Dog Food For Itching Skin

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I just found a dog food that is custom designed for sensitive skin relief with very positive customer reviews. Just wondering if anybody has tried it. Ace is driving us nuts with the itching so today I'm going to change food and see what happens. Cross fingers please. DDD
  2. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    What is it? We're desperate here. Poor Jewel is so miserable and we keep doing the rounds of steroids and antibiotics. As soon as she's off them, it starts up again. It has to be allergies.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I'm allowed to share product names. Look up dog food manufacturer's with names begining with E. There are a number of formulas but "sensitive skin" is the one I'm getting. Maybe we can share results. DDD
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Check this out:

    It gives reviews of pretty much every kind of dog food there is and rates them "1" through '"5", "5" being the highest. It lists all the ingredients and gives really good breakdowns on the nutritional content and their recommendations.

    Food allergies are really common and cause lots of skin problems. You'll want to avoid anything with corn in it, even a little bit. It's in just about every grocery store brand of dog food and treats and lots of dogs are very allergic to it. Chicken is another very common allergen in dogs. If the problem turns out to be dry skin and not allergies, the vet can give them supplements that help a lot. We've been through it all!
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    D3 -

    We have dumped hundreds into Caspers skin and coat care. I'm not exaggerating in the least. Our doctor told us that he suffers from air-borne allergies. So we took him to a famous dog dermatologist locally. She's developed a lot of the dog shampoos and itch relief medicines that sell nationwide. We told her we were poor and tapped out but could not stand to see him suffer any longer. She tried a lot of different antibiotics and skin washes on him, with little to no success. Here are some things that we did that you may/may not be aware of that are/have allergens in them common to canines. Some may surprise you, some you may already be aware of. I promise you I've done extensive reading and research. The end result will surprise you and maybe help you and poor little itchy man. I sure hope so.

    Originally Casper presented with a mild red rash and bumps much like mosquito bumps or heat rash. His arm pits and belly would look like ant bites - thousands of them. So first we had the yard treated for ants and mosquitos. We had it treated naturally, then with pesticides and waited a long time to let him back on it.

    We were told he could have a corn allergy and started food allergy eliminations. There is a language all unto itself in dog food. It's interesting when you learn what the package is really stating. The words by-products and meat flavoring are not what you and I have come to mind when we envision these words. Rendered parts are a large part of most commercial dog food. Rendered animal parts can be from a number of sources - there is no regulation on rendered parts in dog food. So when you look for a food for a dog that has allergies you need to find one that is "fit for human consumption". Meaning one that is free of phenolbarbitol, and pesticides etc. There are about five or six currently on the market that are truly all natural. There is a grading system that you can use and honestly it's product in, product out. Blue Buffalo is a very expensive but good food that is 100% natural. One that we have found that is not 100% fit for human consumption but meets or exceeds the dog food test is sold at Sams Club - it's called Exceed Lamb and Rice. For the money - it's comparable to Eukanuba, and it's actually a little better quality. So that solved our food problem.

    Then there was snacks. Never really considered that we were giving him MORE problems - with Bacon strips, meaty bones, and red dye - and blue dye - but yup - he's an allergy prone kid and ANY colored biscuits would cause him to break out. The dye is in so many snacks and treats - Snausages, Beef flavored sticks - the only SAFE bet - is Milk Bones and some of the more expensive dog snacks that are 100% dye free and natural.

    Then there is dirt, and dust mites,,,,,,the laundry detergent that I washed his bedding in - NOW all of it is washed in Tide free or Dreft....but that leaves my carpeting - my throw rugs - and I'm seriously NOT having carpet in my next home. All wood and tile - Even considered taking all of it out of this house - now.....due to him.

    There was the poison ivy in the back yard that he rubbed up against. I can't get it -but he always rubbed on the fence to ITCH and thus....reinfected himself - so check for plants like that - and then use roundup -

    And sadly - I'm almost certain as this is the first year I have not used Frontline to prove a point to the vet that it MAY have everything or something to do with it - He still has some infection on his skin which we're treating with Cipprofloxin and antihistamines - but- it's no where NEAR as bad as it usually is EVERY summer and I have to wonder - WHAT is it - or is it a Combination of a lot of things?

    I still use his special dermatological shampoo from the derm. vet once a week - and a special skin scrub massager like humans have to massage the skin folicles and brush him about every 3 days - and he's still itchy but it's the first year he's not all bloody and scabbed over.

