... there are tons of alternative foods out there these days. If Ruby has been eating lamb/rice/beef with no success, try something with venison/fish/bison/oatmeal/sweet potato instead.

Good luck! I know how absolutely frustrating the detective work can be surrounding allergies, but the right food can make a huge difference!

August 31st, 2007, 06:30 PM
the most common allergens are corn, grains, soy and chicken. but anything is possible.

i feed my dogs grain free food and i have been very impressed with it....

theres orijen theres a poultry one and a new fish one out, that may help

also innova evo and evo rm

theres wellness white fish

these are things i have fed and been really impressed with :) i wouldnt recommend anything i havent personally used but you will get lots of suggestions on here:) canidae is a frequently recommended on this forum as well.

if you are unsure of the exact allergy try an elimination diet with 1 unfrequently used protein source and a stratch (ie sweet potatoe) and go from there gradually adding different things to it when a reaction comes youll know whats causing it

August 31st, 2007, 06:36 PM
An elimination diet is really the only way to determine what he may be allergic or sensitive to in proteins and other foods.

Timberwolf makes a number of novel protein diets along with an all fish diet. I fell "out of love" with them when they changed their fish formula without warning then stated that they don't control the exact formulation and it may vary from time to time.

I' in love with (as are my dogs ) Orijen's new 6 fish formula. And as important as the top-drawer ingredients in their food, which is grain free, I also think that they committed to animal health. They also have formula's other than fish though. I'm definitely a cheerleader for Orijen!

August 31st, 2007, 06:45 PM
Thanks everyone!

mummummum: If we do an elimination diet should we blend her food for the first week still, or just switch it completely?

I think I will call my friends and see if I can't switch her while I have her, she is soooo miserable :sad:

August 31st, 2007, 06:54 PM
If you can stay within the same manufacturer you should not have to transition. I will tell you that Nutro would not be on my top ten list of manufacturers and recommend that you look at something more in the wholistic line of foods.

As Ruby is having sooooooo many issues I say, why put her through any more than you absolutely need to ~ just do a cold switch. If it were me I would be looking at grain-free foods. The first couple of days on the new food might be tough gastro wise. You may also want to start her on some digestive enzymes to ease the transition. Could I also suggest you add some plain, organic yoghurt to her diet to help restore the good bacteria to her gut ?

September 1st, 2007, 12:53 AM
Thanks, I will just switch her over with no blending. I talked to her dad tonight and he said go for it, so I will go to the store tommorrow and see what they have. I know a great pet food store where I used to buy food for Shade and they sell most of those brands.

mummummum: Do they sell the digestive enzymes at most pet stores, or do I need to get those from her vet? Thanks again for everyones advice, hopefully the little one can get some relief :fingerscr

September 1st, 2007, 10:08 AM
I'm going to second the suggestion of an all fish diet. Orijen 6 fish would be my choice. Plus it's grain free. Ruby's allergy could very well be caused by grains.

September 1st, 2007, 10:54 AM
mummummum: Do they sell the digestive enzymes at most pet stores, or do I need to get those from her vet? Thanks again for everyones advice, hopefully the little one can get some relief :fingerscr

I buy mine either at the drug store or the health food store ~ they are far less expensive.

September 1st, 2007, 05:28 PM
I agree with all the suggestions and Orijen 6 Fish would be my first choice as well. Also, they had a sample size for $2 or $3 which came with a coupon for the amount off your next purchase.

Good luck with Ruby and keep us posted. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

September 1st, 2007, 05:42 PM
Shredy my lab had similiar symptoms for many years until recently when I switched to Orijen over to Orijen Fish formula...both he loves...I use the Eaglepack Holistic transition powder for the first time and now with the change to fish I just switched over with no problems...I think with my boy it was the grain..Orijen is grain free, gluten free, and no by products..

To this day we no longer have the itchies and the spots are long gone...Oh! and his poops are perfect...(thiey dont even stick to the grass!!:laughing: )

That is no nice of you yo help them with their dog! I guess it is helpful for you too!


September 1st, 2007, 08:26 PM
If you can stay within the same manufacturer you should not have to transition

Even if its the same brand it may have different ingreance so you souldnt just switch. I did all of this with my little guy, did tons of testing and the elemanation diet. Started with sweet potatos and pinto beans. Then went to a food called Z/D Ultra. Then we tried natural balance sweet potato and duck. natural balance has a few different foods that have one carb and one protein. My little guy cant have chicken, turkey, and different oils and has inhalent allergeys. You may want to give the little guy some Benadral its 1 mg per pound. pills are 25mg and you want to make sure its only ingreadent is diphihidrenan. Amber:pawprint:

September 4th, 2007, 03:26 PM
I looked all over and no pet food stores in southern California carry Orijen, sooo... I took the advice of the manager of the pet food store that I always bought Shades food from and she recommended California Natural because they have a line of hypoallergenic food. I choose the Herring and sweet potato formula. She is not very picky, and seemed to like it so hopefully it helps. The girl also recommended Biologics supplements, either "Fats" or "skin and coat". DOes anyone here have any expereince with these? I attached the food ingredients below. Thanks for everyones advice, I hope Ruby gets better with this! :fingerscr

Herring, Barley, Oatmeal/Rolled Oats, Herring Meal, Herring Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Sunflower Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavors, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamins/Minerals, Potassium Chloride, Rosemary Extract..

