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Old 01-29-2011, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know what to do about this dog anymore :(  I took him in because he had medical issues that weren't being addressed properly.  He has had constant ear infections for years and has recently lost a lot of hair of his sides.  He has been extremely itchy since around the time the ear infections started.  So I took him to the vet where they also discovered his anal glands were extremely plugged an infected.  The vet prescribed antibiotics, told me to give him fish oil and put him on a fish based food ( I gave him Taste of the Wild).  His thryoid levels also came back borderline low so he is on meds for them but I am thinking that he doesn't have a thyriod issue but it was the infections that were stressing it and causing the levels to be slghtly low. 

 

Fast forward to now.  I switched him to a raw diet last month and he is still taking thyriod meds and fish oil.  And he is still losing hair, extremely itchy and his ears are all pink inside.  I am 99% sure they are infected again.  His terrible smell is also starting to slowly come back.  What am I missing?  What do I do?  I can take him back to the vet for the infections but what about the itchiness and hair loss?  I feel so sad.  This is so hard.  The vet wants to put him on steroids that i've already tried. 

 

Does anyone have advice? 


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Old 01-30-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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I was about to suggest a low grain or grain free diet (as the ears may be yeasty) for him.  My dog is prone to ear infections, and switching diets really helped.  Get some probiotics into him if you can for the antibiotics.  

 

The other thing I would recommend if the dog will allow it is a contraption that holds his ears up.  His ears need to dry up and breath to get better.  Even flopping the ears open when he sleeps will help.  try trimming any hair near the ears to allow for better ventillation.

 

Have they checked for bugs of some sort?  mites or something else?  

 

Good luck

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Old 01-30-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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How awful.  It certainly sounds like an allergy issue which can be quite miserable, I know from experience.  I'm a big believer in a raw diet, but there can be environmental causes for allergies also - is that something you've tried to test for?  In our case it's seasonal allergies.  Also, I would try limiting the foods you are giving to do sort of an elimination diet.  Certainly no grains or veggies, but I would even limit it to one or two proteins for a few weeks at a time to see if you can find what works best.

 

How much fish oil are you giving?  And how much does he weigh?  I'd go to the max dosage as it's a natural anti-inflammatory.  That would be 300 mg of combined EPA/DHA per 10 lbs of body weight.

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Old 01-31-2011, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I was about to suggest a low grain or grain free diet (as the ears may be yeasty) for him.  My dog is prone to ear infections, and switching diets really helped.  Get some probiotics into him if you can for the antibiotics.  

 

The other thing I would recommend if the dog will allow it is a contraption that holds his ears up.  His ears need to dry up and breath to get better.  Even flopping the ears open when he sleeps will help.  try trimming any hair near the ears to allow for better ventillation.

 

Have they checked for bugs of some sort?  mites or something else?  

 

Good luck


He gets absolutely no grains at all.  And I don't think it is yeast because it cleared up completely with the antibioitics.  He literally has constant ear infections unless he is on an antibiotic.  He has been checked for bugs and mites.  He's sees two different vets (eyesroll.gif)  and one thinks it is a food allergy and the other thinks it hypothyroid.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola_ View Post

How awful.  It certainly sounds like an allergy issue which can be quite miserable, I know from experience.  I'm a big believer in a raw diet, but there can be environmental causes for allergies also - is that something you've tried to test for?  In our case it's seasonal allergies.  Also, I would try limiting the foods you are giving to do sort of an elimination diet.  Certainly no grains or veggies, but I would even limit it to one or two proteins for a few weeks at a time to see if you can find what works best.

 

How much fish oil are you giving?  And how much does he weigh?  I'd go to the max dosage as it's a natural anti-inflammatory.  That would be 300 mg of combined EPA/DHA per 10 lbs of body weight.



The one thing he hasn't been tested for is an environmental allergy.   We are going back to the vet on Thursday and I guess that will be the next step. 

 

As for the elimination diet, I guess I didn't really think he would be allergic to anything on a raw food diet...I will try that though.  Thank you.

 

I have been giving him way too much fish oil.  About double the maximum dose you mentioned.  I didn't even realize until I looked it up to tell yo how much I was giving him.  I will start giving him the right amount.  He weighs 65lbs.

 

I guess I am looking at putting him on a permanent antibioitic.

 

 

Please don't flame me for this part.  I am having a really hard time spending this amount of money on a ten year old dog that I don't even really want :(  I know that is terrible but it is so much time and work and money that we should be putting towards bills.  It is a huge rift between DH and I because he hates dogs and thinks I should just get rid of him, which I will not do.  But the poor dog is miserable so I can't leave him like he is either.  I feel like such a terrible person right now but I don't even want this dog.  Don't worry though, he is very well treated.  Thanks for listening.


