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  1. #1
    Road Dawg Daeuse's Avatar

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    Default Dog Food / Allergies to Proteins?

    Howdy Guys,

    I'm sure you've had this thread a lot, but I just wasn't finding a recent post, so I'm starting a new one. Please forgive if I'm insulting.

    So Margeaux is now 1.5 years old and for the most part a happy healthy girl. However, we have had quite the struggle with her allergies. I'm seriously considering getting her allergy tested, but my husband's apprehensive.

    Here's what we've learned about Dog Foods:

    She cannot have the following at ALL:
    No corn
    No Wheat
    No Soy
    No POTATOS!!!!!
    No CHICKEN!!!!! (or Chicken by-products ie. chicken brooth, chicken fat etc...)

    Obviously, you can see we've been through the usual suspects of food. We've found a food that seems to be working REALLY well for her. It's called Zigantures (Limited ingredidant food) and we're feeding her the Duck Formula. Not only has it reduced her ear infections, there's been a serious reduction in paw licking and belly hives. (poor girl).

    However, as great as this food is, it does not carry a Large Breed Formula. Luckily Margeaux is a self-regulating eater [BG TIME - she NEVER eats enough. It's almost a problem with her since she has only gained 10 pounds since 10 months of age (She was a fast grower before that so she was around 94# at 10 months & now is 104 which is more than big enough for a spayed female)].

    I'm just wondering how many Pyr owners go with a normal food instead of a Lrg Breed food. I guess I'm trying to choose the lesser of 2 evils. Zignatures is 1 of the first foods that has worked for her. I've rulled out ALL of the Blue Diamond, Nutro, Hills, Eukanumba, and a variety of other foods. Most of their formulas (even the so-called chicken-free ones) have some form of chicken and or potatos/soy that causer her problems. At this point, we really have few options left.

    Thanks for suggestions/input!
    Sara, Proudly owned by Margeaux since July 2012
    Last edited by Daeuse; 11-11-2013 at 12:08 PM. Reason: grammer errors
    Sara A.
    Maryland, USA
    Margeaux Born 4/26/2012 - Registered Purebreed Great Pyrenees
    Rémy Born 10/13/2013 - Purebreed, but non-registered Great Pyrenees
    Madelyn 1/18/2000 - DSH Cat - Rules us all
    Check out their page at:
    https://www.facebook.com/MargeauxandRemyGreatPyrs

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    You have done wonders for this beautiful girl!!
    If you have found a food that she likes & does well on, I'd say stay with what works.
    I don't feed my Pyr's a large breed adult dog food, mine are not allergic to anything, so I am lucky that way. I did feed a lrage breed puppy food, but not for very long.
    She sounds and looks like she is just right in her weight department, and if this food has helped with her with her allergies, I would continue keeping her on it.
    I am not sure what she would have to endure with an allergy test, but if she's getting better, I would wonder about putting her through any tests that might cause her to relapse into hives & licking again.

  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Davey Benson's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daeuse View Post
    ....
    I'm sure you've had this thread a lot, but I just wasn't finding a recent post, so I'm starting a new one. Please forgive if I'm insulting....
    I've never been so insulted in all my life!


    Just kidding.

    I say with what you feed your dog (anyone, with their dogs) feed as good as you can afford, see how they look, if they have a healthy weight, not to heavy, not to light, a nice coat, nice looking teeth, nice nails. If you are happy with all these things, then you are doing something right, and don't pay much attention to those people who say you have to ________ *you fill in the blank with silly things you hear or read like, *feed only raw, or *feed only organic, or *feed only steamed vegetables, etc. (I'm still scratching my head on the feed your dogs and cats only vegetables, but it's easy for some people who elect to have a certain type of diet, to try to project that sort of living on all those around them. )

    I am fortunate that all my dogs do well with about anything, don't have any food allergies that I know of, and can eat about anything, grains or not. I choose to feed grain free, "regular dog food" and they all do well with it.
    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    The "magic" of a large breed formula has to do with the amount of calcium contained in the food. I checked Zignatures and the formula you are using has the appropriate calcium level for large breed dogs, so you are good to go there.

