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Thinking We're Dealing With Allergies...


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#1
jagger

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3 year old minpin seems to be dealing with some food allergies. He is currently on a raw diet and has been for a month. His feedings are mainly whole beef - cut up muscle meat - and whole chicken as in cut up muscle, bone, gizzard, heart, liver. Raw fish, raw beef and pork bones, chicken feet, tripe etc. He's a well fed dog.

 

First year of his life he was fed mainly a poultry diet, don't recall the ingredients but it wasn't a high quality food. Switched him up to Acana and Orijen and he did better. He has zero issue with food swaps and he would have different foods in his bowl at all times (fish, beef, lamb) but we took him off the poultry for a long time. However, beef based foods was still fed.

 

We've been fighting sore itchy ears, paws and just overall (some bald patches) so it's safe to assume allergies. Had him to the vet again tonite, his ear canals are moist, red and sore so there's some steriodal drops to use for a week. He's back to chewing on his paws, gnawing on his hind quarters.

 

We slipped up over christmas and gave him the remnants of a turkey drumstick, skin on. Next morning he was panting and shaking, off to the vet thinking it may be pancreatitis but bloodwork came back all clear. That issue passed after a couple of days. Been feeding him some turkey neck with the chicken as a meat and bone source but that gives him diarrhea - so turkey is definitely off the menu from here on in. What's the chance he's allergic to beef?

 

 

So it looks like we may have to get him off the typical food sources - unless someone has some suggestion - and suggest away please...

 

Can somene tell me about novel food sources that they feed their dog? I'm not sure about duck - is he allergic to chicken or just poultry in general, we don't know but given the issue with turkey... Haven't really scoped out locally available sources of novel meats but i've seen rabbit, goat and bison in the stores. I would assume a red meat diet would be fine?

 

Can anyone recommend a diet of novel foods that I can possibly buy whole? I don't want to feed premade patties.

 

 

Thanks in advance :)


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#2
jagger

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And it's not easy to find a vet that promotes raw diet. Current vet is kind of OK with it but not if that makes sense.

 

She figures it's allergies as well, feels he should be put on a novel protein. From the print off they gave us...

 

 

 

Itcy skin and recurring ear infections in dogs is often due to allergies. Allergic skin disease can be associated with a food allergy, an environmental allergy, or a combination of both. The first step in differentiating between the causes is to do a food trial.

During the food trial, we recommend feeding a prescription food with a novel protein source.

 

And yes, she has a shelves full of hill's science diet for sale, been trying to push that on us from the time we walked in the door. Seems to upset her that we're going to chase different whole food sources. Time to find a vet that's likes the idea of feeding raw. So far they can find no fault in the feeding but I'm just waiting for these vets to blame the food for any issues.


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#3
Iorveth

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I wish you luck on allergies. We've discovered that one of ours gets the runs eating chicken and itchy eating turkey. Figuring out what is causing it is a pain. We learned about the chicken intolerance right out of the gate during his transition as a puppy and that led me to believe that the turkey might be the itchy feet culprit so we eliminated it. The itchiness went away and that was that. I feel very lucky as it could have been a VERY long process. I hope you're able to figure it out sooner rather than later. 

I was also very lucky with the vet. When we took our dogs to our current vet for the first time after the switch with our new pup (the Bluetick at the time), the topic of food came up. I was ready for a battle and just said, "We feed both our dogs raw" and she smiled and said, "Oh, that's great!" Turns out, she's a raw feeder too. This was just the on base vet for the base clinic. We are on the opposite side of the Sound now at a different base but we still take them over there for routine appointments. We have a vet over here for emergencies but we do go to her for routine vaccinations and check-ups since she isn't anti-raw. Good luck in that department too! They ARE out there! It might be a bit of a drive but you'll eventually find a raw supporting vet or at least one that tolerates it without looking down on you for it.


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#4
Prey Model Raw

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Typically what you want to do to rule out food allergies is to do a food trial. Feed him nothing but a single protein for 6-8 weeks. Like nothing but chicken meat bone and organ.

If he reacts to it, he's allergic. If not it's safe. Then you'd move onto the next protein (no mixing previously found "safe" proteins).

