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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!

I am a college student whose entire life revolves around the love for animals. I have a Labrador mix of my own and ever since February, I have taken the challenge of fostering a small terrier mix that apparently has allergies.

Vinny

Vinny is approximately 8-9 years old. He was adopted out around the age of 1-2 years old to a family in south Florida. Years (6) after being adopted he was then returned to the same facility with the statement of "I think he is allergic to grass"....

How devastating could this trauma be for poor little Vinny boy? Vinny was covered in fleas, has hair loss along his back, his ears were literally like leather, he had severe dental problems, anemic, extremely skinny... just a total mess.

He was at the shelter (no kill) for two months before I picked him up and brought him home.

I then began this journey that has left me hopeless at times. I don't know what else to do for this little angel and precious creature.

I had my own dog on Ultra; Vinny came home with me with a bag of Purina but I didn't really want to feed him that. I was previously in a vet assisting course so I knew a couple things here and there regarding allergies. So I went out and got a bag of "limited ingredient" Natural Balance lamb. Vinny's major problem is the intense licking and biting of his belly and flank area. Vinny gained weight but there were not much to say in terms of improvement.

Today, I have both of my dogs (look at me saying the Vinny is my dog:redface:) on Taste of The Wild Salmon formula. I had finally brought Vinny to a state in which he could sleep though the night without waking up and biting/licking himself and the constant crying. Vinny's ears started to grow little hairs and they no longer felt like leather. He wears an E- collar to keep him from licking and when supervised, it is removed so that he can sleep and just sit around me while I do shores and stuff.

Vinny also suffers from constant and stubborn ear infection. Antibiotics were given to me by the shelter along with prednisone. Oh Lord, that prednisone! :nono: I avoided that until about a week ago when I was just desperate for this guy to feel 100 percent better.

What I was doing before the prednisone
  • Taste of the Wild Salmon, Pro-biotics, omega/fish oil capsules, benadryl, antifungal/bacterial shampoo
I started the pred about a week ago and this little angel can now stay unsupervised without the E-collar on. He doesn't lick or bite the areas like he did before. The shelter vet prescribed 5mg and I give him that every other day. Ex: Monday, Wed, Fri etc. Vinny is literally a normal dog now but I just don't want to keep him on steroids, this is devastating me.

I remember that before I had him on pred, about a month before, he had completely stopped licking for about 2 days and all I can remember doing "differently" was that I was feeding him "limited ingredient Venison formula" by Nutro. I did try Ultra (what I was feeding my own dog) but it might be my weird imagination but it totally seemed like he worsened and I know a lot of dogs can be allergic to chicken or beef protein.

What else can I do? I am stuck in a tunnel and I do not see the light. I start school again in a couple days and I had hoped to find this little boy a good home by then but that's not going to be possible. I do not want to return him to the shelter, that would completely destroy me.

The positives are that even without the pred, he had improved somewhat. Gained weight, his ears are now slightly hairy and not completely bare like before etc. He apparently had a heart murmur when he arrived at the shelter and last time he went for a check-up they could not hear it any more; the vet said that it could have been the fact that he was anaemic or that he had some sort of infection in his heart. I just need some guidance, I am really sad about this precious boy.

Thanks! I really appreciate any advice that I receive. Questions will be answered as quickly as I can.

God bless!
 

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I don't know what carb ToTW uses, but you want to be avoiding potatoes for grain free dog foods right now. It sounds like he has/had a yeast infection along with his allergy symptoms, in which case you want to get him on a grain free food with a carb that is low in glycemic index (would be awesome if you can get him on raw, but that would be expensive depending on how big the dog is, and also since he can only eat certain meats).

Keep doing the probiotics, and look into povidone iodine or apple cider vinegar soaks for those itchy spots :)
 

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If he can handle rice (my dogs do better on rice than sweet potatoes I am finding out) there is a LID Venison formula that worked grt for my allergy ridden boxer-- It think it may have been natural balance.... but its tough he could be allergic to environmental things as well as food....
 

