All About Dog Food Forum
Dog food and feeding => Feeding dogs with health problems => Topic started by: BinkyMum on Sep 17, 2014, 13:40
I am forever trawling the internet trying to find the best thing for my poor labrador. She is constantly getting ear infections and last year we had just about had enough to ask our vets to run all the tests. The results came back as severe dust and storage mite allergies.
We were advised to take her off dry food and feed her a wet diet, but I didnt feel completely happy with this. I worried about the health of her teeth and the fact it just didnt seem to fill her up. She is not a greedy labrador and would often leave her dry food and graze on it all day... one of the problems as this allowed the dust mites to get onto the food. It also seemed to result in very loose poopoo.
She is very itchy all the time, especially around her mouth and paws. It breaks my heart.
At the moment we have her on James Wellbeloved cereal free dry food in the morning and the same on an evening, with the odd tin of Lily's Kitchen on an evening as a treat. She eats it all up (at the moment, as she isnt bored of it yet) and seems to enjoy it.
We only buy the small bags of food and store them in an air tight container so as to stop the dust and storage mites getting in... although I worry they could already be in the food when we buy it?
I wash her beding once a week and let it air dry.
I just don't know what to do for her, money is no issue, I just want her to be happy and healthy.
Would bathing her help?
Our vets don't really seem to be able to offer us anymore advice other than to feed her Chappies, which my husband says we should do but I really dont want to.
Any help or advice here would be really apprecaited!
Hello Binkymum. I'm sorry to hear about your poor Labrador. You have done very well to find out what is causing this problem - lots of people who have dogs with this kind of issue are not able to determine the cause. I have to say that I hadn't heard of storage mites until very recently. This particular person had apparently solved the problem by pouring boiling water on the kibble. I subsequently read about it here (http://www.dog-nutrition-advice.com/dog-food-storage-mites.html) and it seems that even dead mites and their excreta can cause irritation in affected dogs so it is a mystery why this should work.
Anyway, I wonder if you have had a look at feeding raw? It seems to me that this might be the answer but I hope there are other replies which might help you. I never fancied raw feeding but began just over one week ago due to weight issues. Because I am unsure about the correct nutrition I opted for Nutriment complete raw meals. It is extremely easy to feed this - no different from opening a tin of dog food. I have found their customer support people very helpful so don't be afraid to give them a call. There are other companies that do raw meals e.g. Natures Menu and Natural Instinct. Look carefully at the ingredients and I would recommend that you go cereal free. I have to say that I am amazed at how easy the transition is and how well it is going right now.
Please do not worry about your dog's teeth if you don't feed kibble. There is no proof that kibble cleans their teeth and tbh I cannot see why it should. After all, when a human eats a biscuit it doesn't clean our teeth. I wonder if the opposite is true i.e. the reduction in cereal and carbohydrates could actually keep the teeth cleaner, exactly as it does for us when we avoid sweets. The best way of keeping your dog's teeth clean is to brush them daily with a canine toothpaste. Bones are also recommended and are reputed to work well.
So sorry to read about your lab's problems, BinkyMum.
While I'm not one of the raw-feeding fanatics mentioned in another thread, being quite new to it myself, in your place I would definitely try it, simply because I've lost count of the number of allergy-ridden dogs I've heard of who had quite amazing recoveries on a raw diet.
I certainly wouldn't feed dry food in any form to a dog with a dust and mite allergy. You say your dog isn't greedy because she leaves her dry food lying around, I wonder if that is simply because she doesn't like it all that much? Dogs, in my experience, can sometimes be remarkably clever at recognising what is making them worse. And maybe she seemed unsatisfied on a wet food because, in contrast, she was enjoying it so much she was asking for more?
I wouldn't worry about wet from the dental point of view anyway, I've seen too many kibble-fed dogs with terrible teeth to believe that it makes any difference.
Honestly, I'd feed her raw, or if you can't face that then a really top-notch 4 - 5* wet food. Not dry and definitely not Chappie.
I do hope you find a solution, fingers crossed for you both.
I hadn't seen your post when I started typing Dottie, honestly. I'm just a very slow typist...
