Dear DeDe!

Oh Dog! It’s Sunday, so gather ’round and visit for a spell with your Dear Ole’ DeDe!!!!

Don’t I have some gorgeous legs!

I’ve had a bit of a setback recently. 

Jen was asked to try a new formulation of the Innova food, so both Rumpy and I tried.  There was no corn or wheat, so we hoped all would be well.  Besides, I loved it!

But this week Jen noticed a spot on my leg from where I’d been licking, so she took me off the food and we’re doctoring that spot so I leave it be and let it heal up.

When you hear the story of my allergies, you’ll know why this is a big deal. Ya see, soon after I started living with Jen, I began licking my leg, and it caused a sore spot. Thus began a two-year odyssey with trying to find out why I did this and how to treat it.

At one point the lick granuloma were so bad the vet feared I might lose my leg. When they wrapped my leg in a cast to keep my from licking it, I began to lick my other leg.

And after all other treatment methods failed, I was put on an antidepressant. I still licked, but more slowly.

This is what my legs USED to look like.


Jen was almost ready to call it quits. She was a wreck and doing alot of self-blaming. After all, no one SAID she was at fault, but there was always that insinuation.

Finally, in desperation, she began trying to change my diet on her own and find out what the problem was. She eliminated all corn and wheat from my diet, and within two weeks the problem abated.  

Thing is, Jen had asked the vets if it might be some sort of allergy and was told no. They never recommended testing me or anything.

So that’s why Jen is always very careful now when dealing with vets. They are well-educated, and they are well-meaning, but they don’t have all the answers.

Like the vet who told Jen to get Rumpy shaved so he’d be cooler. It was obvious this guy had no clue how bad an idea that really was, so we stopped seeing him.

So have a good week everybody, and send those healing thoughts to my poor old leg!

89 thoughts on “Dear DeDe!

  1. Sometimes I just gotta WONDER about the Vet Schools and what they are pawducing. PeeS… I am really jealous of those LONG LEGS.

    1. I don’t mind they don’t know, but I DO mind when they don’t ask for help. That’s what I like about my current vet. If she doesn’t know something, she gets on the phone and makes a call.

  2. Poor DeDe. 😦

    How unfortunate that all the good stuff makes us feel bad.

    Just curious about the shaving. I’ve seen people shave their Goldens and other shedding long-haired breeds, but I’ve never done it myself. Someone recently asked me why I didn’t shave my Aussie/BC mix since it is so hot this summer. I responded that it was because my dog is in the house 99% of the time but is there another reason why it is a bad idea?

    1. The coats are designed to provide cooling, so there’s no need to alter them. Shaving can damage the coat, and can result in sunburn when the dog does go outside. If you’re unsure, find a reputable breeder and ask them.

      1. Since my dogs are inside most of the time, I won’t even consider it. But this is good information to know should someone ask me again. Thanks! :0)

  3. Aargh, DeDe! I hope your leg is all better soon. I was just at the vet last week about being itchy. She gave me a fish oil pill to take every day. It’s really yummy with some (cream cheese on it), and I am scratching and biting my tummy a lot less. She also told Mom to keep me out of the grass, so I haven’t sat out in the sun in ages. THAT part is a bummer.

    Mom and I will say prayers for your leg to feel fine again soon.
    Love and licks,

  4. That must have been one very ignorant vet to suggest shaving a malamute. We do have lots of peeps ask our Mom why she doesn’t have us shaved for the summer – thank goodness she knows better than to do that.

    Here’s hoping DeDed’s leg will be OK and not get worse.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  5. I am very glad Jen goes with her instinct and cleared up the licking on both cases. We are very fortunate to have a bet that listens to what Mom feels is wrong and helps work with to to see if that could be The problem 🙂

  6. I agree with Jen, Dear DeDe…..we respect most of the human doctors and vets as they did study very hard to learn medicine, but reality is that there are problems that we can’t find from the medical books, so they might want to have more drawers for the answers.
    Have a lovely Sunday, Dear DeDe! 🙂

  7. Goodness gracious DeDe – you’ve been under the care of a very poor vet! You are so lucky that Jen had the smarts to try something herself. Aaaargh, that makes us so mad that you had to suffer so long. Seraching for food allergies is such basic advice when treating a skin disorder. Well done Jen and well done you for making such a full recovery (such shapely pins now). A bald Rumpy, such a clever suggestion too. Hope you’ve warned your local friends about this vet.

