An elimination diet is a short-term eating plan that eliminates certain foods that may be causing allergies and other digestive reactions – then reintroduces the foods one at a time in order to determine which foods are, and are not, well-tolerated. In pets, an elimination diet is used primarily for those with skin conditions and/or gastrointestinal issues.
The key to an elimination diet is feeding foods that your pet has eaten very little of before (such as kangaroo and emu). These novel foods are less likely to cause an allergic reaction which can lead to problems.
Strict adherence to the diet for 6-12 weeks is needed for the elimination trial to be valid. All treats and flavoured medications eg beef flavoured heartworm medication should be avoided. Only a small amount of a trigger food is required to cause an allergic reaction. At the end of the 6-12 weeks it is best to trial your pet on the food you were feeding previously. This is to confirm that certain foods were indeed part of your pet’s problems.
In cases of skin disease Vetlicious low allergy diets can be very helpful. Treatment success can be aided by ensuring you have ruled out common causes of itchy skin.
This includes : - clearing all bacterial and yeast infections
- treating appropriately for possible flea allergy
- ensuring you have ruled out contact irritants such as wandering jew as a cause of your pet's skin problem
In cases of gastrointestinal problems (especially chronic diarrhoea) a course of Vitamin B12 injections can be a useful adjunct to an elimination diet.
Some dogs may have a better tolerance of different foods after spending some time on home made
elimination diets. Those pets may be able to go back to a less regimented diet.