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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
hello, I love this site and was looking around for a few anwsers to some questions I had, found most but was wondering about grain free foods.

I have a 3 month old maltese and she itches all over and bites her paws, Sometimes for 10 mins straight!! I switched her from Wellness puppy to Natural Balance L.I.D. allergy formula for all life stages grain free. Im trying to figure it out if its the food or maybe the outside pollen but she doesnt go out unless to eliminate. She also has tear stains Im thinking from allergies.

Is this food safe for puppies even if it may not be a food allergy? I somtimes mix it with little banana or blueberries. Should I have waited til after summer to see if it was pollen rather then food? Took her to vet and vet said that most puppies itch without allergies and she is to young to have allergies, But when i research online many people have young pups with allergies. She DOESN't Have any bald spots from the itching or biting and her skin color looks fine according to vet. Does the vet know what shes talking about? I was giving her fish oil but the Natural Balance I switched to is sweet potato and fish so i stopped the fish oil for there is a lot already in her new food. Her treats and food are all sweet potato and fish from Natural Balance and some banana and blueberries thats all she eats.

So the main question is will it be alright if she says on this food for 3-4 months just to see if its a food allergy? Am I taking away a lot of nutrients she may need as a growing pup on this food? Shes only been on it for 1 week so its way to early to see a difference but I just want to do right by her?

every since I found this site I spend about 2 to 3 hours a day looking at posts and pictures and want to thank all of you in advance for all the help you have given me and will in the future. Thank You!!!!
 

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I agree with your vet. She's too young for food allergies. Her body needs time to build up the antibodies that cause the allergic reaction.

Airborne allergies are far more common than food allergies anyway.

The tear stains are most likely from teething.
 

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If the food says for all life stages it should be nutritionally adequate.
I agree it is unlikely to be food allergy. At her age flea allergy, contact allergy, or inhalent would be most common. I would rule out contact by changing your cleaning/washing products and removing any fragranced products from your home. No powders on the carpets. Etc.
We still have pollens in the air in our home. It is not a bubble.
I agree that staining at this age is commonly due to teething.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
thanks for the quick replies so far. I think I'll just wean her back on the wellness for puppies formulas and treats then. She wasn't completly weaned off it anyways was still mixing the two foods together so she should be fine. Before I was mixing the wellness dry and canned and make little meatballs and she does real well at eating them. She wasn't to fond of the Natural Balance. My home is all hardwood floor and marble flooring so the upstairs bedrooms with carpeting she hasnt been in yet. But ever since we got her we mop our floors with dawn soap and warm water. I use frontline plus and yet to see fleas and vet confirmed it , so hopefully as the seasons change her allergies or itching goes away that way we can get a better idea at what it is. I just feel so bad for her because she will stop playing just to itch for 5 mins or just stop when she pees to itch then goes right back to peeing.

But i was really pleased with wellness puppy food so Ill stick with that and return the Natural Balance. Or maybe some suggustions on a great puppy food for a 3 month semi active dog. No matter the price. Thanks.
 

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Although allergies are rare at a young age they tend to get worse with time and some pups are allergic at a young age. The severe itching and chewing is a real clue that she/he is allergic to something.

Please get your dog allergy tested ASAP. Their are 2 types of tests.

Skin tests which identify the causative allergens and Serum (blood) test which measure just how allergic the pup is to it.

With severe itching the dog has to be plagued with discomfort and needs to have the source identified ASAP. Don't play a guessing game, there are too many things it could be....in the mean time she willl chew herself or itch herself raw. Oatmeal shampoo may help but anti-hisamines will help the most.

Anti-histamines will help curb the itching once the root cause is known Get your vet to recommend one of the OTC ones as they are inexpensive and effective and she/he will get prompt relief. Good luck and let us know what the outcome is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
how accurate are these test?? Can the honestly tell me if its a food allergy or a contact or inhalant allergy? or just tell me that shes def allergic to something without being specific
 

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You have a 3 month old puppy with an immature immune system. It is highly unlikely that she has food or airborne allergies at such a young age. I WOULD NOT be switching foods to an allergy diet nor would I be giving an antihistamine without a definitive diagnosis. And a topical antihistamine spray would probably be a better alternative so long as you can keep her from licking her feet (socks or an e-collar would help). If she were my dog, I would be bringing her back to the vet to have a skin scraping done of her feet and body to check for mites. They live not only in the ears but also under the skin (Cheyletiella mite, otherwise known as Walking Dandruff) and can only be detected under a microscope or with a skin scraping. Any dog with an immature or compromised immune system would have a very difficult time fighting off mites without veterinary intervention. And if she does have mites, they generally spread to any other animals in the home as well as humans.
 

