Looking for help

Sunflower13

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Feb 7, 2024
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Cooper
Hi, I’m new to this site and so happy to have found it. I’ve been struggling to get my bulldog healthy for a long time. Cooper is 6 years old and my second bulldog but I’ve had dogs my whole life. When he was 3 he started showing signs of allergies. The vet put him on prescription Royal Canin hydrolyzed protein after I had tried different foods before then. I can’t say things ever really improved and I came to the idea that this is as good as it gets. I got tired of seeing him itchy and licky and weaned him off the rx food and I started him on the farmers dog. He loved it but things didn’t get better. He also lost some weight (5 lb) which was mildly concerning but not horrible. Over the summer I finally bought an allergy test for $300 determined to figure out the trigger. The test showed he was reactive to 21 out of 24 things they test for. I cancelled the farmers dog since they all contained reactive foods and started cooking his food with only the “allowed” foods. He lost more weight. I consulted his vet and the dr that created the allergy test but no real improvement in Cooper. He’s now down from an original 62 lbs to 46.6 lbs. He eats great, sleeps, poops, pees, all good things but he still itches. He has interdigital cysts, hotspots from time to time, and alopecia on his right flank that never grew back. I have tried miconizole/ketoconizole shampoo, Coat Defense powder, apoquel, prednisone, cytopoint, and all of the OTC antihistamines and I’m at a complete loss. I’m not sure if I’m doing too much or too little. I really want to figure his food out because right after he eats, he’ll get red in his face, folds, and belly. If anyone has any advice on successful foods or anything at all, I’d appreciate it so much. Melissa
 

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Cbrugs

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Dec 9, 2016
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King Louie, Jax (French Bulldog), Ella Mae and Darla Rae
What are you currently feeding? Does he have any environmental allergies as well?
 

helsonwheels

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Jan 10, 2016
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@Sunflower13

Never fells when member’s dogs have skin issues n ask that question, a good 75% of these dogs are fed Royal Canin, Science Hill or Purina. Btw, you do want your dog on the thinner sides cause this breed will tend to have breathing difficulties n joint issues.. What are you cooking for him?

Also for his skin condition, get NuStock, it truly works. Most of us members do use it. It’s just that product you need to keep in the house. Have you tried a raw diet? If not, add raw liver as a topper. 1/2 cup per day n also add fermented sauerkraut to build back his gut flora. All those meds destroys an immune system n why you will get skin issues.
 
OP
Sunflower13

Sunflower13

New member
Feb 7, 2024
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24
Maryland
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United States
Bulldog(s) Names
Cooper
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  • #4
What are you currently feeding? Does he have any environmental allergies as well?
Thank you for the reply- I'm not sure about environmental allergies. We do have a chinchilla in the house. He definitely gets red on his belly, armpits, and folds right after he eats so I'm always thinking it's food related. But he will get up and start licking and itching first thing in the morning before a meal so who knows?

As for food, he's currently on homemade food but after learning his recent weight of 46 lb, I started him on Spot and Tango beef and barley (two allowed foods). I'm still transitioning him as he has an extremely sensitive stomach so his main diet is barley, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and I mix in The Farmers Dog nutrient mix (their vitamin packet for homemade food). He can have grass fed beef which I previously included but the dr thought I should try to eliminate that for time being so I have. Of course, I did start to introduce Spot and Tango which contains beef for the sole reason of putting some already calculated formulas in his body and gain some weight.
 
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Sunflower13

Sunflower13

New member
Feb 7, 2024
17
24
Maryland
Country
United States
Bulldog(s) Names
Cooper
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
@Sunflower13

Never fells when member’s dogs have skin issues n ask that question, a good 75% of these dogs are fed Royal Canin, Science Hill or Purina. Btw, you do want your dog on the thinner sides cause this breed will tend to have breathing difficulties n joint issues.. What are you cooking for him?

Also for his skin condition, get NuStock, it truly works. Most of us members do use it. It’s just that product you need to keep in the house. Have you tried a raw diet? If not, add raw liver as a topper. 1/2 cup per day n also add fermented sauerkraut to build back his gut flora. All those meds destroys an immune system n why you will get skin issues.
Hi thank you! The Royal Canin gave me hope and I went with the advise of the dr without researching. But I definitely see many folks talking about how it's pushed and not that great so I'm disappointed in myself. I have not tried a raw diet - my first reaction is yuck - but I'm totally willing to try anything. This guy has an extremely sensitive stomach. Something I've given 5 other dogs with no problem will send this one to the backyard 15 times. I have stopped his Apoquel for a few weeks and eager to build up his immune system. I also purchased the NuStock last night based on numerous posts and that's due to arrive today! Thank you so much!!
 
