by benzi on 27 February 2019 - 19:02
by Sunsilver on 21 March 2019 - 05:03
So, a follow up on this food.
Two weeks ago, I had a recheck with the vet, this time with the head of the practise. He said that since she was still itching on the Pro Plan food, and her ears were better after treatment with medication, we are not dealing with food allergies, but environmental allergies. He said there was no point in continuing with the hydrolized protein food once the current bag was done. He suggested putting her on a food that is for skin and coat problems. I've already spent over $2000 on vet bills in the last month, so I said I didn't want to do allergy testing, as it's very expensive. He recommended we treat the symptoms with a medication that contains both a low dose steroid and an antihistamine. It has done the trick and the itching has all but stopped.
When I took her in for the first visit, they found she'd lost a lot of weight since she was last seen in the fall, and suggested I feed her more. My fault: I cut her food back a lot during the winter because we haven't been training, and with the bad weather, moving, etc. she's had very little exercise. I did this to Star's rations, too, but her weight has stayed pretty much the same, as she's older and less active. Since the new food was both lower calorie and lower fat, I more than doubled Eska's food ration to help her gain weight.
Meanwhile, she's started the spring shed. I was looking at her against the bright light from the outside this morning, and for the first time this year, I could pretty much count ALL her ribs. What the heck??
I had made an appointment for my older dog for today to have a lick granuloma looked at, so I took Eska along and had her weighed.
In spite of the increase in food, she's lost another half a kilogram since her last visit!!
We are down to the last two cups of the hydrolized protein food, and I've already started to transition her back to the food she was on last fall: Natural Balance LID Lamb and Rice.
We won't be going back on the Pro Plan food. Ever. It's white and the nuggets are extremely light weight. It reminds me of puffed wheat - full of air. As I said before, it is entirely vegetable based - no meat ingredients at all. Yes, dogs are better able to digest plant products and starches than wolves, but I believe they are still primarily carnivores, and should be on a diet that is mostly meat based. It may work for some dogs, but I feel I am paying a very high premium price for a food that's seriously lacking in nutritional value.
by Sunsilver on 21 March 2019 - 06:03
As for what might be causing the itching, I'm leaning towards dry skin/dry air. She had similar problems last February, so it's definitely seasonal. I really can't think of anything else in the environment that might be causing it, and it's happened in two different houses now, so can't blame anything specific in the environment. Also, Star was starting to itch, too, but not as much as Eska.
Will increase humidity in the house in the winter, and continue with the salmon oil/omega 3 supplements, and see if that helps. Will also see if getting more outdoor time in the winter helps.
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