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Thread: First signs of food allergy?

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    Dog Park Attendant Goob14's Avatar
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    Default First signs of food allergy?

    Some background:
    Goob-3.5 years old
    Grain Free, Merrick Texas Beef
    No food allergy up to date
    No skin issues
    No health issues
    No food switches
    No new treats
    No new cleaning products
    No walks on chemically treated lawns

    I am just wondering how to spot the beginning signs of a food allergy...or any allergy. Goob has been licking his paws somewhat regularly for the last week or so. His front paws have been getting pretty pink but have not yet become yeasty (his back paws are completely normal and no licking). I am cleaning them daily and every time he even STARTS to lick, I make him stop. I don't know if he's licking because he is itchy or if it's just a habit while chewing his bone? Is it possible that he has developed an allergy to his food? He isn't scratching and his skin is clear. I'm just confused as to why he's started licking his feet more than usual.

    Any thoughts?

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    Default Re: First signs of food allergy?

    Hi, my guys suffer from allergies, and the first signs I see in Blossom who has them worse than Dozer is excessive licking of paws, her skin is pink and ears are pink and warm, goopy eyes, itchy paws, and Dozer will shed more than normal.

    Allergies in Dogs



    Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain everyday substances-or allergens- as dangerous. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a dog with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact a dog’s skin. As his body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear.


    What Are the General Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?


    Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
    Increased scratching
    Itchy, runny eyes
    Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
    Itchy ears and ear infections
    Sneezing
    Vomiting
    Diarrhea
    Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
    Paw chewing/swollen paws
    Constant licking


    Allergic dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, which may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin.


    Which Dogs Are At Risk for Getting Allergies?


    Any dog can develop allergies at any time during his life, but allergic reactions seem to be especially common in Terriers, Setters, Retrievers, and flat-faced breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs and Boston terriers.




    What Substances Can Dogs Be Allergic To?


    A few common allergens include:


    Tree, grass and weed pollens
    Mold spores
    Dust and house dust mites
    Dander
    Feathers
    Cigarette smoke
    Food ingredients (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy)
    Prescription drugs
    Fleas and flea-control products (Only a few flea bites can trigger intense itchiness for two to three weeks!)
    Perfumes
    Cleaning products
    Fabrics
    Insecticidal shampoo
    Rubber and plastic materials


    Can Dogs Be Allergic to Food?


    Yes, but it often takes some detective work to find out what substance is causing the allergic reaction. Dogs with a food allergy will commonly have itchy skin, chronic ear infections or sometimes gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting, and an elimination diet will most probably be used to determine what food he is allergic to. If your dog is specifically allergic to chicken, for example, you should avoid feeding him any products containing chicken protein or fat.


    Please note that food allergies may show up in dogs at any age.


    What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Allergies?


    Visit your veterinarian. After taking a complete history and conducting a physical examination, he or she may be able to determine the source of your dog’s allergic reaction. If not, your vet will most probably recommend skin or blood tests, or a special elimination diet, to find out what's causing the allergic reaction.


    How Are Dog Allergies Diagnosed?


    If your dog’s itchy, red or irritated skin persists beyond initial treatment by a veterinarian, allergy testing, most often performed by a veterinary dermatologist, is likely warranted. The diagnostic test of choice is an intradermal skin test similar to the one performed on humans.



    The only way to diagnose a food allergy is to feed your dog a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet exclusively for 12 weeks. The importance of not feeding your dog anything but the diet cannot be emphasized enough-that means no treats, table food or flavored medication. This diet will be free of potential allergy-causing ingredients and will ideally have ingredients your dog has never been exposed to. He’ll remain on the diet until his symptoms go away, at which time you’ll begin to reintroduce old foods to see which ones might be causing the allergic reaction.


    Please note, many dogs diagnosed with a food allergy will require home-cooked meals-but this must be done in conjunction with your veterinarian, as it requires careful food balancing.





    How Can Dog Allergies Be Treated?


