Dog allergies......

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2000
Dog allergies......
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 5:01am
My dog has developed problems since she was vaccinated at about 12 weeks of age. Since then, she's had problems with incontinence and itchy skin. I've been doing tons of research on the web about vaccinations and dogs developing allergies from the vaccines. They have found a similar correlation between human allergies and vaccines. The theory is this, if a person or animal receives a vaccine at a young age, it triggers their immune system to switch from a TH1 response (the type of immune defense that enables us to fight off bacterial infections) to a TH2 response (the allergic type response). I don't know all the technical details since it's not my line of work, but I do know that allergies and asthma (and asthma deaths) have tripled over the past 20 years in humans despite major advances in asthma and allergy meds. Similarly, I've noticed a big rise in dogs who have allergies, but they do not have any formal documentation on the incidence like we do with people so it's not as easy to tell the actual number of dogs who have them or if their incidence is on the rise.

There is alot of info out there that I've researched that states a direct correlation between dogs receiving vaccines and developing allergies afterward. There are also alot of holistic vets out there who do not vaccinate at all. All this is very confusing. I saved a couple of links if anyone is interested, I'll post them.

So, just wondering if anyone had any input/insight on this subject or if you have a dog with allergies, or just want to comment. Any ideas on what to do about my poor dog. She's only 8 months now and we can live with the incontinence, but I hate to see her so uncomfortable and itchy all the time. I wash her bed cover once a week with Woolite and put it through an extra rinse cycle, so I don't think it's detergent. We don't have carpeting, etc. and I vacuum every day, so I don't think it's dust mites. (I have allergies too so my house is pretty much allergy free). Now, I'm experimenting with different dog foods. We went from Euk puppy to Science diet Nature's Best, and to Euk lamb and rice formula. One problem I have is that we can't get her to eat any food at all unless it has a little bit of canned stuff mixed in, so I'm not able to completely control her diet. She'll go more than 24 hours without eating if you leave just dry stuff down. I've been thinking about buying Nature's Recipe Allergy canned food (it's a vegetarian food for dogs). Just wondering if anyone here has tried it or can recommend something else? I don't want to start the long process of allergy testing, etc just yet.

I was on the USDA's site and am kind of disgusted and appalled about the stuff they allow to be put into dog food. Anything that's labeled "not for human consumption" is basically ok for pet food and just about anything goes, cancerous tumors, uncleared animal intestines, etc, etc.

Sorry this is so long...when it comes to animals I can talk all day! LOL!!

TIA for all your responses and helpful advice.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 8:32am

I think you're on the right track with looking at your dog's food. I haven't tried the vegetarian diets, but with your dog that may be a way to go. Have you thought about BARF? I've heard a lot of people get really good results feeding BARF. There are some commercially prepared BARF diets out there that use fruits and vegetables instead of grains for the carbohydrate content. Grains could be part of the problem. You might also try adding flax seed oil or fish oil to her food to increase the Omega 3 fatty acids.

And about the vaccines....I've been researching that, too. I have decided that my older dogs will no longer get anything but the rabies shot required by law. My younger dogs will receive one more round of shots (minus corona and lepto) after they're a year old and then no more for at least three years. Some say three years, some say seven. I'm hoping more research will be done in that time and I'll have more to go on when it's time to think about revaccinating them.

I had a dog who developed allergies after she was a year old. That was 8 years ago. At the time, I didn't know about the link to vaccines and allergies. And food. I would have done things a lot different if I had known. I'm glad you're so much more informed than I was.

Let us know how she's doing and what you decide to do!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 3:17pm

Edited 9/9/2004 12:39 pm ET ET by serena369
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2000
Fri, 03-28-2003 - 7:12pm
Consider allergy testing. Since Murphy has a coprophagia problem, both of our dogs had to go on the food challenge, and both detested the food with a passion - we tried several different allergy diets for a long time and it was NOT cheap! Also it had zero results. It wasn't until that time our vet mentioned food is very rarely the culprit. When I found out there is a simple blood test, we had it done right away, and Murphy tested positive to ONE thing - dust mites. He's been on shots now for a year - we do them at home and he doesn't even feel them, and he's VASTLY improved. With warmer weather here now, I'm opening windows and am noticing he's scratching just a bit, suppose it's because more dust is getting in than before.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 11:14am
Hi Jane,

What does your vet say regarding the puppy's incontinence? Is it possible that being vaccinated, and the onset of the incontinence is a coincidence, and theres an underlying problem?

The whole subject of dog food ingredients is an eye opener. After one of my dogs started itching and chewing on his feet for no apparent reason, I started feeding him Wellness SuperMix 5, and he's stopped itching!

Supplementing your dog's diet with Omega 3& 6 fatty acids, and vitamins A and E can help reduce the itching and irritation. There is increasing evidence that Omega 3 & 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids play important roles in mediating and regulating inflammatory, immune and aggregatory responses within the body. Read more about it here:

You can treat your pup with a teaspoon of a liquid CHILDREN'S antihistamine for relief of allergy symptoms.

Keep us posted!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 3:13pm
Try bathing your dog in "Relief Shampoo." Follow the directions on the bottle EXACTLY, do NOT use any conditioner. See if that helps.

Have you tried allergy shots?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 5:08pm
I have fed Nature's Recipe exclusively for 10 years. I started using it for Harry because of his allergies. Back then they only had lamb and rice formula and a few others. My vet recommended lamb and rice because lamb is one meat that dogs have a lower allergic reaction to.

Now they have several formulas, including a hard and dry for allergies. They also have a senior food (which Casey has been on since she was 7), one for herding dogs (Dammit Eddy eats that one), toy breeds, easy to digest, allergy formula. I have tried the "all natural foods" but they didn't agree with either Casey or Eddy. They had terrible gas problems and Casey had a very loose stool. I had hoped that a change in food would help some of Casey's calcium and alk phosphate levels. Not only did that not happen, they went up. Back to Nature's Recipe. The gas stopped immediately and so did the loose stool. Her levels did go down, I can't relate that to the food directly but I believe it did play an important part.

The nutrition in these foods seems to be very good. Both of my dogs are healthy (except for Casey's age related issues) and Eddy is the picture of good health.

In short, I really do like this food. I will continue to feed it to all of my dogs for as long as I am able to have them.

I it helps to hear someone give this food a thumbs up -

Also, your screen name - what kind of racejunkie are you?

Love and laughter,