Food allergies

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Sadie's Mom's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

Hi all. Sadie and I are new to this group so I hope I am posting correctly. Sadie is a wonderful 15 month old black Dobe who developed bumps all over her body and started loosing hair. Went to vet (multiple time) and finally had her allergy tested. She is allergic to poultry, rice, soy, barley, oats, and alfalfa. Of course we have been feeding her chicken for ever! Trying to find a good dog food that I can afford to feed her. She won't eat fish either.

We bought her some venison and sweet potato feed today and the label looked okay (actually very good)  and she likes it but I can't afford to feed her that for long.  We also bought her some freeze dried liver treats which she loves! (They are 100% liver, no additives of any kind).

Does anyone have any experience with homemade dog food?

I am thinking that may be the only long term option.

Almost all of the foods and treats  have soy products or barley flour or chicken/chicken powder etc.

Would appreciate any info you have.

Thanks!

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Wow.. How exasperating for you.. Have you thought about raw feeding??? Although the raw feeding usually includes chicken.. do some research and see what you can find.. Good luck and hope you find a solution soon. Let us know..!!

Soleil's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-04

I make homemade food for Soleil.  She was extremely sensitive to all sorts of foods so I brought her to the vet and he gave me a recipe for her.  I hesitate to just give you a recipe since it needs to be catered to your dogs individual needs.  For example my dog has a borderline under active thyroid and her food might not be appropriate for yours.  It don't find it less expensive either.  In addition to the ingredients I now need to buy vitamins and supplements... although I did see a HUGE improvement in her coat and energy levels, and my squishy girl has dropped A LOT of weight although she is still rather large for a female at 83lbs.  I cook the food in a crock pot and include beef, turkey, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, occasional liver, brown rice.  My suggestion is find a vet who specializes in nutrition and see if you can find a solution that works for you but homemade does not always = cheaper. 

jeshykai's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-02

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Allergies to food can be a major problem.  I don't know where you're at, but most allergen specialty diets are going to cost more than the average dog food because they have better quality fillers and special mixes.  Did you get the food from your vet or at a pet store?  Try going to a pet store and see what they can order for you and how much it might cost vs. the vet, sometimes the vets prices are marked up quite high.

Like the above poster stated, your vet might have a recipe for you to make your own food.  It might end up costing the same as the bagged kibble by the time you are done adding the extra vitamins and supplements they will need in addition to the homemade food.

Sometimes when you buy in bulk, there are price breaks on things.  See what your vet can work out for you.  If money is a real issue they might be willing to sell things to you at cost or cheaper than what they price it as.  It never EVER hurts to ask.  Especially if this is a vet you trust.  One vet I worked for was very good at doing this for his clients that were on very tight budgets.

I know they do allergy shots too.. I'm not sure if it would help with food allergies though.  Maybe thats something to look into?  

Keep us updated on how things go.

Control_Freak's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-18

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I am so sorry you have to go through this....I have a cat who also has severe allergies but after thousands of dollars in vet bills and isolated diets we are right where we started.  Poor guy has large scabs all over his body.  

When we were on a homemade diet is was also very expensive...even more then the prescription food we tried.  From what I have heard/found/researched it is almost impossible to completely eliminate or "cure" an allergy so in my opinion if you find something that corrects the problem then you should try to find some way to afford it.  In the long run it will save you a ton of money in vet bills.  

I hope everything works out for you and Sadie

Sadie's Mom's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-09

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for all of your comments, observations, and advice. We are buying the specialty food for now. Our vet says it will be 4 to 6 weeks before we see any change in Sadie's coat or health. We are going to keep her on this food until we see if there is a change. Then decide. You bring up good points about supplements that would need to be given if we cook for her. We already have her on and Omega 3, 6 and vitamen. I am amazed at how much food has soy products in it! Is this a fad?

I will keep you all posted on what works and what doesn't.

Thanks for the community! It helps to know that others out there are willing to share their experiences.

gcarter's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-20

Hi! I am Gail and my daughter's name is Jennah.  She is the owner of our fawn dobie - Duke she has had since a puppy!  You are the first person I have come across that seems to be having the exact same problem that we are.  Duke is 4 1/2 years old and the past few months has developed these red bumps completely covering his body and he has lost almost all of the hair along his body.  The only place the red bumps are not on is his face and paws.  Yet!  We have tried everything, he has been back and forth to the vet getting shots of prednizone - which of course helped but he cannot stay on that forever.  Yesterday afternoon he was alone for about 3 hours. When we returned he all of the sudden got extremely worse.  Under his front and back armpits he became extremely red in addition to the bumps in large patch - almost like it was his blood raised to the skin.  It scared us to death & it was the weekend!  We gave him Benedryl and put calamine lotion on him.  The beat red has seemed to calm down.  We are taking him again to our vet on Wednesday and were going to have the allergy testing done.  We just feel so aweful about this happening to him and not being able to make it go away.  He is so beautiful and sweet - I hope to get some pictures on here soon so you can see.  Perhaps the heat this summer has added to it, we just dont know.  He is an inside dog and never bothers anything.  He likes his little stuffed toys more than anything!  We probably give him at least one new one a week.  He feels so special and proud.  I just cant believe that no one out there has experienced this as well.  It is just so sad.  We will keep you posted on what the vet says on Wednesday 9/22/10.  Thank you!!!

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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gcarter,

Hi and thank you for writing..

Are you sure it's food allergies with Duke and not color dilution alopecia? Usually CDA starts a bit younger, but you might encourage your daughter to have him tested.. It does occur in fawns and blues..

So far, we're okay with Sofia.. no allergies, no CDA and I give her fish oil and EVOO ( occasionally along with a scrambled egg once a week) Her coat will never take on the brilliant shine of the black and rusts or the reds, but she has a lovely golden sheen and it's quite thick.. I do brush her almost every day and make sure she keeps Skin-So-Soft mixed with water and Listerine.. Hoping for good news from you on Wednesday

Kate and Sofia

jeshykai's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-02

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Now not to sound harsh.. but if the treatments you have been trying with your vet have not been working.. you should ask for a recommendation of a specialist (so its not offensive you want a second opinion) or go and seek one from someone else's vet that is trusted.

My friend's shepherd had no issues for years, he's 5, then all of a sudden he developed a similar skin issue.  Her vet had her on expensive antibiotics, anti-itch pills, food, etc and he still was not getting better no matter what they tried. I suggested she see a vet I used to work for and he treated her dog for 3 weeks with steroids and he has been able to go back to eating normal food (likely it wasn't food-related).  Just as an example where a second opinion helped.

I think LK has a point.. get him checked out for CDA.  Or ask your vet's opinion on this.  Not everyone is as well versed in breeds as you might expect, even vets.

Good luck!! He still loves you despite his skin issues.. 

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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I love that you said that Jeshykai~~ The dogs dont' care If their ears are cropped or flopped, crooked or bent. If their tales are docked or not, all they care about is US!! They give us unconditional love.

hey.. I could lose a pound or two..( read: five) and Mike has grey hair coming in.. do you think Sofia cares??? We can only give back a quarter of the love she gives us.. but part of that is making sure she's healthy and cared for to the very best we can.

cf33's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-02

Any holistic pet stores in you area to go talk to them and discuss food options?