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Old 01-31-2011, 07:49 AM
 
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The majority of food related allergies in dogs are protein based....not grain based.  There are also environmental allergies.  Where is the hairloss and is it the same on both sides?  Oh....and cleaning ears too often can exacerbate the problem but throwing off ph balance and removing the natural oils which in turn causes the body to produce too much.


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Old 01-31-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Dogs that have a compromised immune system (probably vaccine/chemically induced) even if they are on a clean raw diet (good for you for doing this) can still have these issues. Raw is not a miracle fix when the issue is chronic, but given time it will improve. Homeopathy would likely assist the healing process, if you are willing to spend some money on that.


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Old 01-31-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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A food allergy is still a possibility. many dogs are allergic to chicken, for instance, or beef. Good luck!
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Actually, the vast majority of dogs are not allergic to raw protein sources.  I know many many dogs that could not handle any cooked chicken, in kibble or homecooked, but are thriving on raw, including chicken.  That does not mean it never happens however, so it could be the case.  A month may is not that long of a time for all the toxins to clear out either.  What is he getting for his diet?  Are you doing prey model and just using meat, bone, and organs or are you adding other things and supplements?


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Old 01-31-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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Isn't there a thread on here about the blue cleaning stuff for dog's ears?

 

My lab had horrible ear infections and in reading about that I read about trying a vinegar/water mix first.  I did and that cleared up his ears in about 2 weeks.  Just throwing it out there.

I'm sorry you are going through all this.  :(

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Old 02-01-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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Something else to consider is whether the meat you are feeding has been enhanced.  For example with poultry it can be difficult to find sources that don't have this.  One of my dogs is sensitive to chicken and gets itchy if she gets it more than 2 times per week.  To get around this you can seek out un-enhanced poultry (it's also sometimes in pork) or just use other meats that are less likely to have it.

 

Good point about the power blue ear cleaner - here is the link to the recipe:

http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/Adobe/Blue%20Power%20Ear%20Treatment.pdf

(warning: it's a PDF file)

You can get all the ingredients in your pharmacy and they're not expensive either.  At my pharmacy they didn't have the gentian violet in stock but I asked the pharmacist and they were able to order it for me.

 

I also use a vinegar rinse (50/50 ratio) for regular ear maintenance (not squirted in the ear, usually just on a cotton ball and I use that to wipe in the ear), but it may be better to get the infection under control first and then use this to try and keep them clean.  Also if he's been scratching his ears a lot and they are cut/bleeding the vinegar may sting.

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Old 02-03-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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I would look into flea allergy.  Growing up we had a lab like this and tried every diet you could imagine, steroids, benadryl, abx, etc.  He would get somewhat better in the winter and horrible in the summer. Final dx- flea bite allergy.  Literally one bite would set off an itch attack so severe he had to wear shirts to keep him from chewing at raw skin.   Unfortunately back then there were no good flea treatments like there are now- baths, flea collars, that was it.  I think frontline would've changed the quality of that poor dogs life so much.

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Old 02-03-2011, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post

Actually, the vast majority of dogs are not allergic to raw protein sources.  I know many many dogs that could not handle any cooked chicken, in kibble or homecooked, but are thriving on raw, including chicken.  That does not mean it never happens however, so it could be the case.  A month may is not that long of a time for all the toxins to clear out either.  What is he getting for his diet?  Are you doing prey model and just using meat, bone, and organs or are you adding other things and supplements?


We are doing prey model.  I just wanted to have a clean slate to try and figure this out...
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post

Isn't there a thread on here about the blue cleaning stuff for dog's ears?

 

My lab had horrible ear infections and in reading about that I read about trying a vinegar/water mix first.  I did and that cleared up his ears in about 2 weeks.  Just throwing it out there.

I'm sorry you are going through all this.  :(



 Thank you for this.  I am thinking it is not a matter of keeping his ears clean though because of all the other issues mixed in.  There is an underlying problem causing all this.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by plantnerd View Post

I would look into flea allergy.  Growing up we had a lab like this and tried every diet you could imagine, steroids, benadryl, abx, etc.  He would get somewhat better in the winter and horrible in the summer. Final dx- flea bite allergy.  Literally one bite would set off an itch attack so severe he had to wear shirts to keep him from chewing at raw skin.   Unfortunately back then there were no good flea treatments like there are now- baths, flea collars, that was it.  I think frontline would've changed the quality of that poor dogs life so much.



He definitely doesn't have fleas.  He was always treated for fleas and the only time he is better is when he is on huge doses of antibiotics.

