Fish Allergies Average Cost

From 375 quotes ranging from $500 - 1,032

Average Cost

$1,520

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What are Fish Allergies?

Dog food companies are constantly producing new flavors of dog food. One thing that doesn’t change as frequently, however, is the main protein source within the food. Many dogs are allergic to beef and chicken which results in many people serving their dog a food with fish as the main protein source instead. Since more dogs are receiving fish in their diets, it is only the natural progression of things that more and more dogs are being diagnosed with an allergy to fish. It is still rare to have a dog with a fish allergy, but it is becoming more common by the day. If your dog is constantly scratching, licking, or getting an ear infection repeatedly, you might want to consider the possibility of it being caused by a food allergy. If it is discovered fish is the culprit, as soon as you remove it from your dog’s diet, he should recover very smoothly and all symptoms of allergies should stop once it is out of his system.

Many dog foods have fish as their main protein source or as an ingredient of some sort. If you have your dog on a diet containing fish and he is acting abnormally or suffering allergy-like symptoms, be sure to consult with your veterinarian.

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Symptoms of Fish Allergies in Dogs

Symptoms of fish allergies in dogs may appear quickly once he starts eating a diet consisting of it, but in other cases the allergy may take months or years to develop. Symptoms of fish allergies may include

  • Itchy skin
  • Skin infection
  • Ear infection
  • Obsessive chewing/licking of feet
  • Loss of hair
  • Hives
  • Runny nose
  • Runny eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylactic shock 

A life-threatening allergic reaction such as anaphylactic shock is rare but possible. If the allergy is severe enough, your dog will go into anaphylactic shock immediately after ingestion. If this happens, it is a medical emergency and your dog needs to be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Types

The terms ‘fish’ and ‘fish derivatives’ found on dog food labels are very broad. These terms come with a lot of criticism, but it does not mean that the quality is bad. The terms can vary due to certain countries having laws and customs that may not allow something more specific. 

In other cases, using a broad term allows the species of fish in the food to be altered without having to change the bag. As seasons change and overfishing occurs, dog food companies may change the species of fish they are using in their food, but since it is listed as ‘fish’ they do not have to change the bag.

Causes of Fish Allergies in Dogs

If your dog has allergies, it is his body’s way of protecting itself from something it thinks will harm it. While the item in question is actually harmless, the body doesn’t recognize it as such. The body finds it dangerous and mounts a protective response to the threat. Your dog’s body produces an immune response to the fish ingredient. This allergic response may develop quickly or may develop over a period of years. Many food-related allergies happen after the dog suffers from an infection involving the stomach or intestines. 

Since many dogs have allergies to other protein sources such as beef and chicken, fish is becoming one of the more popular protein sources in dog foods. As a result, more dogs are developing an allergy to fish which means one less protein source you can safely feed your dog. However, there are some foods that specify the species of fish they are using. By feeding your dog one of these foods, you know exactly what you are feeding him, and if he develops an allergy to one specific fish, you can still try him on another if needed.

Diagnosis of Fish Allergies in Dogs

Intradermal skin testing for food allergies may not give an accurate diagnosis in every dog. This test can give false positive and false negative results. In a false positive situation, despite the fact the dog is not allergic to the food when ingested it results in a positive allergic skin response. As for a false negative, some food allergies produce a delayed result of a positive allergic reaction. This causes the veterinarian to believe your dog is not allergic to the allergen since she didn’t see a skin response, but in reality, he is allergic to it. Another way the test can result in a false negative would be when the allergic response is localized. For example, if your dog is allergic to an fish but the symptom only manifests as a runny nose, this means the antibodies to the allergen are located only in the nose. Since the allergens antibodies are localized in the nose and not the entire body, there are no antibodies in the bloodstream to cause a reaction throughout the rest of the body, including the skin. 

Bicom testing is another method of determining a fish allergy in your dog. Bicom testing is also known as bioresonance. This method believes every being and substance in the world emits its own electromagnetic wave. The veterinarian takes a blood sample from your dog and tests different food items and substances to see if it has a ‘good’, ‘neutral’ or ‘bad’ response. If the response is ‘bad’, the item being tested causes your dog’s blood wavelength to become stressed. Stressed blood leads to a stressed body and therefore an allergic reaction. If the response is ‘good’, then the item puts out a wavelength that is compatible with your dog’s blood which means no adverse reactions should occur. If it is ‘neutral’, the item being tested does not put out a wavelength that alters that of your dog.

