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Posts Tagged ‘yumega plus’


Just an update on Millie the Jack Russell and her owner, Kim’s struggle to get Millie back to full fitness after she adopted her last year.

If you remember, Millie was kept in a cage, beaten and starved until she was rescued, in a right old state last year. You can read the previous two posts on her progress by clicking here.

Snuck under the duvet - again!

Kim took her on, underweight, frightened with all sorts of skin problems but now’s shes fighting fit.  Here’s the proof in the latest two photos Kim sent over.  You’ve gotta love a happy ending!

Millie

Catching a few rays!

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My other dog, Dot, gets episodes of urticaria over her head & shoulders & definitely improved when changed to a Fish4Dogs diet (perhaps the fish oil).  However, recent urate crystals in her urine has meant changing to a diet lower in purines & she’s now on Burns Fish & Maize – skin doesn’t seem to have got worse with this change.

pebble and dog

Pebble and Dot

She also gets Evening Primrose oil capsules which I believe help her.  Dot’s skin flare ups are worse in the summer so I tend to give her a quick rinse all over, to remove any pollen, after returning from countryside walks.  If her skin is bad, Piriton can help but she sometimes requires a short course of Prednisolone to get things back under control & sometimes a low maintenance dose for a while.

So, in short, my first priority with both dogs was to work with my vet to get an accurate diagnosis (requiring referral for one dog) – at least I then knew what we were dealing with.  I like to take a holistic approach to my dogs’ care & I try to make sure that what I put into them & on them is as natural & of the best quality possible.  However, I won’t let them suffer & I’m quick to get them along to the vets for medication if they have any acute skin flare ups.

The rest of their skin care is management – as good a diet as possible that’s also suited to their other needs – & one which lists the exact ingredients (ie  avoiding “meats”, “cereals”, “derivatives”, etc) – & the same goes for treats… there is virtually no treat in a pet shop/supermarket that I would give to my dogs!!!  I also use Evening Primrose Oil (& have used other supplements in the past).  I try to keep their environment as free of the allergens that I know affect them… & even when their skin is looking good, tempting as it may be, I never relax our current regime.

urticaria in dogs

A good example of Dot's urticaria

Finally, dealing with my dogs’ skin complaints has taught me that even 2 closely related dogs are very different in terms of the severity & symptoms of their skin conditions… so there is no “cure all” regime for skin problems & it may take time & a lot of patience to find what helps some individuals.  However, all the hard work is very much worth it when you have a dog that is itch free & doesn’t need to wear a Buster collar whenever she is left alone.

To read part I click here.

If you and your dog are tearing your hair out with frustration post your problem in the comments box below and we (that’s me and the growing My Itchy Dog community) will do our best to help you solve it and get some relief.

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Please read all of this blog post.  I know it’s long (I’ve even divided it up into two!) but the story Karen tells is one which I know will be familiar to many of you.  She has a lot of great tips plus the answers she’s discovered along the way, which will help many of you. Mostly common sense, really useful and free.

Karen and Pebble

I’m not sure if my own experiences with my 2 itchy dogs will be of any use to anyone but I’m more than happy to share just in case it is… even if just to give someone the encouragement to keep going with their dog.  I know what it’s like when you think you’ll never get to a point where your poor dog will be free of constantly painful, irritated, itchy skin.

I have 2 dalmatians… both have suffered from skin complaints!

My older dog, Pebble, has had the worse skin issues of the 2 – she’s now 10 & her skin condition is completely under control – I can’t remember the last time she had any itchiness.  When she was 2 she was very ill, with chronic gastric ulcers & ulcerative colitis due to food allergies (allergy diagnosed from gut biopsies).  Despite trying exclusion diets & a variety of natural remedies, her symptoms were unmanageable unless she was on constant steroids.

She saw a specialist, got an accurate diagnosis, was given a long course of medication & changed on to a diet of Hills z/d.  When she came off the steroids for her colitis/gastritis, we realised that she also had allergies that affected her skin – skin symptoms must have been kept under control by the steroids.  Her feet became red, inflamed, sticky, itchy with deep pus filled lesions & the skin over her lower back was hot & inflamed.  These areas were also smelly as she developed bacterial/fungal infections. 

