Chicken allergies in dogs
We have spoken to so many dog owners who have or are going through the tough and heart breaking experience of their dogs itching, losing fur and/or suffering from sores.
So as owners of a dog with skin allergies (specifically poultry) we wanted to write a blog for all of those poor dogs and owners going through the uncomfortable experiences of skin irritation and what we have tried and been successful with.
Our experience started when Yianni was a small puppy (only 6/7 months old) and he began to start itching the backs of his front legs, chest and obsessively biting and licking his paws causing redness and sores.
We took him straight to our vet and their first diagnoses was a yeast infection as Yianni’s paws were the worst affected but following the course of medication and Yianni continuing with his symptoms the search for other causes began.
As dog owners we were distraught seeing our little puppy suffering so much and not being able to find the cause and solution straight away! Our vet said that it is rare to see allergies in a puppy so we really were lost in what we could do.
We continued to take Yianni to the vets and tried so many courses of different medications – anti histamine creams, antibiotic’s, allergy tablets and steroid medications. It got so bad that the only thing that could help from the vets was for Yianni to have steroid injections. Something we really didn’t want him to have but had no other choice.
Between the times of different medications we tried changing our washing powders, stopped using air fresheners, stopped giving him treats and changing his kibble to different brands and so much more. What was the hardest point was that you could only change one thing at a time to determine what was the cause of his itching and Yianni could not have his steroid injections because we needed to see if what we were changing was making a difference.
Even though we were seeing our vet on a regular basis we wanted to see what answers we could find online. We were shocked to find so many dogs out there that were suffering from the same symptoms as Yianni.
From trying to change things in the home we were pretty sure that it wasn't environmental things causing his skin irritation, so food was our next route to investigate.
Our vet had suggested switching to a hypoallergenic kibble that has been created for dog’s with suspected food allergies, but we had read so many comments of people trying raw feeding that we wanted to try this first.
Our vet was against us trying this diet but after our own research we were able to weigh up the pros and cons of the decision we were faced with and make an informed decision. We opted to give the raw approach a try as so many people had seen results and seen them quickly.
We had also read that Chicken is one of the hig hest irritants for a dog, so we started feeding Yianni complete raw beef meals (beef cuts, beef offal, beef bones, fruit and vegetables). Within a few days Yianni’s skin was becoming less and less itchy. The relief for Yianni was obviously the most important but the relief for us was unbelievable.
From here we have continued to feed Yianni on a complete raw red meat diet and complete raw fish diet. His skin has been perfect and the hair loss that he suffered is no more. We have tried to feed him other poultry meats (turkey, pheasant) in small quanties but it has caused his skin to become irrated again so we stay clear.
Yianni's dinners now
So we found the cause to be poultry but why? What is in poultry that causes this reaction? Our vet informed us that most allergies are genetic and they sometimes do not show straight away. A dog can be fed the same food for years and then all of a sudden their allergies can show.
The reason for allergies arising over time is because the allergic reaction in their bodies builds. Your dog’s immune system has to be exposed to the protein over time for enough enterocytes to eventually recognise it as an intrusive substance.
What is worse is that chicken is the most used ingredient for dog food. In premade raw food for example, you can find beef dinners which actually contain chicken offal or in kibble it can say beef flavoured but it actually still contains chicken! So be aware and make sure to read all of your dog treat and dog food packaging for the ingredients that your dog is allergic to.
We understand that raw feeding is not for everyone but if you are interested please feel free to check out our blogs.
Chicken allergy symptoms
- Itching and scratching of their skin (especially on their feet, face, ears and rear)
- Obsessive licking and biting of their paws.
- Hair loss, skin infections and injuries as a result of their scratching.
- Vomiting and diarrhea.
Other things that helped with Yianni’s skin through the bad times were bathing him once a week with all natural shampoo’s and only towel drying after as the heat from the hair dryer would dry out his skin. We also found that all natural itch sprays were also really helpful too.
Unfortunately the symptoms for most allergies is the same and it can take what feels like an eternity to find out what the cause is, but hopefully sharing our story can help you in finding your answer.
Lots of love the Aurora Pets Team x