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Shih Tzu - Allergies, Food and Fish Oil

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!!
5 Responses
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1696489 tn?1370821974
Some dogs can become 'immune' to the remedies we give them.  Perhaps that is what is happening with your dog.  I feel sorry for her, too, as it must be awful to feel like that.  You say you have shampoos that help.  Ask your vet how often you can bathe her with these.  Also ask about possible immunity to remedies.  Blessings for you and your dog - Blu
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462827 tn?1333168952
Welcome to the forum.....Yes, detox symptoms DO occur when you change to a healthier lifestyle......It also depends on what foods have been fed in the past & for how long...The lower quality of food, the larger the Detoxification....

So yes, symptoms get worse before they get better......Normally, it's 1 month for each year of age......So, in your girl's case, 3 months to transition would not be unheard of!

Kidney problems (Bladder Infections) are a result of DRY FOOD! Well, and over vaccinating, but that's another story! Without moisture, organs will start having problems....Has she always eaten a dry diet?

Next, what you describe here: "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!" is CLASSIC of a Flea Bite or Anal sac/gland problems, without a doubt!!!!

What food are you feeding (RAW)? There are other raw resources that wouldn't cost as much as you have quoted.....I personally prefer dehydrated raw...Have you checked out "The Honest Kitchen" foods? At least visit their webpage and read their information......You won't be sorry! Please, let me know what you think....Karla
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462827 tn?1333168952
Opps....I forgot something: I like the combo oils the best!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for the warm welcome!!

I am feeding Nature's Variety medallion frozen raw food. I have given her the freeze-dried medallions (Stella and Chewy's) but they are so expensive so I started buying the frozen instead!

Up until this point, she has been on a combination of Natural Balance dry and canned food as well as Nature's Variety wet and dry food. Like I mentioned in my original post, she is terribly allergic to sweet potatoes, I suspect grains and I am not sure what else!

Poor dog! I am glad to know that the detox symptoms are normal. Hopefully things will get better for her soon. Thanks for the input on the fish oil!!

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention - we looked into Honest kitchen and the options at my retailer all contained sweet potatoes or other potatoes. :(
Helpful - 0
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