Join Date: Jul 2016
Dogs Name: Piper
Dogs Age: 2 years
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Update on Piper. Her last Cephalexin was yesterday. I'm holding my breath. Her coat is gorgeous looking at the moment. Would just Cephalexin taking away Staph give it more luster and shininess, or just keep it from falling out due to Staph? Or to put it another way: Does staph affect the quality of the coat as well as causing it to fall out?
Because the shorter round of Cephalexin helped before, I know staph is involved somehow. Just trying to decide on the diet angle.
She is still on a mostly elimination diet. Still just lamb and lentils for meat and carbs, but after noticing that her coat was quite dry (no a shock as I knew the elimination diet was unbalanced) and reading up on dog nutrition I added a carefully selected supplement that would address her specific diet deficiencies plus safflower oil for linolenic acid. I figured the whole point was to improve her skin and coat and a dry coat due to diet deficiencies wouldn't help with that. Adding these items has really been a big missing link. Now that she is done with the antibiotics she is getting probiotics as well.
So now we are good and going to hold steady for another two weeks to see if the staph stays away. Then I'm going to add the "down the ingredient list" items that I figure are unlikely allergy candidates for a week. At that point I would have enough info to go limited ingredient kibble, so I'm trying to decide if I make the switch at that point and then test foods as an add on to that (that would be a cheaper option, fresh meat gets pricy fast), or keep up with the homemade to have more control and test from that end.
I don't think homemade is in the cards for us long term, and raw never would be, but I do like the control I have with homemade. It takes a lot of work and thought for a balanced diet though. Compared to her old kibble she is higher protein and higher fat, but in line with the needs of an active performance dog. If I go back to kibble I'll be adding in foods anyway to get her at the ratios I'm looking for.
So, assuming the huge coat improvement is diet related, still not sure if it is just an improvement because it is in balance for her needs, or because an allergen was removed. Either way it will be quite some time before I'm willing to try chicken again. lol. I feel like I should rechallenge to know, but after this nightmare, and realizing her coat hasn't been great for long before the reaction and subsequent staph infections, I'm not exactly eager to jump back in. i'll happily test less likely offenders like eggs, peanut butter, beef, fish, etc., but since she was on a chicken kibble with chicken breast for treats, I feel like chicken would be the most likely culprit if a food allergy is involved.
The weather has changed here, so if it is environmental then those factors should be disappearing for now as well.
Holding my breath to see how it goes...