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Maxxs_Mummy
9th September 2006, 12:21 AM
OK then, I need a bit of help here from our British members! Nothing personal to all you lovely people across the seas but this concerns food available here :roll:

Tonight, I had a phone call from Uncle James, our lovely Vet. He'd finally gotten a breakdown of all of Charlie's allergies. The list is so long that he was photocopying it and sending it over to the surgery here for me to go on and collect.

Anyway, my darling boy is highly allergic to housedust mites and storage mites amongst just about everything else.

The housedust mites, I can do no more about!!!! We have wooden floors, leather suite, cotton curtains and anti allergy bedding - even the dogs sleep on anti allergy bedding as I have made their beds myself from anti allergy duvets !!!! I also vacuum at least once a day and dust every day too. I am not houseproud but my son and myself suffer from asthma and allergies so it's a case of needs must :(

The storage mites however, are something else - they are little invisible mites that live in dry dog food :yuk: . James says that there are two ways of dealing with this problem. I can either store the food in a plastic container and make sure that I wash it in boiling water every time I finish a bag and also wash Charlie's mouth after every meal and then hope for the best OR I can start him on wet food.

So, which wet food is a good one? I want something that is completely nutritious and doesn't use animals in their testing. this is why I like Burns dried. It is pure and holistic and I thought he was doing exceptionally well on it :roll: I also prefer to feed dried as I think it's better for their teeth and gums.

I'm going to contact Burns tomorrow and see what they say. they are really helpful as I bought some food that contained a 1/3 dust. I emailed them about it and said what a waste etc - they sent me two free bags of food as a replacement and apology. I didn't really expect anything at all tbh.

Anyway, any help or suggestions would be gratefully received :D

Karlin
9th September 2006, 12:41 AM
That's a hard chpice! But why not make some stews etc and feed that as well?

I'd think if you had a really large freezer you could just keep the bags of food in there and then take out his portion an hour before mealtime or the night before and you'd avoid mites that way. They couldn't survive deep freeze. To wash out his mouth I'd just give a half cup of chicken broth or similar and he'd lap it down.

judy
9th September 2006, 01:28 AM
hopefully you can find something else that he will enjoy chewing on, to keep his teeth and gums healthy.

here's a recipe i found on line for home made dog kibble--i'm not sure if it would be as hard and crunchy as store bought kibble.

http://www.seefido.com/html/carnivorous_dog_kibble_recipe.htm

i like karlin's idea--if freezing will kill the mites, even if your freezer isn't big, you could put servings in sealed freezer baggies and put them in the freezer. If that kills storage mites, then that sounds like an easy solution. when i was reading your post and you were saying that you could use an airtight container, i was thinking, yeah, yeah, that's the way to go...but then when i got to the part about washing his mouth after every meal, i was like, oh boy, that could get old, for you and for him. and it sounds kind of hit and miss.

sorry to hear he has so many allergies. Your home is certainly as hypoallergenic as they come. you can talk to burns and see if their wet food works. If wet food doesn't cure the allergies (i hope it does) then you have nothing to lose going back to the kibble probably. I feel for you, having to stop giving a food that he seems to be doing so well on.

Kingofthehouse86
9th September 2006, 05:32 AM
Charlie and Donna I feel for ya....Hope u find a diet that works for him

Maxxs_Mummy
9th September 2006, 11:33 AM
Thanks all :flwr: I knew you'd all come up with good suggestions :D

Karlin, what a brilliant idea - thanks so much :hug: . I am going to put a bagful in the freezer right now. I did ask James about pouring boiling water onto the food but he said that just soaking it probably wouldn't kill the mites.

I really don't want to have to take him off the Burns as he loves it. When he first came here he was skin and bone and wouldn't eat anything. So, for him to eat is extremely important to me as I don't want him to go back there again. I know he won't but it's just something that I suppose is always going to be at the back of my mind :(

Anyway, off to pop some food into the freezer and then I'm going to email Burns as well. Thanks again. Charlie says he loves you all xxxxx

Karlin
9th September 2006, 02:19 PM
Freezing 24 hours will kill them or at least make them immobile but they would still be in the kibble if they were there to start with. However they would not be reproducing and increasing, and if the problem with the mites develops after home storage and not from kibble when fresh from the producer I'd think you'd pretty much avoid any significant problem by freezing at least 24 hours (that is what is suggested for dust mites). You could always be extra careful by pouring water briefly over the kibble in a strainer to rinse it as well before feeding.

Karlin
9th September 2006, 02:34 PM
I found this regarding cats -- might be a good idea to try a wet diet for a month to see if he improves. This and a second article in the DVM magazine says an improvement will be seen within 30 days if storage mites are the problem.


There has been some discussion recently of food-storage mites and pets acquiring an allergy to these mites. Cats with a foodstorage mite allergy will improve on a canned only diet — a diet without any dry foods, cereals, grains or cheese. Skin testing, blood testing and just a canned diet trial for a month will help diagnose an allergy to food-storage mites. Some cats with food-storage mite allergy present with facial excoriation and recurrent otitis.

Nicki
9th September 2006, 02:34 PM
Sorry to hear about this Donna, what a nightmare!

I think the above suggestions are very good. If you do decide to go the tinned/foil pouches route {Or you might need to if travelling} then Denes are very good:

http://www.denes.co.uk/index.php

Also I sometimes use the Natures Menu pouches when we're out - to mix with the kibble

http://www.naturesmenu.co.uk/products/pouches/dogs/

Unfortunately both are more expensive than feeding dry kibble...

Maybe look at a home prepared diet - Monica Segal's book is very good - there's some stuff about that kind of diet in various posts on here, this one for a start:

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1950&highlight=monica+segal

Have a look at the health and diet section...


Poor Charlie...do you let him up on your bed at all? That is probably the worst place for the dust mites I guess

Maxxs_Mummy
9th September 2006, 02:53 PM
Karlin, I've now got two bags of food in the freezer! One for brekkie and one for dinner LOL They both got extremely hopeful as I was filling the freezer bags from the sacks of food :lol:

Nicki,

Thanks for the suggestions. I was wondering about Joe Inglis's food as well. Apparently, though dry, it is stored in individual pouches within the bag. This is £11 a month. So, not that bad. Thing is, it's not just the cost of the food - it'd be cheaper than Atopica every month anyway :lol: , it's also the fact that I detest wet dog food :yuk:

I do actually give the boys quite a bit of home cooked food anyway and mix the dry in for crunch. I like the fact that it's a good food though too.

I have emailed Burns now, telling them the whole saga and asking for advice. i've informed them that my freezer now contains Burns food as well as human food :lol:

Charlie does come on the bed when Lindsay gets up in the mornings and stays with me until I get up. He's also there if I am upstairs. As long as I can watch him, he's fine. It's when he gets left that he pees!

Thing is though, because of mine and Geraint's allergies we all have anti allergen bedding and I vac the mattresses every week with a special attachment that Lindsay got me for my upstairs vac (an LG anti allergy one :roll: ). I also have wooden floors and washable cotton curtains & rugs in the bedrooms and ceramic tiles in the bathrooms. I can't do anything else - even James said that my home is probably more allergy friendly than anywhere else he knows!

I am also going to get some anti dust mite spray from the healthy house web site. I really don't know what else to do. I'm considering getting another ioniser for him to have in the kitchen where he sleeps and I'm just hoping that these injections will work. He just seems to be doing so well at the minute.

I might get James to retest again when he's finished his treatment and see how his bloods come back then.

Anyway, any more suggestions are welcomed and thanks again to all of you xxxxx