|Barked: Sat Dec 19, '09 8:30am PST |
|My Westie Pearl has had allergies since she was 5 (she's 8 now). My vet said if it was on the paws its atopical and she may be allergic to an environmental element or parasite, such as carpet, floor cleaners, dust mites, grass, certain weeds, pollen, etc). If its ear or rear its usually a food allergy. Nothing is certain, and it takes lots of work to figure it out. Pearl at first just had ear and feet itching. I had a blood test for allergies and it came up with 'she's allergic to everything' but gave me a list of those items she is least allergic to, so thats where I started. I know in June she is allergic to dandelions and birch tree pollen. So, I make sure and rinse her feet after every walk, and shampoo them with Medicated Hypoallergenic Tar soap (found at Petco). That stops that. I use Oatmeal shampoo for the body about once a month. For the ears (and now for her tummy rash which we think is Malassezia dermititis) I stopped feeding her anything with corn, lamb, brown rice, venison, duck, and turkey and sweet potatoes (high allergic reaction those) and now I feed her Solid Gold Holistic (with barley, oatmeal, salmon/fish, potatoes) and a dried low fat chicken strip. She is also happy with peanut butter biscuits and sometimes a can of Wellness 99% chicken can food. Her pink skin was turning black, so we are hoping this new diet (plus a Benadryl) will help her get through the tough times and eventually her skin will turn pink again.
Do not be discouraged into getting a Westie. These outbreaks are few and far between. They are wonderful dogs and companions. None of her siblings have the allergies (we just got lucky and chose 1 of 6 with the allergies).
There is also a 'Westie Diet' for those dogs not allergic to beef or rice. It can be found on the California Westie Rescue website. I haven't tried it yet, as I don't have the time right now to 'cook' her food and I'm not sure if she can take the 'beef' or rice.
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