    The best way to treat allergies is to remove the offending allergens from the environment.




    Prevention is the best treatment for allergies caused by fleas. Start a flea control program for all of your pets before the season starts. Remember, outdoor pets can carry fleas inside to indoor pets. See your veterinarian for advice about the best flea control products for your dog and the environment.
    If dust is the problem, clean your pet's bedding once a week and vacuum at least twice weekly-this includes rugs, curtains and any other materials that gather dust.
    Weekly bathing may help relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from your dog’s skin. Discuss with your vet what prescription shampoos are best, as frequent bathing with the wrong product can dry out skin.
    If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, she’ll need to be put on an exclusive prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet. Once the allergy is determined, your vet will recommend specific foods or a home-cooked diet.
    Are There Allergy Medications for Dogs?


    Since certain substances cannot be removed from the environment, your vet may recommend medications to control the allergic reaction:


    In the case of airborne allergens, your dog may benefit from allergy injections. These will help your pet develop resistance to the offending agent, instead of just masking the itch.


    Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be used, but may only benefit a small percentage of dogs with allergies. Ask your vet first.


    Fatty acid supplements might help relieve your dog’s itchy skin. There are also shampoos that may help prevent skin infection, which occurs commonly in dogs with allergies. Sprays containing oatmeal, aloe and other natural products are also available.
    An immune modulating drug may also be helpful.


    There are several flea-prevention products that can be applied monthly to your dog’s skin.
    If the problem is severe, you may have to resort to cortisone to control the allergy. However these drugs are strong and should be used with caution and only under the guidance of your veterinarian.

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    Pooper scooper
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    Default Re: First signs of food allergy?

    If his face is pink and starting to break out he's got allergies, if not and he's only licking his paws I would keep an eye on him but not worry to much.

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    Dog Park Attendant Goob14's Avatar
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    Default Re: First signs of food allergy?

    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    If his face is pink and starting to break out he's got allergies, if not and he's only licking his paws I would keep an eye on him but not worry to much.
    That's why I'm stumped. His face is normal. Nothing is pink on him except his front 2 paws and they're not even swollen. :/ No runny eyes or nose...No scratching...Normal ears...No sneezing...just licking...I guess I'll just have to keep a close eye on him for any changes.

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    Default Re: First signs of food allergy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goob14 View Post
    That's why I'm stumped. His face is normal. Nothing is pink on him except his front 2 paws and they're not even swollen. :/ No runny eyes or nose...No scratching...Normal ears...No sneezing...just licking...I guess I'll just have to keep a close eye on him for any changes.
    He could also be doing it out of being bored... When he does it wipe his paws with a clean wash cloths and then give him one of his toys or bones... See if that redirects him
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    Default Re: First signs of food allergy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goob14 View Post
    That's why I'm stumped. His face is normal. Nothing is pink on him except his front 2 paws and they're not even swollen. :/ No runny eyes or nose...No scratching...Normal ears...No sneezing...just licking...I guess I'll just have to keep a close eye on him for any changes.
    I agree with @2BullyMama he could be bored, not necessarily reacting to an allergy. Youre doing the right thing trying to get his attention away from his paws when he starts doing it. Im going to try out the food you are using because we're having a heck of a time with allergies this year, thank you for sharing this.

    If I were you I would be sooooo happy to have a bully that doesnt have any allergies right now! Savor the moment

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    Dog Park Attendant Goob14's Avatar
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    Default Re: First signs of food allergy?

    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    I agree with @2BullyMama he could be bored, not necessarily reacting to an allergy. Youre doing the right thing trying to get his attention away from his paws when he starts doing it. Im going to try out the food you are using because we're having a heck of a time with allergies this year, thank you for sharing this.

    If I were you I would be sooooo happy to have a bully that doesnt have any allergies right now! Savor the moment
    YES, I AM SOOOO THANKFUL! We are REALLY happy with this food. If it turns out to be allergies, i think ill switch him to the Buffalo flavor.

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