A word about allergies......
Skin issues & reoccurring ear infections are the most common health problem for pets today. They are far too often diagnosed as allergies, when in fact they are systemic yeast infections. I have found most veterinarians, unless holistically trained do not know the difference, so it may be up to you to make that determination. That is why there are never ending trips to the vet for steroids and antibiotic, neither of which do anything but provide minimal, short termed comfort and no permanent relief for your dog.
Randy Wysong DVM writes: "Allergy is a breakdown in the immune system as a result of years of improper feeding and care. Anyone who is feeding singular diets day in and day out is inviting allergic disaster. Animals naturally crave and need variety just as humans do. Food allergy may in fact be a mechanism in the body to attempt to force us to eat different foods. Variety is not only the spice of life - it is fundamental to health."
Albert Townshend DVM writes: "Food allergy is rare; other causes of GI and/or dematologic sign are more common and some may also respond (for nonallergeric reasons) to dietary manipulation. There are two types of unpleasant reactions to food. The first is an immunologic reaction (a true food allergy). The second is a nonimmunologic reaction (what is termed a food intolerance). Food intolerance are much more common. Allergic reactions do occur to corn, however, depending on the research cited, corn is not thought to be a very common allergen. At least not as high on the list as soybeans, beef, wheat, eggs or dairy products. Even rice has been found to cause allergic reactions in a rare few animals."
As stated research shows food allergies are actually very rare in dogs/cats, but skin problems are far too common and due to poor quality, grain based diets (NOT grain per say , but grain based diets) , nutritional deficiencies, over use of antibiotics, lack of dietary enzymes & beneficial bacteria in a diet. I have found the vast majority of skin problems and reoccurring ear infections are actually caused by by Malazzeia or Candida yeast overgrowth in the body.
I have found that in true allergy cases if we switch diets to one that is suitable for allergies (see my list), and one of the CORE 4 Kits to boost immune function, you will see a difference in two weeks. Then if it does not clear up, we know it is a systemic yeast overgrowth and you have saved yourself a great deal of expense, plus your dog will still be better off on a holistic program.
Also do not forget to take a look at the issue of CONTACT ALLERGIES where your dog/cat has come in contact with something in the environment.
What If It's Systemic Yeast?
1). A 5 panel Thyroid test drawn by your vet using the instructions from Dr. Jean Dodd's at www.hemopet.com
If, after you read this information about systemic yeast and you do not think it applies to your pet's situation, then proceed with the allergy program below.
This program is a comprehensive program developed to detoxify the body of free radicals and toxins and then to boost immune function. In order to do this I have made food recommendations below, and then add to it the Allergy Support Kit#15.
Where To Purchase Food
1) For this feed program I recommend using something from the Precise Line of foods. Precise Sensicare Lamb Rice which is ideal for use as an elimination diet when you think it might be an allergy. OR
Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Diets - there are two of them
FOR VARIETY ADD - fruits & veggies & Precise canned meats and for a safe, balanced raw option use Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw - info below.
To purchase any products mentioned in this article or have questions answere contact:www.firstchoicenaturals.com or call 765-284-8288
DO NOT SOAK KIBBLE AND LET SET, OR USE HOT WATER ON YOUR KIBBLE IT WILL DESTROY THE INTEGRITY OF THE NUTRIENTS AND PROBIOTICS - YOGURT LIKE CULTURES ON THE FOOD.
What Do The Supplements In The Kit Do For My Dog?
Filling N The Wholes - a whole food vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in what has been missing in the allergic dog's diet. It has immune, heart, joint, skin and digestive support with probiotics and digestive enzymes included. It also has trace minerals so often missing in commercial diets.
Dietary Enzymes - they come in pet treats or granular form and these are necessary to detoxify the dog from the toxins making the dog suffer from allergies. It also boost immune function and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. The Nzymes product put the "living component" back into a cooked, processed, stored dog food. Enzymes are heat sensitive and lost in processing/cooking of all commercial foods or making home cooked diets. As owners we must put dietary enzymes back into the diet, in order to maintain proper wellness and not deplete the body of this important resource. This can be done by the addition to your diet with a product called Nzymes, a chewable pet treat, or granular form which can be sprinkled on the food to replace what is lost. In other words, Nzymes provide the body with the right nutrients to allow the body to make the chemicals necessary to detoxify (clean out) the body and repair itself.
Nzymes helps with the following:
Nzymes are from sprouts (food) so they do not conflict with diet or any medications. I have used the Nzymes for 30 years for my animals and I take the human product and have seen remarkable changes our health. By incorporating Nzymes into the diet, you are putting back the "living component" into the modern processed and cooked diets. This gives the body the tools it needs for repair and good health.
Ox-E-Drops is clear a safe liquid that will kill pathogens: bacteria, fungus and virus. When feeding raw meat it is particularly important to use Ox-E-Drops to help prevent problems with the pathogens in raw foods. An added benefit is that Ox-E-Drops Drops does not kill the good bacteria of the gut and helps to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria. I believe Ox-E-Drops is very important component to a diet in the possible prevention of bloat and systemic fungus infections, toxic and leaky gut syndrome, because if it's ability to help keep the proper pH balance in the gut which is important in breeds that have a tendency to bloat.
Ox-E-Drops can be use diluted (1 cup of distilled water + 1 teaspoon of Oxy-Drops) for a solution to clean out ears, eyes, to spray on skin or use as a colonic. It is very beneficial for systemic yeast infections and other ear, eye and skin infections as well.