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Tests for food allergies are not terribly reliable. Most veterinary dermatologists consider skin testing to be the ideal.
Again, I really wouldn't jump on the allergy bandwagon right away. Focus on contacts - laundry detergent, scented cleaners for any surface in your home, air fresheners, etc. This would be the most common thing for a young puppy. Dawn does have fragrance in it. Vinegar/water is a great floor cleaner.
 

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You have a 3 month old puppy with an immature immune system. It is highly unlikely that she has food or airborne allergies at such a young age. I WOULD NOT be switching foods to an allergy diet nor would I be giving an antihistamine without a definitive diagnosis. And a topical antihistamine spray would probably be a better alternative so long as you can keep her from licking her feet (socks or an e-collar would help). If she were my dog, I would be bringing her back to the vet to have a skin scraping done of her feet and body to check for mites. They live not only in the ears but also under the skin (Cheyletiella mite, otherwise known as Walking Dandruff) and can only be detected under a microscope or with a skin scraping. Any dog with an immature or compromised immune system would have a very difficult time fighting off mites without veterinary intervention. And if she does have mites, they generally spread to any other animals in the home as well as humans.
Ditto what Mary says + I use frontline plus this could also be the problem. And using that chemical on a 3 month old pup is not helping the immune system. On the contrary.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
so even if frontline plus is not the problem your saying its still not a good idea to use it on such a young pup? What flea prevention should I be using then? She started frontline plus about 10 days ago for the first application, then she was at 11 weeks old. She was itching and biting paws at 8 weeks when we got her.

Going to vet in 2 weeks for shots and will look in to skin scraping.. but will starting looking into contact allergens she may have right away.

Thanks to everyone that is replying you're all a great help. Im really new to pupping raising and this fourm and all your advices are such a great thing to be able to reference. She does seem real happy and vet says she looks real good. I work at home so Im home all day everyday so she does get the time and love she needs. I just want the best for her and want to do everything right.
 

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You have a 3 month old puppy with an immature immune system. It is highly unlikely that she has food or airborne allergies at such a young age. I WOULD NOT be switching foods to an allergy diet nor would I be giving an antihistamine without a definitive diagnosis. And a topical antihistamine spray would probably be a better alternative so long as you can keep her from licking her feet (socks or an e-collar would help). If she were my dog, I would be bringing her back to the vet to have a skin scraping done of her feet and body to check for mites. They live not only in the ears but also under the skin (Cheyletiella mite, otherwise known as Walking Dandruff) and can only be detected under a microscope or with a skin scraping. Any dog with an immature or compromised immune system would have a very difficult time fighting off mites without veterinary intervention. And if she does have mites, they generally spread to any other animals in the home as well as humans.

I agree with Mary and Jackie. I would not assume food allergy in one this young. Just as your vet said THIS IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY. And, if you switch her to an allergy diet at this age you are going to make your life extremely difficult if she does develop a food allergy later on. Those allergy diets are usually only effective because they are novel foods. In other words, they are foods the dog has not been exposed to previously.

As Mary said, this could be a symptom of mites or walking dandruff. This is transmittable to humans as well as all other pets. Get her checked for that. I wouldn't wait the 2 weeks.
 

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After you got Bella did you you take her to your vet? You said she was itching since you got her? Do they have to have a Heath Certificate in NY when you buy a new puppy? ( Its the law in Florida)
Have you spoken with the breeder? I was assuming that your pup was an isolated case....but how are its littermates and dam doing? Like several folks posted it could be a parasite ( Mites, mange, etc.) but a vet would have diagnosed this at the Health Check visit, right?
Please do not wait 2 weeks (pruritis) itching can be a maddening symptom.
 

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If it were me, I would never use Frontline plus on a young puppy, but I'm a holistic health type of person. I use Neem spray by Ark Naturals.

Also, if you use cologne/perfume or scented beauty/bath products either on yourself or your dog, it could cause inhalation allergies.

I'm sorry your poor baby is suffering like this. I had a dog who had allergies and I used to rub her down with PURE aloe vera gel to soothe her skin. But some dogs are allergic to that as well, so be careful.

If the vet recommends you use Benadryl, try to find the one without the dyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
thanks for the replies everyone.......


