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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

My Jack Russell has been increasingly scratching herself, licking/biting her paws, etc and it's now to the point where her skin is being affected (as in you see red marks where she has been scratching, she has not broken the skin yet).

My partner and I have change her food about a month ago and are slowly mixing it in her old food in order for her to get used to it. Her new food is Petcurrean Now! Fresh (http://www.petcurean.com/for-dogs/now-fresh/grain-free-small-breed) and is up there in the ratings of food; it doesn't contain any grains, no meals, no soy, loads of veggies and fruits, flax and fish oils, etc. We changed as her coat was getting dull with her old food and I must admit the change is significant! That being said, based on what I read online, her licking and scratching present all the sign of food allergies... I tried and find the ingredient information on the old food we are slowly feeding her out of but can't find anything (my partner bought the food some time ago and we have an air tight container (so we don't have the bag anymore), can't remeber the name, does not recall seeing it in the store anymore - the only thing he can think of is that it sounds like "Natural Pure" but an online search failed to give me any results). I am attaching a picture of the food in case someone (by some miracle) recognise the food itself. Other changes include a small treat we bought at the same time we bought her new food to help with her coat. I realized this morning that the treat itself contains loads of wheat and cheese (dah!! How can i have not seem this when we bought the damn treat) and we have been doing major renovations around the house (removed old carpet, sanding, plaster, etc). So... we are mainly done with the renovations and have done a major cleaning/dusting of the house, I threw away her wheat-cheese treats but I am wondering if there is something I am not seeing or thinking of (she has all her vaccines and we give her fleas/tick drops once a month).

We have not stopped feeding her the new food yet. Everything I read online with regards to food allergies in dog says that buying a wholesome food without grains, soy, no fillers, etc is pretty much the best thing you can do for your dog's allergies. There is turkey, whole-dried eggs, duck and salmon in it, so I mean she could be allergic to any of these (and as I don't have the info on her old food, it's hard to know if or which is new in her diet)... and I know that dogs can develop food allergies over time too. I read that it can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks after one change food for the allergy symptoms to stop, but does anyone know how long it would take for food allergies to manifest themselves? If we started to feed her the food/treat about a month ago and she is only starting to show symptoms now can it be the food or should her symptoms have manifested themselves sooner if it was indeed her food? She loves the new food and often even picks the old food out of her bowl and only eats the new one; she doesn't show any sign of swelling after eating or chewing on the treat; her feces haven't really change in consistency.

We gave her some benadryl junior to help with the itchiness and I think it's helping, a bit. We are planning on going to the vet and give her a cone so that at least she stop chewing on her paws, but if it's allergies, I am afraid of how little help the vet will/can be...

Any help or info is more than welcomed!

Thanks!

J.
 

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Well here's my issue with the food you chose...it has at least 4 different proteins for your dog to be allergic to! My dog is allergic to duck and eggs...among other things. The more ingredients, the more likely you are to have SOMETHING the dog is allergic to. It is a good dog food, but I wouldn't consider it a good food for a dog you think has food allergies. Sometimes a lower rated food is better for an allergic dog just b/c of the low number of ingredients. I really really like natural balance for allergic dogs, but at this point you would have to find one with a protein he's never had. That gets harder when you have tried these multi-protein foods.

I am not completely sure it's the food if you are undergoing renovations. Is there a chance there is just a lost of dust trapped in the fur...think about how irritating fiberglass insulation can be.

In the end, really the vet is the best option. He has been a great resource for us. The problem I have found with skin probelms is that what helps a bacterial infection may cause a yeast infection to worsen...and so you really need to know if you are dealign with food allergy, environmental allergy, mites, yeast, bacteria, or something else. Treating for the wrong thing blindly can be counterproductive.
 

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Drywall dust can be pretty bad for people, let alone dogs. Maybe that's it? Can you isolate her a bit and see if it gets any better? But I agree-my dog doesn't have allergies but I have a bunch and knowing what you're dealing with helps loads-plus you get less frustrated xD
 

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If you suspect food allergies you really need to use an LID food, or a hypoallergenic prescription food. Find one that has a protein source your dog has not had, usually it's chicken and beef that a dog will be allergic to. Like Marbear wrote, Natural Balance is a good food to try since it has a wide variety of formulas to choose from.

Once you have the food you need to feed it, and only it, to the dog for at least 4 to 6 weeks to see if they completely improve. If you need to feed treats make sure it's the same protein source and ingredients as the food. If she's doing worse on the food then go back to the old food and try a different one. If she shows no improvement it may not be a food allergy but an environmental one. If she improves on the food you can then start trying her on different things, one per week. So one week you could offer eggs, another cheese, etc, and find out what she can eat and what she can't.

If her old food had chicken in it, and nearly all foods have some sort of chicken, she may be allergic to all poultry. If that's the case she'll be allergic to turkey and may also be allergic to eggs. My boy can't have any poultry, but I do know dogs who can't handle chicken but do fine on turkey or duck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good to know, thanks! It's hard to say what her old food was as I don't have the information (my partner bought it and withut the bag can't recal the name). So, it might reasonably be something in the new food... Marbear, noted for the wide range of proteins in the food. I guess i focused more on what was healthy and not what could give her an allergic reaction. In all honesty, she never presented any sign of food allergies, so we never really shopped around with that in mind.

...as per the consutruction, we have started to rewash everything just in case and have bathe her already to ensure there were no particles on her. Will ensure to re-bathe her once everything is cleaned up again in case she managed to get to some place before we can clean it.

How long would it take for her to have an allergic reaction to food? Say we try a new food with a protein that she is fine with and we slowly integrate other elements in her diet once a week, should we expect to see an allergic reaction within the week (i.e within 5 to 7 days)? My only concern with giving her anything is the delay between the ingestion and the allergic reaction. I mean, if it's almost instantaneous then there is nothing to worry about, but if it can take days of exposure before she has a reaction, then how do you truly know what it is?!
 

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with mine whenever he gets something he should not eat, he will have either licking paws, hot spot, or ear scratching later that day...not an instantaneous thing, but fairly quickly

With chicken it's more rapid and more severe though.
 

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I think how fast they have a reaction depends on how severely allergic they are and how much of the item they are exposed to.

With Shadow he gets diarrhea with most of the foods he's allergic to, but with chicken he'll also become itchy and his ears bother him if he eats a lot or eats it for a few days. Usually I can tell he can't handle a food within two or so days of feeding it to him because he'll get diarrhea every time he goes to potty. He hasn't had a full blown allergic reaction to any food besides chicken, but if he doesn't have a firm bowel movement after a few days of feeding him a new food I don't feed him the food any longer.

The reason it's suggested that a person try a new food for a week is that with some dogs they'll have an upset tummy on the new food but then their digestive system will adjust, or like with my boy with chicken he started out with just an upset tummy but then over the course of a week started itching like crazy and shaking his head because his ears bothered him. Once I stopped feeding him chicken all that stopped. With him it always seems to start with the upset tummy.
 

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It's taken 6 weeks (1 bag & 1/2 of food) of only lamb meat to see an improvement in Leesi's itching.

Will be having allergy tests done though as soon as I have the money to try and eliminate as much as possible from her diet and environment.

Good luck!
 
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