Allergies

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mciaccia
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Allergies

Does anyone else have a pit with allergies?

My 2 year old gets these horrible rashes on his stomach and legs.  The vet did some bloodwork and skin testing and they aren't mites, fleas, or anything external.  She suggested they were allergies but I really can't afford the Science Diet special diets that cost 40 bucks for a 10 pound bag.  I think I've eliminated the allergy to either corn, wheat, or soy.

KaylasMom
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Pit bulls and their cousins are known for skin allergies, and a lot of it is due to food and our environment.  I could not begin to tell you how many pits have come through our clinic with stomach rashes, red and swollen feet, gooky eyes, and so much more.  If the vet did the appropriate bloodwork and skin scrapping, more than likely it is an environmental allergy or food allergy.  It could also be very dry skin, but I am sure the vet would have told you this.   

Food allegies are hard to diagnose, unless you spend several hundreds of dollars on allergy testing.  You can do food testing on your own, but it is time consuming and VERY difficult.  You would need to do what we call the "elimination diet" and eliminate common ingredients that are considered allergens to many dogs.  This consists of beef, grains, chicken, lamb, etc.  You would need to find a limited ingredient or grain free food.  Treats should also be this way, and you would want to eliminate this same ingredients from table scraps.  There are many high-quality dog foods out on the market that are geared for dogs who have food allergies.  Natural Balance, Orijen, Canidae, Taste of the Wild, etc.  You may pay a bit more for these, but you will be able to feed less (since it is a higher quality food) and it will help your pittie in the long run.  The higher the quality the food, the better it is for your dog's health for their life. 

There are MANY dog foods out there that are for dogs with allergies that cost $40 for 30lbs.  Science Diet can be a total racket when it comes to speciality foods, and many vets promote them for reasons that I won't get into here.   

Does she scoot across the floor on her belly like she is army crawling?  If she does that a lot, her belly could also be red and inflammed from that. 

Without allergy testing and all kinds of things, it will be difficult to determine what is actually going on.  Environmental allergies are even more difficult.  It could be anything from the carpet fibers to the paint on your walls.  it could be dust.  It is just something that we get used to.  Talk to your vet about Benadryl for your dog.  Sometimes that helps tremedously, along with a good diet. 

Welcome to pittie skin issues!  :)

 

 

mciaccia
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Thank you for the comment!  It was pretty helpful.  We tried Canidae but our dogs had a little poop issue with it.  We've had him on Fromm's Duck and Sweet potato for a couple of months now and the rash wasn't really coming up at all.  However, lately, his rash came up again but we think it's because he got into a bunch of dog treats that he wasn't supposed to have (Pupperoni).  I'm just worried again now because it's been about a month since he ate the giant bag on his own and his rash has gotten better but hasn't gone away.  He keeps biting at it which just makes it worse!  Just now I'm not sure if I should switch him to a grain free or not now.

 

He doesn't crawl around on the floor much and we have all wood floors so it can't be any of those things.

mciaccia
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I do have another question for you though.  My older dog constantly chews his paws and gets ear infections on a regular basis.  I think the ear infections are due to a food allergy so we've switched him to a grain-free food to see if it helps with the ear infections but do you think the paw-chewing is a behavioral thing or could it also be an allergy? 

KaylasMom
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If he is scratching his ears alot and chweing at his paws, that is usually an allergy thing also, most often a food allergy. 

Paw chewing can be a behaviorial thing, but most often it is an allergy issue, especially since it is paired with his scratching of the ears.

Contact your vet and see if he/she recommends Benadryl.  Many vets are ok with that, as another option is steroids like Prednisone, and too much of that can cause liver issues.  Not to mention peeing in the house!

 

KaylasMom
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It does sound like either environmental or food allergies.  The key is to make sure that you feed him the same ingredients all the time, including treats.  That makes it SO difficult, doesn't it!?!?  :) 

Getting grain-free treats and organic treats may be the way to go for awhile until spring arrives to see if it is environmental allergies.  There are allergens in the winter, so that could be an issue to.  More than likely, it is food related. 

mciaccia
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Well he is 7 years old and has lived in California and Chicago, he chews his paws all summer and all winter and has been doing it since we got him at 8 months old.  We've been good at giving them treats.  We just get the dried pieces of duck and chicken breasts but his food is a fish grain free.  Having dogs with allergies is really tough and I'm afraid to go to the vets because they want to run tons of expensive tests.

KaylasMom
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If he has been doing it for this many years, what may have started as an allergy related issue, may have turned into a behaviorial issue.  Kind of like us chewing our nails and cuticles.  It just becomes a habit and we don't always realize that we are doing it. 

I understand about the testing.  It is pricey to determine what the dogs are allergic too, but that is the only way to come to a real conclusion and to find a solution.  But, you may want to try eliminating the chicken treats from the diets.  Common meats such as chicken, beef, and lamb are major sources for allergies.  I think that the duck might be ok, but try to venture into the exotic meats, if you want to feed meat based treats.  Stick with the fish and grain-free diet for a few months and see how that works.  There are fish treats out on the market!  You won't get immediate results, hence why to keep them on a strict diet for a few months.  A lot of it is trial and error.  But, you do have to give each food time to "work" and allow the body to rid itself of the previous food allergens. 

