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Old 08-02-2010, 10:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Does anyone have a poodle with food allergies? I would love to hear your story.

I think Dana might have allergies. But I'm in denial.

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Old 08-02-2010, 04:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Riley has bad enviornmental allergies, but not food. What is she doing where you think she has them? Have you tried an elimination diet? I wouldnt mess with the blood test as it is pretty useless for food allergies.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i'd like to hear some stories too because i suspect mochi has some type of allergy but not sure if it is atopic, food or flea allergy.

she's been having some dermatitis skin issues which could signal an underlying allergy? not sure how to begin testing for the cause.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's Dana's story:

It all started in April, when Dana was 5 months old. One day, she just started scratching. Scratch, scratch, scratch. From the moment she got up in the morning, until she went to bed at night, she'd scratch about 40 to 50 times a day. Not intense scratching like she'll die of itchiness but lazy scratching. Like, it's itchy but just a little.

This started around the time we started agility so my first thought was: She's got a bunch of beach sand in her fur and it's making her itch. So I gave her a bath. Nope, still scratching.

So I put Dana on Revolution, which is a monthly parasite prevention. Revolution prevents and treats against fleas, ticks, scabies mange, demodex mange, ear mites, heartworm and a bunch of intestinal worms.

Dana's been on Revolution for 4 months now, and she's still scratching. (2 to 3 months is the length of time it usually takes to get rid of fleas or mange with the Revolution treatment.)

My vet thought that maybe I was bathing her too often and drying out her skin. (I usually bath Dana about once a week or so.) So, I toughed it out for a whole 5 weeks, no bath. Still scratching.

Dana has been slightly itchy for approximately 5 months now. She's not more itchy or less itchy. She's the same kind of itchy. Plus, her ears are very waxy. I know she's a poodle and all, but... she's still a pup. One of the symptoms of food allergies are gunky ears.

There are no lesions or rashes on the skin which are usually present with mange for example. Her skin is healthy and clear. No scabs, no rash, no dandruff, no visible dry spots.

There isn't a specific itchy spot on her body. She's itchy everywhere. She scratches her neck and her ears with her hind legs, she nibbles on her feet, her legs, her sides, and her groin with her teeth.

And, like I mentioned before, it's not intense itching. She won't scratch if she's doing something important like sleeping, eating, or playing... but if she's just laying there, or if we're doing something she's rather not do, like obedience training, then she's scratching. Every 5 to 10 minutes or so, she scratches.

So, if it's not a parasite, if it's not dry skin... is it allergies? My vet is thinking allergies. My friends tell me it's allergies. I look at my itchy dog and I think: allergies. :(

So now, I've put Dana on this (EXPENSIVE!!!) hypoallergenic dog food. She is to eat this food and this food only. No treats, no table scraps, no chewies, no cookies, no nothing!!!! Except this allergy food.

Dana will be on this exclusive diet for 6 weeks. The idea is that she should stop scratching around week 3 or 4. At week 6, if she's still itch free, I can start introducing other foods to see if she's allergic to them. If she's allergic, I'm told that one single mouthful can cause itching for 3 weeks!! So then, only after the 3 weeks of itching are over, can we introduce another food to see if she reacts.

My vet says it can take from 6 to 12 months to get food allergies under control. Dana and I are on week 1.

The only other thing is: If Dana is still itchy after being on the allergy food for a whole 6 weeks, it's a seasonal allergy.

The only thing we can do for seasonal allergies is steroids. I HOPE it's NOT seasonal allergies. I'd hate to have to choose between an itchy dog or a dog on steroids. I've seen dogs on steroids. The side effects are murder.

So, I hope I haven't bored anyone with my long ramble... I started this thread because I wanted to know if anyone else has gone through this. I think poodles are a breed susceptible to food allergies. Is it hereditary?

If anyone else has an allergic dog, have you figured out exactly what your dog is allergic to? Like bigpoodleperson already mentioned, there are allergy tests, but everyone tells me they're useless.

Is my dog going to be itchy for life??

A big thanks in advance from:

Concerned Salukie and Itchy Dana



The food Dana is on:



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Old 08-03-2010, 07:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My parents poodle has some type of food allergies. He would scratch himself raw. He'd get skin infections because he'd chew on himself so badly. He also had constant yeast ear infections. The medicine woudn't really help make them better.

He did have the blood tests done, and he is allergic to grass. But we still believe he also has food allergies. We are not exactly sure what they are. Possibly chicken, he did much better when we switched to a lamb based food. He now eats California Naturals Lamb and rice. It has a limited number of ingrediants, so it reduced the possibilities of something he was allergic to. He's even better on this food. And we are hoping, waiting, that P&G won't change the flormula as they were just bought out. We still dont' know exactly what he's allergic to. But he is on a very very very strict dog food, and specific treats only diet, and has not had problems so far this year
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i really don't know if mochi's skin problems are allergy related. it only became this bad in recent weeks. i read that allergies can develop normally between 1 and 2 years of age though. she had a bad yeast ear infection once when she was a small puppy, but i suspect it was more likely caused by her vaccinations than food allergy since we have never had a recurring problem.

AGH! salukie, sounds like i might need to put mochi on that hypoallergenic diet if her skin problems don't heal completely. thanks so much for your story.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What was she eating before? Brand and ingredients? I am nit a fan of Hill's diets. What is in this particular formula?

Many companies make limited ingredient diets nowadays. You do need to determine what she's sensitive to (if it's even food--it could be environmental). Some dogs are sensitive to certain meat sources (chicken, etc), some have issues with grains... The key is figuring out what works for your dog and what doesn't.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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When Beau came to me, his ears were horribly infected, his entire muzzle was stained red from tearing, he chewed at himself, scratched, and had serious gastrointestinal issues.

I immediately put him on a grain-free food, one-meat source protein.
Gave him probiotics, including plain, live cultured yogurt (every day before bed).

Distilled water for drinking with raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar w/the mother in it.

Benadryl at night.

Bathed him in EQyss Micro-Tec Shampoo and used the Micro-Tec Spray on areas he was licking, chewing and scratching (these products are amazing for itchy skin).

Flushed his eyes twice a day with sterile saline solution for sensitive eyes.

Within 3 months he looked like a different dog!

Keep in mind that scratching and licking/chewing can become a habit even when the cause has been eliminated, so you need to interrupt the behavior and redirect.

Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
The only thing we can do for seasonal allergies is steroids.
This is NOT true! There are oral allergy medications that are very effective. Steroids is not the only answer.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I hope the diet helps her. This is really the best food to trial a food allergy problem on. It is specifically formulated for allergy dogs. The proteins are already broken down, so the dog doesnt have to. Theory is that allergies show when the body tried to break down the proteins. I would stick with it for the length of time, and then depending on what you find out when reintroducing foods you can switch her to a better food. Really, if they have food allergies, this food Will help. If it doesnt help then it wasnt food allergies.

Like PH mentioned, steroids arnt the only option. Many dogs get relief from simple benadryl. It doesnt really help my boy unless its a high enough dose that it really knocks him out anyways. There are other stronger antihistamines available too. Personally though, if nothing helped my dog but steroids then i would use them. Steroid shots were the only thing that gave Riley relief from literally chewing his feet off. Baths, oral meds, etc were NO help for him (other dogs at our clinic get great relief from other oral meds). Shots were the only thing. He had two really bad reactions to steroids though, so now we have nothing. When his allergies get really bad i bathe his feet alot, and dope him up with benadryl.

I hope Dana finds relief through the food as food allergies are SO much easier to control then enviornmental allergies!
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