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Food Allergies


Guest dauphinelaura
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Guest dauphinelaura

Hi! I'm new here, and my boyfriend and I are getting our first greyhound tomorrow! We couldn't be happier. The girl we are adopting has a food allergy, and no one yet knows what it is she is allergic to. When she eats a certain type of food she will end up scratching until all her hair is gone. At the kennel they tried switching from a chicken base food to a beef base. She was fine for 3 months on the beef base but then her hair fell out again. She has been on a hypoallergenic food for 6 weeks and is doing fine so far.

 

She is on Hills z/d right now. That food is quite expensive and we wanted to get her something a bit less expensive, if at all possible.

 

If anyone has any advise for a new greyhound mommy I would GREATLY appreciate it! :blush

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I would recommend a blood allergy panel. The test is somewhat expensive-and you can get false positives and false negatives. It is best to do the test while your dog is not in an allergic state, as it can contribute to the false results. Hogan's panel was $300 from Spectrum Labs and included environmental allergies as well, testing for about 40 different things. He was in full allergy mode when we did the test, but it gave us a good place to start as far as food. We use Wellness Simple Solution Venision dog food, and it runs about $50 a bag. They have a Duck formula too, but the thing I like about the food is it does not have a lot of ingredients in it like a lot of allergy formulas. My dog is allergic to poultry, lamb, barley and oatmeal (among other things) which seems to be a common ingredient in allergy food.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't monkey around with her food for awhile. I'd wait until she got adjusted to your home before even thinking about changing her diet, and unfortunately-allergy formula dog foods are expensive. I end up cooking for my dog a lot.

 

I do recommend reading the ingredients on the food that she is on, and do not give any treats that have a different set of ingredients as small amounts can create an allergic reaction. You have to read the ingredients on everything, and I cannot stress how important this is. I thought I was giving my dog something he could have, and it turned out the sweetener in the yougurt was corn-syrup based but was labeled as fructose.

 

BTW-Congrats on your new arrival! Pictures are mandatory. :D

 

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I second fritofeet's advice: I've had good luck with Spectrum Lab's spot test, I'd wait until she settles in before making any changes, and I'd watch the treats--use the same kibble if possible.

 

But I don't cook. :P

Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07-7/21)

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Guest Greensleeves

I'll also point out that it is *very* rare to *only* have food allergies. Chances are high she has environmental allergies as well, and her immune system is probably further stressed by being in the kennel and moving to a new home.

 

I would take her to your vet (or the recommended grey-savvy vet, if you don't yet have one you trust) when you bring her home, and talk about her allergies. The vet should be familiar with the common allergens in your area, and what's in season at the moment.

 

I would also start giving her frequent (daily or every-other-day) cool-water baths in a soothing or medicated shampoo (I don't recommend oatmeal, as it's a common allergen and can aggravate the situation) or just plain cool water. It will be relaxing for her and a good bonding activity for you guys as she adjusts to your home... but it will also help calm her skin irritation, as well as wash off any allergens like pollen, dust, or mold before she can inhale/ingest them.

 

Allergens are like putting icecubes into a glass of water--you can add a certain amount of them, and the water won't overflow... but go over that threshold, and the water will spill out. Allergies are the same. You can be exposed to several allergens before having a reaction--but keep adding them in, and eventually it will tip the balance, and she'll have symptoms (I can attest to this--I have food allergies that become MUCH more severe in the spring when the trees are spewing pollen everywhere). So if you can keep the environmental allergies at bay, the food allergies can be easier to deal with (and vice versa).

 

Lastly, if her symptoms are out of control, you can treat her with antihistimines like Benadryl or Hydroxizine (a prescription antihistimine that's effective in more dogs than Benadryl).

 

Allergies need to be hit from several fronts, and they can't be eliminated... but they can be controlled.

 

Good luck!

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