Puppy Allergy Test Results

Hey Everyone! 
Since my husband and I got Bogey (currently a 5 month old Australian Labradoodle) we have been trying to solve his soft stool and scratching issues. I just got his allergy test results back and was wondering if anyone knew of puppy food that didn't contain coconut, chicken, chicken egg, corn, turkey or halibut. We started out with the breeders food which was Purina pro plan focus chicken and rice formula and then changed over to the Purina pro plan sensitive skin and stomach salmon and rice formula which was recommend by our vet. Once we switched his scratching greatly lessened and his food interest increased however we are still dealing with the soft stool. The food he is currently on has fish oil and fish meal which I am waiting to hear back if it contains halibut. I know Purina isn't recommended here so I was wondering if there was something that is but doesn't contain the items he has an intolerance to. We are also currently giving him proviable dc and after a week are starting to see some improvement. Any input is greatly appreciated! 

sidenote.. he has had multiple negative fecal tests. 

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  • Hi Laura,
    There is no reliable test for food allergies. The blood and saliva tests are notorious for producing false positive results and are sadly a huge a waste of money. 
    I can answer your question about whether the current food contains halibut. It doesn't. Halibut is a very expensive fish which is not widely available and we can rest assured that Purina is not putting it in their pet food products. In fact, they probably have no idea what kind of fish is in there, because they buy their ingredients through third party food brokers, who purchase whatever is cheapest, which is why the label says "fish meal" or "fish oil" rather than "salmon oil" or "trout meal". (One of the reasons we don't recommend their foods.) 
    And the fact that an allergy test came back positive for a protein (halibut) that your puppy has never eaten shows you that the test is unreliable right there. I'm also wondering how much turkey he could had on a regular basis that would cause an allergy to it, lol.
    The first thing that you need to understand is that food allergies in dogs are very rare, affecting only 1 in every 100 dogs, which is a rate of 1%. And it is virtually impossible for a puppy under the age of 6 months to be allergic to anything, let alone food. This is because food allergies require repeated exposure over a period of months if not years. A 5 month old puppy has only being eating solid food of any kind for 4 months, which is not enough time for a food allergy to have developed. 
    "Allergy" is not synonymous with "intolerance" or "sensitivity". Allergies are an incurable, immune mediated disease, and are caused by the formation of antibodies which is triggered by an immune response. 
    The next thing you need to know is that digestive symptoms like loose stools are never ever the first or only symptom of an allergy. The fact that the itching and scratching improved after you switched to a food containing salmon is because salmon is very high in the Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, both of which help a lot with dry itchy skin. The loose stools are not due to allergies. 
    I'm glad you are using a probiotic; that's the key thing for improving soft stools. I would continue giving it and you can expect to continue to see improvement. Regular scheduled feeding (NO free feeding), making sure not to over-feed, making sure the puppy isn;t eating anything he shouldn't outdoors, and avoidance of metronidazole (flagyl) no matter what the vet says (lol) will all also help. 
    I can probably recommend some good foods that don't contain the ingredients you listed (NOTHING we would ever recommend contains corn, lol), although finding one without eggs is going to be challenging,  but the main reason for changing food again would be to provide better quality nutrients for your pup. I can promise you that he does not have a food allergy. 

    • Yes I was thinking maybe Riley and Toby's food would be ok (Fromm Highlander Beef) but it does contain eggs.  I looked at a few more and they also contained eggs.  It is challenging for sure.

      If it's just an intolerance switching to a food that is "mostly" a different protein might be enough, it seems to be working for Riley to curb her itching.  She does also get a fiber supplement though (Glandex - prescribed by her vet) because her anal glands tend to get full easily even if her stools are fairly firm.

       

      • And the sad thing about the "no egg" restriction is that eggs are the absolute best source of usable protein for dogs and people, and probably the most highly digestible. And it's so unlikely that this puppy has an issue with eggs anyway. :(
        I love Fromm, it's what I feed, but they don't make LID formulas. 

        • That was our next step, a LID formula, I was disappointed to see Fromm didn't have one.  The vet seems hell-bent on putting her on a hydrolysed protein diet and do an elimination trial but I really don't think we're at that point yet, her itching is most definitely manageable at this point.  I floated the idea of a LID formula and she went on a rant about cross-contamination from equipment... Riley certainly isn't having severe enough reactions for that tiny amount of potential "contamination" to be a problem.

          • It's all brain-washing from the Purina reps. 
            Even if her itching wasn't manageable, the odds of it being caused by food as opposed to an environmental/inhalant allergen are 10 to 1. Hydrolyzed food is a last resort, and it's really meant for dogs with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, not allergies. 
            I wish the vets would just stop giving advice about food, considering the fact that they are not educationally qualified to do so.