    Since Margeaux is allergic to potatoes, that would limit further the foods available out there that she can tolerate. Off the top of my head I recall the Instinct line from Nature's Variety does not contain potatoes. But I just checked and the Instinct line foods all have much higher calcium level, though I wouldn't say it's excessive for large breed dogs, but it is much higher than Zignatures. When you look around for other limited ingredient foods, you want to stick closer to the 1% calcium level that Zignatures has.

    If Margeaux's allergy issues are limited to food only, then once you've been able to find a food that she can tolerate, it may not be necessary to spend the $$ to do allergy testing. My first pyr had a lot of allergies and I had her tested which cost over $300. She had both food and airborne allergies. She was on allergy shots for about a year and half and I think it helped. The allergy shots were really for the airborne allergies rather than food.

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Espinay's Avatar

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    Only thing I can say. If it works, stick with it.

    If you want to go the allergy testing route I recommend doing the following:http://nutriscan.org/
    Dr Dodds is a leader in the field and this newer method is worth considering.
    Espinay Pyrenean Mountain Dogs (Australia) - putting the Breed before breeding

    www.espinay.com

  6. #6
    Road Dawg Daeuse's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewel View Post
    If Margeaux's allergy issues are limited to food only, then once you've been able to find a food that she can tolerate, it may not be necessary to spend the $$ to do allergy testing. My first pyr had a lot of allergies and I had her tested which cost over $300. She had both food and airborne allergies. She was on allergy shots for about a year and half and I think it helped. The allergy shots were really for the airborne allergies rather than food.
    Jewel, your answer was just what I needed to hear. Actually everyone here was VERY helpful. My husband and I are pretty sure she has some grass allergies as well. We first noticed the problem this past spring (right before she turned 1 in April) when the Grass came up. The first "signs" where just red paws. I typed into google and quickly learned that this was a sign she was licking her paws. Vet confirmed it and we started Hydroxizine. Initially she was only suppose to take as needed, but now she's pretty much taking it 2X daily.

    So, the Paws seem to be enviromental mostly. The Belly Hives, definitely related to food and/or shampoo, along with loose stools, and the ears. Oh the trauma of the ears. My vet didn't even mention the food as a source of the ears. We take our dog to this wonderful little self-wash dog wash/pet store and they sale all kinds of grain-free and natural choice foods. The store owner actually recommended the Zignatures to help with the ears. Within a week and half of being on it, her ears clear right up. I was so thrilled. Poor thing would just scratch all kinds of raw spots on her ears.

    I've researched Fresh food & raw food diets, but I've read a LOT of research that shows Giant breed dogs on those diets end up with a lot of malnutrition and bone/joint issues as a result. Not to say everyone who does it isn't doing a good job, it jsut means watching your dog's diet really closely. At one point, and maybe still in the future when she matures a little more, I was hoping to do therapy work with her, which also rules out the raw food diet as they do not like therapy dogs on raw food diets and it posses a slightly higher risk to those with weakened immune systems.

    Thanks for your advice. I definitely think Margeaux's coat loks great on this food. It's so shiny it almost sparkles all on it's own. Sunday my husband & I are going to look at some 5 week old puppies. I'm pretty sure 1 of them will be coming home with us around Christmas to be a baby brother for Margeaux. And Yes, hes a GP I don't think we could ever have another type/breed of dog. We've been so spoiled by our (not-so) little girl
    Sara A.
    Maryland, USA
    Margeaux Born 4/26/2012 - Registered Purebreed Great Pyrenees
    Rémy Born 10/13/2013 - Purebreed, but non-registered Great Pyrenees
    Madelyn 1/18/2000 - DSH Cat - Rules us all
    Check out their page at:
    https://www.facebook.com/MargeauxandRemyGreatPyrs

  7. #7
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Could Really Use Some Help

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Name:	Levi-DNA-photo.jpg 
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ID:	4222I am new here and my husband & I are really needing to find some help with our baby Levi. We adopted him a year ago from a shelter and were recommended to keep him on large breed puppy food, which we have. He just turned one and we are having bouts of vomiting sometimes after he eats and then he goes for days without, and I have never had this problem before. He is a Pyrenees mix and we are having trouble finding healthy natural ways to help him. I do notice that when he eats rabbit that I cook for him he tends to have this problem, and could it be that we need to go with something all grain free; which I thought that most high dollar puppy foods were suppose to be. We feed him Taste of the Wild for large breeds? Any help would be appreciated as Levi is our joyful boy that brings us much Love.

