Needs Some Advice
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Thread: Needs Some Advice

  1. #1
    verk182 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultNeeds Some Advice

    Hello, new to the forum. I have a 5 year old lab that has suffered for the past 2 years with chronic skin and ear infections. A recent google search brought me to this site and I have been searching and reading about possible grain allergies. We feed him Innova low fat adult dog food and after several boughts of itchy skin turned to staff infections from scratching so much I believe I need to switch up his food. I am considering trying the Innova Prime grain free salmon and herring. Just curious if anyone is currently using that food and what they think.

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    Nutshell's Avatar
    Nutshell is offline Member
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    Sorry to hear your pup is having a hard time. Why not move away from Innova? Acana, Fromm and Earthborn all make high quality grain free foods.

  4. #3
    verk182 is offline Junior Member
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    I really have no preference to brand, I just want my pup to be healthy and happy. Any reason to not stick with Innova?

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    Sophiesmama's Avatar
    Sophiesmama is offline Senior Member
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    We put Sophie on grain free after she started scratching, her hair falling out, and repeated ear infections. Within 2 weeks, her itching had stopped and she only gets yucky ears if we forget to dry them after swimming. There are other allergens out there. I would try the food first, since environmental ones are often difficult to pin point. Also, make sure your dog is flea free. Even one bite can cause flea allergy dermititis in sensitive dogs. We feed Canidae Pure Land or Pure Sea, rotating them. We started Sophie on TOTW, had good results, but after all the recalls a while back I got nervous and switched her. Good luck!
    ~Pam



    Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo


    8.5 mo.

    Sophie 15 months, with Skye

  7. #5
    verk182 is offline Junior Member
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    I have never noticed a flea problem. We used to use frontline but stopped thinking maybe that was the cause of the irritation. Is there a better flea remedie? I will look into the Canadae since the local feed store stocks it. Thank you for the advice.

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    justine's Avatar
    justine is offline Senior Member
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    A lot of dogs do not tolerate grains very well. Kolby is my allergy dog - we've been down many roads with him, including allergy testing and food trials. He seems to do best on a kibble without grain or chicken ingredients. We were long time Natural Balance feeders, but he recently started to lose weight despite the large amount of food I was feeding him.

    We switched him to Canidae PureLand recently and he seems to be doing very well. We will likely work in a couple of other formulas such as Acana or Fromm, depending on the ingredients.

    My best suggestion would be to switch him over a 2 week period to a different food with a different type of protein. The Innova Low Fat Adult food is based on chicken and turkey, so maybe you could try a formula with venison or something similar. Keep in mind it takes about 12 weeks to see the difference when you switch foods. So if you are trying to determine whether a protein is good or bad, feed it for at least 12 weeks before you decide.

    Now that I have Kolby figured out, he does pretty well on his kibble, grain-free treats, Claritin daily and medicated baths when needed.

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    You might not see the fleas. Take a paper towel rub where the tail connects to the body. If you see dirty looking smudges or blood, it is from fleas. We have Sophie on Comfortis. It is an oral pill from the vet. It works great, but doesn't prevent ticks. Also, it is supposed to be good tasting and chewable, but Sophie hates it. I was hiding it in cream cheese, and now even that doesn't work very well. She will scratch like crazy if even a flea or two gets on her, so we are careful to keep fleas at bay.
    ~Pam



    Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo


    8.5 mo.

    Sophie 15 months, with Skye

  10. #8
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Was he on low fat food to help him lose weight? Usually low fat food has a lot of filler in it. You can achieve the same result by using regular food - feeding less of it - and using green beans as filler (low calorie, but healthier than most fillers which are typically grain based).

    I would try the grain free Innova if your dog has been digesting it well. Using the novel protein (salmon) is a good idea. I would also strictly limit all treats and table scraps until you figure out what your dog is reacting to.

    If this fails - you should probably try a canine dermatologist.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    KenZ71 is offline Senior Member
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    I give max one fish oil capsule with a dab of peanut butter every morning to prevent dandruff. Also use the peanut butter to disguise the once a month trifexis, a heartworm and flea prevention.
    Max's favorite place, a walk through a state park with the kids


    Max Born February 2012, Adopted May 2012....

  12. #10
    verk182 is offline Junior Member
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    Status update. My pup has now been on a grain free diet for almost a week. The hot spots are starting to clear up and his ears are looking good as well. Thanks for all of the info, hopefully this will continue to get better and he will be a happy healthy pup.

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