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Discussion Starter #1
good morning all,
I went to the vet yesterday as I noticed Midnight's itchy/scratchy skin was back. He has in the past had itchies in the winter, but it wasn't anything an oatmeal bath didn't fix. vet and I both agreed it was most likely an accumulated food allergy. We narrowed it down to corn, wheat and sorghum.

I was feeding him a good food that had some corn and sorghum in it, but after the vet yesterday we went and got a few 5 lb bags of corn,wheat and sorghum free foods. I am going to see what he'll eat.

How long after switching foods would I see an improvement in his skin allergy?

I ask because my vet reccomended we run an allergy panel next time we go in if the different food doesn't help clear things up.
 

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Rocky has food allergies to the same things. If I am remembering correctly I think it takes several weeks. Just to get them on a new food takes about a week of mixing. I could be wrong but I want to say the whole process takes about a month.

I just finished changing the boys food and it took 10 days to get them on the new stuff. I took longer because of Apollo and I did not want him to end up sick. Make sure you not only mix the food, but also give your pup time to adjust to the new food.
 

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yeah I've been planning cutting in the new food and increasing it by like 10% every other day to transition. I have been offering small portions of the different foods i got to see what he'll actually eat. He actually ate a small bowl of the nutro vension/rice formula today.

He frowned up on the small portion of canindae i offed him last night...I got a look that could have killed me. I telling you if he could use a phone he would have dialed animal control.
 

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LOL They can be so picky about food. I just finished changing the boys over to Natural Balance venison and sweet potatoe. Rocky was previously on the fish formula and he stopped eating it, so I am hoping that wont happen again.

I have been told that the fewer ingredients in a food the better when it comes to food allergies. I would be careful with letting him sample because if he does have a problem with on of the foods it will be hard to tell which one. I have also read that in order to truly know if a food is going to work for your pup they need to eat it for a few months. The only one I knew for sure was I think Purnia One that DH wanted to try. Rocky ate it three times and threw up 4 so we knew he could not eat that food.

Good luck it can be a challenge to find a food that works well when they have food allergies.

Also bathing a pup to often can cause them to have dry skin and the itchies. Alot of people on here will bath their dog every few months or so. Some people do it once a year, depending on preferences. GSD have very sensitive skin. I personally normally bath Rocky about every 3-4 months. There have been a few exceptions like last week when him and Apollo decided rolling around in a mud puddle was a good idea. LOL They were both covered.
 

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It took a couple weeks for Ava once she was completely switched over. Good luck, I know how irritating the scratching is for me, I can only imagine how miserable poor Ava was. But now she has a random scratch and that is it..Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the worst part about the itchy is I know hes feeling bad:(

He did accept some more venison/rice with his food tonight. He's a really picky eater and always has been, so he had been on the same food for a while.

I've been making treats for him fro a while and some use a bit of whole wheat flour. Also use significant oatmeal and corn meal in some.

Do any of ya'll know of good substitutes for baking for the corn meal? its fine ground. texture is the most important part of the substitution as most flavor is from the beef liver and garlic powders. Can

Also I was going to work up a substitution for the wheat flour. I was probably going to use a barley/rice flour blend and T&E it until I get the right consistency. Any body here use a good whole wheat flour substitute?It must be heavy and capable of stay stiff even after lots of mixing and kneading. White flour is not acceptable as the liver recipe uses stewed beef liver and the flour must have more "body" to handle the moisture from the shredded stewed beef liver.
 

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If you are thinking food allergies, the best thing to do is a homemade or raw food elimination diet.

That being said, if you are switching to a new kibble to see how he does, I would keep the ingredients in your treats the same as in your kibble - because if your dog doesn't stop itching on the new kibble you won't know if it is the treats or the kibble.
 

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oooh, I'd be careful about introducing barley to his diet, if he isn't already eating it. Quite a few of the dogs around here are allergic to it. If your pup is already tolerating it ok, then go ahead. But if he's never eaten it before, now is probably not the time to start.
Hold off til you're sure he's good on the new food. Then introduce the barley. If you start making too many changes all at once, and he has problems, you'll never know which new ingredient is messing him up.
 

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I always found that I couldn't switch slowly because my girl would pick out the new food and leave the old......

And within a week of being completely on the new food, I would see at least some improvement, less itchies, better stools, etc. I don't know how long it took for the black skin thing to get better.

I had good luck with an allergy panel, and it helped me put together a homeprepared diet. It's a good starting point, but I still had to do the elimination thing. While you are changing foods, try not add anything else so that you can judge what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks ya'll. I have found he will eat the nutro venison and rice and fish and rice. I'm going to try the venison blend first, because i know he loves venison. Well I know he has eaten it when i give it to him every fall/winter. He loves the meat from the rear quarters and flips out when I come home from hunting. now, even if I just come back from the range, he gets really hype when I walk in carrying a rifle case as in the winter he gets camp made venison jerky when I arrive home from hunting trip.

I'm planning on switching the treat to just rice flours and meals as both of the foods he has shown interest in eating have rice as the only real grain. Brown rice flour actually holds up well my beef liver treat recipe.

I think you're all right about the KISS approach to allergen isolation.

when I offered him some royal canin this morning he just tipped over the food bowl, sniffed around the pile for a bit and then looked at me like I was a war criminal.
 
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