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helsonwheels

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Jan 10, 2016
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Alberta
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Canada
Bulldog(s) Names
Nyala, Jake (R.I.P. Duke)
Hi thank you! The Royal Canin gave me hope and I went with the advise of the dr without researching. But I definitely see many folks talking about how it's pushed and not that great so I'm disappointed in myself. I have not tried a raw diet - my first reaction is yuck - but I'm totally willing to try anything. This guy has an extremely sensitive stomach. Something I've given 5 other dogs with no problem will send this one to the backyard 15 times. I have stopped his Apoquel for a few weeks and eager to build up his immune system. I also purchased the NuStock last night based on numerous posts and that's due to arrive today! Thank you so much!!
Spot and Tango does a raw kibble.

 

Cbrugs

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Dec 9, 2016
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Seattle, WA
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King Louie, Jax (French Bulldog), Ella Mae and Darla Rae
Thank you for the reply- I'm not sure about environmental allergies. We do have a chinchilla in the house. He definitely gets red on his belly, armpits, and folds right after he eats so I'm always thinking it's food related. But he will get up and start licking and itching first thing in the morning before a meal so who knows?

As for food, he's currently on homemade food but after learning his recent weight of 46 lb, I started him on Spot and Tango beef and barley (two allowed foods). I'm still transitioning him as he has an extremely sensitive stomach so his main diet is barley, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, sunflower oil, coconut oil, and I mix in The Farmers Dog nutrient mix (their vitamin packet for homemade food). He can have grass fed beef which I previously included but the dr thought I should try to eliminate that for time being so I have. Of course, I did start to introduce Spot and Tango which contains beef for the sole reason of putting some already calculated formulas in his body and gain some weight.
What other proteins can he have? If you are willing and able to try raw, you can find salmon, rabbit, bison, kangaroo (and maybe even beaver) online at Raw Fed K9. It's a good food and I feed it to my Frenchie with allergies and they offer free shipping. Have you tried a probiotic?

46 pounds is a little light for a male but it all depends on their shape/build. If he can tolerate raw goat's milk, that can help put on weight but always start slow with anything new. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find some at a boutique pet store, i.e. not Petsmart/Petco.
 
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Sunflower13

Sunflower13

New member
Feb 7, 2024
17
24
Maryland
Country
United States
Bulldog(s) Names
Cooper
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  • #8
What other proteins can he have? If you are willing and able to try raw, you can find salmon, rabbit, bison, kangaroo (and maybe even beaver) online at Raw Fed K9. It's a good food and I feed it to my Frenchie with allergies and they offer free shipping. Have you tried a probiotic?

46 pounds is a little light for a male but it all depends on their shape/build. If he can tolerate raw goat's milk, that can help put on weight but always start slow with anything new. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find some at a boutique pet store, i.e. not Petsmart/Petco.
He is definitely smaller but 46 doesn’t suit him at all. I can see his spine bones and ribs now. This all happened when I got the allergy test back and avoided the reactive foods. But now I’m thinking maybe I can’t avoid everything and give him some even if they’re reactive because they’re calories. While trying to cure him and avoid the bad ones, he dropped 15 pounds. 😣

When you say raw, is that raw like uncooked. Because I’ve also seen raw recipes but they’re cooking the food at low temperatures so I’m confused.

I attached his test - he can have beef and lamb. Here were their suggestions which I’ve done. Mostly with beef but he still exhibited issues. I basically made a list of everything he could have, then followed recipes to have the right protein carb ratios and substituted. I’ll have to research raw. He was on a probiotic but it contains salmon and other foods to avoid. Again, I’m not sure if I’m able to cut everything or some is enough. Like the benefits of a probiotic may outweigh the things in it he’s supposed to avoid. 🤷🏼‍♀️

“Suggestions for the diet would be to include only non-reactive meat or fish; vegetables and fruit, with the possible addition of tapioca (cassava root = gluten-free starch). Suggest trying: Chick peas (garbanzo beans), pinto or kidney beans, carrots, zucchini, spinach, green beans, but no peas or pea fiber (if Lentils are reactive), and blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, (avoid strawberries); apples, pears, bananas, and melons (including watermelon). Then, if doing better, try adding tapioca. The dog may also tolerate quail, pheasant, kangaroo, or emu.
If Beef is non-reactive, Buffalo and Bison should be acceptable.
If Lamb is non-reactive, Goat should be OK (including Goat Milk & Yogurt).”
 

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1Chumly

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Feb 19, 2015
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Houston, TX
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From England
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Buster 2013-2023 Monty 6/2010 - 1/2020 Chumly 2002-2014
Have you had a skin allergy test done? He could have environmental allergies that have you going around in circles too.
Have you thought about chemicals (cleaning products etc) that you use in your home. What do you use to wash his bedding? It can all play a part. Chumly was allergic to wool, the cat, various grasses amongst others. After he was on the immunotherapy shots tailored just for him, he improved drastically.
 
