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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hoping I can get enough info in a day before my vet appointment.

I'm now a fairly experienced raw feeding mom for my chihuahua and my late Shep/Collie mix, Sadie. I have now adopted my 8 year old foster GSD, Aslan. He was a stray a year ago, then was in a shelter until his time was up and he was put on "death row" which is when I agreed to foster him, but before I could even take him home someone else adopted him. He was with them for 5 months, eating Pedigree (GAK!!). After some dangerous incidences in their home, he came back to the rescue and I fostered/fell in love, but he was very itchy. When I did some asking around, I discovered that in fact a couple months prior, much of his fur was missing. I fed him Acana Pacifica grain free fish based kibble when he was a foster, then fed absolutely nothing but fish for a couple of months after adoption to try and get the allergens out of his system. He's still VERY itchy! He's not quite as bad, but very little change - and really I think anything would have caused some improvement from Pedigree. I tried chicken one day and of course it got worse, then tried hormone free beef another day and it seemed to still get worse (although my husband didn't notice a difference).

So now here we are and I've booked an allergy test for environmental and food allergies, but I know there are mixed feelings on test reliability, at least for food. He's eating veal and sweet potato until the appointment. I can't seem to find much in the way of game meats, but my raw guy is getting duck next month so maybe that will do it. The question is, in the experience here, is the test worthwhile or should I just keep trying elimination? I want my poor guy to stop being so itchy, like yesterday!!

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Jay I think she is feeding raw. Correct me if I am wrong. I'm not sure I can help you much, but I can sure feel your pain. I have a basset hound with bad allergies. I have never had an allergy test because of the same reasons that you have heard. She gets no carbs. I guess the first thing I would do is stop the sweet potato.

I think if it were me I would find out if it is yeast in his system or not. I guess I jump to that as that is Turtles problem, along with bacteria. There are things you can give him to try and stop that and if you want pm me and I can give you a few. Even though they don't seem to be working with Turtle.

I wish Liz would chime in here as she is much better with this kind of stuff. I'm about at the end of my rope.
 

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Jay I think she is feeding raw.
My point was that if you are feeding raw, allergy tests may not help since they are based on the protein profiles of cooked foods. In other words, if the sensitivity test indicates a problem with chicken (for instance), that may only apply to cooked, and not raw chicken.
 

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It sounds like you have a couple of issues.

The allergy might very well be enviornmental - such as grass, weeds, yard sprays, etc. Also feeding one protein at a time is great but it can take a while to get his system cleared out from allergens in kibble.

I woudl give him more time and take at least 6 weeks on each protein to see his reaction.

If youa re doing allergy testing you would want to use a homeopathic vet as most allergy testing is done for cooked andprocessed proteins and wouldn't apply.

To get some itch relief int he meantime you can give some Quercetin/Bromelain by NOW. You woudl use 500 mg and start with one capsule in the morning and one at night. If you don't see relief at all in a few days add one more caspule. You should see some relief to tthe itching by about ten days. Some dogs need quite a bit of Quercetin. You can also rinse your pup in one cup Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in about a gallon of warm water. Rinse and let it dry on him. He will smell like a salad for a bit but it will fade pretty quick.

Hope some of that may help. :)

Liz
 

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It may well be environmental. I had Darby tested because I was certain she must be allergic to something (foods). Turns out no food allergies, but grass allergies. We have a pea gravel potty area which helps some.

Good luck, itchy dogs are no fun. :(
 

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My point was that if you are feeding raw, allergy tests may not help since they are based on the protein profiles of cooked foods. In other words, if the sensitivity test indicates a problem with chicken (for instance), that may only apply to cooked, and not raw chicken.
Sorry Jay, I'm a little dense at times and that was a very good point, it just totally went over my head. La la la la land.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Checking back in

Hey guys, checking back in with an update on Aslan. My vets are great :) The one I saw (There are two that I like) was very honest, and said that the tests have false positives but not false negatives. This is fine for me, as then I can feed him the stuff he's for sure not allergic to. I don't really care if it says he's allergic to something that he might not be, I just won't feed that. And as for the environmental test - she said that it may just be a waste of my money, since a) if he doesn't make a change with the new diet, I can deduce that it's probably environmental, and b) There's not a whole lot I can do about a specific environmental allergy, so knowing what exactly it is won't really help me. If we discover that it is environmental by elimination, then we can decide whether or not to treat (if treatment is going to benefit him).

