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Raw Diet?

Anyone have any experience with raw diets?  My poor dog seems to be allergic to everything he eats.  Hes on a prescription hypoallergenic diet now and he's doing ok with it but its super expensive and it gives him bad breath.  There has to be something better for him out there but until I find it I was thinking of going raw.  One of my coworkers highly recommended it but all the information I can find on it is either all for it or all against it.
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1916673 tn?1420233270
Has your dog been patch tested? If not, it's worth considering as it will tell you exactly what the allergies relate to, which then means these things can be avoided. Without knowing what the dog is allergic to, changing diet to something that won't cause a problem will be long-winded and a bit trial and error. Karla knows more about good diet foods than I do, so she will undoubtedly advise on what "better" foods to feed for hyper-allergic dogs, but really, the patch-test is your best way forward in the long run. Not all vets do this test as it's quite complex and specialised, but a large vet practice should be capable of undertaking it. Tony
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974371 tn?1424653129
I don't feed totally raw myself but have friends that do.  You might want to look up BARF diets.
Karla should be able to give you some good advice.
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Avatar universal
Thank you, I will look into it! :-)
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462827 tn?1333168952
Welcome....What breed of dog is this & how old? What have you fed in the past up until now? Names please? Including treats? Only dry or do you feed wet? What are his symptoms? Details please......What's the prescription diet?  

I feed mostly raw & will be glad to help you.......Thanks, Karla
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1040373 tn?1273687488
I transitioned from prescription food to limitied diet canned food to homemade, but not raw. My dogs also have allergies/sensitivities. I've found that since they've been on the homemade, their vomiting and diahhrea have all but stopped.

Just wanted to mention that there might be other options for you :)
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Avatar universal
Hi Karla!  
My dog Kobie is a 4 y/o mutt…..pound said he was Pit Bull and Lab but I think he’s Pit Bull and whatever walked by.  I will give you a little history on him which might help you understand his situation a little better.
  
Kobie had a rough start in life.  He was dropped off at the pound with his siblings, covered in fleas and had ticks imbedded in his skin.  I adopted him literally minutes before he was to be euthanized (all his siblings had been put down at that point).  I got the call that he had Parvo but he was in the early stages of it so I decided to try to save him.  He barely survived the Parvo then developed Kennel Cough which almost killed him again.  Once we cleared that up he was diagnosed with Mange.  He was on Ivermectin for what seemed like an eternity and we got it under control.  I say all this because I am finding out after the fact that dogs that survive Parvo usually have sensitive digestive tracts and dog with mange usually have some sort of skin issue.  My poor boy received a double wammy!

The foods that I can remember feeding him are: Avoderm, Iams, Eukanuba, Blue Buffalo (Life, Wilderness, Basic & Freedom), Science Diet, Natural Life & Natures Variety.  He was also on raw hamburger meat mixed with green beans, hard boiled eggs & Dinovite.  He is currently on Royal Canin Hypo Allergenic Duck (rabbit makes him itch).  All his food has been dry kibble until recently, I now mix canned food with the dry food every other meal.

He’s treats were the usually crappy ones until I started doing research.  He had milk bones, greenies, pup-a-roni, beggin strips, ect.  Now he only gets dehydrated chicken and frozen balls of his wet prescription food.

His symptoms are constant itching, greasy skin, red bumps (looks like flea bites but there not).  His back and sides are always itchy & he’s constantly rolling around on the floor to itch himself.  He gets the red bumps on his belly and under his arms.  The side of his face and the corners of his mouth are always scabby from itching too.  His ears get crusty every once in a while but a bath usually clears that up.  He has in the past itched his feet so badly that he’s literally chewed the pad off of his foot.  Like I said, the poor boy is falling apart.

I bathe him with the gentlest shampoo I can find, the less stuff in it the better.  He is on Trifexis for fleas & heartworm, I know he probably shouldn’t because it’s ingested but all the liquids (Frontline, K9 Advantix & Advantage) burn his skin & turn it red and dry.  I live in Florida so the battle with fleas is a year round thing.

He has been on several antibiotics for his skin and a few different steroids for the itching.  I try to keep him off the steroids until the itching is hopelessly bad for him, then I give in but I still hate to do it.  So far the drugs are the only things that give him any kind of relief.  I have tried Benadryl, Allerga & Zertec (all recommended by the vet) but they seem to help very little.

I am saving the money up for the patch testing that Tony talked about.  We actually have an animal Dermatologist here where I live but it’s pricy to get it done.  I’m ok with is along as it makes his life more comfortable.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to write a book!  Thank you for taking the time to read all this and for getting back with me!
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1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. Karla will write back to you shortly, I'm sure, as she's so good at this kind of thing and will offer you excellent advice. I'm so pleased you are managing to (eventually) get the patch test. It should give you much more information about what Kobie is allergic to - which should make management more straightforward - and it will save you and your vet second-guessing what and how to treat symptoms. In theory, it could resolve the symptoms completely, as long as you can avoid the allergy elements from environment and diet.