    • Thanks for all your help! I should have specified that I'm thinking those ingredients I listed are intolerances, not allergies... I looked up the two wellness foods you recommended and was wondering if that would be once he reaches the year mark or if that is something he could be transitioned to now when he is 5 almost 6 months old. I was under the assumption that puppies had to remain on puppy food until close to a year old but I could be mistaken. His stool has gotten more loose this past week so I'm afraid that the probiotic isn't the answer. He is also on a Nuvet supplement.. could this be the problem or do you think it's soley the food he is eating? 

      • I'd get rid of the Nuvet supplement. It's a lousy product sold through a pyramid scheme, and usually pushed by breeders who get commissions from your purchases. A dog who is eating a good diet shouldn't need a vitamin supplement. 
        I don't understand your comment about thinking that the foods you listed are intolerances, not allergies. Why would you think your puppy is intolerant to halibut if you don't know that he has ever even eaten it? I'm thinking you didn't just pull that out of the air. Your discussion title mentions that you just got back his allergy test results, so it seems pretty clear that you had some kind of test run and were told that these are the foods your dog shouldn't eat. I'm here to tell you that the test is incorrect, and why it's incorrect. :)
        No dog ever needs to eat a "puppy" food; many start on on all life stages foods and do just fine. I have never fed a "puppy specific" food to any of my puppies, nor did their breeders. 
        Don't discontinue the probiotics. They really do help, but it takes time. They help to build a colony of good gut bacteria which is required for proper stool formation. Without that, no food is going to make a difference.
        Has your puppy ever been given metronidazole (Flagyl)? If so, how many times, and was a probiotic given as well? 
        I ask because metronidazole in puppies has been shown to cause ongoing loose stool issues, and that's a bacterial imbalance issue. 

        • We have been using the supplement due to it being a requirement from our breeder for a health guarantee but if it is potentially harming Bogey we will definitely stop it. I did a saliva test that said it would give a list of foods that he might have an intolerance to. It was titled "allergy test". I am at the end of my rope with his soft stool and am willing to try anything even if it's a long shot. That's good to hear that puppy food isn't a necessity. If the bag is labeled adult does that mean all life stages or does it have to specifically say all life stages? Sorry but this is very new to me haha. He was never given metronidazole but he was given panacur for giardia right when we got him. He was prescribed fortiflora for ten days when I mentioned his soft stook to the vet. It didn't help. 

          • Yeah, the breeder's health warranty depending on your use of NuVet vitamins (or Life's Abundance food, same company) is a big red flag, but unfortunately, many people buy a doodle puppy before they find us here on Doodle Kisses. 
            I doubt the vitamins are hurting him, but you are wasting your money on them. They aren't doing him one bit of good, and most of it is going right out in his urine, because his food, whatever kind it is, is supplying everything he needs, and any excess is excreted. So basically, you're paying for vitamin enriched urine, lol. 
            A puppy coming home with giardia is also another red flag. While Panacur is a very benign drug, and the preferred treatment for giardia, is still affects the gut bacteria. Chances are pretty high that the breeder also gave him several courses of dewormers, which also affects the gut bacteria. Fortiflora is a Purina product which is not a very good probiotic, so I'm not surprised it didn;t work, especially if your vet didn't tell you not to give it to him at the same time as the Panacur. Probiotics always must be given at least two hours apart from any antibiotics.
            Has he had a clear fecal since he was treated for giardia? 
            This is a very common story here; puppy comes home with giardia, is treated with something, loose stools continue, owner changes foods in hopes of finding something that will help. 
            The main reason for the loose stools is not allergies, food, food intolerances, etc. Assuming that he is not eating random things outdoors (or even indoors), isn't being free fed (meaning he gets regular scheduled mealtimes every day)  and isn't getting any junky treats (we do have a recommended treat list), the reason for the loose stools is basically that he doesn't have a good colony of good gut bacteria. 
            Stick with the Proviable. Try giving him a teaspoon or two of mashed cooked sweet potato with each meal (you can also use canned plain pumpkin, but it's more expensive and half the can gets wasted), the fiber will help too. 
            What food is he currently eating? The Pro Plan salmon & rice ? Or something else? I'm going to tell you exactly what to buy but I need that info first.

             

            • He has had two clear fecals since but giardia was not part of them since the vet says they don't retest since you can have false positives for up to six months after treatment. I know puppies can easily be reinfected so I have been pushing for him to be tested but they won't do it. However his poop does not resemble what it was when he was diagnosed. No longer green with mucus. He is on scheduled feedings (not free fed) and mouths a lot of items on walks but he only seems to chew, not swallow. For the past few weeks he didn't have any treats just kibble.. we have now added freeze dried beef liver treats back into his diet. Very small amount. We have tried the canned pumpkin before but I'm ready to do it again. He is on the Purina pro plan sensitive skin and stomach salmon and rice. We just went down to two meals a day totaling 1 3/4 cups a day. Thanks so much for helping! 

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