About a week ago I noticed my 11-month old yellow lab Lucy scratching and biting at herself. Thinking it may be fleas, I gave her a bath and that night noticed red bumps all over her. I thought she had gotten into an ant bed or gotten bit by something she was allergic to. The next morning she had huge red whelps all over her skin. I gave her Benadryl most of the day and kept noticing new whelps coming up, this is when I started to realize that it wasn't bites. The whelps/hives lasted about 3 days. She got some jerky chicken tender treats for xmas and I started noticing that everytime I gave her 1 or 2 of those, she would swell up more about an hour after she ate them. I think she may be allergic to chicken. The same thing happened on xmas day when she was at my parents house but I thought she may have been allergic to pecans, I know she ate some off the ground in their pecan orchard. But after this past episode I'm wandering if it's not the chicken treats (my dad was also feeding her chicken from the table on xmas), and she never eats chicken with me. Is it possible she could develop an allergy to chicken this spontaneously? Both times she got hives she had dirrhea but only once. I think she's had one of those chicken treats before when she was at their house but this never happened. Maybe she just ate enough this time that made her swell up? I don't know, but I have done some research online and looked in the Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook and it seems to be a food allergy. The past 2-3 days the swelling is gone but I do notice her itching some. I looked at the ingredients on her foodbag and the first ingredient is chicken. She eats Natural Balance Ultra Premium in the blue bag. It's just so weird b/c I've never noticed this before now. I didn't take her to the vet this past week b/c I can't take off of work, and I knew it was an allergic reaction to something and they would tell me just to give her Benadryl until it got better. Does anyone have any advice or has anyone ever had this happen to their lab?
First - please break up these long posts into paragraphs. Too freaking hard to read the above.
Second - the treats could have had some sport of preservative treatment (and some of those treats come from China - who knows what is on them). If she were my dog, I would switch her over to a novel protein food like Wellness's Simple Solutions. If the symptoms subside on a novel protein food - then it probably was a food allergy. If not - then it is something else. If this continues, I'd consult a vet.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
BigBrownDog thanks for paragraph hint! Stupid! I've been using forums for some time and not really thought about that! You are so right! I have just edited my post regarding smells hope its easier to read!
UGADAWG: I have to say I agree with BBD. I hate all those coloured preserved treats, I wouldn't give anything with so much gunk in to my child so I wouldn't to my dog either!
The welts/ hives do sound like allergies to me. Riley has had them at various times not usually for very long, but I have never worked out what caused them. A vet friend believes it was an insect bite. He may be right, it was always in summer, but I still don't know.( If you have a dog with allergies you are likely to become on very friendly terms with your vet!!)
My experience is that its an expensive road to nowhere. There is lots of experimentation. You may get lucky and find a food that suits and the problems go away, for me I have spent a fortune on vets, food, meds, tests, shampoos and still am none the wiser as to what causes her problems. Environmental is as good as it gets. All I can do for her is alleviate the symptoms when they get bad.
All I can say is good luck, I hope yours is simpler to diagnose and fix!
The more people I meet the more I like my dog
if you need to keep using benedryl look into quercetin/bromelain. Works better and is all natural and safer for long term IMO.
Here is the product i use - talk to your vet about it.
I give a dbl dose the first time and than go with the regular human dose.
I have heard this is not safe during pregnancy and benedryl may not be either.
As for allergy to food. My old girl suddenly developed horrible itching at age 2. She had always been fed Iams or Eucanuba (best foods on the market back then) and both contain corn. Turns out the corn was the culprit but it never bothered her for the first 2 years.
I switched to Calif. Natural and other brands over the years but with no corn. She never had a problem again.
10 years later I needed low phosphorous food for her kidney failure. The best I could find contained corn about ingred. #6 on the list. She never had a flair up which tells me she outgrew the allergy as humans can too.
Good luck with finding the answer for your dog. I would cut out those treats first and see if you get improvement. Or get off chicken all together as mentioned.
Thank you everyone for your posts!! I really appreciate the input! As for breaking up the paragraphs...good idea! Don't know why I didn't think about that, I don't post much so I'm kinda still learning.
As for Lucy, she has been doing much better since I have not been giving her the chicken treats. I will leave her on the same food for now and see how it goes. Thanks again for all the help! And I will try those pills instead of the Benadryl...thanks!