View Full Version : Food Allergies

7th March 2007, 03:26 AM
Bella suffers from allergies...we haven't been fully able to establish if they are food related or seasonal, but now that we have moved to a place with an actual winter (which should reduce some of the airborne allergens) and she is still somewhat itchy , I tend to think her allergies are more likely to be food related. We have not yet done a food trial, but Bella's skin has recovered very well with the allergy medication the vet prescribed (Atopica). Since she seems to be feeling better, I wanted to start trying to figure out what it is she is reacting to. Her current food is Nutro Ultra. I have been looking at California Natural (Lamb & Rice or Herring), and our groomer recommended Timberwolf Organics (one of the more exotic meats like Bison or Salmon).
Does anyone have any experience with dogs with food allergies? I assume the food with less ingredients would be less likely to cause a reaction - or at least easier to isolate?

7th March 2007, 04:14 AM
I'm going through the same issues with Charlie, and posted a few messages regarding it (posted in the general discussion). Charlie is going to have a bio-scan analysis done, which apparently can pinpoint allergies better than having the allergy tests done can. I'll post my progress with this...

From what I understand, allergies can be caused by the meat or the grains. The less ingredients the better, especially if you are going through the "process of elimination". I have Charlie transitioning to a BARF diet as it has no grains, and with Bison as the main ingredient, it typically causes less problems then poultry or lamb.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you and Bella, but I will let you know how everything goes...

7th March 2007, 06:03 AM
Kodee was on Nutro Ultra when she came - terrible skin! She still has a bit of a problem since I switched to half Innova half Canidae. So I put her on all Canidae and its way better. If she is really suffering, I'd go with the California as I have read it really is a good one for allergies (low ingredient list). If you have trouble on that - it pretty much will be chicken making ruling out easy. The Timberwolve I might try when she is older as it sound great - but the list is long so if your trying to rule out I dont think its a good starting point.

Also I started using a supplement with omega 6 and 9 and wow. Her coat is heaven now, so soft and no dandruff. Its available in the States but made in Canada and not expensive at all. It says it reduces shedding by 80%, hot spots and dandruff - so far so good.

7th March 2007, 10:16 AM
Hi - Merry has food allergies and I tried different dog foods for 2 years and it didn't help. I couldn't figure out what she was allergic to. Children's benedryl helped, but I didn't want Merry on this long-term.

So I broke down and went to a dermatology vet last May. I am glad I did. The food test that I did with the vet's guidance got to the bottom of the matter within 2 months.

Yes - you want as few ingredients as possible. Merry is eating Royal Canin Veterinary Diet IVD Canine Rabbit Formula Dry Dog Food. I buy it from the vet. It only has 2 ingredients. During the first 45 days of the test, you cannot give the dog any other food, treats, rawhide, etc. Only that dog food. I gave Merry ice cubes for treats. When Merry started chewing shoes, I asked the Derm. Vet what I could give her to chew. She said to purchase the same dog food in cans. Put a spoonful in each cube of an ice cube tray, mix with water and freeze. That works for Merry. That gives her something to chew and keeps the shoes safe. :lol:

After about 30 days Merry's itching went away. When I went back to the Derm. vet she said the next step was to put her back on her old diet and see if the allergies came back. Merry's allergies came back with a vengence. I was supposed to do this for 30 days, but I called the vet and said, please let us not do this to her anymore. It does prove she is allergic to food, but I didn't want Merry to itch all day every day. The vet said to go back to the IVD food.

Next the vet said to slowly introduce one food at a time to see what makes her allergies start. Over the next few months I was able to figure out that Merry is allergic to the following: beef, chicken, wheat and corn.

So now it is 10 months later. I had to find a Petfood Store that carries natural brands. I read the ingredients on the packages and go all natural, so there are no preservatives and colorings and I have found lots of things that Merry can eat. It has been wonderful to be able to give her treats again.

Merry is doing great. Her coat has grown in and she is so much more comfortable. No itching!