Initially she was given steroids, anti-biotics & medicated shampoo to get the conditions under control but symptoms recurred when medications were withdrawn – she was then seen by a skin specialist.  Allergy testing of her skin showed that of the allergens tested, she was allergic to meadow grass, house dust mites, purple clover & feathers(!)Evening Primrose Oil helped her slightly as did Phytopica but the biggest improvement came after beginning immunotherapy which she’s been receiving for about 7 years.  We had to play about with her dose slightly as the usual 1ml injection every 4 weeks was too much & she would be itching for 2 days after injections – she gets a 0.75 ml dose.

Pebble and Dog

Pebble is on the left

Karens’ Top Tips:

As well as keeping up with her immunotherapy injections, we regularly hoover any carpeted areas & soft furnishings in our house & our dogs’ bedding is washed once a week at 60°C to keep house dust mites to a minimum – because they are both such sensitive creatures(!), I make sure that bedding is washed in a non-biological liquid.

I’m very aware of the rubbish that’s in a lot of the current best-selling commercial diets & I’d love to give Pebble a diet which has an ingredients list that makes for better reading than her current diet & is richer in omega oils – with her food allergies this isn’t possible (attempts to change her diet have caused recurrence of her colitis symptoms).

If you and your dog are tearing your hair out with frustration post your problem in the comments box below and we (that’s me and the growing My Itchy Dog community) will do our best to help you solve it and get some relief.

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1. Biggest challenge
Our dog Cara was very itchy when we first got her (as an 18 month-old rescue) and switching her to a hypoallergenic foodreally helped her body scratching and slight dandruff, however, she still has a very itchy face which we have found no answer to. She gets allergies in the summer (wheezing and sneezing) but her face is always itchy. Our biggest challenge has been to get this taken seriously – ok, so it’s not a really bad case of sensitivity and it is not totally ruining her life like some other poor dogs but it IS a problem and it is distressing to see her rub her face and make frustrated noises.

Cara

Cara on the beach at sunset.

2 How difficult was it to find the answer
Very! we still haven’t, though Yumega Plus has helped her generally. Our vet has offered allergy testing but says it is expensive and unreliable, so we haven’t pursued this.
3. Tips
Visit My Itchy Dog! Seriously, I have recommended it to my vet as being a really useful website both in terms of information and also products. She is passing it on to others and was really pleased to hear about it. Other than that, switching to hypoallergenic food is always a good step I think.
Kate: As Heather says, Cara’s problem isn’t ruining her life but it’s distressing nonetheless, no one likes to see their dog suffering and getting taken seriously is often a challenge.
Plus one of the biggest gripes my customers have is the feeling they’re being funnelled along a road they don’t wish to travel down – steroids, antibiotics and expensive testing – without having adequate information to hand to be able to make the decision whether to go ahead or not.
Feeding the healthiest food and treats  will really help eliminate any problems caused by a poor diet. 
Top Tip: if you recognise the ingredients on the back of the packet and could find them in your kitchen you’re on a winner.  Let’s face it, who has ‘derivatives of vegetable origin’ or ‘tapioca starch’ hanging about in the fridge?
Top Tip: fresh, uncooked veg make great dog treats – broccoli and carrots – full of B, C and D vitamins among others.  Good for the nervous system, eyes and bones.

If you and your dog are tearing your hair out with frustration post your problem in the comments box below and we (that’s me and the growing My Itchy Dog community) will do our best to help you solve it and get some relief.

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An homage to Yumega Plus and it’s benefits for dogs suffering from tree pollen allergies, from the man himself Dr John Howie of Lintbells.

The first signs of Spring may be welcomed by pet owners but for dogs Spring can cause misery as it triggers the start of the hay feverseason with early tree pollen responsible for many canine allergy problems.  Hay fever from tree pollen starts much earlier in the year than that caused by grass pollen which tends to affect many people as well as their pets.

Tree Pollen

Tree Pollen Misery

Dogs affected by tree pollen will often show signs of skin irritation such as itching, soreness and general discomfort, according to Dr John Howie, co-founder of Lintbells.  However by naturally helping the dog’s skin defences work as well as they possibly can to combat this, it makes it more difficult for the pollen to take effect.

