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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Should I give my dog Brewers Yeast with Garlic & Vitamins.

Customer Question

Should I give my dog Brewers Yeast with Garlic & Vitamins. About 8 months ago he had a bad bout with Pancreatitis, every now and then he throws up a bit, but much better than before. Now he is on Denamarin and has been for 6 months and is doing well with it. I want to give him the Brewers due to itching/possible fleas. The ingredients are:Brewers Yeast, Maltodextrin,sweet Dairy Whey, Stearic Acid, Garlic Powder, Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Sterate, Ferrous Gluconate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Gluconate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement.
The product is made in U.S.A. and is called 21st Century
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Joan replied 8 years ago.


With the history of Pancreatitis you will want to check with your Vet before giving anything. I can tell you that Garlic is a big NO-NO, since it can cause Hemolytic Anemia in pets. Zinc and Copper can also be toxic to dogs. As far as the dips you are using they too can be a major problem as they are sold to make money and not for the best well being of our pets. Cedar and Pine oils can both cause issues with pets skin as well as toxicity. You are better served to use an oatmeal colloidal bath and Dawn dish soap to help get rid of any fleas. You can use the Avon skin so soft bath oil diluted with water to help with the fleas. I also suggest Frontline Plus as a topical flea treatment. Joan

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have already talked to my vets and they both said that it was ok to give him this. One vet is a specialist as well. I do not think the garlic, zinc and copper are in very large quantities, therefore not toxic or my vets would have suggested otherwise.
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.

I'm not sure if I'd give this to a dog with an itching problem.

The ingredients include items that can bother an itchy dog such as the milk product and the brewers yeast.

Brewers yeast and garlic do not control fleas. There have been many studies done on it and every time the fleas just keep on feasting no matter if the dogs are fed that or not.

I would no longer use the first shampoo you listed either as it contains several toxic and irritating ingredients that might be linked to the itching and possibly liver issues.

Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary oil, Sage Oil, Cedarwood oil, Sweet Orange Oil Eucalyptus Oil, Citronella Oil, Pine needle oil are all potentially skin irritants. Many dogs are allergic to some or all of them.

I'm going to give you a bunch of info on allergies in dogs below but you should know that too frequent bathing can cause skin itching due to removal of skin oils and sometimes liver problems can cause skin itching too.


Paw licking, itching and skin chewing are often signs of allergies. You may see red staining to the fur in the licked areas or raw spots where the dog chews itself.

The skin itches from allergies, the dog licks and chews trying to soothe the itch, making the skin raw and allowing other infections to set in which may itch even more.

You can read about allergies and dermatitis in dogs here

Dogs can develop allergies to foods, even ones they eat all the time, and to inhaled items, and contact allergens such as rug cleaners, cedar beds, or chemicals including lawn chemicals or even flea bites.

You might want to try a different dog food that has no ingredients the same as what you feed now. Of course consult with your vet before making a diet change due to the pancreas problem. Diets of Fish and Potato, venison, or rabbit etc. where the protein source is new and there are no grains in the food can work for many dogs for example. Another option is the hypoallergenic diet from your vet Hills ZD. Changing food does no good if you feed the same ingredients. Remember food changes have to include all treats and can take 8-12 weeks or more before you see results in skin and coat.

If this is an inhalant allergy you may find using a HEPA air filter in the room the dog uses most and wiping the dog down with a damp towel when it comes in helps reduce allergen exposure.

You might want to see if some plain Benadryl helps with the itching. A common low dose is 1mg per pound of dog every 12 hours. Do check with your vet about using a med but this one or another may help him a lot. If you choose to use that please read here about cautions

You may want to consult with your vet and consider doing allergy testing.

You can try a Chlorhexiderm shampoo from the pet supply store in case the problem is a bacterial skin infection. Malaseb is another good one to eliminate yeast from the skin. Follow directions on the bottles if you try one.

Dogs can have low thyroid level issues and that can trigger skin allergies. The vet can check for that with a blood test.

If your dog is not on a flea prevention that might also help. Just one flea bite can make an allergic dog itch all over. If that is the problem then Frontline could resolve a lot of the reactions for you.

Some people find their dogs do better when they are given omega 3&6 fatty acid supplements such as Derm Caps or Linatone from the pet supply store. You would want to consult with your vet about using that due to the oils in them. You might want a plain multi vitamin mineral tablet instead.

If your regular vet is not able to help you then you may want to see a veterinary dermatologist and this page may help you locate one if your vet can't refer you to one

Hope this helps you!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My dog is already on a special diet for pancreatitis and has been on this for 8 months and has never been allergic to this good since being on it. I would never give my dog rabbit, venison, and lamb, as theses are not natural for them to eat. In the past I have heard from vets that this whole craze for lamb and rabbit diet causes a lot of skin allergies, Besides I would never wan a beautiful deer to be slaughtered. This happens every July, so I am pretty sure it is from one or two little fleas that he is having an allergic reaction to. In th past I have tried Frontline and the brand new ones, but if you want to talk about toxic, those are extremely toxic. My dog has a bad reaction to those and he freaks out every time I give it to him. I have hear the same reactions happening to my friends dogs as well as family members dogs. The label says I am not too touch it, so if my skin is not to touch it, then what is it doing to my poor dogs. Ther are even a few law suits pending regarding deaths of theses type of medicines. This was my reason for wanting to try something more natural and non toxic. When it comes to savings my dogs life or preventing him from illness, I will use and have used medicine, but for this situation, there must be something out there that is not toxic.
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.

If your dog is itching then its likely allergies if it isn't a skin disease.

The point in changing diets is that you change to a protein and carbohydrate source that is 'different' than what the pet normally gets. The particular meat involved does not prevent allergies ie its not hypoallergenic - nor does the type of meat cause allergies - the reason the dog stops reacting when you change food ingredients is that the dog is not sensitized to the new proteins or carbohydrates and so doesn't produce a reaction to them.

Actually rabbit, lamb, venison, fish and many other meats are all very natural sources of proteins for dogs. The plus with lamb, venison, and rabbit is they don't usually have all the hormones and antibiotics that meats like chicken and beef may contain. Dogs need proteins but can become sensitized to particular ones. Its all a part of nature that carnivores eat the meat from other anmals. I'd rather the meat was recycled back into the circle of life than just wasted myself.

As this only shows up in specific times of the year you may well be dealing with flea allergies or you may be dealing with seasonal allergies/inhalant allergies.

Doing allergy testing may be a good choice to find out what bothers him as you can actually do a series of shots to desensitize dogs to inhalant allergies to reduce or stop their reactions for the next year. You might also check out and see if a room size hepa air filter will help him. They can do a great job of filtering out allergens.

If you don't care for Frontline use (and I don't use it myself I just suggest it as so many do well with it) you could use a floor spray that keeps baby fleas from growing up to biting stage. Precor and Nylar are two such ingredients seen in spray flea products that stop the reproduction of fleas. You spray the floor not the pet and let it dry.

Some people kill adult fleas with extra vacuuming, and careful immediate disposal of the material cleaned up, and also some use diatomaceous earth on their floors and rugs and let it sit then vacuum it up. It can cut carpet fibers as well as killing the fleas though.

A product such as Capstar will kill all fleas on a dog in 24 hours and its available at pet supply stores. Its a pill and lasts only 24 hours.

The problem is you need to be very careful about understanding that what is 'natural' does NOT mean the product is non-toxic or even safe. For example that shampoo you used is not non toxic in terms of its 'natural' ingredients. No sense to anyone but a shampoo or vitamin company if your dog is more itchy after using the product than before.