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Sunflower13

Sunflower13

New member
Feb 7, 2024
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24
Maryland
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Cooper
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  • #10
Have you had a skin allergy test done? He could have environmental allergies that have you going around in circles too.
Have you thought about chemicals (cleaning products etc) that you use in your home. What do you use to wash his bedding? It can all play a part. Chumly was allergic to wool, the cat, various grasses amongst others. After he was on the immunotherapy shots tailored just for him, he improved drastically.
Chumly is so cute! I have not done a skin allergy test but that’s a great idea. He doesn’t have bedding of his own. I have blankets on the couch and on my bed. He likes to be close. :) But that’s a good thought. Maybe my detergent is bothersome. Thank you!!
 

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helsonwheels

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Jan 10, 2016
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Alberta
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Nyala, Jake (R.I.P. Duke)
“When you say raw, is that raw like uncooked. Because I’ve also seen raw recipes but they’re cooking the food at low temperatures so I’m confused.”

Raw diet is uncooked. You can also semi-cook the meat if you’re not keen on full raw. As per probiotics simply use it as in food like fermented sauerkraut, anything fermented. Buy it from the fridge sections not on the shelves. Like mention you need to up the minerals n raw liver is best, up the good fat like beef fat n beef has one of the highest protein which your dog can eat. Lamb is very high I fat which he can eat. He’s basically can’t do any grains from what I’m seeing or white fish. Seeing the spine is definitely up the calories. From your list, in a nutshell, your dog should stay away from traditional kibbles cause you will find the grains he can’t have in them bags. Like most legumes. It might be a bit of work but you should cook for him. Have you tried other fish? Like mackerel, sardines which is high in good oils?

You mentioned you have a chinchilla in the house. Have you tried to putting the chinchilla away completely from your dog to see what happens? Like @1Chumly mentioned, using natural products for the household.
 

Cbrugs

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Dec 9, 2016
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King Louie, Jax (French Bulldog), Ella Mae and Darla Rae
A intradermal skin test is not a bad idea. I had that done on my French Bulldog many years ago because he had such bad allergies and he is basically allergic to everything green outside. FWIW, none of the vets in my area would even do a food allergy test as they say they are not reliable and the only way to figure out of there is truly a food issue is to do an elimination diet.
 
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Sunflower13

Sunflower13

New member
Feb 7, 2024
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24
Maryland
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United States
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Cooper
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  • #13
“When you say raw, is that raw like uncooked. Because I’ve also seen raw recipes but they’re cooking the food at low temperatures so I’m confused.”

Raw diet is uncooked. You can also semi-cook the meat if you’re not keen on full raw. As per probiotics simply use it as in food like fermented sauerkraut, anything fermented. Buy it from the fridge sections not on the shelves. Like mention you need to up the minerals n raw liver is best, up the good fat like beef fat n beef has one of the highest protein which your dog can eat. Lamb is very high I fat which he can eat. He’s basically can’t do any grains from what I’m seeing or white fish. Seeing the spine is definitely up the calories. From your list, in a nutshell, your dog should stay away from traditional kibbles cause you will find the grains he can’t have in them bags. Like most legumes. It might be a bit of work but you should cook for him. Have you tried other fish? Like mackerel, sardines which is high in good oils?

You mentioned you have a chinchilla in the house. Have you tried to putting the chinchilla away completely from your dog to see what happens? Like @1Chumly mentioned, using natural products for the household.
Someone new to raw I immediately think foodborne illness. I’m not judging in any way -just need to learn the basics. Can any meat be served raw? @Cbrugs I saw there’s a referral bonus on the k9 site if you want to refer me? Let me know what’s needed if you do. It looked like $50 credit if I read it right.

I haven’t tried fish because I wasn’t sure what he could have. The test said, “White-Colored Fish reactivity includes sardines, herring and tuna (and their oils)”. I wasn’t sure what fish was left. I could only think of salmon and that was on the avoid list. I will research that to expand his protein.

It’s so easy to go down rabbit holes with these bulldogs and lose sight of the obvious. I appreciate your time!
 
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Sunflower13

Sunflower13

New member
Feb 7, 2024
17
24
Maryland
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United States
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Cooper
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  • #14
A intradermal skin test is not a bad idea. I had that done on my French Bulldog many years ago because he had such bad allergies and he is basically allergic to everything green outside. FWIW, none of the vets in my area would even do a food allergy test as they say they are not reliable and the only way to figure out of there is truly a food issue is to do an elimination diet.
 

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