Dr Howie said: “Early flowering trees such as birch, hazel and alder can all trigger pollen allergies that affect dogs from March or April, long before the grass allergies kick in, and can make a dog very uncomfortable.

Omega 6 and 3 oils are key elements of the diet for naturally improving skin health to cope with pollen allergies.  One way to ensure the dog gets the correct balance of these oils is to add Yumega Plus to its diet as this will help to calm sensitivity and irritation in the skin.”

A dog that is suffering from a tree pollen allergy is likely to scratch and bite its body, possibly pulling out some of his coat.  Licking their paws, head shaking and rubbing their face on the floor are also indications that a dog has hay fever, as is sensitivity to being touched.

Dozens of Lintbells’ and MyItchyDog customers have rated Yumega Plus at 5 out of 5 for customer satisfaction and many have commented that their dogs have responded better on the product than on some medications such as steroids.

Yumega Plus contains only the finest natural oils with omega 3, EPA, from the best salmon oil available to calm the skin and starflower oil providing omega 6, GLA, to sooth sensitive skin.   Golden flax oil provides the omega 6, Linoleic acid, which forms the skin’s moisture barrier, plus the omega 3, ALA, to improve coat condition. A natural antioxidant, Vitamin E, neutralises free radicals to support the skin’s defences.

Dr Howie added: “Vets are recommending it to their clients.  Its price compares very favourably with many of the other products designed to help itchy skin and allergies.”

Click here for further information about Yumega Plus and the rest of the Lintbells range, including Silver Care eye and ear products and skin creams.

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Tilly, our Jack Russell Terrier, was just under four years’ old when I accepted a two-year posting to the Middle East. Before relocating, Tilly was as fit as a fiddle and enjoyed life to the full. But within three months of settling in to our new home, she became ill.

Symptoms
The first sign of distress was her uncontrollable urge to scratch the side of her body, day and night. Second came paw chewing, then the fur on her back became very wiry and rough (she’s a smooth haired Jack with fur like silk, normally!) Followed by her tummy breaking out in a pink, blotchy rash; and her eyes started to exude a gooey, foul-looking matter.

We trawled the internet for an answer to Tilly’s dilemma. What we concluded from the collective information obtained is that her symptoms were likely due to either an insect infestation or an allergic reaction. So we set about developing a strategy to try and isolate the underlying cause.

Dave and Tilly

Tilly back to her old self.

Parasites?
The starting point and easiest to identify was parasite invasion. And so we investigated this first.

Because Tilly had no itching or irritation of the ears, and didn’t indulge in frequent head shaking, ear mites were readily eliminated from the list of potential irritants. As was fleas. We examined her fur, particularly at the base of her tail (where fleas tend to congregate), but there were none.  Perhaps harvest mites? These live between dogs’ toes and on their legs, but there was no sign of them, either.

Allergy?
The most likely source of an allergy would be her food or treats. And so, we set about excluding particular items from her diet. First withholding one food type, only to find it didn’t solve the problem, then re-introducing it but stopping another item. Nothing we did seemed to make any difference. At the end of these trials, Tilly was no better off than when we started.

We’d come to the end of our limited knowledge of the likely triggers causing her scratching and paw chewing. We were beaten! We made an appointment at a veterinary practice recommended by a friend.

The vet didn’t find any parasites, and we told him about withholding certain food types. He determined that the offending substance must be from the local environment.

Lawns in the Middle East are very different from those in the UK and contain more bugs than you can shake a stick at. This, surely, was the answer. It satisfied all the known variables and seemed a reasonable evaluation. But we were all to be proved wrong.

There was nothing we could do about the surroundings in which we lived. Tilly, like the brave little girl she is, would just have to soldier on until the end of my posting. Two years to the day, my posting came to an end and we moved back to the UK.

Returning home would, we hoped, be a welcome relief for Tilly. We were looking forward to the prospect of her having an itchy-free life. The euphoria, though, was short lived.

Ten days in to our return, Tilly developed the same symptoms. Evidently, the cause and effect of moving overseas and the development of an allergic reaction was purely coincidental.  So it was back to the vets.

