What are Eukanuba Allergies?
Eukanuba is a popular commercial diet for dogs and cats. It was purchased by Mars Incorporated in 2014, along with the brand names IAMS and Natura, and has several varieties of dog food. An allergy to a specific dog food occurs when the immune system of the body responds aggressively to one or more of the ingredients that make up the food. Canines who develop food allergies usually experience itchy and inflamed skin as well as chronic disorders like ear infections, gas, and difficulty breathing. Although rare, anaphylactic shock may also occur with food allergies.
Eukanuba is a popular dog food choice for pet owners. As with many brands on the market, dogs enjoy the protein sources found within Eukanuba food. There are several ingredients included in the Eukanuba brand dog foods can trigger an allergic response in a sensitized animal.
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Symptoms of Eukanuba Allergies in Dogs
Canines can develop food allergies at any age, but the majority of dogs acquire food allergies after reaching the age of three. Skin reactions are often localized in the areas of the face and groin as well as under the front legs or between the toes.
- Bald patches
- Chronic ear infections
- Chronic gas
- Chronically inflamed feet
- Face rubbing
- Head shaking
- Obsessive licking
- Paw biting
- Poor puppy or adolescent growth
- Skin infections
- Skin rashes
A severe allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock can occur with food allergies, and should be treated as an emergency. If your pet develops the following symptoms, they should be taken to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.
- Cold limbs
- Difficulty breathing
- Elevated heart rate
- Excessive drooling
- Low blood pressure
- Pale gums
- Sudden diarrhea
- Sudden vomiting
Although your dog can develop an allergy to any food, certain foods allergies are more prevalent than others. Several of the most common food allergens for dogs can be found in Eukanuba brand foods. These ingredients include:
Most of Eukanuba’s dog food also contains Omega-3 fatty acids and ingredients high in Vitamin E. Both of these ingredients may help prevent allergies from forming if your dog has not developed any allergies to any of the other ingredients in that specific food.
Causes of Eukanuba Allergies in Dogs
Food allergies are caused by an abnormally strong defensive response on the part of the immune system to a protein that it perceives to be a threat to the body. It is estimated that around 60-70% of the cells of the dog’s immune system actually reside within the digestive system. The process of digestion is designed to break down our foods into their smallest parts, which are known as amino acids. These amino acids are then absorbed by white blood cells called enterocytes. When proteins are not properly broken down during digestion, these enterocytes see them as intruders and attack. Repeated exposure to the allergen creates a faster and more aggressive response by the white blood cells, and symptoms intensify.
Diagnosis of Eukanuba Allergies in Dogs
The allergy related symptoms that your dog exhibits will prompt your veterinarian to collect skin scrapings from any of the areas with the swelling and rashes to perform a cutaneous cytology. Cutaneous cytology is the microscopic examination of the skin cells to uncover potential problems like signs of disease, mites, or yeast infections. The lack of these conditions will likely lead your veterinarian to test for a food related allergy. An elimination diet is usually implemented in order to confirm the allergy. An elimination diet usually involves changing the dog's food to either a hypoallergenic or reduced ingredient commercial food, or a diet of bland human food. Novel ingredients are generally preferred for an elimination diet. Novel ingredients are proteins and carbohydrates that are not common in the dog’s current diet.
All of the ingredients in the current food should be strictly avoided when determining the proper replacement food. It may be the entire food family that is causing your pet's reaction, so switching from a chicken diet to a mammalian source such as rabbit will likely have better results than switching to another avian food species like duck. If the symptoms are caused by an allergy, a properly implemented elimination diet will cause them to slowly fade. Once this has occurred additional ingredients can be added back into the diet one at a time until the allergen is identified. During this testing phase, it is necessary to ensure your dog complies to the diet and does not ingest anything except for the food chosen for the elimination diet. A single treat with the allergen can cause the allergy to resurface. Sources to avoid include:
- Cow hooves
- Flavored medications (including heartworm preventives) or supplements
- Flavored plastic toys
- Flavored toothpastes
- Pigs Ears
Treatment of Eukanuba Allergies in Dogs
Several weeks may be required before the elimination diet to reveals the allergen and during this time your pet may still experience lingering symptoms. Corticosteroids may be effective in reducing swelling, and antihistamines may calm the itching, but these treatments also tend to make it a challenge to determine which ingredient or ingredients in your dog’s food is causing the reactions by masking allergic symptoms that would normally be apparent. For that reason, many veterinarians prefer to complete the elimination diet before recommending medications to combat the symptoms.
The rashes from food allergies often develop secondary skin infections, and antibiotics may be prescribed to combat the bug. Once the identity of the allergen is positively established, the initial course of action is avoidance of the ingredient. Other supplements, such as Omega-3 oils and probiotics, may be recommended as well, even after the elimination diet is completed. This is done in an effort to support the immune system safely. This will assist your canine’s body in handling any accidental exposures to known allergens as well as to prevent the cultivation of new allergies.
Recovery of Eukanuba Allergies in Dogs
Allergies to foods are not curable, but symptoms usually cease if the allergen is removed from the animal’s diet. Any exposure to the allergen can cause a relapse, so care must be taken in the type of treats and flavorings you use for your dog. Once a canine has developed an allergic response to one type of food they are more likely to develop an allergy or sensitivity to the ingredients in the replacement diet over time as well. Veterinarians differ in their approach to this situation, with some doctors advocating that your pet remain on a single source of food, while others maintain that a steady rotation of three of four novel protein foods is optimal. If your pet has experienced an episode of anaphylactic shock, an EpiPen may be recommended in case the disorder is triggered again.
Eukanuba Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog has been itching intensely very recently, after I switched her to Eukanuba (adult formula) for the first time two weeks ago. There has been no change in her environment and she is on flea preventative. I do not see any see any sign of fleas on her. She also bites and licks her paws intensely - although she did that before switching foods, it has gotten worse. My dog also has always had horrible breath, despite her vet stating she has healthy teeth and gums, and I brush her teeth twice a week. Do you know of a hypoallergenic food option that might help my dog with her itchiness and bad breath? Thanks!
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