Monday, March 14, 2011

Playing detective and grasping at straws

I need to rename this blog: "Things that are wrong with my dogs". Seriously. I'm adding current skin photos so I have them handy when I take Jenny to the specialist. My phone has internet now so I can pull up the blog if needed. (my camera takes better photos than my phone or I would just use that) Because with my luck her skin will be back to normal by the time we have our appointment. I found out a few things today that might also be helpful. Fingers crossed. The top photo is from today. The two below are from Sunday evening.

Slightly better than her last photos but not by much. She was also super itchy that day and left some bloody spots on her chest.

I decided to look up some things using the blog to backtrack. Jenny came to us in September of 2007. Her skin looked great when we got her and there was no itching at all. She had her first breakout 2 months later. It was mild in comparison but she went on antibiotics and Temeril-P. She was also itching in January of 2008. (I blogged about looking for a food that could help.) I wont bore you will all the details of everything I found, but looking back I saw that she had a good itch free few months in spring of 2009. So I asked the store I buy her food from what she was on at the time. It turns out she was eating HealthWise Lamb and Oatmeal formula for one meal and Primal Pheasant for the other. So tonight I picked up a bag of the HW to switch her over to. I hate feeling helpless so this is at least something to try. I find it interesting that she was doing well on a food with grains in it. But like I read on a friends website, all dogs are individuals and you need to find what works for your dog. Even if it flys in the face of popular opinion. (Or in this case my own beliefs!)

I've also taken her off everything except the cipro and added Temeril-P again. (and some pro-biotics) I HAVE to get her comfortable. She is itching herself raw regardless of the antihistamines and other stuff I have tried. If anything she looks worse. Can you imagine having your whole body feel like a mosquito bite? It doesn't sound fun. (Nor is it fun to watch either.) I have also e-mailed her foster home and asked a few questions about her past and the food she was previously on. Yeah it's a long shot but again it is doing something. It is aggravating to know she has had times that she is completely itch free and it has progressed to now being so awful.

I am also considering acupuncture and Reiki at this point. There is a vet nearby that does some acupuncture and I know a person who does the Reiki. I also came across some suggestions in the comments section of a post I haven't tried yet either. (CoQ10 and Grapeseed extract - Thanks Amy.) So I'll see how the recent adjustments go once I taper her Temeril-P down. Wish us luck.

Jack had his follow up appointment today. He did great and didn't need to be sedated to be poked. Thankfully the abscess is draining well on its own. Yay for at least that bit of luck!


Original_Wacky said...

I had a dog who had similar issues, and switching to raw feeding really REALLY helped clear her up. Is that something you've considered? Grapeseed extract can help skin, and perhaps adding some fish oil to their diet as well. I myself have psoriasis, so I have total sympathy for what the itching feels like and how tough it is to deal with.

Some other foods that I've seen excellent reviews on are: Orijen (, Taste of the Wild (, Wellness (, Blue Buffalo (, Canidae (, and Natural Balance ( I personally have not fed any of these, since my dogs are all raw-fed, but people I trust have said good things about each one.

Best of luck in resolving the allergy issue, as it really does suck to itch like that, and it's SO hard to watch our best friends in misery.

Marie said...

Thanks for the tips. Yes I have tried a full raw diet. I have also tried a grain free kibble (several different kinds) as well as the fish oil.

I appreciate your time and suggestions though. :-)

Original_Wacky said...

Oh the poor dear. Can you have her allergy tested to see if you can narrow down exactly what she is allergic to?

Hmm, they must have allergy meds for dogs besides giving them Benadryl. In the meantime, does it help if you do a little doggy massage for her? Our Jess used to deal a bit easier with it if I did really gentle smooth strokes over her itchy parts, at least for a few minutes or even a couple hours.

Good luck with finding something that works, because there's gotta be SOMEthing that helps.

Marie said...

We have done allergy testing. Liver, dust mites and grain mites were her supposed allergens. But her flare up have gotten so much worse than they used to be. Yes the temaril-p also has an antihistimine in it and we've tried another as well. Thanks though.