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Food Allergy Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Tofu is on an elimination diet because he used to scratch a lot and continually wounded himself. We started off with duck and he's been fine, no itching, wounds, etc. I added beef in a few weeks later and still no problems.

This week, it was time to add chicken in. It might just be my imagination, but he seems to be scratching more whereas on duck and beef, I didn't notice much scratching. I found two little cuts on his ear from scratching as well, but nothing as bad as what it used to be - open sores with loss of fur.

My question is, should I continue to feed him the chicken and see if he scratches until he wounds himself again to be 100% sure it's the chicken he's reacting to or should I stop now and just avoid chicken forever? When doing elimination diets, at what point do you say okay, he/she's definitely reacting to this protein and it's a food allergy for sure?

On one hand, I want to find out for SURE because a chicken allergy is quite a hassle - so many foods contain chicken! On the other, I don't want to have him coned for a few weeks again due to scratching.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 11
Bugsy is allergic to chicken, and yes, definitely a hassle, but you can find good food out there without chicken.
Bugsy had Chronic soft stools, and occasional diarrhea. When looking at his diet, wet, dry and treat, the common denominator was chicken, and since it is an allergen, I decided to remove from his diet. I also noticed he had violent diarrhea when I fed him raw chicken breast, which raised a big red flag for me.
I first put him in an all fish (high quality, low potassium, low magnesium) diet, and he started getting much better. His poop is not all hard, but it is definitely formed, and he has no diarrhea. The way I tested him, was to give him occasionally treats, or wet food with chicken.
Treats and wet food, because if he was not allergic, those wouldn't give him an upset stomach, like changing his dry food would. Sure enough, every time he ate anything with chicken, he would get watery, completely liquid diarrhea.

I would do this once - feed a chicken wet meal, or some treats with chicken, and wait for a day or so. Bugsy is like clockwork - it takes about 36 hours for him to have his diarrhea in response to chicken.
To be absolutely sure, I did this a few times - let him recover for a few weeks, then do it again. Sure enough, every time...

I would not continue to feed him until he gets injured. I would strongly advise to get a health diary going. This helped me tremendously in establishing a pattern. Write down when and what you fed him, and when and what the reaction was. Let him recover completely - to be sure, remove any new protein you might have given to him at the same time as chicken, and do not add anything new to his diet. Once he has been well for a few weeks, feed him chicken again (raw chicken for me gave me the strongest response). Write down the results.

He might be allergic to other foods too, so keeping a health diary would be very beneficial to track all the changes or lack thereof when adding new proteins to his diet.

I hope this helps...
post #3 of 11
make sure he does not get any chicken for at least 6-8 weeks ... then pick a day give him a small but reasonable portion of fresh chicken with nothing added and the DIARY is a great thing..... Everyone is different , I react within 2 hours usually , Zoey is about 8 hours
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
make sure he does not get any chicken for at least 6-8 weeks ...
, and IMO the same rule should be carried to every protein added into his diet, so you can track all his issues...
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies. Fortunately, I have already started a health/diet log since the beginning of this elimination diet. It's odd - he was quite itchy yesterday but not so much today. I am not certain at all at this point it's the chicken, so I will continue to feed it and if he continues scratching (not necessarily to the point of being coned again), then I will stop and then further down the road, do a challenge test once again to confirm.

I really hate dealing with food allergies. Just my luck that I have both a dog and cat with food allergies...makes life more difficult!

Anyway, it seems that Tofu's allergic reactions aren't instant - they seem to manifest over the next few days or even up to a week.

Thanks again!
post #6 of 11
My cat used to have allergies for years to commercial pet food - diarrhea/soft stool mainly. 9 months ago I started him on a balanced raw diet and it completely cleared up. But now he has scratching licking allergies. Which I am thinking is to one or more of the meats.

