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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to my dog food store where they know tons about dog food, but I thought I would also ask here.

My mom's dog has some type of allergy and we have to put him on Temril P from time to time. I would rather not have him on these meds if we can help it. We don't know if the allergy is food or environment so I want to start with food.

I want to put him on a restrictive diet and slowly add foods to see what he reacts to. Has anyone ever had to go through this....any good resources you could recommend?

Right now he is on kibble and canned food. Natural Balance.
 

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What Natural Balance formula is the dog on currently?

Allergies are an immune response, the body is recognizing the protein as harmful to the body. Try changing the protein source from what he is on currently. Common food allergies are to chicken, beef and dairy. If you are going to do an elimination diet, you cannot feed any other foods or flavored products (flavored toothpastes, chew toys etc.) for the duration of the trial. If you wish to give treats then you can use the kibble you are feeding. If you wish to continue with canned food, make sure its same formula (ie salmon and potato). I'm use to doing this with veterinary diets but when we've had clients on diets like Hills Z/D ultra allergen free that wanted to give treats, we looked up a recipe how to make treats from the canned formula. I will look into that further, making treats from wet food - don't think you need a prescription hydrolized protein diet. The dog certainly does not sound severe enough for anything like that.

You can try one of their Limited ingredient diets but avoid chicken and duck. Nautal Balance LID .
 

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If I were going to do an elimination diet, honestly I would do home cooked. Just one protein source and one carbohydrate source. A food trial is 8-10 weeks long, you don't need to worry about nutritional deficiencies over that short of a period of time.

I don't have a source because this information is from a seminar one of my colleagues attended (I don't even know if the study has been published yet), but a group of veterinary dermatologists tested several commercial "limited ingredient" diets (they didn't say which brands) and pretty much every single one was contaminated with ingredients that weren't supposed to be in them, probably cross-contamination from other foods manufactured in the same plant. Doesn't make them bad diets, but it does mean that it's difficult to do a true food trial with a commercial diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Is it worth trying? Right now he on on Natural Balance LID potato and duck and he gets a variety of Natural Balance canned mixed in. He is my mother's dog. She is 91 years old and doesn't cook for herself any longer but I am sure that if I home cooked for the dog, she would feed him. I'd like to get him on raw, but that's not going to happen.

but a group of veterinary dermatologists tested several commercial "limited ingredient" diets (they didn't say which brands) and pretty much every single one was contaminated with ingredients that weren't supposed to be in them, probably cross-contamination from other foods manufactured in the same plant. Doesn't make them bad diets, but it does mean that it's difficult to do a true food trial with a commercial diet.
I guess I am just starting to feel a little discouraged....
 

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Just out of curiosity, has the dog been eating the exact same brand and type of kibble for a long time? I have no experience with dogs with allergies as I've never had a dog with allergies, but I know that a lot of people like to rotate their foods (brands and proteins) to help eliminate food allergies. Sometimes if eaten over extended periods of time, some dogs can react to certain proteins or ingredients in the food they eat. That is, of course if its a food allergy and not an environmental allergy.

I would also be very weary about the employee's at the pet store giving food advice, I'm not saying they're likely idiots, but they're likely also not experts as every dog is different and what will work great for one dog, could be horrible for another. Just sayin. Ultimately, you have to trust the dog as to what works and what doesn't, because in my opinion no one is a food expert :)

I know my Mom feeds Natural Balance duck & sweet potato, she feeds the kibble and the canned to all three of her pomeranians and they've been eating it for their whole lives pretty much... and they all, to no surprise to me, have some kind of allergy or food intolerance, or other health issue. My mother refuses to believe its the food, but I still try to encourage her to try something different to see if it helps. I'm not saying the food is the problem, but it could be. I've tried to convince my Mom to feed raw too, the more and more the health of her dogs declines I push it more and more but she just refuses to believe that switching their food, whether to raw or even to a different kibble/canned combination will help them.

As far as the elimination diet goes, I have no experience with that, but depending on how severe the allergy, I would maybe just try a different formula or brand with different ingredients to see if it helps narrow it down. I've heard of quite a few dogs developing allergy/intolerances to potatoes too.. I know sweet potato is supposed to be better, but it could be that too.

Hope you find the solution soon!
 

