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  #151  
Old September 1st, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Thanks for the information Lisa. Is that the allergy testing that is like $600?

My new vet mentioned the allergy testing, but said often the results come back that the dog is allergic to many, many things (like the one you linked to) and that it is almost impossible to remove many of those allergens (like the grasses, weeds, tress, etc. so she finds the allergy testing to usually be not very useful. She said she would happily get it done if that's what I want, she just doesn't think it will give us much to go on. It would be interesting to see though.
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
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  #152  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 02:16 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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The spectrum test, *without vet markup* is about $180 US$. I paid for the blood draw and sent it in myself, but the vet did have to set up the account and make the calls. She saved me a boatload of $$$ - vet markup usually at least doubles the price. The GP test was about $70 US$, but is more "out there" in terms of scientific basis, though very consistent with my obervations!

Many vets do not believe in the blood test, but do the cratch test. I had a vet year ago ay that he had better luck with his clients using the blood then the scratch, and it certainly has been true in my previou dogs, and now uing them for my current dogs.

Allergies are all about threshhold. I can't eliminate all those, but I can manage the environment to some degree, and the food I can control. So, taking the a bunch of stuff out of the diet, she is already no longer itching. I just challenged her with green beans, and her paws turned all red and she was really chewing them (green bean allergy can be related to peanut allergies).

So, if I can keep the total number of allergy problems under a certain threshhold, I can get her relatively symptom free. If something pushes her over whatever her threshhold is, then we will again see some type of symptom.

I've upped her vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), will add quercitin if needed, but hopefully I caught it early enough that it willl stay a minor annoyance rather than the alternative. Looking for some good antioxidant support for her too.
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  #153  
Old September 2nd, 2012, 02:18 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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I should add, from my own experience of a lifetime of allergies, I think all allergy dog (and humans) benefit from a general multivitamin, extra C and bioflavanoids, a bit extra zinc (balanced with copper), and a yeast-free B supplement. I am still looking for these things to add to her regimine. These dogs are so sensisitve!
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  #154  
Old September 3rd, 2012, 10:53 AM
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Don't forget omega 3 fatty acid! Natural anti-inflammatory. B-vitamins also make sense. I don't know anything about the others...will look into it. Thanks!

I'm going to see how Roxy does in the next couple months, and if the symptoms persist we will look at the allergy testing.
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
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Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #155  
Old September 3rd, 2012, 01:31 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Yes, omega-3's!!

My last two couldn't tolerate any fish oil - hoping for better with this one!

Good luck to you
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  #156  
Old September 3rd, 2012, 03:17 PM
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I don't think Roxy can tolerate fish oil either (my new vet mentioned not all dogs tolerate fish oil very well, allergy or not), but I am going to try again once we sort out the food thing. It's hard to say because it was almost a year ago I tried fish oil with her, and it seemed like it flared her up, but it's always so hard to tell exactly what it was that caused the flare up when there are so many uncontrollable potential irritants in the environment when dealing with Atopy. I'm using Platinum Performance right now which provides Omega 3 with flax mainly which Roxy does tolerate just fine. I'm hoping in the future I can add some fish oil along with the Platinum Performance and be ok.
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #157  
Old September 3rd, 2012, 07:51 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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My old girl, who had pancreas problems all her life, had difficulties with oils. Any fih oil, as she aged, caused fatty lipomas. What your vet said makes sense.
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  #158  
Old September 10th, 2012, 08:08 PM
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This morning Roxy had her first meal with no kibble at all. A couple weeks before the change I had started adding cooked green lentils to her kibble since she had loose stools quite frequently in the last month, so I simply replaced the kibble with the Mountain Dog Food ground chicken. I also added 1 tbsp Eagle Pack Holistic Transition probiotic powder to each meal which is a product that I have had great success with many times.

Roxy has made the fairly quick change over quite easily. She has had no diarrhea during the switch over. She's eating about 2/3 ground chicken and 1/3 cooked lentils for a total of about 12 ounces per meal, two meals per day. Today I also added 1/2 a carrot. I plan to alternate vegetables, feeding one per week so I can tell if Roxy has a reaction to one. So this week it is carrots.