Food trials take a long time.

That said, I may suggest starting over from scratch. Start with bone in, skinless chicken (wings or drummers) for two weeks. Make sure they're not enhanced. And we will go from there. Based on your info, he's has a lot introduced to him in just a month. And the issues you're seeing might be because of the fast introduction. Typically when introducing raw, the transition through all the proteins takes 2 months at a minimum.
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#5
jagger

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We are pretty sure it's the chicken that's doing this to him, and even the vet is convinced it's time for some novel protien. This isn't a new issue, been ongoing for most of his life (to varying degrees) and is the reason for switching to raw in the first place. Thought it might have something to do with the commercial foods. Most of the other meats we are feeding (chicken feet, large pork bone with a bit of meat etc) are treats, it's not an every night thing.

 

Environment has changed entirely, the GF is in the process of moving in with me and the dog has been here for the last 2 weeks. She had hardwood through her old place, I have low pile carpet. She had a leather couch set, mine are microfiber, even the laundry detergent is different. Nothing is the same but there has been no change at all.

 

The idea of feeding only chicken scares me, his diet has consisted mainly of chicken or beef. He started off with poultry based foods, to my knowledge that's all he was fed for the first year or so. He's always had coat problems and we figured out they were controllable through baths, we rotate baths using coconut oil and epsom salts, no soap and rinse well. We changed up his kibble to mostly beef based and removed the chicken for the better part of a year. He was much better but not quite there. It seems like since he's on raw this is the worse that i've seen him scratch, and chicken in the predominant food.

 

While on a predominantly beef diet, he did much better, bald spots went away and he didn't scratch anywhere near as much - but that was beef based kibble. Since switching to raw, his skin seems to be softer but the bald dry spots are coming back so he's back to the way he was when I met him 2 years ago while he was living on chicken. Thought he might have mange at the time. So we are pretty sure it's the reintroduction of chicken to his diet over the last month or so...

 

Vets have checked him for mites, yeast or bacterial infection, nothing. Blood work is clear across the board. Been on poop patrol for longer than I care to admit, the switch to raw produced nuggets like it should have, there were no issues relating to the diet - other than our own slipups.

 

Same old go round, beef or chicken... Hence the reason for looking at novel protein sources, start over that way for a couple of months and see where it goes.


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#6
jagger

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I wish you luck on allergies. We've discovered that one of ours gets the runs eating chicken and itchy eating turkey. Figuring out what is causing it is a pain. We learned about the chicken intolerance right out of the gate during his transition as a puppy and that led me to believe that the turkey might be the itchy feet culprit so we eliminated it. The itchiness went away and that was that. I feel very lucky as it could have been a VERY long process. I hope you're able to figure it out sooner rather than later.

 

Good to hear, it's not a road i'm looking forward to. Just want to see this dog happy and healthy.

 

How long did it take for the allergies to subside once you cut out the allergen?


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#7
Erica

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I would start over also. Fast for 24 hours and feed chicken for at least a week with solid poops. We had so much trouble throughout the transition that took us well around 2 mo & a half - 3 mo that we discovered fasting for 24 hours did so many wonders. If things take a turn for the worst, then stop feeding chicken and try out turkey/duck. But, keep in mind it is ideal to feed at least 3 different kinds of proteins...it may be that he's eating too much chicken and not enough of other stuff. Definitely hold off on bringing back beef for a while until he can hold down at least turkey/duck.

 

We were convinced that he had "allergies" to pork; but we were feeding "pork flavored kibble". I was a little uneasy when feeding actual real pork; no issues however. He was just more gassy than feeding bland meats.


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#8
jagger

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I would start over also. Fast for 24 hours and feed chicken for at least a week with solid poops. We had so much trouble throughout the transition that took us well around 2 mo & a half - 3 mo that we discovered fasting for 24 hours did so many wonders. If things take a turn for the worst, then stop feeding chicken and try out turkey/duck. But, keep in mind it is ideal to feed at least 3 different kinds of proteins...it may be that he's eating too much chicken and not enough of other stuff. Definitely hold off on bringing back beef for a while until he can hold down at least turkey/duck.

