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Switching foods for allergies.

Species: Dog
Breed: Yorkshire Terrier
Age: 5-8 years
My male yorkie has recently developed food allergies. He has been n wheat corn and soy free for years but I think it's protein (chicken). I've switched his food to different proteins and nothing is heling (giving it at least a month) I've decided to go with Natural Balance vegan/vegetarian. Should I slowly ween him onto it like I did with the other proteins? Should I also supplement his food with some flax oil for animals?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for a great question. Food allergies can definitely be frustrating.

It's not a bad idea to switch Boo Boo to his new food gradually over a period of a week. This really isn't because of his allergies, but rather so that he doesn't get stomach or intestinal upset. Any dog can get intestinal upset when switching from one food to another too quickly.

Flax oil or omega fatty acids are also a good idea as well.

I have a few other thoughts for you. When Boo Boo was on the hypoallergenic food did he get any other food at all? If a dog gets fed even a tiny morsel of something that he is allergic to (i.e. a small piece of steak) then this can set off allergies for a couple of weeks. So, it's very important to be very strict with what food he gets.

You are correct in thinking the food allergies are most likely due to protein. This is the most common thing.

Have you had Boo Boo to the vet recently? If there is another problem going on such as an infection or hypothryoidism then this can make allergies really hard to clear up.

I hope this helps and I hope Boo Boo does well on his new food!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

THANK YOU! He has been to a vet, he had to be on antibiotics for his skin infection. I was pretty strick with his diet, mostly carrots for treats but he did have some chicken jerky too.
Again many thanks!
Wendy


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Ah...chicken jerky could do a LOT of damage if he was indeed allergic to chicken.

I have a really hard time explaining this to my clients. I try to tell them that they have totally spent the $90 they paid for a bag of hypoallergenic food by giving one treat.

But then I understand that it is hard...especially if you are not the only one feeding your dog.

If the new food is going to be effective we'll likely have to wait a few weeks to see.

Hope all goes well!

Dr. Marie.

p.s. If you have more concerns and need to reply I'll be offline for the next 30 minutes or so. It's bath time for my little girl.





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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.