I got her at 8 weeks on April 1st..... went to vet April 2 for check up and she checked out fine... Went back to vet April 9th for second shots then found out she had coccidia. Treated that went back to vet April 30th for third set of shots, no more coccidia. I got her April 1 around 8 pm and brought her home by 10 because I say down and talked to breeder for an hour an half, the breeder sure looked like they knew what they were talking about and the mother and father dog looked great and healthy. But the first day I brought her home she ate a few kibbles, drank, sniffed the new home out then fell asleep. We didnt want to smother her or stress her out so we let her do her thing for two days. By day three she was running around, jumping loving her new home. But i dont remember the itching starting til after I introuduced Solid Gold puppy mix food, WHich was day 4. I was gradually switching her from Purina pro plan to Solid GOld. Saw a lot of itching so I switched over to Wellness. Itching seem to have milded down but that could be all mental on my part.

I AM OCD!!! LIke really OCD where I need to see vacuum marks in my bedrooms carpet to be happy.... But I clean everyday sometimes twice a day every itch. So im hoping its not mites..but I will def not wait and get her checked out... Calling right now!!

Would anyone have a reason or a link to negative side effects or anything negative about frontline plus on young puppies... The vet said its highly recommended if I use it. The vet brought it up to me without me even asking for it... I understand vets need to make money but to give me something that may harm my puppy just to make a buck really makes me sick if thats the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
getting her checked first thing tomorrow morning......

If she wasn't in a healthy place with the breeders then atleast she is in one now.... I'll do my very best to keep her healthy and safe...... Her stools are firm not blood no diarrhea ... never vomited she is eating 1/8 cup of mix and dry food three times a day with small reward treats everytime she potties outside. SO she seems very healthy and happy so far... but will look into everything to do best for her.
 

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getting her checked first thing tomorrow morning......

If she wasn't in a healthy place with the breeders then atleast she is in one now.... I'll do my very best to keep her healthy and safe...... Her stools are firm not blood no diarrhea ... never vomited she is eating 1/8 cup of mix and dry food three times a day with small reward treats everytime she potties outside. SO she seems very healthy and happy so far... but will look into everything to do best for her.
Did you visit the breeder?
 

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It is a matter of opinion about Frontline plus. Most vets believe it is safe, and perhaps it is.

However, some of use don't use ANY pesticides EVER, and eat mostly organic, pesticide free food, so we wouldn't apply a monthly pesticide on our dogs.

My dog has never had fleas. I keep Capstar on hand, just in case. Never had to use it, thankfully. BUT, I have used Frontline a couple of times since I got Nikki. It was when I knew that Nikki was going to be outside in the grass for a long time. I've used the regular Frontline top spot, and I get the one for cats, as it is a smaller dose, but the same product.

It is a matter of individual choice. Everyone has an opinion on these things. Who is right and who is wrong? I think that the better question is, "What's your philosophy regarding health?" Mine is that I try and keep the immune system tuned and healthy so that my dog will be able to resist infections/fleas/diseases, instead of using medications. Other folks choose to use medications.

Regarding you puppy, if I were in your situation, I would consider the big picture.

The puppy was sent home much too early to be away from its mother. The puppy has already had coccidia. She is suffering from some sort of skin ailment. Why stress the immune system any more than it already has been stressed?

If it were my dog, I'd get her on Colostrum immediately. Colostrum is from the very first milk of the mother cow. It contains many nutrients and dogs do quite well on it, especially when/if their immune system is compromised.

I would also get the puppy on probiotics right away to help obtain a healthy gut flora.

I would use the Neem spray instead of the Frontline IF I were walking her in a clean area where there are no flea issues.

I also would hold off on vaccinations until I knew for sure that she was perfectly healthy. I wouldn't want to compromise her immune system further right now.

That's just what I'd do.

A good book to read is: Scared Poopless.
 

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Like several folks posted it could be a parasite ( Mites, mange, etc.) but a vet would have diagnosed this at the Health Check visit, right?
A vet would not necessarily pick up on this during a basic wellness exam. The OP brought her puppy to the vet the day after she brought it home from the breeder. Oftentimes, it takes a "stress event" to send the immune system out of whack and then a period of time before a condition presents itself, i.e., mites or coccidia.

I don't know about other states but in Massachusetts only a pet store needs to provide a health certificate to the purchaser of a puppy.
 

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We did not get Revolution until after the puppy received all the puppy shots and heartworm test. Putting your dog on Frontline at 8 weeks sounds too young.
 
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