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Discussion Starter #1
I adopted a dog from a rescue who assured me that he met my requirements which was being potty trained, good with other dogs, and very healthy. He was all but the last.

From day one my dog Elvis showed signs of health problems. Treating his infections was costing me an additional $300-$500 a month. I finally was able to save enough for allergy testing and I just received the results.

He is allergic to pretty much every kind of grass, tree, and weeds out there. He is allergic to house dust (dust mites). In addition he is allergic to beef, pork, chicken, white potato, sweet potato, rice, corn, salmon, kelp, peanut, duck, lamb, and milk. If he eats this he breaks out in welts all over his body and it usually results (very quickly) into a bad infection.

He IS NOT allergic to venison, flax, eggs, barley, soy bean or green beans. I can't find ANY food that even comes close to what he needs. I have tried the best one I could find with limited ingredients and he is still getting sick from it.

I am very frustrated for a number of reasons. One being that the rescue knowingly adopted out a dog with severe health problems and not mentioning them. But more importantly that my dog is miserable and I don't know how to help him. Sure, I could buy $200+ in venison meat online but I can't afford that.

Please, please, please, does anyone have any suggestions for my dog Elvis?

Elvis is almost a year and a half. He is about 95 pounds and is a Mastiff/Lab Mix. I have attached a picture of Elvis sleeping in his favorite position....

 

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Oh, he's adorable!

I would contact the rescue and let them know his problems, not just to complain, but they should be aware. I think it's possible they really didn't know, especially if he went through their system quickly. It's not at all uncommon for stressed dogs to have itchy spots and diarrhea. Dogs in rescue generally are pretty stressed. They may have assumed Elvis' issues were related to stress.

Anyway, have you tried a food with hydrolized protein and have you discussed allergy shots with your vet? This link discusses different treatment options for allergies in dogs. I honestly don't know about dogs, but my husband's best friend was disabled by allergies for 2 years before he was diagnosed. He was unable to work or really get out of bed. It turns out he was allergic to basically everything but dogs, including kale. Yes, the lettuce-like stuff. Now, with allergy shots, he leads a totally normal life.

I don't know what you've discussed with your vet or not, so sorry if this has been rejected.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was going to contact them, I just didn't know if it would do any good. I should have mentioned that he was fostered so I think that is what made me a little more frustrated...

I have heard a lot about the Hills Hydrolyzed Dog Food, my vet mentioned them. I have just been trying to find alternatives because of the cost. He is very active and eats about 5 cups a day and I know the food is about $80 for a 25 pound bag. So I am a little stuck. I had put away savings for him prior to adoption (For routine vet check-ups and a random urgent vet bill or two) in an effort to be a responsible owner:)! We wiped through that in no time, lol. I know once he gets on the right track this will be easier. Just trying to figure out the right track!

I will mention the dog food again this week when we return. Thank you for the good advice.
 

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If he can handle the Hills hydrolyzed on its own for a month or two and heal up some, you could maybe supplement it with venison, eggs and white fish (if that's not on his "bad" list)

Another option of about the same price range but with a very limited ingredient list that looks safe for him would be Grandma Lucy's $100 / 51 lbs (10 lbs freeze dried makes 51 lbs served)

Ingredients: USDA rabbit, chickpeas, flax, carrots, celery, apples, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, pumpkin, papaya, spinach, garlic, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, potassium, manganese, chloride, copper, magnesium, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin


Depending on where you live, you might be able to get venison in season for fairly cheap from hunters and stock up in a chest freezer. Rabbit and game birds might be additional options

I wouldn't necessarily blame the rescue, they may have only had him in foster for a short time, he may have been obviously stressed and a vet figured it would clear up on its own in a more stable situation or he may have been misdiagnosed by a busy shelter vet before a rescue got him. Or, they may have mislead you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am thinking that is the way to go, get him on the Hills hydrolyzed diet and work with the vet to supplement it when the time comes. I have never heard of Grandma Lucy's before, I am going to look that up in just.

Good idea about obtaining venison from local hunters! I will check with some processing plants.

Just to clarify, I don't want to put blame on the rescue or the person who fostered him for several months. I just tried to be careful to adopt a dog that fit my needs. I knew that adopting a dog with pretty bad health issues was not in my budget, and I made that very clear. An additional $300-$500 a month in extra care is a pretty large chunk of change. I appreciate rescues and all of the work they do and without this particular one I wouldn't have been able to adopt my awesome dog Elvis. I just can't help but think that this problem was noticed, but the past is the past:)
 

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Is doing allergy shots financially feasible for you? It may really help him a lot with the environmental allergies. Also, regular bathing should help with the environmental allergies as well.
 

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I am thinking that is the way to go, get him on the Hills hydrolyzed diet and work with the vet to supplement it when the time comes. I have never heard of Grandma Lucy's before, I am going to look that up in just.

Good idea about obtaining venison from local hunters! I will check with some processing plants.

Just to clarify, I don't want to put blame on the rescue or the person who fostered him for several months. I just tried to be careful to adopt a dog that fit my needs. I knew that adopting a dog with pretty bad health issues was not in my budget, and I made that very clear. An additional $300-$500 a month in extra care is a pretty large chunk of change. I appreciate rescues and all of the work they do and without this particular one I wouldn't have been able to adopt my awesome dog Elvis. I just can't help but think that this problem was noticed, but the past is the past:)
Since you mentioned he's eating 5 cups per day of food now (weighing in at 95 lbs) and that makes some food seem very expensive....
the higher the quality of food, the less the dog will need to eat and supplementing with a protein source he can eat will help too.
It isn't a limited ingredient food so it wouldn't work for you, but as an example, my active 80 lbs dog eats 2.5 cups per day of a 5* grain-free dog food. Basically about a 30 lbs bag per month at $50/bag.
If your dog was to eat a freeze-dried food like Grandma Lucy's (which I have never tried, it just is one of the few alternative protein potato free foods) then the 51 lbs would likely last a 4-5 weeks; and $100/month if it prevents all the allergy problems is money well spent and not all that much more than a typical quality diet.

I don't know anyone who uses processing plants for their deer, but you could also call around to some hunting clubs. Also, freezer burned meat (assuming its been continuously frozen) is safe to eat and people might have leftovers that are freezerburned and undesirable for people to eat (it is cosmetic and affects taste/texture a bit but that's all)
 

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I am going to start him on allergy shots for sure. Poor guy is allergic to about every tree, weed, and grass. I am wondering if one can cause or possibly influence the other. If I work to get his food allergies stabilized I wonder if it will help is outdoor allergies or vice versa. Any thoughts?


He gets his monthly grooming at the shop:)! I also, put a special lotion on him every week or so. I am assuming this helps but I honestly can't tell.
 

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I am going to start him on allergy shots for sure. Poor guy is allergic to about every tree, weed, and grass. I am wondering if one can cause or possibly influence the other. If I work to get his food allergies stabilized I wonder if it will help is outdoor allergies or vice versa. Any thoughts?
Well with allergies the concept of a threshold applies. So, using a completely made-up scale, say that he has symptoms when all his allergies add up to 10, and his allergy to grass is 5, his allergy to trees is 4, and his allergy to chicken is 2. So adding those all together he's at an 11 and will have symptoms. If the allergy shots can get the grass down to 3 and the trees down to 3, then you may not have to do anything about the chicken at all because now he's at an 8 and below his threshold.

That's a gross oversimplification, of course, but it's an easy way to think about how multiple allergies can affect each other.
 
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