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We learned alot about Rocky this Christmas season. The common denominator in all of his skin disorder flares has been stress. We had two parties both with about 30 people. You could tell Rocky was getting a little upset as he watched us prepare for the first party. When we moved his crate he got especially freaked out. When the people were here, he was in his crate as calm as could be. 18 hours after the people left he started to scratch. 24 hours after they left, I had to give him pred. Two weeks later we had the second party. The same scenario except this time we put his crate upstairs in our bedroom. We put him in our bedroom with the door closed while folks were there. He slept in our bed. 18 hours after they left he started to scratch. 24 hours after they left, I had to give him pred.

I had converted Rocky to 100% Acana Pacifica just before the first party and I wasn't sure how much of the problem was Acana and how much was the party. So, as soon as Rocky calms down I will be able to retry Acana.

I know of two herbal formulations I am going to try which are designed to prevent negative effects from stress. The first is APF made by Austin Labs and the other is Rescue Remedy which is used by CPL where my wife volunteers.

I hate using pred, but I am still using pills from his first and only prescription in March so you know I don't use much of it. A short burst does the trick - two 5 mg pills per day for 1 or 2 days, 1 pill on the 2nd or 3rd day and 1/2 pill on the 3rd or 4th day. I have only done 3 or 4 of these bursts since his major 6 week long flare back in March/April. I am quite sure now that the majority of his problem in March came from two factors: stress from being surrendered/rehomed and food allergies (we have since determined that Rocky is allergic to many of the things we initially fed him). I'm sure that springtime pollen was a contributor but I am optimistic that next spring will be much better.
 

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That's really interesting, maybe you could give him some Rescue Remedy, or even Benadryl to chill him out before parties so he doesn't stress.
 

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I agree they make Rescue Remedy for dogs that doesnt have alcohol like the other does and it might help. Poor guy, I hope you find something that works.
 
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