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Dogs/regarding dog symptoms


hi my name is amanda i have a 10 year old male shih tzu i have just noticed over the past year he has had black spots itching and dry skin and seems to lick himself when hes bored but i know with the itching it has not been cause of ticks.

im unsure of what to do at this point and want to see what will work as we are feeding him allergy kibble as well but he just doesn't seem to eat much all he wants is human food.

please help


Hi Amanda,

Thank you for writing to me with your question.  The first thing I recommend would be a trip to the vet to make sure that there is no skin condition that might not be obvious to you or might need to be examined under a microscope.

As for food, I would suggest a grain free diet, preferably real food.  You dog seems to know what he wants.  I would start with mixing things like boiled or steamed chicken breast (no skin) with a bit of grain free kibble.  Use chicken kibble at first because you want to determine if allergies are playing a part in the situation.  You can expand to other types of protein later, such as fish, rabbit etc.  You can mix a bit of canned pumpkin into the food for fiber and all the great vitamins that are in pumpkin.  Include a digestive enzyme, probiotic and some olive or coconut oil for his dry skin issues.

I would also ask the vet to run a blood panel which should really be done at his age, paying particular attention to his thyroid should be dead center..not high normal or low normal.

I would also cease all vaccinations except a 3 year rabies and instead do titer readings.  Not every vet wants to do these but I strongly urge you to insist on it.  At your dog's age and with his symptoms, vaccinations could only add to the problem and typically the vaccinations he's already received are likely still protective.

Wishing you and your dog the very best.

Shelley Davis

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Shelley Davis


Cageless Country Boarding, Holistic Health Concerns, Behavorial Concerns.


Crusader in the founding of Dog Runs in NYC Parks, instrumental in changing the law in NY State which allows Pet Facilitate Therapy into Acute Care Hospitals, accomplished artist and craftsperson, certified by Red Cross in pet first aid, pioneer in Children Reading To Dogs program in Ulster Co. NY, founder of Bed & Biscuit:Where Dogs Run Free,

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