Great minds though ;D
Hi Dottie and George,
Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to reply to me.
Binky is nearly 3 now and we only just got the diagnosis this year, so it has taken time. I think she had some intolerances too, just to add to the mix! As she is often sick and has loose poopoo's.
I think the suggestion of raw could be a really good idea. I've never looked into this because I didnt know that there were companies who can supply you with the meals all ready to go, I presumed I had to prepare the meals and although I would do that, I would find it quite difficult knowing exactly what to feed her.
Nutriment looks like the best option in terms of costs and complication.... Nature's menu blew my mind.. I wouldnt know where to start! However I dont think Nutriment do a cereal free option, which I agree Dottie I think Binky needs. I can see that Nature's menu do 'Grain Free' I presume this is the same? Looks like I might have to drill down into Nature's Menu and figure out what my girl needs. Shes a small lab at only 20kg, but I want to make sure I am feeding her enough as she is partial to looking a little skinny.
To be honest she isnt really leaving her dry anymore now we are on James Wellbeloved, she seems to enjoy it. I just don't think dry is helping her allergies, even though she is on a cereal free hypoallergenic food.
George, you suggested a top-notch 4-5* wet, do you have any examples?
I have started trying to brush her teeth with a dog tooth brush and paste, but she hates it, I guess I just need to get her used to it.
Thank you again!
BinkyMum, Nutriment don't specify that any particular option is grain/cereal free, simply because they all are! No grain in any of their food, just fresh meat, vegetables and various natural supplements. Don't be fooled by the mention of wheatgrass and barleygrass - that isn't grain, it's just the fresh new leaves emerging from the plant and is fine (even good) for cereal-sensitive dogs.
Do give Nutriment a call and have a chat with them, it's far better than Nature's Menu in my opinion, having tried both, and the people there are so helpful. I feel sure it would help.
Do bear in mind though that it will take some time for your dog to 'detox' before you see a big difference. I've seen 30 - 90 days mentioned to get the full effect.
Yes, I find Natures Menu to be too much to take in - so many varieties. I chose Nutriment because it is all good ingredients, straightforward and unadulterated. Salmon oil is added too - excellent for the omega oils. I am sure you would get help from their customer services people if you gave them a call. Honestly, it is so easy to feed - if I had known that I would have started a long time ago. I thought raw was all about a lot of chopping meat and vegetables with a huge amount of effort involved. This is a doddle and it is lovely to know that they are getting quality food. In your case you would need to stop any form of cereal (dog biscuits included). You need to feed at least 2% of the dog's body weight but in your case it could be more as you want to increase weight. They will advise you.
The company have some treats that you could give but I use Fish4Dogs Tiddlers (sea jerky) and the lady at Nutriment said this was fine. I've fed these as a treat for a long time because they are really crunchy and help to keep teeth clean. You
I fed JWB for some time before I got into knowing about nutrition for dogs and now I realise that it is chock full of cereal/grain - not particularly useful for a dog like yours. Agree with George about Chappie - it has ingredients which might not suit your Labrador. At
Snap! Dottie. I use sea jerky too.
While my little boy improved somewhat on Natures Menu, I saw a real transformation on Nutriment. To his digestive problems, and also to his repeated ear & eye troubles, which my vet thought were allergy related.
Gosh - we're a match made in heaven! LOL ;D
i hope you can get to the bottom of things and see an improvement. So hard to see them itchy and uncomfortable.
I have just started my little dog on natures menu. I like the look of nutriment and will possibly try it at some point. I have to say that natures menu is very convenient. You just defrost the right amount of cubes and serve. I didn't change due to allergies although my terrier has been a little itchy of late so can't comment on its usefulness in this respect.
I can say that she loves it and has had no digestive issues. Again though, she rarely had problems with this anyway.
You're so helpful! Thank you!!
I'm going to order one of the starter packs, see how we get along.
I will call them and ask how much I should be feeding her.
Just ordered some sea jerky online from Fish4Dogs, so will see what she thinks to that too!
Thank you again!!