 

We were convinced that he had "allergies" to pork; but we were feeding "pork flavored kibble". I was a little uneasy when feeding actual real pork; no issues however. He was just more gassy than feeding bland meats.

 

We did that starting off, then introduced beef. His poop is fine, it's been scrutinized for the last couple of years since improving his kibble.

 

He's definitely allergic to something he is eating at the moment - we are trying to get away from it. If he is allergic to chicken, why are people suggesting to feed it to him?

 

 

Can anyone help me with a diet that doesn't consist of the typical chicken - beef cycle?


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#9
Erica

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You won't know if he's allergic until you isolate the proteins and only feed one of them at a time for a while and make note of symptoms/changes etc. The typical chicken-beef cycle is recommended because chicken turkey pork beef are the easiest,cheapest proteins to find. Starting out with a bird protein is ideal because those are the blandest, easiest on the stomach proteins. Like I said, try turkey or duck or quail or any bird first. Beef is a very rich protein, and it may very well be the cause because you need to give the stomach time to adjust; maybe it's not chicken but you won't know until you are feeding a single protein for a while.


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#10
jagger

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I don't care about easiest or cheapest, if the dog never eats beef or chicken in his lifetime, i'm cool with that. We need alternate diets. If I have to get a PAL, buy a rifle and start hunting again, so be it.

 

It's highly possible that the dog is allergic to chicken - and possibly beef because both have caused issue in the past and current. Turkey doesn't agree with him at all, therefore he will never get turkey again. If your child has an allergic reaction to peanut butter - do you keep feeding peanut butter sandwiches til you find out for sure?

 

I haven't butchered a rabbit in 30 years, if I have to go that route, then so be it. He's a 12 pound dog, if it costs a couple hundred a month to feed him and keep him healthy on an alternate diet, then so be it. I'm looking at eliminating here, novel protein.


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#11
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I would try rabbit for your first protein. Problem being it can be hard to find and lots of dogs won't eat it because it's very lean.

Bison, lamb, llama, goat, pork, elk, emu, could all be rotated in if you could find a source.

Do you live near a larger city? I could help you find sources.
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#12
jagger

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I would try rabbit for your first protein. Problem being it can be hard to find and lots of dogs won't eat it because it's very lean.

Bison, lamb, llama, goat, pork, elk, emu, could all be rotated in if you could find a source.

Do you live near a larger city? I could help you find sources.

 

Thank you, that's just what I need. I live in Edmonton, Alberta. Lots of different farms around here, different exotics, shouldn't be too hard to source.

 

Rabbit I can buy frozen, but I don't think it's whole and i'll need some organ meat. What would you suggest for organs, cause that's going to be the hard part to source. I'm sure I can find people around Alberta that have whole rabbits they wouldn't mind giving up, no shortage of them around here. This dog will eat anything raw put in front of him. Lamb he has had in the past in kibble, but I doubt that would cause the issues - but think i'll avoid lamb for now.

 

Just spoke to a friend is going to toss some bison and venison my way. There is a shop that sells exotic meats close by, i'll check them out.

 

We have some vet prescribed Mometamax drops for his ears, it's antifungal, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. The epsom salts bath last night seems to have tamed the beast so to speak. Heading out shopping tonite.

 

If you can think of anything else, PLEASE feel free to post.

 

 

 

And again, I love that picture of your pack of dogs. How did you get them to sit still and pose like that?


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#13
jagger

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Ok, managed to find a whole rabbit but frozen stiff - jeepers, $25 for a gutted/headed rabbit in the stores. Will try him on it tomorrow when it thaws but I imagine he'll enjoy it. GF is going to check with a friend that snares rabbits, see if we can get some whole and i'll butcher.

 

Picked up 8 pounds of bison, good for about a month of meals. He had a full 4 oz feeding of bison just now, and he loved it. Had a little bit of straight beef this morning so I imagine he was starving tonite. Will see if I can find some exotic organ meats tomorrow.

 

Fingers crossed and thanks.

 

 

 

And apologies if I came off the wrong way earlier, it's just frustrating with so much different information online these days.



