I have a male Maltese which I have owned for 4 years, he was a rescue dog so his exact age isn't known but he is approx. 10yrs.
he has always had "itchy" skin and we have restricted his food etc to see if it is an allergy..
Recently I have started feeding him sardines with his food on a daily basis as I have heard that the oils are beneficial for their coat and can assist with flaky itchy skin.
I was wanting to know is this correct and if feeding them to him daily is too much?? His skin doesn't seem to have changed if anything he is chewing himself around the feet and leg area even more....I know that could be seasonal or a reaction to something that is growing this time of year?? I realise it is hard to diagnose not seeing the dog and I will return to my vet, really I just want to know about feeding him the sardines...he loves them!!!
Dr. Marie replied:
Thanks for your question!
I don't see a problem with feeding sardines each day. The idea of feeding sardines is to increase the amount of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the diet which is helpful for coat quality. However, what I don't know is how many sardines would need to be consumed in order to be beneficial and how many could potentially be too much.
I just did a search through some veterinary archives however, and could not find any information on animals becoming ill from eating sardines.
If Sargie has a food allergy it will take a good 3-6 weeks of eating a hypoallergenic food to see if there is going to be a difference. When you say you are "restricting his food" if this is just cutting out treats this is good. But, even better would be to have him on a prescription hypoallergenic diet and nothing else.
It is definitely possible that his allergies are environmental rather than food. This is actually more common. Unfortunately most dogs with seasonal allergies do need some help in the form of mild steroids.
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Dr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.
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