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My dog is a 1.5 yr old boxer-chow mix (i think). Over the last 3 months, she has been scracthing endlessly and has developed bald patches all over her flanks. I am assuming this is due to a food allergy of some kind as it coincides (roughly, as near as I can recall) with a switch to Purina Dog chow, from her puppy chow.

After reading the board, I have switched her food to California Natural Lamb and rice, which she loved. I did not phase it in, she ate it straight away with no problems. We also switched any treats she gets to a bag of Wellness brand treats which claim no grain content. She has been on it a week but is scratching as much as ever, which is to say constantly. I have a couple of questions:

1) How long will it take for her to quit itching? Should we have seen some improvement by now?

2) COuld the rice still be a problem? If so, what should I try?

3) How many foods should I try before it becomes appraent that there is another cause?


Our vet has not been very helpful and I really want to spare the dog any further discomfort. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

-- Jack
 

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Purina is one of the worst brands I can think of. California Naturals is a good food, but I recomend Artemis Maximal Dog. If that is a little out of your price range, then Acana Grasslands is the next best one. Whatever you feed, I highly recomend adding L. Acidophilus to your dog's food. This well known probiotic helps balance intestinal microflora when it has been disturbed by illness or antibiotic use. Acidophilus helps normalize digestion, which helps to reduce gas, bloating, and bad breath. I also recomend adding Saccharomyces Boulardii. Clinical research with this probiotic has demonstrated its consistent ability to resolve diarrhea, whether related to acute infection or to chronic inflammatory bowel dysfunction. Slippery Elm Bark is another highly recomended supplement. This herb has been traditionally used to soothe the digestive tract and intestinal walls. Slippery elm provides mucilage, which forms a slippery substance when combined with water. Mucilage can reduce irritation of intestinal tissues, promote healthy detoxification in the bowel, and help maintain regular elimination patterns. I also recomend N-Acetyl-Glucosamine. N-A-G is a form of glucosamine that is found naturally in the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps to support the body’s natural protective barriers against acids, over-activity of enzymes, and invading microorganisms by supporting healthy functioning of the mucosal lining throughout the intestines.
 
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