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Discussion Starter #1
hello all, i'm new to the site and overwhelmed with all the information, there's a good week's straight of reading to do!
we have a pug pup turning 1 this month, who we are pretty sure is allergic to grains.

he was on wellness puppy, and had constant runny poops and ear infections. multiple trips to the vets included testing for parasites and steroids/ear drops for the infections.

we tried the acana grain free pacifica formula a few months ago, and his poops have been amazing ever since... BUT he still gets ear flare ups, we can't figure out a trigger... where he scratches them until he bleeds, we are at our wits end with what to do.

should i stick with the acana? or try a different formula or brand? i'm also wary of grain free formulas with >40% protein, as pugs are not the most active breed around :)

any feedback is much appreciated! tia
 

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I would try a different food if the ear infections are still a big problem. There are a lot of ingredients in dog food, any one of them could be causing the issue.
DOn't worry about the protein content being too high. They thrive on protein. Also keep in mind that the amounts listed aren't even entirely accurate because they include plant protein content, and dogs can't even get anything out of plant content.

There are other ways to approach this issue that are more effective, but you'll have to join us in the raw section for that.
 

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The ear infection could be yeast, bacterial, ear mites. I would def. have that checked by the vet first. I do think you need to change foods! Innova Evo, Wellness core, Orijen, def. try grain free. You have to find out what the pups allergic to process of elimination. Don't be afraid of high protein at all. There may be some ingredient in the Acana that is not doing the pup any good. that's the problem figuring it out! When you buy your next food check the ingredient lists on the acana and whatever you choose to buy this way you can start figuring out what is affecting the pup which ingredient that is!
I would though go to the vet and see if the pup has what type of ear infection!
 

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Definitely see the vet and have an ear swab done.

IF you are going to change foods, go slow, mix it with your current food, etc.
Talk to your vet about trying an 'elimination diet' to try to eliminate whatever allergen is bugging your dog. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
we have seen the vets many times, and have had multiple swab tests done, results always showed yeast.

thank you all for the input, i'm going to read up some more before deciding what to try next.
 

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Yeast feeds off carbs. The absolute best thing you can do to prevent reoccurance after getting rid of the yeast is to completely eliminate carbs from his diet. If you are unable to do that, find a kibble with the smallest amount of carbs possible. Kibble companies rarely list the amount of carbs in their food on their analysis list. The way to find the amount of carbs is to add together the protein%, fat%, and moisture%. Subtract this number from 100. This will give you the percent of carbs. Most all kibble is 10% moisture so the higher the protein and fat, the lower the carbs. Don't be afraid of high protein.
 

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I have pugs myself and quite a few pug clients and i can tell you right now they thrive on grain free diets and do even better on raw diets (what mine eat). Many pugs have grain allergies (and allergies to many other things) so eliminating grains and chicken should be the first step. I'd recommend trying the Grasslands Acana formula or the Orijen Regional Red to see if it's maybe something in the pacifica that's still bothering him. You could also try the Nature's Variety Instinct Rabbit variety since that is a protein source he's never tried.

The protein content is nothing to be concerned about, you'll just have to feed alot less. You will however notice a decrease in shedding (and we all know how pugs shed), decrease in eye goobers and wrinkle cheese, less gas, better poops, and no anal gland sludge leaking on you the lower carb food you feed. I don't have to vacuume nearly as much with 3 pugs on raw as i did with one pug on grain inclusive kibble.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks Mandypug, we must have the same train of thought, because we've switched from the Pacifica to the Grasslands about a week ago, but he's only been off his latest dose of medication and ear drops for a few days. So, i'll keep an eye out for any signs of ear flare ups.
 

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You can also try cleaning the ears with a 50-50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. We do this for my poor old dog who's had a yeast infection in her ears for years because of the awful vet care she was receiving before we got her. They aren't 100% cured yet but they're definitely getting better, not bothering her as much, and they don't smell as bad!
 

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Just noticed you said yeast infections. Along with the ACV mixture suggested above, try a tablespoon of cinnamon mixed with some peanut butter taken orally for about a week or so. Yeast infections originate from the digestive tract where there is a certain amount of yeast that should be there. We see yeast infections when it overgrows and the yeast migrates to other places of the body that are dark and warm (ears, groin, nose wrinkles). The cinnamon helps kill off some of the excess yeast and can help get rid of the infections from the source.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
update

so we broke down and bit the bullet on spot allergy testing for our nugget Stan.
here are his main food allergies: venison, pork, barley, carrots, corn, peas, oatmeal.

as it turns out, everything we were certain he was allergic to (ie, chicken, wheat, and a few others ) he tested negative to, and the foods we were trying instead contained things he tested positive to (wellness puppy, all 3 formulas of acana provincials, and Acana Lamb & Apple)

the majority of grain free foods contain peas high up on the ingredient list, and carrots further down. the few allergy formulas we tried contained barley and oatmeal high up also.

i've started the hunt for a new high quality food, and want to avoid the abovementioned items.
 

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I have been told by numerous people that food allergy tests aren't very accurate (i.e. it says they are allergic to things that they aren't really allergic to and it says that they aren't allergic to stuff that they really are allergic to). Which is why I am opting just to do food trials to find out what my dog is allergic to.
 

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Every single client we've ever run a food allergy blood test on is more than satisfied with the result.
I guess it varies by test and clinic.
 

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Every single client we've ever run a food allergy blood test on is more than satisfied with the result.
I guess it varies by test and clinic.
That is very true. I just know that the people who have had their dogs tested, or has even done the tests were not happy with them. Our vet even said not to waste money on one. But there are several different tests out there and I guess it would depend on which one your clinic uses.
 

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