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Thread: Help with food and allergy choices

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    Bulldog Walker Meggs19's Avatar
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    Default Help with food and allergy choices

    I am hoping to jump in on the tail end of this conversation and see if someone can help me! Tonka is a little over 8 months old and we just got him allergy tested. He had a pretty sudden onset of bad allergies even though there have been no changes to his environment or diet. He had a pink face and was really itching around his eyes and even causing little scratches around them. He also has had really bad chin acne lately and even a couple pimples on the top part of his jowels. Then I came home to find one of his eyes swollen shut and gooey and the vet said he had scratched his cornea trying to itch. At that point he was already on Benadryl and also a stronger antihistamine before that that the vet gave us and neither seemed to help too much. His eye has healed fine now but we got the allergy test done hoping it would help us. Our results weren't that great. There were no food items that had too high of numbers that really stood out as being a significant allergy and the two highest items (which still were not high enough to warrant any allergy shots according to the vet) were for molds and dust mites. Meanwhile, Tonka is still so itchy and I don't want to give him so much medicine everyday but I feel helpless as to what to do or where to start to help him.

    Should I try switching foods anyway, just to see if it helps his allergies/acne? I tried stridex wipes on his chin and that didn't do much at all. His food is Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato and I have been wanting to switch him anyway due to hearing of consumer complaints etc. If I switch should I stick to Salmon again or try a new protein?

    Also, is there a certain age that you are supposed to get them allergy tested? I have since read that if their immune system isn't fully developed the results might not be accurate or might change over time as they age. Is this true and did I get him tested too early? I will be pretty upset with my vet if he neglected to mention this after I paid to have him tested. Why would they make you go through a test if the immune system wasn't fully developed and everything was going to change anyway?

    Any advice on what I can try or on immune system development and the test? I would greatly appreciate it and so would my itchy little bully boy!!!!

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    Default Re: Allergy panel results and dental done!!

    He may be allergic to something else in your home, like your carpet, or the shampoo you bath him in, or even the soap you wash his bedding in. Try using free soaps like Tide free n clear. If this does not help try a different shampoo.

    Did your vet check for skin infection or mites?

    Natural balance is a good food, and has helped many bullies, but it is not the best. I would try eliminating one thing at a time, then try the food. Or try the food first. But whatever you do don't change everything at the same time or you won't know what is causing it.

    Hope your bully gets better soon, keep us posted @Meggs19

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    Default Re: Allergy panel results and dental done!!

    Thats what I feed Gunny and it has made a big difference in him.

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    Default Re: Allergy panel results and dental done!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Meggs19 View Post
    I am hoping to jump in on the tail end of this conversation and see if someone can help me! Tonka is a little over 8 months old and we just got him allergy tested. He had a pretty sudden onset of bad allergies even though there have been no changes to his environment or diet. He had a pink face and was really itching around his eyes and even causing little scratches around them. He also has had really bad chin acne lately and even a couple pimples on the top part of his jowels. Then I came home to find one of his eyes swollen shut and gooey and the vet said he had scratched his cornea trying to itch. At that point he was already on Benadryl and also a stronger antihistamine before that that the vet gave us and neither seemed to help too much. His eye has healed fine now but we got the allergy test done hoping it would help us. Our results weren't that great. There were no food items that had too high of numbers that really stood out as being a significant allergy and the two highest items (which still were not high enough to warrant any allergy shots according to the vet) were for molds and dust mites. Meanwhile, Tonka is still so itchy and I don't want to give him so much medicine everyday but I feel helpless as to what to do or where to start to help him.

    Should I try switching foods anyway, just to see if it helps his allergies/acne? I tried stridex wipes on his chin and that didn't do much at all. His food is Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato and I have been wanting to switch him anyway due to hearing of consumer complaints etc. If I switch should I stick to Salmon again or try a new protein?

    Also, is there a certain age that you are supposed to get them allergy tested? I have since read that if their immune system isn't fully developed the results might not be accurate or might change over time as they age. Is this true and did I get him tested too early? I will be pretty upset with my vet if he neglected to mention this after I paid to have him tested. Why would they make you go through a test if the immune system wasn't fully developed and everything was going to change anyway?

