Hey guys, I was hoping to get some suggestions for our allergic English Bulldog (3 years old). It has been a struggle with him, and I'm hoping to find a good quality dog food that he does well on. His biggest issues are his ears. Regardless of what we've done, we haven't been able to keep them uninfected for any length of time without some medication. We see some itchy paws and yeast infections from it as well, but nothing overly bad with skin, coat, or stools.
We have had an allergy test done, and it came back lit up pretty bad. In short, here are the proteins and grains that came back as bad. Beef, Poultry Mix, Milk, Lamb, Peanut, Flax, Alfalfa, and Green Pea.
His food history has been all over the map. He was brought up on Iams (when we didn't know any better, both regarding food quality and allergies). Then, we discovered the allergies, so switched around a little bit. We settled on TOTW Pacific Stream. Note, his allergy report only shows Fish Mix (classified as Catfish, Cod, Herring, Mackerel, and Whitefish - no mention of Salmon, which I'm assuming is a different fish class) and White Potato (no mention of sweet potato). He came back negative on Fish Mix and White Potato, but maybe there is something there with salmon and/or sweet potato, because we can't get the infection out of his ears, and he's been on TOTW Pacific Steam for over a year.
I've since been doing a lot of research trying to find something for him. The vet gave us Purina HA (hypoallergenic), and he HATED it. It's the only food we've ever seen that he would NOT touch, minus the first day when it was new and looked different. After researching on it, I hated it too. I wouldn't have kept him on that even if he liked it. No way. Then, I personally decided on Pinnacle Duck and Potato due to budget and availability, and heaven forbid, our Petco doesn't carry it and no online retailer does with free shipping. We aren't on a HUGE budget, but I don't want to break the bank either. In a crunch, I put him on DVP Natural Balance LID Potato and Duck, which he is liking, but it's not of the quality I want him to end up on. And, in the two weeks he's been on it, the itching and paw chewing is still there. Maybe not QUITE as bad as before, but it's still present.
So, in short, what next? I'm considering California Natural Herring and Sweet Potato (hoping the TOTW issue was the salmon part and not the sweet potato part) or maybe the Nature's Variety Prairie New Zealand Venison and Millet. We have yet to try anything with venison or bison, and would kind of prefer to go that route, but most of them seem to have some ingredient he can't have in them (namely peas in a few that I recall). So, suggestions? Thanks in advance for any help, and also, this forum has been a great resource, thanks to all who contribute.
What is the longest amount of time you've kept him on a food? Two weeks isn't long enough to figure out if a food is working or not.
As I said, he had been on TOTW Pacific Stream for well over a year. Probably closer to a year and a half.
With this Natural Balance LID Duck and Potato, I improvised because he was NOT eating the Purina HA from the vet, and I was planning on our Petco having Pinnacle, and they didn't. So, we put him on that so he would eat something.
I don't want to leave him on that because I don't want him to end up on that long term, seeing it is primarily potato without much protein content.
With that being said, I'm not ruling out duck and potato as not working (not to mention they both came back as negative in the allergy test). We are at the point of needing more food, and I'm reluctant to buy another bag of the Natural Balance, because overall, it isn't a good food. I figured this would be a good time to move him to something that has the characteristics of being more of a long-term solution. Thanks!
Last edited by JasonD; 12-11-2010 at 05:15 PM.
Have you done anything to relieve his symptoms other than changing the food in the meantime? Wipes, ointment, benedryl, Braggs ACV? What have they been giving you for his yeasty ears? Good job doing the shots, what a trooper your boy is for making it through them. Did you do a retailer search on Pinnacle's website to find where you can buy it? That's how I found a holistic store by me that I have never even heard about that is why I ask.
PinnacleŽ - Find a Retail Store
Yea, we have a routine to keep his ears decent. Start with a cleaner that has something in it for the yeast infection. Then an otibiotic (sp?) ointment for his ears for the nastier, non-yeast infections. That keeps them alright, but obviously, the hope is to not have to do that every day from here on out.
As for Pinnacle, nothing within 30 miles. Both Petsmart and Petco carry the Avoderm brand under the Breeder's Choice banner, but nothing with Pinnacle. Here is what seems to be available in the area, but each has something that makes me leary:
Wellness Core Ocean - but it has pea fiber down the ingredient list
Orijen 6 Fish - but it has salmon (was that the culprit in TOTW), peas, and alfalfa
Acana - salmon and peas
Evo Herring and Salmon - salmon and peas
Blue Wilderness Duck - chicken meal and peas
So, needless to say, it appears we have to find something we can get online and now have the shipping and handling completely kill the price and budget.
Hate to post this in the kibble forum, but have you considered a raw diet? Many animals (including my kitty!) had allergies to chicken COOKED but can eat RAW chicken no problem. Cooking changes and damages the protein.
For a dog with that many allergies, in my opinion its the way to go.. it's the only diet where you can choose every single thing about it.
You can feed no chicken at all if you wish and substitute it with turkey, etc.
It's generally cheaper than an expensive kibble and you are getting no needless fillers. ANd your dog's breath won't stink!
And the first ingredient in TOTW Pacific Stream is Salmon, therefore, I'd consider it "salmon based".
Last edited by JasonD; 12-12-2010 at 10:27 AM.
Are you giving your dog heartworm medicine? Just curious, because my dog was allergic to ivermectin. It lowered his immune system and he started getting yeast infections. They would show up in his coat and ears. Nasty stuff. He's also allergic to flea and tick topical.
Regarding heartworm - yes, we've generally given him the typical Heartgard beef (I believe) flavor. At the recommendation of the vet, while we are trying different diets along with being in the cold weather months, he suggested skipping for a month, maybe two, to see if we can't get it cleared up. If the diets appears to do it, we'll go back to the Heartgard and evaluate then with a topical being an alternative means if needed.
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