2 1/2 yr old male "mongo"
First Basenji's

Hi everyone!
I decided to join this forum to see if I could get any input on Mongo's allergies. He is so itchy and licking all the time. He is now on the d/d food x 2weeks and prednisone. Just wondering if basenjis are prone to allergies of a specific substance.

Other than that, we also have 2 young daughters…..life is never dull around here! Mongo has finally stopped chewing every toy and stuffy in site.....now we need to work on his aggressiveness!

Can't wait to talk to you all!

I am not familiar with the d/d food. What type of food is it? What diet or food did you try before going on the specialty food? Don't forget about treats or biscuits you are giving-you probably should not be giving anything other than the food during this time. Are you sure it is a food allergy or could it be grass or outside allergens?

There is a saliva food sensitivity test that Dr. Dodds has that can be done at home. I do not know how expensive it is nor have I heard from anyone that has had it done. If I had the extra money, I would have my Arnie tested because I believe he has both food and outside allergies.

Do you know if any relatives of Mongo have allergies-especially sire/dam and/or littermates?

Jennifer

Hi Mongo's Mommy,
We were having problems with our Colby chewing on his feet and loose stools. We tried limited ingredient dog foods. High protein foods gave him loose stools but then he started having constipation. So right now we are feeding him a mixture of Wellness Simple Duck and Rice Kibble and Fromm's Duck and Sweet Potato Formula Kibble. I just keep experimenting sloooowly. What is d/d food?

Maybe she meant I/d diet?

My Bowie is on an i/d diet and that is for intestinal issues/problems. I just did a search and it may be Hill's Prescription either Duck or Venison. There are several over the counter foods that have similar formulas with just one protein source. It looks like both versions uses Pork fat which I find strange! One must check labels to make sure nothing is added that is another protein source or has corn, wheat, soy, etc.

Jennifer

"d/d" food is likely a Hill's diet for skin support. "d/d? Canine Skin Support Potato & Duck Formula. "

A lot of dry dog foods are using potato these days so they can claim to be "grain free". You cannot make a dry food without carbohydrate content.

Lots of allergens around the average house. Whether it is the food making him itchy or something else is hard to say. Not a fan of prednisone unless it is absolutely necessary!

First Basenji's

Yes it is the hills prescription duck and potatoe. We also have their hypoallergenic treats. I know it must be somewhat or misty environmental as changing the food hasn't helped that much. In my research I had come across a website that evaluated dog foods and they didn't give the d/d food a very high rating. But the vet said that other foods can say hypoallergenic but the companies won't necessarily take the same precautions that Hills does (shutting down plant and cleaning the production line to ensure no cross contamination). Plus this food was $35/8 lbs!
Now she wants to put him on Atopica (cyclosporine - immunosuppressant) which is $150/month.

I want him to be comfortable….but yowza!

I'm on an immuosuppressant so I feel for your dog and your pocketbook. Have they tried a simple allergy pill already? Just thought I'd ask. You might try lowering the allergy load by making your home as hypoallergenic as you can and still live sanely. There are a lot of good products on the market that are also good for you and your young family. They also will cost you more money. You can make a lot of cleaning products yourself. Cheaper, less toxic (often), fragrance free. I would definitely ask the vet about a good hypoallergenic shampoo for Mongo. Is he licking his feet, the insides of his thighs? Does he have hot spots? Does he rub his face on the carpet a lot?

My neighbour had a Golden that always, always had hot spots. She moved from Ontario to BC, they cleared up, and he never had them again. Whether it was an allergy to something in her house or something in the environment here, who can say? She didn't change anything else.

A few days at a friend's house or a kennel might tell you something, if it is connected to his environment.

