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Hi Dog Lovers,

I am having some very big problems with my labrador. I love her dearly but lately with the scratching and rubbing butt on ground and scratching back on snow outside--our vet seems to think she has allergies to her food. She did test her for environmental allergies but she came up clean.
She also gets ear infections which could very well be linked to her allergies because her ears skin tissue is inflammed (doctor said).
She has been on prednisone about a week....the big noticeable effect has been her need to urinate at night and constantly needs to be checked for that matter. My sleep is getting ruined. I am tired alot and can't get ahead.

The vet says only the prescription food will do. This is about a 100 dollars a month and maybe even a little more than that. We can't afford to feed her that and still be living comfortably. I would have to scrimp and save to cover that cost.

So I am in a quandry. I want her healthy but if I take the advice of our vet I feel ripped off and our life then revolves around our dog. I love her but what can I do?

I can't let her go.......Please help,

Shelly Pet..Black Lab named Leela
 

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Welcome! :)

Prendisone is a steriod anti-inflammatory. It will increase urination, also thirst and hunger. But only while your dog is on it.

I'm hesitant to agree with your vet. If she/he doesn't know what your dog is allergic to-how could the only answer be expensive prescription food? There are MANY anti-allergen foods out there-raw diet, home cooked diet, barf diet, grain free dog foods (like Orijen, Taste of the wild).

I would tell your vet you'd like to look at other food options-and if your vet cannot give you a good reason that prescription food is your only option (Ie. shes allergic to 'X' and it's in everything but this food) then find another vet.

Like I said there is a plethora of food for allergic dogs, including grain free kibble (Taste of the Wild, Orijen, etc), Barf/raw diet, and home made (chicken and rice with supplements).


If your vet cannot tell you what exactly she's allergic to and why you need this diet-see another vet-a specialist, nutritionist or allergen vet would be best.
 

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When we adopted our Lab, Kelsey we had the same problem. She would also break out in a red rash. The vet knew it was allergies and wanted to put her on the prescription food first, but we couldn't afford it either. Here's what we did. We removed everything from her diet except the food we were giving her. No treats, not bones, no chewies no nothing but food. We gave it a month to see if that helped with her allergies and it did. So per the vets advice we started slowly adding other things back in. We gave her back her bones and waited a month to see if the rash returned. It didn't. So we started adding other things back in waiting a month in between until we found the culprit. Pig Ears!

So it took a few months to figure out what was causing the allergic reaction but we did it and she is eating regular food and hasn't had any other problems and that was 2 years ago.

Her ears may not have anything to do with allergies. Labs are prone to ear infections. Our vet gave us an ear cleaning solution that we use on Kelsey's ears once a week. If miss a week or two she starts shaking and that reminds oops we forgot. She hasn't had but one ear infection since we have had her and that was when we first got her.

So I would talk to your vet and see if he thinks it could be something other than the food. And ask him about the ear cleaner. Let me know if you need the name and I will get for you. What kind of food is she getting now?
 

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Hi Mikey,
I like your idea of looking into other foods. We simply wouldn't be able to keep her if we have to buy the expensive food. If we let her go she would surely be destroyed by the pound-who would adopt a pet so sick? She will be good. I will attempt to find other foods. Thanks for your input.
Shelly
 

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Thanks Brittany,

I am at a loss. I do think that we will look at keeping her diet simpler and then add in other things. That is similar to what the vet was thinking of doing-only hers included the prescription food diet. I know our dog has itchiness but the option for the moment has to be feed her, her regular food and do our best to make a difference with her ear infections with the meds prescribed for that.

I love Leela....we adopted her last year and someone had abandoned her. She had heartworm desease which we took care---mucho dinero!!! So at least her quality of life is way better then it would have been had we not handled that issue. She is the most expensive dog I have ever had. And that is including this past year vet visits alone. Thanks for your input.
 

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what are you feeding her right now? i feed kirklands, it is about $25 for 50lbs at costco, the food is made by diamond pet foods, and they have other labels that are sold mostly at farm supply "feed" stores, but that are also of decent quality...if you don't have a costco membership...

if you do, then costco also carries a grain free food that again has decent ingredients...

anyway, i think that brittany's suggestion is a pretty good one, they suggest the same for humans with food allergies....

good luck! and keep us posted :)

oh and welcome to the forum btw :)



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the dog must be on the food for three months before you switch.


pred cannot be given long term. Did they give you antibiotics for the infection?
Hi,

I have heard about the three month trial but the problem is the food is too expensive regardless. I have heard of my sisters dog being on prednisone long term and the vet said nothing about it not being allowed long term. I do have antibiotics for her ear. Hopefully that will clear up that issue.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Shelly
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what are you feeding her right now? i feed kirklands, it is about $25 for 50lbs at costco, the food is made by diamond pet foods, and they have other labels that are sold mostly at farm supply "feed" stores, but that are also of decent quality...if you don't have a costco membership...

