Roxy has had frequent skin infections which usually respond well to antibiotics. She has recently been given a course of antibiotics together with a 6 week exclusion diet of D/D duck based food. Her skin seemed to improve initially but has really erupted in the last 2 weeks and her paws are very red and itchy. I have been advised to put her on a diet of 'Simply' food which she has been taking for a week. I am using a mild aquatic cream to treat her paws but she tends to lick it off! Would she benefit from a supplement to help her skin in the longer term or should she have yet another course of antibiotics? Also, how long will the new diet take to reveal any results?
There is something like a 40% chance that your dog's problem is affected by diet. You only know if this is so, by trying it out. To try it out you need ideally a diet containing no ingredients which used to be eaten before, for at least 6 weeks, ideally 8. Any occasional morsel of the wrong food, such as a piece of toast off the floor etc, can ruin your diet trial for a while. Therefore diet exclusion is not an easy task, but in quite a few dogs, it is the route to a "cure". It is worth trying.
Some dogs are not influenced to any great extent by diet, so it can prove to be a waste of time. In those you might need to use courses of antibiotics etc. Some have an allergy to inhaled dusts, pollens etc and they have a range of different treatments. Your vet is best able to decide on this.
All dogs with itchy skin problems can be helped by some dietary supplements and creams/shampoos etc. It can help to use an oil supplement such as Yumega Plus, and a medicated shampoo such as Coatex, which you could try. Other than that you would be best to follow your vet's advice on diet trial etc. We cannot advise you any better as we cannot see your dog.
Sunday 20th January 2013
Tuesday 9th April 2013