First Basenji's

I'm not a fan of the "hypoallergenic" prescription diets at all because of the crappy other ingredients they use. The reason they can claim to be hypoallergenic is not because of the clean production facilities, but because of a process where they alter the proteins on a molecular basis so that the body ceases to recognize it as a specific protein, and therefore doesn't react. In my opinion, you can do better with a high-quality, limited ingredient, novel protein kibble, raw diet (home-prepared or commercial), or home-cooked diet to battle food allergies, which is a process.

I say this from a somewhat intensive experience of having to deal with my Shiba's allergies. We cut out all grain, chicken, and beef in any form and put him on a commercial raw diet of turkey and sardines for two months to try and "turn over" his immune system. Also got him properly diagnosed with canine hypothyroidism, which often manifests as skin symptoms. Since you mention Mongo's "aggression," you may want to consider getting his thyroids tested, too. Anyway, my vet kept treating my boy for allergies alone, prescribing pricey drugs and never talking about nutrition except to suggest their prescription diets. I decided to try it my way, and within one season I was able to get him off of ALL prescription drugs (except the Soloxine for his thyroids, a very cheap hormone support for what he is no longer able to produce himself) and on a radically improved diet. It's been two years, two and a half summers, and his allergies have never returned like they did that year. Knock on wood.

Dr. Dodds and Hemopet's Nutriscan saliva test is very detailed, but pricey:
https://labordatenbank.com/cake/hemopet/samples/hemopet_form/0/nutriscan

I'd really like to try it, but since we're doing well with our current feeding and hygiene regimen, I don't find it very urgent.

You can also Google "elimination diets" and consider embarking on that tricky but valuable process if you do feel the problem is due to food allergies. In my opinion, with constantly itchy dogs, it's often a combination of both internal and external factors, so the best defense is to boost the dog's immune system, the body's primary natural defense, not through immune-suppressing drugs but through proper nutrition and supplements. Lots of information out there to help if that's a course you want to take.

The testing will probably cost less than the special diet and medication(s) the vet is going to put the dog on since the one medication costs $150 a month!

He should have a thryoid test done but make sure it is a complete thyroid test not just the t4! Low thyroid can cause skin problems and aggression.

Jennifer

Where about in Alberta are you Mongo's Mommy? Where did you get your B from? How old is little Mongo? and have you talked to your vet about a raw diet?

First Basenji's

Curly tails: what do you mean by novel protein? What food did you end up putting Shiba on?
We are located in Edmonton, Alberta. We got him from Beaubri (which I did email about this issue with no response!!)
He has licked all the hair off his groin and "armpits". He only licks his paws if they are dirty….he has to sleep in the hall as the licking was SO irritating!!! Poor buddy, I feel so bad for him! We don't bathe him often, as per the breeders instructions.....should we bathe him more?
Thanks for all the advice! This is exactly what I have been looking for. I feel vets have a bias towards things that they can sell you, when maybe its not the absolute best for the animal!

First Basenji's

Sorry, I should've been more clear – Novel proteins are meats that your dog has never eaten before... For example, if your dog has primarily eaten chicken-based food over the years, they could develop an intolerance to chicken in adulthood. Chicken, beef, and lamb are common in most commercial dog food (check list of ingredients -- often, even if they say a food is one thing, it'll still contain other ingredients like chicken fat, etc.). Anyway, if your aim is to do an elimination diet, you'll have to find a "novel protein" that Mongo has never had before to start with.

In our case, we fed the Primal Raw turkey & sardine recipe for two full months:
http://www.primalpetfoods.com/product/detail/c/7/id/8

Not sure what the availability is like in Canada, but there are other brands too. The food itself was a bit pricey (most commercial raw is spendy), about $60 ~ $80/month. But yes, cheaper than meds and repeated visits to the vet! Bowdu took to it quite easily, and it did make a difference in the long run, if only to encourage his appetite and interest in food. Once we got used to raw meats, and I had some time to read more about raw diets, I moved to home-prepared meals, which is significantly cheaper. And because I don't have all the time in the world to make food for my dogs (I wish!), I reintroduced high-quality, fish-based kibbles for morning meals. So now we basically do kibble in the morning, and then a variety of stuff in the evening for dinner, with an emphasis on lots of fresh food.

