You beat me to it, Ginnafer! The only reason Hills is even considered 'good' is because of the MASSIVE marketing campaigns. They teach nutrition classes in vet schools, then actively send out reps to vet clinics to sell the food (much like pharmaceutical companies). Vets get it because of familiarity. The vets who get continuing education in nutrition DO NOT recommend Hills. This info comes from my good friend who is a vet, not from extremist websites.
OP--you are far better off doing a complete raw diet. Very, very easy to control exactly what's in your dogs bowl. Find one or two proteins your dog handles well and stick with them, uess they develop an allergy to one, then find another one. I have to stay away from chicken for Truman, so he gets organs, muscle meat, green tripe and bone from grass fed, organic beef. Nothing else--those various parts make a complete diet.
Sorry to hear about allergies! That can be really frustrating!! I haven't heard of ATOPICA, but when my boston had allergy issues with his coat we changed his diet to Natural Balance potato and venison formula and it worked great. They have different formulas based on what you want to cut out of your dog's diet. Also, you can buy it at petco without an RX and it gets really good ratings on the dog food websites. Good luck!!!!
I was wondering if you had any update for your baby? I have been going thru simular things with Lilly our boston. But on her blood work it didnt come up with anything for her allergies. I have been feeding her raw and its still terrible, her issues use to be just in the summer but now its all year. We did the steriod but she gained 4 pounds so we had to stop.
I put her in human infant onesies now because it will cover some of her legs and her tummy. I am kinda at my wits end, I feel so bad for her. Itching and licking, and twiching.
We tried Atopica and 2 days in she had all the reactions, vomiting, diahria, and general discomfort. So we had to stop that.
I was hoping maybe you had some luck in something? I am gonna try Red Canine's Hydrolized protein kibble and see if it helps.
Maybe we might try a newer serum called Respit from a Dr in Oregon, its for mostly environmental allergians but its the same serum as the $$$ very spendy skin test but its by serum by region, no tests. Also it cost around $170 for 6 months worth.
i dont know if this will be any help to you, but i cannot stop raving about this hyrdrocortisone spray i found at petsmart. It costs ten bucks. I just make sure to wipe her coat down with a warm clean face cloth (or give a bath with baby shampoo) and then spray it lightly over her rashes. Hydrocortisone is a steroid just like prednisone they give to dogs for allergies but for some reason i feel better that it is topical application and not ingested. my dogs allergies looked really bad - red eyes, pink tummy and paws, constant licking paws, awful scabby rash all down her back, hair falling out.......but I have to admit it really didnt seem to bother her too much.....I think it bothered me more!!!!
anyway, I am pretty sure what she is allergic to is the residual carpet cleaning product from having the carpets cleaned before I moved in to my new place in October...whenever I go away for the weekend with her her rash would improve. So the past couple months I have done the wipe/bath and then spray routine, and when she is at home i make her wear a 100% cotton sweater so she cant thrash around and scratch her back on the carpet!!!! has helped enormously - her fur is growing back in and her scabs are reduced. if i lay off the spray and the sweater for more than a week it starts creeping back!
Another thing I do is give her eyes a squirt of my plain, saline, contact lens solution if they are looking red. It's also very dry and cold where I live so I figured it can't hurt!!!!
As for food, I dont believe my dog's allergies are food related but my friend who has two BTs had similar issues to what you are describing and after many trial and errors, tried making homemade dog food: beef and rice and carrots or spinach; allergies were gone!
oh yeah, one last thing make sure to wash everything with minimal soap....and give an extra rinse or wash it again without soap if its for your dog.