  8. Hi DeeDee, Mollie here. My friend Jake has diabetes and our mom studied up on it big time. She got more information from a forum than she did from our vet including which insulin to use when the “cat” insulin didn’t work. Vets are just people so they can make mistakes too. We love our vet but mom keeps current on all things that affect us. The down side is that we are all on a low carb diet here to prevent diabetes. (Cats don’t need carbs.) Jake has had diabetes for 5 years and is doing well – no neuropathy or infections. Too bad he can be a big pain in the neck.

    1. Smart move! Sadly, some vets won’t even entertain the possibility that a pet’s human might know more than they do. If that’s the kind of vet someone has, might be time to change vets!

      1. Out vet worked with us and we found out that the best insulin for Jake was a human insulin that was “off label” for cats. That meant that she couldn’t get it at wholesale and make money on it. Fortunately, she was more about cats than profit and just gave us the prescription to get it at a drugstore.

  9. Healing thoughts on the way. Whilst we know vets are great, we also know how well we understand our pets. We know when they are unwell and very often we know exactly what is wrong (and what is not wrong) with them.

    Christmas Pie Crafts

  10. Poor DeDe! Well, I guess those foodie folks put SOMETHING in that food that doesn’t agree with you and I’m so sorry to hear you’re having skin problems AGAIN! I’m sending healing purrs your way…..allergies are no fun 😦

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  11. Just like people doctors Vets are often making educated guesses. I always get a second opinion for my animal and human babies. Maggie, my choco lab mix, would lick herself raw if she got flea bites. So yeah allergies can do weird things to us. I suspect that most dog food like human food has weird preservatives and fillers in them that aren’t good for us too. Has Jen researched what would be the traditional diet for a malamute? If they would eat a lot of fish and seal, the missing fish oil in the diet could be an issue. Anyway, I am sure Jen looked at a million different things. Doggie kisses and hugs to you and Jen.

  12. Vets are just like people doctors…they make educated guesses and second hand opinions are important. Has Jen researched the traditional diet of malamutes? Maybe they ate a lot of seal and fish and if so they may need supplemental fish oil. my choco lab, Maggie, would lick and chew herself raw if she got bitten by a single flea. Allergies are very difficult to control in animals. I suspect that dog food has too many preservatives and fillers in it just like people food. I am sending doggie kisses and hugs you way.

      1. aha, well I think labs and retrievers in general have skin issues…all of my lab mixes and purebred golden retrievers have. I know you’ve probably explored everything but what about shampoos and stuff….have you eliminated that? Do you use Febreeze or anything on the carpet and upholstery? I personally am allergic to just about everything–from flowers to newspaper ink, so eliminating everything from my environment would mean living in a bubble. I know how hard it is to pin down exactly what is causing the problem so you have my sympathy.

    1. We may never know all of my allergies, but we know what foods are safe, so we’ve gone back to them and will never stray again. Lesson learned.

  13. I read a while back, and can’t remember where, that dogs eating a lot of chicken can have that kind of allergic reaction…after all, they feed those poor chickens all kinds of c**p! Might be worth looking into. Hope DeDe is all better soon! 🙂

  14. We hope your leg gets better! Our mom changed our food the other day and it made Scout really sick so she changed us back. We feel your pain! Keeping paws crossed for you!

    1. Wow, I didn’t know barfing could be related to grain ingestion. Our Graybow has a sensitive tummy. After trying MANY different kinds of cat foods, we found that he likes Purina One and he responds well to it. So we leave things be.

  15. Prayers for your leg sweet DeDe. We are thankful for vets and all the help they give us but no one knows us like our humans know us and sometimes they just know best. Hugs and nose kisses

  16. So sorry for your vet experiences. That seems like pure crazy to not suspect allergies. I won’t even comment on the ridiculousness of the shaving. We feel so blessed that our vet is like a 2nd parent to Melvin, heavily invested in his well-being. I only wish everyone had that!

    1. We’re glad we hung in there and kept shopping until we found a vet that we have today. She’s smart, she listens, and she’s not afraid to ask for help when she doesn’t know the answer. And believe me, in this family, we seem to have lots of opportunities for her to practice the latter.

