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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Possible food allergies

Our fur baby has a possible food allergie. He keeps on scratching his ears and he doesn't have an ear infection. The vet said that he most likely has food allergies and to feed him fish base food which he already was on. His treats are fish/lamb treats. And he's getting a fish oil supplement. Well he's still scratching his ears, not as much but still scratching. Now I don't know if I should try a different food. I'm somewhat hesitant because he does well on it. No tummy issues or poop issues. Maybe it's the hair in his ears bothering him? I have a hard time plucking the hair out. He hates it!! Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 08:30 AM
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Without going into too much detail and not all allergies are food related but the no. one step they mentioned was "remove sources of oxidized fatty acids from the diet by illiminating processed foods.,including rancid treats. A move to fresher whole sources of nutriton helps improve cellular balance, which improves tollerance to allergens and illness in general" .... The number one most processed food is kibble.

and more on this at http://www.biologicnr.com/barometer-...r-pets-health/

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 08:40 AM
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I asked Sabine about the reliability of blood tests for food allergies. Here's her response...

"Pretty hit and miss, unfortunately.

Especially since there's a major difference between actual allergies (where an inappropriate immune response *is* present) and sensitivities - which can cause very similar symptoms, but the underlying cause is different.

I've had dogs who did well on food items they actually tested "allergic" for and theoretically should not even tolerate.

IMO, a properly conducted elimination diet (*not* using some hypoalelrgenic prescription food, but real, fresh food cooked at home) is the very best way to determine what works and what doesn't work for an individual dog."

I then asked her, if someone wants to do an elimination diet they have to start with your prescribed home cooked diet. Here's her response...

"For the duration of the elimination diet, yes, since the idea is to eliminate all "unknowns", including all the commercial additives that may be present in store bought foods.

Some people may decide to try going back to feeding commercial products once they know what works and what doesn't, and often it will be ok for the dog that way, but for the really sensitive individuals it might turn out that they need to stay on minimally processed homemade food because they don't react to a specific ingredient (e.g. chicken, or oats etc.) but just can't tolerate highly processed food."

I then commented how environmental allergies seem to be worse trying to diagnose. And here is her reply...

"I agree, environmental allergies are an even worse nightmare to deal with. Quigley has some seasonal issues, but luckily this year nothing has cropped up yet and last year it was really mild. Usually it starts around the beginning of May (red belly skin, itching) and goes away once July comes along.

For him, more frequent bathing and occasionally some benadryl usually do the trick during that time, but I know of some dogs who have severe issues year-round."

If you can't get a grip on it, consider a consultation with Sabine. She deals with dog food allergies on a regular basis. Or consider a test at Hemopet Jean Dodds organization.

Dave and Molly
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Last edited by davetgabby; 03-29-2015 at 08:45 AM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 11:09 AM
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I'd second Hemopet. (not to say I wouldn't use Sabine… I just haven't had any personal experience with her… although I've heard good things about her) Kodi started showing signs of allergies/food intolerances last year. We also did start with a home-cooked elimination diet for 6 weeks, based on sweet potato and chicken, two food items we were pretty sure were safe for him.

Kodi's Hemopet testing came back showing him as HIGHLY reactive to white fish, and on the high end of normal for dairy. I couldn't figure this out, because I didn't (knowingly) EVER feed him white fish. (we did use cheese pretty frequently in training, so he clearly WAS exposed to dairy) Interestingly, he showed no reaction to beef, which I KNOW he's intolerant of, and has been since he was a small puppy.

My vet used to work with Dr. Dodds, and actually was involved with developing the Hemopet testing. When we went over the result, she explained to me that the animal had to have had SOME exposure to a food item to show an intolerance on the testing, since I religiously avoid beef for him, it wasn't surprising that the testing showed no reaction to it. My vet suggested that we avoid all white fish (as recommended by Hemopet) and also avoid dairy, even though it wasn't in the area that Hemopet said to avoid it. I started reading labels, and it is AMAZING how many different dog foods and treats, contain fish oil. (which is good for many animals!) My cat's food also contains fish oil, even though it is a chicken-based food. My husband regularly would give Kodi a few pieces of the cat's food when he filled her bowl. We also had him on salmon oil, and we took him off that, in case there was some white fish contamination.

