Possible Skin/Food Allergies - Advice? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Possible Skin/Food Allergies - Advice?

The other day we noticed that Merry seems to have lost some hair around her hind knees. She has been scratching a bit and licking paws, but not a lot, so I didn't think there was much of a problem and wasn't sure what was going on with the hair loss in that area.

Took her to the vet, who looked at her ears and said she suspects allergies. Then, almost as if on cue, she's developed loose stools. She has had that happen before after eating something that didn't agree with her. But it usually clears up. But that problem has been now going on almost a week.

I had poop test done. Negative for any parasites or anything. So vet thinks this might all be related and tied to allergies.

The other problem is she's a very picky eater. I used to think that was just her being a Havanese. But now I wonder. She usually starts off liking a food ok, but after a while, doesn't want it. So we try something different, she likes it and then stops liking it. Fortunately her weight is good and vet didn't seem too concerned about her skipping meals if she didn't want to eat.

Anyway, the vet prescribed the Hills ZD food for skin/food issues, at least to try to get her stool back on track. I asked about the recent recall issue and they say they checked their lot against the recall alert and their lots are fine.

Vet also prescribed 5 mg of Zyrtec once a day. She's been on that for the past week or so.

At this point, I want to try to get her to have normal poops again. But I would appreciate any advice re what to do now. This is all still early stage. Only has unfolded over the past week.

Any advice or thoughts. Anyone with similar problems and information on best way to try to sort all of this out?

Thanks in advance! Merry has her first ORT (odor recognition trial) in early March and so I'm hoping this won't have a negative impact on that. She loves doing nosework.

Patti
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 09:59 AM
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yeah I recommend getting bloodwork tested at Hemopet through your vet . https://www.hemopet.org/education/blog/
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 10:57 AM
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I would try to minimize vaccines as much as possible. They play havoc with the immune system and the number one way this shows itself is by scratching and chewing. I would also get your dog onto a raw species appropriate diet. There are lots of choices for raw commercial pet food these days if you do not want to do a homemade diet. If you do want to make homemade, please educate yourself because it is important that it be balanced.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I was just checking out the information about the nutriscan. That looks like it would be a really helpful test to do. I now really wonder if her various problems are all interconnected and if she has reactions to certain foods and if so which ones.

Right now I have no idea what to feed her (other than what the vet prescribed) for now. By the way she inhaled her dinner last night, begged for more, and then had her first decent poops in over a week. So that’s a start.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:39 PM
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Best of wishes to your Merry! Hope you figure things out <3

Will hopefully get a havanese puppy in April/May EDIT: July?
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re the vaccines. I don’t think that’s what triggered this at this point. She’s 16 months and hasn’t had a vaccine in a long time.

I would be willing to do a raw diet and/or cook, but wouldn’t know which things to give her and what it is that’s giving her trouble. I like the idea of the nutriscan so we can figure out what to eliminate. Otherwise I would be just guessing.

She’s been on the Stella and Chewys dinner patties, raw dehydrated. But hasn’t helped in any way.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Patti View Post
Thank you! I was just checking out the information about the nutriscan. That looks like it would be a really helpful test to do. I now really wonder if her various problems are all interconnected and if she has reactions to certain foods and if so which ones.

Right now I have no idea what to feed her (other than what the vet prescribed) for now. By the way she inhaled her dinner last night, begged for more, and then had her first decent poops in over a week. So thatís a start.
yeah stick with the vets food for now. Don't add any new proteins until you find out what 's going on.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:57 PM
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Re the vaccines. I donít think thatís what triggered this at this point. Sheís 16 months and hasnít had a vaccine in a long time.

I would be willing to do a raw diet and/or cook, but wouldnít know which things to give her and what it is thatís giving her trouble. I like the idea of the nutriscan so we can figure out what to eliminate. Otherwise I would be just guessing.

Sheís been on the Stella and Chewys dinner patties, raw dehydrated. But hasnít helped in any way.
if you find out she's intolerant to certain foods , then it would be good to talk to Sabine a nutritionist who can help finding an appropriate diet. Vets diets can help for awhile but are not the healthiest long term.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 02:27 PM
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I hesitant to give advice on this complicated issue, but I did learn that skin allergies and digestive problems are often connected to the same food issue and that if a dog has been on the same diet for a number of years, the food issue can develop even though it may have been "fine" before. There are conflicting views about the value of some of the "allergy" tests out there for consumers and some people get conflicting results, but others feel they helped identified the problems. I understand that the best test is an elimination diet, which eliminates all protein (i.e. thru one of the prescription food diets) and then introduces one by one the proteins to see which one is a problem. But that does take some time to work thru. (Warning: don't start trying different proteins without working with your vet or nutritionist as it can spoil the elimination test if the dog has had that protein before.)

Cassie became more "itchy" and had more frequent soft poop episodes last fall. In consultation with her vet and breeder and owner of a litter mate, we shifted her off her old food (chicken based) and onto fish based. She hasn't itched or had a single soft poop for 3 months!! Chicken, which had seem safe as she had it from day one, apparently is a frequent cause of gi/skin problems, and it is in soooo many pet foods and treats.

Last edited by Cassandra; 02-14-2019 at 02:31 PM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for everyone’s responses. It’s been almost 2 weeks and I’m not seeing any improvement in the itchiness, scratching and licking.
I realize after writing my first post I left out some info on Merry. She’s only 16 months. Hasn’t had her booster shots yet. We are planning to space them out and titer.
She’s been eating a variety of proteins because she seemed to get bored and want variety. But over the last week or so we’ve eliminated chicken just to see if it would help.
But as we try to figure out what’s going on, I wonder about reactions to flea and tick treatments.
The vet initially gave us Bravecto. At the time I didn’t know better. We live in a very tick/lyme disease infested area. It’s a real risk.
We got her off the Bravecto in the autumn, but my husband insisted we had to do something to protect her from the ticks. So we started Frontline. She’s had two doses of that. I wonder if that could be contributing?
But then what to do re ticks? She loves to go on walks. I hate to keep her locked up in the house.
What’s worse? A tick disease or the dangers of the treatments?
As if to underscore the dilemma, I found a #%$# tick on her the other day. It can sometimes feel like you are dammed if you do and ****ed if you don’t.
I saw the other thread on Cytopoint. The vet mentioned that at the last visit.
I still want to get her tested to see whether there’s a food intolerance going on.
Speaking of food...I am interested in more info on homemade diets.
Does anyone else have their pup on a homemade diet? If so, how are you doing it? Any recipes or books you recommend?
Thanks again.
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