Can not feeding a variety cause allergies?

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the chi-weenie
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 5:20pm PST 
Can feeding the same protein all the time cause an allergy to the protein or meats not being fed?
I've heard some things, I'm a little concerned.

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 6:57pm PST 
If you introduce beef, pork, chicken, turkey and lamb to the dog during the introduction phase and have to stop feeding turkey and lamb for a while then you might need to reintroduce turkey or lamb to the diet. It wouldn't cause an allergy. It could be you had a feeling that they were problem foods and when you restarted them you could easily see they were a problem.

That is sort of what happened with Max's sardines. I started feeding a grind that included them and his ears did get a bit black after they had been absolutely spotless but I was learning about his issues with wheat at that time as well. Started whole sardines and after quite a while his ears got horrible and I took him to the vet for a good cleaning. Cleaning daily kept them unblocked but the wax was still black and there was too much. On a hunch I stopped the sardines and inside a week his ears were clean. I gave him a sardine, instant mess that cleared up fast. If I been more intuitive I would have stopped at the sardine grind stage and probably not realized sardines were a problem. Then if I bought some as a treat his ears might have blown up all of a sudden.

the chi-weenie
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 7:37pm PST 
So but Max has always had trouble with sardines?

Cookie doesn't appear to have any allergies.
She is only going to be 2 years old this month, but when she was a puppy she was on dollar store food(chicken), then a "premium" dollar store food (lamb, lol I know it's like a contradiction right), then Taste of the Wild (with fish and duck and bison etc) and a duck and potato kibble. And then her last kibble was Back to Basics (pork). So she went through all sorts of kibble proteins, and since starting raw a year ago, she has eaten, chicken, beef, fish, lamb, pork, and I think that's it.
and she never showed any signs of allergies, no itching or bad ears or paw licking or rashes.

However recently I've switched to having her on beef and chicken only. and I was wondering if it was bad, to only feed mostly beef with some chicken... hearing that allergies can form when a dog eats the same thing all the time.

But is that just a myth? I guess it's more likely that allergies can just form out of nowhere huh?


I'm king of the- world!
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 6:22am PST 
I don't know if dogs are like humans in that respect. I know that humans can develop allergies over time.

Duke is allergic to chicken and lamb...I didn't find this out until he started on raw. Looking back, all the signs were there when he was on chicken- and lamb-based kibble: goopy eyes, greasy fur, chewing paws, licking, red eyes. It wasn't excessive, though, so I didn't suspect a food allergy. I think that with all the other fillers in the kibble, his exposure to the allergen was minimized, thus inducing a lesser reaction.

Fast-forward to the transition to raw when his system was bombarded with nothing but the offending proteins. He had a horrible reaction. So for Duke, the allergies were always there.

Edited by author Sat Feb 2, '13 6:23am PST


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 12:11pm PST 
One isn't born with an allergy to a substance. The reason beef is a common allergy is because a lot of foods contain it. Now lamb is probably a common allergy because there are so many lamb based foods. Peanuts are a common allergy in humans because it is fed so often and frequently to children.

I don't know why allergies get triggered. In my case over indulgence in a particular scrumptious Girl Scout cookie triggered a reaction to pecans which rapidly resulted in intolerance of all tree nuts. I already had severe reactions to peanuts and macadamia nuts which aren't closely related. One would think chocolate would be a problem too but unfortunately that hasn't happened. I would think depending on a couple types of meat is more likely to create a problem than feeding a varied diet just by my own experience.

If your dog was showing a vague reaction and you stopped feeding it then started up again that reaction could be more pronounced. I think that is what happened in Max's case with the sardines. I think they didn't suit him but I wasn't feeding enough to really mess him up but when he was getting half meals of them his body reacted more strongly.

Member Since
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 9:36pm PST 
Actually, food allergies and food intolerance (different things) are genetic predispositions.. That is, dogs are usually born with it. The allergy, of course, doesn't express itself until the predisposition is triggered. There are things that can cause that predisposition to develop after birth, for example, a puppy given antibiotics can possibly have the effect of changing the environment in the gut that a predisposition to the allergy develops.

For an allergy to develop, first the dog has to be predisposed to the allergen. That is, the body learned that a specific protein is an enemy. If the parents are allergic to chicken, chances are your dog will be allergic to chicken. That's why certain breeds like English Bulldogs are prone to allergies because the line breeding of bulldogs have been passing that genetic trait down.

Secondly, the dog has to have been exposed to that protein. The first exposure triggers the body to produce antibodies. This is similar to a flu shot - you are shot with the flu virus so your body can produce the antibodies needed to fight the flu when you get your second exposure. At this time, your dog wouldn't show any symptoms because chicken protein is different from the flu virus in that it is actually not harmful, so the dog does not get sick.

Thirdly, the dog gets exposed again to the protein. This is when the dog's antibodies send an army of histamines to declare war with the chicken proteins causing the allergy symptoms to occur.

Now, it could be that the proteins that the dog is predisposed to be sensitive to is not numerous enough to trigger the second step or the third step (dogs differ in their level of sensitivity to the protein) so that it seems like the dog "was not allergic before and just developed allergies all of a sudden".

Hope this helps.