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Old 12-03-2013, 02:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Washington
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Default Vet says allergies, not sure what to do

I adopted my dog as an adult. She has always seemed itchy since we got her, but I've never had an indoor dog before so I assumed that some scratching was normal. But then I noticed she was chewing on her feet a lot too, and her ears became inflamed. They got to the point where she would yelp if you touched them the wrong way. So we went to the vet, and they did an otic exam. Swab came back "few cocci and yeast," she was put on antibiotics, no change. Now she has been on corticosteroids for a week and still no change, except that now she hates it when I touch her ears at all because she's afraid of the drops. The vet said it could be allergies but her only advice was to "simplify her diet."

I've read a bunch of articles on food allergies and other kinds of allergies, and I'm not really sure what I should be trying first. Her symptoms are not as severe as other people are reporting- her skin and coat are in good condition and she hasn't damaged any of the places she has been licking or chewing. I can tell she is uncomfortable though. I changed her kibble to Natural Balance LID Bison from Earthborn and it helped her stool quality overnight. I haven't gone to a strict elimination diet yet because a.) she seems miserable eating just the LID kibble, not even finishing it sometimes and b.) I'm not even convinced I'm feeding her the right thing. I've read that everything except prescription kibbles is prone to contamination with other proteins. I've also heard that if it's environmental rather than food allergies, I should be focusing on her immune system and decreasing inflammation rather than feeding her a food with tons of carbs in it. So, I'm trying to figure out what to do to make her more comfortable, if I should keep her on this food, and what to do for chew toys and treats in the mean time (I also do behavior modification with her and food rewards are pretty essential to that process).
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