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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Xane's itching got out of control and I finally agreed to spent $400 to test him for allergies. I just got the results back. He is allergic to some pollen, golden rod, maple, mulberry, and some mold. But mostly - OAK (high allergen) and ALL kinds of GRASS!!! Imagine! I think I am going to do desensitization for the grass allergies since there is no way around it. But it will have to wait a lil since the injections are expensive...

He is also allergic to fleas, but that is controllable and my vet told me that it is mandatory to give him Frontline dose every 3 weeks.

But what's worse is his food allergies. He is allergic to:

Rice
Lamb
Egg
Peas

Thank God he is not allergic to common meats in dog foods. He is currently on Orijen LBP but now I have to drop this food since it contains both eggs and peas. I am so bumped because I finally found the food that is high quality and he's been doing really great on it. He also has a very sensitive stomach but this one works for him.

I don't know what to do now....I just spent like 2 hours researching the foods and can't find any high quality food that is FOR PUPPY and does not have any of the above allergens.

Anyone has had to deal with an allergic puppy? I would hate to put him on Natural Balance - Duck and Potatoes coz those are the only ingredients it has. He is a growing pup (6 months) and needs much more than just duck and potatoes.

I would appreciate your suggestions/stories/insights.

Thank you!!!
 

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Allergies are no fun, but at least you know what Xane might be allergic to. Now you just have to find which food works.

Anyways, for food - I recommend checking here: http://dogfoodanalysis.com/

Limited Ingredient foods, such as the Natural Balance, are still very good foods ingredient-wise.. The fact that it only has one novel protein and one carb is not a bad thing - they are made specifically for dogs with allergies. That said, you might be able to find a food that has a couple sources of proteins and carbs that would be okay for him.

Also, he is probably old enough to switch to adult food - a lot of people here start switching from puppy to adult food as early as 3-4 months old.
 

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How was he tested? If it was done with a blood test - you just have a list right? You don't know the degree of reaction to each of those components.

I have a boatload of allergies myself and did that same kid of blood allergy test. It should be followed up with skin testing as that is the only way to determine the major allergens versus the minor ones. I'd treat for the major ones and try to eliminate the minor ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you for your input, Justine! I'm also a big fan of the dogfoodanalysis website. I've gone through every food listed in the 6/5 star categories and none of them were free of the allergens Xane needs to stay away from. I even considered the 4 star foods, but same luck there :(

I am not easy at heart to be switching him to the adult food at 6 months. But it may be due to the "brainwashing" by the dog food companies that distinguish Puppy Food, Adult, and Senior food. I just want him to have all the nutrients he needs to grow up as healthy as he can be. He is my baby after all. I am sure you and many others on here can relate to this :)

So if I decide to go on L.I.D. potatoes and duck, would I have to add to his meals a bunch of different supplements like vitamins, minerals, calcium, probiotics, etc.? He is already getting Grizzly salmon oil, which made his coat absolutely stunning!
 

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Our Lola seems to have allergies of some kind, so we are going to try California Natural Chicken and Rice (puppy formula, even though she is an adult, I like the protein/fat content better than the adult), it has brown rice though, but is a limited ingredient food, do you know if his allergy is to all rice or just white?
Worth a shot.

Or...you can try raw, and control exactly what he eats.
 

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So if I decide to go on L.I.D. potatoes and duck, would I have to add to his meals a bunch of different supplements like vitamins, minerals, calcium, probiotics, etc.? He is already getting Grizzly salmon oil, which made his coat absolutely stunning!

The food is formulated to be complete - you should not have to add much of anything. Probiotics could not hurt and the same for the fish oil. Vitamins/minerals/calcium should be fine in the food. As a matter of fact added calcium will cause too much growth and potential orthopedic problems down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sharon, yes you are right. The vet did the blood test. But it is not just the list of allergic reactions they got from testing. The list has allergen's name and next to it it shows a degree of severity from 0-5. I am going to pick up a copy of the results tomorrow, but on the phone my vet went through each allergen and said that minor ones were mold, mulberry, golden rod and some pollen. But major ones were all grasses and all types of oak trees. Oh, and the fleas. That's for the environmental allergens.

