Update on Itchy Paws

Over the past week, Cabana's itchy paws seem to be less itchy. I've seen her biting on them a little bit, but not with the same intensity. It seems more like a boredom thing now, while before, it was more of a desperation thing.

Unfortunately, I don't think drinking apple cider vinegar helped her. I didn't try spraying it on her paws, as some folks suggested. I was worried it would leave residue on the carpets, but I suppose it would have been easy enough to wipe off any excess before letting her walk around.

I think the culprit was Cabana's food. It's kind of a long and convoluted story, but basically, a few months ago, I had switched Cabana to Nature's Domain Salmon and Sweet Potato. It's a grain-free food and seemed very high quality, which it may well be. Because it was grain-free, I just figured it wouldn't be highly allergenic. I guess I was wrong.

Around the same time that I was slowly switching Cabana to the new food, some good friends of ours moved to Hawaii. They gave us a HUGE container of Kirkland dog food, which Cabana has eaten in the past. Because I didn't want to waste the Kirkland food, I had been mixing it with the new food, 50/50, since mid-December. But in the last couple weeks, since we had finally made a dent in the amount of Kirkland, I started giving Cabana 75% of the new food, 25% of the old.

The transition was so gradual that I couldn't tell that the new food was the problem. I think when the ratio changed to mostly new food, the allergy signals became apparent enough that I finally paid attention.

Of course, it's all guesswork, but the pieces seem to be fitting together, in my mind anyway. Interestingly, over the past few months, I had been noticing that Cabana didn't seem as playful anymore. She would play with other dogs at the park, but only for a few minutes and not with much gusto. I just thought she was growing older and losing interest in that kind of play. But this past week, after removing the new food from her diet, she seems much more her old rambunctious self. Hooray, I'm glad she got her youthful energy back. And I'm sure she's relieved that I finally figured out the problem...or at least I hope I did.

Raiser Erin  – (February 8, 2012 at 1:32 AM)  

You know, I was really worried when my parents told me they were switching Hilly off of the ProPlan Sensative Stomach to Kirkland Lamb and Rice. Hilly's stomach is horrible and I had finally found a food where Hilly's poop was firm 95% of the time and they just sort of threw it out the window. But when I was home over winter break Hilly's tummy seemed fantastic. Of course, it wasn't like I was out there with her everytime she relieved herself anymore, but from what I helped clean up Kirkland agreed with her. :) It convinced me. Haha! Glad Cabana is feeling better.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (February 8, 2012 at 6:21 AM)  

Hi Erin, thanks for that comment. I have been really pleased with the Kirkland food, too. Cabana's poops are always very healthy. Some people may feel that because Kirkland is inexpensive, it isn't a good food--but from my research and experience, I'm very pleased with the quality. I do change it up every so often, though, just to give Cabana some variety.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (February 8, 2012 at 6:21 AM)  

But maybe I won't be doing that anymore, since I now know that allergies might be an issue.

Sugar the Golden Retriever  – (February 8, 2012 at 6:37 AM)  

Woof! Woof! Can totally relate regarding allergies. I suffered Itchy Paws when I was young ... YES FOOD! I only get grain on my treats (which not much). My regular food is grain free. Be careful on switching/changing food ... Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Becky  – (February 8, 2012 at 7:44 AM)  

Glad to hear you discovered the culprit. Awesome! Poor Cricket is getting a little lesser portions these days of her eukanuba food trying to lose those stubborn four lbs!

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