Friday, March 05, 2010

Dog Food Allergies - How to Treat the Problem

Dog food allergies are rather difficult to distinguish from other allergies like atopy, etc., because the symptoms of food allergies tend to be similar to the symptoms of the other allergies. Despite there not being one outstanding symptom that would point us in the direction of food allergy, which makes diagnosis very difficult, there are some symptoms that have been identified as being related to a dog's food allergy.

Dog food allergies are rather difficult to distinguish from other allergies like atopy, etc., because the symptoms of food allergies tend to be similar to the symptoms of the other allergies.

SYMPTOMS

Despite there not being one outstanding symptom that would point us in the direction of food allergy, which makes diagnosis very difficult, there are some symptoms that have been identified as being related to a dog's food allergy.

Symptoms tend to vary from case to case but I have listed some that have been identified as symptoms displayed by a dog with a food allergy:

o Dry, flaky skin
o Hair loss
o Itchy skin, feet and paws
o Persistent skin infections/ hot spots
o Persistent ear infections especially yeast infections
o Constant vomiting
o Frequent bowel movements
o Skin rashes and hives


Other symptoms like flatulence, sneezing, changes in behavior patterns and asthma can also indicate food allergies.

CAUSES

Research has shown that some dog food ingredients could be the cause of a dog's food allergies, such as corn, dairy products, beef, eggs, wheat, chicken and soy; all common dog food ingredients by themselves.

Dog allergies are most often caused by the consumption of the same food for several years. These allergies tend to manifest themselves quite suddenly, irrespective of the fact that the dog has been eating the same thing for years. Detecting the actual cause of the dog's food allergy can be both a frustrating and time consuming exercise, but here's what you can do...

SOLUTION

Exclusion diet: this is probably the most effective way to find out the cause of a food allergy.

One source of protein is used for up to 12 weeks to see if the dog's condition improves. After that, new ingredients are added (every seven days) one at a time until the problem returns so you can identify the ingredient that was causing the food allergy. This is a very slow and painstaking method but it is effective.

Make sure that you use a protein source that your dog has not been previously been given, such as tofu, venison, fish, lamb or rabbit, making sure that the digestibility percentage is at least 85%. Try to avoid additives as much as possible. Combine the protein source with a carbohydrate; one example would be lamb and rice.

A vet can give medication to help cope with the allergy and can administer a blood test to try and figure out the ingredient causing the allergy. However, such tests are not very accurate as a diagnostic tool and an exclusion diet is usually the best way to go about it.

To help relieve exterior symptoms, I suggest you consider using an all-natural product.

Tip: using distilled water or boiled tap water that has been refrigerated will help to avoid the chlorine content in the water, which is a possible factor.

PREVENTION

There is no quick fix for dog food allergies. It is up to you to find out the ingredient that is causing the allergy and eliminate it from your dog's food. Once you have identified the food ingredient(s) to which your dog is allergic and removed them from your dog's diet, the allergy should clear up quickly enough. Don't forget to keep a diary to record the elimination process - this is crucial to helping your dog get rid of its food allergy.

Brandon Roe is the developer of K9 KlearUp, the world’s only all-natural dog balm that helps clear up the 17 most common canine skin and coat problems... Guaranteed or your money back.

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