So it turned out that the only protein he was allergic to was beef. Lots of grains of course, corn being one of them and since he came from a family that fed pedigree, no wonder he was so bad! He was not allergic to sweet potato, but I've stopped feeding it anyway - it was just temporary.

He's still itchy, and gets really greasy within about a month of his Vet's Best allergy bath. I'm not so sure it's environmental because it's still -20 here and snowy. Though it's always possible, and it could even get worse in the summer :( Anyway for now we're hoping that it's just a matter of time to get out of his system. His fur is nicer, but I still find scabs on him - including on his back where he can't scratch. Any thoughts?

Herzo: I'd also love to hear about the yeast thing. It does say yeast as one of his allergens, but I'm not sure if that's the same what you're talking about.

Right now he's getting turkey, chicken, fish, and a bit of lamb. He sure gets excited at feeding time now that he's not getting the same thing every meal!

Thanks everyone for the help!
 

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Glad you found out some of his allergens that should help get you and him on the right track.
Still possible he might have environmental allergens as well if the diet change doesn't help. Environmental allergens aren't just things like grass or pollen. Could be dust mites, feathers (in pillows), chemicals in your detergents or household cleaners.
 

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Yes we are definitely keeping environmental allergies in mind! If things don't continue to get better, we'll look into solutions for that. I also just got the poor guy a rain suit to cover his belly and legs to keep allergens and dampness off during the spring. I hope he forgives me! ;)
 

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Malaseb is a fabulous shampoo that I've used on many dogs. It cleans great BUT it does NOT strip the natural oils. So you could literally wash them every other day and it be fine.

if you're not already, perhaps start adding in some organic apple cider vinegar. As it helps PH balance the skin. You can use this both orally and topically.

Coconut oil is also another good additive for skin.


Something that helped my Yorkies itchy ness was ...
If the meat/organs that you are feeding is not grass fed... the meat/organs itself does not contain proper amount of nutrients. as grass fed. So adding a LIGHT* supplement (that included probiotics,light dose of vitamin/minerals). Adding this with the coconut oil totally stopped his itchyness. to which I could not get rid of for the life of me! I changed kibble a, proteins, bland diets etc!
All dogs are different! So what works for some, might not work for others! Good Luck!!

I sure hope you find something that works for him! Bless you for being so awesome and adopting him!!
 

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Sorry a bit late, haven't been around. They beat me to it. Liz is very good at this, read her post again. I'm bad and do at times give Turtle benadryl. I have to have it around in case I have a problem of which I have. I'm at the point where I just want it to stop.

Turtles skin is not the biggest problem she has unless she just happens to get a loaf of bread off the counter. Rinse your dog in the organic apple cider vinegar mix, and I have been told not to use oatmeal shampoo because of the grains, just in case. I also put it in her food twice a day. She also gets milk keifir and a powder probiotic. I make my own keifir. Before I was making that I would pour the vinegar into blood I would save from thawing meat.

My husband thinks I'm a vampire.....hee.....hee.....hee, I put it in little plastic cups and freeze it. But now I use the keifir so I just pour it in there. This puts the good bacteria back into our systems, the Turtles and mine also. She has, I am sorry to say been on lots and lots of antibiotics lately. I have also started giving her bovine colostrum, as I have been giving Maddie for a while now. It is suppose to be good for the immune system. I learned that one from Liz.

If I am wrong Liz please correct me.

I have been at the point where I am very close to putting her down her ears are so bad. I will not go into it all. I also as KamiKaze say's give coconut oil to all of my dogs. Not every day but a few times a week. It has anti fungal property's. Fish oil is something else you need to give him, it's very good for the skin. How ever most fish oil has soy in it in the form of mixed tocopherols. I heard this from a gal that use to be on here that has tried to help me with Turtle.

So I did quite giving her the fish oil and am instead giving her either canned salmon or sardines. I have no idea if she is allergic to soy, I was just trying to take out of her diet things that I thought might be an allergen.

Most of what I said had already been said so sorry if I did a repeat.

Another thing if I were you, and this one you need to do your own research on is vaccinations. It becomes very hard on them and I am not sure it is not the underlining cause of the problem in the first case. I'm sure I will never know. But one thing I can tell you is Maddie and Turtle are never getting any more rabies or any other one, they are done with that.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 
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