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Hello everyone, I'm new on here as of today! :) I suppose I should tell a little about my beautiful dogs first!! I have 5 dogs total. Here's the details of my doggies: one is a male Siberian Husky(Blaze) who is 8 years old. Then I have two Chesapeake Bay Retrievers(Taura and Hector). Taura is 1 year old and Hector is the puppy at 4 months. And I have a pitbull/lab mix(Zoey) and she's 6 years old and a yellow lab mix(Mya) who is 2 years.

Now here is where I would like any suggestions. My pitbull mix has been diagnosed with Allergies. Upon doing many tests, we found out she's allergic to mold(possibly in our basement??) And our vet has also recommended that we switch her food as she may have alternative food allergies of things they couldn't test for. She has been switched to Hills Science Diet Prescription Z/D ultra allergen dog food. My question is.....has anybody ever had a dog with food allergies and has used this with any success?? I have looked up reviews and am not convinced it will work for her as she was not diagnosed with food allergies in the first place and people haven't had success with it from a couple reviews I read. Its A LOT of money to spend on dog food too. Is there any other dog foods that anyone has had experience with that are designed for allergy dogs??

I have my other dogs on Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato dog food. I had hopes of putting my allergy dog on that food because its a limited ingredient food but vet said otherwise. And the puppy is on Iams large breed puppy. Are these good foods to have them on or what is anybodys opinion on the better brands of dog food? I would like to have my 3 dogs(Husky, Lab mix, and Chessie) all on the same food. Makes life easier :)

If anybody could let me know if they have used any of these foods and if they are any good, I would really appreciate to know!! Sorry it was soo long!
 

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Hello everyone, I'm new on here as of today! :) I suppose I should tell a little about my beautiful dogs first!! I have 5 dogs total. Here's the details of my doggies: one is a male Siberian Husky(Blaze) who is 8 years old. Then I have two Chesapeake Bay Retrievers(Taura and Hector). Taura is 1 year old and Hector is the puppy at 4 months. And I have a pitbull/lab mix(Zoey) and she's 6 years old and a yellow lab mix(Mya) who is 2 years.

Now here is where I would like any suggestions. My pitbull mix has been diagnosed with Allergies. Upon doing many tests, we found out she's allergic to mold(possibly in our basement??) And our vet has also recommended that we switch her food as she may have alternative food allergies of things they couldn't test for. She has been switched to Hills Science Diet Prescription Z/D ultra allergen dog food. My question is.....has anybody ever had a dog with food allergies and has used this with any success?? I have looked up reviews and am not convinced it will work for her as she was not diagnosed with food allergies in the first place and people haven't had success with it from a couple reviews I read. Its A LOT of money to spend on dog food too. Is there any other dog foods that anyone has had experience with that are designed for allergy dogs??

I have my other dogs on Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato dog food. I had hopes of putting my allergy dog on that food because its a limited ingredient food but vet said otherwise. And the puppy is on Iams large breed puppy. Are these good foods to have them on or what is anybodys opinion on the better brands of dog food? I would like to have my 3 dogs(Husky, Lab mix, and Chessie) all on the same food. Makes life easier :)

If anybody could let me know if they have used any of these foods and if they are any good, I would really appreciate to know!! Sorry it was soo long!
I heard that Hill's dog food it not that great and I never brought it for my dog . I think you really have to see how your dogs do the food you feed them. I was told Iams grinds up the baby chickens alive and that freaked me out so I never brought it. Iams dog food had a recall in Dec.2011 on their dog food. Iams & Other Dog Foods Recalled Over Mold Concerns - The Consumerist this is the link

Here is a link on reviews for dog foods

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/blue-buffalo-basics-canned/
 

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I'm not crazy about Hills Rx diets, particularly in the case where you do not have some sort of serious medical/metabolic problem you are dealing with.

Have you done an "elimination diet" test to figure out what is bothering your dog? How bad are the symptoms?

If salmon and sweet potato are both "novel" foods for your allergic dog, I'd give that a try, against medical advice, as it were. Unless there is something your vet is not clearly articulating, it does not seem like there is a scientific reason for recommending against the Salmon/sweet potato food. That is actually one I've heard of vets recommending because it is a simple, limited ingredient food, and usually novel protein and carb sources for dogs.

Overall, I don't buy into the argument that vets are pushing Rx foods to boost their sales, but this case tests my faith.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have not done an elimination test for her. How would I go about that? Yes, not sure why my vet has insisted on this science diet food. I have asked about Natural Balance food, Wellness, and this Blue Buffalo food, and the answer I get is stick with the prescription science diet food. Not sure what I need to do as I really don't care for science diet either. And OMG I did not know that about Iams. That's disgusting!! Puppy is definatly not going to be eating that! Thanks for the info!
 

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Symptoms are pretty bad right now, but she is also taking prednisolone. That seems to help. We have dealt with itching, chewing, and LOTS of hair loss. We have been dealing with trying to find a solution for well over a year. Every week for the last year she had gone to get allergy injections at the vet. It got to be very costly and we had continued to see no improvement unless she was also taking steroids. I am most likely going to be taking her this next month to see a skin specialist where hopefully we can get a solution that works. I may just skip her on this science diet and just give her the blue buffalo basics food that my other dogs eat.
 

