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Discussion Starter #1
When I got Jubel I continued to feed him science diet lamb and rice as he was fed at the shelter for about the first 7-8 months I had him. Then I learned more about food quality and switched him to nature's select chicken, rice, and lamb (4 stars on dogfood advisor).

The switch has made a noticeable improvement in his health overall. Every month of two he would end up with some infection, pink eye being the most common. Since the switch he's had maybe 2-3 infections but did end up with a mild yeast infection in his left ear that I haven't been able to completely clear up to this day. I had him on an anti-microbial for the recommended 10 days and it appeared to clear up, then came back in a little over a week. Put him back on the anti-microbial for just over 2 weeks, it came back again. Got more meds and treated for close to a month, few weeks later it's back.

It's still very mild and doesn't seem to bother him at all. At this point I just clean his ear regularly (every few days) and manage it. His right ear is just fine, only the left so I've managed to contain it.

My first allergy thought is to cut out the chicken so when he was near the end of this last 50# bag of nature's select I switched to the Lamb and rice forumla... didn't look close enough though, still has chicken in it just less than the chicken, rice and lamb. Other than this mild yeast infection that I can't clear up he does really well on this food and I love the price (50# bag delivered to my door for $57). Their none chicken formulas are fish based and they are not ethoxyquin free so I'm hesitant to switch.

Basically I don't know what if anything Jubel is allgeric to causing the yeast infection that just won't go away. I'm hesitant to switch to another food that costs almost twice as much on the CHANCE it fixes the problem and still not know what the trouble ingredient is. Either way I'm going to finish off the current bag of Lamb and rice which will take about 2 months I'm guessing once I get my foster dog in a few weeks.

I lean towards chicken as the problem because the science diet I was feeding only had chicken fat listed far down in the ingredients and both the nature's select foods have chicken meal high up in the ingredients. But that is just speculation, as is the idea that they yeast infection in his ear is related to a mild food allergy.

Ideas?
 

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Yes, you need to mix 1 bottle of Witch Hazel, 2-3 tablespoons of pharma grade boric acid and 16 drops of Gentian Violet and use that as a wash. I have found this the best wash for ears, just do it outside. Once a day for a week, then once a week for regular cleaning. Don't try to clean to far into the canal with a cotton ball, let the dog shake the debris out. You will just push the gunk in farther.

The vet gave you Otomax I bet. It doesn't work well.

This time of year ear infections do pop up.

As far as the food goes, I doubt it is related but I would use that company's high protein food and see if that helps.
 

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Max gets nasty ears if he eats sardines of all things. I haven't wiped out his ears for months and they are absolutely clean. Getting a couple ounces of sardines a week his ears went gunky in a day. Getting the cleanser from the vet helped a lot but didn't solve the problem, not Otomax.

Go for it. If they were clear on zero chicken protein and a bit messed up on a food with chicken protein you could well be on to something. Look for other differences between the foods as well.
 

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you doubt food is related to ear infections? the grain in food promotes the growth of the yeast bacteria by converting to sugars that feed it. try a grain free food and see if it helps. i have had much luck with my clients dogs who have had this problem.

ETA: i just skimmed and didnt see the chicken stuff. it could be a chicken intollerance. try going no chicken and see if that helps, and then maybe try grain free.
 

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you doubt food is related to ear infections? the grain in food promotes the growth of the yeast bacteria by converting to sugars that feed it. try a grain free food and see if it helps. i have had much luck with my clients dogs who have had this problem.

ETA: i just skimmed and didnt see the chicken stuff. it could be a chicken intollerance. try going no chicken and see if that helps, and then maybe try grain free.
Overloading with cheap grains most certainly is a factor but in my experience it is not black or white. I have seen complete reversal going from wheat and corn heavy formulas (50% to 70% carb) to low to moderate grain inclusive formulas (20% to 40% carbs) with oats, barley and rye. Just saw a little terrier that went from Kirkland to Horizon Complete clear all ear infections in 3 weeks, never came back. Potato is better than wheat and soy and to some extent corn, but that's pretty much it in my opinion. As long as we'r not talking wheat, it got more to do with the reduction in carbohydrates than the presence of grains. I am sure there are tons of stories to support many views but at the end of the day I am pretty sure all of those stories include getting rid of low quality carb heavy formulas.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To go chicken free I'll likely have to change brands if I also want to avoid ethoxyquin which I'll probably end up doing just to see if it'll help. I don't think he has any grain issues so grain free would be the last option I'd try being that grain free foods are so much more expensive.

