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I began seeing bumps when Dutch was about 12-14wks old. First, we went to the vet and he said it was an allergy and could put him on an antihistamine and steroid and that should take care of it. He said it was most likely environmental. 2 weeks of the pills and not only was there no improvement but it was getting worse.

At first the bumps were mainly on his back between his shoulders and on his head. Then as they got worse they spread to his rump but we're NOT on his belly and only one or two on his legs. The vet tried a different antihistamine, again 2 weeks and no change and they continued to get worse. The bumps were ugly and all over his back and head.

We decided to do allergy testing. Because of the steroid we had to wait 6 weeks for his system to be clear so the test would be accurate. We went in and had the bloodwork done. A week later went back to the vet and went over the results. They showed he had allergies to dust mites, rag weed and a type of grass but zero food allergies. I started the regiment of allergy shots that were meant to build up his immunity. One shot of varying strengths every 4 days for a month then every 7 days for 2 weeks. It was awful!

The bumps continued to get worse and worse. Now they were puss filled and he would scratch at them making them bleed, they also had a strange metallic smell. While all this was happening I was reading every sinlge thing I could get my hands on regarding the problem. My vet had told me all along that allergies can be very though to figure out but there was no improvement at all. I finally decided to get a second opinion.

I found a vet in the next town and he had me come in the next day. Turns out he was a Vizsla specialist up north and couldn't wait to see him (there are almost no Vizslas here in the FL Keys). He agreed it was an allergy but also thought there was a fungal issue going on because now there was a dandruff issue on his back. He put him on an anti fungal and recommended organic plain yogurt and head a shoulders shampoo for that. Then he was going over the records from the prior vet and said even though the allergy tests were done by a reputable lab, they don't always tell the whole story. Because there were still no bumps on his belly the Vet didn't think it was environmental, he thought it was a food allergy.

We put Dutch on an elimination diet. Rabbit and sweet potatoes to begin with then add different proteins over time. The shampoo and anti fungal meds helped with the dandruff but there were still new bumps appearing. Then it dawned on me that the protein in yogurt comes from cattle. I eliminated that and added organic coconut oil to his food. Que the angles singing and bells ringing....the bumps started to go away!

Today he has no new bumps, his skin is perfect and his hair is like velvet. Turns out that the allergy tests were WRONG! He had a score of zero on every animal protien on the test but it's clearly what it was. After all of that time and thousands of dollars - it was beef. Just that simple. So, if you've been battling this (and seems like there are a ton of people going as crazy as I was) do NOT put all your trust in the testing. Please try the elimination diet first. I use Natures Variety limited ingredient diet with only one protien.

I added some before and after pics a few posts down.
 

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That's awesome news.
I bet Dutch is a much happier pup.
 

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A very interesting story and very relevant - skin bumps are a too-common subject on HVF. Thank you for presenting Dutch's story.
 

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Goodg8r -

So glad your puppy is doing better!

Can you please add more info on elimination diet that you did?

Would really appreciate it.

thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We avoided ALL chicken, beef and pork proteins. In food, treats, chews, everything. That doesn't leave much to choose from.

Many people home make the elimination diet food but because I was eliminating beef, pork and chicken it didn't leave much to choose from at the store. We chose to start with rabbit protein because it's a more rare protein. Meaning it's one that wasn't in his current food so we knew it wasn't the cause. The brand is Nature's Variety Limited Ingredient rabbit formula dry food. For chews we found kangaroo ribs, again a protien we knew wasn't the culprit.

I added a bit of organic coconut oil to the food as well. This helped with his coat and skin dryness.

After about a month, and the bumps were all but gone, we added turkey, again Natures Variety limited ingredient.

After another month (some suggest 6 weeks but a month worked for us) I added pork. I started with a bit of baked pork chop meat and worked up the amount. No reaction to that either.

Basically just kept adding protiens until it was down to just chicken and beef. When we gave him beef a few bumps appeared within a couple days. Pretty clear result.

Hopefully this helps. The hardest part is getting all the other protiens out....especially if your little clown likes to hide his chews like ours does ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are the before and after pictures of his bumps. Hope this helps.
 

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WOW, what an amazing transformation! And of course Dutch is indeed stunning. Thanks for sharing this!
We had a similar experience of discovering Nico's allergies.... he continued to have occasional flare ups of bumps that we couldn't figure out... turns out the UPS lady at my husband's work was giving him beef liver without us knowing (ughhhh). He is now on lamb only and is bump free :)
 

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I think there is something to the fungal aspect as well. Coconut oil is an anti fungal. Amos started to get a few bumps on his head in the last couple of months or so. Not too many at once but they just kept cycling through. I started giving him the coconut oil (this was the only change) and they were gone within a few days and haven't returned.

He had an antibiotic back in June and I gave him probiotics afterwards, but maybe the fungi still had their party. I've also thought about the post from the other day (don't remember off hand who started it) about food being rancid after two weeks. Amos' food sits for about four weeks before it's gone. I wonder if there is something going on there that might be fueling the fungus??? Makes sense that it could. Either way, the coconut oil has helped him.

Just as a note, he has only lamb protein in his food and treats. Not sure about his heartworm and flea/tick meds. I'm sure they are chicken or beef flavored.

*And one more thing....in people I know fungal infections are thought to contribute to allergies (food and environmental), but allergies also weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infections including fungal infections. So I guess it's kind of a chicken/egg, but I think anything you can do to break the cycle would help.
 
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