I'm at a loss of what to do for Riley and his ears. Let me start from the beginning and see what you all think....
Since he was about 11 weeks old, long before he started swimming, he has had SEVERE chronic ear infections. He's also had very severe skin infections under his neck and near his groin. They have gotten very red and inflamed (his skin). His ears have been so bad with wax build up that we couldn't see his ear drum.
The wax in his ears used to be dark brown/black, now it is a light brown/yellow color. I've tried anti-biotics, ointments like Otomax, different ear cleansers and wipes, vinegar & water, etc. It all helps for a little while, then the build up gets bad again, even when I clean the ears everyday.
He was on Nutro Puppy food, when I switched him to adult food he was put on Innova.
The vet has come to the conclusion it is some kind of allergy, probably a food allergy. So they put him on Eukanuba K/O for 3 months. They said he can eat nothing but that food and water, no bones/treats/etc. He also said I could try to make my own vegetarian food for Riley if I'd prefer that. I'm waiting to hear back from him about that.
The thing is, I cannot stand the Iams company and DO NOT want to support it any way shape or form. I also don't like all the fillers in it.
I've talked to a couple pet supply store owners, who have years and years of experience with dogs. One gave me some Solid Gold holistic dog food samples. He also gave me a number to call, Solid Gold has nutritianist specialists on call that I can talk to. I left a message with them and I'm waiting to hear back. The other man gave me some samples of Eagle Pack holisitic food. They both said dogs with allergies have done very well on those foods.
So... should I follow the vets advice and keep him on the Eukanuba/vegetarian diet for 3 months then try adding beef/chicken to see what he is allergic to, or put him on the high quality Solid Gold/Eagle pack and see how he does?
I feed my dogs Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken, my dog with the allergies has done well on it. It can sometimes be a bit difficult to find a store that carries it, but I get mine at the training center I go to.
if your vet reaches a point where it is beyond him what to do as the next step, contact (if you can) the nearest veterinary teaching hospital. they usually are able to go above and beyond what a regular vet can do. and have behaviorists, allergists, whatever specialist you may need, on staff.
I am sorry about Riley. Could this be a congenital condition of some sort? I had a Japanese Bobtail cat that had a similar problem , caused by some kind of cyst on his esophagus. We tried everything, including surgery, but sadly had to pts. I hope Riley is just allergies. Have you found out if any littermates, etc. have any problems?
I sorry about little Riley. I know exactly what you are going thru. One with diabetes, one with allergies. The vet to expect him to never have a treat, to eat the same ole' food over and over, it just makes me mad, because that is what I went thru. Max couldn't have this, or that, had to stay on Science Diet. Well he is regulated and I feed him lots of meat and regular dog food like the girls eat. Makes you want to ask them if they would like to eat McDonalds everyday for the rest of their life.
the rpoblem with switching him to all these different foods is that ti can take in upwards of 3-8 weeks on one food only to determine if the food is going to work or not. so if after 8 weeks riley is no better and you switch his food again you have 8 more weeks to go before you may notice and imrpovement. not only is that a lot of different things to try but it is also a great deal of time to spend trying to figure out what is wrong.
if he were my dog i would have the allergy testing done asap. you will have results in a very short amount of time and also along with the results will come a list of the dog foods out there that he should be able to eat without a problem.
my foster dog salty has ear infections also. since i have had her she has been eating the pro plan sensitive skin and stomach food. i decided to switch everyone over to the natural balance dog food. within 3 dere of being on that food she broke out with a severe infection. after teating it for 2 weeks and seeing absolutely no improvement i switched her and everyone else back the the pro plan. since then she has been fine and her ear infection cleared up on its own with no more meds.
even though i do not like the hills/science diet foods ....their prescription diet Z/D is for allergy sufferers and i have seen tremendous results with the animals who have been on it.
in summary i wouldnt waste any time trying all different kinds of foods. i would get the testing done and over with so you know exactly what you are dealing with. he may even be allergic to some insignificant ingredient that may be found in these so called allergy diets. and you will never know what that ingredient is if he is not tested.
good luck with riley because allergies are one of the hardest problems to deal with.
Thanks scout... the vet didn't tell me I could just get a test done for food allergy. is it just a blood test? I'd much rather do that, than deprive him of bones/treats for the next 3 months... especially with his b-day and christmas coming up!
I agree, I strongly recommend a veterinary teaching hospital - we have an excellent program at Kansas State University that we have used for our bulldogs. They were able to diagnose when our vet was at wits end.
Good luck, hope Riley gets to feeling better soon.
Corn is usually the main allergy for a dog, Solid Gold is GREAT food, also a duck and potatoe could be a good option. Also I would try Blue ear treatment which worked really well for my dog with chronic ear issues:
My vet told me that it was expensive to take the test(s). I understood it was more than one test and costly to find out. So, there is just the one blood test and we can know for sure what they are allergic too??? I'm going to ask again too. To think what poor Mandy has gone thru for nothing. If we could have found out that easy, that just kinda ticks me off with them.
The blood serum test is expensive, espally with the vets price markup on top of it, but its totaly worth it. In a few days she will know what he is alergic to in detail and be done with it. Not this expermental stuff, drugs, foods, and a dog in horrible pain and suffering damage.
I hope none of you have ever seen the end result of cronic ear infections, bt take cauliflower, color it like scared flesh and pour pus over it and shove it in your dogs ear.
its hidious, its painful, and there is no need for it.
i am not sure riley on the cost. the place we use has it set up where you can test for food alone, environmental things alone or test both at the same time. the costs are different. i want to say for a whole panel where it tests for everything is 150.00 our cost from the lab. but i dont know what our vet charges a client for it. considering most markups are at least double what it costs us ... i would bank on 3-4 hundred dollars for all the tests.
since it is most obviously a food related thing i would test for only that at this point so the testing would be a little cheaper. but depending on the lab they use you may not be able to test fro only that.
expensive yes ........ but my guess is that you would probably spend close to that putting him on all these different food trials , continued meds and trips to the vet if the foods dont work, etc. so expense then becomes a relative thing.
My Ryssa is at the point of a skin biopsy and serum tests (we are waiting for the results). The biopsy was $275 which included anestheia and the day at the vet, the serum test was $180, and we also had a complete thyroid workup which was $137. My vet is out of Raynham MA, I'm not sure if the area you live in effects prices.
She is doing a little better on the Solid Gold Hund-n'Flocken diet, as well as no store bought treats...she gets carrots now which she loves. I'm really hoping we get a solid answer from these tests, she is just recovering from a staph (spelling?) infection because of the areas she opened up from scratching.
Do you have an instant messenger. Try googling the dog food project. The lady that runs the site is amazing and she may be ablt to help you. There is a forum she posts at and it has chaz hound in the titles so just google that. It ahs a specific food section and it cna be really helpfull. If you cna't find it I'll put my aim name up.
Did they ever say anyhting about surgery on his ears?
This allergy blood test makes me really curious. If they can do that for dogs, why not humans? I went through two hellish skin tests when I was a kid to determine what I was allergic to. A blood test would have been preferable. Was this testing process available 30 years ago? From what I've heard recently, human allergists STILL do the skin tests. Why, if a blood test can tell the same thing?
Does anybody know of any resources available regarding the efficacy of the blood testing as opposed to the skin testing? I'd really be interested...