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What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message
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Member PageMember Page October 17 at 12:28
What is a good trial period?

Please advise. I have two sibling westies (brother & sister). They both itch regularly. The breeder swears they have never had allergy problems in any of their dogs. We took them to the dermatologist who seems to not know anymore than we do, Do they suffer from food or inhalant allergies or both? I have done alot of research reguarding different alternatives, such as adding primrose and other oils to thier diet. But how long does it take to know if it is working or not? They are already on a limited ingredient kibble (California Natural) and fresh vegetables (manly green beans & carrots. Any advise is greatly appreciated.

Jackie & Sammy
Member PageMember Page October 17 at 14:22
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

I have Sammy on Dream Coat, Missing Link & Vit. E, for his skin & coat. So far no Allergies. His food is Royale Canin, an Holistic food. I think I read somewhere that it takes "several" weeks for new stuff to kick in. How bad are the allergies?

Robin, Buda and Deeva
October 17 at 15:00
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

Thanks for your quick reply.
There allergies are bad enough that they are itching and licking and biting at their feet and hind quarters quite often. Deeva's poor forearms can get pretty red. I did see one flea on Buda and immediately applied Advantage to all the animals in the house. I thought they might be allergic to the grass, because when they came in from outside their paws were red. Now they are only allowed on the patio until I am sure its not the grass. Last week I cooked them a little bit of lean hamburger and added it to their bland kibble. I sprinkled some missing link on it and the next day they were scratching even more, almost constantly. I figured maybe they are allergic to beef and stopped that. I did give them some relief by rubbing bag balm on them last night. I am determined to find what is ailing them and find them some relief. I am a new mom and was not sure if I should expect instant results. I will do an internet search on the products you listed. Again Thank You.

Lynda and the Minkies
Member PageMember Page October 17 at 15:03
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

If the red's in their coat not their skin it's due to the licking or their being wet from the grass....nothing too awful. You really shouldn't mess about too much with diet.

Robin, Buda and Deeva
October 17 at 15:28
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

The red on Deeva's forearms is definately skin not the hair. They have not been allowed on the grass for weeks now. So if it's not the food what could it be? If I do introduce them to something new in their diet, it is a very small amount (maybe a tablespoon). They dont seem miserable yet, but I would like to nip this before it gets worse and they are going crazy. I would like to do the skin test, but it sounds so uncomfortable.
Lynda and the Minkies
Member PageMember Page October 17 at 15:01
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

Whatever you do, don't start messing with their diet if they're healthy and happy apart from the itching !!
The EP Oil takes around 2-3 weeks before you'll see a difference but it works wonders. Both my girls itched as puppies. I started them on this and never anymore problems. They're now 10 & 8 !!
Eve,Phoenix, Faith
Member PageMember Page October 17 at 16:01
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

Each Furface is different, Phoenix started to itch till she was biting her hair off on her legs. DR.Lee said it was something in the air and gave her Atarax, it helped some but I don't like pills, so I soon stopped them.
So out came the change of food to Eagle pack, mixed with cat or cod fish, fried in olive oil, Missing Link, and my one true love Baby Spinach chopped real fine.
The itching slowed down till I added Hamburger one night and I can't see how it made her itch so fast but the next day she was itching, really I think that might have been by chance but I have stopped the hamburger and I use fresh boiled lamb now with the fish.
I saw today her hair is starting to grow back in.
So who knows for sure what makes these little white furfaces tick.
Elliot's Kay
Member PageMember Page October 17 at 22:55
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

Elliot had problems last fall with mold spore allergies on his paws. The Vet said to give him 1000 mg Evening Primrose Oil/day for 2 weeks then back it off to 500 mg daily. At the same time I used Flax Seed Oil (Fish Oil is better but he eats enough fresh Salmon to get that) and would bathe his paws daily in an oatmeal shampoo plus after trips outside would spray them off with a vinegar/water rinse. His cleared up within a month with the exception of one place between one of his toes. That cleared up after his first trip into the Ocean water. He still takes the Oils and so far this year his paws are fine.

If he eats just 2 bites of beef, he'll break out in 2 - 4 little pimple type bumps that itch. Funny how he can have those beef marrow bones and it doesn't break him out or those Milk Bone Bone Marrow treats. Just something about steak meat.

Maybe you should check with your Vet to see if they can have something like Benedryl to relieve them while you work on finding the culprit that makes them itch. Could it be their shampoo? Have you ever considered either the BARF diet or home cooking? I home cook for mine so know exactly what they're eating plus can regulate the needed oils and vitamins.

Robin, Buda & Deeva
Member PageMember Page October 17 at 23:57
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

I have looked into the BARF diet, but the risks seem too high & I'm not comfortable making that decision at this time. As far as cooking for them, I do need to learn more about that. I have made them simple things like rice, oatmeal and boiled chicken. I need to get a book on home cooking, so as to not give them anything that may be considered toxic to dogs. Thank you for the advise. I have started them on 1000 mg of Evening of Primrose daily and will cut them back in two weeks. They are also taking Salmon oil and will substitute SeaMeal supplement instead of Missing Link due to its beef containts. I have ordered Dream Coat as well and Humalic Moisturizing Spray. I dont want to overwhelm their systems, so I will not use until the other things have had time to see if they are helping or not.
October 19 at 03:57
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

At Col P's when we have a dog that is itching themselves wild, we use Karen P's skin care regime..this has helped with dogs just starting the itchies to ones who have leather skins...(Snickers from last year - this year he has a wonderful coat).
you might also check for environmental problems - do you have wool rugs, a lot of our guys have trouble with that.
We also tend to use Nutro Natural or Chicken soup for the soul dog foods because they dont have the corn/wheat products in them. (and we cant put a foster on a BARF diet - not every adoptive home could handle that)
good luck

Karen P's Skin Care Regime
The Oregon Girlies...
Member PageMember Page October 19 at 10:07
Re: What is a good trial period? Reply to this Message

One flea can throw them into a frenzy, For every flea you see you can count on at least 10 more being around. It takes awhile to get it out of their system. Also what no one tells you here is that oils are not a cure all, If you have an allergic Westie you need to find the source of the problem. The oils will add the essential fatty acids they need for healthy skin, which in turn helps. But they won't prevent the allergin from affecting the dog. My Girlies tend to get itchy, I don't stray from their normal diet at all, They only get what I know they can eat safely plus their supplements. including oils.
We tend to think we are doing them a favor by giving them new foods when really we are only doing it for us. I hope you find a solution.
xxxBetty and the Girlies...
Robin, Buda & Deeva
Member PageMember Page October 19 at 17:18
Re: Thanks for the tips Reply to this Message

Thank you all for the tips and suggestions. I am happy to report that their itching as decreased significantly. They have been on the primrose for a week now and the hamburger must have worked its way out of their systems. They are once again content and happy, Thanks to you all.
November 19 at 03:59
Seems odd the Dermatologist has no clue.... Reply to this Message

My 2 were tested and after a food trial diet for 6 weeks it was decided that it was things like grasses and pollens etc that was the problem, these were shown in the test results. I got a whole list of things they are allergic to. I've always added E.Primrose Oil but never had any effect with my 2, not that it may not work for you.
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