Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Gainesville, FL
Sorry to hear you have been having this trouble. How long has it been since you switched her from chicken to pork? Did you change any other aspects of the diet?
Heartgard plus would not be effective against demodectic mites, for those you would need something such as bravecto, nexgard, ivermectin, or other remedy if she did not overcome it on her own. The best way to figure out if they are present would be a skin scrape. If she does have demodectic mites possible allergies would not be so surprising since the mites only tend to cause issues in dogs with weakened or strained immune systems.
If you are suspicious of a food allergy they tend to result in a non seasonal pruritis with little to no change in itchiness during them. The most reliable method for diagnosing food allergies is a dietary elimination trial and ideally the new diet would not contain any ingredients that have been previously fed. It would not need to be a hydrolyzed diet, but that is usually the quickest way since dogs can be reactive to multiple proteins. A veterinary nutritionist would usually recommend to determine exactly which proteins she may be reactive to based on trial and error with single source protein diets which could take a while which many people aren’t up for. This is done to allow for better diet options and to ease transitions to new diets should another food allergy develop in the future. For a non hydrolyzed elimination diet, a protein and carb source would be best and would need to be fed for at least 3 months in order to give the immune system time to adjust and for the current histamine effects to dissipate. During the trial she should not get other treats, flavored toys, certain flavored medications, etc.. You would need to be quite strict with what she puts in her mouth since it could influence the response she has to her overall diet, If she did improve on the trial to be certain it was food related and not coincidental you would need to challenge her by reintroducing the previous diet and seeing the itchiness return. The most commonly identified protein allergens for food allergy in dogs are beef, chicken, eggs, dairy, corn, wheat, and soy.
Last edited by RoseW; 03-20-2018 at 08:53 AM.