Wednesday, 4 May 2011

dogs, allergies and diet

Today we have been set free from the boring, boring hypo-allergenic diet our vet suggested. We followed it religiously, but unhappily, for months, but today when we went to see the skin specialist she said she doesn't believe commercial low allergen diets work, because they all have some proteins in them. For instance, one famous brand has rice, and another has soy.

Hooray! We can go back to our usual wide mix of foods.

Penny still has a rash around her vulva, and still has rashes between her toes, but we are going to wash her bottom with baby wipes (non-alcoholic ones) and try to control the symptoms of her allergies with Elocon cream and lotion, applied as sparingly as we can.

We'll go back for a review in seven weeks. Perhaps we might have tests to see if environmental factors are making Penny itchy, but we'll wait to see whether that is necessary.

Now we can focus on getting organised for Honey's dancing competition. I'll have to think of some nice tasty treats to encourage Penny - but really, she just enjoys the dancing for its own sake.

4 comments:

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh, glad you're off that boring diet!!! You know - (am not trying to be preachy!) - have you considered talking to a holistic vet about the raw diet for Penny? It's just that I know it is known for doing WONDERS for dogs with allergy and skin issues so it might be something worth exploring. A lot of the time the problem isn't with specific proteins or not but just with the processing and additives/preservatives that go into commercially processed diets - even the "low allergens" ones. Like you know, the dogs get sensitive to the side effects of the processing and not to the actual ingredients themselves. I always think the more natural and 'less processed' the food, the better it must be (for both dogs & humans!). The TYPE of protein can make a big difference too - like fish protein Vs. meat protein Vs. vegetable protein (eg, soya) are all quite different!

I know the raw diet is not for everyone so I'm not trying to "convert" you or anything but it's just that I know it does have a reputation for being very good for dogs with skin issues. And if Penny still has rashes then it sounds like her trial on the commercial low allergen diet hasn't really solved the problem! I"m sure you must have some holistic vets in Melbourne who are knowledgeable about more raw, natural diets so it may be worth seeing what they might suggest. Just a thought!

Hsin-Yi

Maggie and Mitch said...

yippeeeeeeeeeeee - we're glad you're back on your yummy diet, Penny!
We hope the babywipes help you out!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...

Hsin-Yi, I totally agree with you about a raw diet. For most of her life Penny was on a raw, or at least, natural, diet. I don't know how we let ourselves be persuaded to try the commercial one!

Unfortunately I don't know any holistic vets, but maybe someone who reads your comment, or someone I meet in the "real" doggy world might be able to recommend one to me.

I think the skin specialist might lean towards a raw diet. I'll talk to her in more detail next time we go. It was just that there was such a lot to listen to and absorb on this first visit.

Thanks for your concern!

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, thanks for that! Penny and I are so glad to be eating natural stuff once again!