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I am at the end of my rope. I have a vet appointment tomorrow for Charlie the Spoo. Will take every shampoo, supplement and treatment we have tried (thank you so much for the generous suggestions, kind members) .

What questions should I ask the vet?

Last night I discovered Charlie had licked all of the hair off of a spot on his leg and the skin was really irritated. He has also scratched his neck so hard that there is a scabbed spot. Scared that he will really harm himself.

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I was just reading this article this morning, which you might find interesting: Chances Are Its Not a Food Allergy for Your Dog - Tufts Your Dog Article

I think the key for Charlie is a true elimination diet, especially since you saw some GI relief with a food change. (See the last three paragraphs.)

So I'd ask the vet for clear guidance on how to do that. I'd also request a referral to a nutrition specialist if the vet doesn't have the appropriate qualifications to advise you.

Sending you good luck!!
 

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“Do you think we should see a vet dermatologist?” I am an advocate of biting the bullet and seeing a specialist. One and done. I have been down the allergy trail with Scottish Terriers and seeing a vet dermatologist is always my recommendation. My son’s family was pet sitting for the MIL’s boxer mix. He was scratching so much, and my son is such a light sleeper that he told her she needed to call me and get my recommendations or they couldn’t host Sam. No more scratching soundtrack for sweet Sam:)
 

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Poor Charlie. I‘m with Mfmst. I would ask to see a dermatologist.

Many years ago my wonderful PCP was treating me for what she thought was an infection on my shins. Finally she sent me to a dermatologist. I was completely misdiagnosed and mistreated. I had the worst case of psoriasis she had ever seen. While I don’t think your vet is misdiagnosed or mistreating your dog, he may not have the deeper experience to handle skin issues.

I also loved the article that PeggytheParti posted. I myself have been on a true elimination diet and it’s miserable to follow but is the most effective way to determine food allergies and real intolerants. I’m also glad the article mentioned fat and fiber content because my dog can’t tolerate the higher fat and lower fiber of most commercial products. I kept detailed records of all the ingredients of all the food and treats I had fed my dog as well as her response to sort out what was safe and what wasn’t.

I hope Charlie gets relief quickly.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I was just reading this article this morning, which you might find interesting: Chances Are Its Not a Food Allergy for Your Dog - Tufts Your Dog Article

I think the key for Charlie is a true elimination diet, especially since you saw some GI relief with a food change. (See the last three paragraphs.)

So I'd ask the vet for clear guidance on how to do that. I'd also request a referral to a nutrition specialist if the vet doesn't have the appropriate qualifications to advise you.

Sending you good luck!!
thank you so much for the response. I was very impressed with the vet. She spent over an hour documenting all of Charlie 's symptoms and what We have tried so far. We are taking it one step at a time with him. Two weeks on Apoquel plus 1,000 mg of salmon oil and then a consultation to reassess. Within 24 hours on the Apoquel his scratching decreased by 90 percent .We don't want to change his food right now because it took two years of trial and error to find a food that stopped his endless loose stools, and attendant problems. It is GO! A single source protein duck, with Apple, oatmeal and potato. Vet discussed the elimination diet but I am very hesitant to disturb the balance we finally achieved with his runny stools. I know he is allergic to grass because he goes crazy with chewing his feet minutes after running on grass. Right now having a meter of snow despite a week of thaw gives us a break. I am documenting everything, wish us luck!

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That's fabulous news! Sounds like you've found a wonderful vet.

If you do feel it's time to try the elimination diet at any point, you can make your own food with those ingredients you listed. That shouldn't disrupt his stools and it will let you know if he's allergic or sensitive to any of the other ingredients (preservatives, etc.).

But it sounds like you're on the right track. I'm so happy for you both!
 

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If you end up considering diet changes do a NutriScan rather than elimination diet. It isn't cheap but insurance will cover it if you have it and you will get answers in one step.
 

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If you end up considering diet changes do a NutriScan rather than elimination diet. It isn't cheap but insurance will cover it if you have it and you will get answers in one step.
Good call, just keeping in mind that test won't identify allergies. I've not seen any indication there's a reliable alternative to elimination diets for that.
 

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A friend of mine has a spaniel with terrible allergies. Her dog wears booties outside to protect his feet from grass.
 

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Good call, just keeping in mind that test won't identify allergies. I've not seen any indication there's a reliable alternative to elimination diets for that.
Well, NutriScan measures IgA and IgM which indicate immune responses to the items being tested. Most food sensitivities/intolerances are not indicated by IgE (the classic allergy response antibody). I think there is a bit of imprecision in the uses of the words allergy vs. sensitivity.
 
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