Symptoms of Dog Food Allergy That Every Pet Owner Must Be Aware of
November 1, 2007
Dog food allergy can kill the canine. Food accounts for most of the allergy in dog. The other common causes for allergy are fleabites and inhalants. The whole thing is not really well understood and most likely the permutation and combination is individual specific with one dog reacting to one type of food that is fine with other dogs.
However if left ignored the allergy can lead to death. Food allergies are not related to the breed of the dog or to its gender. The symptom of puppy allergy can pop up as early as 5 months. On the other extreme end a dog that has never shown signs of allergy may suddenly break out with an attack when as old as 12. Those dogs that suffer from dog food allergy are also prone to inhalant and contact related allergies.
A distinction has to be made to intolerance to food and allergic to food. The former leads to stomach upset while itching and scratching are symptomatic of allergies. Unfortunately the most common culprits are the most common items in the doggy diet list – beef, milk products, poultry, wheat, eggs, soy and corn.
The elimination of some items and the introduction of another may result in an allergy free dog. Some put the blame on preservatives and flavours but as yet nothing can be said for sure.
The common symptoms of dog allergies are itching, ear infections, loss of fur, hot rashes and scratches. Excessive bowel movement is another symptom. Antibiotics take care of the allergies. But to prevent recurrence the best way is the time tested method of trial and error – give one type of food consisting of protein and carbohydrate, which, that particular animal has not taken till then, for 12 weeks; then wait and watch.
The combinations could be rabbit and rice, venison and potatoes or duck and rutabagas. These are home made concoctions but several ready-made stuff is available off the shop shelves. During this period one must be absolutely strict about the rule of not giving treats.
If the condition improves then this can become the standard menu; if not then go back to the original and try another combination for the perfect anti allergy dog food.
There are many who try to diagnose the cause through blood tests but as yet it has not proved to be final answer. Intradermal skin tests are excellent for atropy but ineffective in the case of locating the offending food that leads to allergy.
All veterinarians agree that the trial and error method of alternating diet is the only way to find out. Dog food allergy continues to be a subject of serious research.