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Avatar universal

Boston Terrier possible food allergy?

Hi there!  I hope someone out there can offer some insight.  I have an almost 7-year-old Boston male who is a very, very picky eater.  We tried every brand under the sun and the only food he would eat unfortunately was Beneful so that's what we were feeding him.  
On his last vet visit the vet recommended Natural Balance.  I wanted to get him on something more nutritious, so I gradually switched him over to the Natural Balance limited ingredient chicken and sweet potato variety.
It's been about two weeks and he seems to like the food and hasn't had any digestive issues or anything.  The only thing is I've noticed that ever since the switch his black coat is covered in what appears to be dandruff - some really, really large flakes too, and he's never, ever had dandruff before.  He's not scratching at all, has no missing fur anywhere and no signs of any kind of skin problem anywhere on his body.  Just big white flakes of dead skin/dandruff, mostly on his lower back and hind quarters.

It's strange that he's not scratching because I would think with flakes that large he'd be very dry.  But his coat looks otherwise shiny.  I'm home with him all day and he's just not scratching or anything.  

Could this be an allergic reaction to the food, and in anyone's experience will it continue to get worse or does he just need to get used to it?  
7 Responses
974371 tn?1424656729
I've been using Natural Balance for my Greyhound with kidney issues.  However, I am using the Fish and Sweet potato.  You might want to try switching to that. Perhaps your supplier has some sample bags they can give you to try.  It *may* be a food allergy and *may* be the chicken.  Skin problems are so difficult to figure out sometimes.  Maybe he is just sloughing off old skin, maybe it's an allergy (food, environmental, air borne.........).  You can try adding some Omega 3 to his food daily and see if that helps the skin condition.  Are you bathing him often?  If so, in what and are you making sure to rinse the products out thoroughly?  The only way you can see if it is a food allergy is to do an elimination diet and keep a diary and that can take a while.  If you do this, you can only feed that one food and only add anything else one at a time and wait a week to two weeks to see if there is any reactions.  Not easy.  I'd try maybe switching to the fish and sweet potato food and stay away from the chicken for right now.  That would include any treats too.
462827 tn?1333172552
As strange as it might sound, I think this is probably a NORMAL Detoxification process....A regular Vet would not recognize it as such, but a Holistic Vet would...

Where you describe the flaking is where Flea Allergies are the most likely to occur.....However, they Itch....

I agree w/Margot, you could/should add Omega 3 Fatty Acids to his Diet (For lots of reasons)...Most people like Fish Oil...I use Organic Coconut Oil....

Another possibility is that he needs more moisture in his diet....Especially, this time of year.....Total dry food diet DOES NOT provide enough moisture to heal dry skin.....You need to add some canned, half & half....

Another thing you can do: An Apple Cider Vinegar rinse left on for a few minutes, then rinsed, will provide the proper PH for his skin to heal.....Course, he'll smell like a salad!  ;)

I still suspect detox, as the body clears the BAD food out, & gets use to the new Healthy food......

The reason he and others like Beneful, is that it is full of sugar....The company uses such poor ingredients in it's formula, that NO dog would eat it....The company knows this! Thus, they add alot of sugar that can't be resisted....Leads to Diabetes down the road!

Good for you for upgrading his food.....You can also add fresh veggies, fruit, juices, broths (Low sodium) to his food for added moisture......Good luck & I hope some of what Margot & I have explained here, will help....Karla
974371 tn?1424656729
Ok, I'm chuckling here.  I've used the Vinegar rinse on dogs for years, esp my show dogs to get the *products* out of their coats. If you rinse it out well, it won't smell when it dries.  I hope.  LOL!!  Well, they never did here.  
Avatar universal
Thanks to both of you for the great responses!  
My first fear was fleas, but we've thoroughly checked and it appears to be just a whole lot of dead skin cells/dandruff - he's never outdoors or around other animals, but my thought was he could have picked up fleas at the vet or something.  But like I said, I haven't seen him scratch at all in the  2 weeks since this started.  

Can either of you recommend a good Omega 3 source for him?  Do you give supplements or just add oils to the food, etc?  

The poor guy HATES baths, and of course being a Boston he's impossible to towel dry because he just tries to play tug of war with the towel!  But we do have some oatmeal shampoo as well as apple cider vinegar.  

Hopefully we can resolve this.  He doesn't seem to mind at all and isn't uncomfortable in any way, but the dandruff all over house and I feel like I can't keep up no matter how much cleaning/vacuuming I do.  

Thanks again for the tips!

974371 tn?1424656729
Wow, that's a lot of flaking for such a small dog. LOL!!
I've never been one to give a lot of supplements, esp as long as I was using a good quality food.  Most of the better dog foods have Omega 6 in them and, if I remember correctly, if you supplement with Omega 3, you should feed a low fat diet, which for a Boston may not be a bad idea.  :-)
You can guy Omega 3 capsules and maybe give one a day. You can get flax seed oil and add a little of that daily.  Not the two together, either/or.  
You can feed canned sardines in oil a couple of times a week (maybe 2 or 3 at a time).  You just don't to feed too much, esp when starting, so the dog doesn't get loose stools.
Karla may be able to add more on this.  
I do like the Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato I've been using.  I think you still may want to check into a fish based food and give that a trial.  
Avatar universal
Thanks for your help!  I'm going to look into the fish-based NB, and maybe a tiny bit of flax seed oil.  

I think the NB food is doing some good because despite all the dandruff his coat actually looks a lot shinier - it's so strange, but maybe his skin is in "shock" and purging from going from so many fillers to such a pure, quality food :)
Avatar universal
We have a two year old Boston that we rescued from the pound. For the first year, he ate Science Diet's Lamb & Rice with no problems but later started having skin allergies (redness on the belly & legs) which was aggravated by his licking. He's had to be on anti fungal & bacterial medication before and we've since tried all the combinations of Natural Balance limited ingredient food. He still had reactions to the Duck & Sweet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato, Bison, Venison, Chicken, you name it. We bathe him weekly with a medicated shampoo but the poor thing still is all pink/red underneath. I bought some flax seed oil tonight and will start him on a trial. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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