Food Allergies and an Elimination Diet

I am the proud owner of cocker spaniels. I also do cocker spaniel rescue. I have had all too many cockers come into rescue a total wreck from allergies and have been very successful in promoting healing and healthy recoveries.

When one of my own boys exhibited allergies, I was determined to get to the source. Still a novice at this sort of thing ten years ago, I started my doing own elimination diet. That translates into just feeding one food that eliminates one thing. After one to three months, you either have results or not. Usually you can see results in a month, but three is the true test. That means not even treats.

Trez, my tricolor boy had oozing ears. Black ooze! I changed protein after protein, looking for the cause. I got no results. He was a show prospect but I could not get past the ears. He hated me after three years of wrestling to clean his ears. Forget the show career if you cannot touch his head. And I had done this to him!

Finally a light bulb went off in my brain. What I needed to change was the carbohydrate! I have a nutrition background. I switched him to Nature’s Variety Prairie Lamb/Venison kibbles and raw. Within three weeks, the ears were clean! No more ooze! Mom (me) needed to pay attention! Trez is allergic to rice! Other grains are not a problem, he does beautifully on the lamb and the venison varieties. We switch back and forth, Prairie recommends a rotation diet.

Trez never did make it to the show ring, but I can clean his ears effortlessly now. They are clear and clean. His coat is fabulous! Trez celebrated his 10th birthday this past July. Best of all, he is a happy dog!

Fast forward, when I had another puppy male, Thomas, who exhibited the same symptoms as Uncle Trez. I put him on the Prairie Program and thought I could beat this early. It did not work! I was stumped.

About a year and a half ago, I began working for Cherrybrook. Claudia suggested I try NOW dog food for Thomas. It is grain free but has a regular 26% protein level. BAM! It worked! Within a short amount of time, Thomas eyes and ears cleared up. His coat is nothing short of magnificent, thick, hard and glossy. At a recent Cocker Spaniel Eye Clinic, everyone wanted to know “Who is THAT dog?”

Thomas has an allergy to grains. Neither dog will ever be used for breeding, those are not traits that should continue in a breeding program. They are just happy healthy dogs!

written by Pat Crew