I like Dog Food Advisor for researching commercial dog food brands (they also review dehydrated foods, raw, wet, dry foods):
http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/

There are lots of good books and websites on raw and home-cooked recipes too. Here's just two that I've spent some time with:
http://dogaware.com/
http://www.monicasegal.com/

As an immediate remedy, you can try adding fish oils to his diet to boost skin health. I give the dogs the same stuff I take. 1000 ~ 1200mg capsules, once a day, paired with just a bit of Vitamin E oil (if you can get it in dropper form, 2 or 3 drops / Basenji should be sufficient).

I think quick baths are okay if you're dealing with environmental allergies. Even if it's just a gentle hose-down with plain water, no soap. I use baby wipes every day during spring and summer, which I think also keeps some of the allergens away. Multi-pronged approach, to be sure!

@barklesshound:

Hi Mongo's Mommy,
We were having problems with our Colby chewing on his feet and loose stools. We tried limited ingredient dog foods. High protein foods gave him loose stools but then he started having constipation. So right now we are feeding him a mixture of Wellness Simple Duck and Rice Kibble and Fromm's Duck and Sweet Potato Formula Kibble. I just keep experimenting sloooowly. What is d/d food?

After further researching my own recommendation, I realized that Wellness is made by Diamond Pet which was the company responsible for all the recalls and pet illness/deaths. Therefore, I can't recommend them and will be weaning Colby off of it, but I would look for a limited ingredient diet.

I don't know what e-mail address you used for Simone, but it could be the wrong one. She is in BC now, not PEI any longer. Contact me privately and I will see what I can do about contacting Simone for you.

@Mongo'smommy:

Curly tails: what do you mean by novel protein? What food did you end up putting Shiba on?
We are located in Edmonton, Alberta. We got him from Beaubri (which I did email about this issue with no response!!)
He has licked all the hair off his groin and "armpits". He only licks his paws if they are dirty….he has to sleep in the hall as the licking was SO irritating!!! Poor buddy, I feel so bad for him! We don't bathe him often, as per the breeders instructions.....should we bathe him more?
Thanks for all the advice! This is exactly what I have been looking for. I feel vets have a bias towards things that they can sell you, when maybe its not the absolute best for the animal!

I would try to phone Simone. She is probably doing some showing as I know she had a really nice pup she was going to enter this summer. I have never had a problem with her before (I got my two from Terrarust, they live on the same property). Give her a call and you will probably get a better response from her. I would not bathe him as this may be causing some of the irritants.

First Basenji's

I will try calling again. The email was off of the Basenji Association (?) website….it did have her new mailing address.
I guess we need to hit up the specialty dOg food store and research their foods. That dog food website is Awesome! What a resource!
We are adding the olive oil, plus we have an rx for prednisone to start and get things under control. I will keep you posted!

The trouble with a "shotgun" approach is that if it works you have then to figure out which change caused the improvement. Do try to keep track of what you did, when you did it, and when you saw results, so that any change may be attributed to the correct source.

The prices you are being charged seem outrageous. I have dog with an immune mediated disorder that has needed immune suppressants and her veterinary specialist said the good news about most of them is they are available as generics and so are not that expensive. Right now we are on a weaning protocol for prednisone, the specialist calls the prescriptions into Target because generics are only $4 for 30 pills that way. If the condition flares back up we will be adding, most likely, cyclosporin because we want to minimize the prednisone because of its side effects, that will also be only $4 because it is available as a generic. I don't know how things work in Canada but in the US the vet can write the prescription to be filled elsewhere like a human pharmacy or a different pet pharmacy. I would have a talk with your vet about why they want to use the very expensive name brand rather than much cheaper generic especially considering how long the dog may be on the drug.

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