i just spent some time on the phone with a nice lady who adopted a rescued dog from a shelter several years ago. the dog had skin allergies then and still has them now. she is constantly licking, chewing, itchy, gets frequent hotspots and reaks to high heaven. they periodically go to the vet for antibiotics, they know the allergies are flea and chicken so they have her on a costco lamb and rice. but it never goes completely away and when it flares up it gets bad. they have been talking about euth or re-homing. what a shame because this is easily managable and now that she understands how to manage it, she is willing to try again. so how do you manage flea and food allergies? it is not just about giving flea treatments and non allergenic food...it is a four prong program that requires strict adherence.
week one to week four
vet check with antibiotics to treat underlying skin infections. this is mandatory. antibiotics should be for a minimum of 14 days.
advantage flea control on the first day of each month religously from march thru to the first hard frost (usually november)
only medi-cal hypo allergenic or technical vegetarian food (no cheating or sneaking in a different food because you run out, don't run out)
twice weekly nizoral baths in the first week then weekly nizoral baths X 3 weeks to kill the yeast overgrowths (yes they have yeast overgrowths, that is why they stink) if you do not treat both the bacteria and the yeast, the problem will come right back again.
after the basics have been covered in that first month, fleas are gone, food is appropriate, bacterial and fungal infections are clear...then comes the easy part.
advantage once a month religously and a stable hypo allergenic diet and finally a healthy, happy, non itchy, sweet smelling dog....it is not that difficult if all the issues are addressed correctly. and it is so much better than continued suffering, losing ones home or being euthanized because the family just do not know what else to do.