I am new to the list and have a two year old yellow lab. Last summer, she suddenly started to develop some not-so-mild skin irritation that turned into an infection. We treated it with creams, bathing, etc. and eventually had to put her on steroids and antibiotics. Then she cut her foot, and when I took her in it turned out she had a double ear infection. At that point (with the ear thing), I was told the skin issue was most likely a food allergy. We switched to California Natural, because after looking at all the options we decided it seemed to be the best, and it advertised itself as key to skin and coat problems. In the meantime, I religiously cleaned her ears weekly with drops and washed her tummy with an antibacterial shampoo. Well, both ears are reinfected and the skin is irritated (am using tea-tree oil).
The vet suggests a food allergy is behind both. First recommendation: [THE GOLD STANDARD] ostrich and rutabaga. We have a 3 month old and scoffed at that. Then we bought a dog food that basically has no allergens (Z/D) -- oddly enough she loves the food more than the Calif. Nat. We are only on the first week of the food, and she is again on antibiotics for her ears, so we have 5 more to go.
My question: since I am assuming and hoping it IS a food allergy (living in Michigan right now means it is very unlikely to be a grass allergy, and my hepa-filter vacuum promises to get rid of all those nasty dustmites), what do I feed her once the trial is over? It seems the common allergies are beef and pork; but it also seems chicken may be there too. So what's left? Do they make a venison/rice formula? Anyone try allergy shots or some other medication?
I would suggest having blood work an a FULL thyroid panel ran and then run allergy tests - I suggest both intradermal skin tests and blood serum. Check for cushings.
Do not try to self correct this problem, nor just assume it is food/diet related. My old vet did the very same thing. Nothing bugs me more when a Vet wants to treat it as something before every tests is done to rule out some other cause. I went through years of that and finally found out I had a dog with a history of autoimmune skin diseases and finally found her to have hypothyroidism.
Frank, we are also in Michigan (hi neighbor!) and our Shadow had very similar problems. We took her off all wheat and corn and the problems stopped. She gets Solid Gold Wolf King kibble and wheat-free treats. Make sure you read every label because most treats are made with wheat or wheat flour.
Hi Frank and welcome. Corn is another possibility that your dog might be allergic to.
We have been fighting with ear problems for a couple of years now. Last spring I changed Oona's food from Iams to Natures Recipe Lamb, Barley, and Rice. The problems continued and I was cleaning her ears religiously and everyday there was a lot of maroon colored wax and a lot of it. Oona had her annual vet visit in early January and the vet said she had a slight bacterial infection. He told me to stop cleaning the ears and just put Mometamax drops in each ear. We went back for a checkup and he put a little bit of ear cleaner in each ear. The next day she was shaking her head like I've never seen her. I checked and sure enough there was the maroon junk again. I cleaned them again and the next day they looked like they were on fire. We went back out and saw a different vet. She said that she thinks she had a reaction to the cleaner. That was a month ago. I put the Motomax drops in twice a week and there hasn't been any ear problems for a month. I'm sure that when we go back to the vet next week he will take her off the Mometamax, and I'll try and find another ear cleaner. I know this was long winded but the problem might be the cleaner. I told them this last year and they didn't believe me. >