HOW EMMA GOT HER GROOVE BACK, OR THE CHRONICLES OF AN ITCHY DOG
Greetings friends! I’d like you to welcome our fearless leader, Alli, to the Calvin & Susie “Blogosphere”.
Being passionate about, well, just about EVERYTHING pet related, I thought Alli would be the perfect person to share her adventures in pet itch relief as well as the Nzymes product line.
Everyone play nice with the “new blogger” and enjoy our very first Calvin & Susie Guest Blog!
One thing we noticed right away while working at Calvin & Susie, is that there are lots of exasperated pet parents out there with itchy dogs. Well, it just so happened, mid-way through 2011, I joined countless other confounded dog mommies with an itchy dog of my own.
In 2011, Emma, my golden retriever, started itching. She was biting her paws, her legs, scratching her neck, her ears, basically all over. At first it wasn’t very bad and I thought that it would go away, and I left it alone for a while, until one night, I was woken up by the sounds of her chewing and scratching, and realized that it was going on all night. I was sufficiently alarmed that I made an appointment with a vet right away.
First thing, we went ahead with a very expensive allergy test, but the only thing we learned from its results was that she was very sensitive to horse flies and bunch of other grass that she has never even seen in her life. In other words, it did not help us.
The vet then suggested that I put her on allergy shots indefinitely, which I declined. We did a round of prednisone, and she stopped scratching completely while she was on it, but afterwards, her itching actually got worse and she started losing her fur and her skin started to turn dark.
Emma (before treatment)
Emma (before treatment)
Luckily, right around this time, we were looking into a line of products called Nzymes that some of our customers told us about. We decided to go ahead and stock it, and Emma became one of the very first test subjects to go on the Healthy Skin Program.
Emma’s Healthy Skin Program (HSP) consisted of of 4 products from Nzymes: 1) Granules/Anti-oxidant Treats, 2) Ox-E Drops, 3) Black-Leaf Tincture, and 4) Bac-Pak Plus.
It is designed to work in stages to cleanse your pet’s system of toxins and yeast build-up, boost immunity, and then to replenish the beneficial bacteria to reclaim healthy internal flora in the digestive system.
During this time, to eliminate a possible food allergy, I decided to go with foods with a protein source that she was not familiar with. So I put her on the Honest Kitchen Zeal (whitefish), and for back-up kibble (for those times when I was on a trip, to make it easier for my pet-sitter, otherwise known as Grandma), I went with Great Life Salmon.
The important thing to remember in choosing the food to go along with this program is that they should be low in starch and sugar, contains high quality protein and fats, and minimally processed. Without the right food to complement the program, the process will take much longer or it will not work at all.
HSP takes over 3 months, although we have had customers who saw results much faster. It all depends on how long the dog has had the itchy problem and what type of food she has been eating all her life. For Emma, I started to see an improvement after about 4 weeks. She was scratching much less and seemed to actually sleep in stretches without waking up to bite her legs. But at about 10 weeks, she regressed. She was scratching like a mad-dog again, and she was making herself scarce and hiding from me so she can scratch in peace without my yelling at her and trying to stop her. My poor doggie! I felt so sorry for her… The Nzymes people told us that the problem can get worse before getting better, so I stuck with it.
Honestly, by the end of about 3 months, she was remarkably better. She was still scratching, but mostly for a good reason – like a tick between her toes, etc. Her fur was growing back in and the skin was turning back to pink color on her belly. After the initial 3 months, I kept her on the granules for another few months, and did one more bottle of the black-leaf tincture. She was 80% there. Thinking maybe she needed more probiotics, I got some more Bac-Pak and added to her food, and to root out ticks, I put her on 5 months of Advantix. It continued to get better, but she was still scratching a bit, and I felt like I was still missing something.
Then a dear friend sent me a link to Nutriscan. Developed by Jean Dodds, DVM, this test checks for food sensitivities with the dog’s saliva. The results are back within a couple of weeks, and best of all, it costs only $130-$270, a fraction of allergy test costs at the vets. So feeling that I had nothing to lose, I sent away for the test and waited for my results.
I got the results back from Hemopet and I found that Emma was highly allergic to chicken! Even more surprising, she was also sensitive to turkey, barley, venison, soy, and whitefish! I never would have suspected venison and whitefish, and I was still feeding her Honest Kitchen Zeal – the whitefish!
I changed her food immediately using Nutriscan results as my guide, and also added Buck Mountain Astragalus for immune boost.
And the proof is in the pudding. Voila!
Emma! Happily ever, AFTER.
She is back to her silky furry self. Her skin is pink and soft, and she does not scratch anymore! Hallelujah. Now both of us can sleep soundly and peacefully through the night.
Emma took almost 2 years to make a full recovery. So for all you worried pet parents with itchy dogs – stay patient. One day, it will all be better.
Thank you for reading!
NOTE: And as always, check with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet or body care. The Calvin & Susie Blogger always researches to the best of her ability, but she is not a vet. This blog is not in any way meant to replace veterinary advice or care. When in doubt always ask a vet.