Food allergy and an elimination diet? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Food allergy and an elimination diet?

My puppy is now 9 months old and I believe he has a food allergy to something as he has stools which range from loose to completely liquid depending on what he's eaten. The vet prescribed Royal Canin HP dog food which he has been on while I try to figure out what causes the diarrhea and he seems to do very well on it. I could just give up and keep him on this food forever, but it is a little more expensive than I'd like and I'd really like to know what his food allergy is so I can avoid it.

I can rule out meats easily enough by giving him beef/chicken/etc. while he's on the Royal Canin and seeing what happens, but how do I test other foods? For example, I read that among common dog allergies are wheat, soy, and eggs. I guess I could crack an egg on his dog food and test his reaction to that, but how do you test wheat and soy allergies?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 01:49 PM
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Instead of testing what he canít eat, find a food that he can and stick with that. Dogs donít need wheat or soy.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I might end up having to stick with Royal Canin HP since it works. I've tried Fromm, Nutro, and Wellness so far. He didn't do very well on Fromm or Nutro and while he did okay with Wellness, he decided he didn't like to eat it once I switched him over to only Wellness.

I should add, it's not that I want to feed him wheat or soy. Those were just examples of things I'd like to figure out if he's allergic to so I can rule out things he can't eat without spending a bunch of money on dog foods that make him sick.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 03:34 PM
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Diamond is now making a non-RX HP salmon-based diet that's significantly less expensive than the vet-supplied food, but it does have a lot of peas in it. You can find it on Chewy:
https://www.chewy.com/diamond-care-s...mula/dp/170120



The fact that he's better on the HP food probably signals that he has a protein allergy, as the HP processing makes the protein non-allegenic. Most food allergies are actually protein-based in dogs, so your odds are higher that's what his issue is. Chicken is high on the list.



The best thing I ever did for my food-allergy dog was put him on The Honest Kitchen's Preference base-mix, plus raw beef (one of the few proteins he does well with). There's something about it that's "cooling" to his GI tract (lots of veggies with quercitin could be helping...hard to say). This one is flax-free, and flax seems to be an allergen for some dogs (and it's in LOTS of food, unfortunately):;
https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/deh...eggie-base-mix


Interestingly, when we figured out he could eat this and be fine, we tried to transition him to a kibble with similar ingredients, and he reverted to bloody diarrhea very quickly. For him, kibble seems to be part of the problem.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:45 PM
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Allergy testing might be the place to start. My dog is allergic to white potatoes and green beans. Zero issues with proteins.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing the links to the dog food. I'll definitely be looking into those options. I didn't realize there were base mixes for raw feeding, so if that's an option that makes raw feeding more approachable for me.

So far, all I know for sure is that he has no problems with beef, chicken, or salmon. I'll be testing out lamb this week so we'll see how he does.

Jax08, do you have any recommendations for how allergy tests? I have heard about them, but I didn't know if they actually worked or not.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 08:45 PM
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Royal Canin HP dog food has crap ingredients for any dog let alone a growing pup. Unless your pup absolutely has to have it to survive I would dump it. Brewers Rice, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Chicken Fat, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavors - horrible stuff. I would start with a limited ingredient food, less to be allergic to. But you must at the same time watch your calcium and phosphorous levels with a growing GSD pup. Have you checked for giardia and coccidia? They can both cause havoc in a pups stools. I treated my pup with Kochi Free

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


And Panacur C
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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That's a good point about the ingredients not being the best. It's another motivating factor for trying to move off of Royal Canin HP. I had the same thought about limited ingredient foods. He seemed to tolerate the Wellness limited ingredient food pretty well, but just decided he didn't like it - after I bought a 25 lbs bag of it.

He has been tested for giardia and coccidia and those came back negative.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 10:15 PM
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First of all you have a 9 month old pup that has been on 4 different foods, two months should be minimum to test a food and it can take a few weeks to switch some dogs over without having issues.
My first thought any time a dog has loose stools on any food is over feeding. I have no clue why vets never question that. Second issue is parasites, or infections. I am hoping that your pup has been fully vetted?
I never buy big bags of food, I buy the mid sized bags and put the kibble into am airtight container. I always keep the empty bags until the food is gone and most stores will take back food that isn't working for your dog and exchange it or refund your money.
The other thing I often did especially if I was going to do a hard switch on food was a 24 hour fast. Condition permitting of course. No food or treats for a full day and then multiple small meals spaced a couple of hours apart. It gives their systems a chance to catch up and clear out.
Constantly switching foods is not going to help. Find a food and stick with it, just remember to switch slowly.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-04-2019, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by brittanyS View Post

Jax08, do you have any recommendations for how allergy tests? I have heard about them, but I didn't know if they actually worked or not.
You can do a blood test. Simple blood draw at the vets. The price for the panels seem to vary depending on the area. I had both panels done (food and environmental) for under $500.

Or you can go to an allergy specialist (veterinary dermatologist) and have a skin panel done. Not sure the cost but this is the preferred method for allergy testing and more accurate.

Testing was the best thing I ever did. My dog is now on allergy shots, off meds, and doing great. Before the shots, I was going to have to pull him from IPO because he couldn't track. This year, he's tracking like a machine again and no itching.

For a dog with allergies, a food like Royal Canine HP is exactly the food to be on. It made with Hydrolyzed Protein. It is specifically for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities. Look that up. So if your vet put him on it, then leave him on it to soothe his system and give his body a break. After all, it may not even be the proteins....it could be the potatoes and green beans.




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