Bicom testing is not commonly seen in veterinary practices because it is considered an ‘alternative’ medicine. Many holistic veterinarians use the Bicom testing with an extremely high success rate, but other veterinarians believe this method does not work. If you look up Bicom testing, some methods are potentially used to ‘retrain’ the body’s electromagnetic waves to relearn the allergen does not actually pose a threat and should, therefore stop producing an allergic response. Other veterinary practitioners typically use it to find out if your dog is compatible with the food or not. If it is not good for your dog, then you simply remove that food from his diet and the allergic symptoms should stop. How you feed the fish to your dog is how you test it. For example, if you grill salmon for him, you prepare the fish accordingly and test it. If you bake tilapia for him, then you bake it and test it that way. By testing it in its prepared form, you are able to get a more reliable result. 

As you can see, when it comes to diagnosis of fish allergies in dogs there are very few diagnostic tests you can run. A dietary trial is the most frequently used method. In a dietary trial, you have to feed your dog a novel diet, meaning you feed him a diet without any fish ingredients whatsoever. During this trial, you cannot give any type of treats containing fish or fish flavored medications as it can affect the results. You have to feed your dog the novel diet for at least 90 days before you can get a reliable diagnostic. After the 90 days, if resolution of the allergic symptoms occurs, you then must reintroduce fish to his diet. If a relapse in allergy symptoms occurs once the fish is reintroduced, then you know the source. If symptoms do not return with the reintroduction of fish, then it was a source other than the fish your dog was reacting to.

Treatment of Fish Allergies in Dogs

Strict control of the diet is the best treatment of fish related allergies. It can be a long, discouraging process, but once you discover the source of allergen and are able to successfully remove it from his diet, you and your dog will both be better off. Removing fish completely will also help avoid chronic infections. If the allergen remains in your dog’s food, it will continue to weaken his immune system over time. This leads to long-term and recurring issues. Not only will you both be miserable, but it may also result in much additional veterinary care expense.

Some veterinarians will prescribe a medication to help with the itching your dog may be suffering from. This medication will help for a while, but in reality it is only masking the symptom, not curing it. If you do not remove the source of the itching, you will have to continue to give the prescription and possibly continuously increase the dose as time goes on. If your dog has a more serious reaction to the fish, such as respiratory issues or anaphylactic shock, seek veterinary care immediately.

Recovery of Fish Allergies in Dogs

Once you remove fish from your dog’s diet, the symptoms should subside in time. It will take at least thirty days to get out of his system before you seen any serious improvements. If your dog has a serious reaction, such as anaphylactic shock, the sooner you seek veterinary care, the better off he will be. If you do not get him veterinary care, he may die.

Since fish is still considered a ‘new’ protein source, not many dogs are allergic to it yet. If you suspect your dog is one of the few allergic to it, discuss it with your veterinarian. The two of you will come up with a diet plan suitable to your lifestyle and his dietary needs.

Fish Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Tanner
Chihuahua
4 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

My dog was allergy tested and one of the many things he is allergic to is fish and salmon. I see a lot of food that has either fish oil or salmon oil as part of their ingredient list. i'm assuming that even though fish or salmon is not the main ingredient (for example - chicken or duck flavor), the oil that is in the food could affect him as well? Is this correct?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2959 Recommendations
If there is fish derived oil in the dog food, it should be disclosed as the source of the oil; there are vegan alternatives for some fish oils that some manufacturers are using instead of fish based oils. It would be best to call the consumer helpline of the food manufacturer that you are considering buying and asking for them to confirm the source of oils etc… in their products if it isn’t mentioned on the label. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you so much for your quick response! This is very helpful!

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Buddy
Chiuwa and pomeranian
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itching, itching ears, and his eyes

I think my dog has an allergy to salmon.He has been on salmon dog food for about 3 years. He also can't have chicken. I don't know what protien based dog food I should try. He is currently eating Zignature limited ingredients salmon. Before that I had him eating natural balance limited ingredients salmon and sweet potato. I recently changed him to the Zignature and he's itching more ,itching his ears and his eyes seem irritated as well. It's frusrating!! Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2959 Recommendations
If Buddy had no issues with the Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato but started to have issues after switching to the Zignature Salmon food, it may be another ingredient in the Zignature food which Buddy is having a reaction to. You should switch Buddy back to the Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato for a few weeks to see if there is any improvement in the symptoms being presented, unfortunately it may take a while for the allergens to leave his system. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Jillie
Lab mix
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

We have a rescue lab mix that's overweight, she should be 55-60 pounds and she's around 66. She is currently eating Purina One SmartBlend Chicken & Rice. Started looking at weight management foods and tried Nutrisource Weight Management grain free. It includes whitefish meal and menhaden fish meal. First time we introduced it was a Wednesday night or Thursday morning. By Thursday night she had a pancake batter consistency green vomit.(sorry for gross tmi). Fed her plain boiled chicken and noodles that night. It seemed to be a fluke, thought maybe she got into something outside. Today (Sunday morning) she had the same green vomit although it was a little more watery. She was then fed plain boiled chicken & noodles again. She had gotten a small amount of the Nutrisource with Saturday breakfast. She has not been allergy tested by a vet. However, based on the above description, to you think it's safe to assume she's at least sensitive to fish?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1385 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'd say, based on what you're describing, that she does not tolerate that food very well, but I would't say that she is sensitive to fish, necessarily. Once her stomach is settled again, you might want to try a similar brand weight control food - if she was eating the Purina One, you might try a Purina weight control diet and see how she tolerates that, as it will have more similar ingredients. Make sure that you blend the new food in with her old food slowly over a few days so that she doesn't develop diarrhea from the diet change. If she continues to have problems with a different food, your veterinarian may be able to recommend a weight loss diet that she will tolerate. I hope that everything goes well for her!

