Prescription diet recommended by vet

Hi all,

I am new to this site.

We took our 11 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to the vet the other day, she has been diagnosed with a yeast skin condition caused by allergies. We have been prescribed malaseb shampoo, surolan ointment and low steriods. Her skin is not red raw or anything just a bit itchy and yeasty, so I an happy to do anything that will help her.

They have also said we must use a prescription diet and recommended a few of the labels but said that royal canin hypoallergenic will be the best. We had just switched to Autarky dry hypoallergenic food which the vets response was no other brands hypoallergenic foods are truley hypoallergenic as the prescription diets are.

Is there any advice anyone has using this food or going against the vets advice.

He also said no treats not even hypoallergenic ones just food and water :frowning:

Thank you


Sorry to hear about your Cavalier. I was in a similar situation with mine last year, and the vet told me that the prescription diet was the only option. I wasn’t happy with it due to the ingredients and neither was my dog- he loves his food but would only eat if forced and he was still losing fur and chewing himself to pieces!

So, I shelled out on getting an allergy test for my dog and found out the ingredients that he was actually allergic to. That way, I could find a food that wouldn’t cost the earth and that my dog actually enjoyed eating. Since finding a decent food he’s not allergic to, there’s no more fur loss, red sores and he’s full of energy as a young cav should be.

I’d suggest getting an allergy test (the blood test types, not the skin test) or to try an elimination diet under the supervision of a qualified nutritionist (not your vet, ask for a referral) to see what your dog is allergic to. There will probably be alternatives to the prescription diet that you can try, and you can find some treats that your Cav will be able to have :slight_smile:

Hope this helps

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Hello and welcome to the forum. I cant add much to Kiren’s response. I suppose that if you don’t find out what is causing the problem through testing, the only other way is too eliminate almost everything starting with as few ingredients as possible, then slowly introducing new things and monitoring to see what causing a reaction.

There is always a possibility that your Cavalier is allergic to something external, in which case it would be easier to pick a food you like the look of.

I hope you can get to the bottom of things.

I agree with the 2 other posts.

My dog was on a prescription diet for a while due to his digestion issues. I wasn’t happy with it. My dog did okay on it and did put weight back on but ingredients were awful and it was super expensive.

If your vet really really says to do it, it may be worth doing it for a little while, just to get them pleased and then switch asap. That’s what I did (and I was on holiday, so my pet sitter had to deal with it so I just accepted it as a short term solution).

Hello and welcome to the forum. It does seem strange that your dog is only just having problems at the age of 11 years old. Because of his age, it is possible that the problem is not dietary. Keeping the coat and skin clean with regular bathing could help considerably, as would having a good, regular clip. If you truly think that there may be an allergy issue then as has been said, there are tests but be aware that they are not always accurate. On the information pages of this website David has written a piece on this very issue so do have a look for it.

A proper, controlled elimination diet is probably a good start but you do need support from a nutritionist (as has been said). Naturediet have some fact sheets on their website that might be helpful. I think you really need to have a discussion with the vet and explain why you are not keen on the prescription diet and to ask for his support in trying something else. Good quality wet food tends to be less complicated in formula than dried food so that may be something worth considering. There are some excellent ones on the market these days and if you need help sourcing one please ask.

Thank you all so much for your replies, she has had skin problems before which to be honest began when we got a kitten around four years ago and the kitten came with fleas which were passed on to the dog, she started with flea dermatitis, which cleared up and they are both treated religiously with advantage which is the only thing that seem to work, frontline was rubbish.

She has then been to the vets many times with lumps that appeared on her feet which look like little lumps which you would think you can burst but do not.

The vet a few months ago diagnosed a yeast infection and said to use a prescription wash we started every two days, then weekly then fortnightly, and they said it was clearing up nicely.

We then went back to the vets on Monday and a different vet said that the yeast infection is bad and that the lumps on the feet look like sebaceous cysts and that we should have been told about steroids before and that we should change her food to the
royal canin hypoallergenic food, gave us a higher dose shampoo and skin drops.

I just cant see how after the amount of times we have been to the vets they have changed their minds so many times on what we should do or what it may be.

I just want her to be able to eat a good food and the vet said we can only feed this and water nothing else not chicken or fish or anything.

As far as I can tell the only way forward would be to change to this diet and see if it works and introduce different foods as many of you have suggested.

I wonder how we will know if it is the steroids and shampoo helping or the food change?

Also what are peoples thoughts on the vet saying only prescription diets are truly hypoallergenic?

Thank you so much for reading. xxx

Vets have no idea of nutrition generally. They want you to feed the hypoallergenic because that is what they were taught to feed in such situations.

If I were you, I would go along with it for a while, and be strict too, nothing else. If the problems persists, you can tell the vet it clearly isn’t due to the food and/or this food isn’t helping you’ll try something else. It saves you nerves and arguing and your dog won’t die from being on this diet for a little while. That is how I did it, because I was sick of being told it must be the food. Once either it isn’t helping you can switch. And if it is helping, stay on it while you figure out something better, e.g. through an elimination diet and/or allergy tests.

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