Posts filed under ‘Supplements’
Recently, a client suggested that I cut out POTATOES (including sweet potatoes & yam) from Boogie’s diet. These are carbohydrates = sugars which contribute to yeast infections. Yeast infections lead to itchiness and possibly also bacterial infections.
I had no idea about potatoes and it saddens me that the giant boxes of The Honest Kitchen food in my kitchen contain potatoes and honey. Yep, honey is also a sugar. As are rice, wheat, corn, and ALL CARBOHYDRATES…. usually found in treats too.
Today I found this extremely informative video about treating and preventing yeast infections by Dr. Karen Becker. It’s long but worth watching!
Some anti-yeast tips from this video:
- Anti-fungal foods: Oregano, garlic
- Clean and disinfect yeasty parts of body every day- especially ears and feet, armpits, groin area…
- Foot soak: Gallon of water + 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide + 1 cup white vinegar/lemon juice. Astringency = anti-fungal
- Ear solution: Witchhazel & cottonballs. Clean out debris!
- No Oatmeal shampoo! (Oatmeal is a grain/carb and will feed the yeast!)
- Use Anti-fungal shampoo - tea tree oil based or herbal
- Post bath rinse: Gallon of water + 20 drops of peppermint oil (do not get on head), or astringent solution (see Foot Soak). Towel-dry without rinsing.
- A supplement to support the dog’s immune system.
One of the most popular posts on Boogie’s Blog is Hair loss and crusty dry skin… What is it? Many other dog owners are experiencing the same troubles, have spent as much money as I have, and feel as desperate as I do.
I have written about Boogie’s recurring skin problem many times, every summer, when we get the same Staph infection diagnosis and another whopping course of antibiotics. Yes, the cephalexin clears up the skin issues but Boogie’s immune system gets messed up at the same time so I have never been 100% happy with this solution. Some blog readers have shared their own success stories with me so I want to re-share them here.
Oh I can help you with this! Went through the same with my ridgeback. Spent a fortune and FINALLY found the answer. I wasted time with the specialists. My local RR Club hooked me up with an old school vet who had the solution. It is a staph infection and antibiotics won’t help long term because it’s so hard on the system and this whole thing is caused by a compromised immune system to start with. You need to start WEEKLY baths of chlorohexadine shampoo and add PB–8 probiotic to the diet. Basically treat the staph topically and bolster his immune system rather than tear if down. Also, I feed Honest Kitchen Thrive. It’s best for allergic dogs. I wish I could go on at greater length but I’m typing from my iPhone lol thumbs are sore Lol. But I found your blog by chance and wanted to help. Email me for more info as I have lots to share. We spent 2 years and spared no expense to fine what works. Silly thing is the solution isn’t even expensive. Ay! Best of luck!!
Today, this comment came in from Lawrence:
Thanks for posting this blog post. My BT, Buster 4mth old Male, had that weird scaly hair lesions with resulting patchy hair loss too this summer. At first it was only one patch on the side of his belly, then it really spread around to the point where it was embarrassing.
I followed the advice of Carolyn&John (which lacked specific brands/products). I looked up pro-biotics and chlorohexadine shampoo and just bought what was popular/highly rated on amazon.
Here’s exactly what I used:
-Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Shampoo
-Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Micro-Emulsion Spray
-PharmAssure – Acidophilus Capsules (this is the probiotics)
-Nature’s Bounty Odorels Fish Oil 1000mg (purified of Mercury PCBs and Dioxins)
I bathed my BT up to 3 times a week (also whenever dirty like after a dog run/day at the beach). I would spray him w/ Cholorhexidine spray once a day (a good 3-4 sprays around his whole body).
Then I would feed him the two supplements twice a day with meals.
It actually cleared up within 2 weeks completely in the middle of summer. The first week there was very noticeable results.
I added the fish oil for the fatty acids and omega 3 benefits.
I’m a doctor and understand the biochemistry/pathology behind this fungal infection. Its basically lack of absorption in the gut resulting in the fungal/bacterial lesions in the skin due to a bit of immunosuppression. Carolyn’s advice as scientifically sound.
The probiotics reboot the guts natural bacterial flora/fauna to normal, the fish oil provides nutrients specific for the rebuilding of skin layers (amongst other things like heart benefits), and the clorohexidine is basically a disinfectant/sanitizer that kills off the bacteria/fungus at the skin level.
Thanks again for posting your dogs skin infection and plight with pictures on your blog. It really helped me out and also helped me avoid going to an over zealous vet who might have put my puppy on long tern antibiotics that was not needed.
Hope this works for your guy as well.
Thank you, Carolyn, John and Lawrence!
