Our male lab (3 yrs) has experienced allergy issues since he was a puppy. We have seen itching, hot spots, hives, etc for 2 1/2 years. The vet has given him prednisone, cortisone shots and told me to treat him with benadryl and told us the allergies were most likely environmental. He seemed pretty sure that it wasn't food related; however, I was doing some reading and realized that the soft stools that he was also having (forever) might not be normal and perhaps he was having food intolerance or allergy. In the past several months he has also started showing signs of hip pain.
We have had him on the same food for most of his life, a lamb and brown rice formula. Over the past several months we have tried other formulas that contain different proteins and haven't seen a reduction in allergies.
I have started him on an elimination diet of 28% protein and is only turkey and potatoes. He has only been on the diet for three days now but I am already seeing an improvement in his skin. How long should I continue on with such a bland diet before I start adding in other ingredients? How long can I keep him on a bland home diet without added supplements without harming his health? Can I add supplements without interferring with the elimination diet results? I read that I should keep him on it for at least 8 weeks but that seems like such a long time. At the end of the test period, if I see increased improvement, what is the best way to reintroduce other foods?
Any comments, thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
if you want to take it seriously 8-12 weeks with NOTHING else
he has eaten a commercially formulated diet until now so will be ok mineral and vitamin wise for awhile
when you start adding supplements and trying to balance the diet better add one thing at a time and go slowly - with my problem dog I wait at least 3-4 weeks before adding another new thing to her diet
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
I assume that at some point in this you tried a food with no grains and a novel form of protein (like duck or venison)? If you did without improvement, then yes - you need to take the long route.