Yes, dogs with allergies is tough!  My dog is an allergy girl.  She gets Benadryl during the warmer months, and is fed an exotic meat and grain-free diet, along with canned salmon, sardines, cooked egg, and some cooked meats off an on.  Sometimes real meat is better than processed meat used in kibble, due to the processing and chemicals used.  Try cooking of some ground turkey, beef liver, tripe, or organ meat (will have to get at a local meat market/butcher).  Sometimes that helps too. 

mciaccia
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Okay well I'll try sticking with salmon and duck treats instead of the chicken ones then!  And you would suggest sometimes mixing in cooked meat with their food?  I live in the city so getting cheaper meats like tripe and liver would be easy and relatively inexpensive and if it helps with their allergies I'm happy to do it. 

I give them eggs every now and then.  Whenever I make myself scrambled eggs, I make a little extra for them.

Would I be able to make my own treats? My roommate has a drier, would I be able to make my own jerky treats?

KaylasMom
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Cooked meat couldn't hurt.  Many owners that feed their dogs raw food generally do not have allergy issues!  But, there is SO much that goes into feeding a raw diet, that it isn't something I would reccomend unless you are prepared to research until your eyes falls out, get all the proper vitamins, and the list goes on and on with the things that you need to do.

Adding cooked meats can only help the diet of your dog, unless they are allergic to that meat!   Ha ha!  It seems to have helped my dog.  Since you feed a fish diet, try to mix in canned sardines (in water and not oil) and canned salmon from time to time.  They are packed with omegas that will help skin and coat as well.  Eggs are a good source of biological protein for dogs that isn't always obtained through kiln-fired kibble.  It won't hurt to try.  Just do small amounts starting off, and gradually add more.  Make sure that you reduce the amount of kibble you are giving in relation to the amount of meat or other item that you are giving.  You don't want to cause your dog to become obese! 

Again, I would still contact the vet and see what they think about Benadryl.  It is an inexpensive way to help combat the allergy symptoms.  Many vets recommend it if the allergies are not severe, and many vets don't approve of it.  All you have to do is ask!

i luv my pitbull
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Herman licks his paws also. I have tried "Gold Seal Sea Meal" powder with his food and it helped a little. Contacting your vet is a must in my opinion. I was lucky enough to find a local vet that owns a pit-mix himself, and has a great deal of expertise in bullys. Habitual chewing can sometimes lead to infections, your vet could tell if that was the case. I feel you on the $$$ thing. My pockets are not deep either. The costs can be scary. I wish you the best.

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 Vet tested his red paws and found Staff/Strep infection from  mouth germs, 3 weeks on Sulfa. We can count on Chuck & Don's pet food outlets for advice  as they are knowledgeable and helpful.Taste of The Wild grainless is awesome. Also Septiderm spray is great for red spots/itching but he tries to lick it off. Vet says if we have food allergy testing and eliminate that allergy his system will be better able to deal with enviromental allergy issues. We must keep him off grass to avoid severe allergy reaction. He had a lump under jaw and vet said it was either a Hystocytoma (spelling?) which is allergy or a Mast Cell cancer. Luckily it went away with high doses of Benadryl and seems to have been the former problem. Don't freak out about bumps/lumps but have it checked. Research both issues.

mciaccia
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I've had his paws checked for infections a few times, usually about once a year.  We've been lucky.  He also never has any bumps or anything anywhere else.  With him, it's just the paw chewing/licking and the ear infections.  Since my vet suggested it may be a behavioral thing, we tried bitter apple spray on his paws but that definitely did not work, he just braved through the awful taste and kept on chewing.  We've tried telling him "no" whenever we see him chewing.  I've tried grain-free food and he still chews them.  Like I said, he's lived in California, Vegas, and Chicago and he chews his paws throughout every single season in every state.  It's like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing and I can't find them =(  And yea, I just do not have the money to spend on hundreds of tests or special foods that are subpar anyway. 

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Bummer about all the stuff you've tried that has'nt worked. I hope you find something that does. You have obviously tried everything I can think of. I have empathy for you & your dog, as we share the same paw licking problem.

missy
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My baby girl storm is a rescued dog at first she was on god knows what food i tried her on wellness for puppies and i think she maybe allergic to the chicken in it because she is loosing tons of hair but she s not sctraching at it or anything. Has anyone else had this problem with there pit?

missy
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My baby girl storm is a rescued dog at first she was on god knows what food i tried her on wellness for puppies and i think she maybe allergic to the chicken in it because she is loosing tons of hair but she s not sctraching at it or anything. Has anyone else had this problem with there pit?

BeckiConrad
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Missy,

We put our Julie on Lamb and Rice food.  We use the Sience Diet/Natural.  We can only find it at PetCo and it a little more expensive but well worth it.  No GI problems due to food, and no hair loss since.

The only time Julie has any problems is if she get ahold of people food, we had some friends over on a Saturday and one of the kids must have given her something she should not have had because by Sunday she was vomitting and Diarreha so bad, that she had to stay the night at the pet hospital.  It was so sad to see her so sick, but as long as we stay on the Lamb and Rice food she does really well.   If this does not help, you should see your vet and get their take on what might be happening.

 

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Hi Missy. I give my pitbull Herman "Taste of the Wild" brand food. It comes in several different flavors & is grain-free. Without knowing your dog, I can't say this is the answer, but it has helped Herman alot. People food is an issue with my dog also, so that may be a problem as well. Hope this helps.

missy
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Thanks everyone  for the info.

chary0803
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my puppy is 7months old.He has some bald spots with lumps in them, hes always itching. Is this allergies?