I did order a big ol’ bottle of green Chlorhexidine solution to make a spray but when it arrived, I wasn’t sure what % to use so I have held off on using this. The instructions offered by one Amazon customer was 2 tablespoons of chlorhexidine solution to 1 gallon of water, and I tried this – but the result looked just like plain water. It was super diluted and gut instinct tells me I may be better off just ordering the bottled Duoxo Chlorhexidine spray.
At the same time, I am bathing Boogie once a week… Perhaps I need to bathe him more often. He is also getting Canine Immune System Support twice daily in his meals (The Honest Kitchen and Stella & Chewys) I should get some probiotics too.
Question on the probiotics: Are these the kind that humans take? How do you calculate how much to give a 26lb dog?
UPDATE: I received an email reply from Lawrence that this is the same kind of probiotics that humans take that you can buy from Rite Aid. You can’t overdose on it. There is also this very helpful footbath video:
No, I didn’t bring Boogie. Though when I look at the photo that my friend Christa sent me while I was away (of Boogie curled up in Butch’s tiny bed) I’d like to believe that Boogie was telling us: “Look at how small I really am! I can fit underneath an airline seat!”
Boogie is a whopping 26 lbs. Too big to fly.
In Seattle I had the pleasure of visiting the huge and impressive Ahimsa Dog Training Center where I met up with Grisha Stewart (author of the BAT book that I illustrated) and her amazing Peanut, a dog of many skills and tricks.
I also finally met Jen and Gigi whom I have known for YEARS on the internet. I have drawn Gigi the doxie girl, many times and she is so much tinier in real life than how I always imagined her! My drawings of Gigi also appear on the labels of Jen’s custom-made lipbalms: Your Lips But Better.
We had breakfast, walked the dogs, visited the Fremont Troll under the bridge, and took photos. It was fun!
A photo with Grisha and Jen -
It’s great to be back home with Boogie.
After a week on Temaril-P, he is less itchy but I am still concerned about the hair loss… there are bald spots and some areas where his coat is scary thin. Back to the vet on Friday.
Thanks to everyone who has been recommending supplements and holistic treatments! I really appreciate it! The tricky part is knowing what to choose… there are SO MANY products out there…
In other news, the MALL DOGS documentary that I hope to be working on, has not met its Kickstarter fundraising goal so if you have backed this project – THANK YOU! – You won’t be owing Kickstarter any money. We are now asking for support over at www.dogparent.com Please spread the word and chip in if you can.
Last but not least, I am registered to attend Clicker Expo 2013 in San Francisco! Three days! Woohoo. I have also already picked the seminars that I want to go to. Anyone going to Clicker Expo next year?
I would also LOVE to go to the Bob Bailey/Sophia Yin event in November, but alas, unless a miracle happens or a very high-paying job comes in soon, there is only so much travel that I can afford to do this year.
Two days ago, a giant box arrived from a new Los Angeles company called Pawalla. Boogie was very lucky to be selected to review a sample Pawalla monthly box. Just look at this! Wow.
Eric from Pawalla:
…our pet nutritionist constantly reviews foods from different brands, and selects her favorite all-natural products to put in our monthly box. The products selected are also customized based on both the size and life stage of the pet (we offer a monthly box for both cats & dogs). So the idea is to help discover and try new products that have been vetted and recommended by a nutritionist. If you do find something you especially like, we will also offer it for sale at a competitive price from our online store.
Not only this, the box comes with toys! The first thing I gave to Boogie was the Wapati Labs Elk Antler Chew. Boogie had never seen or smelt an antler chew before so this was a new and exciting thing. He loves it. And then he played with the KONG Traxx tire toy, got a piece of Sam’s Yam Sweet Potato Chew (remnants of which are now all over my rug) and some KONG chewy treats on our walk. Yesterday morning I opened up a can of Weruva Amazon Liver: Chicken & Chicken Liver in Pumpkin Soup to add a spoonful to Boogie’s usual breakfast and Boogie stood by the kitchen door, eyes wide open, perked up and waiting. He knew he was getting something different today. He loved that too!
This morning he sampled some Nutrisca Freeze Dried Chicken with his usual breakfast, and tomorrow maybe some Mulligan’s Beef Stew. I know there’s a rule about not switching dog food too dramatically to prevent upset tummies, so I am adding only tiny portions of the new food to Boogie’s regular THK and S&C food. We have a slight problem with stinky poots, but poops are fine.
The Pawalla Box seems to be an excellent way to try out new non-mainstream brands of dog food (and other goodies) that you might otherwise not know about, and I am happy to see that the selected foods are mostly holistic, grain-free and made in the USA. There is a list here of what comes in the monthly box. $26 for all this seems very reasonable! I think these boxes would make great gifts too.