You're welcome. I just hope that she likes the food and gets on with it. I too ordered the starter pack today. Please would you let us know how you get on? You never know if it might help someone else. I'm keeping fingers crossed for you both.
As you may have seen on a few of my previous posts I have good knowledge of human allergies and eczema and it does help to pass the knowledge across for dogs. My Son was born with eczema and through my own research and treatment from a homeopath he is cured of eczema.
With dust mite you must wash bedding over 60 degrees to kill the mites. Some people put their bedding in the freezer and then wash it to make sure they have killed the mites. Be careful with washing powders too that you are using as they can be highly perfumed which again causes an allergy. I still use Formil by Lidl. It is brilliant and very low perfume. The non bio would be the best one to go for.
I would really recommend Nutriment raw. My dog is on it and she is thriving. It has tripe in which will help with allergies due it its pre/pro biotic nature. Nutriment also contains Spirulina powder which is excellent for allergies.
Nutriment are very helpful and they will always talk to you and explain about their food. I visited them when I first put my dog on their food and they let my dog try a little sample of the food. I started off with the duck, salmon and beef. I have to mix in the duck and chicken with the beef as my dog is fussy and won't eat the duck and chicken or turkey on its own.
If changing foods is still not helping I would recommend homeopathy. My son was cured by a homeopath and I have also been helped a lot with my allergies by homeopathy. Ainsworth Homeopathic have a list of local vets who are also homeopaths. I know a very good human homeopath. Next time I see her I am going to ask if she treats animals as I have put on quite a few posts here recommending homeopathy.
Good luck. I will be really interested to hear how you get on.
Raw is not hard but isn't for everyone, the only must is the calcium level so feeding 100% steak is actually not good. The BARF guy just made a load of money out of creating a mystery. I would avoid any starchy food, which includes potato but wheat and beef are the most likely to cause intolerance. Starchy food contributes to problem yeasts and may make us more susceptible to being allergic to other things. Probiotics are being found to support the immune system and ahealthy gut can mean less colds as welll as less immune system probs. A pack of probiotics might be an idea to kickstart good gut health. I make something called Kefir which is similar to b ut better than yoghurt and just keeps on reproducing so is free after your first batch. Coconut oil on itchy skin is brilliant and you can eat it for good skin. Cold pressed coconut oil is the new superfood but it works and my dogs love it. Small pea size chunk is about right, salmon oil too helps Omega 3 balance if you feed cereals.
Don't know whether this will help with the mite problem - had a customer earlier today enquiring about Diatomaceous Earth - I didn't know anything about it and definitely can't pronounce it - off to Uncle Google - turns out it is a natural anti insect and parasite powder that can be used internally as well - does anyone know anything about this stuff? If it does what it's claimed to it could be put around the dog bowl to prevent mites getting in the food?
I've used diatomaceous earth for several years now.
I use it primarily as a natural wormer, far safer than the chemical variety and I've found it to be very effective; I have a worm count done every 2 months and all have been clear for all the time I have been using it, even when my last dogs managed to pick up fleas. The Little Cav gets one teaspoon stirred into his breakfast every morning, a large dog needs a tablespoon or more.
I've also used it to clear a mild flea infestation by rubbing it into the dogs' coats every 2 or 3 days and sprinkling it in their beds and on rugs - doubt it would have worked if I'd had carpets for them to lurk in, but I don't and it did work.
And I take a tablespoon a day myself too, and find I feel much better for it; better digestion, increased energy, and better sleep.
As you may have guessed by now, I'm a fan.
It's important to make sure you only use food grade diatomaceous earth around dogs, even if you're only using it as a insecticide. This is the one I buy: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00A49Z9CQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00A49Z9CQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
I have heard of cases of diatomaceous earth getting rid of harvest mites, but don't quite see how it could be used for storage mites since they would be actually in the food.
Good feedback thanks George! I was thinking sprinkling around the food as the initial thread says she thought the mites were getting into the food as the food was left down all day - I can't see it being in the food as extruded kibble is made using high temperatures and the bags are gas flushed and sealed. (and I've been in the biggest dog food manufacturers premises and it is 'human' grade hygienic)
I'll be giving the earth stuff a try.
