Leah [ADOPTED DECEMBER 30] is an 8-year-old female who came to us from a Wisconsin shelter where she was surrendered by her owners. To be very frank, she was a mess. Her ears were badly infected and she was constantly scooting across the floor. She did this to the point that she rubbed her rear end raw.

We initially assumed she had allergies and did testing on her. Leah is allergic to cigarette smoke so can not be place with smokers. Although she showed some allergens it did not seem to be enough to cause the behavior we were witnessing. After a while it became obvious that Leah’s itching, scooting, whining etc was behavioral. If she is stressed she reverts to this behavior. We have found that Vitamin B complex tablets (usually sold to humans as stress tabs) really help. In a stable home the time where she is most likely to be stressed is feeding time. Intially we would have a big round of itching and whining. She now will just bark if the food does not come soon enough.

Anyone who chooses to adopt Leah must understand this and absolutely not allow an overzealous vet to give her steroids. Too many vets think steroids are the answer to everything. They dispense them without any regard for their damaging side effects. There is no doubt that they drastically effect urine production and in many cases have a very negative effect on the pancreas. Steroids have their role in veterinary medicine but one should determine if the positive effects will really outweigh all the negative effects.

Leah is a very sweet dog who does well with all other animals and humans. She is housetrained. We have never had the need to crate her. Her ears will probably always be a problem and must be continually monitored.