    Any advice on what I can try or on immune system development and the test? I would greatly appreciate it and so would my itchy little bully boy!!!!
    As @desertskybulldog stated -- do not try to change all at once, but do an elimination process. In my opinion, since the food is getting such bad press and dogs are becoming ill or dying from this food, I would start there... if he does well on salmon then you can keep him on it, but it is not necessary. Fromm is local for you so it should be easy to find and they are all stages food so you can easily switch between flavors without doing a slow transition -- just a thought, but do some research to see if that is the right food for Tonka (great name, BTW).

    As far as the allergy test.... was Tonka on any medications (benedryl, steroids, etc) for the itching at the time the blood was drawn? If yes, it is possible you have some false negative results. When we had our bullies tested, it was the first thing our vet said to us -- '30 days of no meds before we draw the blood for testing, it gives the best results that way'.

    The acne/pimples on his chin/face --- if not already doing so, use stainless steel bowl washed with hot soapy water everyday and wipe his face/chin after he drinks.

    Good luck and keep us posted
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    Default Re: Allergy panel results and dental done!!

    @Meggs19..... I think I would start with his food. Fromm has excellent grain free foods. Do a slow switch using 1/4 new food mixed with 3/4 old food each meal for about a week. Then go 1/2 and 1/2 for a week, then go 3/4 new to 1/4 old for another week before giving him 100% new food. This is important because bullys have very sensitive tummys and too quick of change may upset his tummy. If you notice soft poo while switching, back up and reduce the new food a little for a few days so his tummy can catch up to the switch. Another thing that helps during a switch is to add a tablespoon of canned pumpkin to the mix *not pie filling but canned pumpkin*. Once you switch his food give him a few weeks on the new food and note how it has helped or not, but it takes a few weeks to get the old food out of his system. It can be a long process but is great when you find the right food..... Fromm Beef Frittata was that right food for Princess Gracie.

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    Bulldog Walker Meggs19's Avatar
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    Default Re: Allergy panel results and dental done!!

    So I was very hopeful that we would get this allergy issue figured out. As of a couple days ago we slowly started transitioning Tonka to Fromm's Beef Frittatta. I thought I would try that since I have heard so many good things. I also thought it might be helpful to try a new type of protein rather than salmon. I don't think the potatoes will be a problem since according to Tonka's allergy panel results, he didn't show any high sensitivities to any sort of food...nothing significant at least, that's what the vet said. After I see how he is doing on the food I will try something else like a new shampoo or detergent etc. and slowly see if there is a change but I thought I would try a new food first.


    A couple issues came up that have me extremely frustrated. Saturday, I came dowstairs to find that Tonka must have been scratching his face since the white side of his face under his fur was very red and raw on the top of his eye, near the inside corner, outside corner, and white half of his nose rope. It looked a bit bloody almost. We still have him on Benadryl and I didn't know what else to do for him! So then this morning when I got up to let him out I noticed he must have scratched his eye AGAIN!!!!! It was the same eye as last time and kind of swollen shut again and he was very sad and acting very poor. I almost cried. I was so afraid this would happen again! I don't know what to do to help the little guy and prevent him from hurting himself like this. The vet was supposed to call me this past week with some other solutions after talking to the allergy testing people to ask about the shots or what other medicine might work since I told him the Benadryl/antihistamine doesn't seem to work well and I hate medicating my dog so much. I didn't get that call from him yet. Now this happens. I am very worried he might have caused more damage or what if the scratch is deeper this time than last time (last time it wasn't deep)? I called the vet and I am waiting for his call back to see what I should do and to see about bringing him in again. I feel so helpless with all of this! I am trying to do everything right for him but he keeps scratching his face raw, dealing with discomfort, and now scratched his cornea again and who knows how bad yet. Also, I had asked the vet when we were about to get his test done if the benadryl he had been on could affect the results and he said no, that only steroids would do that and Tonka wasn't on those. No one has heard of a proper age to get the test done? I didn't do it too early at 8 months? His immunie system is fully developed? It just sounds like others had so many results on their test whereas Tonka had such low numbers and nothing of significance. This is hard to believe considering how uncomfortable he is and for some reason, his eye area seems to be the only area really affected/itchy. Help!!

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    Perhaps he has entropion or distachisis in his eye? This would also cause him to want to rub them. Did the vet get a good look at the eyes and the hairs surrounding them? Are you using any eye ointment?

    Yes at that age you can get a ton of false negatives, especially if you have been giving benedryl prior to testing. Your vet should know this! I would ask to be retested at no cost if they did not tell you these things!!!