if you do, then costco also carries a grain free food that again has decent ingredients...

anyway, i think that brittany's suggestion is a pretty good one, they suggest the same for humans with food allergies....

good luck! and keep us posted :)

oh and welcome to the forum btw :)
Thanks for the Welcome,

It looks like we are going to keep an eye on how she does just on her food alone with not treats. And then if nothing gets better then we will go looking for other foods. We do have a Costco membership so that will be useful there. I am not all together convinced that she doesn't have itchy skin due to it being winter and rather dry in the house.

She is currently on iams minichunks.

Thanks for your help,
Shelly
 

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Thanks for the Welcome,
She is currently on iams minichunks.
I pulled the ingredient list for Iam mini chuncks!

Ingredients (Mini Chunks): Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Flax Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fish Oil (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Rosemary Extract. Calories: 3,706 kcal/kg, 426 kcal/cup
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2750128#prodTab1


Corn and wheat products are some of the main culprits of allergies in dogs! Deffinately try a grain free food, or at least a food with better grains (for example barley or brown rice).
Orijen and Taste of the Wild were already reccomended and both would be good foods to try.
 

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I pulled the ingredient list for Iam mini chuncks!

Ingredients (Mini Chunks): Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Flax Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fish Oil (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Rosemary Extract. Calories: 3,706 kcal/kg, 426 kcal/cup
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2750128#prodTab1


Corn and wheat products are some of the main culprits of allergies in dogs! Deffinately try a grain free food, or at least a food with better grains (for example barley or brown rice).
Orijen and Taste of the Wild were already reccomended and both would be good foods to try.
Thank you very much,

I think I feel more confident in giving another food. I will go shopping soon for a new dinner for Leela....again many thanks for your expertise!! :)
Shelly
 

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Switch the food. Try a grain free. Orijen, taste of the wild, Before grain ect.

They all may seem like expensive foods. But you will feed less, more then likley rid her of her allergies. So rid her of expensive vet visits. And more importently beable to keep her.

IAMs is just a junk food, not very good. It was a great food at one point, which is why its always been played off as a great food, but it really isnt at all.

You said you have a costco card. You can even try the costco brand (Kirkland dog food) give it a try and see if she does alright ont he lamb and rice formula they have. Although not grain free, it is much better then IAMs. And for all you know she is allergic to chicken (another common culprit in allergies) Its MUCH cheaper then IAMs.

As I used to feed it(kirkland). But my boy has such the sensitive stomahce. that I have tried everything. RAW is the only way to go for him. You can also look in to that as well. It costs me roughly 40 bucks a month to feed a 63lbs dog. Not to expensive IMO. Plus you KNOW what your dog is eating. and can adjust it to your liking.

ETA: For ear infections. you can try some fat free plain yourgart with active cultres in it, should help fight the yeast that is in ear infections, a table spoon in her food should help.
 

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I pulled the ingredient list for Iam mini chuncks!

Ingredients (Mini Chunks): Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Flax Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fish Oil (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), DL-Methionine, Rosemary Extract. Calories: 3,706 kcal/kg, 426 kcal/cup
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2750128#prodTab1


Corn and wheat products are some of the main culprits of allergies in dogs! Deffinately try a grain free food, or at least a food with better grains (for example barley or brown rice).
Orijen and Taste of the Wild were already reccomended and both would be good foods to try.
Hello,
Since you sound like you know about this...if I were to try her on a new food...how long is a good test to see if it's working. The vet said to try z/d which is a prescription food. I haven't seen good reviews on it on a web search.
 

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ingredients for z/d....

Starch, hydrolyzed chicken liver, vegetable oil (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), powdered cellulose, hydrolyzed chicken, glyceryl monostearate, DL-methionine, taurine, ethoxyquin (a preservative), minerals (dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, salt, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement).

Sounds YUMMY.
Personally I hate Science Diet anything as it is rarely worth what you have to pay.
If it were me I would switch to a good quality Lamb and Rice....check lists for other crap as some Lamb and Rice has corn too. Just avoid Corn, Soy and red dye. Yes, you can go totally over to NO grains at all. Again, read lists and see what you can find. I only feed Premium Edge Skin and Coat and Diamonds Lamb and Rice since it is the thing that works for our dogs.
There are loads of allergy or skin and coat diets out there and I have no idea what is more available to you or in your price range.
Generally it will be a good solid month before food changes are really evident. It takes that long just for reactions to lessen and crap (technical term) to get out of their systems.
 
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