They said I could have allergies. They asked my breeder who claimed he had no issues reported to him. So here is my journey to healthy skin, coat and ears.
I started itching my face so much that I broke the skin. I had my first steroid shot (kenalog) on September 26, 2013 Also started using Panalog ointment for the sores.
I got another shot and the doc said to stop eating any dry food with chicken in it so they started me on Lamaderm. I like the food and the itching has slowed down. Doc thinks the itching is because of a food allergy. Apparently lamb is easier on guys like me with sensitive skin.
Then in March I got REALLY sick. Couldn’t even stand up and pain everywhere. Just laid on my bed and Susan was so worried about me. It was a Sunday and Rick didn’t get home until late. He was really worried too. Finally got to see the doc at 2 pm on Monday and he said I had a bacterial infection. Not sure how it happened. Two shots of antibiotics and pills to take at home. Felt better fast, whew! But that had nothing to do with what I was eating.
Itching started up again so another cortisone shot for relief. Still on Lamaderm but maybe it’s something else that causes the itching?
I was back for another shot and treatment for an ear infection. They think my ear gets infected so I scratch it. Then I scratch another part of my body and spread the infection. I was a mess! Still on Lamaderm. They bought two bags because sometimes the vet’s supply is all out.
Bad ear infection and my paws itched too. Another steroid shot and pills for at home. Doc says I can have mozzarella cheese for a treat (yum!) and then when I stop licking and scratching I can try some new foods.
No doc visits for awhile, but now I’m licking and itching again. Maybe it’s not a food allergy?? Taking antibiotics at home and another steroid shot. Somewhere since last visit the doc stopped selling Lamaderm so they gave me new food. Always with lamb and maybe some other meat but no chicken. I know I liked the Candidae and Natural Balance brands but I was still itching and my ears were infected again.
We went on a long car trip and my skin was getting worse. Maybe it was the humidity in the east or allergies in the air and ground or maybe just curled up in the car for so long, but I just kept getting itchier. They stopped somewhere to get me a bath and used a different shampoo and that made it worse! They started putting a T-shirt on me so stop the scratching. It helped to calm me but as soon as they took it off, I started scratching again.
The skin condition worsened to something called seborrhea. Not sure it it was the food or the air or the environment or what. Another steroid shot, different pills (apoquel) and special shampoo (Sebozole) and prescription food (Hills ZD).
The shampoo treatment worked pretty quickly and the food was tasty but I did not like the pills. Susan and Rick looked up the side effects and didn’t like what she read, so she stopped giving them to me.
My skin was getting better and my hair was growing back where I scratched it raw. Rick took me on a walk when the weather got warmer and I went in Franz Lake. It was cold but I like to get wet. Shortly after that, I started licking the itchy skin on my belly and crotch. They didn’t like the sound of me licking, but I couldn’t help it! My skin turned black on my belly.
Back to the doc. I have a bacterial infection on my belly and I still have ear infections. So another steroid shot, pills and special surgical soap scrub for my belly. They wash me on my belly every day and about every three days all over my body with my special prescription soap.
Still on the ZD diet but I hear them complaining that it is really expensive. They tried some Natural Balance again and the itching came back. Then they went and got one more bag of ZD.
Inner ear infection just won’t go away! Another steroid shot and the doc showed them how to clean my ears with q-tips and then stick the panalog applicator way down deep into my ear. He also said I was a good candidate for “having my ear hairs plucked.” What? All this time and he never mentioned the hair in my ears!!
Rick easily plucked my ears (it felt pretty good!). He’s good at using the Q-tips too and the ointment goes in pretty easily too. They found some new food at the local pet store that is specifically for sensitive skin and I really like it. I hear them say it’s affordable too.
[pic to come]
They still do have a small supply of the ZD diet dog food. The idea is that if some food starts bothering me, they can go back to a couple of weeks of the ZD again as a baseline.
I have no skin itching and they still use the Sebozole when I get a bath (about once or twice a month.) Haven’t had to use the scrub on my belly after it cleared up. My ears itch every now and then but they are really good about keeping them clean and dry. I’m kind of enjoying our almost daily ear inspections and cleaning. They will put in some Panalog as soon as there is any indication of a problem arising.
I am now four and a half years old and I feel like my skin, ears and coat are finally healthy.
Note: many of the items mentioned here can be found on Chewy.com. Great customer service and fast delivery!