**UPDATE – to all Boogie blog readers, use the coupon code BOOGIE20 to receive 20% off the first month of your Pawalla subscription.**
In other news, I have been making more Boogie artwork available for sale. Check out www.society6.com/LiliChin
I sure wish I had an iPhone. (For a list of online places where I sell Boogie stuff, click here)
Home from another long afternoon at the vet where we spent more time trapped in the waiting room than doing anything else.
It was weirdly stressful today. There were some seriously anxious senior dogs (shaking, panting, drooling) in that tiny waiting room, a cat in a crate that wouldn’t stop meowing, and the Dog Whisperer Show on TV – that famous 1st season “flooding” episode with the drooling dog led across slippery floors. And I was getting a glazed-eye look from the woman across from me when I tried to talk to her about BAT … She said her dog has anxiety issues and would bite visitors when their backs were turned.
Boogie, on the other hand, had no anxiety. He was simply very very bored. He had already (very sweetly and politely) introduced himself to every human, dog and cat in the room and nobody was interested in playing with him. He sat by the door and stared at me with big hopeful eyes and a pouty face.
In the end, we came home with more Cephalexin antibiotics. Staph infection again. Second time this year.
I asked Dr. R about atopic dermatitis, atopica cyclosporine (see previous blog post), should Boogie get a bi-weekly vaccination, should he get allergy-tested, how can we nip this problem in the bud?
Dr. R asked me about our previous experience of Staph: Did the antibiotics work? Did I see any changes? What percentage improvement did I see?
I told him I saw a significant improvement (about 80-90%) when Boogie was on antibiotics. His skin cleared up and he stopped itching. When he finished the meds, 2 weeks later, the itchies returned. Dr. R deduced that if the antibiotics worked, then this proves the problem to be primarily Staph, not allergies, and so he was reluctant to settle for the very expensive Atopica medication, which is specifically for atopic dermatitis and does not treat the recurring Staph problem.
I am to bring Boogs back in 2 weeks to check if the Cephalexin is working. If it works, ie, no more itching and skin improves, then this confirms the Staph problem. If Boogie continues to itch, then we may have an allergy or dermatology problem, and I may want to make an appointment with a Skin Specialist in Studio City. I am also to change Boogie’s diet… from now on, only ONE protein.*What am I going to do with the 2-month supply of mixed-protein dog food in my kitchen?
The thing I like about our vet is that he will only administer hardcore expensive vaccinations/medications as a last resort, when we know for sure what exactly we are treating. Even though it’s frustrating, not knowing for sure what is going on…
Tonight I cooked up the “Cancer Diet” from the Honest Kitchen recipe book. This is a recipe that has higher protein than others and is suitable for both dogs and cats.
I started with this recipe because I already had all the ingredients at home: ground turkey, yams, green beans and yogurt. I sauteed the turkey with a combination of extra virgin olive oil & virgin coconut oil (which I read is really good for skin issues) and boiled the veggies first because Boogie is fussy and will only eat them cooked. (He also doesn’t eat fruit, except watermelon). I think this big bowl will last 3-4 days if I feed him 1.5 cups per day.
When the weather cooled down, thank goodness the red summer allergy rash on Boogie’s face went away. But we now have another skin-related problem. (Sigh – There’s always something else, isn’t there?)
In the sunlight, Boogie’s black coat looks like it has white splotches or specks all over it. On closer inspection these are bald patches of dry flaky crusty skin. And these patches are EVERYWHERE! I think they itch because Boogie loves rubbing his back on the grass way too much.
Does anyone know what causes these dry crusty patches?
What are they? An allergic reaction? Is it some type of MANGE? - I have no experience with mange so I don’t know.
I searched the WOOF forums. Other BT owners who have experienced similar dry skin issues said they switched foods and/or changed shampoos and the skin problems went away. Or they added a skin supplement to their dog’s diet, which is something I have already been doing from Day One.
This is what Boogie is eating everyday:
* HALO Spot’s Stew Chicken kibble
* The Honest Kitchen FORCE or KEEN
* The Honest Kitchen PERFECT FORM (digestive supplement)
* Sometimes – cooked chicken, or canned sardines/tuna
Treats: Wellness Lamb/Chicken jerky, Beef smokehouse jerky rolls, hot dogs, Zuke’s mini training treats…
For his skin and coat, I was giving him ULTRA OIL everyday for the past 6 months. One month ago I switched to HALO’s DREAM COAT oil but I am seeing no difference in his coat. If anything, I think the problem is getting worse. The crusty bald patches are multiplying…
This week I added MISSING LINK, yet another type of Omega 3/6 supplement.
The shampoo we use is by KELCO (Coco tar for dry skin).