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    I agree with everyone else. This is mostly a pointless post, but I thought I'd add another voice. Do what works, what your baby girl likes. Our Chihuahua rations his own food, and he's at the perfect weight. Some dogs just have that superpower. He's six pounds, but he's at a perfect weight, and he's made it to the ripe old age of thirteen, and is still going strong, so he must be doing something right. We feed him a high quality food, as we can afford it on his small portions. Our bigger dog would go through one of his bags in a week, whereas Scooby takes a few months (we buy two bags at a time, and by the time one is running out, the other one is either buried deep within our house, or we forgot that we're actually on the second bag. I have a secret fear that Cliff going to find a large stash of old dog food in a few years) to finish a bag.

    As for large breed, we don't feed large breed. I'll check the calcium level in the morning. We're actually feeding him a mix of two foods, Science Diet and I think Kirkland brand. They're both wheat free (I'm gluten free, and so I saw that and thought it was funny. My dog is gluten free, too!) and list beef as the first ingredient. Clifford likes it, but your girl... Cliff has an issue with chewing on his paws, and we thought it might be because of the ice salt. People around here are too fond of it. I'm not sure if it helps. I fell on the ice earlier, and Cliff was pulling on the leash, he came back to check on me. These doggies are sweethearts. I'm off topic. Anyway, I've considered a raw diet, just because I feel like a bad mama sometimes, even though my logic screams at me. Espinay's page on feeding raw screams louder... Sorry, sorry!

    I think you're a great mama to your furkid, and your new puppy will too! It's so sweet of you to keep trying to help your little furkid. Give your little girl an allergy-free hug from me! And puppy... Wow, I'll need pictures. I'll upload my Clifford album soon, he's a gem. Or Jewel.

    I'm too tired. I'm going to make more bad jokes if I keep typing. This isn't really a post, just a mess of words.

  9. #9
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank You so much for the advise. We have finally solved the problem after trail and error; we put his food bowl back on the floor and started moistening his food before he eats, no vomiting! Levi is now enjoying his favorite thing....playing in the snow as we are getting 4 to 6 inches today, and because we adopted him this time last year we call him our Little Snow Baby, if you can call a 125 pound pup little.....hehe. Stay warm and thank you once again for responding, we love Levi so very much.

  10. #10
    Road Dawg Daeuse's Avatar

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    Thank you everyone for your input and your information.

    I have a few updates on Margeaux,

    First, she has stopped chewing her paws ever since we brought Rémy home. Rémy is our new (currently 12 weeks old) little Pyr Boy puppy. Margeaux took right to him and just LOVES him so much. I've seen her doing routine foot chewing/dog-style manicures, but no more pink on her paws & no red sores. I guess she was really in need of a play mate.

    Secondly, since Rémy joined us, Margeaux has been nipping at his food. He is currently on Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Puppy formula. I noticed her ears have started up again, but they are not that bad. We try to keep her from his food (and his from hers), but it's hard. With good ear-cleaning and avoiding other forms of chicken and grains, I think we have it well managed.

    Skin hives have cleared up also since we moved. I think she was just sneaking too much human food while we were in transition between buying our new house and living with my inlaws. Now that she's on a clean diet, she's much more managable. I think for now, we're going to hold off on the allergy testing and wait to see what happens come spring.

    Rémy comes from hardy LGD stock. Margeaux was show-dog stock, so we went the opposite route with Rémy. Rémy doesn't have papers, but it's obvious to me that he & his parents are Great Pyrenees (doubtfully mixed with anything else). However, his parents are working dogs on an Eco farm in Northern Virigina. He was born in a barn, and spent his first 9 weeks outside with his parents, and 9 litter mates. He's a happy little fellow, and is doing just wonderful. I'm hoping his hardier out-door stock will be less prone to allergies. His parents were very healthy, well-cared for, and they had the sweetest dispositions ever!
    Sara A.
    Maryland, USA
    Margeaux Born 4/26/2012 - Registered Purebreed Great Pyrenees
    Rémy Born 10/13/2013 - Purebreed, but non-registered Great Pyrenees
    Madelyn 1/18/2000 - DSH Cat - Rules us all
    Check out their page at:
    https://www.facebook.com/MargeauxandRemyGreatPyrs

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