I also am on an elimination diet for him right now. I started out by feeding him strictly on a balanced hormone/antibiotic free chicken/liver/heart raw diet for 5 weeks. He was scratching and licking the entire time. This week we have now started on a completely hormone/anibiotic free beef/liver/heart balanced raw diet. He is still scratching but he has only been on the beef since Wednesday. After discussing the elimantion diet with my vet he wanted me to make sure I do not add any other meats during the process and give it atleast 4-5 weeks for each meat. He did say that the ultimate time to give each meat to really know if it is an allergy is 10 weeks. On a canned/dry food diet it is a very hard process as there are so many other ingredients involved so you never know if it is one or more of the ingredients in the food.

Many cats seem to be allergic to chicken/beef so this is why I wanted to start off with these two in the process of elimination.

What brands of cat food are you feeding and wet/dry?
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
Thanks for your replies. Fortunately, I have already started a health/diet log since the beginning of this elimination diet. It's odd - he was quite itchy yesterday but not so much today. I am not certain at all at this point it's the chicken, so I will continue to feed it and if he continues scratching (not necessarily to the point of being coned again), then I will stop and then further down the road, do a challenge test once again to confirm.

I really hate dealing with food allergies. Just my luck that I have both a dog and cat with food allergies...makes life more difficult!

Anyway, it seems that Tofu's allergic reactions aren't instant - they seem to manifest over the next few days or even up to a week.

Thanks again!
Just my 2 cents, I would remove the chicken, continue the one protein diet for another 6-8 weeks, then try chicken again to test it out. You want to do one protein at a time, and if there is a chance that chicken is the one causing it, IMO the best route would be to eliminate it first, and see what happens.... otherwise you are defeating the purpose of your studies...
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Just my 2 cents, I would remove the chicken, continue the one protein diet for another 6-8 weeks, then try chicken again to test it out. You want to do one protein at a time, and if there is a chance that chicken is the one causing it, IMO the best route would be to eliminate it first, and see what happens.... otherwise you are defeating the purpose of your studies...
I agree!!!!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Just my 2 cents, I would remove the chicken, continue the one protein diet for another 6-8 weeks, then try chicken again to test it out. You want to do one protein at a time, and if there is a chance that chicken is the one causing it, IMO the best route would be to eliminate it first, and see what happens.... otherwise you are defeating the purpose of your studies...
I don't think I was clear on what I've been doing; there seems to be some confusion.

I suspected chicken to start with, so I took him off chicken completely and had him on duck only for 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks was up and no scratching seen at all, I added beef in and fed him beef for 3 weeks. Still, no scratching seen, so then I tried chicken.

We are about 4-5 days into chicken right now. When I made this post, we were about 2 days into chicken and that was when I reported an increase in scratching seen. To me, it was a sign that he was reacting to chicken, but I wanted to make sure...and asked here whether to let him continue scratching until it's pretty evident or stop at that point. However, it seems that his scratching has stopped since, which is confusing me, so I'm going to continue with the chicken diet for a while until I am sure he is or is not reacting to the protein.

Does that make sense? Or have I just confused you more? Haha.

I am using canned EVO for this elimination diet and only the EVO line, no other brands for now because their different canned flavors seem to be consistent in the ingredients being used...I didn't want to jeopardize the trial by throwing in other brands with other ingredients, just in case.

So, having explained this now, am I on the right track?
post #10 of 11
Thanks for clarifying...it does sound like you are on the right track. Is the canned EVO the 95% meat line? This would be the only EVO I would recommend as the regular Evo is filled with more ingredients that could contribute with to the allergies. The canned meat should also be the same raw meat you are feeding at the time.

In my opinion for now while you are going throught the elimination diet I would only stick with the balanced raw meat diet and no canned if that is possible.
post #11 of 11
Yes, that made it clearer... However, since there was still a reaction when you added chicken, I would remove it, let him be off chicken for a good 6-8 weeks at least (3 is not enough time ), and only then add it again. If he does show a reaction then, Bingo - he is allergic to chicken. Right now you are feeding 2 proteins that he could be allergic to it - beef and chicken... IMO you didn't have enough time to rule out beef...
This is my opinion only - the vets usually ask for a longer time - mine asked for 12 weeks; I am doing every 8 weeks.
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