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Symptoms are pretty bad right now, but she is also taking prednisolone. That seems to help. We have dealt with itching, chewing, and LOTS of hair loss. We have been dealing with trying to find a solution for well over a year. Every week for the last year she had gone to get allergy injections at the vet. It got to be very costly and we had continued to see no improvement unless she was also taking steroids. I am most likely going to be taking her this next month to see a skin specialist where hopefully we can get a solution that works. I may just skip her on this science diet and just give her the blue buffalo basics food that my other dogs eat.
OK, well that is a lot more information and the issues sound quite severe. I think your vet is trying to cover the bases as much as possible then, and perhaps not being very articulate about the reasoning. If it was my dog, I'd probably try the Rx food for 4 to 6 weeks, (generally the amount of time you need to know if its helping) especially if you already have a bag of it. If you get improvement then you know the food is part of the issue, and you could try something else for long term. Or if you get no improvement, you could try the Blue Buffalo next. If you get really desperate, you could research home cooked or raw diets. Some folks have to go that route to find success.

A dermatologist is an excellent plan, so I'd get that scheduled soon too.

Steroids on a long term basis are problematic, as you probably know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yea, very worried about the steroids part of this, as during the year she has been on them off and on, but not too much. I will keep her on the food for at least two months and I hope it works! It is a very strict diet as no treats or bones to chew are allowed. I will schedule with the dermatologist asap. I appreciate the information. And thank you Ilovedogs2, I checked the recall on Iams and luckily it wasnt dealing with the bag of food I bought for my pup. And its good to know the review on Blue Buffalo Basics. It makes me think twice about it, but I am assuming its better thann Iams. :)

You people are helpful on here. The forum I was on before trying to get information, people told me I was unfit to own my dog because she looks rough because the hair loss and they said I am a horrible pet parent and need to give her to someone else. But I have tried all I can so far and they just made me feel worst about the whole situation and never really gave me any helpful advice. So thank you again!
 

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You people are helpful on here. The forum I was on before trying to get information, people told me I was unfit to own my dog because she looks rough because the hair loss and they said I am a horrible pet parent and need to give her to someone else. But I have tried all I can so far and they just made me feel worst about the whole situation and never really gave me any helpful advice. So thank you again!

Oh Dear! I don't know how folks could so drastically misread you. It comes through loud and clear to me, that you are a loving and conscientious dog owner.

Hope you hang out here with us. We are glad to have you, and hope to hear updates on your pup!

These pervasive allergy issues are tough to solve and frustrating. Hopefully you get some answers soon. You might actually start a thread about allergies, and see if you get some more information. I know we have a few members whose dogs have allergies.
 

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The Hills Z/D is actually a great food for dogs with food allergies. You should disregard anything you read on dogfoodadvisor.com when it comes to prescription foods as the author doesn't have a clue about them.

The Z/D is a hydrolyzed protein diet, as is Purina HA. Hydrolyzed protein means that the protein sources are broken down so much that the body doesn't recognize them, think they're foreign and therefore doesn't react to it. The reason it is used is because usually dogs are allergic to the protein or glycoproteins in food. While I would have recommended you try an elimination diet first as well, having you use this diet is cutting out all of the possible allergens.

As Tess said, you need to keep up with it for 4-6 weeks at a minimum. During this time you cannot give ANYTHING else. No treats, no table food etc. Otherwise it is pointless to do. If you don't get any results, then you should consider allergy testing (intradermal) with a dermatologist.

I'm glad she's on steroids right now. Her symptoms seem too severe NOT to give her steroids.
 

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I would recommend that you try the elimination diet for a minimum of 4-6 weeks and I would start first with the Hills Z/D ultra diet as recommended by your Veterinarian. I want to stress though that if you try an elimination diet you cannot feed any other food to the dog. No treats, human food or other dog foods. Treats can be made from this prescription diet and I would be happy to provide this information.

Food allergies are commonly to a protein in the food. A prescription diet such as the Hills Z/D is a hydrolyzed protein source meaning the protein is broken down so that it is not recognized by the body.

If the Z/D ultra allergen free diet does not seem to be to be the solution, I do have some additional diet suggestions that might be worth a try and I would be happy to provide you with further information on these.

Having first hand experience with allergies, it can be quite difficult. I found it very frustrating when I was going through the same thing with my little Westie. Now through elimination trials I know what he is allergic to and I avoid these in his foods and he is generally fine.

It is common for an animal to be allergic to a protein in a diet. Other allergies seen can be to wheat (like my dog), soy, dairy etc.

