Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by SevenSins, Oct 2, 2012.
if you have a whole foods, you can find local unfiltered honey there.
Thatâ€™s awesome that he had such a great response and is feeling better though!
And... He stopped responding to the medication. It's like everything I throw at this dog, his body just becomes "immune" to. he starts to look amazing, and then it all goes to hell. Both his dermatologist and I feel like we're running out of things to try here. he's pretty much scratched his underside bald again and is, again. loaded with bacteria and fungal infection.
Pictures were taken AFTER a bath one day ago in Dawn (as per derm vet instruction, trying to keep as much stuff stripped out of his coat as possible) followed by a medicated lotion.
Anyone want to sell me a miracle cure? I don't feel like we're at "that point" yet, but his vets and I agree that we're slowly but surely coming to it.
Did you ever give the MSM a shot?
Have you tried going to a holistic vet. My friend's dog came down with cushings and the holistic vet she found is working miracles.
Holistic vet! I've had good luck with using holistic treatment for chronic issues in my dogs and cats and it sounds like you really don't have much to lose at this point.
I believe that if you are coming to the point of considering this, it is probably time to try some of the treatments you are more worried about causing long term damage like Atopica. I hear that is really good stuff, I think it would be worth a try.
It really sucks because you get into a cycle of needing to suppress the immune system against reacting to allergens, but then the dog gets secondary infections that are difficult to fight off and require a strong immune system. Since we know what the allergens are, is there a possibility of him 'living' in a set of PJs so the human dander and grass pollen isn't settling on him?
A low carb/low glycemic diet might help with the infections. Fungus, bacterias, yeasts feed off sugar and in theory will starve if there isn't much in the skin. There should be some sugar in the diet though to feed the good bacteria in the gut. There is a lot of research and conversation on that if you google. I took it to heart with that pug and had her on low glycemic diets. I was treating her for the demodex as well but the secondary infections did clear up and left her with just the patchy coat. I can't be 100% sure it was the diet but I believe it helped.
I would try Atopica. If you're starting to think about "that point" then you really have nothing to lose by giving it a chance.
I didn't read through this whole thing, but have you tried Atopica? As long as you get the generic MODIFIED cyclosporine, Wal-Mart has relatively reasonable prices and it has been a lifesaver for several really itchy dogs. It's also generally much better tolerated than anyone would guess, too.
I'll be honest, I'm not a big fan of holistic medicine. I realize people are genuinely trying to help, and I do appreciate the thought, so I don't want to step on toes. I simply don't understand it at all. Not to mention, the only holistic vet I can find in my area with a website (I like to pre-vet my vets before I decide to pursue using them) wants to charge $60 for 15 minutes and $20 every 5 minutes thereafter for a phone consult, without seeing my pet at all. That just seems morally wrong to me, somehow.
Crazed, do you happen to have any specific brand recommendations by any chance? One thing that none of my vets can figure out is why every time these allergies flare up like this, he becomes next to impossible to keep weight on, so far regardless of which food he's on. It's hard to tell body condition in the photo I posted, but although he's nowhere close to emaciated (he's teetered on it a couple times in the past), he has a lot of muscle wasting and his heavy, thick skin tends to A-frame over his spine. I've tried several types of food, ranging from 5-6 star brands on dogfood analysis.com (Instinct, Blue Wilderness), to intentionally testing him on lower quality, lower protein food (Diamond) because some Bulldogs just don't process higher protein well. Surprisingly didn't make a lick of difference as far as weight or condition on either end of the spectrum, and he required around the same quantity of food per day just to maintain what little weight I can keep on him. However, when he's on something that causes his allergies to subside...he practically becomes an "air fern." :wall:
About Atopica, that was basically my derm vet's final recommendation if all else fails. She wanted me to try the steroids first because Atopica is very expensive and apparently tends to just stop working anywhere from 6 months on the drug and up. We were hoping to knock down a lot of this stuff between the steroid and some more heavy antibiotics, then keep him maintained once he was weaned off of them. And, well, he looked like a completely different dog within days of starting the steroid. Unfortunately once he began tapering off, that was that. So Atopica is definitely on the short-list. I haven't tried MSM yet, I honestly forgot it was suggested.
