By Alfred J. Plechner, D.V.M.

Over the years and particularly now a days, dog food manufacturers have made claims that they have produced a hypoallergenic dog food. How do they really know this? They really don't know this. It realistically is more of a sales gimmick than an actual solution.

Over the years, I created the first non-meat commercial foods for pets in the world. After studying a pediatric elimination diet created by a prominent pediatrician, Dr. Alfred Rowe, I formulated a lamb and rice diet for animals especially for those animals that had food sensitivities and needed a hypoallergenic dog food that they could maintain good health without suffering from food allergies. This hypoallergenic dog food seemed to work for 10 years or so until the dogs began to react to the lamb and or the rice.

At this same time I had questioned why would a dog become reactive to a clean pure food and need a different hypoallergenic dog food? The answer became quite simple. Through blood tests I found a hormone imbalance that caused a deregulated immune system to start making antibodies against any food antigen that this deregulated system came in contact with, after a given time of exposure. Prior to this Dr. Jeff Chun and I created a Cytotoxic Food Test for dogs that worked very well and was very accurate. It also worked very well for people.

The test was quite simple. A blood sample was taken from the patient, and the blood sample spun down in a centrifuge. The white blood cells, which migrated to the top of the test tube, were titrated off. These cells were diluted out and then a drop of the white blood cell diluents was dropped onto a heated glass slide that contained 40 different types of common food allergens.

What was observed under the microscope was any white cell from a patient that was allergic to that food would immediately form small vacuoles in the cytoplasm surrounding the nucleus of the white cell. These were referred to as cytotoxic vacuoles. The test was very close to being 100% accurate.

I remember one male Doberman that was severely allergic to tomatoes. He would not only develop vomiting and diarrhea but also would develop huge welts all over his body. When his white blood cells were exposed to the tomato antigen, the cell actually burst. He had been put on a hypoallergenic dog food, however the fiber in the food was tomato pumice instead of beet pulp. Obviously this hypoallergenic dog food was definitely wrong for this poor dog and caused the dog total misery. The results from this test were really significant but came to a screeching halt when the FDA decided the test was invalid!

I next decided to create a limited antigen diet which contained only one protein and one carbohydrate. The hypoallergenic dog foods were called Innovative Veterinary Diets by Nature's Recipe. Since lamb had then become allergenic, I used duck, venison, fish and rabbit as newer sources of protein that the dogs and cats had not usually been exposed to. Since rice caused allergenic food problems, I decided to use white potatoes. All these foods have been copied today by most of the major dog food and cat food manufacturers, however they, the manufacturers, decided to replace the white potato with sweet potato which they thought would appeal to the tastes of the pet owners. Unfortunately, sweet potatoes are much higher in estrogen which is a definite problem for many animals with all types of allergies and not just food allergies.

At present, you must consider all foods guilty until proven innocent! Therefore an elimination diet may be the only way you can determine a hypoallergenic dog food. What is an elimination diet? This is a temporary homemade diet that begins with two very simple food sources. It is best to start with one part cottage cheese to four parts boiled white potatoes. This combination you feed for 7 days. If there are no signs of food allergies, then add a meat protein like chicken, fish etc. In the next 7 days you might add a second carbohydrate like rice and so on. Once you have established a homemade hypoallergenic dog food, it is time to go to the pet store and look for a comparable commercial diet.

Please remember that delayed reactions are quite common meaning what? This means you can give your dog some sort of snack today and not again and 7 days later your dog can have a major allergic reaction! You tell yourself that I have not given him anything to merit this reaction, but yes you have. You gave your dog something 7 days ago and now you are seeing a delayed reaction!

Back to the question, "why does my dog have food allergies"? The answer is very simple. Your dog has a hormone antibody imbalance that has caused this food allergy. Once normalized, further food allergies generally do not occur, however the danger of waiting too long to have this test done, may allow your dog to become allergic to all foods and then what? This simple test is referred to as Atypical Cortisol Estrogen Imbalance Syndrome (ACEIS) or as the public refers to it as Plechner’s Syndrome. You will find articles on this website that relates to this blood test and the special laboratory that has the ability to do the test accurately.

Hopefully some of my thoughts will help you find a hypoallergenic dog food and at the same time correct the hormone antibody imbalance that has caused you to look for a hypoallergenic dog food.

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