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Old April 28th, 2010, 08:28 PM
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Lissa Lissa is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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Since you seem to have completed a full range of tests, I am going to focus on the food aspect!

Originally Posted by WarrenIA View Post
My 2-year old, 70-lb mixed breed (shelter dog, we've had him for 1 year) has major food allergies. First it was wheat, oats (grains), egg, chicken, turkey. Then he began reacting to beef. We've been feeding him pork and potatoes (cooked, homemade) and vegetables, and he just broke out again in bacterial and yeast skin infections. That might be because he likes to grab cat droppings (neighbors' cats, our yard), but none of that in 3 days -- so jury is still out on pork.
You list 4 protein sources here and 2 grains (plus the rice in a different post)... Did you try EACH of these separately or did they all happen to be in the same food? Have you always homecooked or did you feed commercial kibble? If you could list the brands that you have tried, that would be helpful...If you have tried numerous kibbles, are you sure that there were no other common ingredients, ie: flaxseed, beet pulp, poultry fat, rosemary, fish oil etc..... Sometimes, even if we are changing up the proteins, there are still other common ingredients that could be responsible for this type of inflammatory reaction.
Have all treats been eliminated?
Have you tried hydrolyzed protein diets?

Also, it would help to make sure that it is 100% food allergies... I had a friend who went through almost every food imaginable over 18 months until we finally clued in to what was really causing the allergic reaction... A glade plug-in!!!! I find that cedar dog beds are problamatic, as are household cleaners and bounce sheets. Her dog was on anti-inflammatories and had patchy hair loss - especially on her legs, shoulder and stomach.
Another friend figured out that it was the ear cleaner she used on her dog... Her dog would scratch her ear and then lick her paws and start getting interdigital cysts a day later!

Originally Posted by WarrenIA View Post
First we used no meat for him, but it was too much fiber. Then we tried eggs -- allergic. Chicken and turkey -- allergic. No grains, even rice must be limited. He eats potatoes, but they don't completely agree with him. We've been giving him pork now. Allergic? Maybe.
Aside from scratching, hair loss and skin infections... Does he have any other reaction like gas or loose stools?

Perhaps you could try formulating a recipe that uses millet or quinoa as the base grain and then a novel protein source. I wouldn't worry too much about it being balance AT FIRST, I would just get him on something that works and then build from their until you can figure out what is causing the inflammatory reaction. It could be something as small as a preservative in the food or something completely unrelated to what you are doing (ie: neighbours slipping the dog treats through the fence!)

Originally Posted by WarrenIA View Post
Or maybe it was the cat poop. I don't know how to stop the "allergic march" for him.
Scavenging can be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome when you are trying to do an elimination diet. My dog wears a basket muzzle when off-leash so he cannot ingest anything that he isn't suppose to.

I have a few friends who have gone through this type of severe allergic reaction.
One did well on hydrolyzed protein - although he never completely stopped scratching but the hair loss did resolve itself.
Another like you mention has to change his dogs food every 2 months, its like clockwork.... He has to buy a new grain free food each time but has been able to cycle through 5 of them. Most are kibble be he does switch to a dehydrated food as well.
A lady from my vet clinic actually had a severely yeasty dog - he was literally excreting pus from every possible point of exit... He went on a grain free lamb diet and with a round of antibiotics/inflammatories he was able to start his new food as healthy as possible. He hasn't had any other reaction so far, its been about 4 months!
Another dog, who was actually a surrended dog in a rescue had to be relocated to a different climate... They did focus on food allergies for months but eventually the tests revealed that is was a mostly environmental problem (because the dog had some food allergies, it was a difficult diagnosis!)

With regards to raw diets... I frankly don't think you have anything to lose... Sometimes the allergy can be to how PROCESSED the food is (ie kibble is heated at a high temp, extruded, no moisture and sprayed with fat for taste).... I wouldn't be opposed to raw, especially since it would eliminate all grains and most veggies/herbs/botanicals and the vitamin/mineral premixes that are in all kibbles.
If you are uncomfortable with raw, perhaps ZiwiPeak is one to try...Its air dried, so not a kibble - almost like a jery. It has a high organ content and is potato/grain free.
There's also a dehydrated food on the market by Artisan that uses lamb which might be one to look into... Its grain free and I am pretty sure there's no dairy!

Have you tried prebiotics? I have heard good things about florentero and prozyme (even with dogs who are allergic to soy/dairy).... They are especially important for dogs on any kind of meds or those with allergies as good gut bacteria is stripped away by stress, inflammation and of course meds!

Good luck, you'll have to let us know what works!
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to."
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