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    Default Re: Allergy panel results and dental done!!

    @desertskybulldogs is the entropian /distachasis something than can be seen with the naked eye or would they need to look with some kind of instrument? I did mention Entropian to the vet and he said when he was looking in Tonka's eye last time we were in and it was scratchd that he didn't see anything but then again he wasn't specifically looking for that at the time, so would he have even been able to see those problems if they were there? Also, the doctor told me that as Tonka gets older, the allergies that did show up on the list that seemed to have low numbers could get stronger and that I should maybe have him re-tested when he is 1-11/2 if we still have issues. That really makes me mad to hear that! Why didn't he just have me wait?? He said the allergy test gave us some ideas and eliminiated some things and that when he was older he wouldn't have all new allergies but the ones that did appear on his test would just be more pronounced. Have you heard of this happening too?

    He assured me that Benadryl would create no issues on the test so I will have to double check that and perhaps request a retest down the line. Apparently the alelrgy lab recommended Iams Kangaroo/brown rice food that a lot of dogs with allergies have had success with. I thought Iams was not a very good brand for dog food though and I am hesitant to feed my dog kangaroo haha. Any thoughts on this too? Thanks so much for your help! I really appreciate the support!

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    Default Re: Allergy panel results and dental done!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Meggs19 View Post
    @desertskybulldogs is the entropian /distachasis something than can be seen with the naked eye or would they need to look with some kind of instrument? I did mention Entropian to the vet and he said when he was looking in Tonka's eye last time we were in and it was scratchd that he didn't see anything but then again he wasn't specifically looking for that at the time, so would he have even been able to see those problems if they were there? Also, the doctor told me that as Tonka gets older, the allergies that did show up on the list that seemed to have low numbers could get stronger and that I should maybe have him re-tested when he is 1-11/2 if we still have issues. That really makes me mad to hear that! Why didn't he just have me wait?? He said the allergy test gave us some ideas and eliminiated some things and that when he was older he wouldn't have all new allergies but the ones that did appear on his test would just be more pronounced. Have you heard of this happening too?

    He assured me that Benadryl would create no issues on the test so I will have to double check that and perhaps request a retest down the line. Apparently the alelrgy lab recommended Iams Kangaroo/brown rice food that a lot of dogs with allergies have had success with. I thought Iams was not a very good brand for dog food though and I am hesitant to feed my dog kangaroo haha. Any thoughts on this too? Thanks so much for your help! I really appreciate the support!
    No Iams is junk! Refresh my memory of what Tonka is eating now.

    Yes, both can be visible to the eye, especially entropion. Basically you will see the lower eyelid rolling into the eye. But this can also be secondary to an eye injury, because they are 'squinting' to protect the eye. It can also be caused by allergies. Distachia is eyelashes that are growing on the wrong area of the eye, sometimes it is just one lash that is growing the wrong way that can cause thousands in eye troubles! If you shine a flashlight you may be able to see if this is the case. However the vets have magnified flashlights that can really show it.

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    Default Re: Help with food and allergy choices

    at 8 months old his immune system is very immature still,if i were you i would concentrate on building it up to get it as strong as possible its the only way a dog can fight illness,also some acidophillus for 2 weeks after any anibiotics ,karen

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    Default Re: Help with food and allergy choices

    @karenben How do I build the immune system? Also, why acidophillus after antibiotics?

    @desertskybulldogs @BruceP @2BullyMama can anyone tell me how much/how many Zyrtec pills to give Tonka? The vet said he could have 50mg per day but the pills are 10mg each. Does he really want me to give Tonka 5 of those each day??!!! That seems like so much although he was up to about 4 benadryl per day before this. He is about 40 lbs. How many 10mg pills per day should I give him and in what kind of time frame?

    Also, I am happy to report that we spoke with our vet and let him know he should have told us about age being a factor in allergy test results as well as that Tonka should have been off Benadryl for a while first. He offered to give us a free re-test when Tonka gets a little older. Also, we are on day 4 of switching Tonka from NB Sweet Potato/Salmon to Fromm's Beef Fritatta and so far so good.

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    Default Re: Help with food and allergy choices

    oh my no on that much zyrtec. actually i was told 2 pills a day but my vet said 1/2 pill in the am and 1/2 pill in the pm for one pill total of zyrtec. you can give more benadryl. 2 am and 2 pm i believe. or less if they dont need it. im glad the new food is working for you.

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