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Nova 30/04/16 - 20/11/20
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, quick background about the issue: our bitch is 2 years old, she was always itchy right from the get go, she used to chew her paws a lot until the fur turned like a reddish brown colour. Vet never seemed bothered about it when i brought it up. Fast forward to february this year, the dog is 21 months old and she had a rash on her stomach which she licked and licked until the fur had gone and she had irritated the skin. Course of antibiotics cleared it right up. And we switched her food for the first time ever to hypoallergenic grain free stuff and she has completely stopped chewing her paws and theyre back to the normal colour for the first time ever. Then she got an ear infection which we treated with shop bought drops. It cleared it but then it kept coming back so after a month i made an appointment with the vet to get something stronger for her. The vet was insistant that she needed expensive allergy screening. We did this and shes come back allergic to mould/mites, grass and weeds. Now the vet wants to put her on monthly injections at £155 a time! Our insurance will be up for renewal in august but we wont be able to cover this as it will be a pre exsisting condition.

Now we saw a second vet during one of her follow up visits who said the ear infection could well have just been because she likes to dunk her head under in dirty puddles/rivers/ponds. Maybe not related to these allergies. I honestly wouldnt have known she has any allergies as she shows no discomfort outside, she likes to roll in the grass and the worst thing she comes away with is a slightly runny nose. Her coat is healthy and shiny, her eyes are bright. Shes perfect.

I asked if we couldnt just give her Benadryl or something similar to treat her.. way more manageable in price for us and no horrible vet trips for injections monthly. The vet said benadryl doesn’t really work well in dogs. The vet could see i was hesitant to agree but i felt they were being quite adamant about it.

Have any of you lovely retriever owners treated allergies with benadryl? Has it worked? Is the vet just trying to make more money off of us? I’m in the UK- not sure if its relevant. Sorry about formatting, im on mobile!
 

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Welcome to the forum, sorry your girl is having problems with allergies.

What brands of dog food do you have available where you are-you stated the price in pounds, I take it you are from the UK. Is the food you're currently feeding a prescription brand?

In the US Vets prescribe Hills Science Diet or Royal Canin prescription food for various health issues. I'm seeing more Vets in my area prescribing the RC than the HSD.

Here's a thread about feeding Grain Free you may want to read-

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...low-taurine-grain-free-foods-dcm-goldens.html

Some of the Vets in my area do recommend treating allergies with either Benadryl or Zyrtec, a lot of depends on what your dog is allergic to.

As to ear infections, make sure your dog's ears are dry after being bathed, swimming, etc. I clean my boy's ears out weekly, I use a mixture of equal parts, white vinegar, water, and alcohol. After cleaning his ears out, I wipe them out with a cotton ball, then add a dab of the Healthy Ear Recipe for maintenance, it works great.

But.... If your dog has an ear infection, you need to get meds from the Vet to get it cleared up before using the Healthy Ear Recipe, it's mainly for maintenance.

Healthy Ear Recipe-

This thread has the recipe and instructions for it-

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...iology-breed-standard/478482-stinky-ears.html

Hope your girl will be doing better soon.
 

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In most cases when you see recurring ear infections and lots of paw licking/chewing the first thing you should do is look at the food. Your dog will generally be allergic to proteins, plant or animal, but not oils or fats and usually are developed over time to what they exposed to most consistently and in the highest concentrations. So a high grain diet with things like soy corn with high protein content can be as much or more so then meat proteins.



You can try limited ingredient diets with unique protein sources (what she hasn't had before). Also make sure you're not feeding treats with stuff in it shes had before. So treat like freeze dried meats (buffalo, kangaroo, venison). depending on what you're spending on meds and vet bills, switching to a raw diet can eliminate food allergies. It's not cheap but if you're paying that in vet bills this way you can be fixing it naturally instead of through meds.



Try to stay away from grain free diets with peas and legumes as a replacement for things like potato or sweet potato. There is evidence showing diets such as these may very well be contributing to Taurine deficiency leading to DCM (Dialated Cardiomyopathy) and specifically to Golden Retrievers.
 

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Nova 30/04/16 - 20/11/20
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your reply. She is currently on anti fungal medication, in the form of tablets for the next 12 weeks, along with an antibiotic flush 2x per day and fungal ear drops 2x a day. The poor thing hates them so much. :( I will certainly try weekly ear cleanings and drying them etc in the future.

As to the food. She was on royal canin from weaning up until she was about 21 months old, but I think she was sensitive to it hence the paw chewing whilst having it. We’ve been feeding her a brand called “wainwrights” since her issue in February and she seems a little more sleek and definitely less irritated in the paw area. Her bowel movements are also more regular on this new food. I looked into a lot of foods when I was switching and found some quite negative findings regarding the RC brand. I was always under the impression it was a great food choice up until that point! I will look into the other brand she you mentioned incase there is a better one for her.
 

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Maggie's Voice made a good point about the protein source, my boy does not do well on Chicken or corn. He's currently eating a food that is Salmon, does not contain wheat or corn, it has oatmeal and rice-he has a sensitive stomach. The food is for Sensitive Skin and Stomach.

I only give him Salmon treats, I buy them from a US company that gets their ingredients from the US.
 

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Nova 30/04/16 - 20/11/20
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Discussion Starter #6
In most cases when you see recurring ear infections and lots of paw licking/chewing the first thing you should do is look at the food. Your dog will generally be allergic to proteins, plant or animal, but not oils or fats and usually are developed over time to what they exposed to most consistently and in the highest concentrations. So a high grain diet with things like soy corn with high protein content can be as much or more so then meat proteins.