Perhaps a visit to the vet is in order (to rule out mange) but if anyone knows what this is, please share your knowledge!
The Boogs has a rash on his face – it’s the same one that he has had all summer – pink, raw, itchy, weepy skin in between the folds of his face. I give Boogie skin+coat supplements and have applied hydrocortisone cream, neosporin, zinc oxide, baking soda (it’s supposed to relieve itchiness), nu-stock…… I can’t tell if any of these work because when I’m not watching, Boogie rubs the stuff off his face onto his bed, the couch, or the carpet…
The bald patches on his face look worse at night – really red and sometimes bloody. And I can’t see the skin healing and the fur growing back in a hurry because the area is always damp from tear stains.
Dr R. gave him a cortisone shot about 1-2 months ago and that seemed to help A LOT. Boogie stopped scratching and his face started to heal. This steroid medication lasted about 2 weeks and then his face looked really bad again. When we went back to the vet yesterday for another cortisone shot, Dr R. didn’t think it was such a good idea as repeated cortisone shots can bring about horrible side effects including liver damage. (Like Prednisone) So we came home instead with some Panalog cream.
A few new routines:
- I have started Boogie on Comfortis – an oral anti-flea med, instead of Frontline/Advantage.The vet tech warned that there may be some vomitting at first if he is not used to this…
- I am introducing HALO pet food to Boogie’s diet and ordered an Intro Kit. I don’t know yet if I will do a full switch where I will feed exclusively Halo… I read that mixing up his diet – feeding a variety of proteins will prevent the possibility of developing an allergy to a single protein. (He has been eating THK turkey all year)
- My complimentary Thankdog Bootcamp classes have ended but I might be enrolling in a program of maybe 2 or 3 classes a week. This is great discipline for me and good obedience practice for Boogie. He still hates the wet grass and protests like nobody’s business but well, what can ya do….The amazing thing is that at home and on our walks – he understands and obeys! Well, maybe only 60% of the time but hey, that’s a HUGE improvement.
Boogie has been eating The Honest Kitchen for about 1 1/2 years now. I alternate between most of the formulas: Force, Embark, Keen, Thrive ... but stick mostly to Keen because:
- Boogie does better with grains in his food and Keen has oats.
- Keen is cheaper than the other formulas
- Keen takes the shortest amount of time to absorb water and firm-up. The other formulas, with the exception of Force, stay “soupy/liquid” for a longer time.
- Keen produces the least amount of poop (Will elaborate on this, later! )
We have had no issues with The Honest Kitchen at all. He has been doing really well on it (compared to previous foods that made him throw up) but I am still always on the lookout for other brands that are of the same high quality as THK . I don’t want to become totally dependent on one brand and its limited range of protein choices. I am also always trying to give Boogie some variety in his diet.
Lately I have been mixing in some HALO’s Spot’s Stew .
I first read about HALO on Tracie Hotchner’s blog.
Halo’s Spot’s Stew is now the only kibble my dogs are going to get because I learned that they use only meat that is fit for human consumption in their dry and canned foods. You can’t get better than that! It is also a high protein kibble at 33% but the vital fact is the origin of that protein. You don’t really know what is being counted as protein in foods with much higher protein levels (EVO being one). Remember that melamine AND the wheat gluten which it polluted were both being counted in a total protein percentage when neither was really bio-available to the dogs digestive system. So don’t be sure of what exactly caused it when your dog has a bad reaction to a food – just avoid it! As for The Honest Kitchen, my dogs have been eating it for years as 1/3 of their meal. As large dogs, I have always given 1/3 of the meal as kibble but now I can feel really good about it! And Halo has joined me as a website sponsor – along with THK – so you’ll be keeping it all “in the family.”
Our local pet store doesn’t sell HALO kibble so I am starting him off with the canned stuff.
I mix it in with THK – maybe 30 – 50%, and Boogie loves it and we have had no problems. So far he has tried the Chicken, Salmon and Lamb. One thing I notice is that when I feed mostly Halo (approx. 80%) Boogie’s poop is harder, darker and sometimes “pebbly” – perhaps a sign of constipation? I wonder if this is because there is lower water and fiber content in the Halo canned food than in THK? Boogie doesn’t drink much water to begin with. (He’s a strange dog)
Speaking of poop…
I think most THK people are already aware that this food produces a HUGE amount of poop compared to other brands. Which can be a little scary at first. For my friend Christa, whose Emma is incontinent and wears a diaper, the poop issue is more problematic. Here’s a little list that Christa and I came up with after comparing our THK “feeding and pooping” notes.
The Honest Kitchen POOP CHART. Yes, I am a crazy dog person.
If you feed The Honest Kitchen and/or Halo, please share your thoughts!