Already written more than I intended, sorry. I was actually just going to ask you how much the patch test is in your neck of the woods, as it will help other dog owners with similar issues plan financially for it in the future. While I have advised many owners to try and get the patch test done on their allergic dogs, I have never been able to suggest what it might cost, so any info you can give would be very useful. Many thanks. Give Kobie a cuddle from me. Tony
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462827 tn?1333168952
Hello.....Thanks for the details......After going over your list, the only high quality foods your guy has eaten are the Wellness AND Natures Variety....The RC Prescription diets are potato based w/very little protein & way too many carbs.....Plus, it's expensive for what your getting which is basically potatoes.....Good for you to incorporate canned.....He needs it....

I prefer prepackaged raw.....However, I wouldn't go to an all raw diet for your guy because:
1--It's very expensive for a large breed dog (Unless you make your own)
2--I don't think your dog has food allergies!

Do you have a farm & tractor supply store anywhere near you? They have their own wonderful line of foods and they are very affordable compared to what your buying now....The line is called "4Health"...Any flavor (Dry or canned) is great and it's better to rotate between flavors anyway.....You can't go wrong...

I've had MANY dogs here that fit your same description to a tee......Your Vet has Missed ONE very important thing.....Every single detail you have included points to ONLY ONE diagnoses.....It's SARCOPTIC MANGE"!!!

I assume he had Demodectic mange in the past which is a result of a weak immune system......Sarcoptic Mange is a Mite that causes intense itching.....It's hard to get a positive diagnoses on a skin scrap, but sometimes an egg will be seen....However, with these classic symptoms, treatment is begun anyway......

Best results are with a dip from your Vet...I personally would have your Vet do it since your dog has it on his face.....The dip is dangerous & must be done correctly.....The good news is it's almost instant relief after the quick kill of the live mites....Repeat of dip is done again 2 weeks later to get the newly hatched eggs......

There are other so called treatments, but I wouldn't mess with any of them.......Use something that works and let your Vet do it....If he doesn't agree, find one that does.....Good luck, Let me know what you think.....Karla

  
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Avatar universal
Wow....you really think it could be mange??  He has had several skin scrapings in the past but nothing ever showed up and the vet never offered to treat it as such.  I did make an appt with the vet today though, just to discuss this angle with her.  I do have two tractor supply type stores here in this area, hopefully one of the two will sell the food you recommended.  I looked it up on line and it does have some good ratings.  I will be forever in your debt if you are right....I will keep you posted of the outcome. :-)


Tony......... I do have a price list buried somewhere in all his paperwork.  I will dig around and see if I can find it to post.
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1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. That would be great and would help other people when planning this test. Mange is certainly a real possibility - I would have thought it would have been the first thing the vet would have investigated, which is why it didn't really cross my mind. But Karla's so right, if it is mange, try to get him dipped at the vet as it's the best and safest way (done professionally) and the most successful of the various treatments available. Tony
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462827 tn?1333168952
Yes, I do think it's Sarcoptic Mange! Not Demodectic Mange....
Demodectic Mange is easy to see on a scrape.....Sarcoptic is almost impossible to find except an egg.....
Based on your symptoms, the crusty ears are #1 clue.....However, for sarcoptic, bumps on tummy (Classic), Under arms (Classic) all soft tissue (Including feet)! Crusting on face is a dead giveaway!!!!!

Please, remember your dog will continue to itch pretty fiercely for about 2 weeks.....As the mite debris grows out from under the skin, it itches....This is when steroids can/should be given to get some relief.......

Get your guy some nutrition...Don't waste the food that you have! Remember, it's basically potatoes.....Add some fresh meat (Cooked or raw) and fresh cooked veggies to his meals...Mainly till you use up this RC food.....Feed twice a day.......

Now, lets build his immune system.....I would add probiotics and live enzymes to his meals....Why? A strong immune system begins in the digestive system......If you are feeding ALL processed food, there is no live enzymes.....They play an important role in health as with humans.......

My favorite combo product is made by Animal Essentials......(Plant Enzymes & Probiotics)....It's a tasteless powder to sprinkle on food...Start with a very low dose because it can cause constipation until his system gets use to it.......Tiny doses are very beneficial...Many places sell it, I buy mine from Amazon cause it's easy!

Feed a High quality CANNED food at least once a day......Moisture is the key especially for skin diseases, plus it's higher in nutrition because it has not been baked to death like kibble....

When his skin heals, I feel you will be able to use topical flea.tick products....."Revolution" (Prescription from Vets) is one that is also made for Sarcoptic Mange AND Ear mites......My Holistic Vet says "Frontline" works ,also, but I have not tried it.....It can be purchased OTC now.....Use to be sold only through a Vet....