Hi everyone - this is my first post so please be gentle with me.
I'm hoping for some advice re my dog's diet. I have a 5 year old 42kg male Doberman who has been confirmed as having a severe allergy to dust mites and storage mites which makes him very itchy. Linked to this allergy he also gets frequent yeast infections in his ears and armpits. He constantly licks and in order to prevent any more lick ulcers I often have to muzzle him.
He is on meds from the vet but its costing me £175 every 2 weeks. I am covered by insurance but at this rate that will run out in a year.
I have always fed him on Oscars dry food and its recently been pointed out to me that certain flavours of this food contain almost 50% rice.
I have started to research natural dog foods online and have given myself a total headache as to what would be best for his conditions but also provide him with a balanced diet. I am also confused as to whether I should still give him a dried food, switch to wet or combine the two?
I believe that I need to reduce his sugars to stop feeding the yeast. I have ordered a probiotic supplement called YUMPRO BioActiv to help get rid of the candida which is adding to his constant itchiness.
Any advice would be much appreciated as I am desperate to help him.
Hi and Welcome. Have a read through this thread. Hope something in it is useful for you
Thank you so much for your reply, that's really helpful. I will contact Nutriment tomorrow as this sounds exactly what I'm looking for.
Thank you again for your help
Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that your Doberman is so poorly. I too was going to suggest trying a raw, home cooked or wet diet as that would help avoid the storage mite problem. I was told by a company representative that some dogs have problems eliminating the yeast that is found in some commercial foods so changing to another food may help with that too. If you do decide to change food to raw it is important not to mix it with kibble. The recommendation is not to transition but to stop kibble one day and start raw the next. Regarding the candida (fungal infection), is it in his mouth and digestive system? If so, has the vet treated him for it?
I am not sure about the dust mite problem because it is hard to eliminate them in the home. If you could keep him in a room without carpets or furnishings that might help. Also use bedding that can be washed at 60 degrees might help. I have read that steaming helps get rid of dust mites.
Thanks for your reply. The fungal infection is actually in his armpits and he has frequent ear infections which are all part of the dust and storage mite allergy.
As you say its so hard to get rid of dust mites as the little blighterers are everywhere, especially at this time of year when the heating gets turned on.
I wash his bed once a week in a 60 degree wash, have replaced most of the carpets in the house to hard floors and have any remaining carpets and curtains steam cleaned professionally but he is so sensisitive to this allergy he is still suffering badly.
I started him on Atopica from the vet yesterday and it made him very sick (apparently this is common with this drug) but because of his size this is going to cost me approx £175 every 2 weeks.
I spent hours last night researching diets for a dog with allergies and they all lead to the same recommendation 'raw'.
To be honest this terrifies me. I know they are dogs not human and their systems are different and they come from wolves etc etc etc but its not something I've any experience of.
To be honest I would rather 'cook' them a homemade dinner but if raw is the way forward then that's what I'll do.
I also have a female Doberman who has liver disease so I believe a raw or home cooked food would benefit her as well.
Do you think home cooked is an option?
Thank your again for your reply its very much appreciated.
I spent hours last night researching diets for a dog with allergies and they all lead to the same recommendation 'raw'.
To be honest this terrifies me. I know they are dogs not human and their systems are different and they come from wolves etc etc etc but its not something I've any experience of.
Please don't let it terrify you, axlrose. I do understand your fears, being fairly new to raw feeding myself, but they are unnecessary, I promise - and it's much easier than you think it will be too if you use a good complete raw food, no fuss, no mess and very little smell.
I spent ages talking to the people at Nutriment before I took the plunge. Why don't you give them a call and just have a chat about it? They really are so helpful and knowledgeable, it has to be worth a phone call before you write the idea off. The positive changes I've seen in my little boy since switching have been incredible.
I too perfectly understand your concerns about feeding raw. I have very recently had a spell of this with mine and I too was nervous. This is why I chose a prepared raw meal in the form of Nutriment. Also, I do not have the freezer space and did not want to have raw animal products about the kitchen, particularly as my OH is elderly and immunosuppressed due to long term steroid therapy. I would recommend these prepared raw diets - there are more, but the main ones are Nutriment, Natures Menu and Natural Instinct. However, for large dogs like yours it might be a bit expensive. The Nutriment people are on the helpline and would be able to advise. You wouldn't lose anything by giving one of them a trial for a couple of weeks or more.
As for home cooked - yes, it is a good option IMHO, as long as you get the proportions right. I cannot remember exactly what they are but there is loads of information on the Internet. Off the top of my head, I would imagine it is something like 50 to 60% meat or fish, 20% vegetables and 20% carbohydrate although you could adjust things to suit. Of the carbs, my understanding is that sweet potato is a good one to go for although I know that David speaks well of brown rice and oats as long as they are very well cooked (until stodgy).
The dust mite is a real headache and I almost feel like saying that maybe he would be better housed (for at least part of the day) outside in a covered kennel and run. However, that is a bit extreme and he could well be more distressed especially as he is used to being in the house. It does sound as if you have all bases covered with regards to trying to eliminate the little blighters.
I have to say that I am so sorry to hear of your predicament. It must be uncomfortable for your dog and very difficult for you to see him so unhappy. Also, the expense must be crippling. I do hope that a raw diet might help. If you try the Nutriment do not be worried - it is exactly like feeding a tin of dog food. No handling of the meat - just spoon it into the weighing scales and feed.
Dottie and George many thanks for your replies.
I've been messing around far too long so I picked up the phone and had a long conversation with a lady from Nutriment and have placed an order for food and treats. I actually feel really positive now so fingers crossed.
As regards the itchy Doberman - do you think I should stop the vet prescribed Atopica ? As I said he only started it last night and it made him sick and gave him the runs which is a 'normal' reaction to this drug.
I very much hope that the raw diet helps. You might have the delivery tomorrow. I have found that if it is ordered before early afternoon it usually comes next day. As for the Atopica I haven't had any experience of it. Personally I would be reluctant to give anything that made the dogs poorly but I can only advise for you to telephone the vet to ask what he or she thinks about the matter. If they expect the reaction to diminish and the outcome is expected to improve his condition then it may be worth sticking with it until the initial reaction wears off. It's a tough one. :-\ The only other thing that crossed my mind (and this may be of no use whatsoever) is that PetalCleanse (http://www.allergybestbuys.co.uk/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/petalcleanse-thepetallergysolution-90101m.shtml) is a product for reducing allergens from the dog to sensitive people but I am wondering if it might help reduce the dust mites on your dog's coat. Just a thought and as I said, might not be of any use.
Please let us know how you get on with the raw feeding.
Well as per the advice from the lady at Nutriment I've given both my Doberman their first raw dinner. She told me just to swap over from their original dog food without any blending over a period off time. They gobbled it down but then they are both very greedy. Within 10 mins they have both curled up and fallen asleep. I know (hope) this won't happen but I'm sitting here waiting for some sort of eruption of either vomit or poo (from the dogs that is - not me!)
I felt just the same when I gave mine their first meal of Nutriment. I only gave it to one of them in case there were any problems. Actually there were none. The little one was deeply suspicious of it when I tried her with some but now wolfs it down. By now you will know if it has been OK and I do hope it has. You will gradually get more confident with the product. I really hope that it helps improve the health of your dog.
Started feeding raw Friday evening and was just about to sit down and post how well it was going when the dog with the allergies began to have vomiting and diarrohea, I've also noticed that he has flaky skin on his coat which sespite the allergy he only ever gets when stressed. Is this dettox do you think?
What I need to know is should I feed him tonight?
I am sorry to hear about this. Just a few weeks ago I read up about detox because it was referred to on a Facebook group that I had joined. TBH I do not understand it but it seems to be recognised and I only found one website where the author refuted it. Having said that, I could be wrong but I would not put this down to detox. Equally, it might be nothing to do with the raw food - he could simply have picked up a bug. Usually when this happens many people tend to starve the dog for 24 hours, just making sure that they stay hydrated with plenty of fresh water. I usually have a syringe of Prokolin or similar in stock and that can be helpful. If you want to feed him I would probably go for something light such as cooked chicken or scrambled egg.
