Friday, January 18, 2013

Controlling the Itchiness

I guess it's time to stop slacking and start updating my blog again! With my new job demanding more of my time and our new addiction to League of Legends, it's been hard to keep up.

Maya has been healing up well since the weather got cold. She still scratches herself a few times a day, but not to the extent of hurting herself. She also still licks/chews on her feet, but has gotten down to focus on only one foot, so I guess that's a bit of an improvement as well.

Since she's not like super itchy every single day, it's much easier for us to get a better idea of what may be triggering her allergy symptoms. We make sure to minimize changes in her daily routine, and only test out one changes at a time. Hopefully, we can get the situation more manageable before the next spring hits us.

Location-wise, we found an area in our local park that makes Maya extra itchy whenever we stop by, so we just stayed away. Thankfully, the park is pretty big, and we still have plenty of space for our daily walks. I'm just glad we can go back to the park, instead of sneaking around in the neighborhood going potty on other people's properties.

We also noticed that Maya gets itchier whenever we visit our relative's, so we've been carrying her between the car and the house, avoiding any contact to the outdoor areas. Though doing so doesn't eliminate the problem, but as least it's not out of control. Not taking her with us is just too cruel, as it's one of her favorite places and those are her favorite people.

As for hiking and dog parks, she's been doing quite well. At least the ones we went to in the past two months haven't caused us any trouble.

Speaking of her diet, Maya's been on the Honest Kitchen Zeal (grain-free, fish-based dehydrated raw) since September. She is doing good on the food allergy-wise, but we noticed her losing weight over the past few months. She dropped down to 16 pounds at one point, which is 4 pounds less than her heaviest weight. It may not seem much for a human, but that's 1/5 of her body weight, which makes it kind of alerting.

I tried increasing the amount of food in the last few weeks, and she did pick up a pound. However, her poop has been massive. I felt like she shouldn't need to eat that much, but her body isn't digesting the food that well. Even if she's doing perfect, I don't think it's good to stay on one protein from one brand forever. I really wanted to start switching her off of Zeal, but I'm kind of stuck.

So far every single new protein we gave her, whether it's cooked, raw, or dehydrated, seems to be making her itchy. I don't know if it's just me imagining things or just coincidence, but she would start scratching a lot more frequently the day after we feed her something different. There are still a few pricier ones I haven't tried, but I would have to wait for her to get back to a "clean slate" from our pork failure a few days ago.

If we somehow come to the conclusion that she can only eat fish, I probably have to give up on feeding her raw, since I really don't know how to balance her diet. I've been searching for other commercial fish-based, grain-free, non-kibble dog food, but so far I haven't found one I like with a reasonable price. The only one that sounds promising is Primal Pet Food's sardine mix, but unfortunately, Maya hated it when I gave it a try over a year ago.

In short, I'm still looking for a solution to Maya's diet.

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