Barbara Nixon
7th March 2007, 11:50 AM
Teddy has had blood tests and showed a slight allergy to dust mites, but having dealt with them we had no success, so he has been put on Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Diet. I cut his Medrone (steroid) to alternate days and he was doing fine, the amount of licking or scratching would have be unnoticeable under normal circumstances.

However, since Friday he has spots and we are back to square one, though he isn't actually causing sores this time.

7th March 2007, 01:33 PM
My shih tzu has MAJOR food and seasonal allergies. I swear the dog is allergic to everything but oxygen. Soy is his MAJOR no-no and I discovered this because we were using treats during training classes whose main ingredient was soy. He would tear his poor little bottom to pieces. Through elimination, Wheat, Corn, Soy, and dairy are his big reaction causers so we are avoiding those ingredients all together.

My old vet (who is a money grubbing ninny...no longer see him) said that the only real option was to spend around $500 to see a specialist to get bloodwork done to judge what he is allergic to (turns out he gets a commision for referrals :x .

I found his reactors just by the process of elimination, but it took a lot of time and harping at family members not to cheat and feed him from the table (ahem, FIL). :roll: He is on Wellness Fish and Potato right now and is doing really well. The only treats he gets are also from Wellness so I know he is not getting anything that could make him itch.

If you can afford the bloodwork, that can save a lot of drama and time with definitive answers, but I figure that if an ingredient could be an allergen, then a dog shouldn't eat it whether he has a reaction to it or not. Good luck!!

7th March 2007, 04:31 PM
Oh yes!!!! Charlie is having desensitising injections after being on immuno suppressants for ages. He has multiple allergies, in fact the lab thinks that he is allergic to life, bless him :roll:

One of the common allergies isn't actually to the ingredients in the food but to the 'storage mites' that live in and on dried food. Even freezing the food will not kill them & almost all dried food in this country once it has left the factory has tested positive for them :(

Maybe switch your little one to a wet tripe based food and see what happens then. You might notice a real difference :flwr:

7th March 2007, 11:48 PM
Thanks so much for all of your advice. I learned a lot about allergies I didn't know. I will probably work through our vet to do a food trial. He has been very good about explaining all of our options. He actually didn't feel that allergy tests were very definitive and thought the food trial would be more accurate. I just know it will be terrible for bella because she does love her chews and treats! :)

Charleen - since Merry is allergic to beef, I assume that she can no longer have chews like bully sticks, tendons, rawhide, etc?

Cavygirl - please do let me know how the bioscan goes for you. I had not heard of that before.

Thanks everyone!! You have been most helpful!

8th March 2007, 12:59 AM
That is true about the beef related chew treats. I give her Sam's Yams and Booda bones made of carrot and Greenies. The booda bone lasts for a while, but the other 2 don't last too long.

Merry likes to chew, so I also freeze small amounts of her canned dog food into ice cube trays and I do other trays with pure pumpkin. I top both with water and freeze it. That gives her food she can eat and something she can really chew. Also, there is always ice cubes.

13th March 2007, 03:14 AM
I saw this thread a bit late, but my friend's Boxer has terrible allergies, and the only food she can feed her is lamb and rice.

13th March 2007, 03:56 AM
I have never had a food-allergic dog (touch wood 3 times) but if I did, I think I would forget about trying to find a brand of dog food initially, as there are too many ingredients in them all to contend with at once.

I'd start by offering a very bland home-cooked diet & then build up on that. Once I had isolated what food(s) were causing the allergy, if any, I'd then either just stick with home-cooked, or I would then look for branded dog foods sans the offending ingredients.

//touching wood 3 more times

13th March 2007, 05:33 AM
I was taking Kingston to the vet at least once a month due to diarrhea problems. Turns out he was allergic to his food. I switched him to Canidae Chicken & Rice and it has been a miracle worker!

13th March 2007, 08:01 AM
A lot of people confuse "food intolerance" with "allergy". Though they are both distressing, knowing the difference can help you fight it. Here is an excellent article that discusses the differences between allergy & intolerance. Food allergies are actually quite rare, whereas an intolerance is far more common.


Though the above url is about humans, the principles are the same.