What works for allergies ?

Well , we're finally getting our BRAT Boy , Ricky , and we are SOOOOOO excited !!!!!!!! According to the info given thus far , Ricky has " unknown " allergies that cause him to scratch . The fosterdad has given him a good diet ( Blue Wilderness ) which we will continue and he takes antihistamines 3x a day .It seems that this approach has helped . Still , I have been searching the web for supplements . There are many . Some very expensive . Naturally all of the web sites are full of glowing testimonials . I would be more likely to believe a testimonial from the folks on this forum ( Since I'm asking ) . Do any of you have any recommendations for supplements for skin conditions caused by allergies ? Some of these supplements claim to treat the immune system , thus "treating the cause not the symptom " . Most appear to be based on Omega 3 and Omega 6 plus various and sundry natural ingredients . I'd appreciate any input . We want to keep our new boy happy and healthy.

Congrats! I saw Ricky on the Brat site. He is wonderful!

Congratulations! There are so many causes of allergies! Could be environmental, like carpet, cleaners, etc. Or seasonal, plants, or food. Even a great food may have something he is allergic to. Once you have him, you will be better able to try and alter one thing at a time to see if you can narrow it down. As for supplements, I give mine Arthimaxx for joints and all around health, my vet swears by it. But I don't know if it does anything for the immune system, but it sure has helped with achy joints.

While Blue Wilderness is a good food, many dogs have allergies to all grains, so it could be the barley/oats in there… do you know what one they are using? Chicken or Lamb

I think I might try a grain free food and see if that makes a difference. Either all meat or one like Duck and Potato, but no grains. And there are Specialist that deal with skin conditions...you might want to think about that also

For an all around supplement I use 3V Caps (there is another thread about this on the boards)

I don't know if you can get this food down there, but Orijen is fantastic. Zina has severe allergies and this is the one that she itches and swells the least on. It has no grains or flaxseed, which I found bothers her just as much as graings, so I consider it a grain, especially since it grows like a grain.

Thank you for taking on a BRAT rescue.
I have a dog here with allergies.
We have found many food with only one meat we use chicken and rice.
As Pat says, many b's are very reactive to grains.
So, find a good chicken and rice food, keep with the bendryl and slowly cut it back.
You also have to be careful of the dog TREATS you give him.
Something with dies, grains, etc in it can make him react, and you won't know if its the food or the treat.
So, its a matter of trial and error.
But these folks here will be happy to help you.

I'd look around for a holistic vet.

@agilebasenji:

I'd look around for a holistic vet.

I totally agree with you

Rice is considered a grain as well. Although some dogs can tolerate it, mine cannot. Not brown rice either. Sometimes fish is the best thing.

I've been wondering about this myself with my B (sorry to hijack the thread).

I was feeding my guy Wilderness and noticed he scratched at his ears/face quite often. Went with a 100% grain free food thinking that would fix it, no change. Vet told me it probably was not related to the food but it could be something seasonal.

I've never noticed any bumps on his skin anywhere. It's usually just the scratching at his ears (with both paws) and nose. Happens before and after meals so that's why I'm thinking it's not food related.

Any ways of testing for certain allergies with dogs?

I echo the suggestion to feed a grain free food. Finding something with minimal ingredients is a good idea. I would also try to stick with one protein source, like just chicken or just fish, and no grains. It might not be food related but that will help narrow it down easily. For a general supplement I use Prozyme, which is a digestive enzyme, and I also use Missing Link, which is a nice natural all around supplement. Sometimes I also use fish oil too.

And yes, there are ways to test for certain allergies I believe, but it's very expensive!

I've looked at the Blue Wilderness dog food, if it's the blue bag, it has a lot of grains. There is Oatmeal, Flaxseed, Barley grass. Also, try looking for something with sweet potato rather than white potato. There is more nutritional value in sweet potato. I wouldn't be able to have it near Zina. It could also be chicken that he is allergic too. Zina's father is allergic to chicken, which is another reason why I went to the fish. Just to minimize any reactions. Zina has also been on a raw diet and couldn't do that either, she wasn't getting enough of what she needed and had diarreah. The Orijen is the best I've found so far. There is one other food, but I can't remember the name of it.
Here is the ingredients of Orijen. I would look into something truly 'grain free'.

FRESH REGIONAL INGREDIENTS

Fresh salmon (includes chinook. coho and sockeye species), salmon meal, russet potato, herring meal, fresh lake whitefish, sweet potato, fresh lake trout, fresh Northern walleye, freshwater cod, fresh herring, sunflower oil, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherals, a natural source of vitamin E), sun-cured alfalfa, dried sea vegetables (brown kelp, Irish moss, dulse and bladder wrack), leeks, psyllium, crab shell, rosemary, lecithin, apples, black currants..

