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I believe my dog has an allergy related to food.

She's 1.5 yrs old, and is an Australian Labradoodle (lab, poodle, cocker & english spaniel mix)

Backstory: she sometimes vomits bile; she will have episodes of rapid snorting and occasional coughing. This has been going on for at least 6 months in cycle. Parasites, kennel cough, etc. all ruled out. The vet thought it might be an overproduction of stomach acid - indigestion. We treated for that (pepcid), which helped some, but did not remove all symptoms. Multiple days in a row, she vomited after consuming a dental treat bone. This leads me to believe that she is actually having an allergic reaction to a food ingredient, which is leading to the above symptoms.

With a potential food allergy, how do I narrow down what it is?

I'll look at the ingredients in the dental treat, but from there how do I determine further.

Additionally, she is a picky eater, refusing to eat some foods (sounds like a cat) and has had these bouts of vomiting etc for the last 6 months or so. Originally, I thought it was due to food, so we tested different foods with her. She would do fine, and then it would start back up again.

Any suggestions or insight would be helpful.

  • Other than food are there any other potential vectors? Is she outside without supervision? Are there any bugs or pesticides in your home that she might have access to? – James Jenkins Nov 26 '14 at 15:59
  • Have allergies come up in the discussions with your vet? It could be a food allergy but could also be something environmental, as James said. Have you been able to rule anything out? (I went through this with a cat, but I don't know if it would be the same for dogs.) – Monica Cellio Nov 26 '14 at 16:04
  • There are a few allergen free foods that basically have the proteins broken down so far that the immune system doesn't recognize them and react. They usually sell these at vets and they are intended to be used temporarily so you can rule out possible causes. You can also have an allergy panel done. – Beth Whitezel Nov 27 '14 at 0:13
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    @JamesJenkins - We've tried to identify other potential causes, but have come up short. She does occasionally chew on pine needles, which do cause her to choke, however she hasn't had any of those in a while (under the snow). So far, we are fairly certain it's a food allergy as I've switched her diet and I'm making hamburg & rice, and she hasn't had an episode since. – Jason Nov 29 '14 at 23:30
  • I would suggest you to switch to making your own food or find dog food that doesn't include poultry meat (poultry fat is okay-ish) – Just Do It Jan 6 '16 at 19:50
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You should consult with a vet, but the general way to find allergies is to give the dog only one type of meat for a while. Try different types (but only one at a time) and see which he reacts to.

Also, vets can do a blood test to establish some types of allergies. I would start with that before experimenting yourself.

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The usual approach to identifying a non-life-threatening food allergy or intolerance involves experimenting until you see a pattern between what causes a reaction and what doesn't. Or just finding enough that don't and calling that good enough for now.

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Dogs can often be allergic to CORN; it may be that what you were feeding her contained that. The dental treat most likely did. A friend has a dog allergic to chicken (which is more rare). It does sound like her finkiness was related to an allergy; my dog does the same thing. The times where I've 'made' him eat something, many times he's vomited afterward. It's like he knows it won't agree with him. Glad that the hamburger and rice are working for her, but I know it would be nice to figure out something a little 'easier.'

The snorting could be what is called 'reverse sneezing.' Certain breeds are prone to it and both my dogs do it occasionally. It's nothing to worry about.

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  • My dog is allergic to anything poultry related. – Just Do It Feb 11 '16 at 16:29

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