Dr. Fox: More on Dog Skin Problems | Pets

Learn more about the dog skin problems

Dear Dr. Fox: Regarding your recent column, “Getting to the Roots of the Dog’s Skin Problem”: My dog, a mongrel resembling an Australian Cattle Dog, had a serious skin problem. The vet couldn’t diagnose it, but suggested it might be a food allergy.

Someone online had suggested a chicken allergy. There is chicken and chicken by-products in most dog foods on the market, and the vet has indicated that it is an inexpensive protein variety.

I now give my dog ​​kibbles without chicken, and I make her your wet food recipe. Her skin problem disappeared. MH, Poughkeepsie, New York

Dear MH: I’m glad you solved your dog’s skin problem. There is no simple rule for treatment, as dogs can differ greatly in allergy or intolerance to certain food ingredients. This can include sardines, fish oils, and nutritional yeast, which I often recommend for dogs with skin issues. When such supplements make the skin problem worse, you are halfway to knowing what to avoid.

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Vets can do allergy testing or an elimination diet, where the dog is put on a simple diet (often white fish and rice, or mutton and barley), gauging the response, then adding more ingredients one by one.

The problem with many dog ​​and cat food brands, even specially formulated diets, can be the inclusion of unlisted animal proteins and other ingredients that some pets may be allergic to. That’s why I advocate home-prepared diets with known ingredients for dogs and cats with skin problems and other diet-related health issues. Otherwise, ask your attending veterinarian to go to secure.balanceit.com for diets formulated by veterinarians.

As pointed out in the book Not Fit for a Dog: The Truth About Manufactured Foods for Cats and Dogs, which I co-authored with two other veterinarians, many of the expensive manufactured special diets can cause more harm than good.

Australian Cattle Dogs have a bit of a dingo in them, as well as a bit of a Dalmatian. This makes the breed both great for herding and deeply loyal.

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