2012-08-17

Allergies & Buzz

Buzz has had allergies his whole life. The poor guy has shown signs since before he was a year old. I remember taking him to the vet because his neck was "all red" at a routine appointment. The vet asked if he wore a red collar. Nope, his collar was black. At that point he was eating Iams, the green bag, so the vet just figured he needed some extra "stuff." We put him on a recommended supplement.

http://www.pets-prefer.com/dogsupplements.htm#ppdsoftshinc
He probably took that supplement for a couple months to a year but we didn't notice a single difference. It's not a terrible supplement by any means, but it's not really... addressing the concern either.

Once I started learning about allergies in dogs (at least five years after we initially noticed his "red neck")and what they can be related to, I was determined to help Buzz become allergy free.

A fellow Springer owner once recommended I bathe him every day to remove the potential airborne allergens from his body before he inhales them (or at least limit how much is inhaled). I shaved him down and took him in the shower with me every morning before school! I think that might have lasted seven days...

We were also given recommendations to increase his omega 3s. I did that in the form of a capsule and switched him to a salmon based food. At the time, I didn't realize that he actually got worse with the increase in fish oils. Buzz ate the salmon food for close to a couple years and I've since learned that he's incredibly allergic to most (if not all) kinds of fish. Boy did I feel rotten when I figured that out! His poor body probably didn't even know what to do with itself!

A couple other things we tried were Cranberry (no change) and SeaMeal (increase in allergy signs). I also tried him on Flaxseed which created an increase in itching I had no idea was possible!

Quite honestly, I think I tried nearly every food on the market for him. Seriously. And there was very little improvement. In the end, after trying everything from Nature's Recipe to Innova EVO to a prey model raw diet; I just gave up. I found a food he did okay on and stuck with it, apologizing to him regularly for not being willing to put him on Prednisone for the rest of his life. The food he did okay on was Fromm Duck and Sweet Potato. He was still having minor allergic reactions but the horribly red and irritated skin was gone, he even regrew fur on the front of his elbows.

This spring I vowed to do an elimination diet with a known safe food to see if he could get complete relief. I chose to use ground raw duck from Woody's because it was exactly what I was looking for; meat, bone, and organ. No veggies, no supplements of any kind. After just two weeks of eating ONLY this, I saw some remarkable improvements in Buzz: he was even less red in those telltale areas, he licked his legs less and even stopped chewing his feet completely. He looked almost like a normal dog! There were a couple things I really hemmed and hawed about eliminating from his diet. The most important being his joint supplement. I knew he needed a supplement and he'd been on the Dasuquin with MSM for so many years that I was leery of changing it, but it had unspecified "liver" in it. Thankfully I found a supplement that isn't flavored and he's done very well on Wapiti Labs Longevity for a couple months now.

Since the start of his elimination diet, I've tried a few more foods with him. Some with success and some with failure. When his body isn't having an allergic reaction every single day, it's quite easy to tell when a food I've fed him causes a problem; I'll know within a matter of hours.

Buzz has a very short list of safe foods and more often than not, he's allergic to the ingredients other foods are mixed with.

Safe foods: Woody's raw duck, Bravo raw beef, Primal raw rabbit, Canine Caviar Open Sky kibble, and PureBites freeze dried Duck liver.

The most recent unsafe foods: lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, egg, flaxseed, many grains. He's also allergic to CET poultry toothpaste.

In addition to his prescription medications, Buzz is currently taking the Wapiti Labs Longevity and a virgin/unrefined Coconut oil (the only oil he can tolerate, it's a medium chain fatty acid). He takes the medications he won't willingly eat in food with part of a Greenies Pill Pockets Duck and Pea.

I'm sure the saga will continue, and he's currently in a cone after my last food experiment with lamb, but he's doing well I'd say. And his body seems to appreciate not being exposed to things it's allergic to all day, every day.

Buzz a couple weeks ago, looking pretty darn okay.

1 comment:

dawn ellering said...

I am so glad you posted this! My poor baby Harley has seasonal allergies. He didn't get any this past spring but boy does he have it bad now! The front part of his face is all red. He bites at his paws, and scratches his ears almost constantly. I feel so bad for him!! We have done Prednisone in the past but I don't want to do that again. I have been told from a friend to give him Benydryl (1/2 pill a day). He has taken vitamins in the past, as well. I also bought him a special shampoo which helped a little. Just not sure exactly what to give him this time around.....Is Woody's raw duck sold at C & D? I need to get him something asap! He is miserable, and i really need to relieve him of this irritation!

Dawn