  17. Many healing thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery, you poor pup! Yes, we do have to be our own ailment detectives very often – you have a wonderful mom who took so much time and trouble to find out what was bothering you. Blessings to you both!

  18. Years ago our dog Smokey started licking his tail and worrying it. We had to have it treated by the vet. He simply put antibiotic ointment on it. Wrapped it and gave Smokey antibiotics and a run of steroids. There were five of us kids to yell at Smokey whenever he looked at his tail. He seemed to overcome the problem but at one point it looked like he was down to the bone. It was very traumatic. I hope Dede gets through this okay. She’s a sweet doggy.

  19. DeDe – tell Jen to stop blaming herself immediately!! Nothing worse than to feel you’re somehow responsible for unfortunate situations your best friend is afflicted with and getting no reassurance from those who should know better. Jen’s got more commonsense than all those vets put together by the sound of it and she’s doing a great job getting to the bottom of your problem. Just get that leg and the licking nicely under control so she starts to believe in herself a little bit more and realises she’s a fantastic “mum” to you all. Hugs to you and Jen 🙂

  20. Feel for you. I’ve just written about my problems with allergies from birth. Fortunately I have a pretty good vet and we did go through the food thing. I’m not allergic to food, I have atopic allergy so I have to take medicine every day. Not ideal.
    Even though it isn’t a good allergy, Beloved still feeds me fish and cooks brown rice and oats for me. Doesn’t give me corn or wheat.
    I went on a very special diet from the vet for over a month but still itched and broke out in sores which is how they knew it wasn’t the food. I keep telling Beloved I can eat anything…… anything! But …..
    It is no fun to itch, I hope your leg is better soon. I have lots of bare patches on my coat at the moment but Beloved thinks the hair is beginning to grow back.
    And I am beginning to play again so things are improving. I hope they improve for you too.

  21. I’m glad you switched vets. Not only do some not have the answers, nutrition (food) is on their radar. Your vet should have know about allergies.

    I hope you heal quickly.

  22. Sorry to hear about the leg! The Wayward pack sends well wishes. We’re definitely dealing with itchiness and sneezing. The older that Scooby the min pin gets, the more grass and pollen seem to bother him. He licks his legs a little, too, even though he’s on a grain-free diet.

  23. I read from this book titled the Alchemist that says, if you want something real bad, the entire universe will help you achieve it. I want your leg to heal and never get spots again!!!!! And yes, you have gorgeous long legs 😉

    I’ll be back,

  24. The dog from my parents used to have the same problem. Licking her paws until there was no hair left, but a sore red skin.

    I can’t remember correctly what my parents did. But I think it was a mix of homeopathy and changing diet to a raw-diet. Ever since she stopped licking, and everything was fine again. 🙂

  25. Enjoyed Rumpy’s blogs…My dog is a Samoyed-Collie cross with very long, thick fur also. The vet had always told me not to shave her in summer — until this year. Since she’s old (14) and hates being groomed (her arthritis means she doesn’t loved being touched in some spots), I hadn’t had her in for her ‘fluff ‘n buff’ for a while. Her fur underneath was so matted shaving was the only answer. (The top looked fine but I couldn’t see the underfur!) She actually loved being shaved and has behaved like a puppy ever since. I’m careful to keep her out of the sun, but she seems much happier and younger than ever. So you never know…

  26. DeDe – poor you. Times are changing, used to be dog spit fixed everything! But, I guess it makes sense, dogs are complex physiologically as well as humans, and are suffering from the same modern world ills. We’re all having to learn to think & question because things aren’t always as they appear. Jen did good.

  27. DeDe I don’t know if you’ve tried this – found this recently for dog skin problems: mix equal parts of amber Listerine, baby oil, and water. Use a sprayer to put on hot spots.
    Listerine is an antifungal and apparently some hot spots are triggered by fungus (we are in a very humid semi-tropical climate here)
    Been told it works to slowly heal irritated spots.
    (Wonder if it also freshens dog breath?)
    Just thought I’d pass that along.
    Oh, voting for Rumpy! If I decide to put a “Vote for Rumpy” memo on my blog, could I use that cute Rumpy dog face picture? (FYI, trying to “guess” the secret letter code on the voting form is hard for me – dyslexic – and my brains just goes bananas with those weird letters! But very determined to vote!)

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