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.
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.
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).
- 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!