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Discussion Starter #1
I am a new Havanese owner. I purchased my Hav from a breeder in Colorado. She is AKC registered, limited. I purchased her when she was 4 months old and the first thing I noticed is that she scratched a lot. I thought it was fleas, so at the recommendation of a friend, I gave her a dose of Frontline. That didn't seem to help at all, so I took her to the vet for her first check up. He couldn't find a reason for the itching, but did not find any fleas on her. At age 7 months I noticed that she was chewing and licking one leg which seemed to be missing hair, and also found a spot on one hip where the hair was very thin. Another trip to the vet. This time I was visited by a different vet as the regular was not in. He diagnosed it as too much water and gave me some spray to treat it with and instructions not to bathe her between groomings and keep her as dry as possible. One month later I took her back to my regular vet because she was not improving. This time he did find two fleas on her so he had me treat her with some more Frontline and he began treatment for parasites. At the end of this treatment she had not made any improvements and was now showing pink skin on her tummy as well as all of her paws. He now suspects food allergies and has her on a prescription diet using the elimination method to determine what exactly is causing the problem.

I have learned so much just reading your posts regarding allergies, diets, etc. and am so glad I found this forum. I know nothing about pets and purchased this puppy for my retirement. I could not have picked a more perfect little companion. She has a personality that I never expected in a puppy. She is extremely smart and just a joy to be around.

If any of you have further suggestions as to treatments, food, or other ideas to help up through this difficult time I would appreciate it so much.
 

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Welcome! I'm glad to hear Cassie has become a wonderful companion for you to enjoy. If your vet has set you on the course of an elimination diet I'd just stick to that and not try to change anything else right now. Make sure you don't give any other types of food while she's on the elimination diet. It may take a few months and if it is allergies, and Cassie improves, you'll know it's food and be able to slowly start reintroducing foods until you identify the culprit. If she doesn't get better you'll know it wasn't food but probably an environmental allergy. Good Luck! This is one of those "tests in patience". My Tess was on the Science Diet Ultra Z/D for about 8 months while we were trying to identify her allergies.
 

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I have a Lhasa who has food flea allergies and most biting bugs, sometimes (ok all winter I run a humidifier) and sometimes a cold one now in the summer. Dogs with allergies often lick their feet and tummy, the tummy area will turn black. I feel so bad when he has a bad period, like this month it is so hot here after going out he has many bug bits even with frontline and they swell and turn to welts. I try to keep him in and I put a light weight doggie shirt on him so he will have some hair left!!!!! You might try these extra little things, it can't hurt. My Hav is fine.
 

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Get a little notebook and keep track of details-food,changes,etc. You may think you'll remember but often you don't
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for the encouragement and extra tips. She has only been on this prescription diet for two weeks so it looks like I have a ways to go. When I went to Pet Smart to fill the prescription, Science Diet d/d, they did not have it. After a phone call to my vet they filled the prescription with Royal Canin SS which they felt was better. My vet also put her on an antibiodic and at our two week visit she had not responded at all to the antibiodic so he changed it to a different one and I was up all night with her vomiting after the first dose so I won't give her any more of that and will talk to the vet again on monday.
 

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Roscoe and Stella's Mom
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Roscoe has food allergies. He's allergic to poultry - we figured it out because he was scratching all the time as a puppy. We eliminated chicken from his diet, and viola! Scratching stopped once all the chicken protein was out of his system - about 5 weeks later.

Good luck, I hope you figure out QUICKLY what your baby is allergic to! :)
 

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Jenn
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I have an extremely allergic shih Tzu. I have been up and down the allergy road his whole life. He has a food allergy and he is on a venison diet. He also is allergic to flea saliva and dust mites. That being said, keep going with the food elimination diet. It is long and hard but worth it in the end. If your pup still ends up scratching, I would also recommend an allergy test to see if he is allergic to any external things, grass, fleas, pollen, etc. Let's hope it's just the food. Good Luck and keep us posted! Oh yeah.....we LOVE pictures:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Roscoe has food allergies. He's allergic to poultry - we figured it out because he was scratching all the time as a puppy. We eliminated chicken from his diet, and viola! Scratching stopped once all the chicken protein was out of his system - about 5 weeks later.

Good luck, I hope you figure out QUICKLY what your baby is allergic to! :)
I am thinking Cassie's is chicken as well because that had been the main part of her diet since shortly after we got her. We were feeding Natures Logic Chicken Meal. I am wondering if it is all poultry or just chicken. I think I will stay away from duck and turkey as well.

I have a notebook now for recording all the dates, diet changes, vet visits, etc.
 

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My daughter's dog has sever allergies. About 3 months ago Karen put Akira on California Naturals dog food. This made a tremendous difference in the allergies. Karen has been very pleased with the results she's seen in Akira (hair growing back in and much reduced paw licking).
 

