Don’t panic, as far as I know, The Simpsons is still airing and there is nothing SAH or Hill’s Pet can do about that. However, there may be a simple solution to end your canine pal’s itching and scratching. For dogs in the Southeast, atopic dermatitis is a common problem. It is very similar to allergies in humans and many of the underlying causes are even the same. The difference is that dog allergies often cause skin irritation, rather than respiratory signs.
Some of my clients have already heard of Hedges, the famous, itchy English Bulldog. For those of you who haven’t, Hedges suffered from environmental allergies from the day he was adopted by his owners. His mom and dad have been kind enough to let me share his story in the hopes of helping other itchy pets. Hedges expressed his allergies in all of the possible manifestations, and to the extreme. He was constantly suffering from chewing, scratching, hives and skin infections because of his allergies. We tried all of the conventional treatments for Hedges, including the outstanding oral medication Apoquel, which helps significantly in most pets. Hedges improved some, but continued to receive medicated baths, almost daily, and still struggled with itchy skin. Hedges’ owners and the vet were all at wits’ end with his severe condition. It became so bad that his owners considered finding a new home for Hedges because they were afraid they could not continue to keep up with the constant treatments Hedges needed, just to remain moderately comfortable.
In January Hedges came in for an appointment, and it was the same as every time Hedges came in, which was pretty much every two weeks or less. Hedges had a skin infection, was scratching and chewing constantly, had red bumps all over his skin and he was miserable. Hill’s Pet had just released a new food at the North American Veterinary Conference that same month. The new food, Derm Defense, was supposed to help dogs who battle atopic dermatitis, which is essentially itchy skin. With much skepticism, we decided to try the new food with Hedges, we all figured it can’t hurt and nothing else seemed to help much. Hedges started the food and was rechecked a couple weeks later and still had some itching and scratching but was not nearly as miserable as in the past. The understanding was that it would take up to 4 weeks for the food to be completely effective so I told the owners to just schedule a recheck as needed or when Hedges broke out again. I didn’t see Hedges again for two months. A part of me wondered if his owners were fed up and had just given up on me.
Two months later Hedges came back in. He wasn’t here for a recheck or for allergy medication and he didn’t need any emergency steroids for a breakout. Hedges was in the clinic because he just needed his 6-month heartworm preventative. Hedges was happier and more energetic than ever and had the clearest skin yet. His owners said that Hedges had not even received a medicated bath in over two weeks! Hedges made me a believer in Hill’s Derm Defense and it has since become my first line recommendation for itchy dogs.
Atopic dermatitis is very common and can make pets and their owners miserable. Until now, treatment required pharmaceuticals for severe cases. Derm Defense is simply essential fatty acid supplementation and a proprietary formula of food ingredients that heals the skin and maintains a healthy skin barrier. I honestly haven’t been prescribing it long enough to know if it works as well for every pet as it did for Hedges, but so far all of the pets on it have improved. As a food it carries less side effects than most drugs, which makes it an ideal place to start when treating skin allergies. If you have an itchy pet, I strongly consider making a diet change to see if you get the same results. So if you have a pet that you think could benefit from Hill’s Derm Defense, visit us at Satilla Animal Hospital in Waycross, GA today!
Monday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Thursday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
511 S City Blvd
Waycross, GA 31501
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