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Ok! Rocky has finally settled down. :) Today is the first day w/o scratching/biting (so far) and his dermatitus is much better. It took 7 days of returning to Natural Balance SP&F after having fed him Instinct Rabbit for 4-5 days. As I posted in another thread, Natures Variety assures me that the newly opened bag of Instinct Rabbit was ok from a manufacturing standpoint. They say Rocky probably just developed an allergy or intolerance. This may be true but I find it hard to believe that he is doing great on Instinct Rabbit for 2+ months and then he gets itchy 3 days after eating from a new bag. We know Rocky is very allergic to chicken and Instinct Rabbit has chicken fat in it. I am wondering if this particular bag of Instinct got more than the ususal amount of chicken protein mixed in with the fat?

Anyone have a boy/girl who is allergic to chicken but can successfully eat kibble with chicken fat?
 

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The GA (guaranteed analysis) of the formula lists the "minimum" level of fat at 22%. That means that it can be at varying levels above the 22% depending on the bag. They don't say what the maximum may be. The chicken fat is also listed as the 4th ingredient which is pretty high on the list; so it's a very prominent ingredient. I believe that any part of a chicken (meat, fat, eggs, etc.) may be problematic for a dog truly identified as allergic or intolerant to chicken.

If a dog has an intolerance to a specific ingredient, sometimes the quantity of it can make a difference in a formula. My lab doesn't handle any kibble well that has flaxseed listed in the top 5-8 ingredients. But I've found if flaxseed is listed much lower, she seems to handle it fine. Maybe the same is true for chicken. If you end up looking for more options for a non-chicken, but meat-based protein kibble, Acana Pacifica is used successfully by many people. Here is a link to see if it's available in your area: http://www.championpetfoods.com/acana/locator/
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The GA (guaranteed analysis) of the formula lists the "minimum" level of fat at 22%. That means that it can be at varying levels above the 22% depending on the bag. They don't say what the maximum may be. The chicken fat is also listed as the 4th ingredient which is pretty high on the list; so it's a very prominent ingredient. I believe that any part of a chicken (meat, fat, eggs, etc.) may be problematic for a dog truly identified as allergic or intolerant to chicken.

If a dog has an intolerance to a specific ingredient, sometimes the quantity of it can make a difference in a formula. My lab doesn't handle any kibble well that has flaxseed listed in the top 5-8 ingredients. But I've found if flaxseed is listed much lower, she seems to handle it fine. Maybe the same is true for chicken. If you end up looking for more options for a non-chicken, but meat-based protein kibble, Acana Pacifica is used successfully by many people. Here is a link to see if it's available in your area: http://www.championpetfoods.com/acana/locator/
Thanks! The Acana Pacifica formula is EXACTLY what I am looking for. I remember looking at the Orijen 6 Fish but gave up on it because I couldn't get it easily. I am going to get the Acana (somewhere) and will let you know. Rocky got up this morning and did not scratch for the second day in a row. Dermatitus is 99% better. No question in my mind that the Instinct Rabbit was the problem.

Rocky's dermatologist put him on Iams Response KO. Rocky had an immediate and severe allergic response to that food. We tried 3 times with different bags of KO. I told the dermatologist that Rocky was doing great on the Natural Balance LID SP&F formula and asked why are we trying the Iams Response KO? He said that commercial dog foods, especially ones that are contract manufactured, eg Natural Balance, often have quality control problems, specifically cross contamination. Vet formulae tend to have much better quality control and he liked Iams because Iams has their own in-house manufacturing facilities. I took a chance on the Instinct Rabbit because I was told that protein causes the problem, not fat. However, no manufacturing process is perfect and, as you point out, having so much chicken fat in the formula is risky for a dog allergic to chicken.

PS I use the terms "allergic" and "intolerant" interchangably even though I know there is a biological difference.
 

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www.pawschoice carries the Acana. Also shipping is minimal to free depending on the amount bought. I have had trouble finding the Acana in stock recently though.
 
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