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Roscoe and Stella's Mom
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I am thinking Cassie's is chicken as well because that had been the main part of her diet since shortly after we got her. We were feeding Natures Logic Chicken Meal. I am wondering if it is all poultry or just chicken. I think I will stay away from duck and turkey as well.

I have a notebook now for recording all the dates, diet changes, vet visits, etc.
We never tested other poultry, but my vet told us it's pretty unlikely he would be allergic ONLY to chicken because the protein in all poultry is very, very similar. Makes sense to me because as a kid, my step brother had very bad allergies. They *thought* was allergic to duck and turkey - - turned out that he was also very allergic to chicken!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My daughter's dog has sever allergies. About 3 months ago Karen put Akira on California Naturals dog food. This made a tremendous difference in the allergies. Karen has been very pleased with the results she's seen in Akira (hair growing back in and much reduced paw licking).
That is good to know because California Natural is one of the foods I have considered once she is cleared up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am beginning to be encouraged. Today was the first day that I have seen signs of healing in Cassie. The red discharge from her eyes is much better, and her tummy and paws are still pink, but much lighter than it has been. She also has an increase in her energy level. It has been just over two weeks since we began the prescription Royan Canin feeding.
 

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We haven't experienced allergy problems, but wanted to say welcome to the forum! Daisy and Beau are my "retirement" puppies too!
 

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Rosie and I have been in bed together for a week. She started scratching last Thursday and wouldn't give it up. I checked for fleas and didn't find any. But yesterday, I finally got to give her a bath and found one dead flea. I gave her a dose of comfortis and she continued scratching until sometime in the night. But this morning no scratching. I believe that it was fleas. We have been lucky all summer and I have not treated her; but will keep it up now until frost.
 

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Karen - Hank's Mom
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Hank had ear infections for 3 years (from the time we got him). Every time I turned around I was taking him to the vet. I finally found a vet that thought it could be allergies to his food. We put him on Costco's Kirkland dog food and he hasn't had an ear infection in 3 years. Yeah!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We haven't experienced allergy problems, but wanted to say welcome to the forum! Daisy and Beau are my "retirement" puppies too!
I only have one Havanese so far, but I would like to have a second. I can see why Havanese owners would have MHS. They are definitely a unique breed with wonderful personalities!
 

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Roscoe and Stella's Mom
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California Natural is wonderful food. Maddie eats this as she has a very sensitive tummy; as a puppy, it was the ONLY food we could find that didn't cause her to either throw up or have lots of runny poos. She has great stools now, and my mom supplements her kibble with a small bowl of chicken every night :)
 

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Have any of you ever had experience with TCVM? I took Cassie to her Sweet Petites playtime today and the trainer, who is a very, very good trainer, told me that I should consult a TCVM for help with Cassie's nutrition? That is a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine.
 

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I've fostered 2 food-allergy Havs and have one myself. The allergies are usually to corn and other grains. I've run the gamut of allergy testing and have tried everything and it came down to a couple of things to keep that skin from itching and the licking and the hot spots. We actually bathe our guys every weekend with a soothing shampoo I get at our Vet, as well as a soothing leave-in conditioner. We do most of our own cooking of dog food (brown rice or oatmeal and chicken or turkey, mostly) or feed canned grain-free food such as duck/potato. The change has been amazing. The allergist told us that they pick up allergens and pollens outside, so that it is best to bathe them every week. We've had great success with this.

At one point, we did give our Paco a prescription allergy pill each day, as per our vet. That did not help much. Finally, the allergist suggested using over the counter chlortrimeton each day during allergy seasons and that has been a miracle cure for us.
 

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I've fostered 2 food-allergy Havs and have one myself. The allergies are usually to corn and other grains. I've run the gamut of allergy testing and have tried everything and it came down to a couple of things to keep that skin from itching and the licking and the hot spots. We actually bathe our guys every weekend with a soothing shampoo I get at our Vet, as well as a soothing leave-in conditioner. We do most of our own cooking of dog food (brown rice or oatmeal and chicken or turkey, mostly) or feed canned grain-free food such as duck/potato. The change has been amazing. The allergist told us that they pick up allergens and pollens outside, so that it is best to bathe them every week. We've had great success with this.

At one point, we did give our Paco a prescription allergy pill each day, as per our vet. That did not help much. Finally, the allergist suggested using over the counter chlortrimeton each day during allergy seasons and that has been a miracle cure for us.
My trainer actually told me the same thing yesterday concerning corn and other grains. I had been feeding a high quality kibble that is free from wheat, corn and soy, but I guess there may be other grains or chemicles in dry food that are bothering her.

We are bathing her twice weekly now in a special shampoo that the vet gave us and she is taking chlortrimeton along with an antibodic.

My vet recommended home cooking, but my trainer suggested feeding a raw diet that had been specially prescribed by a nutritionist. I am actually thinking of going that direction.
 
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