The vet advised taking a blood sample and sending it for analysis to test for a specific allergen. We gave the go-ahead, with fingers crossed our beloved little perisher would soon get the relief she deserved.

The blood-test works by identifying the level of antibodies in the blood corresponding to the clinical signs of allergy. The results would show the offending allergens and level of reaction.  The results were a bit of a shock!

Two test reports came back. One covered environmental allergens, the other dealt with dietary concerns. Each of these was then divided into two subgroups.

The good news was she’s not allergic to pollens: grasses, weeds, trees and shrubs; or, subgroup two, indoor allergens: fleas, mites, moulds.

Food Intolerance
The second set of results was divided in to foodstuffs; those that give an immediate reaction and those that give a delayed reaction, the latter taking hours or perhaps even days to manifest itself (more commonly known as food intolerance). This proved to be the source of the problem.

She fell into both camps, having an immediate reaction to some foods and a delayed reaction to others, and several of which appeared in both columns.

It seemed more a case of what she didn’t have a reaction to than what she did. The list of ingredients to avoid appeared endless: beef, lamb, wheat, soybean, barley, rice, potato, corn, milk and egg – one or more of which is present in most popular proprietary foods and treats.

So, what could she eat? There were negative results for pork, duck, chicken, turkey, oats, white fish and venison. But to clear her system of harmful residue, the Vet prescribed ultra allergen free kibble. This was a nutritional solution targeted at Tilly’s particular needs. And it worked!

Within a few days of diligently adhering to this new regime of strictly prescription kibble, the outward effects of her allergy began to abate. And after ten days or so she was back to her old mischievous self. Her eyes were clear and bright, and her coat felt like velvet. She was a happy bunny once more.

The tests were not cheap, and the prescription kibble costs an arm and a leg. So, is Tilly worth all the expense and time expended? You bet she is!

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Just had this lovely, lovely email from a new customer.  I never knew you could get steroid poisoning.  Well, of course it’s possible, I’m going to have a look into this and post on it.

Hi, I ordered some products with you in March for my jack russell, Angel,

Angel

Angel

as she had been on steroids for an itchy skin condition. After visiting
the vets i was told she had steroid poisoning, I immediately took her off
them and began earching the internet & found your website. I spoke to you
on the phone and ordered the yumega plus, resist & ekoneem. I am pleased
to say that she has not had a steroid since that day. Yes her skin does
flare up when the weather is really hot & gets sore patches by her groin,
but i didn’t expect a full cure! When she flares up we just cover her
belly in the cream. I am so pleased to have found you and have just placed
an order for some billy no mates with the verm x treats, no more chemicals
for my little girl! I can’t thank you enough for the help you gave me that
day. Thanks again, Kellie & Angel

I recommended Angel wears a Tshirt when she’s in a place she might flare up.

Emails like that, knowing there’s a little JR in the world no longer suffering make me feel glad all over.

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From time to time I’m going to post the story and experiences of a lovely customer or two, just to highlight how skin problems affect both dogs and their owners.  The symptoms and signs to look out for, what the causes of itchy dog skin could be, and then follow which natural skin treatment has worked out for the best in each case.  Don’t get me wrong, a vet should always be your first port of call, and they’re brilliant at their jobs.  Most of my customers end up here when the conventional route hasn’t worked for them and they’re several hundred pounds down on steroids, antibiotics and skin scrape tests, still with an itchy, scratchy dog on their hands.

This is Kim and Millie’s story.  It’s a classic example of how stress and neglect will often manifest itself in the dog scratching itself uncontrollably until he or she has arge patches of red sore skin and the poor dog (and their owners) are exhausted and depressed.

Kim rescued Millie, a three and a half year old Jack Russell, 11 weekgs before getting in touch with us around the beginning of November 2010.

Kim’s email was a pretty heart breaking read, especially when she sent us photos of Millie.

“She’s around 3 and a half years old, We have had her for about 10 weeks now, she’s a Jack Russell…I think she my be a cross, she is 4kg, very small, underweight.  She was kept in a rabbit cage, beaten and starved by the people who first had her.

