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Try and try again.
Bren in the Meadow

We are coming to the end of Bren's course of steroids (and subsequent antibiotics) but, despite the steroids clearing away the skin problems and subsequent itching when the doses were higher, this one tablet every two days business plainly isn't working and he had scratched himself raw under his elbows again yesterday, as well as pulled masses of hair out on his thigh (around a single spot!)

Though he will have to go back to the vet some time in the near future, conversations with the agility group members last Thursday suggested that there might be a food allergy there, and that they had, between them, known a number of cases where dogs had a similar skin reaction to foods with maize (corn) as a component. A check on the main, recommended, kibble, showed that it contained both maize and wheat, both of which can cause an allergic reaction. He has been fed on this kibble since weaning, and his skin was too pink when we actually brought him home, though we thought little of it at the time. If this is an allergy, it seems the most likely culprit.

So, from Friday, I have gradually been changing his food over to James Wellbeloved Junior (he is not, technically, six months yet, but changing from puppy to junior in a couple of weeks time when he is already so forward seems overly cautious.) This is labelled hypo-allergenic and does not contain any of the known common allergens, including wheat and maize. He seems to like it and, from today, it is going to be his only kibble. I am hoping that this -- and moving to more allergen-free treats -- may be the answer. As it happened, my friendly neighbourhood petshop owner (whose husband was a colleague of mine before I retired) had a whole 15kg bag of James Wellbeloved Junior Large Dog Lamb and Rice in stock, and I came home triumphantly with it. I am happier with the formula anyway.

Wish Bren-ji luck. (He has also, over the last week, had a branch tear a couple of small holes in one leg and then, the very next day, get a thorn deep in one paw which bled profusely when I removed it. At least he lets you take thorns out of his paws, unlike the LDD.)

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Appendages crossed that this works!

I hope that works very well and fast.

Oh gods, how nasty. Mouse's first year was a bit like this: everything cleared up when we used strong steroids, and then crept back slowly but inevitably when we used gentler stuff. It was No Fun At All. I hope the diet works for Bren.

I didn't know that. Oh, poor Mouse!

Severe eczema issues. Also, it meant that I dressed him in all-in-one sleepsuits 24/7 so he couldn't scratch his own skin off. Which meant that Many Other People looked at my child in full-clothed-ness in the middle of hot summer days and clearly thought I was being utterly cruel. I understood their feelings, but was desperate to go round with a sign saying "it's better than letting himself claw himself bloody".

If the worst comes to the worst (appendages crossed hat it does not) we might have to go the bodysuit route with Bren (yes, they do make them), though we hope not as explaining a collie in a straightjacket may be just as embarrassing.

Poor puppy! I hope the new diet does the trick.

I hope the diet works. Poor puppy!

Fingers crossed the new kibble does the trick!

Poor Bren. :( (He's certainly growing nicely, though)

They're right about wheat and maize allergies. We had that problem with our last dog.

He is the sweetest dog. I hate that when he is on high-dose steroids he is an unhappy baby, and I hate to see him scratching when he isn't.

Draco is teaching him bad habits though.

AW, poor little guy! I hope the new kibble works.

I hope the change of food does the trick.

Good luck Bren!

(and to you!)

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