    I also stopped allowing him to go out into the yard for the first 2 days after I mowed thinking - MAYBE it was fresh cut grass.

    DF has been using the psoriasis steroid salve on his back - and that can't be used very much or for very long but it helps calm "the face" when you pet him. And baking soda baths outside help IF he's rinsed with cool water for at least 5 minutes....after I put the paste on him.

    I feel so badly for these kids that are itchy and I hope something in here helps someone figure SOMETHING out. I swear I had a load of dirt hauled in to level our yard and thought - MAYBE that was it and nearly had everyone dig it back out when this made me crazy for him to be in so much agony. But the thing that seems to help the most is just to wash him off with cool water - I think maybe if the dirt itches him - and I rinse him off - he feels better with clean skin??? I don't know but I know I feel better when I'm clean.

    Hope you find an answer.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Well, it's certainly not cheap. :faint: But, it's a good brand. I'll try it and we'll compare notes.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Jewel had none of these issues until we moved into this house. But there are so many variables. The landscaping is much more mature, so she could be allergic to something outside that we didn't have at the other house. The vet mentioned dust mites and we vacuum regularly with a HEPA (?) filter vacuum. Or she could have just developed an allergy and it's all just a coincidence with the timing.

    We've tried dermatologic and medicated shampoos and they just seem to irritate her more, so we stick to the oatmeal shampoo. At least it seems to be *somewhat* soothing. And we only bathe her once every couple of months per vet instructions.

    I've bought mineral supplement and this combination fish oil supplement (special one) and while she *really* enjoys them in her food, they haven't helped any.

    Revolution helped a *tiny* bit. Her skin didn't look so blood red, but it didn't take care of it. I'm wondering if we're going to end up having to do maintenance prednisone every other day.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I've been through the mill with Ragan, my littlest Boston. The closest dermatologist here is two hours away and costs hundreds to get them seen, so it's been trial and error. I figured out she's allergic to gross, especially when it's freshly cut, so I let her use pee pads in the bathroom most of the time, and if I do take her out, I wipe her feet down when we come inside. She's highly allergic to fleas. Even one and she will be up all night crying and scratching. The corn-thing I found out by accident when the brand of food they had been on was recalled and I started home-cooking for them for a while - her skin cleared up for the first time in years. She was much better but still not great, when I figured out the chicken allergy. They were getting a wonderful nutritious food, Merrick, but I had been giving them the chicken flavor because they liked it, and apparently she had gradually built up an intolerence to the chicken. Now I alternate between a beef-based flavor Merrick dry food and another Merrick variety that is made of buffalo, venison and trout, and for once in her life, poor Ragan doesn't itch!
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Donna, I think I'm allergic to gross, too. :tongue:

    So sorry. Couldn't resist.

    I'm very glad you got to the bottom of it with Ragan. I hope we do with Jewel, as well. I hate to see them so miserable.
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, I usually try lotion when I'm itching... hmmm, dog food? Never thought to try that! :rofl:
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Heather, that is exactly what husband said. "It's not cheap." True but going to the Vet isn't cheap either. Ace weighs 80 pounds so that's alot of the new food. I think I should have bought the BIG bag but I figured it made sense to make sure he liked it and it settled well before stocking up.

    Like all of you I can't stand the misery.....or the lack of sleep that impacts me since I have "Mother's Ears" and don't miss a noise! ;) DDD
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    :sick: OMG, just as I finished the post I heard that horrible noise. Ace just
    lost his expensive dinner. Bummer! DDD
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    "...she's allergic to gross, especially when it's freshly cut"

    :tongue:Hee hee! Did I do that? At work I care about typos, here at home not so much! Actually, she kinda is allergic to 'gross'! She's the neatest, tidiest, most finicky dog I've ever had!

    If the dogs skin seems dry, you could ask the vet for these things called "Dermcaps". They're big squishy yellow liquid-filled capsules, like the Vitamin E capsules for people - they might even be Vitamin E for all I know, but I think they're some kind of fish oil. Ragan liked them so much she'd take them right out of my hand like a treat.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Molly is in misery this year. But then with all the darn rain we've had, it's next to impossible to keep the back yard from looking like a jungle. I know the plants are a huge factor. Fleas may be some.....most certainly are aggravating it. And I'm almost to the point where I wonder if it might be food related as well.

    The medicated soap is preventing infection. The benedryl gives her enough relief she can sleep. But where she normally has what Star described so darn well only on her tail and's all over her this year.

