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Hello,

I just moved and switched to a different vet and need some advice. My dog has had a sensitive stomach and has been having some itching problems. Since the beginning of summer until recently, she had been on Performatrin Ultra Limited chicken and sweet potato and done relatively well on it. In November she started having some itching problems. My old vet prescribed her an antibiotic because of a hot spot from itching and prescribed Apoquel. The old vet told me that the itching was from her anal glands being full and expressed them. When the itching didn't go away, the old vet wanted to keep her on Apoquel but I was not interested. So I started giving her Zyrtec and EPO to see if that would help combat the itching. But when the itching continued I switched her to Acana Lamb and Apple (Mid/Late Dec). She has also had some ear issues, but just redness no infection. The itching has improved but gets worse in the morning right before I give her the Zyrtec. The new vet is concerned about a food allergy but lectured me for 15/20 minutes about how prescription foods are great and how great Iams, Purina, etc are. He was not familiar with Champion Pet Foods and lectured me on how I need to make sure they do feeding trials and need to ask them to email me the results. Also, he said that if they are manufactured on the same equipment they can still affect the allergy. He said the prescription pet foods are not manufactured on the same equipment? My dog is doing GREAT digestive wise on the Acana Lamb and Apple formula. I really don't want to go the prescription route if I don't have to (I've been reading here and know they are bad). He also told me to stop giving the Zyrtec or I won't be able to tell if she has an allergy - I would rather not have her itch all day lol. So confused. Any advice on dealing with the potential allergy? Is Acana OK for dogs with allergies? 

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you for the advice.

Hey there,

I've been told now by two vets that two of the biggest allergens for dogs are beef and chicken.  Who knew!  My girlfriend's dogs were itching constantly and she went the whole steroid / antibiotic / antihistamine route.  Nothing really stopped the itching.  When she took her dog off of Blue Mountain Chicken, and onto Salmon, all of the allergies dissappeared.

On that note, my vet just told me yesterday that it takes a full 12 weeks to clear food allergies - so if you go to an elimination diet, you have to get each food 12 whole weeks.

I understand that you don't want your dog to itch.  I would try switching to salmon and giving the antihistamine for a full two weeks, then taper off.

Deborah, please see my reply to Michelle above. 
The reason that beef and chicken are common allergens in dogs with food allergies is because they are the proteins most often fed from an early age. if all puppies were started on lamb or duck, lamb and duck would be the most common food allergens, lol. 
IN fact, the most common allergens for dogs are not foods at all. They are fleas, other insects, dust mites, pollens, and molds. Only 10% of all dogs with allergies have an allergy to any kind of food. 
And it does indeed take 12 weeks to test for a food allergy using an elimination diet. 

Thank you for your response.

Rachel, if you do want to try switching foods in the unlikely event that Briar's itching is related to food, the best formula I have found for both food allergies and digestive issues is Wellness Simple Solutions Salmon and Potatoes. If you do decide to go with a food trial, you will need to eliminate all animal proteins other than salmon for 12 weeks. 

Be aware that Wellness is in the process of eliminating the Simple line, so while there is still some product available, the formula is being incorporated into the Complete Health line and will now be called Complete Health Limited Ingredient.
Old packaging:
https://www.chewy.com/wellness-simple-limited-ingredient/dp/36859
New packaging:
https://www.wellnesspetfood.com/natural-dog-food/product-catalog/co...

Our Freddie was biting her paws and itching like crazy when she was about 4 months old. I read back over different posts on this site to troubleshoot the problem, and we tried buying a sealed container for her food, washing it after each bag of food, and only buying a 12 lbs bag at a time to avoid the risk of storage mites per Karen's suggestion.  Itching is 90% gone and still gone at 1 year old.  No food allergy.  W keep her on a good grain free food (Fromm) and add some raw food for extra protein.

I'm so glad I was able to help and Freddie is doing so well! 

Thank you for your response.

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