Dosage - 1 drop per 20 lbs of body weight. Use daily on food, mix with a little water and your canned Eagle meat and use as a gravy. During times of illness - double this dosage.
For Variety - Meats - Fruits - Vegetables
MEATS: I use Precise canned dog foods for variety - I mix a couple of tablespoons of canned meat with tepid temperature water and make a gravy.
I think it is important to incorporate some real foods into you dogs diet on a daily basis. Not only is this done for nutritional purposes, but because the dog gets bored eating the same thing day in, day out!! This is a list of recommended foods to use in moderation:
yogurt, buttermilk berries melons, apples, banana, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges, squash, sweet potato, green beans, zucchini - minced/diced/raw/cooked - they love frozen berries and melon balls!! Pulverized fresh veggies are best for digestion.
NO raw onions, grapes or raisins, macadamia nuts.
Linda's Very Veggie Soup - 2 large cans of chicken or beef broth - (low sodium for heart or elderly dogs- or homemade). Add LOTS of veggies - carrots, green beans, wax beans, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and couple cloves of garlic. The idea is to use this as the filler so you want it to be hearty and filling.
Variety - A Safe Balanced Raw Meat & Fruit/Veggie - OPTION
If you want to introduce some raw meat, fruits and veggies to your dogs diet, the is is the best way to do it is with one of the Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw diets. They are balanced in it's calcium and phosphorus ratios and free from pathogenic bacteria and parasites.
The dehydrated raw dog food is available in several formulas:
FORCE (21% protein - 14% fat) - Chicken, Flaxseed, Potatoes, Celery, Cabbage, Sweet Potatoes, Zucchini, Green Beans, Apples, Honey, Alfalfa, Kelp,Yogurt, Bananas, Papayas, Basil and Rosemary.
PERFORMANCE - this is new and itis only fruits and veggies so it is meant to be added with a raw meat component to make it balanced before adding to the kibble
EMBARK 29% protein - 16% fat - Turkey, Flaxseed, Potatoes, Celery, Spinach, Carrots, Coconut, Apples, Kelp, Eggs, Sesame Seeds, Bananas, Cranberries, Rosemary.
Note: Since you are using this to top dress your dog's food for variety and not as the whole diet, you can use either one of these formulas even for large/giant or Great Dane puppies. Just use in reasonable amounts so you are not adding too many calories during growth stages.
Honest Kitchen Amounts for Puppies:
HOW I MIX MY DOG FOOD
I add my supplements in the AM just because it is easier to do it all at once. I make gravy of tepid temp water and canned meat and add the OxEDropsto this mixture.Top dress with a little fruit or veggie or the Honest Kitchen mixture at least with one meal a day. I tend to use my evening meal for the Honest Kitchen- just for variety.
WATER ON KIBBLE - Puppies 8-10 weeks use 1/8 - 1/4 cup water + 1-2 tablespoons canned meat. You want the food moist but not floating and sloppy. For older puppies and adults I will use 1/2 cup of water per meal along with my canned meat. If the stools are loose back off on the water the next meal and see if that tightens them up before you take them off to the vet. Only do this for 2 meals..if it has not tightened up there are parasites or coccidia or giardia, or perhaps something else so do not wait to get them check out.
Withholding water for fear of bloat is a myth. Stress is the cause and bloat/torsion is the response. It is much more complicated that simply saying water is the cause of bloat.
Section C - Support Information - Required Reading
There are several articles and photos of vaccine reactions at this website. You need to know how to prevent vaccine reactions, because vaccine reactions in some breeds will kill your dog in a slow agonizing death known as Immune Mediated Response, which is always misdiagnosed as HOD. So, here is info:
Special Alert - Antibiotic Reactions in Great Danes and Other Breeds.
Another commonly used, potentially troublesome antibiotics is Cephalexin (Keflex, Cefa-Tabs). This can also produces the same symptoms as HOD (fever,swollen/hot joints, immobility, anorexia) even in adult dogs. I will use Chephalexin, but with a watchful eye and if the dog starts acting lethargic and achy, we stop the antibiotic, since they are sensitive to it. Call the vet for an alternative antibiotic and make sure you are using a good Probiotic product to keep the digestive tract functioning properly.
I will not use Sulfonamides drugs on my dogs. A reaction can happen from 24 hours - 2 weeks of being on an antibiotic. If there is a reaction, my vet recommends Dexamethsone/Azium and discontinue use or antibiotic.
Special Alert - Other Breeds:
For Collie/Sheltie/Aussie and Sighthound Owners (could effect some Great Danes)
For those people who own Collies, Shelties, Sighthounds, Aussies, Border Collies, any breeds with Collie background or mixed breeds with any of these dogs in them, it is critical that you know there are certain medications your dogs CAN'T take. Do not leave it up to your vet to know this..YOU must print this out and know it - it is a matter of life or death.
These dogs have a sensitivity to Ivermectin (Heartguard Heartworm medication. Only use Interceptor heart worm preventative. Other related drugs you can not use on these breeds or there will be neurological damage.
Other related drugs you can NOT use:
Metronidazole (which is used for diarrhea and giardia)
There are many different types of drugs that have been reported to cause problems in Collies, ranging from over-the-counter antidiarrheal agents like Imodium® to antiparasitic and chemotherapy agents. It is likely this list will grow to include more drugs as our research progresses.
Drugs that have been documented, or are strongly suspected to cause problems in dogs with the MDR1 mutation:
Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent)
The following drugs may potentially cause problems when given to dogs that have the mutation. Biochemical studies have shown that this gene has the potential to act on over 50 different drugs.
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Additional Support For The Adult Dog: