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Orijen dog food and allergies? An itchy dog needs relief... and so do I.

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  • Orijen dog food and allergies? An itchy dog needs relief... and so do I.

    My dog has generalized itching. It's not the first time, but it's different than before because before she responded very nicely to adding fish oil to her diet.

    It's been going on for a bit of time, and I'm beginning to wonder about her food. We feed her Orijen (I think it's the Regional Red, right now). For the first year we had her she was on Taste of the Wild, and did well on that, but I got spooked by the recalls so we switched. I truly cannot remember this onset of itching in relation to switching to this food, but it's close enough that it makes me wonder.

    I'm loathe to waste the rest of this $$ bag, but I owe it to her (and us!) to try and alleviate her itching.

    So.

    If she is (possibly) allergic to this, what else should I try? Of course the scientist in me wants to feed no food until itching ceases and then gradually add food back in, but... clearly that is a TERRIBLE idea in real life

    A raw diet is not long-term realistic in this household, but could be done short-term. And, if she is allergic to the Orijen, how long would it take for it to get out of her system to rule it in/out as an allergy?

    I had an appointment with the vet, but had to cancel because I was sick. And, quite honestly, the vet tech on the phone suggested Benadryl (which made zero difference in the itching) and then started throwing around the idea of long-term steroids which I am LOATHE to try. So, before spending the money on a vet visit, I thought I should try this.

    And, any other suggestions would be most welcome! And I'm happy to explain any unclear points or other things we've tried.

  • #2
    I feed Taste of the wild high prairie, and my itchy dog hasn't itched since . They've been on it about 6 yrs now.

    I'd probably go back to what was working. You can also try bathing with Microtek Anti itch shampoo. Dry thoroughly.

    Make sure dog doesn't have any fleas. Some flea products can become ineffective after a while.

    Comment


    • #3
      If she's itching on Regional Red, I would try one of Orijen's other varieties that is free of boar, lamb, beef and pork. Try the Adult, or the 6 Fish.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
        I feed Taste of the wild high prairie, and my itchy dog hasn't itched since . They've been on it about 6 yrs now.

        I'd probably go back to what was working. You can also try bathing with Microtek Anti itch shampoo. Dry thoroughly.

        Make sure dog doesn't have any fleas. Some flea products can become ineffective after a while.
        We have bathed her, professionally and at home. She's a mutt, but whatever she is has a delightful undercoat and incredibly effective outer coat making bathtime extra hard. If we go that route again, I am almost positive we would need to shave her to ensure the treatment is getting to her skin. And that's... not a bridge I want to cross without being fairly certain it's the right bridge.

        What are others' thoughts about TOTW in this context? I'm tempted to just go back (and boyfriend likes that it's a hair cheaper than Orijen), but I'm more than a little concerned about the recalls associated with that entire company.

        And, thankfully, there are NO signs of fleas in this house anywhere. Not on her, not on our cat, and not in either of their favorite spots (her bed, her crate, the cat's bed and our bed).


        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
        If she's itching on Regional Red, I would try one of Orijen's other varieties that is free of boar, lamb, beef and pork. Try the Adult, or the 6 Fish.
        I'll grab a wee bag of it at the specialty shop after work on Monday.

        But how long should I try it before I decide if it worked? If she's still itching after a week, is that a sign I need to try longer or that it's not the right switch?

        Thanks so much for your ideas!

        Comment


        • #5
          Maybe buy the microtek shampoo, and bring her to a professional groomer who can bathe her and use a High Velocity dryer to blow out coat. Double coated dogs will blow their coat in spring and fall, so if she has some loose undercoat lingering, that can make them itchy as well. Just have her use the microtek and tell her/him not to use cologne on the dog.

          Don't shave her if she is double coated. Their coat will grow back in funny sometimes.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
            Maybe buy the microtek shampoo, and bring her to a professional groomer who can bathe her and use a High Velocity dryer to blow out coat. Double coated dogs will blow their coat in spring and fall, so if she has some loose undercoat lingering, that can make them itchy as well. Just have her use the microtek and tell her/him not to use cologne on the dog.

            Don't shave her if she is double coated. Their coat will grow back in funny sometimes.
            We've done the professional groomer thing 2 or 3x since she's been itchy. I'm pretty sure the last time they bathed her it was with the understanding she was being itchy. Not sure what they chose to use though. Maybe it would be worth another shot to bring a shampoo we want used.

            So as not to waste time, here's the full story:

            - Got her in the summer of 2011, started feeding TOTW first day home.
            - January of 2012 we mentioned mild itching to vet who suggested adding fish oil to her diet (TOTW). Itching resolved nicely, so we assume it was a dry skin issue.
            - Summer 2012 we switched to Orijen after the TOTW recall (date uncertain)
            - Summer 2012 we went swimming in a lake in Ithaca (it was hot, and I was excited she went in the water!). She air-dried on the walk and we meant well but she never got a bath after that walk... or even after we got home the next day. She hasn't been in a lake before or since so... not sure how that fits in this story.
            - Sometime after the start of summer 2012: Begin to notice return and increase in itching, which has not been resolved by adding more or less fish oil, adding mackeral or some other gross fish, eggs, trips to a professional bather, oatmeal baths at home, moisturizing baths at home (which she doesn't enjoy whatsoever, which adds to the difficulty of getting through her incredibly well-functioning coat system lol), brushing, etc.

            Again, no sign of fleas. No specific spot seems itchy. She sometimes will casually itch and sometimes will aggressively itch. She's usually agreeable to stopping if we tell her to stop, with varying levels of readiness. It happens 'round the clock, waking us up (and we both work in health care and have delightfully messed up schedules). I've pounced on her right when she's itching to dig through her coat to inspect her skin in that spot and I can't find a single sign of irritation. It's not red. There are no lesions. There is no swelling. There are no bugs.

            Please, please keep your thoughts coming!!

            Comment


            • #7
              What TOTW variety did you feed her?

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Though I think she ate a bag of the fish-based TOTW type once, I'm pretty sure she otherwise had the Prairie one. Forgive me, I can't recall the exact name of the product.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Neither of those have beef or pork. I'd likely try the 6 Fish first, although the Adult would probably work just fine, too. Give the new food at least two weeks.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                    Neither of those have beef or pork. I'd likely try the 6 Fish first, although the Adult would probably work just fine, too. Give the new food at least two weeks.
                    Will do! Thank you so much for your suggestion

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jaideux View Post

                      What are others' thoughts about TOTW in this context? I'm tempted to just go back (and boyfriend likes that it's a hair cheaper than Orijen), but I'm more than a little concerned about the recalls associated with that entire company.
                      I fed Taste of the Wild before the recall, during the recall, and after the recall. I am not concerned about it. There were never any affected bags of Taste of the Wild, just a few of the other (20+) brands that were made in that same factory.

                      I have a cattle dog/husky mutt who gets pretty scary seizures if she is on the wrong food. I have no desire to play around with her food if at all possible. She's also a picky eater, so if she's eating, I'm happy.

                      I have tried a few other brands (Holistic, Orijen, Blue Buffalo, Wellness, etc) but have honestly been most pleased with TOTW. It's at a reasonable price point (although keeps going up, which is hurting) for what it is, and my dogs do well on it. Shiny coats, healthy teeth. My border collie does get itchy on the lamb one, but other than that I swap them between the formulas regularly and everyone does fine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                        Neither of those have beef or pork. I'd likely try the 6 Fish first, although the Adult would probably work just fine, too. Give the new food at least two weeks.
                        This is what I was going to suggest also.

                        The *quality* of their ingredients is far superior to TOTW hence the reason it is a bit more expensive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My dogs have allergy issues. My vet feels that food is rarely the primary cause, tho it can contribute. My dogs' allergies seem to be mostly seasonal.

                          What I ended up doing:
                          Needed to break the itch/scratch cycle. No antihistamine worked alone. Temeril-P from the vet which adds in a small amount of steroid, did. Last year I did the loading dose with taper. This year I was able to recognize the signs and give a lower dose when itching started. So they really needed very little medication. We never had a serious itching problem this year!

                          To address the food:
                          They are on a limited-ingredient diet. One theory is that it is often the additives that can cause a problem. I also add fish oil.

                          So far, this has worked really well for us.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Benedryl does nothing for my allergy dog...and unfortunately, the only food I have not had to return for making him itch or have the runs is TOTW. Figures. You can give Zyrtec. How much does your dogs weigh? Over 40 lbs can have 10 mg once a day. This has helped my guy greatly with seasonal allergies. Our derm department sometimes prescribes more, depending on this issues.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My itchy collie is doing very well on Wellness Simple, plus additional oil.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                                I fed Taste of the Wild before the recall, during the recall, and after the recall. I am not concerned about it. There were never any affected bags of Taste of the Wild, just a few of the other (20+) brands that were made in that same factory.
                                I am almost positive TOTW was recalled because my bag had an affected lot number. It was only one factory, I think, but I'm pretty sure it was recalled. But your point is still a good one. And Salmonella is more of a people problem than a dog one.

                                Originally posted by Beckham03 View Post
                                Benedryl does nothing for my allergy dog...and unfortunately, the only food I have not had to return for making him itch or have the runs is TOTW. Figures. You can give Zyrtec. How much does your dogs weigh? Over 40 lbs can have 10 mg once a day. This has helped my guy greatly with seasonal allergies. Our derm department sometimes prescribes more, depending on this issues.
                                She's 50 lbs so that's good. I'm going to fuss with her food first but I will keep that in mind. Thank you!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Definitely try switching foods to a novel protein. If she is allergic to one of the proteins in her current food it should make a difference within 6 weeks.

                                  However, if the itching doesnt subside, it could be environmental related. Has your dog reacted poorly to steroids before? If it is environmental allergies, a steroid specific to allergies (ie. vanectyl P, Temeril P) works great as you can use it in a tapering dose. Generally there are no side effects like there is with high dose dex or prednisone.

                                  Also, might be worth a discussion with your vet. As much as a BB can give lots of suggestions and insight, a good relationship with your vet is important.

                                  Is her eosinophil count up?
                                  Has she had skin scrapings?
                                  What does her web look like?
                                  Ears?
                                  Is she hypothyroid?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Claritin is also an option. My old Collie used to get it during his itchy season, but unfortunately that was several years ago, so I no longer rememer the dose. You'd have to ask the vet if decide to try that option.

                                    My dog has skin issues, though of a slightly different sort. She's very prone to developing sebaceous cysts. I feed her the Native level 3 dog food http://www.nativedogfood.com/energy-level-3/ and it's really made a big difference in the number of cysts she gets.

                                    It's not as high-end as some of the other foods mentioned, but it's high in fat (20% which is good for my dog's issues), 30% protein, and while it does have some grain it has no corn, wheat, or soy.

                                    And around here it's pretty reasonably priced. I think the last time I bought it, I paid $18 for a 20lb bag. It's manufactured by Kent, and the only recall I could find for them in the last decade or so was for a pig food that used a vitamin D source that was recalled for not having as much vitamin D as it was supposed to.
                                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                                    -Edward Hoagland

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Depends on if it is a food allergy or not, more likely environmental. There are other antihistimines besides benadryl, some work better for certain dogs than others. I would not go by what a vet tech tells you, get an appt with the vet and go from there.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Though it could be environmental, we moved 2 months ago AND had a major seasons change and the itching has not changed.

                                        Comment

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