I was reading that I should be steaming the veggies for easier digestion in the doggie system, I will look into that a bit more to see if there is truth in it. I also plan to add a small amount of berries occasionally since they are high in antioxidants. I also know that sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants as well, so Roxy will get sweet potatoes instead of lentils sometimes too.
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #159  
Old September 12th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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No kibble does the trick for Roxy
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  #160  
Old September 14th, 2012, 12:56 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Yes, veggies should be steamed. I used this one, and I also have a smaller one now that I'm down to one small dog.

http://www.amazon.com/Oster-5711-Mec...619330-0357661

Carrots are high in sugar, and sweet potatoes are starchy and also higher in sugar. Some dogs will be fine on them, others not. Steamed green beans are always good, as long as there's not a silly allergy.

Hope things are going well.
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  #161  
Old September 14th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Thanks Growler!

Yes, you are right about those foods Lisa, everything in moderation though, right? I hope to get Roxy's stomach used to changing food items often so that she can have something different every couple days. I think this is the best bet for a well-rounded diet.
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #162  
Old September 15th, 2012, 03:14 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myka View Post
... everything in moderation though, right?
Sometimes not I hope that the rotation works, but some allergic individuals won't be able to handle it well. I do hope you can find the right foods!
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  #163  
Old September 15th, 2012, 06:59 PM
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I honestly don't think she has food allergies. I've never been overly convinced of this. I'm pretty sure she had Demodectic Mange last fall which is something that healthy adult dogs aren't normally susceptible to, plus I haven't been able to really link her physical reactions to any particular ingredients in her foods. It just makes me think she has/had a weakened immune system which could be as simple as stress or poor nutrition or as challenging as kidney or liver disease. Some dogs are definitely more susceptible to poor nutrition than others, maybe she's just sensitive. After Roxy has been on the raw diet for a couple months I plan to get a full blood panel to see how things are going. Thyroid/hormones are another thought since she was quite obese when I adopted her and ate a poor diet of Iams, white rice, and a bit of ground beef and carrots.
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog

Last edited by Myka; September 16th, 2012 at 06:25 PM.
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  #164  
Old September 16th, 2012, 05:36 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myka View Post
.... Thyroid/hormones are another thought since she was quite obese when I adopted her and ate a poor diet of Iams, white rice, and a bit of ground beef and carrots.
Thyroid should always be checked as one of the first steps, but a lot of dogs, starting at about 3 years old typically, or a bit younger, start putting on "kibble weight", from the grains, corn, etc.
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  #165  
Old September 16th, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Hey Myka, I am not convinced of food allergies either. I did all the trials too. I think my pooch has auto immune deficiencies. She is on vanectyl p, one dose a day, it has helped alot. However she is putting on the pounds. She is a happier dog.
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  #166  
Old September 16th, 2012, 06:12 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Unless you did a careful elimination diet with only cooked food, changing one thing at a time, then that's not sufficient enough to rule out food allergies or sensitivities. It's also very possible that there is more than one thing going on.
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  #167  
Old September 16th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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Roxy is actually doing really well right now. Her ears look good, her feet look good, no rash. No scratching, no head shaking, no foul smell, and so far no anal gland over-filling troubles. She looks pretty normal right now, but it's too early to be celebrating yet!

I've started adding in one 1000 mg Wild Fish Oil capsule twice a day. Although now I think of it I should probably just be giving one capsule per day since she's also getting the Platinum Performance. She seems to be tolerating this just fine, but again it is too early to tell. She's had the fish oil now for about a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
Thyroid should always be checked as one of the first steps, but a lot of dogs, starting at about 3 years old typically, or a bit younger, start putting on "kibble weight", from the grains, corn, etc.
Yeah, that's normal no matter the diet. Same with people. As we all get older we require less calories and become more and more susceptible to high-glycemic foods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty11 View Post
Hey Myka, I am not convinced of food allergies either. I did all the trials too. I think my pooch has auto immune deficiencies. She is on vanectyl p, one dose a day, it has helped alot. However she is putting on the pounds. She is a happier dog.
I'm glad you're having an easier time now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
Unless you did a careful elimination diet with only cooked food, changing one thing at a time, then that's not sufficient enough to rule out food allergies or sensitivities. It's also very possible that there is more than one thing going on.
Oh of course, but I couldn't link diet changes to food changes. They didn't coincide. Plus, putting her back on the Iams + white rice + ground beef diet didn't cure the problem either. She didn't have noticeable skin issues when I adopted her. Although I do believe she either came with Demo Mange or the stress from changing families and moving 500 km suppressed her immune system enough for the Demo to get a foothold.
__________________
Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #168  
Old September 22nd, 2012, 09:03 PM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Ok, so it looks like I am finally winning the battle!

