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Scratch Scratch. Bite Bite. Gnaw Gnaw. Lick Lick.
How many of you watch your beloved dog chronically scratch, bite, gnaw and lick all day? It’s heart breaking. How many take our beloved to the vet for cortisone shots, tablet, antibiotics or all of the above, only to find it is a temporary fix and the problem is getting worse?
Deep down we know the use of cortisone and antibiotics is not a ideal for our pets, but most feel there isn’t any other option. Luckily there are many other options and they don’t require expensive allergy tests or allergies shots.
Firstly we need to understand the allergy. Allergies can be air borne or food related. What many don’t realize is it can also be what your pets sleeps, plays or walks on. I have seen every type of allergy come through my clinic. Finding out which is the problem is the trick. What happens when you do find the offending allergen and your dog keeps itching? Is there another allergy? Have we discovered the correct allergen? Was an allergen the problem in the first place? Is stress involved?
Treating an itchy dog isn’t an easy task as no two dogs are the same. When a dog has suffered with allergy symptoms for a long period of time and has had multiple courses of antibiotics and cortisone, other complications can begin to arise.
The first step to treating a dog with itchy skin is to have a close look at their diet. I very rarely have dogs on natural diets come in with skin problems. 99% of my itchy patients are on processed dog food. A natural diet does not consist of packaged food with the word natural or holistic on it. This includes Supercoats “natural” food, Nature’s Gift and Eagle Pack amongst a few. If it doesn’t look like real food, than it isn’t.
A true natural diet consists of real “raw” meat and “blended” raw or semi cooked fruit and vegetables. Always avoid beef and lamb as these meats can cause further irritation. Meats I recommend are kangaroo, chicken, rabbit, pork (must be frozen for 2 weeks before eating) and turkey. Vegetables: Beans, silver beet, carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, celery, broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, bean sprouts, capsicum, spinach and sweet potato *All green vegetables *No tomato, onion, leeks, white potatoes. Good Fruit: Banana, apple, pear and seasonal fruits *No citrus AND NO RICE OR PASTA! Dogs require only 5% carbohydrate in their diets. They obtain their energy requirements from animal fat (which should be raw). Rice, pasta and processed dog foods are too high in carbohydrates. These foods not only cause obesity and metabolic disorders but contribute to skin diseases.
For a natural diet to be successful, it is important to add the correct nutrients. Omega 3, 6, & 9 is of extreme importance. Most will say I’ve tried fish oil capsules and flax oil but it didn’t work. Omega oils must be fed for 4 weeks before it begins to absorb in the body at full capacity. Animals with any form of illness must take Omega Oil in therapeutic doses. This means larger than the standard dose advised on the packaging. Most over the counter Omega oils have very low potencies and some even at large doses may not be enough. We must choose the correct Omega Oil blend for our dogs and feed the correct doses. I will prescribe approximately 1 tablespoon per 10 kilo’s of body weight of Natural Animal Solutions Omega 3, 6 & 9 for Dogs. I then recommend adding a complete multivitamin and multi-mineral. I use DigestaVite Plus. My final recommendation is to add a high potency Vitamin C with antioxidants. A good vitamin C works as a natural antihistamine. Dogs suffering with allergies will benefit significantly from Vitamin C as it will reduce their excessive histamine levels, reducing their itching.
From experience most itchy dogs and cats will significantly improve on a natural diet and the correct supplementation. More serious cases will need further assistance and guidance from an animal naturopath that is able to prescribe naturopathic medications.
Further assistance and information for your dog is available at Natural Animal Solutions.