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).
My dog had food sensitivities and changing to raw was a miracle for her. The great thing about raw is that there is no need for any filler (all kibble is high in carbs, it's what binds the kibble) Dog Food & Yeast Infections
In area's that get a real winter, the outdoor environmental allergies should not be an issue right now, but you might trade your mop and floor cleaner, for a steam mop or something similar to help kill harmful pathogens without the use of chemicals which could irritate a sensitive dog.
I would also eliminate treats and such to see if it helps, then slowly bring them back in. Perhaps give her something like an antler to chew on which is completely natural?
What really helped us was switching to a more raw and home made type diet. After lots of trials my routine is to feed The Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw and change it up with some prepared frozen raw like Nature's Variety. Just going with THK and half kibble cleared many issues up, after a couple months I eventually stopped kibble.
If this does not help, then time for $500 environmental allergy blood test.
Hope your dog feels comfortable soon!
I forgot to mention, it did not matter what protein source we used, just changing to a fresher, less processed diet worked.
Grain Free Dog Foods: Solving Yeast And Skin Issues | Dogs Naturally Magazine
“Grains and other starches have a negative impact on gut health, creating insulin resistance and inflammation” says holistic veterinarian, Dr Jodie Gruenstern. “It’s estimated that up to 80% of the immune system resides within the gastrointestinal system; building a healthy gut supports a more appropriate immune response. The importance of choosing fresh proteins and healthy fats over processed, starchy diets (such as kibble) can’t be overemphasized.”
Yeast is a fungus that’s always present on pets as part of the normal flora of the body, both internally and externally. When the immune system becomes depressed, or when the dog is fed starchy foods, the yeast will proliferate in the hair follicles and throughout the body.
So pet owners with itchy pets want to keep them off harmful steroids and are rightfully looking at their pet’s food as a potential cause. Pet owners now know that grains feed yeast, and with the explosion of itchy pets these days, pet food companies are making a lot of money by selling them grain-free foods.
But here’s the kicker: yeast and allergy symptoms aren’t caused by grains, they’re caused by starches.
Starches are complex carbohydrates that turn into sugar when metabolized in the body. Do you know what yeast loves to eat? Sugar!
Starches are found not only in rice, corn and wheat, but in potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes – all of those ingredients found in grain-free goods.
Adding Greek yogurt ( unless allergic to dairy) really helped with our allergy(chicken) , yeast and immune issues. We also added blueberries. Helped with stomach issues too. We use a grain free food so maybe the yogurt helps combat the yeast.
Here is a great & easy way to feed raw (or slightly cooked) while getting all of the nutrients your baby's need! Just measure, mix and feed! You add Steve Browns Homemade Dinner Mix to your own ground meat! Steve is an EXPERT in the science of raw feeding! See Spot Live Longer™ Homemade Dinner Mixes | Product Catalog
Info: Healthy Dog Food Dinner Mixes
"When mixed according to directions, See Spot Live Longer™ Homemade Dinner Mixes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adults and for all life stages."
Ingredients: dried spinach, ground flax seed, dicalcium phosphate, oyster shell powder, dried spirulina algae, psyllium husk powder, organic dried kelp, sea salt, inulin, chelated minerals (iron, zinc, manganese and copper amino acid chelates), vitamin E, choline chloride, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3, vitamin B12.
I'll bet feeding raw or slightly cooked would solve your dogs problems!
She should also be on a digestive enzyme and probiotic, especially since she is on an antibiotic which can kill all the good stuff in her gut. Here are two quality products:
Sunday Sundae: http://www.carmspack.com/feed-sentials/
Digest All Plus: The Wholistic Pet
Here is my recipe for an inexpensive, one ingredient treat!
Non Stick Fry Pan
Large Round Steak
Next time you go to the grocery store, pick up a nice size round steak, or top round.
1. Trim off all fat on the edges and in-between and if it has a round bone in it, remove that too.
2. Take a pair of scissors (outstanding tool for cutting meat) and cut the steak into manageable squares or rectangles.
3. Choose a fry pan (non stick works the easiest) that will hold the amount of steak you bought, and give the pan a small drop of oil or a quick spray of Pam.
4. Heat the pan until really hot and drop in the steak pieces in to sizzle. Keep your heat high but don’t leave the pan unattended.
5. Sprinkle on a little garlic powder or garlic salt.
6. Let it sizzle for about a minute or two then flip over. Braise the other side (pour off the juice if there is too much) and remove from pan when the middle is pink. Place on to paper towel, blot and let cool.
7. Take your scissors and cut all of the meat in strips about ¼” wide. Now take those strips and cut small pieces about the size of a ½ of a dime, (or whatever size you prefer).
8. Place small amounts into sealable snack baggies, then place those baggies into a sealable freezer baggie and place in freezer. On the day you are going to training, take out one or two baggies, place them in the frig and they will be unthawed by the time you are ready for class that evening. Of course the dogs love them frozen too, if you forget! They will unthaw quickly in your pocket.
You can also do the same with calf’s liver. After it is unfrozen, soak up the excess blood with paper towel, and proceed starting with #3 as above (you won’t have to cut this first). Only braise the liver long enough on both sides (don’t thoroughly cook it) as it only needs to be cooked to a “medium” range, otherwise it will get crumbly. Drain the liquid during cooking if needed.
The process takes a little time but saves a lot of $$ and the dogs go crazy for them!
“BONE’ APPETIT” MY FURRY FRIEND!
For the chewing/licking paws I give Benadryl, my research points to hayfever. I was concerned with my puppy's ears(golden retriever) and took him to the vet, they did swab and she said allergies and he was young to have them. Shortly after that visit I went and switched him from Fromm puppy to the Whitefish/ Sweet Potatoe and he has had no more issues with the ears. Then we had a dry skin issue, but a healthy shiny coat, an oatmeal and green tea leaf(for shampoo) bath did the trick there. Knock on wood all ears are good and no more itching. We get the occasional eye boogers,watery eyes, and licking of paws but the Benadryl clears it right up. I think the fish in the food helps a lot.
Sounds like you have not done allergy testing. Get bloodwork done. Last time I had one tested, it was only about $250-$280 I think and I added additional panels. I would have to look up the lab name (think it was in Ca). Any vet can draw the blood, fill out the form, and send it to the lab. That would be my first step in treating the itching. Also, start on some coconut oil in the diet. I also rub it right in on my dogs itchy spots.
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