TONIC HERBS AND BOTANICALS

Chicory root (FOS), licorice root, fennel seed, zea mays, peppermint leaf, marigold flowers, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, rosehips.

ORGANIC MINERALS

Iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate.

PROBIOTIC MICROORGANISMS

Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Enterococcus faecium fermentation product..

PREMIUM VITAMINS

Mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E), choline chloride, vitamin A, vitamin D3, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12, folic acid, biotin, pyridoxine (source of vitamin B6).

@nomrbddgs:

I don't know if you can get this food down there, but Orijen is fantastic. Zina has severe allergies and this is the one that she itches and swells the least on. It has no grains or flaxseed, which I found bothers her just as much as graings, so I consider it a grain, especially since it grows like a grain.

Hey Arlene, I have a question for you. I think I read that you fed your new litter this year Orijen Puppy. How did that work for you? And were you at all concerned about the protein level for a puppy. My 2 adults are on Orijen (for a year now and LOVE it). Locally the puppy food isn't available in the store but I can order it for my pup, but I wanted to hear from someone that has actually used it.

@Kananga:

I've been wondering about this myself with my B (sorry to hijack the thread).

I was feeding my guy Wilderness and noticed he scratched at his ears/face quite often. Went with a 100% grain free food thinking that would fix it, no change. Vet told me it probably was not related to the food but it could be something seasonal.

I've never noticed any bumps on his skin anywhere. It's usually just the scratching at his ears (with both paws) and nose. Happens before and after meals so that's why I'm thinking it's not food related.

Any ways of testing for certain allergies with dogs?

They can test dogs for allergies same as they do people…. but you need to see a specialist....

@renaultf1:

Hey Arlene, I have a question for you. I think I read that you fed your new litter this year Orijen Puppy. How did that work for you? And were you at all concerned about the protein level for a puppy. My 2 adults are on Orijen (for a year now and LOVE it). Locally the puppy food isn't available in the store but I can order it for my pup, but I wanted to hear from someone that has actually used it.

I didn't end up using it. I was going to change Sugar over, but her stress level prevented me so I just gave up the idea of trying any new food. The puppies were raised on Nutro chicken,oatmeal and rice for sensitive stomachs for puppies and did great on it.

You can have skin tests done. The specialist who tested Sheba told us it probably was not food allergies. The testing was kind of expensive ($500+) but that included the allergy shots. It was very interesting the amount of allergens they tested her for. I think it was over 60 and it was a long process that started over 8 months ago. Now that spring has sprung here in the northwest I think her allergies are acting up again and we are going to try another route. ( by the way it was the rudest vet and office staff we had ever experienced)

Just wanted to thank you all for the information . I will hopefully get a better idea after talking with the foster dad as to what types of things seem to set off the scratching , etc. Then once we get Ricky home I'll be on the look out for triggers .From what you are saying , food seems to be the biggest culprit . As I understand it the Wilderness recipe is grain free , but I'll check . If it's not I'll check for the other brands suggested here . Do you think fish oil supplements are a good idea ?

a holistic vet can do a type of allergy testing - just call and ask. i think it would be easier and cheaper than the more "traditional" type of allergy testing (skin tests).

@LBRunyon:

Do any of you have any recommendations for supplements for skin conditions caused by allergies ? Some of these supplements claim to treat the immune system , thus "treating the cause not the symptom " . Most appear to be based on Omega 3 and Omega 6 plus various and sundry natural ingredients . I'd appreciate any input . We want to keep our new boy happy and healthy.

I know that the Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils will help clear up dry, flaky, itchy skin (They have done wonderfully for my boy). I'm not sure if it helps the underlying condition, but it will help reduce the symptom. I have both of my dogs on a skin and coat vitamin from petsmart (can't remember the brand off the top of my head), but it has been keeping them flake free and I don't see much itching. My dogs don't seem to have as severe allergies as yours does.

In humans the Omega oils are being used to help treat autoimmune disorders (my fiance has an autoimmune kidney disorder and is taking large doses of fishoil as one way to help combat it), not sure how it translates into helping dogs with allergies.

I've found fish oil really works well for the dogs. I don't add extra oil to Zina's food since she is on fish based, but it seems to help with the dander on the other ones. And on the black and whites, you can really see how much dander there is and how much it is reduced once on the fish oil.

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