I am also not a fan of Iams for the large breed puppy formula. If you would like some suggestions for a large breed puppy formula I'd be happy to look into some better quality foods that would help regulate the growth and that has appropriate nutrient levels for a larger breed of dog. There is Hills/Science diet large breed but it wouldn't be my personal first choice and you won't see many around here recommending it. I am not as familiar with large breed holsitic formulas so I will take a look and re-post!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So far it has been two weeks on the food. You just said exactly what my vet had told me about the Hills Food that she's on, about them not recognizing the protein!!! Im going to stay positive and hope for the best. The allergy tests we did were I believe just blood work that was sent in and tested. Everything came back normal besides the "mold" category, which we are trying to resolve by getting rid of carpets, repainting walls with mold/mildew resistant barrier, bleaching foors, etc... so I am hopeing that may help her too. For sure know about not letting her have anything else while on the food. Not fun for her as she always sits and waits for her treat after coming back inside the house, but they do make a hypoallergenic treat that the vet gave an ok on, as it is also by Hills and says it can be worked with Z/D diet. So that makes her a little happier :)
 

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Yes please!! Definatly want to get off of Iams after what I hear, so please let me know a food that you think would be best for large breed puppies. Thanks soo much!
 

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The allergy tests we did were I believe just blood work that was sent in and tested. Everything came back normal
Blood allergy tests are generally terrible. If the food doesn't work, go to the dermatologist and do the skin testing.
 

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Blood allergy tests are generally terrible. If the food doesn't work, go to the dermatologist and do the skin testing.

O Boy!! Wish that wouldve been done first.....I spent hundreds on this allergy test for her! I know she did have several skin scrapings to test for any kind of mites and was tested for yeast bacteria on the skin just recently. Have used a variety of oatmeal shampoos, and shampoos to help flush out the skin. They have worked to make her feel better for at least awhile, but really no difference until the steroids are taken. I will have to check back in my vet records as I believe there was also another skin test they did too. Are these any of the tests that you are talking about?? Or are they something totally different?
 

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I think we should all listen to Holly on this one. Your case sounds difficult and complex, and one for which the Rx diet may actually work. I think Holly explained it very well. Sounds like your vet said the same thing too. Now that we have a more complete picture, what you vet is recommending sounds quite reasonable.

And its a lesson to me to ask more questions to get clearer on the whole thing, before offering my opinion too quickly! ;)
 

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I probably should've gave a more detailed outline first while asking my questions, but I was afraid not many people would want to read such a big description. ;-)
 

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Are these any of the tests that you are talking about?? Or are they something totally different?
If it was your family veterinarian, odds are it wasn't the skin testing I'm talking about. Usually only dermatologists do that.

AADC - Animal Allergy & Dermatology Clinic | Skin Testing
Dog Allergies: Dog Allergy Test: The Blood Work & Skin Test

Two potentially helpful sites.

Sounds like your vet did the general testing for infection (yeast or bacteria) and testing for mites.

LOTS of hair loss.
Has she had any blood testing done for endocrine diseases? (thyroid, cushings etc?) Is she just shedding more or does she have patchy hair loss?

Do you have her on a Flea preventative? If not, she should be on that year round regardless of whether or not you see fleas. With sensitive dogs like this, one single flea bit (not even an infestation, just a single bite) can set them off into a scratching frenzy.
 

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If it was your family veterinarian, odds are it wasn't the skin testing I'm talking about. Usually only dermatologists do that.

AADC - Animal Allergy & Dermatology Clinic | Skin Testing
Dog Allergies: Dog Allergy Test: The Blood Work & Skin Test

Two potentially helpful sites.

Sounds like your vet did the general testing for infection (yeast or bacteria) and testing for mites.



Has she had any blood testing done for endocrine diseases? (thyroid, cushings etc?) Is she just shedding more or does she have patchy hair loss?

Do you have her on a Flea preventative? If not, she should be on that year round regardless of whether or not you see fleas. With sensitive dogs like this, one single flea bit (not even an infestation, just a single bite) can set them off into a scratching frenzy.


I will check out those sites. Thanks. I do not have her on year round flea/tick preventative. I did not know that they could be that sensitive so I will definatly have to go pick some up for sure. It isnt excess shedding, its definatly patchy hair loss, down her legs and on her sides and some on her chest.

Thyroid testing is the other one that our vet has done. I just remember that after I read your post. But didnt do any endocrine testing or the cushings test or anything like that I dont think. Im pretty sure I am just going to schedule with the dermatologist and see if they can help more than my local vet. Well thanks everyone soo much. You have been very helpful! Will go pick up some flea/tick preventative tomorrow. Ill keep you all posted on what happens with her! This has been going on for way too long and I hope we can get it solved soon.
 

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You're welcome! Don't know what you usually use, but I'd either get some topical Frontline or Advantix.
 

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Ok, looking at those sites it seems like that is exactly what we have been doing. For the last year, I had taken her to the vet every week for an allergy injection that was supposed to be helping getting her desensitized to her allergy. Bu after a year of no real results, we discontinued using it as I was about to have to pay another couple hundred to get her vial rfilled to continue the injections, but me and the vet talked about it and decided a dermatologist would be the best way to go from here. But I do appreciate the advice for sure and I will continue on the Z/D diet.
 
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