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Teddy
Labrador Retriever
6 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Itching
Watery eyes

I’ve been feeding Teddy Zignature Whitefish formula since I brought him home at 8 weeks. He’s now 6 months. He has been having soft stools/diarrhea on and off for almost this whole time. Now I’m reading that a food allergy can cause runny eyes and itchiness as well which I’ve noticed him having over the last couple of months. I’ve brought him to the vet to have these symptoms checked out and his stools tested and they tell me he’s ok. They did give me a medication to treat the soft BM which helped while he was on it (Indont remember what the medication was called.) I hunk I need to start experimenting with a different protein or brand but I don’t know what I should try first. Thanks for any advice you can offer!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1385 Recommendations
While food allergies do occur in younger dogs, they are far less common than environmental allergies, parasites, and other conditions. It can be difficult to determine what a dog is allergic to, and it would be best to talk with your veterinarian to make sure that you are going down the right road before starting to experiment with diet changes. You want to make sure that Teddy is on a large breed puppy food to help his joints and bones develop normally. I hope that all goes well for him.

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Mylo
Boston Terrier
8 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itching

Medication Used

Apoquel

My dog started allergies at four months of age. Rash on neck and all hot spots and smells of fungus in those areas. Thought it was chicken. Removed it from his diet and gave Vanectyl to help skin heal. After treatment, symptoms started again. Removed soy, corn and gluten. Started Vanectyl again. Symptoms reappeared within a day after treatment. Vet recommended bland diet of fish, sweet potatoes and rice and another dose of Vanectyl to help skin heal. Symptoms reappeared again after treatment. Vet prescribed Apoquel. Skin has healed except for side of mouth that is still red and very itchy and there is still moderate itching.Is it possible that he is a fish allergy?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1385 Recommendations
Food allergies don't typically respond to steroids, and since his itching did seem to respond, it seems more likely that he has an environmental allergy, rather than a food allergy. I'm not sure how long he has been on the Apoquel, but it may just be taking longer to completely resolve. It might be a good idea to have allergy testing done for Mylo and try to desensitize him to his allergens. Your veterinarian can discuss this in more detail with you.

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Otto
Dashchund
3 Years
Moderate condition
2 found helpful
Moderate condition

My dog has been diagnosed with a fish allergy. How can I supplement this when he is on a raw diet. He is also allergic to soy, wheat, milk and eggs. I can manage these well but the lack of oil concerns me. He is also reactive to house dust mites and storage mites!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2959 Recommendations
Having a dog with many different food sensitivities can be difficult to manage, I always try to steer people towards balanced commercial diets which offer complete nutrition; Hills Z/D diet contains chicken as it's only protein source and contains maize starch which Otto may tolerate. You may continue to feed a raw diet using chicken as a protein source (if tolerated) and if you are looking for some omega 3 oil, there are plant derived alternatives that you may try like Resolution 3 by Arcanatura (link below - french language only). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.arcanatura.fr/resolution-3-2/

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Dakota
Golden Retreiver
14 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss

Recently experiencing severe dry skin, hair loss, discolouration of skin in those areas, runny nose, sometimes bloody nose(not severe, not often), licking paws, itchy.

Gave him a dry skin medicated shampoo, and I'm spraying his spots with anti itch lotion, but its still itchy and dry.

Recently started giving him Salmon oil for his joints, symptoms started around this time but so did the cold weather. Can they be related? Stopping the salmon oil, but what else can I do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2959 Recommendations
Apart from stopping the salmon oil and giving supportive care, there is little else you can do until the allergen works its way out of Dakota’s system. There are other types of omega oils (if you’re looking for those) which are plant derived which may be more suitable for Dakota given the reaction to the salmon oil. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Skye
Labrador Retriever
7 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

If your dog is highly allergic to salmon does that mean they will react to foods with salmon oil in them? The food has duck or bison as the main ingredient but does list salmon oil.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2959 Recommendations
It doesn’t necessarily mean that the salmon oil will cause an allergic response but it is highly likely, it depends on what exactly Skye is allergic to within salmon (protein, fats etc…). I would stay on the side of caution and try to get a sample to try as a single meal to see if there is any reaction before making a full purchase but I would look for alternatives. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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