You can try limited ingredient diets with unique protein sources (what she hasn't had before). Also make sure you're not feeding treats with stuff in it shes had before. So treat like freeze dried meats (buffalo, kangaroo, venison). depending on what you're spending on meds and vet bills, switching to a raw diet can eliminate food allergies. It's not cheap but if you're paying that in vet bills this way you can be fixing it naturally instead of through meds.



Try to stay away from grain free diets with peas and legumes as a replacement for things like potato or sweet potato. There is evidence showing diets such as these may very well be contributing to Taurine deficiency leading to DCM (Dialated Cardiomyopathy) and specifically to Golden Retrievers.
Oh wow, I wasn’t aware of this. I’ll definitely need to reassess her diet then I think. Her allergy test did show up grass as an issue so I wonder if she’s ingesting proteins from plants which are causing it, as you mention. All good things to think about.
 

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Nova 30/04/16 - 20/11/20
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Discussion Starter #7
Maggie's Voice made a good point about the protein source, my boy does not do well on Chicken or corn. He's currently eating a food that is Salmon, does not contain wheat or corn, it has oatmeal and rice-he has a sensitive stomach. The food is for Sensitive Skin and Stomach.

I only give him Salmon treats, I buy them from a US company that gets their ingredients from the US.
I bet my girl would love salmon, but I’ve not seen any good brand stuff around here’s that supply it. The stuff she’s on now is turkey and rice based. She was always a bit sensitive to pork as a pup so we avoided meats for the most part but I might try her again now she’s grown.
 

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Oh wow, I wasn’t aware of this. I’ll definitely need to reassess her diet then I think. Her allergy test did show up grass as an issue so I wonder if she’s ingesting proteins from plants which are causing it, as you mention. All good things to think about.



You can sometimes get false positives as well when you do the testing while the dog is still currently reacting. Grass isn't as bad as it sounds since you can use boots on their feet when out on walks to keep from grass exposure. If they are playing and rolling it that is a different story :) Once you get her under control you may want to retest at some point to maybe get a clearer picture. Likewise, if the vet happened to use a steroid if it was really bad, the test could deliver false negatives.
 

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Puddles
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When my girl was bitten by a mysterious black bug she had an allergic reaction. Her face began to swell and when her throat began to swell I hit panic mode. I couldn't poke enough benadryl down this poor pup. I rushed her to the vet 1st thing in the morning (no er vet here) and got a cortisone shot to stop the swelling. The vet sent home a sort of doggie epipen in case this happens again.

So yes, benadryl does help with allergies but it does NOT make a good maintenance solution. The body builds up resistance so you have to end up giving more and more.

Sounds like the change in food helped and with regular ear wash you may have solved your problems. Just have to get the ears cleared up 1st. I too do a weekly cleaning of the ears and use an over the counter solution for swimmers ear every time the pup comes out of the water.

I had a client with a dog whos allergies were so bad the dog lost most of it's hair. The people did the allergy testing and shots for about a year. After this (and a change in food that you have already done) most of the problems were gone.
They insisted on giving this already overweight pup snacks and never thought about the indg. in the snacks. Sadly the snacks triggered the allergies and this whole process had to be repeated. So be sure you are aware of what's in the treats you give your dog, not just the kibble.
 

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I think trying a different food source might be a good option as well. My girl doesn't do well on poultry based foods (duck or chicken), and I think also corn. I give her Purina Pro Plan SSS (lamb). Lamb is easier to digest apparently. They also make a Salmon formulation--a nice thing about Salmon that might be worth considering is that its anti-inflammatory. But if your dog is on a prescription hypoallergenic diet from the vet already, I might try switching to another one of those.

If you are battling environmental allergies--it might be worth trying benadryl or zyrtec. My girl's eyes get runnier in the springtime (so do mine!), and I've tried giving her benadryl per my vet. It hasn't made much of a difference--but she's not itchy and hasn't had other effects from allergies so I haven't had to chase it.

I do clean my dog's ear's weekly, and clean her ears out each time after she swims. Sometimes ear infections are hard to clear.

However, if you've tried different foods, limiting her exposures, and anti-histamines, and are still battling recurrent ear infections and/or itching, it might be worth considering more treatment at that point.
 

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Puddles
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I too fed Salmon based food and it worked well until a few months ago. Not sure if they changed their formula (recently company was sold) but switched her to lamb & rice. The salmon was grain free & no corn/wheat/soy. The lamb, it's just lamb and rice from 4health but also no corn/wheat/soy, nothing special about it and it's half the price.
I can't explain it but just a few weeks after going with the less expensive food it's like I have a new dog. She has more energy, has lost some weight (calorie count is almost the same) and better focus. I honestly can't explain it, my couch potato is no longer. I even had blood / urine test done as the energy level is so different. All is perfect, go figure.

I was reading an article about the fish base dog foods... seems the mercury levels are getting to be a problem. I'm trying to find the article. Just saying, sometimes going simple works.
 

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I bet my girl would love salmon, but I’ve not seen any good brand stuff around here’s that supply it. The stuff she’s on now is turkey and rice based. She was always a bit sensitive to pork as a pup so we avoided meats for the most part but I might try her again now she’s grown.
I was actually surprised at how much my boy likes the Salmon and the Salmon treats I get for him.

I tried several different proteins, as I said the chicken did not work for him, I tried turkey also which did not work, I try to stay away from all fowl. Lamb did not work either. Salmon was the winner....

I order the PPP SSS from Amazon, have it on a subscription delivery plan, can delay shipments as needed and cancel it at any time.
 
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