Large Wal-Marts have just started carrying it....As do Pet supply Stores

If you want to look into a High Quality Raw Food (Dehydrated) to incorporate into his meals, MY choice would be "Honest Kitchen" foods.....They are the best for the price......At least visit their web-page for more information...Their foods are wonderful & simple to use......Their page makes for great reading if your bored! ;)  

I believe that's all for now....Please, ask questions if you need.....Follow the above info. and you will have a new dog in a month or 2......Good luck and let me know how it's going.....Karla

P.S. The two best foods you've used were Natures Variety AND BLUE.....Not Wellness.....Sorry for that mistake......
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462827 tn?1333168952
Any Updates???  Just curious.....Karla
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Avatar universal
Hey Karla!  You must have been reading my mind! lol  I just uploaded a few pic of Kobie for you to look at and tell me what you think.  He has his vets appt tomorrow (Tues) at 10 so I will know more then but the more I look at some of these pic, the more I think you are right.  I was wondering if you have any idea as to why his toes and toenails are turning yellow underneath.  I only noticed it today when I was cutting his nails.  I will address it tomorrow to but I wondering if you had any inside on it.  Thank you soooo much!!
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462827 tn?1333168952
Hello..Well we're back to square one.....I looked at the photos...That's NOT Mange.....Plus, with Mange there would be thinning hair or missing spots of hair...His hair looked beautiful in the photos.....The places on his face are Canine Pyoderma (Bacterial Infection).....Normally, it can be cleared up by using a OTC Antiobiotic cream like neosporin.....The greatest cause of this is eating or drinking out of plastic food bowls.....They harbor the bacteria that cause this.....Glass or stainless bowls will turn this condition around......

If you get a skin scrape tomorrow,  look for the crusting of the ears...That would be the ideal place to scrape to look for Mange.....Again, he does not look to have it from his photos.....Does he have any spots of hair loss anywhere?

When you fed the Blue or Natures Variety, how long did he eat it before you changed? How long has he been on the RC food this time?

Yellowing is normally a fungus such as ringworm or yeast.....They can actually test for both of these, also.....Ringworm will show up under a blacklight & yeast will show on a scrape.....Both are treated with anti-fungals.....Both itch tremendously!


I'll be back......Gotta run for awhile.......Karla

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Avatar universal
Guilty of the plastic bowls, didn't even think about it with him.....cats have stainless but poor Kobie has plastic elevated bowls.  Looks like we will be taking a trip to the pet supply store tomorrow! :-/  

He was on Blue for a couple of years (tried all flavors) with no good results, still itchy.  I think he was NV for at least 6 moths befoe he was put on RC and he has been on that for prob about 8 months now.  There is a lil improvement on the RC but not $100. per bag worth. lol

I will defiantly let you know what the vet says tomorrow.  Oh, he has no patches of missing hair anywhere on his body.  Thanks again for all your input!
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1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. Any ringworm would show as a reddish ring shaped rash on the skin, commonly around the head, but not exclusively in that area. It is easily and often misdiagnosed as mange. Have you seen anything like this on Kobie? Ringworm can be caught from other infected dogs, but as the spores are shed in hair for up to 18 months, clearly it could be transmitted by many other routes. Dogs are generally immune to ringworm, but not always, so it is certainly a possibility worth getting your vet to check.

Yeast infections are a much trickier thing to deal with. I have had a dog in the past with yeast infection, and it was hard work managing and solving it, but perseverance and patience gets you there in the end. The Patch Test will show whether the underlying cause is an allergy, so it's worth doing. The problem with yeast infections are they may only be the secondary symptom of something underlying, and it's therefore important to remove the allergen from Kobie's environment and diet, as that will stop re occurrence of the yeast infection.

Let us know what your vet says. Fingers crossed. Tony x
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Avatar universal
Took my Kobie to the vets office yesterday & she told me what I expected to hear......well sorta.  She told me it was most likely environmental allergies, and that I'm wasting my money on the prescription diet.  She wasn't a big fan of the raw diet cause Kobie isn't a performance dog.  She did tell me to get him on a senior food cause its higher in fiber, which she said he needs right now.  She told me to continue the OTC allergy pills and gave me a chart of how much to give for his weight.  She gave him a mild steroid shot which will only last 3 to 4 days (I'm not a fan of steroids but he did need something).  She gave me a prescription shampoo and told me to wash his feet and undersides with Selson Blue to help control the yeast.  He starts an antibiotic as soon as I pick it up from the store.

I'm crossing my fingers that this new vet will be more helpful then the last one & i'm still saving up for the allergy testing.  I think that will be very beneficial.....I just hope he's not allergic to cats! lol
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1916673 tn?1420233270
Hi. Yes, the problem is, you are spending a fortune (no doubt) on treating the secondary symptoms, not the main cause of the reaction. You can keep treating forever, but the allergy will still be there, because you don't exactly know what the allergen is. The Patch Test will solve having to second-guess what might be affecting Kobie and allow you to plan how the allergen can be removed from environment and/or diet. Unfortunately, there is no other route to go down other than what you are doing, spending money on pills and meds that might help Kobie feel better, but which won't cure the main problem causing it in the first place. Tony
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