Your dog’s allergies will never go away.
Allergies are a frustrating chronic disease. No matter what anyone says they are not curable, but they can be managed effectively, through doing so can be very time, labor and money intensive.
Unlike humans with allergies, dogs show physical symptoms such as rashes, hot spots, welts, inflammation and itching.
There are several categories of skin allergies, including allergy reactions to fleas, to foods, and to general environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and so on.
Maggie’s first symptoms were almost two years ago. I went to my regular vet who administered shots, pills, and shampoos. And after a vet visit the symptoms would subside but they would come back which led me down the path of trying to understand what was causing it. When Orbit joined us after she hit 8 months she got yeast.
I thought I could figure it out. I read every article I could get my hands on and I joined every single Facebook group. I must have tried upwards of 30 different remedies, shampoos and food.
One day my boyfriend said … “It’s been almost 2 years. Are you done treating our dogs like a science experiment and get expert care?”
That hit me in the gut and I realized I needed help. I realized I was like a puppy chasing squirrels and trying every recommendation I got from well meaning friends and connections on social media. And even though the symptoms did improve I knew there was room for improvement.
That’s why I dedicated this article to how our vet is getting us on the right path. For almost two years I tried to do it on my own. And I listened to everyone else instead of seeking expert medical care.
If you don’t read further than this point – I would recommend first and foremost to find a holistic vet in your city. I wish I had gone sooner. In San Diego I recommend Dr. Kangas who you can learn about here. She was recommended to me by someone I met at SuperZoo.
What makes a holistic vet different?
A holistic vet looks at your pet as a whole and is educated about non traditional ways to approach bringing your pet back to optimal health. A holistic vet is not against traditional medicine. A holistic vet has a larger toolbox of recovery plans to draw from.
What my holistic vet recommended for my two dogs.
First and foremost the information I provide is not to replace care from a vet. I simply want to explain the journey we went through so you can have confidence that there is a way to ease your pet’s allergies.
Our vet had the goal to strengthen our dogs’ immune system, yeast flare ups, leaky gut syndrome (Orbit mostly) and liver detox program.
- ALLERGY TEST: We had an allergy test done for both girls. The results were surprising to see just how many things they were allergic to and each one is different. As a result I stay away from any food or items that trigger an allergic response.
- CHINESE HERBS AND REGULAR SUPPLEMENTS: We were prescribed Chinese Herbs. Before I saw our vet I had a casual conversation with a pharmacist about Chinese Herbs. She explained it was old ancient knowledge but administration had to be done under the care of a professional since dosages are extremely important to know. Our Chinese herbs were different for each dog. We have Liver Detox drops, pills to address dampness; pills to address dampness and heat (both girls get the night sweats but only Orbit seeked to stay warm); we were prescribed living vitamins from Standard Process – each dog had different vitamins; we also had Glacier Peak Gold drops to take care of yeast; mushroom powder for hair regrowth; probiotics, pre-biotics, minerals; and green herb vitamins. To put it mildly I had a mini lab in front of me during mealtimes. I won’t state what the dosages are for them or go into detail as to how you can buy these herbs because I’d rather you get them under the guidance of your vet. In all my reading I would have never known what herbs and dosages to give the girls. For this reason alone it’s worth it to find a vet that knows how.
- CLEANING: We shampoo the girls with Douxo shampoo every 3 to 4 days. They have a product with Chlorhexadine for yeast. I use the Douxo calm with active ingredients hinokitiol and phytosphingosine. I also give Orbit foot soak every other day in epsom salt water. Once a week I’ll use a diluted mix of betadine. And her face creases have to be cleaned daily. I have a spray that has cholorhexadine solution to wipe the folds off to keep the yeast at bay. Her ears are cleaned with Zymox. Sometimes I’ll use collodial silver to wipe down her folds. Also during the hotest days I would wipe their bellies down with the diluted mix of betadine but no more than every 3 to 4 days. At night – before we retire I’ll dust their bellies down with Gold Bond Powder. Clean and Dry is the motto and I really have to stay ahead of this. Yeast is a fungus and it can get bad very quickly if I don’t pay attention.
In terms of allergy & yeast treatments what I’ve tried and didn’t work are below:
- Adding Apple Cider Vinegar to food or to wipe them down with it.
- Apoquel – limited effectiveness
- Zyrtec – minimized symptoms but I could still see the rashes.
- Local Bee pollen and honey
- Raw diet
How long has it been since the girl’s last flare up?
Maggie and Orbit broke out into a rash the last week of July. I was gone for half the week at a trade show so part of it could have been caused by stress or change in schedule.
I saw our vet about 3 weeks after I came back. We’ve been under her care for two months. Maggie is 90 to 95% better. Key things to staying ahead of it is following the meal plan and keeping her clean. She barely scratches when she used to do that all the time and had dry flaky fur that was thinning out in patches where she scratched. It’s all grown back now, her coat is glossy and she rarely has bumps in her armpits.
Orbit is about 50 to 60 percent better. She has yeast flare ups. And so I have to stay on top of her and clean her every day by checking her paws, ears, and skin folds. If I miss a day or worse two I see the build up. I’ve been better this month and hardly miss a day in cleaning her and she’s not as red or itchy as she used to be.
As for food they are now on a very strict diet avoiding any ingredients that are on their NO list. I also try to prioritize food that is “cooling” to their diet. This is because of their evening night sweats.
Chinese medical theory states that food is like medicine. A summary of neutral, cooling and warming foods are below:
Beef Beef Liver, Goose, Pork’ Pork Liver, Pork Kidneys, Pork Feet, Quail, Tripe, Bison
Carp, Catfish, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Sturgeon, Tuna
Black Soy Beans, Kidney Beans, Beet Root, Broad Beans, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Green beans, Peas, Red Beans, Aduki Beans, String Beans, Pumpkin, Potato, Shitake Mushroom, Yams
Papaya, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Raspberry
White Rice, Brown Rice, Rye, Lentils, Corn
Chiarella, Spirulina, Tofu, Goat’s Milk, Yogurt Cheese, Chicken Eggs, Cow’s Milk, Duck Eggs, Honey
Clam, Cod, Crab, Scallop, Whitefish
Tomatoes Yellow, Soy Bean, Bamboo, Broccoli, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Kelp, Lettuce, Mushroom, Seaweed
Apple, Banana, Cranberry, Kiwi, Lemon, Mango, Orange, Pear, Strawberry, Tangerine, Watermelon
Barley, Buckwheat, Job’s Tears, Millet, Mung Bean, Wheat, Wild Rice
Eggs (Duck), Flax Seed Oil, Marjoram, Peppermint, Salt, Sesame Oil, Tofu, Yogurt, Chicken Egg Whites
Warming Foods (Avoid)
Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Pheasant, Ham
Sturgeon, Lobster, Mussel, Shrimp, Prawn, Anchovy
Black Bean, Squash, Sweet Potato
Cassia Fruit, Cherry, Date, Peach, Longan
Oats, Sorghum, Sweet Rice
Chestnut, Coconut, Pine Nut, Walnut
Bay Leaves, Brown sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger, Molasses, Goat Milk, Turmeric, Vinegar, Basil, Clove, Dill Seed, Dried Ginger, Fennel Seed, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme
Hot Foods (Avoid)
Lamb, Mutton, Sheep, Venison, Kidney
What other articles are important?
I did research on the pH level of dog skin vs. Human skin. Read more via this LINK.
Also we eradicated our yard from any flea potential. We found a natural product and you can read more about it via this LINK.