Allergies and Ear Infections - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Allergies and Ear Infections

Good Sunday Afternoon

I have an adorable 1 1/2 year old Golden! We live in Virginia. It is not pleasant but our poor little girl need her anal glands expressed every 3-4 weeks. I was wondering if this is a cause of allergies. We live in VA and I've heard a few people say this may be the cause. I've also been told from vets to add more protein to her dog food so I have done that but she still has this problem. I give her Science Diet. Is that the best food? How are allergies tested?

Also, she had ear infections often. I've heard that you can add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to their water to control the yeast. Is this a good idea or does anyone have any other suggestions?

Any suggestions/help would be great!!

Thank you
A worried Mom
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 01:55 PM
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If your pup is needing her anal glands cleaned that often she needs more fiber in her diet - try adding some canned pumpkin to firm things up. Ear infections can be a sign of allergies so would consider changing her food. Science Diet is not a quality food it often lists corn, more corn ,grains and maybe some meat source (chicken) third or fourth on the list - I would look for a food with a named meat source as the first ingredient(s), and preferably corn & grain free, soy free and chemical, BHA and BHT, dye free and made with 'human grade' ingredients. Switch her slowly from the Science Diet and to something of better quality. Read up on what makes a good dog food and choose one that will suit your dogs needs.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 02:17 PM
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There is indeed much debate on science diet. Many vet clinics and some people swear by it though we will never quite know how much sponsorship impacts the extent to which it is promoted. It is not a food that I feel is worth the cost.

In either case, it is a low (quality) protein food so if higher protein or better quality protein is what you're after go with what Charliethree has recommended. Many on here are fans of Fromms which is a medium level protein and good quality grain. We've fed Orijen which is high protein/no grain food, but transitioning to it can be hard for some dogs because it is very rich. Raw, a whole other ballgame, is another option and allows you to choose the exact ingredients and thus have more control for allergy issues. We recently tried raw ourselves in part because of suspected allergies.

Dog nutrition is such a controversial subject and I'm sure in no time someone will be around to disagree with me. Hope you find something that works. Key to remember is to read up on pet nutrition and to know that every dog, like every person, is individual.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 02:19 PM
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Allergies may well be the underlying cause. Chances are, the corn that's in Science Diet is not agreeing with her system. I'd definitely consider changing foods.

I wrote a whole article on anal glad issues earlier this year for the publication Whole Dog Journal. I've attached it for you, as it includes info from a vet that talks about allergies and "itchy ears and rears."
Attached Files
File Type: pdf WDJ Anal Sacs April 2010.pdf (298.2 KB, 49 views)

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingQuizini View Post
Allergies may well be the underlying cause. Chances are, the corn that's in Science Diet is not agreeing with her system. I'd definitely consider changing foods.

I wrote a whole article on anal glad issues earlier this year for the publication Whole Dog Journal. I've attached it for you, as it includes info from a vet that talks about allergies and "itchy ears and rears."
Thanks Stephanie. I suspect this is why our poor guide dog on Pro-Plan with chronic ear infections was also always scooting.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 03:18 PM
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lots of golden have allergies to corn. so try changing the food to one with more rice.

Here in my country I use nuttranuggets and have had good results (Malkah used to develop awful dermatitises) its not an "ultra premium" food so it shouldn't be too expensive.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 04:09 PM
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Try a grain free food like Natura Innova or EVO, Taste of the Wild, Fromm, Natural Balance, Merrick, ETC. I would also recommend feeding some metamucil or canned pumpkin to give more fiber to her diet. If the stool isn't hard enough, it won't express the anal glands naturally which is why your dog is smellling (or could be a possible allergy).

Allergy testing is done at the vet, blood and skin scrapings are collected. It costs approx $100-200 depending on the vet and the tests.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2010, 04:51 PM
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Could very well be a sensitivity to grains, especially the corn in the Science Diet. I'd try different foods before going the allergy testing route. My Bridge Kid, Maggie was sensitive to corn and ate corn-free food her whole life. When we brought Hank home, I automatically chose a corn-free food. Or as someone suggested upthread, a grain-free food.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 05:41 AM
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The anal sacs and ear infections are all symptoms of allergies, which can be food related or environmental as well.

A higher fiber food might also help with the anal sac issues. I just went on their website and copied the dry measurements of usable energy for Adult Active SD formula:

Measurement of Usable Energy in a food, which differs substantially from gross caloric content.
˛ An eight fluid oz. measuring cup of Adult Active contains 4.3 oz. by weight.

Nutrient
Dry Matter1
%Protein29.8Fat27.2Carbohydrate (NFE)35.4 Crude Fiber1.8Calcium0.94Phosphorus0.77Sodium0.36Potassium0.79Ma gnesium0.086Vitamin C152 mg/kgVitamin E556 IU/kg
ąThe nutrient in the product after moisture is removed. It is used to make direct comparisons of nutrient profiles of products with differing moisture contents.
Ingredients

Ground Whole Grain Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Vitamin E Supplement, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.



The crude fiber is very low--1.8%... by contrast I feed my adult golden a dry kibble with 8% fiber because of soft stool issues.

These types of issues are frustrating to isolate the cause.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 12:16 PM
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Here's another THUMBS UP for Orijen.

For some back ground. My first Golden Jean-luc had all kinds of allgeries for years. He had skin infections and ear infections on a on going basis.

After Jean-luc passed away in 2008, he was 17 years old , I got Jean-luc, Jr. After almost no time... I noticed Jr starting to display symptoms like Jean-luc had. He never got as bad as Jean-luc did but he was getting ear wax build up and was starting to scratch and drag himself against the wall to itch himself.

After switching over to Orijen. The symptoms went away. He has not had a problem since then. NONE!!!!!!!!!!!

Orijen is very rich... and may give your dog runny stools... try to ween him off the old for by gradually mixing with Orijen and moving towards the Orijen.

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