Grain Allergies Average Cost

From 443 quotes ranging from $200 - 800

Average Cost

$400

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What are Grain Allergies?

While ‘grain-free’ dog food has become a fad in recent years, some dogs actually require this diet due to a grain allergy. Grains are found in an abundance in dog foods which leads to excessive consumption of them by the dog over the course of his life. Allergies to grains can develop immediately or after years of constant exposure. The most common symptoms seen with grain allergies includes itchy, red skin, chronic ear infections, and discoloration of the feet from the pet licking them so much. If your dog is diagnosed with a grain allergy, luckily the treatment and recovery process is very straight forward. You will need to remove any foods, treat, or flavored medications that contain grain from your dog’s diet. Once this is done, his symptoms should subside and he should get back to his healthy self.

Grains are in many of the human foods and dog foods manufactured today. Some dogs are allergic to grains causing a number of health related issues. If you believe your dog has a grain allergy, discuss it with your veterinarian.

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Symptoms of Grain Allergies in Dogs

Symptoms of grain allergies can vary from dog to dog. Symptoms may include

  • Itchy skin
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Hair loss
  • Bumps/rash
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Obsessive licking/chewing of feet
  • Inflamed, red paw pads
  • Gastrointestinal upset

Grain allergies in dogs may develop immediately or may develop after years of being fed the same diet. 

Types

There are a variety of grains that can be found in your dog’s food. Some of these grains include wheat, rye, barley, oats, rice, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, and certain beans. ‘Gluten’ is a term to describe some of these grains, but not all of them. A ‘gluten-free’ diet and ‘grain-free’ diet are two different things. ‘Gluten’ covers only a few of the grains listed above, ‘grain’ includes them all. If you believe your dog has a grain allergy, you will have to stick with the ‘grain-free’ diets.

Causes of Grain 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 grain 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. 

Every dog’s nutritional requirement of grains varies. Some dogs need grains to have a healthy coat and skin, another dog might get an ear infection every time he has grains, or another may require grains in his diet to keep him at a healthy weight. Every dog’s diet requirements are different. If you believe your dog has a grain allergy, talk with your veterinarian.

Diagnosis of Grain Allergies in Dogs

When you first arrive at the veterinary clinic, the veterinarian will start with a physical exam. This will allow her to take note of all your dog’s symptoms. If your dog’s skin is irritated, the veterinarian may take a skin scraping to check for external parasites or bacterial overgrowth. If your dog has watery eyes, the veterinarian may perform fluorescein staining to check for a scratch on the eye that could possibly cause the watering. 

Blood work will be performed to give the veterinarian a broad look as to how the internal organs are functioning and to rule out other possible causes. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel will provide the veterinarian with needed information for proper assessment.  If your veterinarian feels it is necessary, she may also perform a urinalysis for further evaluation of kidney function. 

When it comes to diagnosis of grain 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 grain ingredients whatsoever. During this trial, you cannot give any type of treats or flavored medication containing grains 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 signs occurs, you then must reintroduce grains to his diet. If a relapse in allergy symptoms occurs once the grains are reintroduced, then you know the source. 

Intradermal skin testing for food allergies not always accurate in every case. This test can give false positive and false negative results. When the result is a false positive, the the dog is not allergic to the food burt 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 and the positive diagnosis is missed. 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 grains but symptoms 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.

Treatment of Grain Allergies in Dogs

Medication will be given to relieve your dog of the intense itching he is experiencing. This will be done concurrent to removal of the grains from the diet; the skin irritation may take time to heal.

Removing grains 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 with his skin, and other areas such as ears.

Strict control of the diet is the best treatment of grain related allergies. It can be a long, discouraging process, but once you discover if this is the source of allergen and are able to successfully remove it from his diet, you and your dog will both be happier and healthier. Your veterinarian will lead you through the diet elimination trial, providing your with instructions and foods to replace the grains. The diet must be a strict one; all family members will need to adhere to the trial and not give your pet any treats, medications, or supplements not approved by the veterinarian.

Recovery of Grain Allergies in Dogs

When you remove grains from your dog’s diet, his prognosis of a full recovery is good. When the grain is no longer in your dog’s system, all symptoms should cease and he should return to his normal self. Chronic infections and skin irritations will heal and not occur again as long as you keep grains out of his diet. His immune system will stop over-reacting and return to its normal strength. This will help your dog fight off actual threats instead of false ones.

While the overall process can be discouraging, once your dog is diagnosed with a grain allergy it is an easy fix. Once grains are out of his system, it means no more itchy skin and no more constant scratching to keep both of you up at night.