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I don't know what carb ToTW uses, but you want to be avoiding potatoes for grain free dog foods right now. It sounds like he has/had a yeast infection along with his allergy symptoms, in which case you want to get him on a grain free food with a carb that is low in glycemic index (would be awesome if you can get him on raw, but that would be expensive depending on how big the dog is, and also since he can only eat certain meats).

Keep doing the probiotics, and look into povidone iodine or apple cider vinegar soaks for those itchy spots :)
Completely forgot to mention that I do vinegar/water rinses quite often, it seems to help quite a bit. I did a lot of research and the yeast infection came up all the time. I had initially asked for anti fungal oral medicine but they just gave me antibiotics because they said that anti fungal medicine wouldn't work.

The thing is that antibiotics don't work against yeast infection. Both the pred and the antiobics suppress the immune system and that's why I don't know what to do right now.

ToTW is grain free although the formula I am currently feeding them does have sweet potato.

The vet said that it could be an environmental allergy, but somehow I tend to believe that there's still a possibility that in Vinny's case it isn't. His condition was considerably worse when I first got him in dead winter. The shelter were he was at is very very clean. It is disinfected daily and it is generally an area low in allergens. There would undoubtedly be more allergens here in my house than at the shelter. I haven't noticed any correlation between being exposed to "grass" etc and having a severe reaction.
 

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Completely forgot to mention that I do vinegar/water rinses quite often, it seems to help quite a bit. I did a lot of research and the yeast infection came up all the time. I had initially asked for anti fungal oral medicine but they just gave me antibiotics because they said that anti fungal medicine wouldn't work.

The thing is that antibiotics don't work against yeast infection. Both the pred and the antiobics suppress the immune system and that's why I don't know what to do right now.

ToTW is grain free although the formula I am currently feeding them does have sweet potato.

The vet said that it could be an environmental allergy, but somehow I tend to believe that there's still a possibility that in Vinny's case it isn't. His condition was considerably worse when I first got him in dead winter. The shelter were he was at is very very clean. It is disinfected daily and it is generally an area low in allergens. There would undoubtedly be more allergens here in my house than at the shelter. I haven't noticed any correlation between being exposed to "grass" etc and having a severe reaction.






My boxer couldnt handle poutlry corn tomatoes wheat and had dermatitis (that skin irritation) from Wool-- and we had wool rugs that we got rid of, and we had to keep him indoors when certain tree pollen counts were high- once we found a food that worked ( I even spent a couple months feeding him sardines/ canned salmon rice cottage cheese and egg)-- and managed his environmental issues-- he lived drug free for years(we did a chlorihexiderm rinse for his skin occasionally) -- I hate that prednisone too (we were in a 3rd floor condo at the time)-- we got our dog allergy tested b/c of our previous dog that had horrible (feet would swell up like oranges from the licking) allergies and I think the constant steriods contributed to her short (5.5 ) life span....And its just easier to manage known allergens then tryign to do guess work....
But thats what, with our allergist did with us-- had us take the dog down to rice n cottage cheese and then build things back in as he could tolerate them....
 

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My boxer couldnt handle poutlry corn tomatoes wheat and had dermatitis (that skin irritation) from Wool-- and we had wool rugs that we got rid of, and we had to keep him indoors when certain tree pollen counts were high- once we found a food that worked ( I even spent a couple months feeding him sardines/ canned salmon rice cottage cheese and egg)-- and managed his environmental issues-- he lived drug free for years(we did a chlorihexiderm rinse for his skin occasionally) -- I hate that prednisone too (we were in a 3rd floor condo at the time)-- we got our dog allergy tested b/c of our previous dog that had horrible (feet would swell up like oranges from the licking) allergies and I think the constant steriods contributed to her short (5.5 ) life span....And its just easier to manage known allergens then tryign to do guess work....
But thats what, with our allergist did with us-- had us take the dog down to rice n cottage cheese and then build things back in as he could tolerate them....
Yes, I'm definitely going to slowly wean him off of the pred. I guess I have to go and find some other brand of food to try because they're almost done with this 30lb bag. I forgot to mention that he often does the butt scooting on our carpeted rooms. I'm so frustrated right now, we all know how annoying an itch could be.
 