I have thought about putting him in something like this http://www.k9topcoat.com/group.asp?grp=24 but after inputting his measurements it said no recommendations. Got to love a hard to fit dog with weird body proportions, right? My other concern is that...well, this is the dog that likes to swallow foreign objects and I'll admit I'm concerned about him deciding to tear a chunk out of something I put on him and swallow it. Maybe he needs to live in PJs and an e-collar.
Or maybe I should concede to the really big hamster ball...
Eh... for S&G try the MSM and add in some Coconut oil too - it's not going to hurt anything, it's relatively cheap, both also aid with digestion, not just skin, and if it doesn't work, your other dogs will love it. Hell, if you get human grade MSM instead of feed store stuff, you can take it, and the coconut oil makes for awesome stir fries.
:rofl1: I like the way you think.
It sucks you are having such bad issues with the poor guy. Spy had a lot of skin, allergy and gastro issues until I switched him to raw. So far so good, but I always worry about going back to square one and having to deal with those symptoms again.
Honestly, I won't press the "holistic" vet idea on you at all, because I finally broke down and went that route with Jinj, spent over $300, one month later he got so bad he chewed open one of his back feet blood all over. After that I looked around his diet some more, and concluded he must now have a beef allergy too, since taking it out of his diet (minus his christmas present) his eyes aren't as bad and the redness has dulled from his feet, but he's still gagging and licking. Here's a pic from late last month where you can see the one spot on a front foot he wont leave alone just to give an idea (and you can see his runny eye stains still):
Another thing too, in the new photo's he actually looks a lot like what Noodle gets every spring, his vet said it was a grass/pollen allergy, honestly if that's the case, it's in the environment and not his diet, good luck, there's really not a lot you can do anyway for them except move to a different location, and that's not a guarantee either.
Not to be so negative on the subject, really, but I've been there, still live there, and I really wish I had an option for you! Best thing I can come up with, put him on a new very limited ingredient diet for just one month and see what happens. Just found out while looking up canned food options (I can only get beef, chicken, or turkey to cook my own foods) Canine Caviar sells a Beaver formula, heck, you never know!
If you haven't tried it yet, I would go with a raw diet, and a single, novel protein, something he's not likely had before and just that. In Canada there is Carnivora that does patties, not sure what there is in the states, but for cases like this that's usually what we end up working on - they get something like rabbit or elk that they'd not had before, no treats, no supplements, just that, and see. If that doesn't work they try a different meat, same thing, see how it goes after a month or two. Then slowly add in other meats and ingredients to find what works and what doesn't work.
A lot of kibbles you're hoping the company doesn't screw up ingredients, or forgets to clean the machines or whatever, and they have a lot of ingredients, so that doesn't help either.
Just food for thought, poor guy! I know the one holistic vet also will have the dogs do a course of cortisone etc. as needed to get the issues under control while changing, then wean off in hopes the diet prevents the cycle from continuing.
I like the idea of the suit, though I was thinking about bulldogs and clothing and wondering if that wouldn't work out too well, haha.
Instinct is tapioca based which is definitely high glycemic index, Blue Wilderness is potato based which is high as well. I went with a local brand for the pug, a lamb and oatmeal based kibble (oatmeal is low GI). Raw, or raw patties would be low to no GI. Oatmeal, barley, beans, and such are low GI.
Nutrisca might be a good option to try. Orijen would be fine too depending on what you want to spend trying it out. I don't think you will wholly be able to control the environmental allergies with food, but perhaps can kind of stem those secondary infections.
Canine Caviar is low glycemic, one starch source and one protein. There's barely anything in it. It's pricey but it might be worth a try.
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this
have him screened for autoimmune disease
You will likely need to have this done at university level. When I see over the top allergens like you describe, especially considering his breed in which AID is common, it is the first thing Ithink of. Your dog may not show classic symptoms. However AID can manifest in many atypical ways. Often affected dogs have NO actual allergies, their immune system and amino acid levels are so out of whack tht EVERYTHING triggers an immune (allergic) response. Treatment varies. With my dog a short course of steroids and immunosupressants combined with replacing the deficient amino acids resolved her years long issue with no recurrence in over 5 years. The deficient amino acid replacement is lifelong, but they are cheap and OTC at any pharmacy or health store. University level screening ican be pricy but so is continually trying new things that do not work. Good luck.