So, to give a refresher...I have a seven years old Maltese, his name is Demetri. We have had him for seven years and it hasn't been the easiest seven years, health wise.
I believe that our puppy dog came from a puppy mill, he was always quick to jump if people yelled and was incredibly scared of the dark. He had health issues right away, constantly throwing up, but always normal little puppy issues. He also was very difficult to train, very lovable but not like our first dog at all LOL.
His health issues started more in depth around the age of 4 or 5 I believe. He was constantly biting his paws to the point of inflammation. We did wipes, sour sprays, nothing deterred him from licking and biting. We then experimented with different dog foods. He eats more organic, fruits and homemade treats that are grain free, only give him chicken if we cook it ourselves, the whole nine yards. We are still trying to find a better "dog food" company due to the fact that his allergies have gotten worse. (So if anybody has a good organic dog food suggestions, either wet or dry, that would be great! :) )
Within the last year his allergies have gotten to the point of him being red and pink all over, he is constantly scratching til he bleeds if no one is there to stop him, and his ears are inflamed and scabby. (Will post pictures as soon as possible). We went to the vet, and all they did was give antibiotics as well as some meds that helped relieve the itch. But they were only for 2 weeks. The vet believed it was from food and a possible flea bite. My dog doesn't go outside as much as big dogs and when he does he usually has medicine for fleas for spring and summer. I repeatedly told the vet it wasn't his food nor a flea bite, she didn't believe me and had us put him on a temporary vet assigned food. Our little guy couldn't stand the food as he wasn't even allowed his favorite fruit, blueberries, and we saw no difference in his itching. She put him on a flea medicine, again, did nothing. I have not went back to this vet, as I am in the process of trying to find a vet that is better suited to help out my furkid.
Once summer came however, his skin healed and he didn't scratch as much. I was overjoyed that my little man wasn't miserable and hoped this was permanent. Sadly, it was not. Roughly, around the time that Autumn started his allergies came back with a vengeance. I believe they are environmental allergies.
His symptoms include: loss of hair, inflamed ears that are scabbed over, a musty odor, red skin, red eyes, scabs that bleed, constant itching and licking.
I have him wear dog boots on his back paws during the day which makes it so he cannot itch, but I can tell he is miserable. I bath him once a week, he doesn't go to the groomers due to the fact that all the local groomers aren't the...gentlest...when it comes to him. He gets very excited after a bath when it comes to drying off and they don't have the patience to deal with him. I have read that whitening shampoos cause dry skin so I am also in the process of trying to find a better shampoo and conditioner that would help him. I also use an antibiotic shampoo/conditioner already, but it honestly doesn't help very much.
A side note as well, as if the allergies were not enough...he has had two small fits, which I believe were seizures. He hasn't had an episode for a week and a half, we make sure to not give him anything salty and have really researched how to handle a dog prone to seizures. I believe he has epilepsy seizures. Going to a vet does very little for this, as all they will do is put him on drugs that keep him drowsy. I refuse to have my dog live the rest of his life miserable and drugged. I am a very organic person, especially when it comes to my dog. I know I could be grooming him a little better but I am improving when it comes to that.
As you can tell, my poor doggie isn't having the best time right now. Any advice or similar stories would be very appreciated. I would rather NOT spend thousands and thousands of dollars on just testing. As I know that it does very little to even find a problem. If I could simply find something for my dog that would alleviate his allergies and pain, that would be amazing. After all us humans get allergies and simply take medicine for the day to help relieve our symptoms. I have no problem spending money, as he is apart of my family, but I refuse to humor more vets who take my money and barely do anything to help my little man.