    I'll look up that food, but frankly I can barely afford the generic brand. Plus her's has to be soft but not canned because she's missing alot of teeth these days.
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Rice and lamb quality dog foods seem to be good with skin allergies. It seemed to be helpful for someone I know.

    I went to Blue buffalo about a month ago because of animal byproducts. I wanted to go to better quality of food after my 3 yr old dog got bone cancer.

    One of my new pups is very itchy and seems to have an elimination/gas issues. I have gone grain free for him. It is pricey but they eat a little less. Like you said, vet bills are more pricey than food. For doggie treats, I use grain free stuff.

    DDD, I was told to gradually incorporate new food a little at a time so they don't get sick. 1/3 new food to 2/3 regular food.

    We use the oatmeal shampoo too.
  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My Lhasa Apso was allergic to beef. We finally ended up feeding him a lamb and rice food. Knock on wood, Buddy doesn't seem to be allergic to any food, but literally gets "hot spots" when it's over 100 degrees. Which is pretty much all summer around here. At least it's a dry heat, as the locals are so fond of reminding everyone.
  17. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Fran is right about making the switch to a new food gradually. Like she said, start with 1/3 new food and 2/3 old food, then gradually increase the new food over a period of about two weeks until they are finally eating just the new stuff. No one food is right for every dog. Some of the better foods may be too rich for some dogs. You just have to experiment until you find one that they do really well on. Most places sell small 5 lb. bags for you to try out before you invest in a big bag.

    I am an admitted dog food snob. I drive to a town 60 miles away and pay $50 for a 30 lb. bag of the good stuff, about every three weeks. Not too bad for three dogs though, one a bigger one. I tried several but for the last year or so they've been getting Merrick. It's expensive but it's wonderful! I put off buying things for myself so I can get the girls the good stuff! But the change in them since they've been getting it is amazing! They've muscled up, they have tons of energy, their eyes sparkle, they have nice breath and no gas ... and for Bostons, that's saying a lot! And the Bostons black coats are so shiny they gleam! My mixed breed has a beautiful full soft coat, bright shiny eyes and plays like a puppy - and she's nine!

    There's a lot of really good dog foods out there but you can usually only find them in a small independent pet supply store, not the grocery store and not the 'big box' pet stores. In the best ones, meat is the FIRST ingredient - not meat 'meal' or 'by-products. You don't even want to know what 'by-products' are! There should be NO CORN, no artificial colors or flavors, and any grains should be ones that dogs can easily digest like oatmeal or rice. They're expensive but they're worth it. The upside is that when they get a more nutritious food, they actually eat less because their nutritional needs are met with a smaller amount of food. They poop less too because all that corn in the cheap brands is just a filler that they can't digest - the more of it they eat, the more they poop!
  18. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    DDD, you can share product names here as long as you aren't the owner or sales rep. :)

    I needed a new food for my cat because he's overweight and was showing signs of urine crystals. I dreaded making any switch because his stomach is so sensitive and it's always resulted in some combination of him not feeling well, a mess on the carpet, and/or a lot of money spent on food for my mother's cat. I checked out the vet's list and went with the highest percentage of meat (Evo) and am making the switch gradually and he's doing really well with it.
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My ignorance resulted in the "lost meal" I guess. I "shoulda" read up on changing formula before I did it. You guys are absolutely right it's 1/3rd of the new food mixed with 2/3rds of the familiar. Gradually you move on to
    just the new food.

    The new food is Eukanuba "Sensitive Skin" .Reading the ingredients makes our diet seem woefully insufficient. ;)

    I think he may be allergic to "gross" :redface: too. Sorry, Donna, I couldn't resist.
    He gets like blisters around his mouth that are red like someone else described
    although no excessive red body welts. on the other hand, he doesn't lay in the grass he
    just walks around, does his business and sits down (which may be why his booty is itchy too although not blistered). He's a mess but we love him.DDD
  20. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    EVO red meat big bites is really a premium food. I actually use it in their kongs as a treat.
    Candidae grain free is also another good food.
    I have not heard of Merrick but I'm going to explore that one too Donna. I'm still open to trying the right food for all 3 of my fussy eaters.
    Donna is right about finding small independent pet stores. I did searches to find the stores that sell the foods I want.
    I'd order on line but the shipping is almost as expensive as the food so I do the drive.

    I hope your little pup gets healed of his blisters. Poor guy.