Archives for the day Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Allergy in dogs Part I

¬† Our dog “Palette” is Corgi:stumpy short legs with long back.

I see some dogs scratch themselves with great leg pumping motion,but our dog?? Forget about it. It is almost painful to see how she struggle trying to find the right way to scratch her head or neck with hind legs.

She is getting better at scratching herself over the years but, her way of scratching is almost like she is spanking her own head/body, and so slow since she is trying to get the right angle,right spot to scratch.

“Palette” eats well,and she has not turned her nose up a lot, but she does not eat catfish.

She is not allergic to the fish or anything,but she just have no interests or whatsoever to eat the catfish.

She just have so much interest in rolling on it.

Only thing she cannot eat so far is Tilapia,besides fattier cut of meat such as chuck. If she eats raw tilapia,she poop out really bright matcha (Green tea) colored puddle of poop,and she needs butt-wash.

If I feed cooked Tilapia, she vomits out.So,I thought that she just does not do good on the particular fish and,it is out from her menu.

Many of you have already know that I feed raw diet.

I did not switch her diet to raw diet due to Allergy thing but rather,I felt it is better diet for her because the diet menu is free from preservatives,additives or artificial; coloring or flavoring, or added vitamins that may may not be enough for her and always fresh food.

Also,I liked the fact that the diet can tailor to each individual dog’s need,and I can really see what I am feeding to her.

While researching how,what I feed to Palette for raw diet,I realized many dogs are suffering from allergy,and it sounded like very difficult to find the source that causing the reaction.

Palette never had Allergy so, I am not really experiencing real food allergy thing in dogs,but in the past, she had “Hot spots” and she scratched/chewed her hind thigh area to raw and I remember wondering what made her scratch herself so much.

She does not have the spots anymore, and does not scratch to raw at all,but at the time of Hot spot,we suspect it may have been due to the bug bites (spider).

Because she is trained to sit after her business is done,and all reaction area was concentrated around inner thigh area or butt-cheek area where she can contact with grass or bugs.

Our vet suggested to keep the area dry,and try not to let her chew  or scratch the area.

When she showed extreme itchiness,we put her Elizabeth collar. She did not like it but,it helped her not chewing much and the itch got subsided.

As she gets better,we put Elizabeth collar only when she goes to sleep and cannot keep an eye on. When I had to put her Elizabeth collar,one thing that I did not like was that, it keeps her from chewing the itchy area,but when she needed to go potty,she likes to sniff the ground to decide where she does pee-mail or poo-mail and every time she sniff the ground,the dirt gets dug up a little by Elizabeth collar edge and,I needed to wash the collar often. Then, while I was washing the collar, I had to keep an eye on Palette to make sure she is not scratching the area.

These days, there is more than plastic Elizabeth collar on the market. I have not actually had a chance to use it, but it sounds good. It is called comfy cone. It is made from water-resistant soft nylon foam, I see that size can go up from neck size 8 inches to 21 inches and price range from $13 to $25. If you were looking for soft e-collars,it maybe good thing to try.

So,what is Allergy in dogs??

Wikipedia define that Allergy is hyper sensitivity.

According to Linda Bren in FDA site, human sniffle,sneeze,cough,or runny nose,stuffy nose or watery eye. But dogs do not get stuffy nose,runny nose etc like human.

They tend to itch and scratch or chew or lick,and bite/scratch to raw and makes the area infected.

In Allergy,there are 4 types: food,contact,flea,atopic.

With flea bite, flea’s saliva gets left in skin and makes the bitten area itch.

With atopic,common allergens will be mold,dust,spore, tabacco smoke,pollen etc.

With food, certain food cause allergic reaction,but our lady vet said to us that true food allergy in dog is rare and allergy is more with other cause such as environmental allergy/seasonal allergy.

With contact, it can be grass,it can be cleaners you use in your house floors etc.

To read more on allergy article on FDA website, please click here.

To read more on Allergy in dogs, please click here.

How this Allergy reaction is activated?

Reaction difference between human and dog is something to do with “Mast cells”. It is a specialized cell in the body to respond to allergens by production of histamine.

In human, mast cells are highly concentrated in the area of eyes,nose,windpipes.

In dogs, the mast cells are concentrated on face,paws,armpit,and groin.

Mosquitoes loves my blood and,I get bitten quite a bit in summer.And the bitten area gets so itchy and I tend to scratch,and it gets swell. But when you think about it, this maybe by reaction of production of histamine? Because the itch relief cream I tend to put on the spot is anti-histamine products.

Now you know that Allergy is such a complicated thing to deal with because there are so many possibility out there that can trigger the reaction to dogs.

If food Allergy,there are many dog food out there to choose from.However, since it is highly processed, and it is not just one ingredient,it makes the dogs’ owners hard to find the source of the reaction.

Kibble is not one ingredient products,it comes with other stuff and it can be that “Other” stuff that causing the reaction and not necessary be the specific protein source.

Some dog food has grain,corn products, or vegetables etc along side the meat ingredients and, now many people try to provide healthier diet for furry friends and,more people look the treats that says ” Natural” or ” Jerky” type of treats but, try look the label very very carefully because some holistic biscuits/Jerky tend to use Vitamin E (which usually delivered from soybean oil,and some dogs react to soy products) or Flaxseed oil (plant sourced oil which dogs needs to convert the ALA to usable form of Omega3) as natural preservatives.

These can be the cause of itch. Don’t assume that dog Jerky treats are made with just meat. Some company put sea salt,garlic,brown rice etc or sometimes it is enhanced with vitamins.

And some salmon treats is not just salmon but some% of treats ingredients are other fish.I am not sure why they do not use 100% meat or fish they put into products,but it is something you need to check,and read small prints on the package.

It is important for you to read the ingredients on our store web page if you were to shop at our store as well, but our products are free from fillers,or preservatives.

If you get Surf Turf Jerky,what you get is a Jerky made from fully grass-fed buffalo meat with wild caught salmon with skin on, and if you buy dehydrated goat lung treats,goat lung is the only ingredient for the product.

Some “Grass-fed” meat is grain finished but the buffalo meat we use in Surf Turf Jerky is not grain finished,but rather, fully grass-fed. Baguette biscuits’s buffalo liver is also fully grass-fed,not grain finished.

Next entry, I will write more on Allergy in dogs.Stay tuned…


Feb 05, 2009 | Comments are off | Dog Health