Food allergies, intolerance... Could use a new set of eyes pretty please. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Food allergies, intolerance... Could use a new set of eyes pretty please.

My GSD Conrad has always had issues with soft/loose stools and was the cause of my first posts here. The vet was never concerned about it since he put on weight fine and seemed healthy aside from that and his un-descended testicle.

We've tried to keep him on mid-grade foods. He started off on Eukanaba from the breeder but we slowly switched him to Wellness large breed puppy, then to Wellness, and finally to Fromm large breed. He was on each about 4 months in hopes of firming up his stools.

In June of 2012 he started getting sores on his belly and oily dandruff bits that could be picked off (seborrhoea I think). He was licking his groin raw and he was getting sores in areas he could not lick. We were keeping him in a cone all night and every day I was putting triple antibiotic ointment on his sores but nothing got better. The vet put him on Predisone, antibiotic, anti-fungal, and everything cleared up.

Her thought was that he was allergic to fleas or environmental. But while that reset was going on his diet was switched to Simply Nourish - Limited Ingredient Salmon/Sweet Potato. He also got regular baths with ketochlor shampoo and got his flea and tick medication. He was fine for a few weeks but slowly the sores started to come back, the irritation between his legs, flaky oily patches matting the bottom of his fur. Chunky bits around his butt. He was on Zyrtek daily at this time and strictly only ate his food and dried sweet potato treats.

The vet recommended a blood test for environmental (fleas, dust mites, etc) which came up negative, not even a hint for anything. She advised against the blood test for the food allergies though as being unreliable. That negative plus it being winter leads us more toward food allergies.

In a last ditch effort while he was on this last round of steroids I switched him to food I am making. He eats a mixture of 2/5 turkey, 2/5 rice (white), and 1/5 carrots (blended to paste). He has been on this for 3 weeks, and he has been off the steroids for about a week. He has already started biting his butt more, and I noticed today picking up his poop that it is still as soft as ever but most of the rice is still there as little bits (he just had a parasite screen too as I wondered if maybe what I was seeing wasn't rice).

So, I don't know if he's digesting the rice enough or if that is normal. I am sticking with this for now, but don't know where to go from here. The vets advice was to be even stricter with his diet, but I know what goes into him unless he is foraging for something in the snow. I do not want him to go another round on steroids since he's so young and they affect bone growth (he's going on 2 years old).

I have been researching this but it's to the point where I am hoping someone else who researched this will see this and say "Ah-hah! This might be it!"

Here's hoping and thanks for reading...

(Attaching a cute picture of Conrad to stimulate thinking process)
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:50 PM
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:50 PM
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I'm certainly no vet, but have you looked into the complete raw diet? Your dog isn't getting enough nutrients on what you are feeding him. He needs meat, bones, organs, some fat, eggs, and a whole whack of other things!

Lauri and the Gang is a member on here and has a fabulous site on how to feed raw.

Carmspack (another member) has a website as well for supplements - which could help your dog boost his immune system.

I would PM them if I were you and seek their advice ... or at the very least go to their websites and get more information on how to feed raw.

Good luck ... I feel bad for your dog having to go through all this at such a young age ... and I feel bad for you trying to figure this out ... with not much help from the vet!

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:56 PM
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He needs a RAW diet. He needs to detox all the chemicals from the meds, the dry food and the HW prevention, and antifungal's

L/U links in the raw feeding section of the forum...visit Laurie's is a link I was looking at the other day and was astounded in the change in this particular dog (permalink #72)...I have read plenty of books on natural feeding that told miraculous recovery stories but never saw pics like this...

Changes after being switched to raw

If you take sugars out of his diet (rice, sweet potato, carrots, all starches incl. peas, legumes), then you take away what yeasts feed on...

~ Raw organic cold pressed coconut oil (Nutiva meets these requirements), this will help kill yeast and bacteria that feed off each other...use 1 tsp./10 lbs of body weight, but introduce slow as detox can overwhelm the liver (yeast produces over 39 toxins when they die)
~ Fish body oil (human grade - not made for pets, as you don't know the quality much like the food and wheerthe ingredients are coming from)
~ Probiotic away from abx. if you choose to continue to give
~ Pancreatin digestive enzyme to help break down the proteins and fat for better assimilation - strengthen the immune system when you fuel the body, the immune system in turn will keep the bacteria and yeast in check...this also leaves less waste for the bad bacteria to feed on and will help with the poop issues.

Keep in mind the steroids are suppressing the immune system, so as long as he stays on this cycle of abx. steroids, antifugals, poor diet he will always be on it...this will cause WILL cause much deeper problems and much more costly and more toxic down the road.

Also, use the coconut oil topically on the sores - absorbes fast and has healing properties, can use to swab out the ears if they are being affected, that is likely next, and is a sign that toxicity is deeper in the body (kidneys/liver)...also look into goldenseal tea or other berberine herbs to use as compresses, can use around the eyes if they are well safe to ingest - unless allergic, but considered safe and non-toxic. Anti-itch properties as well as anti-bacterial

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 06:57 PM
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I would try and book an appointment with a dermatologist. At this point it sounds like it's beyond what your regular vet can handle. There are a lot of things that can be contributing so without actually seeing your dog it's hard to say.

ETA: Trying raw may or may not help your situation. There are a lot of dogs who have skin issues that clear up on raw. Then there are dogs that a raw diet does nothing for. I would still see a dermatologist.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 07:15 PM
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We had chronic diarrhea / soft stool with our Jake from 3 - 9 months old and he wasn't gaining much weight and his growth was slowed. We tried varied foods with no improvement. I won't get into the EPI testing details because it doesn't sound like your dog's problem, but Jake turned out having SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) that a 2 month treatment of the antibiotic Tylan cleared up.

Jake also suffers from allergies. It manifests as red and itchy eyes and ears. After consulting with a certified canine nutritionist we have had Jake on a homemade cooked diet for a month now. While ear issues still persist, the red itchy eyes are gone so we have seen some improvement.

We will never go back to feeding commercial dog food again. Our homemade recipe includes supplements to ensure it is balanced. The most frustrating thing is doing the 6-8 week elimination diet.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-08-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your comments. I have thought about going raw, in a way this is my stopgap before that by eliminating everything but three ingredients from his diet since he has never before had turkey. I guess I will look more into sourcing the components for raw.

Of note as well regarding yeast, when we got him as a puppy he had a bad ear infection in both ears. Treatment alleviated that but months later it came back in one ear, since then he has recurrent ear infections in that one ear. I figure it's all related back to this one root cause though. Also as Izver has seen Conrad has also had red irritated eyes and crusties in the corners of his eyes.

I want to find a dermatologist but the internet doesn't show as DVM dermatologist within 100 miles so I've been reluctant for that trip as well. But I want to make the most of this window I have before things flare up again (though I hope they never do).
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