Guess I just have to pick out a chicken free kibble, probably go fish as the primary protein, and try out a 20-30# bag to allow time to see a change. Now to pick one that is ethoxyquin free and reasonably priced, got about 2 months to find one so it shouldn't be too hard.
 

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Chicken wouldn't surprise me. Biscuit had a similar thing going for awhile last winter - very goopy eyes on a daily basis, and occasional ear gunk. It was moderate on the TOTW bison flavor (which has some chicken it in), and got worse when we tried the TOTW poultry flavor. We switched to Acana Ranchlands, which is all red meat and fish, and the goo situation is much improved. Don't think it was an environmental allergy because it was in the winter (i.e. no pollen, no grasses), but I suppose it could have been some other ingredient that's in TOTW but not Acana. I think trying a non-poultry food is definitely worth a shot - it's an easy thing to try, and if it doesn't work, no big deal!
 

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Have you looked at 4 Health salmon and sweet potato? The price is excellent for what you are getting. If Chloe could handle grains I would use it in a heartbeat. At the moment we are on TOTW Pacific Stream. My Chloe has almost exactly the same problem so I switched to the TOTW without chicken and I think its made a difference. We've also been using this for the past few weeks and it seems to have made a huge difference in the amount of scratching and redness and nasty gunk that collects in her ear. Plus it smells nice!
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3058617&lmdn=Brand

I'm not sure if its the change in the food or the ear cleaner, but I don't want to change anything because it seems to be working. Good luck I know how fustrating these things can be.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmmm... 4 health salmon and sweet potato does look really good and very close to the same price per pound I'm paying for the nature's select. Looked it up and there is a tractor supply store not too far from me (~30 min I'd guess).

Sounds like they are effected by the diamond recall is it safe to assume that the issues should be cleared up in about 2 months? I'm not over opposed to the idea of the company having had a recall so that isn't a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Well Jubel has been on 4health salmon and potato for about 2 weeks now and I really haven't seen much of an improvement in his eye gunk or ear. A week after he was fully switched over to 4health I started using the anti-microbial ear meds I have and havent finished the treatment yet but it's not really looking much improved.

Guess I'm going to have to move on to grain free as the next step. The question there is do I continue to avoid chicken in the grain free food to be safe or not really worry about it? In the picture whatever his allergy may be its a very mild reaction. No itching or irritated skin, he has nice stools most of the time, just some mild eye gunk, and a mild yeast infection in his left ear that I can't seem to completely clear up.

Looking online I'm probably going to go with earthborn or ToTW, big question is if I should try and avoid chicken or not. Probably best to keep doing so until I find a diet with no 'bad' reactions first then try adding in questionable foods to see if he reacts again.
 

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I think we are having a very similar experience with both of our dogs. My girls were both on Salmon and potato for about a month and both had itchy feet. But my poor problem child, Chloe, had horrible ear problems throughout and was ALWAYS itching at her feet like her life depended on it. I have switched Chloe to Earthborn Primitive Natural for about a week solid now and I have to say her ear is tremendously better. She still itches at her feet randomly, but I would say very easily there was a 75% reduction on the itching overall. As a bonus effect her poops are so freakin tiny its almost ridiculous! I keep waiting for more to come out when I take her out during the day (a lovely image for you I'm sure lol) but it just doesn't come! I cannot wait for Sydney to finish up the rest of the 4health so that I can switch her over as well. I would have gone with the fish variety of Earthborn but they were out of it on the day that I went to the store so I ended up with the Primitive naturals. The next bag will be the fish variety just to see if there is any significant difference but otherwise I will just rotate between flavors if she doesn't have a bad reaction to any of them.

By the way they have this really neat UPCs for tree's program that if you send in a UPC from a 28 lb bag they will plant a tree. I know it seems silly but I really like that idea and have already sent mine in!

They were on TOTW previously and I don't really see any difference yet between the two with Chloe except for the smaller poos, but thats a good enough reason for me!

Good luck I know just how frustrating it is finding a food that will work for bit you and Jubel!
 

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I've never fed Earthborn since I can't get it near me but I have looked into it and considered ordering online. Earthborn in general has higher protein content but Primitive Natural was really the only one I was ever interested in. Primitive natural is probably better than any ToTW formula. However it's high in poultry, with turkey meal and chicken meal being to top 2 ingredients. The other Earthborn formulas seems to use peas to really boost the protein content.