He only got major reactions to lamb, egg, pea, and rice. If the environmental can be treated (flea control meds or allergy shots - with 80% success), food ones are not curable. That is what I am frustrated about. I am considering maybe dehydrated food, like Honest Kitchen, but it's expensive. My boyfriend just joked yesterday that I could've already bought a nice used car for the money I spent on the stinker, lol. And he is only 6 months....

My vet also said that for now, until I decide to do desensitization, I can just wipe his feet/legs/stomach with a damp cloth after each walk, which is a pain in the rear, but manageable, just have to get it stick as a habit and a part of my routine schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Chantel, I will have to look at the report tomorrow, but from what my vet said, he should stay away from any kind of rice.

I've tried switching him to raw in the past and it was a disaster. He was really sick and ended up on antibiotics and all kinds of meds. He has a super sensitive stomach. But to my own embarrassment, it was mostly my mistake that I messed up his GI system. I did a switch fast and wrong, thought I'd done enough research and had knowledge. Anyways, after that fiasco, I am really skeptical to do raw, even though in my heart I feel that it would be the best option for him. He is only allergic to lamb, so the meat options are infinite...
 

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What about California Natural Herring and Sweet potato...I like that one because potato is not the first ingredient, and you can add fruits and veggies to it. Also have you checked other vets prices for allergy treatment? I was going to one vet who was literally charging 3-500$ more than others. I finally switched. My vet only charges $130 for allergy testing. I know you live in Ca. but geesh thats expensive.
 

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Abbey has food allergies (grain for sure, not 100% sure what else) and she did really well on Taste of the Wild. She went through several periods of not eating (refused to eat kibble, canned food, etc) and my vet (also my boss) and I decided to try switching her to home cooked food. It's not cheap at all, but she is fed one protein and one carb (50/50 of each) and I supplement with a min/vit combo, probiotics and an oil supplement. She has flourished. This was done as a last resort, after doing $300 worth of tests and her losing a lot of weight.. but it worked and is continuing to work.

Given these kinds of allergies, I would talk to your vet about the option of doing homecooked food.. it would be a LOT easier to avoid those certain ingredients, but it will come at a cost, of course.

I would be interested to see how Xane would do on the Natural Balance LID foods.
 

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There is a gal who is on this board a bit, and who is a breeder. She knows an awful lot about Raw feeding and has answered a lot of questions for me (I'm just too lazy to get going on it at the moment). You can reach her through her website if you google Fall River Labradors. If you did go raw, she could probably help you get off in the right direction this time, or at least point you to some good resources!

It seems like the pre-packaged raw is so expensive, a lot of people just use it to supplement their actual raw feeding program (use it if they go out of town, if the spouse who doesn't feed the dogs needs to, etc.) Money-wise you'd be smarter to just try and do raw correctly, again. I can understand your hesitation to try though, it does seem overwhelming.

I hate that our Lola has yeast in her ears all the time, and is chewing her feet a bit, too. So I feel for you and really hope you can come to some type of solution. Xane is lucky to have a mommy who would rather have him than a new car ;)
 

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I don't know about allergy testing in dogs but I presume it's very similar to allergy testing in humans -- in which there's been a lot of hocus-pocus, mumbo-jumbo of results, recommendations, and procedures. You get very different recommendations and treatments depending upon which expert you go to.

IF it was me and my dog in California, I'd take the lab testing results and go to UC-Davis CollVetMed Teaching Hosp'l and listen to what they recommend.

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/

At least with them, you're not dealing with someone seeking to sell and profit from "a plan."

 

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I was thinking too, you might want to look into differnt flea control..I have not been too pleased with frontline and in fact my vet has stopped carrying it because of all the complaints, even though I've used it for years and years. I would also consider administering a capstar occasional to kill on contact any fleas that might be there. I always wonder if Koko has allergies, I don't think she does, but I would be more opt to try holistic approaches first. I came across this article this morning...

