Howie’s Other Battle: Allergies!
Howie is a West Highland White Terrier and is therefore prone to allergies. Each morning he wakes up to itching, licking and frustration that is hard to watch. He has scars above his eyebrows and behind his ears from scratching over and over again. Luckily, Howie does not have extreme allergies that cause the hair to fall out or sores that form on his paws. I have known since Howie was about 1 year old that this was going to be an uphill battle to find the source of the problem.
Over the past couple of years, I had heard horror stories from other pet owners about their experience going to the vet to solve this problem. The vet would usually suggest expensive $400-500 testing then a prescription of steroids which are not a long term solution and cause many other side effects. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to take that route. I read lots of information online from other Westie/terrier owners stating that the breed is usually allergic to chicken. I decided to put Howie on a limited ingredient food for a while and start the process of elimination. He has been on Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato for over a year now and the itching has never stopped. His worst allergy attacks continued to come in waves and I still couldn’t figure out why for the life of me!
I shop at a locally owned pet store which has always been very helpful with Howie’s allergies. They would suggest new things to try here and there but it wasn’t until I happened to walk in when the shop owner was around did I find out about a cheaper, natural alternative to allergy testing. He recommended Glacier Peak Hollistic’s, Alternative Natural Allergy test. He said that multiple people including himself and his staff had used it to help diagnosis their dogs and it was very accurate. The test even checks hormones and thyroid issues. His dog had shown a thyroid issue from the testing, he went to the vet for a blood test and they confirmed it was correct!
I decided to purchase the take home kit as a present for Howie for Christmas. 🙂 It was only $65! plus $25 more for environmental allergy testing like pollens. So much better than the $400 I was avoiding at the vet. All I did was cut about a half inch of Howie’s hair and swab his mouth and sent it in. It was so easy!
The results were shocking! Not only did Howie suffer from sensitivity to about half the things listed, he was allergic to….drum roll please!…Salmon! The very thing I thought would help him and was feeding him for a year. Poor guy! You can check out his results below and what you can expect if you think this test will help you. I’m not on the hunt for a specific food to meet his needs. So far I have found Wellness Simple Turkey and Potato I am going to try.
The biggest problem now will be that Howie is sensitive to glucosamine, which is what he must take every day for his LCPD hip. Does anyone know of any natural or other alternatives for joint health for dogs?
*Disclosure – This is not a paid advertisement, it is my opinion and actual facts about Howie.