Skin Allergies in Dogs & Our Charlie Boy

Skin Allergies in Dogs

Skin problems and allergies in dogs seem to be a prominent issue, affected many of our beloved pets with no clear explanation or reasoning behind why they happen. Our vets don’t seem to help either, giving us one-word explanations “allergies” like that really explains anything! They put our dogs on various medications that suppress the initial issue yet doing only harm in the long run. Our dog Charlie (9 years old) has been struggling with major hair loss and itchy skin for about two years, with no real answers provided to us despite the various vets we visited over the last two years. The white fur on his paws turned brown from constant licking, the sides of his body would bleed from scratching, and the hair loss happened so gradually we barely noticed until his pink skin started to become more prominent than his white fur. The vets provided us with a chemical shampoo and pills to take internally, yet after just a bit of research on the medication, I conducted that this was going to harm Charlie in the end. What I wanted was a reason why this was happening, not just a simple pill to suppress the issues.

Skin Allergies in Dogs
As you guys can see here, Charlie’s fur was turning brown and he was looking quite unhealthy.
I felt disappointed in both the vets and myself as a dog mom, feeling like I should have done something more, something that would help my little guy feel better. Yet, Charlie has been on a homemade diet for most of his life with the abundant amount of fish, veggies, fresh meat, and only a small amount of grains. His diet was consistently complemented with various supplements, fish oils, enzymes, and antioxidants. I felt like such a bad mother for not knowing what to do, disappointed that my only option seemed to be pointed at harmful conventional drugs. So, I refused and continued searching for alternative solutions, both online and from the nearby holistic vets in our area.


We decided to make an appointment with a holistic vet called The Whole Pet Vet in Los Gatos, paying a good sum of money for an initial appointment ($250 dollars for a one-hour consultation). I was skeptical but running out of options, I felt like this was my only choice. The one-hour consultation included a discussion with a holistic vet after we have provided them Charlie’s medical history, his diet, supplements, etc. One thing that was included in this report was Charlie’s seizure meds. Charlie first had his small seizure when he was only eight weeks old, not having another one until he turned seven. That year, he had a cluster of seizures (about six) within a 12 hour period and was taken to the emergency vet and put on seizure meds.

Almost immediately our holistic vet has made a connection between the seizure meds that we started two years ago and the falling out of the hair that started at about the same time. It was like the light was finally turned on and I was simply amazed that I didn’t connect the two occurrences before. The vet explained that many conventional medications have severe side effects, like the inflammation within Charlie’s body that was causing hair loss.  Because Charlie’s seizures were light and didn’t occur often, we were able to put him on a supplement called Bu Xue Xi Feng and take him off his seizure medication after about 2 months.

Skin Allergies in Dogs
Just after a few months of new supplements, extra salmon oil, and probiotics, Charlie was feeling and looking better!

In addition, to treat Charlie’s allergy symptoms from the inside out, we started doing the following: 

1. Increasing Charlie’s salmon oil intake and putting in as much into his food as we could without him getting an upset tummy. Salmon oil helps fight the inflammation in the body and helped Charlie feel better faster. We doubled his usual dose for about three months.

2. Adding daily probiotics into his diet. Often times, harsh drugs like seizure meds help contribute to something called the leaky gut syndrome in dogs which allows substances to leak into the bloodstream and cause inflammation. Probiotics help replenish the good bacteria in the gut.

3. Thirdly, we limited all the Yang (hot) foods from Charlie’s diet as they helped promote the inflammation. Feeding Charlie only neutral and Ying (cold) foods helped the inflammation subside and he stopped rubbing his head against the carpet after dinner (a clear indication of food intolerance).

Here are some more tips on allergies in dogs:
  • Allergies have many underlying factors such as genetics, deficient diet, fleas, food, disorders and even conventional veterinary medicine.
  • When treating allergies or skin disorders in dogs, it is important that skin is not treated in isolation. In many cases, skin lesion is considered an attempt by the body to discharge toxic agents.
  • Holistic methods of treatment take much longer than traditional veterinary medicine. It can take 3 months or more to see real results so don’t give up!
Skin Allergies in Dogs
Charlie on Christmas, 2016.
And as always, we are not vets and are offering our advice based on our experience and research. Please feel free to ask as questions or leave comments about your own doggies 🙂

About Ecohug

Welcome to our Ecohug Blog! When we are not managing our online store, Ecohug, you can find us here, blogging about our favorite topics on dog health, nutrition and posting recipes, product reviews and much more! We hope you enjoy! xoxo Charlie, Lisa and Maddie.

15 Responses

  1. I am so happy to hear that Charlie is doing better. We have gone the holistic route with Nugget and really find that it is a much better way for her. We make her food as well, she has salmon oil and probiotics along with a Chinese herb Si Miao San to help with her allergies. We have even talked about acupuncture but Nugget is to excited at the vet to sit still so she gets massage instead:)
    Nugget was so full of pain meds and every other med and she is only just turning 2, we just couldn’t continue to load her with pills when she is only a puppy and the pills were only covering her problems, they were never resolved.
    Seeing a holistic vet has been the best thing for Nugget, yes it does take longer but you are healing from the inside out, so the first remedy, herb, tincture etc might not work and you have to try again but I find that naturally is best for Nugget’s health:) A great website for holistic care is they have fantastic articles.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charlie is so cute! Glad he is doing better. We don’t have any holisitc vets in my area. Tippy does have some food allergies, I think. I am trying grain free food and she seems to be doing some better. Since I just started this at Christmas, I’m trying to not rush results.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. mandy

    I’m so glad you stopped by my blog so I could find yours. I’m preparing to adopt a little dog who was abused and just had her eyes removed. She’s recovering and then I’ll start working on teaching her to maneuver in her new world. I think your blog will be a good resource!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I got lucky with Liezel in that regard…she will eat anything (except her monthly heart worm preventative). I pour a dash of ACV in her food and there is no slow down in her consumption.
        I use coconut oil as a moisturizer and have to get dressed before Liezel gets to me! She loves it, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Fascinating info here! I’ve not heard of this TCM formulation but will check into it further as would prefer less synthetic drug remedies. Elsa has had seizures since shortly after being rescued in September. She’s been on Phenobarb with CBD oil and has been seizure free since October. The vet said if her blood levels stay constant we may be able to reduce the Pb and go with the CBD oil since it isn’t toxic to the liver like the Pb. Glad your little fella is improving. He’s adorable and looks like a cute baby wookie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s