Roxy has been doing well so far on the following foods: chicken, turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and lentils. She is also doing well on the Platinum Performance vit/min/omega supplement as well as a 1000 mg Fish Oil capsule. We are still working on creating a good spectrum of tolerable foods, but we are only adding one new food per week so if there is a reaction we will know what is causing it. I've got an old stove top steamer I'm using right now. Roxy is eating about 24 ounces per day (1.5 lbs) which is 2% of her body weight. Roxy gets 50% meat & bone and 50% green lentils/sweet potatoes/veggie/fruit.

Here is tonight's dinner (chicken, green lentils, sweet potatoes):
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #169  
Old September 23rd, 2012, 04:43 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Glad it's going so well!
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  #170  
Old September 23rd, 2012, 09:06 PM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Thanks MaxaLisa! So far so good! Now, to get some better variety in there...
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Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog
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  #171  
Old October 8th, 2013, 09:58 PM
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UPDATE: For anyone interested!

Well, I've come to the conclusion that Roxy's atopic dermatitis is seasonal. Thanks to this thread I can look back and see what was happening and I see very clearly that Roxy's skin troubles start to show up in September and wane mid-late October. She also has a mild bout in the spring just after the snow has finished melting. Roxy is currently in a bout of "hives" and has been for the last 3 weeks or so. We seem to be over the hump now though.

3 things that have been miracle lifesavers for Roxy:

- Earth Bath Tee Tree Oil & Aloe Shampoo (weekly baths when irritated)
- Apple Cider Vinegar mixed 50/50 with water sprayed on feet, belly, genital area (daily when irritated)
- McKillip's Solution Ear Cleaner (daily when irritated)

Our (holistic) vet has suggested to not do allergy testing. She said in her experience, dogs with atopic dermatitis have test results that essentially read "allergic to everything", and particularly outdoor allergens. She said there is no point running around trying to bubble wrap the whole world to protect Roxy from every possible allergen. Our vet did recommend a few different supplements to try to help, but so far they haven't made an obvious difference. We also tried Benedryl even though our vet said it only works for 30% of dogs, and Roxy is not in that 30% of course! She suggested the raw diet for Roxy which she's been on for two years now, keep her bedding clean, give her frequent baths with gentle shampoo, and treat the symptoms as they come up. So far this has been a good method. Since atopic dermatitis often becomes worse as the dog ages, we are holding off on medicating her until absolutely necessary. There are definitely a few weeks of the year where Roxy is really, really itchy, but I think the side effects of allergy drugs (Atopica or steroids) is not worth it at this point. Roxy is definitely on the "mild" side of the scale this disease can often take. I have my fingers crossed that Roxy is one of the dogs whose allergies do not progress as she ages - so far so good.

A layman's read: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dogs-atop...osis-treatment
A veterinary paper: http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/172/8/201.full
__________________
Roxy - Feb 2005 - 75 lb American Staffordshire Bull Terrier (adopted Jul 2011)
Peewee - Jan 2006 - 8 lb Chihuahua (adopted May 2009)
--------------------
Myka - Nov 1998 to Jan 2010 - 85 lb American Pit Bull Terrier cross
Lacy - Sept 1992 to July 2003 - 18 lb Reg Shetland Sheepdog

Last edited by Myka; October 8th, 2013 at 10:18 PM.
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  #172  
Old October 9th, 2013, 09:26 AM
momoftwofuzzies momoftwofuzzies is offline
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I have a dog with allergies as well. My vet gave me a topical steroid spray (which didn't really seem to work for him but maybe for your dog). He also takes one Reactine (Zyrtec) per day. It works better than Benadryl, but he still scratches. I also give him the fish oil; thought it might help with dry skin but I don't know....his coat is great though!
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  #173  
Old October 11th, 2013, 12:15 AM
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Glad to hear things are going well for you & Roxy
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Vindication ~ For all those pets who became sick or lost their lives from tainted pet food
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  #174  
Old October 13th, 2013, 04:37 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Myka, I'm really glad that you have things "stable". The seasonal part makes sense.

I understand what your vet is saying about the allergy testing. I know when I tested my new girl, all the environmental stuff lit up, so there is nothing specific to tackle, but all of it. However, it has helped me with the grasses - she loves to roll in the grass, and I know which ones she is most allergic to and I can diminish that. It's also good for me to know that she is not allergic to her bedding, my last dog was allergic to cotton of all things I also find the food portion helpful, but everything still has to be challenged, so I can see that either way.

Anyway, it sounds like w/o the allergy tests you have things managed, which is a huge relief, congratulations
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