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If the people said he was allergic to grass but you haven't noticed that correlation, I wonder if maybe it was a flea allergy. Obviously you've treated for fleas but even just one or two flea bites can cause a major reaction. So maybe put down some diatomaceous earth in your yard or patio area and around the foundation of your house.

I'd keep up with the antifungal shampoo. Zyrtec or other over the counter allergy meds can work much better for some dogs than benedryl, you'd want to get the dosage amount from the vet but they're cheap enough at Walgreens/grocery store. Have they done a skin scrape for demodetic mange?

Since he's small, it might really be worth trying to feed raw (or homecooked if you aren't comfortable with raw). Even if he didn't do well on a beef or chicken dry dog food, it may not be an issue with the actual meat.

Don't use any fabric softener or scented laundry soap. Try to avoid chemical cleaning products anywhere he might come in contact with residue (I prefer baking soda, vinegar, hot water and plain soap for 99% of cleaning needs).
 

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If the people said he was allergic to grass but you haven't noticed that correlation, I wonder if maybe it was a flea allergy. Obviously you've treated for fleas but even just one or two flea bites can cause a major reaction. So maybe put down some diatomaceous earth in your yard or patio area and around the foundation of your house.

I'd keep up with the antifungal shampoo. Zyrtec or other over the counter allergy meds can work much better for some dogs than benedryl, you'd want to get the dosage amount from the vet but they're cheap enough at Walgreens/grocery store. Have they done a skin scrape for demodetic mange?

Since he's small, it might really be worth trying to feed raw (or homecooked if you aren't comfortable with raw). Even if he didn't do well on a beef or chicken dry dog food, it may not be an issue with the actual meat.

Don't use any fabric softener or scented laundry soap. Try to avoid chemical cleaning products anywhere he might come in contact with residue (I prefer baking soda, vinegar, hot water and plain soap for 99% of cleaning needs).
This is actually something that I thought of also! In his records it shows that he was infested with fleas when he got to the shelter, so he was treated and 2 months after being there when he was given to me ~ he was flea/tick free. I heard about zyrtec working, I'm going to try and do that.

I would love to try raw/homecooked but it would be nearly impossible. I'm go to school (college) and work. I do however occasionally cook healthy "dog meals" for my own dog as a means to break from the routine and offer something fresh, healthy and new. This is usually done by my mother or myself but usually on the weekends.

My goal is to find a dry food brand that works for him as I would love to keep him but my parents do not want another dog, I'm lucky enough that they are being very supportive with this situation, they just said that it cannot be a permanent thing. Vinny will eventually go to a good home, fingers crossed; I am really praying for the right owner.

Vinny is a very mellow guy who likes to lounge around me and I spend most of the time in my room. I'm very clean and organized but I do not use harsh chemicals in my room as I suffer from sinusitis so I have to keep my air very neutral.

He also has dark spots and his belly is very black/grey although it is more grey today compared to how BLACK it was when I first got him.

I suspect that this happened 2+- years before he was finally given up and all of this is just a consequence of abandonment. There are no reasons why a small dog with such a good temperament would be left behind in this manner. His personality alone buys you completely, his previous owner had to be a completely a**.
 

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I'd say go back to the limited ingredient venison formula that seemed to be okay for him. Another idea is something like The Honest Kitchen's Zeal which for a small dog is reasonably affordable and simpler than raw. Grain, poultry and gluten free.

Is anyone feeding him treats or snacks? Make sure no treats or snacks while testing out the dog food that seemed to work.

I bought an antimicrobial/anitfungal skin spray to use on the mange puppies and it really seemed to soothe their skin and help clear up the "gunk" (black gummy crusty ick). I just sprayed it on the dog's belly and chest and feet where it was the worst 2x per day.
 
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