One possible form of treatment involves using medicated shampoos and conditioners. These products can be very helpful with regards to reducing symptoms manifested through skin problems, such as itching and irritation. Often, medicated shampoos and conditioners will contain moisturizers and substances that help to soothe the skin, such as oatmeal. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be a source of relief for your pet. Very beneficial in many respects, omega-3 fatty acids help to ease allergy symptoms by reducing the immune system's tendency to overreact to the presence of antigens. These fatty acids can be found in fish oil, but since some animals cannot tolerate fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids are available in a number of different supplements.

Several other natural substances can also be beneficial with respect to treating dog allergies. For example, Yucca acts as an anti-inflammatory and promotes normal, healthy functioning of the immune system. Yucca can be administered as a medication on its own, or as one of several ingredients in a natural remedy. Other ingredients that may be found in effective homeopathic remedies include milk vetch and purple coneflower, which help to bolster the immune system. Purple coneflower also helps to reduce inflammation, as does myrrh. In addition, many natural substances help to prevent the infections that can arise when a dog is constantly scratching and biting at its skin. With so many beneficial properties, homeopathic remedies can provide a very effective form of treatment for a dog suffering from allergies, by reducing symptoms, soothing irritation, and increasing comfort.

Just something to consider. Good luck hon!
 

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I am not easy at heart to be switching him to the adult food at 6 months.
My dog was switched at 5 months, no problems at all. He'll be 9 in a week and is healthy as can be.
 

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I can't address the food allergies, but my golden retriever has horrible environmental allergies. We also took her to a specialist. To avoid putting her on steriods, especially during the dreaded month of May when everything is in bloom, we use baby wipes on her regularly and bathe her at least twice a week with a shampoo that has malaseb in it. As soon as we see her start chewing her feet we get malaseb wipes and begin using those regulary.

We also have her on Hydroxizine which is a doggie allergy pill. It doesn't help completely, but it certainly takes the edge off. She takes it every day. Any allergy medication, including Benadryl, takes a while to build up in their system and it took several weeks before we noticed a difference. But we have noticed a difference and its worth it for her quality of life.

Also, you will probably notice more ear infections in a dog with allergies so try to be vigilant with ear cleaning and care. If you start to smell the funk...get the medicated ear drops from the vet.

Good luck. Some dogs grow out of their allergies...some don't. Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Chantel: thank you for your referral. I will try to locate her and see if she can give me any tips on raw feeding. My parents have been telling to switch Xane long time ago, since we had our dog on home cooking diet and she did fine. They say that he is a poor baby for being fed some dry crap that has no nutrient value after all the chemical/cooking processes it goes through...Anyway, they are from Ukraine as am I, and you know in those days of the former USSR and now, dogs ate nothing but raw bones and whatever scraps they were lucky to get from the tables...

Bob Pr.: I agree with you about the errors in tests results, read many different opinions on allergy testing. I am sure it is not perfect but better than not having it at all, IMO. The test that was done on Xane is called VARL Liquid Gold and from what I've read about it, it seems to be the most advanced and accurate out there as of right now...At least now I know what foods he is allergic too and can eliminate them from his diet. I finally got the test copy from the vet and it shows the ratings from 0 to 5. His highest allergen is peas - 4. Lamb came in at 3 and rice and egg were at 2.

Thank you for recommending the UC of Davis. I've checked their website. Unfortunately, they are No Cal and are about 6 hours away from me. I would definitely consider consulting with them if Xane's overall health does not improve in the next few months. I am going to do all the necessary steps (food switch, paw wiping, giving Benadryl) and see how he does. Do you know what they charge for their consultations/visits? I would have to wait a bit to save money since the stinker has sucked out a lot of $$ already, plus I am a full time student and education fees and books ain't cheap these days!

Katie: Thank you so much for the excerpt of the article on allergies. I already add Grizzly Salmon oil to Xane's diet and wow! His coat is stunning. And I have to admit that I did notice that he's been itching less. It may be the combination of the diet change and adding the oil. I have been gradually switching him to L.I.D. Potatoes and Duck. Again, not a fan of this particular food but for now I want to see how he will do and maybe at about 1 year old I will switch him to raw completely.