#14
jagger

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And after shopping around last night, few phone calls this morning, can't find a source for exotic organ meats...



#15
Jordann

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If you can get whole animals and are comfortable slaughtering/butchering them, you will have everything you need. :) Have you called any of the exotic farms around you, to see if you can work out a dal for their stillborns or deceased animals? Are there any mobile farm slaughterers you can get in contact with? I would call around to feed stores and see if they have numbers of anybody who does mobile farm slaughter. I found a guy who is a mobile slaughterer, by people in my town. He isn't online and doesn't need to advertise because he has regulars and the regulars tell their friends.

Have you put an ad on Craigslist or similar sites? Maybe someone who sees your post will have information for you, about other novel meat sources. If you have any hunting friends, talk to them now about savings organs and whatnot for you. What about livestock auctions, are there any near you? That may be a way to pick up goat and sheep and other not so common proteins?

I will try to wrack my brain for more ideas. It's great you guys are willing to go to such great lengths for your boy. He is lucky. I have two dogs I'll send your way. They can eat the common proteins. :)

#16
Jordann

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How did he take to the rabbit?

#17
jagger

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Had to feed him bison last night and this morning as the rabbit was frozen solid. He had a small meal of beef yesterday morning so by the time we got back at 8 last evening he was starved. He'll eat pretty much anything raw put in front of him. He's off the beef and chicken wagon for at least 6 weeks.

 

He didn't eat the full bison meal at 7 this morning, that's the good thing about him, he won't overeat. Pulled a small piece of rabbit out of the freezer at noon and he seemed to like it. Going to start feeding whole rabbit portions this evening, bone in.

 

GF has put out some feelers with friends in the farming areas, shouldn't be too long getting some organs. What about whole mice or rats? Disgusting to think about but... He is a hunting dog after all.

 

I live in a condo, freezer space is limited and i'm sure the neighbors wouldn't like the idea of me dragging a goat in for butchering :D

 

Fingers crossed.



#18
jagger

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Well, rabbit is definitely on the menu. Gave him a 3 oz chunk out of the rib/shoulder area for supper and he loved it, looking for more. Such an easy dog to feed.



#19
Iorveth

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Good to hear, it's not a road i'm looking forward to. Just want to see this dog happy and healthy.

 

How long did it take for the allergies to subside once you cut out the allergen?

With the chicken, the runny poop went away within 2-3 days. The turkey took a few weeks to totally subside but we could see a bit of a difference fairly quickly. Within the first few days we could tell that, while he WAS still itchy, he wasn't quite so itchy. It continued to get better from there.

Wishing you luck again, this time for easy to obtain rabbit! I know I would love to have rabbit in my rotation more often but it sure is expensive and one rabbit would last one meal for one of my dogs. We rent at the moment but, once we have property, I plan to raise all kinds of things they can eat, rabbit included!



#20
jagger

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With the chicken, the runny poop went away within 2-3 days. The turkey took a few weeks to totally subside but we could see a bit of a difference fairly quickly. Within the first few days we could tell that, while he WAS still itchy, he wasn't quite so itchy. It continued to get better from there.

Wishing you luck again, this time for easy to obtain rabbit! I know I would love to have rabbit in my rotation more often but it sure is expensive and one rabbit would last one meal for one of my dogs. We rent at the moment but, once we have property, I plan to raise all kinds of things they can eat, rabbit included!

 

Again, good to know, thanks. I've learned so much in the last month since switching to raw.

 

He's had 3 doses of ear drops now, ears are looking much better. Hasn't had any poultry in a few days, itchy paws and legs seems to have subsided some. Another feeding of rabbit this morning, came back looking for more, loves it. Thankfully he's a small dog. 1 rabbit nets 15 meals on average, couldn't imagine trying to feed a large pack, must be a full time job.

 

Otherwise, his skin feels noticeably softer, teeth are great, breath doesn't stink - unless he burps up in my face after eating. He's not as hyper anymore, but still lots of energy - and he's not begging anymore. He was used to having kibble in the bowl 24 hours a day, figured trying to change him to 2 meals a day would be tough but no issue.

 

Onward and upward, hope this is a good sign. Thank you to all for your assistance.


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