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Old 09-11-2013, 12:02 PM
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Default Elimination diet q's

I think Mu is allergic to...something. I have no idea what it could be as nothing in our environment/food has changed. But she's been shedding like mad for a couple months now and just recently she has been insanely itchy. We did a blood panel when I first noticed the shedding and itchery and it came back totally fine. I'm looking at doing an elimination diet and was hoping someone could recommend what to start with.

She's currently on raw, mostly chicken but we switch it up with elk and beef and whatever else I can find. I'd prefer not to buy an entirely separate raw protein source because we buy in bulk and just don't have the freezer space. Ideally I'd like a freeze dried raw that isn't going to bankrupt me, but barring that I'd go for grain free kibble. Help? I'm worried about her, even though she's acting fine it can't be comfortable to be that itchy.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:13 PM
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Nola is allergic to corn and soy, and was diagnosed with her allergies at 8 months old. She's also recently developed a sensitivity to egg.

What do you feed for treats? Is she on flea prevention? Is she having watery/runny eyes, ear infections, biting her tail area, chewing her feet?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaNola View Post
What do you feed for treats?
Um....pretty much anything. Lol. Zukes, pepperoni, cheese, Matt likes to give her things while he's cooking...whatever really. Nothing has changed there, that's what we've always done.

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Originally Posted by AmandaNola View Post
Is she on flea prevention?
No, I haven't seen any sign of fleas either. I assume that if she had them everyone would have them. (We've never had fleas. In fact, I've never seen a flea. Is that a valid assumption, that everyone would have them?)

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Originally Posted by AmandaNola View Post
Is she having watery/runny eyes, ear infections, biting her tail area, chewing her feet?
No, no, no, yes. She scratches her armpits and chest a lot and has been licking/chewing her feet recently. The scratching has gotten worse just in the last couple weeks, I had noticed it before but it definitely wasn't this bad.

I was just informed by a coworker that environmental allergies have been really awful for some other people's dogs this year. Maybe she had an allergy before and it just got triggered this year?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:12 PM
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Food allergies can crop up at any point in the dog's life; they can be on a food for years and years and suddenly become allergic.


Nola is also allergic to fleas, and all it takes is one flea bite for her to be an itching mess. I have four dogs, and when I'm not regularly treating for fleas (so Nov-March) I know I need to treat everyone when Nola starts itching, even if I don't see a flea on anyone.

If you want to do an elimination diet, I'd start with cutting out chicken for 4-6 weeks. No other food, no treats, no scraps. If she's still itchy, add back in the chicken and cut out beef, same process. So on and so forth.

Oh, is she having any stomach issues? Gas, iffy poop, vomiting, ect?

I don't have much experience with environmental allergies. Her symptoms do sound mild for a food allergy, but then again Nola's are really severe.
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:39 PM
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If it were my dog, I think I would treating it as possible seasonal by boosting up some supps/herbs to help with allergies. Seasonal allergies are HORRID this year here, for both people and dogs. Then if thinking its food, start with cutting out all extra treats.

This article has some ideas for helping
http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/iss...s_15640-1.html
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:43 PM
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Food allergies are actually really rare. Food intolerance's are more common, but a different thing. I would guess it's more environmental.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:06 PM
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The key to an elimination diet is no more than two items (only one being protein) and doing it for 4-6 weeks.

Be sure you cut out all treats (use one of her two foods in place of) and any kind of supplements.

As others have mentioned food allergies are pretty rare, so most likely environmental. Have you tried an allergy med (something besides Benadryl)?

Good luck, I know how much it sucks.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:38 PM
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Seasonal allergies with my two and dogs I know have been exceptionally bad this year. That's what I would assume.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:06 PM
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Environmental allergies are AWFUL this year. A lot of dogs who have never had problems before are having problems this year. True food allergies are relatively uncommon compared to environmental allergies.

If you're doing an elimination diet you can either go to completely novel ingredients, or eliminate one thing at a time. It's more efficient to do the former, but since you've fed a variety it might be challenging for you to find something truly novel. Home cooked or raw is best, there's a ridiculous amount of cross contamination of ingredients in commercially prepared diets, even "limited ingredient" diets.

In any case, do the trial for 8-10 weeks and then challenge with the old diet. It's possible for signs to coincidentally wane over the 8-10 week period and the challenge will rule that out.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:38 AM
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I was thinking the same thing with the allergies. Two years ago it started really bad down here when grass & rag weed pollen comes along. My friend gives her dog Benedryl every other day, and now I've started to try to help. At first we thought it was the food this year and remembered the allergy symptoms started the same time last year.
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