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Tell us a little about the dog. Underweight, overweight, any ear infections? This will help me anyway to suggest some foods to try. When my now 6yr old was a pup, he started with recurrent ear infections. A friend gave me a Tufts generated list of ingredients to avoid: chicken, corn, wheat, soy, rice and flax. My dog does fine with flax but we added brewers yeast to the list of stuff he can't have.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I would also be very weary about the employee's at the pet store giving food advice, I'm not saying they're likely idiots, but they're likely also not experts as every dog is different and what will work great for one dog, could be horrible for another.
The place where I get my dog food is AWESOME! There is one guy there who really knows his stuff. I am going to call to see when he is working. He really helped someone I know with their Cavalier who was having tons of skin issues. This isn't a Petco or Petsmart, but I do get what you are saying.

http://www.dextersdeli.com/

Tell us a little about the dog. Underweight, overweight, any ear infections?
He is a neutered male, approximately 10 years old. We got him from the pound when he was about a year old. Deaf. The closest breed I can figure out is Cardigan Welsh corgi. He is built stocky like corgis but his legs are longer. His face is thinner than a corgi and he has a thinner snout. He weighs around 22 lbs but I would love for him to drop at least two pounds. He is otherwise extremely healthy. No ear infections. Last bloodwork was all within normal limits. We have had excellent flea control this year..so no fleas (knock on wood). He does have this funky habit of running in circles and running around things, for example, at my mother's house, when he is excited he runs circles around her chair. He's done this since we brought him home.
 

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Is it worth trying? Right now he on on Natural Balance LID potato and duck and he gets a variety of Natural Balance canned mixed in. He is my mother's dog. She is 91 years old and doesn't cook for herself any longer but I am sure that if I home cooked for the dog, she would feed him. I'd like to get him on raw, but that's not going to happen.



I guess I am just starting to feel a little discouraged....
The NB LID potato and duck is fine, but you can't feed a variety of canned foods at the same time. You can give him their potato and duck wet food and potato and duck treats, but that's it.

I have a cat with allergies and have found their LID diets to be very reliable, don't get discouraged! :)
 

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Since he's a little chunky, I'm going to advise Wellness Core's reduced fat. Good higher protein for a senior dog, lower fat to help with the weight loss needed. Feed the amount for what he *should* weigh.
 

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More than likely, it's an environmental allergy and not a food allergy. Seasonal allergies are commonly mistaken for food allergies.

IF it is a food allergy, he's more than likely allergic to the food protein (chicken, fish, lamb, beef.. etc) that he's been exposed to the most in the past. Try changing the protein, and don't worry about grains. The instance of grain allergies when compared to protein allergies is extremely low. However, people have come to incorrectly believe that dogs are ALWAYS allergic to grains when they have a food allergy, this is of course false.

The symptoms of environmental allergies vs. seasonal allergies slightly differ, so a list of his symptoms may help us conclude whether it's food or environmental.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I have a feeling that it is environmental because it is so off and on but I figured it would be easier to try changing up his food first to see if that helps. He just gets crazy itchy. He rubs his backside and literally cries. He wakes up in the middle of the night, scratching and wakes up my mother. She just had him shaved because the weather has been pretty hot and humid (especially for San Diego) and the groomer commented on the "rashiness" of his skin. Temril P helps him alot.

He likes to hang out in the ivy. She also has some other plants that he wades through. I heard somewhere that allergy tests are not as reliable for dogs as they are for humans. Not sure if that is true. I'm going to talk with our vet about some options to help him also. I would rather he not take Temril P if there are better options.

I am working on getting his weight down but it is hard....if he doesn't eat, my mother freaks....I tell her he's just not hungry, but she is the kind of mother who loves to feed you.
 

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I have a feeling that it is environmental because it is so off and on but I figured it would be easier to try changing up his food first to see if that helps. He just gets crazy itchy. He rubs his backside and literally cries. He wakes up in the middle of the night, scratching and wakes up my mother. She just had him shaved because the weather has been pretty hot and humid (especially for San Diego) and the groomer commented on the "rashiness" of his skin. Temril P helps him alot.

He likes to hang out in the ivy. She also has some other plants that he wades through. I heard somewhere that allergy tests are not as reliable for dogs as they are for humans. Not sure if that is true. I'm going to talk with our vet about some options to help him also. I would rather he not take Temril P if there are better options.

I am working on getting his weight down but it is hard....if he doesn't eat, my mother freaks....I tell her he's just not hungry, but she is the kind of mother who loves to feed you.
I have one of those mothers too! lol

My dog has environmental allergies and will scratch, chew, and lick until she's bleeding. It's mainly on her feet, stomach, base of her tail, and sides. Frequent baths with the right shampoos will help. Unfortunately, you have to treat the symptoms and not the problem. I've found several shampoos that really help Hallie, and help me sleep since she isn't chewing all night.
 
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