Signs of a food allergy?

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twotanks
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Signs of a food allergy?

Postby twotanks » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:17 am

My dog Gauge is just a pup, about 7 months old. He has lived in our house for about 2 months now. When he first came here he got fleas right away because he wasn't on flea treatment before hand. We treated both the dogs and the fleas are now gone (and have been for over a month) and Gauge is still itching like crazy. When I look at his skin in the places he is itching it is a lot of redness and scabs but I am not sure if it is just from itching so much. Some of the places look like inflamed bug bites so all along I have thought he is just really sensitive to bites or something but this has gone on for way too long. He just can't get any relief. I have tried benedryl, gold bond, baths ( a couple of different soothing baths) and everything else I could think of to help soothe him and nothing works. He itches so much. He can't even play for a few minutes without having to stop and scratch. I feel so bad for the little guy.

I am wondering now if it is a food allergy because that is the only other answer I can come up with. Those of you who have dogs with food sensitivities, what were the signs that clued you in? What types of foods should I try out with him? Right now both dogs are eating Nutro Natural Choice because that is what the other dog does good on. He has been on Bill Jac puppy before that though but I have no idea if he was itchy then because that was around the time he had the fleas.

Any advice? :huh?:

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Maryellen
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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Maryellen » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:46 am

unfortunately you have to treat the house as well for fleas, not just the animals.. once fleas get in your house the whole house needs to be treated, if not the fleas will just keep reproducing... some dogs are highly allergic to flea bites, so he could still be getting flea bites from whatever residue fleas are living in the carpet, bedding, couches etc.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Chula » Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:53 am

A trip to the vet might be in order. One of our labs had severe allergies and he would end up with skin infections from scratching.

Annie was chewing on her paws when we got her from the shelter. I switched her food and the chewing stopped. Paw chewing and scratching are common symptoms of food allergies.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby twotanks » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:11 am

Maryellen wrote:unfortunately you have to treat the house as well for fleas, not just the animals.. once fleas get in your house the whole house needs to be treated, if not the fleas will just keep reproducing... some dogs are highly allergic to flea bites, so he could still be getting flea bites from whatever residue fleas are living in the carpet, bedding, couches etc.


We did treat the house for fleas, like I said it isn't a flea issue. I originally thought this but since they have been gone for over a month with no signs of them it makes me think it is another issue.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Maryellen » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:32 am

sorry i didnt see you had treated the house too. its very possible its a food allergy or even an environmental allergy.. you can try Dick Van Pattens LID allergy foods, they are one protein/one carb and with a food allergy you dont give any treats or anything but the food for 3 months, then slowly add a different protein after a few months to see if its that.. if its an environmental allergy like grass, dust, etc you would have an allergy blood test done to determine that

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby twotanks » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:12 am

I'll try that. He will be going to the vet for a regular check up in the next 2 weeks but I wanted to get started trying out a different food. I haven't noticed it get worse when he is outside but I have been getting a lot of mosquito bites outside so that is a possibility as well. I am talking 10 bites from just taking one of them out to pee for a few minutes.

Do vets usually do any sort of tests to check for food allergies?

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Maryellen » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:33 am

the food test vets do is not quite accurate, you are better off with a food trial, as the food allergy test is VERY expensive.. the airborne test is not that expensive and can help with airborne issues if there are any. when doing a food trial the dog gets NOTHING but the food. no treats, no human food, nothing but the food used... if the dog say starts out on lamb, and starts itching like crazy on lamb then its safe to say stop the lamb and go to duck, or fish next.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:33 pm

Do you have a flea comb, have your checked every animal in the household for flea dirt (black dandruff, its flea feces) and fleas from head to tail??? Even a single flea can cause itchiness in a dog, and even with bombing and topical treatment it can take 3 months to completely rid your house of fleas.

There are multiple life stages of fleas, one of them is a pupated stage (just like butterflies) where the flea pupae are TOTALLY unaffected by chemicals. No bomb, probably not even an atomic bomb, will kill them within their protective cases. Because of this life cycle, you cannot consider yourself 100% flea free until you have treated your pets with topical medication AND bombed, AND vacuumed, AND washed bedding thoroughly for a minimum of three months, just because thats how long it takes for the pupae to all hatch and be exposed to the chemicals.

If it weren't for the fleas, I would guess food first based on your dogs age alone... so a food trial (STRICT, no heartguard, no training treats, NOTHING) would still be a good alternative as well.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby twotanks » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:22 am

Yah I know how to check for fleas, no flea dirt, no signs of fleas at all. I am not saying there is no chance one hatched and bit him because that is impossible. I just haven't seen any whatsoever or any signs of them.

I mentioned the fleas in the first place because my original idea was that he was just super allergic to fleas and the bites really inflamed him and made him constantly itchy. The thing is, nothing has worked to soothe the itchyness, even benedryl which I know would have helped if it was just flea allergies alone that was making him itchy. I am not trying to deny that fleas were ever part of the problem but it has become quite clear that there is something else causing it (as well?)

If I do a food allergy test I will probably start it right after they get their monthly heartworm pill because I don't want to mess that up as well.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby pblove » Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:00 pm

twotansk, what do the red spots look like, sort of like a large red pimple?
the scabby spots, if you pull the scabs off does the hari come with it and is it red, open looking sore underneath underneath
does your dog have a stronger then normal doggie odor when he scratches?

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby twotanks » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:43 pm

It looks like a big pimple I guess. I am the hair does come off when the scabs come off. He smells bad. He may just smell bad because he is a puppy and still pees on himself lol. It doesn't smell worse when he scratches I don't think but there really isn't a time when he doesn't scratch. His skin is so awful.

Now that it was mentioned to me he has been chewing his paws as well.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:57 am

twotanks wrote:If I do a food allergy test I will probably start it right after they get their monthly heartworm pill because I don't want to mess that up as well.


If your dog is allergic to beef (like mine) your dog will itch for 2-3 WEEKS after receiving their heartguard pill, and totally screw up the first part of your food test (which many people give up after a month because its tougher than it sounds). Food allergies do not cause severe reactions for a couple hours to a day like in people, they cause mild/moderate/severe itching for quite some length of time, days to weeks.

If you want to do a food trial, switch your dog to an unflavored heartworm preventative, Revolution is my favorite.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby twotanks » Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:40 pm

He is on comfortis for fleas and heartguard then switching to interceptor for heartworm. He has actually been throwing up the comfortis every time I give it to him so something needs to change there.

I may try a food specifically for allergies like natural balance to start out with and feed him that until he can go to the vet.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Amie » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:14 pm

twotanks wrote:I may try a food specifically for allergies like natural balance to start out with and feed him that until he can go to the vet.


Keep in mind that special food will only work if he's not allergic to anything in it. Oscar is also allergic to beef, and apparently some kinds of lamb. I've been told beef is the most common canine food allergy, and chicken is second. If Oscar has any beef at all - even chews on a bully stick for a few seconds - he'll have an ear infection within the week. If he has peanut butter, his feet and legs itch, and he licks them nonstop.

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Re: Signs of a food allergy?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:59 pm

twotanks wrote:He is on comfortis for fleas and heartguard then switching to interceptor for heartworm.


Interceptor is also flavored... totally defeats the purpose of an allergy trial. Dogs itch for too long for them to get ANYTHING they've ever had before, and flavorings are one of the major pitfalls because people give them to the dog without thinking about EVERYTHING thats in the pill.


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