MILLIE THE ITCHY DOG

Millie just after she came to Kim's house.

When she came to us, she was an itchy dog, really bad around the eyes.  We took her for a check-up, (the vet) just gave some shampoo, that was it.  Took her to the vets again, who put a cone on her, gave her shampoo, and steroids. Then her whole body got itchy, took her again to vets, gave mite drops, eye drops.

It cleared her eyes up, but under her front legs and on shoulders, she is getting slowly worse, there is a smell to her skin too…It looks like Eczema, I’ve been putting E45 on, this has helped, but she licks it off, which makes it worse.

She went in for tests, which brought up nothing …Vets still wanted her to have treatment for dog mites though.  We really do think its stress or eczema. Still no better, she then had a cone on for 3 weeks, eye drops, tablets, the works. She is still no better, she’s going in for tests next week…but could it be something simple?? I’ve just ordered Ekoneem off your web site. I do give her evening primrose oil at the moment. I was giving her cod liver oil, but didn’t want to overdo it.

MILLIE'S ITCHY ARMS

Millie's itchy and raw underarms

She’s in for her lady op next week and didn’t want to take her vets to be put on more steroids, a week before her opp.  Do you think Ekoneem will be enough, or do you advise on other products??
I’ve been so worried about losing her, one day her skin is ok, the next day it’s a mess..

I don’t know if her skin will every stop being like it?? In a funny way, it’s good to know that other people are going through it…”

It sounded like a classic stress reaction for a poor dog who’s now found a loving home and it’s all coming out.  That and the fact she’s probably in need of some bolstering to her immune system as I can’t imagine the dog food she was getting (such as it was) would be healthy dog food.

We did advise Ekoneem for the patches on her skin because of it’s antibacterial, antifungal properties and that it’s pure organic neem oil, so no added problems.  The only disadvantage is the pong!  It does whiff a bit, but for local areas of wet eczema, healing scars and wounds, flaking skin and red sore spots it can’t be beaten.

We also recommended Resist and Yumega Plus to help and start supporting her immune system.

We sent her this email “Kim, Resist is pure echinacea and for a Jack Russell one pot should last around six months, and you’ll only need one pot I should think.  Essentially, it should bring her back to good health, including skin health as she’s been through so much already and her body is now having to deal with surgery and steroids, so it’s all a bit overwhelming for the system.  Resist will get her back up to strength.

The Yumega Plus will also support good skin and coat health, it contains salmon oil, golden flax and starflower oils to factor in all the Omega Oils dogs need.  It should really help with the itching and scratching and her coat too.”

Then a couple of weeks later this email: “We are now having problems with her wee in the day and at nights….It’s not every day, but it’s enough to be driving me mad.  She had never been in a house until we had her…so I can see why she may be doing it…”

I do put her out at night and so on…but she can be funny, and just stand there looking at you.. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  The bloke who rescued her, had her for a year, but didn’t like telling her off, as she was so small…god, the state he said she was in…..broke my heart.”

Button and Millie

Button is twice the size of Millie, you can see how small she is.

An Itchy Dog family member, BB the Bedlington,  had a similar problem.  She came to us as a three year old rescue.  Kept mainly in a cage in the house, not housetrained or socialised and never allowed off her lead.  As a consequence her skin was a mess, she was overweight and peed where she stood.

We advised Kim to take Millie out for walks and praise her to the skies when she peed outside.  For inside we recommended cutting up incontinence pads intended for humans as they’re far cheaper than those made for puppies and dogs.  That’s my eagle eyed, frugal sister for you.  What kind of a soft touch do these companies think we are!  She leaves them down on the floor and encourages BB to go there if she has to.  After a good 18 months it’s down to the occasional accident at night now.

On Monday we got this lovely email, hooray!

“Had a really good week end with Millie being clean, did a couple of things differently. May not last for ever, but it’s a start, and she hasn’t scratched skin to bits for a week end!

So here’s hoping Kim and Millie are at the beginning of something beautiful.  All I know is Millie was very lucky to find Kim.

We’ll keep you posted.

If you have a doggy skin story you’d like to share please let us know.  Just email or comment.

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