I'm not sure about the dry, flaky skin. One of mine had it for some time but it completely disappeared once I changed them all onto Gentle and latterly Nutriment. Her skin and coat were particularly bad when they were on James Wellbeloved.
I hope that your boy is better by the morning. If not, perhaps another visit to the vet might be necessary. However, I would not necessarily blame it on the raw food.
If I had a choice of stopping the new food and stopping the Atopica, I would stop the Atopica - hopefully the change in food will help with the allergies and thus stop the itching
Axlrose - I am just wondering how things are with your dog? I hope that the diarrhoea and vomiting have settled down and he is feeling better. I remember how worried I was when I started raw food but luckily my lot took to it very well indeed and without incident. From speaking to other people, their dogs have had no problems either. I do hope that it wasn't the raw food that upset him. Please could you let us know how things are?
I spoke to Nutriment who were fantastic and advised me to stop the raw food and keep on with the Atopica just to see what happened. I hated going back on Oscars but I knew it would be a good bench mark to get to the bottom of what was causing his sickness. In a nutshell he started to itch a lot more but wasn't sick. Tonight I cooked him up some mince and veg (on advice from my itchy dog who are also very helpful) and within about 10 mins he vomited the lot back up again. My other Doberman thought it was her birthday and Christmas all rolled into one as she gobbled it up before I could stop her.
I have looked into freezing the dried Oscars but as someone on a random forum pointed out this will kill the mites but their bodies and poo are still present so won't really help.
I also need something that won't feed his yeast problem and have absolutely no idea what to do now. I am going back to my vet on Monday or a review of the Atopica but doubt they will offer me much help with my feeding problem.
It seems that what is good for his dust / storage mite allergy and candida doesn't agree with his stomach.
Any advice as always would be much appreciated.
Many thanks x
Have you tried any of the wet foods? Although it would work out a bit more expensive, it might be worth a try. Naturediet might help as it is quite bland. A few of us on here are quite keen on cold pressed food. I use Gentle for my dogs and it has suited them very well. I don't know if there is a storage mite risk with this kind of food. Cold pressed food has a short shelf life - around 6 months.
It rather sounds as if the vomitting is due to the treatment rather than the Nutriment. Such a shame because it would have eliminated the problem of storage mites.
Thanks Dottie. Having had time to think logically about him vomiting up the cooked mince so quickly after eating it I've come to the conclusion that it was probably simply because he'd eaten it too quickly. This morning I gave him the same food only i fed it to him in small portions making him wait between 'servings'. I also shut the other dog out of the room as she is a food thief.
He's been fine so far so fingers crossed.
I think I was in panic mode last night !
Well done for spotting that. Just wondering if something like the Green Feeder (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Company-Animals-Interactive-Feeder-Green/dp/B009CKHXYU) might be of use? Other than that, putting the food in a Kong is great fun for the dog. Mine get softened Gentle (frozen) in a Kong each morning when they come in from their walk and they love it. It's a great way of giving them their food or just for a treat.
Thank's that's a great idea. I've just slowly fed him some more mince and veg in small portions and making him wait inbetween. He still ate what he was give very quickly but at least it wasn't down in one gulp like it was last night before he was sick. I also put it in a large flat bowl so he had to chase the food which slowed him down very slightly. So far so good, he curled up snoring his head off so hopefully he should keep his dinner down. I feel much more comfortable actually cooking their food so I really hope this works out.
I also put it in a large flat bowl so he had to chase the food which slowed him down very slightly.
A trick I've used in the past is to spread the food out on a large non stick baking tray and then put the tray down on a hard floor. The poor dog then has to both chase the food round the tray and chase the tray round the floor, it can slow them down wonderfully ;D.
You can get immunotherapy for your dogs allergies if you don't resolve the issue with changing his diet. Woould work out less expensive a month than trying all the different foods. There is approx an 80% success rate so worth a try?