I'll try to be brief!
I have a nearly 3-year-old Shih Tzu who has suffered from what appears to be allergies since we brought her home at 10-weeks-old. We have spent thousands in resulting vet bills (allergies have caused bladder and ear infections, which we seem to have under control after eliminating sweet potatoes from her diet) and have seen little if any relief. We recently began a raw food diet (costing $80/month but worth it if we can help her). She is also on fish oil, Benadryl at night, pro-biotics and vitamin E supplements. In addition, I have medicated shampoos and conditioners that give her temporary relief, but they don't last long. The frustrating part is that things start to work in the beginning but after time, she seems to just go back to the way she was before.
Here are my questions:
1. Is there a type of fish oil that is best for treating allergies in dogs, particularly, Shih Tzus? Is salmon oil better than the sardine/anchovy/mackerel combo, or does it make any difference at all?
2. After nearly 3 years (my dog's entire life so far) of dealing with allergies and trying different foods, we have finally placed her on an all raw diet with pro-biotic supplements (to allegedly help boost her immune system within her intestines). I expected this to take about a month. After week 1, the whites of her eyes were finally white (rather than red), her eyes were moist and the scratching seemed to be slightly better. By week two, she was sleeping through the night without Benadryl. "Woo hoo!" I thought. "We're finally making progress." Wrong. Now that we are at the end of week two, we are having a massive flare-up of incessant scratching, more skin flakes than she's ever had in her life and her eyes are getting red again. She is so miserable that she keeps thinking that things are touching her and she'll jump when all it is is another itch. I feel so terribly sorry for her! My question is, is it normal for a dog to get worse before they get better once they begin an all-raw diet?
While it is obvious that she has a sweet potato allergy, I am beginning to think that this is more than just a food allergy.
Any kind of help/advice would be immensely appreciated!!