AllisonPibbleLvr wrote:If it's true allergies to food (only about 10% of dogs allergies are to food with the three main culprits being beef, chicken and wheat/corn. Eggs could be fine and are often a part of raw feeding.) I would look for a diet that has separate manufactuing lines for their foods to avoid cross contamination between protein sources. So for instance, if your dog truly does have an allergy to say, chicken, and the company isn't sterilizing their equipment between making that diet and the salmon one, your dog could still experience symptoms. It's similar to people with severe peanut reactions needing that "made in a peanut free factory" symbol.
A diet that is high in omega fatty acids is good, so a fish based diet was a good choice, but it never hurts to add in extra fish oil capsules to help support healthy skin and coat.
And keep in mind that dogs who have allergies to food almost always have some environmental allergies so you may not see complete resolution to her issues on whatever food works best for her.
The only commercial diet I am aware of that has separante manufacturing lines for their different foods is Natural Balance.
PITtsburgher wrote:There are a lot of possibilities here:
Skin problems can be due to allergies as well as many other causes: bacterial infection, yeast infection, and demodex are other common skin problems. Once your vet is able to see you again I would recommend working through this with her; otherwise there are just so many possibilities that trying to navigate them yourself is pretty hard.
Dogs are allergic to a lot of things, just like people. Many dogs are very allergic to fleas - even just one bite - so make sure you are very vigilant with your flea protection. Many dogs are also allergic to something in their food - usually the protein source (chicken, beef, fish...). Even more dogs are allergic to something in the environment: dust, grass, pollen, cats... you name it. So just trying a different food doesn't necessarily address all the possibilities.
Generally what a vet will do is first rule out bacteria, yeast, and demodex. This can all happen during your vet visit. If the vet feels the problem is due to allergies, she will probably recommend a food trial where the dog eats a hypoallergenic food where the proteins and carbs have been cut up into tiny pieces so the dog's body cannot recognize any antigens that could cause allergies (food allergies develop over time when the dog is repeatedly exposed to a protein source or sometimes a carb source). During this food trial the dog eats a prescription food like Hills z/d or Purina HA and NOTHING else - treats contain intact protein and carb sources too and can trigger the allergies the same way the food can. A food trial usually lasts at least 8 weeks. If the dog improves, usually that means that the allergy was food-related. At that point the dog will probably get switched to a novel protein diet - meaning the protein source is something the dog has never eaten (and is thus probably not allergic to), or sometimes the dog is kept on the hypoallergenic food. If the dog does not improve during the food trial the allergies are assumed to be environmental and at that point you are looking at symptom management through medication, and - if you have the money - allergy testing. The better type of allergy testing involves having antigens injected into the dog to determine the precise cause of the allergies. Blood testing can be done too but is not very accurate. Once you know the source of the allergies you can either eliminate it from the environment if possible, or get allergy shots, or continue on the medical management of the symptoms.
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