In a previous post I talked about my Sasha girl and her allergies. I decided I was going to figure out her “allergy” problem. I decided that I was going to scrub the house from top to bottom and remove any trace of pollen or grass or whatever was making her so itchy and red. I washed her towels and rugs in hot water. I changed the furnace filter. I vacuumed and dusted until the house sparkled. I washed our bedding in hot water, all the draperies and furniture covers too. It was exhausting but nothing I did seemed to get her relief, if anything, she was getting worse. It was when I was sitting with her on Saturday that I noticed her whole body smelled like yeast, not just her ears. Ever since she was a pup her ears have smelled yeasty and require frequent cleaning. Also, she has always gotten a tiny rash under her armpit, just a little pinkish red spot that usually cleared up on its own. We brought up her stinky ears to two different vets. They responded by providing drops to clear up the “infection” in her ears which never really cleared it up. Her feet have always smelled like corn chips which I thought was just a normal dog smell (it’s not). I finally sat down and googled, “why does my dog smell like yeast”. What I found was an accurate description of what Sasha has been going through and yet the solution was so common sense, something I already knew from the book “It Starts With Food” yet I never made the connection. This fall when we thought she was having an allergic reaction to something environmental she was given a steroid and an antibiotic. This created the perfect storm for the naturally occurring yeast to get out of hand. The steroid lowered her immune system to stop the allergic response and the antibiotic killed the good gut bacteria that helps keep the yeast in check. Then she developed an allergy to the yeast which resulted in more clawing, gnawing and scratching.
This article was my A HA! moment. In order to fix my itchy, scratchy dog we needed to address her diet and remove all sugars. Yeast thrives on sugar so without removing it from her diet could not fix the issue. Do you know how hard it is to find a dog food without white potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, rice, corn or sugar? It is nearly impossible, nearly. We went to Petco because we needed some other supplies for the great yeast clean up of 2013. I thought while we were there we could look at different foods for her. I am sure the clerks we talked to think I am insane but I don’t care. My studying of “It Starts With Food” prepared me well so I knew exactly what I was or wasn’t looking for. They had no food that met the good food rules. Here in Racine County there is an excellent locally owned pet store called HavaHart Pets. There I discovered a raw dog food that met the good food rules and as a bonus it is locally made. Without Tucker’s Raw Frozen we would have to make her food ourselves and this is so much more convenient. Ingredients? Muscle Meat from Pork Chops and Pork Ribs, Bison Heart, Pumpkin, Marrow and Bone, Balanced Vitamin Premix formulated to AAFCO Standards (Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement) and that is it. She loves her new raw food diet and I love it because she is no longer scratching like a crack head and it looks like her rashy areas are getting under control.
In addition to the diet change we had to bathe her with a tea tree oil shampoo and a few times a day we spray the affected areas with a vinegar/hydrogen peroxide/water blend to kill off the yeast. We also have an antifungal that we apply twice a day to the rashy areas. Sounds like a lot of work but so far it is doing the trick. She still itches and flips her ears but not as much. She would keep me up all night with her itching and ear flipping. Now we can sleep almost all night with out any itchiness.
We changed her diet on December 1 and we mixed her old food and new until December 4. She has been on the new food now for just over 2 weeks. I have heard that it can take up to 12 weeks to see full results from a dietary change so we still have a ways to go but I think we are on the right track!
You might be wondering what my dog’s allergy problems have to do with MS or running. Well, it has everything to do with MS. The same dietary recommendations made for me are now working on my dog.