Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Still fighting the fight

First a shout out to my reader who recognised me at PBMC earlier today. I'm sorry I didn't catch your name. It made me feel like a celebrity. Thanks for reading!
Sometimes living with dogs is very stressful. Especially if we are struggling to keep them healthy. Jenny is still having skin issues. I decided to try something different and go to a homeopathic veterinarian to see if that might work for us. I was concerned with the long term side effects of steroids and autoimmune suppressants. After 2 months of trying many different remedies we haven't found the magic yet. I decided to take a mental break and go back to some conventional methods for a spell. I had managed to keep trying because she wasn't uncomfortable. Lately that hasn't been the case however so I threw in the proverbial towel, at least for now. I still have great respect for homeopathic medicine and will pursue that as much as I can in conjunction with the conventional stuff. For instance I will be doing titers on Jenny from now on in lue of simply vaccinating her. Her system is clearly compromised so adding to that in any way is not going to help. This is how she looks today:

I'll spare you the close-ups of her skin, but you can get the idea. Red and inflamed and gooey in spots. So as well as taking her for an anti-inflammatory injection, I have decided to start her on a new diet. (yes again**) This time we will be trying the honest kitchen's Zeal. I am also going to add their supplement for healthy skin called Sparkle. (Thanks to Prudence for the tip on the skin supplement!) Our own local Loyal Biscuit Co. has some fabulous trial sizes for those who want to try THK but aren't sure their dog will eat it.

AND on the back of the box is a coupon if your dog likes it! I had to order a 4lb box so I picked up a couple of trial boxes so I can introduce it to Jenny slowly while we wait for the big box to arrive.

Here are a few tips I did find helpful to use on Jenny that are more natural than chemical filled shampoos. I found bathing her actually makes her worse most of the time.

One is the Aveeno oatmeal bath. I found this at Wal-Mart. You mix 2 tablespoons with 1 gallon of water and use it as a rinse. Do NOT rinse it off and towel dry. I used very cool water on Jenny. It will leave a residue but can be used twice daily and usually gives 12 to 24 hours of relief from itching. The only downside is you need to use it after mixing as it will NOT keep. I found the residue wasn't a problem on the furniture either. The other was using lavender oil. I found this in the health food section of my grocery store. Mix 4 drops of the lavender oil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub on irritated skin to soothe it. I thought this would be messy but it absorbs into the skin very quickly. It also smells wonderful! I keep some mixed in a spray bottle for easy application. I also mixed some lavender oil with water in another spray bottle so I can "mist" an area that doesn't need a full rub. Hopefully someone else might find those tips as useful as I did. Lavender is also a natural healing agent and can help with cuts and burns.


And now for something completely different. Check out the double dewclaws on one of the prison pups. They look the same on both back feet.

If these were on the front feet I'd wonder if they had any puffin dog in them! I did learn that some livestock guarding breeds have these and it is part of their breed standard. Who knew?

**So it turns out that the company that did Jenny's food allergy testing has admitted that the food panel isn't all that accurate. They recommend doing food trials instead. They still offer the test however because some vets want to be able to offer that service to their clients. I cannot quite convey how incredibly pissed off that makes me. One because I wasted money on a test that isn't worth a damn and two because those results changed how I chose her food and wasted my friggin time!! So thanks Greer. You are a real peach of a company!!


Ruth said...

That would seriously peeve me, totally don't blame you!

Original_Wacky said...

Hey, on the plus side, lavender is a bit of a natural flea repellent as well, if I remember correctly. And it can be relaxing to dogs like it is for people. If only I didn't have such a huge near-allergy to it, I'd be using it around here too. Luckily the current dogs don't have allergies, and the cats who do are in pretty good shape. MUCH luck wished that you can get this figured out for her!

marienkafer said...

Yeah, I've heard terrible things about the food tests. Dogs coming up positive for things that they couldn't possibly have ever been exposed to... False positives. What a mess. So sorry that your girl is suffering right now. Fingers crossed that our mutt is through the worst of it for this season. Unfortunately, we still have her on immunosuppressors. We never went the full homeopathic route but tried a number of "natural" remedies to no avail. Allergies are the worst.

Good luck with the new diet. Stupid question... I see that it's dehydrated... do you just mix it with water??? Let us know how it goes!

Marie said...

Marie, Yes you just add water and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. I think you can also get some formulas where you need to add meat.

Ruth said...

Hey, please let us know what you thnk of the Loyal Biscuit stuff. I finally found a place locally that sells it.....