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MTPipeliner

Switched foods, how long for results?

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MTPipeliner

I switched dog foods a little over  3 weeks ago because my dog had an ear infection and inflamed/infected spots between her back toes.  The vet prescribed oral antibiotics and drops for the ear infection and suggested switching foods thinking that it was caused by a food alergy.  

 

We've got the ear infection all cleared up, but her toes are still inflamed.  

 

If it is an allergy issue, how long do you think it would take on the new food to see the symptoms go away?

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Hunts Labs

I will be curious for the answers also.  I have an eleven year old lab that has suffered these bumps between his toes.  Cole is the only one of my 4 labs that has had this.  It seems to reoccur about twice a year with no pattern.  14 days of antibiotics usually clears him up.  We have used native brand food and now are on Purina Proplan Sport.  It would be nice to have an answer to this mystery.

 

Hunts Labs

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Dogwood

Must use a strict home made or rx hypoallergenic diet for 3 months and water only.  No treats period.

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Brad Eden

Sounds like interdigital cysts between toes. Here's a link to a thread I started on Cash getting chronic infections and lumps between toes: Interdigital Cyst Thread There are photos too of Cash and other dogs ailment. He required bouts of antibiotic to clear them up.

 

I was gonna have him get surgery to remove tissue tissue between the toes that seemed to be chronic, in case there was a foreign object that couldn't be detected and wouldn't work its way out. At the time I didn't know what an interdigital cyst was. After this thread and consulting with a UJ vet I cancelled surgery and they haven't come back. They may again, but I didn't change his feed either.

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MTPipeliner

Thanks Brad, read through that thread and looked them up online a little bit.  

 

On my dog, her toes are just red in between them, not swollen or leaking puss, etc.  Any idea if the interdigital cysts always swell, and have fluid or can the same thing just look red ?

 

Dogwood, do you recommend the hypoallergenic diet so that you can then re-introduce foods in a controlled manner and see what is causing the issue, or does it sort of break the cycle and allow time to heal also.  Maybe that isnt a real clear question, for instance, if a dog is allergic to food A, but not food B, would switching directly from A to B give a different result than from A to hypoallergenic and then to B?

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Dogwood
9 hours ago, MTPipeliner said:

Thanks Brad, read through that thread and looked them up online a little bit.  

 

On my dog, her toes are just red in between them, not swollen or leaking puss, etc.  Any idea if the interdigital cysts always swell, and have fluid or can the same thing just look red ?

 

Dogwood, do you recommend the hypoallergenic diet so that you can then re-introduce foods in a controlled manner and see what is causing the issue, or does it sort of break the cycle and allow time to heal also.  Maybe that isnt a real clear question, for instance, if a dog is allergic to food A, but not food B, would switching directly from A to B give a different result than from A to hypoallergenic and then to B?

A HA diet trial is done to diagnose a food allergy.  If it's successful at significantly controlling the problem then you would continue with that food forever, generally.  If it does not help after 3 months than you check food allergies off the list and move on.  Chronic year-round ear problems tend to be a flag for FA's.  In Brad's case I would not consider periodic paw cysts to be a food based allergy by and large.

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ranchdoc

I have to say this multiple times a day in my practices. A food trail is very restrictive and often represents a life-style change for the owner as NOTHING can cross their lips (even beef-flavored heartworm pills) except the hypoallergenic diet and water for at least 6 weeks. Just changing over-the-counter diet brands is usually NOT a food trail. The immune system doesn't care what brand you feed, it doesn't care if its expensive or cheap or organic ( so is horse crap, doesn't mean you should eat it) or grain free, it only cares if its being stimulated by a molecule.... the most common of which are beef, chicken, lamb, rice, corn or wheat .  Most diets have one of  these items at least on a molecular level even if its not on the label. Prescription foods are available online, they are more are expensive than regular diets to make since you have to use machinery just for that type  of food and they are not usually intended for maintenance . I might try 2-3 separate food types/trails for 6 weeks each..novel protein (royal canin pd or pr) then a hydrolyzed protein diet like HA or ZD before I decide its not a food issue. I have about a 30% chance food is part of an allergy problem but since I cant control the environment, what blooms and what the dog breathes I might as well "control what I can control" like diet and see if it helps. If I had a 30% chance of winning the lottery I would play it all the time, besides you have to feed the goofball dog anyway. If after 6 weeks it seems the diet helped then you might wonder if the allergy would have waned anyway and it was coincidence not the food, go ahead and put the dog back on the old food and if it was truly a food allergy the signs will come back within 2 weeks. If you prove its a food allergy then experiment with different over the counter diets and see what you can get away with. Clear as mud? Just my opinion but its formed from 33 years in veterinary practice. Controlling secondary yeast or bacterial infections is also very important in management of these cases...if its red and itchy its most likely secondarily infected.

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MTPipeliner

Thanks ranchdoc, 

 

I can't say for sure yet it the different food is working for sure or not, or if that was the true cause of any of it anyway.  I've got the ear infection cleared up and, and her feet are looking better but not quite fixed up.  It seems like she is licking them enough to keep them agitated but with washing and antibiotic cream they seem to be healing.  

 

I definately haven't tried to make this a full food trial, and hopefully won't have to☺

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