Nutrition Facts:
Moisture........10.0 %
Protein...........21.0 %
Fat.................11.0 %
Calories.........3474 Kcal/lb
Calories...........419 Kcal/Kg
Calories........511 KCals/Cup

September 4th, 2007, 05:46 PM
I don't think you will find you need the supplement Shredy. California Natural is a good product ~ although I'm never keen when I see "Natural Flavours" :rolleyes: . I would give it a few weeks, see if his coat and skin improve and then decide on the supplement.

September 4th, 2007, 06:48 PM
I agree that California Naturals is a good product and I hope it helps Ruby. :fingerscr

Orijen is available in California but maybe not near where you live:

If Ruby doesn't like or doesn't do well on the CN then I would suggest Timberwolf Organics Ocean Blue.

Good luck and keep us posted. :fingerscr You're an angel for trying to help this poor girl. :angel:

September 4th, 2007, 10:15 PM
Thanks mummummum and Rainbow.

I already tried the website. All of those stores are in Northern California and we are in Southern cali :sad: So hopefully the California Natural works for her. :fingerscr Thanks for the other suggestion though, in case this one doesn't work I can give them other options.

She is such a cute dog, she in sleeping on the couch right now, always looks like she is pouting :lovestruck:

September 7th, 2007, 04:33 PM

So she has been eating the food for a few days now, and her stools are actually firmer than with the food she was eating before, BUT she is throwing up! She did it once on wednesday, and now twice today. She eats, then a couple hours later, drinks a bunch of water, and immediately throws up all of her food and water. She has normal energy, and right after she pukes, she whines for more food. So, the question is, is it the food, or does she need to see a vet?

I really love this dog, but she has ruined our carpet, and I am getting frustrated! :wall: :o

September 7th, 2007, 06:21 PM
Stomach upset for the first few days is not uncommon. The good news is her stools are firming up which tells me that she isn't allergic/ sensitive to anything in the CN. And, I'm hoping that since you haven't mentioned the itchy skin that that may have settled somewhat as well.

The fact that she is vomitting after drinking "a bunch" of water may have more to do with the water than with the food. I would try dividing her portions and feeding her three times a day rather than twice and limit the amount of water she has in her bowl at meal time to enough to quench a light thirst until 1/2 hour afterwards. No exercise or playtime 1/2 hour before and a 1/2 hour afterward.

Did you try the digestive enzymes and yoghurt ?

September 7th, 2007, 06:31 PM
Her skin is settling somewhat, but I think it may take some more time for me to say whether it is completely better because she was so inflammed that it will take a little while to calm down completely. But, no more hives, and skin inside of her ears is normal again, still chewing at her feet though.

I didn't do the enzymes because they were expensive at the pet food store, and I haven't had time :o to get to the store.

After she threw up this morning, I gave her a couple hours and she kept whining at the food, so I gave in and fed her about 1/2 cup. 2 hours later she drank her entire bowl of water and immediately threw up again. (This is how she always drinks though) I will keep her water bowl only a quarter full the next time we try feeding.
I will also get some yogurt today. Should I feed it to her with the food, before, or after?

If she keeps throwing up should I stop the new food? Like I said before, her stools are better than they used to be, firm, brown, and not as stinky :)

September 7th, 2007, 06:56 PM
See how she does on 3 feedings per day with limited water at one sitting and watch that she doesn't wolf or gulp either. Give this schedule at least two days then if she is still vomitting after meals let her stomach rest for a day with plain ol' white rice and we'll look at alternatives then.

As I said I am a little worried about her water intake ~ that's alot of water. Is she drooling and/or licking her lips excessively before she goes for the big drink? Drooling is usually a sign of nausea and she may be drinking excessively becuase her stomach is upset. If you think she is nauseous, I know that Dr. Lee has advised others with nauseous dogs that Pepcid AC is helpful in coating the stomach. If she vomits again you may want to try it.

Don't worry about the enzymes for now ~ they won't help with the vomitting anyway. I am a fan of yoghurt though and I give it to my dogs for dessert. This will help her gut "workings" overall. Her improved stools are a very good sign that she is returning to good health.

September 7th, 2007, 07:09 PM
I will try with the three feedings and control her water intake and give her yogurt. She isn't drooling before she drinks, or acting nauseated as far as I can tell, she has always been a bit obsessive/compulsive (crazy boxer :crazy: ) and will drink and eat anything you put in front of her until it is all gone (has already been addressed at the vet, no physical illness, just her personality).

Do you know how much pepcid AC I should give her. I am not familiar with dosing for dogs with this med (she weighs about 50 lbs).

There is no warning with the vomiting. Before Shade would throw up, she would wretch a couple times, Ruby just opens her mouth and out it comes... Maybe I will put her outside to drink from now on :rolleyes:

September 7th, 2007, 07:25 PM
Boy-o-Boy ~ remind me to stay out of HER "line of fire" after a big drink!

As for dosage you may want to have a chat with your Vet the next time you happen to be there but I think most OTC meds are based on a person being 150 pounds or so.

You might want to try Sunlight soap (the bar of pure soap) on your carpet and if the stains remain a little bit of borax may do the trick. Rinse well with water and blot to dry. Pro-Solve is a chemical cleaner if all else fails.

September 8th, 2007, 05:43 PM
I don't want to jinx it, but so far so good. I did a small dinner with yogurt, and small breakfast and lunch with a little yogurt at lunch and she is still having normal stools and no throw up! I am being careful though, when she drinks, she goes outside and then we stay out there for a bit, just in case!!! Thanks for your help mummummum, me, Ruby and my carpet thank you again! :D