 
 

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Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post

The majority of food related allergies in dogs are protein based....not grain based.  There are also environmental allergies.  Where is the hairloss and is it the same on both sides?  Oh....and cleaning ears too often can exacerbate the problem but throwing off ph balance and removing the natural oils which in turn causes the body to produce too much.


The hair loss is on his flank.  And yes it is the same on both sides.  Before the raw food he was on this food:

 

http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/products/dogs/dry_food/pacific_stream_canine_formula/ 

 

and it didn't help.


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Old 02-03-2011, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, THANK YOU everyone for replying to me!  I appreciate it so much!


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Old 02-03-2011, 12:09 PM
 
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Quote:


The hair loss is on his flank.  And yes it is the same on both sides.  Before the raw food he was on this food:

 

http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/products/dogs/dry_food/pacific_stream_canine_formula/ 

 

and it didn't help.



There is a disease called Cushings that also presents with hairloss and coat issues similar to this http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1597&aid=416 


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Old 02-03-2011, 04:03 PM
 
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My first dog had the exact same symptoms and at first we suspected all kinds of different stuff , from allergies to mites to... you name it . The last thing we thought of , was yeast infection, since her ear infections always cleared up with antibiotics , but in the end , that´s what it was . So we put a cup of plain yoghurt in her food every day (she was a big dog) and gave her bath with a shampoo with ingredients to balance the ph level of the skin , sorry can´t remember the name . That , plus a very careful diet , especially without anything containing yeast , really worked well .

We tried the steroids at first , but even though it seemed to better symptoms at first , they always came back stronger and worse than before , so we stopped that .


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Old 02-03-2011, 04:32 PM
 
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My dog has a similiar issue, but not as bad. Food changes didn't help at all, only baths with medicated shampoo take the edge off his skin issues... we hoped it was an outdoor allergy and would go away with winter. No luck.. we now have to decide if its worth the money to test for indoor allergies... I hear it costs quite a bit.


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Old 02-05-2011, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we saw the vet yesterday.  Got some stuff for his ears and talked about allergy testing. We are going to try a hypoallergenic food.  I think if that doesn't work along with some of the other info on this thread I will put him on some sort of steriod.  I don't really see any other options.

 

I am not sure if I mentioned but I took this dog from a family member because his medical needs weren't being addressed.  This person is really involved and agreed to pay for everything if I would keep the dog.  Obviously I am pretty happy about this :)
 

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Originally Posted by tonttu View Post

My first dog had the exact same symptoms and at first we suspected all kinds of different stuff , from allergies to mites to... you name it . The last thing we thought of , was yeast infection, since her ear infections always cleared up with antibiotics , but in the end , that´s what it was . So we put a cup of plain yoghurt in her food every day (she was a big dog) and gave her bath with a shampoo with ingredients to balance the ph level of the skin , sorry can´t remember the name . That , plus a very careful diet , especially without anything containing yeast , really worked well .

We tried the steroids at first , but even though it seemed to better symptoms at first , they always came back stronger and worse than before , so we stopped that .


I will look into this.  What kind of shampoo would I look for?  What food would I avoid?  We are trying a hypoallergenic food now...



Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8boarder15 View Post

My dog has a similiar issue, but not as bad. Food changes didn't help at all, only baths with medicated shampoo take the edge off his skin issues... we hoped it was an outdoor allergy and would go away with winter. No luck.. we now have to decide if its worth the money to test for indoor allergies... I hear it costs quite a bit.



It will cost me $500 to test for food and environmenal allergies.  That is so crazy.  And apparently it is common for dogs to be allergic to many things.  My vet showed me a dgo's testing results yesterday and it was allergic to over thirty things, some food and some environmental.  So I wonder what would be the point of the testing in that case?  You can't avoid them all anyway, only treat them.  I must say I am really feeling for the mamas with LOs that have allergies, let alone our dogs :(

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by lonegirl View Post



Quote:


The hair loss is on his flank.  And yes it is the same on both sides.  Before the raw food he was on this food:

 

http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/products/dogs/dry_food/pacific_stream_canine_formula/ 

 

and it didn't help.



There is a disease called Cushings that also presents with hairloss and coat issues similar to this http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1597&aid=416 



I looked it up and he doesn't have any of the other symptoms.  I will mention it to the vet just in case though.  Thank you.


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Old 02-06-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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Dog food , we used a good quality premium brand , I don´t know , if i can post the name publicly , but I can send it to you as PM . We used a shampoo , that was for balancig the ph-level of the skin and moisterizing .

One thing , we had a lot of success with as well , was the yoghurt , plain , unflavored without any additives like gelatin or so , and when we didn´t give her any for a few days , we noticed the symptoms coming back right away .

I have to say though , that it was NEVER a 100% okay , but it really improved her quality of life , and she didn´t smell anymore and she just seemed like she was feeling a lot better , too .


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