Take him down to one source of protein. If after a couple of weeks/month he does well, then add another source of protein. Food allergies is a long hard battle but once you find out what is causing it it is easier to control. Make sure if you are feeding him ANY treats they are only from the protein source you are using.
Benedryl will help in the short term. And will probably give him some relief.
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Why do you think it's food related? What have you tried to eliminate environmental causes?
First, if you even think it could be seasonal/pollen related, try local raw honey at 1 tsp per day. Worked like a charm for Jax and I know of other dogs that it's worked for.
Second, if you are going to do an elimination then you feed one protein, and no carbs, at a time. I would start with pork or venison or a fish. Dogs seem to be less likely to be allergic to pork. Do that for 2-3 weeks. If no reaction, add another protein.
I don't have any allergy issues with Kyleigh (raw fed) but one of my friends has a dog with allergies and the only protein she can eat is chicken.
Chicken's pretty bland (unlike pork which can be quite rich - Ky doesn't do well on pork LOL really runny poops on just 3 tablespoons of pork, so she doesn't get it) and is generally used as a base for all dogs when they are not feeling well (for whatever reason).
You could try just chicken for a while and see if that makes a difference. At least there's lots of chicken parts LOL
After adopting two dogs with allergies, I did a lot of studying on the subject. The first thing I did was put them on a commercial limited ingredient diet. The most common foods that cause reactions in dogs are grains, chicken and beef. LIDs use uncommon meats and starches; like buffalo meat and sweat potatoes. I had been warned that it often takes more than two months for the dog to stop showing symptoms so I waited and the itchy skin and ears did go away. I added back raw chicken and the symptoms flared up again so I put them on Taste of the Wild lamb that has no chicken and no grain. So far they are maintaining very well on that.
So you've had two posts that say chicken, and one that says stay away from it ... are you confused yet?
I'm certainly no allergy expert, and haven't dealt with any with Kyleigh, but I would try and pick the easiest protein for you to have access to (in abundance LOL) and one that isn't super rich (like pork) or fatty (like pork).
Here's some info:
Food allergy is the third most common cause of allergic itching and scratching in dogs. It occurs in dogs of all ages. Unlike canine atopy, food allergy is not seasonal. Dogs can develop allergies to chicken, milk, eggs, fish, beef, pork, horse meat, grains, potatoes, soy products, or dietary additives. A dog must have been exposed to the allergen one or more times to become allergic. Typically, the dog has been on the same diet for at least two years.
The principal sign is severe itching, sometimesaccompanied by the appearance of small red bumps, pustules, and raised patches of skin. Characteristically, the rash involves the ears, feet, backs of the legs, and underside of the body.
Since food allergy is less common than canine atopy and flea allergy dermatitis, the dog is often thought to be suffering from one of those diseases. Many dogs will start by showing signs just in their ears, with a red, moist rash.
Treatment: The diagnosis is made by placing the dog on a hypoallergenic test diet and watching for a definite reduction in itching and scratching. A hypoallergenic diet is one that has a very limited number of ingredients. It should contain no added coloring, preservatives, or flavorings. Most important, it should contain ingredients that the dog is unlikely to have encountered in the past.
taken from: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dogs-and-...y-or-allergies
Good luck, it must be super frustrating for both you and Gabe.