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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19746
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My american pitbull terrier has skin allergies. His paws get

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My american pitbull terrier has skin allergies. His paws get little sores between his pads and he also gets them sometimes on his chin and around his snout. His vet did an allergy panel and did not figure exactly what he is allergic to. We feed him Innova chicken, because we heard that was the best food for his high protein low fill needs being a high energy, muscular dog. My big question is whether you think he could take benedryl to help him relieve his symptoms? If not, what might we try? His vet gave us Atopica, which is crazy expensive and it didn't solve all of his problems. We also don't like the idea of all of those side effects for long term use. Thank you for your time!

PS Do you think we are feeding him a good food for his breed? Might a different food be better for his allergies?
Hello Tracey,

The only way you're going to stop the itching for good it to identify and eliminate the allergen. Unfortunately, it sounds like that was attempted and unsuccessful.

One of the big causes of allergies is food allergy. The allergen in food is the protein sourse. Given that your dog is on a chicken protein, I would guess that this may be causing the allergies. Chicken, beef and lamb are common allergens in dogs. What I would do is try a hypoallergenic diet. The best one available is Hill's Z/D. They make this diet by blending down the protein so that it's so small the immune system cannot recognize it. It's a fairly expensive food but it works in many of these cases. The hard part is that you have to only feed Z/D and no other protein sources (no protein treats, chews, table scraps, ect). You also have to feed it for 4-6 months before you see significant improvement so it's not a quick fix.

As for Benadryl, you can definitely use that in the transition period at 1 mg/lb every 6-8 hours as needed for itching.

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Dr. Gary, Thank you very much for getting back to me so quickly! He isn't itchy. I'm sorry if I made you think that was part of his problem. It's just these little sores that flare up and the ones between his pads can rub together and they get sore. We had changed his food from the red meat to the chicken because we heard that is usually better for dogs with allergies, but in truth we didn't see a change. (except that his stools were more pleasant, the red meat killed us!) He flares up and it goes down and it just goes through cycles. We don't change his food or his treats. Do you still think food is most likely the cause? And if benedryl wouldn't help his sores than I won't give it. I was hoping for an allergy medicine for him that wouldn't break our bank right now. Thank you again for your time and quick response! We appreciate your expertise! Tracey (and Cesar)
Yes it still sounds like an allergic dermatitis- especially since it's between the toes. Chicken and beef are the two most common food allergens, no matter what company puts it out. I would start there for a more permanent treatment.

I do thinkt he benadryl will still help even though it's not itchy as the redness and irritation is still going to be due to mast cells degranulating and the Benadryl helps to stabilize these mast cells (skin allergen cells).
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you so much!!! We will give it a try and we will see about the food you recommended! Once again thanks so much for the quick response! I hope this works, our poor guy is uncomfortable! I'm glad I found this site! You were great! Have a good evening!

You're very welcome, best of luck with him.
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