Our jaws dropped at Maple's transformation after just 2 weeks on v-dog. After a lifetime of relentless allergies and painful skin rashes, Maple's mom, Andrea, was out of ideas...until she discovered v-dog. Read on for the full story, and have a box of tissues ready!
"Maple was 6 weeks old when we brought her home," says Andrea. "She started showing signs of skin problems when she was 8 weeks old. The vet insisted her skin issues were caused by mange because she was 'too young to have allergies.' We went through mange treatment even though he could not find any live mange in her skin scrapings. She was also on antibiotics and was prescribed a special shampoo. This went on for about a year. She wasn't extremely broken out but consistently had bumpy skin and a belly rash. She also suffered from reoccurring bladder infections.
I finally took her to another vet that preformed all the same tests and agreed with me that Maple was having food allergies. She suggested limited ingredient kibble. I tried all of them. One at a time. Occasionally she would show improvement but she consistently had bumps all over her body. She began having blisters when she was about 3 years old. When she was having a severe reaction they would cover her entirely, nose to tail. Her skin would scab over and her fur would fall out in patches. She smelled terrible, no matter how many baths we gave her even with medicated shampoo.
We tried every high quality, limited ingredient kibble and eventually decided to make homemade food. My husband would hunt deer for her. She did really well on that but still had a rash. It never fully cleared. Eventually we ran out of venison. We went back to kibble but specifically tried venison limited ingredient kibble. It didn't work. We were back on the kibble trials with Maple having continuous breakouts and having to take Prednisone and antibiotics. About a year ago our vet suggested prescription allergy medication. It cost about $100 a month for her prescription. It cleared her right up at first, then she slowly began to break out again and started having bladder incontinence which was a side effect of the prescription. We took her off the drug and tried yet another kibble. Same results as before. We took her to the vet for a skin infection and she was prescribed Prednisone again, except this time the prescription was for as long as she needed it. She was on the drug for about a month.
We contacted a nutritionist who suggested a raw food diet. At this point she looked the worst ever. She looked like a burn victim. Her entire face was bald and covered in open sores from her scratching and tearing at it. It was so hard to watch her go through it. The nutritionist said she was detoxing and it was normal.
My husband and I discussed putting her down. In the end I told him that Maple was miserable but she was still telling me that she wanted to live. She still had a passion in her spirit and I wasn't going to put her down because it was hard for us to watch her detox. She was still fighting.
Her fur grew back but she consistently had a rash and eventually got a secondary infection. She was back on Prednisone again. This time for 9 months.
The raw food diet was just as unsuccessful as any of the kibble diets. We talked about putting her down again. I could see that she still wanted to live but she was weak and sad and inactive. At that point I felt helpless. I told my husband that if we were going to put her down that it would have to wait until summer break (I'm an art teacher at our local elementary school) because I wouldn't be able to handle it emotionally and it would effect my job and my school kids.
That gave me about 3 months left with her. I began to prepare myself. I was taking pictures and snuggling as much as possible. I put her back on Prednisone because that was the only thing that brought her any kind of relief. I started talking to my daughters about putting her down. We we're accepting it.
As summer came closer, I became more real. I really struggled with the fact that she wasn't ready to die. She was still telling me that she wanted to be alive, with us. She was not giving me any signs that she lost her will. She still had light in her eyes. She was still fighting. I couldn't give up on her!
I was desperate. I was pacing in the kitchen talking to her. 'Maple, we have got to figure this out. What have we done?' I listed what we had tried, hoping to find something we hadn't tried. Then it hit me. I was thinking the wrong way. The question should have been 'What haven't we tried?'
What is the complete opposite of everything we have tried? Vegan food.
A quick search and I found v-dog. I visited the website. I read the reviews. I read the Facebook reviews and comments. It took me about a week of mulling it over.
I ordered it and started transitioning both of my dogs from raw food to v-dog. They didn't have any stomach issues. The transition went smoothly. After a week they were on v-dog only. Still, no issues. I was a little startled that I didn't see any new issues. Usually Maple will start to break out in a fresh rash within a day of a food change. There was nothing but her remnants from her previous rash. I took a leap of faith and weaned her off of the Prednisone. A week later she was completely off of any drugs and she still had no new rash. She began to detox. Her fur fell out in clumps. Her skin was flaking off. Her skin was one giant scab. But still no rash. She looked terrible. But it was different this time. There were none of the usual signs of trouble. I took that hope and I tucked it in. I kept it quiet. I had been through this cycle before.
Her fur grew back. Faster than any other diet she had tried. My hope grew with it. I took the picture of her back on May 14. I would show it to people and say 'Look how much better she's doing!' Of course to them they would say 'Oh, poor girl.' They couldn't see what I saw. Not even my husband. They just looked at me like I was trying to convince myself that she was improving so that I didn't have to put her down.
Then I took the May 27 picture and put them side by side. The reaction was much different. Her improvement was very obvious to everyone. It's clear to see in those pictures that she has improved dramatically. She still has no sign of any reaction. She's been off of Prednisone for well over a month now. Her breath smells better, her coat smells better. She has energy and wants to play. She asks to go for walks and looks at you with eyes full of light and happiness.
Her face and tail are still going through detox but it's happening quickly and being replaced with healthy skin.
I am over the moon happy about her results. I have honestly never seen these kind of results with any other diet or medication. I am thrilled to say that I no longer have to make the difficult decision to put her down before her time. I now look at her and openly share my hope that she will live happily and comfortably for many more years.
She has been fighting her whole life. V-dog has been a true miracle for us."
Time and time again, we hear of incredible health turnarounds after our doggie customers switch to v-dog. From allergies and itchiness to joint pain and low energy levels, our formula has proven to be extremely healing for dogs of all shapes and sizes -- including the most sensitive and picky of pups! Check out our testimonials page for more heartwarming stories, and learn more about vegan diets for dogs on our FAQ page here.
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