Food vs skin vs medication UPDATE

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Food vs skin vs medication UPDATE

Postby orhunter » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:55 pm

Strange dog problem.... Lets go back to last September and she has been on a low fat diet since coming down with Pancreatitis. It started out with fleas, really bad this year. Tried the usual treatments with mixed results. Lots of scratching, chewing, itching, would get to the point she would literally fall down with her skin crawling. Drunken sailor behavior. This got so bad, I took her to the vet thinking her hips and other body parts were really starting to bother her. She's 13 now. Dr. put her on Meloxicam. It seemed to sort of help the drunken sailor thing but not completely. She started getting skin lesions that I thought were flea bites, some may have been. Still scratching, chewing, licking, itching. Tried treating the skin lesions with Cortisone cream and Neosporin, mixed results. Thought maybe she was reacting to flea treatment? She no longer has fleas so hasn't had any treatment in at least two months. I took her off the Meloxicam as I thought she may have had an allergic reaction to the stuff and also stopped feeding one of the foods she'd been getting. I was mixing three different foods just to give her variety. The visible skin lesions went away but the scratching, chewing, licking, skin crawling, drunken sailor syndrome, remained. Almost at times appears like a neurological issue or balance. She seems to do fine going in a straight line on level ground but anything else makes her very unsteady. When I took her off the Meloxicam, I put her on 1/2 half Aspirin with her breakfast and I've been giving her a Benadryl with breakfast and dinner and vitamin A with dinner. This seemed to help with her mobility but far from a cure. I need to get her off the Aspirin and Benadryl. A few days ago, I tried giving her the same three food mixture she'd been on and the skin problem appeared to get worse, could be my imagination. We're all aware of the involuntary kicking a dog will do when we scratch them vigorously in just the right spot. Just touching her body can make her go into one of these spasms and so does her own chewing. I can see her skin crawl just by touching her and she will fall down. She's gotten what appears to be weakness in her limbs to the point of getting up after lying down is a struggle and she hasn't been able to jump up on the bed for a few weeks. Stairs have been a challenge for quite some time. Yesterday evening, I started her on a bland, home made diet, of ground chicken, brown rice, carrots, tomatoes. I'm out of Benadryl so she didn't get one with her bland breakfast this morning.

Right now, she's up on the bed, all on her own, sleeping on my pillow.

Her normal diet other than the dog food includes...
2 hard boiled eggs per day.
Yogurt
2 fish oil capsules.
Vitamin A, which I would like to discontinue when her skin clears up.

Question: What commercial food ingredients are most likely to cause problems in dogs?

The three commercial foods I've been feeding.

Merrick, Grain Free, Healthy Weight, 38384. She's been getting this for a long time, before the recent issues appeared.
Canidae, Grain Free, Pure Elements, Limited ingredient diet, 01571. More recently.
Nutro Lite, 11618. I suspect this is really bad stuff?

Help please, I can't stand to see my dog this way.
Last edited by orhunter on Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Food vs skin vs medication

Postby Urban_Redneck » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:05 pm

Poor pooch :(

Too much dairy can cause problems, I was told to limit yogurt to 1 tablespoon per feeding. I've eliminated dairy altogether(for the dog) in favor of green tripe. It's much easier for the dog to digest raw eggs.

That's all I have.
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Re: Food vs skin vs medication

Postby Misskiwi67 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:13 am

I can't think of any cause of the itching and general weakness that go together. I don't think this will be an easy fix, and your veterinarian is far more likely to be of assistance than anyone on the forum, including me.

Aspirin is FAR more likely to cause stomach ulcers than meloxicam. If it wasn't as effective, get her off aspirin and onto a safer anti-inflammatory. A new product was released a couple weeks ago, a completely different drug class. Drug name Galliprant, might be an option.

Ask your vet for a trial of Apoquel. It's a new drug that blocks allergy related itch at the receptor level, a miracle drug with very few side effects for dogs with allergies.

Check for or treat for fleas if she's not on a preventative. A single flea on a dog who's never had them will go nuts.
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Re: Food vs skin vs medication

Postby orhunter » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:47 am

She's doing lots better.

No medication, the only supplement is the fish oil. She running, moving better than she has in a long time, skin is quieting down, much more relaxed, happy. She's much stronger and more agile but still has a ways to go. As old as she is, that may not be possible? Will continue with the semi-bland diet till what I made is gone then get her gradually back on real dog food. I will not be feeding her any more Nutro.
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Re: Food vs skin vs medication

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:25 pm

Wow, sounds like a weird reaction then. Glad to hear she's feeling better.
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Re: Food vs skin vs medication

Postby Doc E » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:49 pm

When supplementing with Fish Oil, be sure to give enough Vit E to protect the 'double bond' in the omegas from oxidizing (peroxidizing).
Ideally that would be 400 iu Vit E per 1000 to 1500 mg of fish oil.
The best fish oil is 2 parts of EPA to 1 part DHA.

/.
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Re: Food vs skin vs medication

Postby orhunter » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:10 pm

Thanks Doc:

That's the oil I give puppies. Figured the regular stuff was okay for adults. I'll real the label and see what the balance is, if any. Thanks for the Vit. E tip.

MissK: To focus on anything other than her skin would have been going in the wrong direction. There were so many things going on at the onset that a person had to take each one and think about it. As each item was removed and the condition remained, a focus could be determined and tested. Amazing what a dog eats can have the effect it does.

I still intend to go to the vet and get her a little joint help, something that does what it's intended to do.
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Re: Food vs skin vs medication UPDATE

Postby orhunter » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:56 pm

Conclusions:

Not everything that appears to be a flea infestation, is. Fleas we present a time or two but had nothing to do with the underlying problem.

Food we all think is great stuff because it is grain free, costs a bunch or anything else on the label that makes it appears like, "great stuff," isn't for every dog.

Sometimes the problem ingredient cannot be identified if it isn't one of the usual suspects. Right now, I'm looking at the protein source as the culprit. No chicken, turkey, beef.

I put her on Cephalexin to clear up the skin infections which had a noticeable effect by the next day. For the allergy, Apoquel twice a day for two weeks now once a day. Her skin appeared just fine within a week and her other physical symptoms as well. She's back to moving normally, including running, jumping, not showing here 13+ years. I think some symptoms were internal and not obvious till they went away. Her body has taken on a more normal appearance in small ways. No more licking, scratching.

Her fat restricted diet due to Pancreatitis has limited what she can be fed. I've been forced to increase her fat intake due to the limited number of low fat foods available and she appears to be handling them well. Her fat intake is in the 14% range but she has gotten as much as 18% with no ill effects.

If anyone has food recommendations I should look into, please share.

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Re: Food vs skin vs medication UPDATE

Postby carramrod » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:18 pm

In an allergy issue we had a while back we were suggested an Iams food that was Kangaroo for the protein. At the time they said it was the go to food for trying to get rid of food allergies. I don't think it's made anymore though, but something to look for.

Good luck. Allergies are no fun.
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