Foods that don't use chicken are going to be lower in meat content for the same price. Still, if you feel like chicken could be the issue, I would avoid it at least to start off. If he gets better on something else then I might try bringing back chicken to see if that was the allergy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Jubel has been doing well on 4health salmon and potato and I've been treating his ear for about three weeks now. Still getting a small amount of gunk out of his ear when I wipe it out every two to three days. The 4health is close to gone. Had Duncan out at an adoption event yesterday and checked out the kibble selection while I was there. They seemed to have just about every high rated brand that gets recommended here. As I said before I was deciding between ToTW and earthborn, they had all earthborn on sale for $5 off. So I got a 28# bag of Great plains feast for $47. Not as nice as 35# for $31 but good for upgrading to grain free. Mixed a bit in with both of their meals this morning and both seems excited for the new flavor.

Hopefully when I stop treating Jubel's ear the yeast infection isn't going to just come right back as it has been doing for the last year I've been dealing with it.
 

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Aw, I hope the grain-free food helps! You'll have to let me know what you think of the Great Plains Feast kibble - I have been thinking about switching to that once our bag of Acana Ranchland is gone. Would have to order online or schlep to VA to buy it, but Acana is so expensive. Biscuit also seems to do best on the no grain/no chicken program.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Haha it will be a schlep for sure. I was out in ashburn at PetVal, head out route 7 about 20miles from the beltway then about 3 miles down belmont ridge to the shopping center. It's possible there is someplace closer into the city that carries earthborn though. I had planned on ordering it online if I picked it over ToTW but since I saw it at PetVal I bought it and saved on shipping costs.
 

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Haha it will be a schlep for sure. I was out in ashburn at PetVal, head out route 7 about 20miles from the beltway then about 3 miles down belmont ridge to the shopping center. It's possible there is someplace closer into the city that carries earthborn though. I had planned on ordering it online if I picked it over ToTW but since I saw it at PetVal I bought it and saved on shipping costs.
Primitive Natural at least is on Amazon with free shipping. :)
 

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Yeah they have all the favors on Amazon with free shipping, but the other day when I looked the big size of Great Plains Feast was back ordered 5-8 weeks. Annoying. I theoretically prefer to give local shops my business, but it's so nice not to have to carry big dog food bags home from the store.

Dagwall, I looked on the Earthborn website and there were a few places in Arlington. Dogma Bakery, maybe? Of course, nothing in the District. I wonder if I could get one of the fancy dog stores by me to special order it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Arlington isn't bad, I'll have to check them out when I need a new bag. Closer than driving out to Ashburn again, but that was more of an I'm already out here thing.

Can't go with the primitive naturals yet because it has chicken in it and I'm not sure if chicken is part of the problem or not yet. Just great plains or the fish one until I can figure out what the issue is.

Edit: just looked on amazon and great plains was $55 and didn't say anything about free shipping so not a good option there. The other formulas where cheaper, free shipping on primative naturals and the fish flavor. Pretty sure I saw cheaper prices on one of the dog food selling sites, but that didn't include free shipping unless I bought more stuff I think.
 

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I'm beginning to love Earthborn. It doesn't stink as much as usual for dog food and my girls go crazy for it! I'm having to throw it down all over the kitchen floor to get them to eat it slower lol. I think my SO is very sick about hearing how wonderful the girls poops have been. I switched Sydney over completely a few weeks ago when she finally finished up the 4Health. Chloe still gets some gunk in her ear put its dried ear junk not wet and smelly like it was, which was most likely a yeast infection. Hope it works great for you too!

PS if you sign up on earthborn's website they send you a $3 off coupon. I know you can't use it online but its still great if you find a store that sells it.
 

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Edit: just looked on amazon and great plains was $55 and didn't say anything about free shipping so not a good option there. The other formulas where cheaper, free shipping on primative naturals and the fish flavor. Pretty sure I saw cheaper prices on one of the dog food selling sites, but that didn't include free shipping unless I bought more stuff I think.
I mostly use Petflow. They have it for $49 and that's the same price that activates free shipping. I guess it's technically "over $49" so you might have to find something for a dollar or two to add, but not a lot. http://www.petflow.com/explorer?x=0&y=0&search=earthborn+grain+free
 
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