Grain Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

stanley
Cocker Spaniel
8 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting

My dog recently began vomiting a few hours after being fed his regular food. This went on for a week before we took him to the vet, she examined him and we had xrays done but nothing unsual found. we were advised to try him on chicken and rice which helped (no vomiting). after 5 days we tried to introduce a small amount of his normal food to the chicken and rice and he vomited again, we went back to chicken and rice only for a few days before trying to add a small amount of a different brand of dry food but he again vomited. could it be the wheat causing his vomiting? otherwise he is generally happy and lively

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2479 Recommendations
Whilst grains may cause some stomach upset in some dogs, it is very uncommon despite what you may read online; dogs are more likely to have a reaction to beef than with grains. Look for common ingredients between the two foods you’ve tried and try to look for a diet which doesn’t have those ingredients, by all means try a grain free diet and see if there is any vomiting; but look out for other ingredients to eliminate as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/01/food-allergies/

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Laredo
Shih Tzu
14 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Ear and Eye iratation
Ear and Eye

Hello, I think my dog is allergic to grains. I bought a bag of duck formula, freeze dried, and one of the ingredients is Quinoa Sprout, yet the label says "Grain, Gluten Free"... is Quinoa sprout a grain or not? I can't seem to find any info that says it isn't.. Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2479 Recommendations
Quinoa is a flowering herbaceous plant which isn’t a grain and is gluten free; the majority of dogs whose owners believe they are allergic to grains are really not and the cause is due to another cause, dogs are more like to have allergies to beef than grains according to some reputable studies (see link below from Tufts University Veterinary School). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/01/food-allergies/

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Newman
Great Dane
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss
Red rash on belly
Gassy
Bacterial infection
Scratching at face

Medication Used

Cephalexin
prednisone

My dog has had nonstop symptoms for 3 months and has been on 2 rounds of antibiotics with no improvement. Prednisone is controlling the itch. We have gone though bloodwork and skin scrapes and all normal

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1058 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without examining Newman, I am unable to provide much assistance over email. Young dogs are commonly affected by parasites, bacterial infections, and allergies, among other things. Depending on his color, there can by underlying skin issues related to genetic predispositions. There are other alternatives than Prednisone to control allergies, if that is what is wrong with him, and it may be worth talking with your veterinarian about the long term effects of steroids. If this have been going on for 3 months, it might be a good idea to get a second opinion, as sometimes one set of eyes will see something different than another. You can also ask you veterinarian for a referral to a dermatologist if his condition isn't clearing up. I hope that things go well for him.

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Maisy
Pit bull
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Rash
Itching
Licking

My dog has a grain allergy that causes her skin to be red, itchy and irritated. What dog shampoos do you recommend for this considering her allergy. She licks paws and genitals often especially after being outside and gets red inside of ears, around nose, armpits, stomach

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1058 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without examining her, I cannot recommend any shampoos or topical therapies. There are a number of oral medications that can help with allergies and that are quite effective when used with shampoos. It would be best to book an appointment with your veterinarian, as they can examine Maisy, determine the cause of her problems, and suggest therapies to give her some relief. I hope that everything goes well with her!

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Daisy
German Shepherd
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Loose stools--gassy-burping

I have a 5 month old German Shepherd with chronic loose foul smelling stools.I have had her stools checked for worms 3 times and she is clear. The only thing I can think of is an allergy to her dog food. Could I be on the right path? Oh I forgot to mention she is gassy top and bottom.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2479 Recommendations
If Daisy is having foul smelling diarrhoea and is gassy at both ends; possible causes include infections (bacterial), parasites (ruled out - were protozoa checked for?), food intolerance, eating of dead animals among other causes. I would look firstly at the diet and move towards a restricted ingredient diet or a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice to see if there is any improvement in stool, then if you see improvement slowly reintroduce food to see if there is a recurrence of symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tank
Rough collie
18 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Diarrhea

Can Vomiting be a symptoms of grain allergy?
It has happened once my dog vomited for few days after having non-grain-free dry food. I suspected the problem is from the manufacturer. Then I changed brand and turn to Grain-free food. My dog was Healthy until yesterday. After he finished his last grain-free food, I bought a non-grain- free food from the same brand. Then he got vomiting and diarrhea for whole last night. I start to suspect that problem comes from grain but not the brand or manufacturer. I just wonder if I should give up the current 25kg dry food and continuely feed him with grain-free? Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2479 Recommendations

Dogs may vomit due to many different reasons and changing food suddenly from one brand to another brand (regardless of grain) may cause vomiting, you need to slowly wean your dog from one food to another; despite what you may read in online forums, the majority of dogs tolerate grains perfectly fine and do not require grain free dog foods. Try to slowly wean Tank across to the new food over a period of seven to ten days to give his stomach time to adjust as grain free food and grain based food are very different to digest. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I have a 2 year old Maltese X girl once I changed her diet to grain free an preservatives free diet her vomiting stopped I now make all her treats cook all her meals an she only has rain water to drink

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Julie
Jack Russell Terrier
11 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Itchy eye
Watery eyes

Can grain allergies make my dog's eyes irritated?
My dogs eyes itch alot so I got her eyedrops that said they should help though they don't get rid of the problem. When i bought her they told me to get her grain free food. So I'm investigating further.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2479 Recommendations

Many people believe in grain free food, however a dog is just as likely to have an allergy to beef. If the eyes are irritated, it would be best to flush them out by running some lukewarm water over the eyes (not directly in them) and applying an antibiotic eye ointment; Benadryl at a dose of 0.5mg/lb may also help if the cause is an allergan. The irritation may be from allergies, foreign bodies, chemical irritation (cleaning products, detergents), infection etc… If you see no improvement, visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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