As far as the natural remedies to boost the immune system, Xane is currently on Vetri-DMG Liquid, which I give at a 1,5 mg once a day. I also supplement his food with the Honest Kitchen "Perfect Form" which contains array of natural tree/bark/leaves. I want to ask my vet about Yucca and see what she thinks. She was not in favor of my using oatmeal base shampoo, as she said she'd seen a lot of dogs recently being allergic to it. However, now that I know that Xane is not allergic to oatmeal, I may try using it to bathe him and see if that will even more help with soothing his skin.

Melissa: Yes, just like you, I too give Xane allergy meds, not prescription though. For now he is on Benadryl, well he was, but I stopped giving it to him about a week ago as I noticed that his itching had gone down quite a bit. My vet also mentioned about some pills, but she seemed to be in favor of the injections. That is something I am considering down the road if he does not get better.

Also, I've got a hang of our new routine now and Xane gets his paws wiped after every walk. He is NOT a big fan of such procedure though. First couple of days he tried any trick possible to get me to stop. He looked like such a worm swerving and zigzagging on the floor. Now he just has this doomed look on his face like "ok just hurry up and wipe my feet already," lol...
One thing that I wanted to mention though...My vet told me that baby wipes are not good for wiping the feet due to being wet. She said that the allergens may just get stickier because of moisture. She said that I should you a damp cloth to do this....

Oh, as far as his ears, it's weird but his ears are very clean. He had a really bad discharge/wax and odor about couple of month ago. I then used some otic drops for about a week and thank God it's been gone since then...I think that was due to him battling a really bad GI infection...his whole system/body was out of wack then...

I still strongly believe that all his health problems started from the day he got a steroid shot when he got stunned by a bee. The steroid at that age messed up his whole immune system. He was a really healthy happy boy up to about 3,5 months and then that happened and since then I have been a frequent visitor at the vet office.
 

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Bob, ya know, there are actually great vets out there who are not out to rip you off - and who do not work for the vet college. Morgan has tons of allergies, and our vet has been nothing but supportive of anything we've wanted to try or avoid. Additionally - while I agree that the vet colleges are a good place for some things - I do think they're not the be all and end all you keep purporting them to be.
 

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I too agree with sending more results off to a University. I too have used UC Davis for second opinions and for test results but not for my dogs. If I told my vet I would like to search it further and get another opinion they would NOT hesitate to work with me and recommend a U to go to. It is not a trust or rip off issue, it is there is a lot of "mumbo-jumbo" as Bob put it when it comes to reading the results.
I had a very good vet read my results of a US incorrectly!! THANKGOODNESS I got another opinion. This vet WAS the U/S specialist too!!!
And it is true in the world of allergies there is much that can be misread. I went through this for years!
What you would pay for in a few months of dog food you can have more tests ran.

I otherwise suggest a L. I. D. dog food by either Natural Balance or Wellness makes one called Simple Solutions. ANd if it makes my dog better I could care less what ingredient is listed first...veggie or meat because honestly I feed Cinder Vegetarian and that goes against ALL I believe..but here she is, 9 month later and living!
 

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Cinder - I am not saying the vet hospital is a wrong choice - I am saying it is Bob's answer to everything medical - from a hang nail to cancer - for the labs. Nothing but the vet hospital - period - is his mantra. I know there are very wonderful resources available there - and actually, my vet has sent things to our college and others, on Morgan's behalf - but the hospital is NOT THE only answer for medical problems/questions.
 

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Sorry to read that Xane is having problems with allergies. They aren't fun for either the dog or the owner.

I have to agree with those who have suggested a limited ingredient kibble. There are a number of good foods out there and Natural Balance is an "all life stages" food and can be safely fed to puppies and adults alike.

To help with the environmental allergies, regular baths with an gentle shampoo should help with removing allergens such as pollens from your dog's coat. You might also want to consider changing/replacing the filters in your furnace. Some furnace filters are very good at removing allergens from the air. Also, be sure to vacuum regularly and use a hepa filter if possible.

I have found that regular baths during pollen season and changing the furnace filters monthly (we use Filtrete Ultra Allergen filters) have really helped.
 
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