ears and rears

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ears and rears

Postby drhodes1970 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:09 pm

My vet recently told me that my male pit cooper needed to be switched to an expensive hypoallergenic food because of his ears and anal gland issues. He said that when theres "ears and rears" usually it's an allergy and he needs a food that's hypoallergenic.Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Re: ears and rears

Postby Cat24 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:50 pm

There are lots of limited ingredient foods, grain free foods and such at various price points, yep most of them are more expensive than ol' roy or "dog chow" but if good food keeps them away from extra vet visits I'd say it evens out. Did your vet mention how long he'd want him on the hypoallergenic food or what kind of food he was suggesting? Allergies seem like a good place to start for the issues you're describing, but we'd need more information to make informed suggestions. Also what are you currently feeding?

If the vet is suggesting a perscription diet to see if food allergies are the cause then finding out the length of the trial will be a great start. If a perscription isn't recommended I'd look for a grain free, limited ingredient food with a novel protein source, something they've never had before (usually something like duck or fish) try that for a month or two and see if there is improvement. Apparently most dog allergies are environmental as opposed to food based but that would be where I'd start for determining food allergies.
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Re: ears and rears

Postby Misskiwi67 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:35 pm

If a food trial is recommended, then it needs to be a full-out food trial. Simply feeding the food is not preventative, it is the avoidance of the things that the dog may be allergic to that is curative. The most common food allergies - in order - are beef, dairy, chicken, and then the high protein grains, corn, wheat and soy. Something as innocuous as the flavoring in Heartguard can be what your dog is allergic to - and without ruling everything out, the expensive food is a complete waste.

A typical food trial is 3 months in length. A hypoallergenic food is recommended, and should be the ONLY thing the dog eats. No treats, no flavored toys, no bones, no flavored medications, no peanut butter, no popcorn, no hotdogs, no cheese... you get the idea.

If your dog is on a flavored heart worm preventative, you should have been given a non-flavored or topical alternative for use during the food trial.
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Re: ears and rears

Postby dogs4jen » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:26 pm

What are you feeding him now? Sometimes just feeding a better quality food helps a lot. My dog Susie used to have ear infections when I fed her Iams, before I heard about better quality dog foods. I started feeding her better food and she hasn't had much of a problem since. (Yes I kicked myself after I saw the difference it made.) It didn't help with her anal sac congestion though.
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Re: ears and rears

Postby drhodes1970 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:30 pm

Thanx everyone for the responses. They both eat sensitivestomach science diet. this was suggested when coop had a bout with colitis when he was a puppy and we just fed bella the same thing when we adopted her. Convienience I guess. Im not sure what the vet had in mind but I believe it was actually made by purina. I think im going to go with a limited source food with an alternative protein and see what happens. Trial and error I guess.
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Re: ears and rears

Postby Cat24 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:19 pm

MissKiwi67 is actually a vet - make sure you follow her instructions for the trial ie/ avoiding any treats/human food/flavourings from heartworm medications etc - this will also probably mean picking up the food bowls after the meal if they're usually left down because there will be traces of the old food in the other dogs bowl etc
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Re: ears and rears

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:18 pm

drhodes1970 wrote:Thanx everyone for the responses. They both eat sensitivestomach science diet. this was suggested when coop had a bout with colitis when he was a puppy and we just fed bella the same thing when we adopted her. Convienience I guess. Im not sure what the vet had in mind but I believe it was actually made by purina. I think im going to go with a limited source food with an alternative protein and see what happens. Trial and error I guess.


If you go with an alternative protein, don't switch to each one - it will prevent you from using any given protein source for a food trial later. Make sure to reserve one or two for later.

I usually recommend switching to a fish based diet if an owner wants to try an OTC "upgrade" before doing the full blown food trial, the added omega-3 fatty acids help a lot with skin disease. Avoid the rabbit, venison, kangaroo type diets - save them for later otherwise you are looking at hydrolyzed diets which will cost you an extra arm or leg above and beyond what regular prescription diets cost.

Also - OTC foods are not equivalent to prescription diets in their allergen avoidance. Two independent studies performed by vet schools found 80% of OTC diets were contaminated with enough soy to cause an allergic response. None of the prescription diets tested positive for soy proteins. Therefore OTC diets are not appropriate for a full food trial. Once the food trial is completed with a prescription diet, you can switch back to OTC to see if the limited ingredient diet of your choice is limited enough to control the issues.
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