As soon as ALL white fish and dairy was removed from his diet, his allergy issues went away. I tried giving him some goat cheese rather than cow's cheese and he started itching again. I also tried giving him some dried salmon treats at a trial, (pure dried salmon, no white fish) and he immediately reacted to that too, so even salmon is off the list.

Not everyone has as clear results with testing for food intolerance as we did with Kodi, but it's certainly a totally non-invasive way to get some good information and a place to start. (you just have them chew on a little piece of rope until they've got a lot of saliva on it, put it in a test tube and mail it to them… it all comes in an easy to use kit) We didn't have to try adding and subtracting lots of things before we found the RIGHT thing. (it would have taken us a LONG time with the fish, because I didn't knowingly ever FEED him fish!!! )


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 03:07 PM
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My Tucker has had serious trouble with digestive issues and have now tried Hemopet's/Dr.Dodd's saliva food intolerance test. It was very easy to do. I got results back a couple of weeks ago and am trying that approach after no success with several previous protocols over this last half year.

The jury is out as of whether this will help him to get better or not.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Where can I get the Hemopet test done? At the vet? And is the Elimination diet time consuming?
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by KJBoys View Post
Where can I get the Hemopet test done? At the vet? And is the Elimination diet time consuming?
I don't know how long Hemopet takes , Karen or Sheri will reply , here's their site. http://www.hemopet.org/

Dave and Molly
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Last edited by davetgabby; 03-30-2015 at 04:43 PM.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 09:59 PM
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Where can I get the Hemopet test done? At the vet? And is the Elimination diet time consuming?
Dave gave you the url. It doesn't take long to get back... Under 2 weeks if I remember correctly. Some vets stock the kits. My vet doesn't, so she had me order the kit direct from Hemopet, and then have the results reported both to her and to me. They will report just to you if you want, but they like having a local vet involved, if possible, so you have someone to help you interpret it.

The elimination diet the vet had me put Kodi on was dead easy. It's just whatever protein source you are pretty sure your dog is OK with, and sweet potato. I browned ground chicken and mixed it half and half with sweet potato that I cooked in the microwave. Once it was soft, I let it cool, peeled it (easy with your fingers once it's cooked), mashed it and mixed it with the chicken. This is not a fully balanced diet, so you can't leave a dog on it long-term, but according to my vet, up to 6 weeks on this diet is completely safe. By then you have your baseline, and can start slowly introducing new foods.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2015, 06:39 PM
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Chicken wouldn't work for Tucker since he turned out to be reactive to it. His proteins have turned out (according to the saliva test with Nutriscan from Hemopet,) to be rabbit, lamb, and duck.

The test is very easy to do at home. I ordered a kit online, it came within a couple of days, I followed the directions, and returned it to them via USPS. I had the results about a week after they received them at Nutriscan. They give you a printed report and you can contact them if you have any questions. If you go to their site it explains it pretty well. They also have phone numbers for you to contact them if you have questions.

I still don't know if this information will make a difference for Tucker, but am encouraged so far.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-02-2015, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sheri View Post
Chicken wouldn't work for Tucker since he turned out to be reactive to it. His proteins have turned out (according to the saliva test with Nutriscan from Hemopet,) to be rabbit, lamb, and duck.

The test is very easy to do at home. I ordered a kit online, it came within a couple of days, I followed the directions, and returned it to them via USPS. I had the results about a week after they received them at Nutriscan. They give you a printed report and you can contact them if you have any questions. If you go to their site it explains it pretty well. They also have phone numbers for you to contact them if you have questions.

I still don't know if this information will make a difference for Tucker, but am encouraged so far.
Oh, it could have been any protein that we felt was pretty UNlikely to cause Kodi to react. I KNEW beef was bad, and was pretty sure chicken was OK, so used that. The good thing is, with only two ingredients, if you're STILL getting a reaction, you can switch one. It's pretty easy to figure out which it is that is the problem.

Another good lean protein that most people forget about but many dogs do well on is pork.


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