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terrible skin allergy in our lab

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by chalms, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. chalms

    chalms New Member

    Hi...l haven't posted here in over a year...but we need help with our 3yr old yellow lab Buster. He has terrible skin allergies. We have changed his diet countless times and our vet had him on predizone (which we stopped after 6 months)...the only thing that worked. He is on the royal canin vet diet of vennison and potato and we are now seeing a vet dermatologist. It has cost us $1,000 in office visits, plus he is on atopica..100 to 150 mgs a day...plus other stuff. Anyway..no one can find out what he is allergic too but unless he is loaded up with meds he gets sores and loses his hair from scratching and biting himself.

    Can anyone out there relate to this or have some other type of remedies?
     
  2. Mary_NH

    Mary_NH New Member

    I have a friend whose dog had blood tests done to determine what he was/is allergic to.
    Did your vet do that?
     
  3. chalms

    chalms New Member

    Yes, blood tests were given. At this point she says it's airborne allergies...which could be anything in the air. We have experimented with different foods and without meds...he breaks out no matter what food he's on.
     
  4. elizavixen

    elizavixen New Member

    You could try giving him salmon oil. That just helps with the skin. There are other supplements out there too - MIssing link, Nzymes, and others. Nzymes are good.

    Does he get hot spots? My dog does. The best thing for him is to keep the area shaved (he is a st. bernard so he has really long, thick hair) and when he does start licking it I put baby powder on it. Number one thing with hot spots is to keep the area dry!

    If you have to you could use an e-collar.

    Did the vet not offer shots after the blood allergy tests? I thought they could test for the allergies and then give like immunity shots for what they are allergic to.

    b
     
  5. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    Oh CHalmes, I hear ya on this one, I am in the same boat with jake, just had him in for a hot spot that turned into a secondary infection and he is on antibiotics. The vet says its seasional hayfever that gets out of control.

    I dont get why the vet is not giving him shots if he has been allergy tested and they found out what he is allergic to.
    Those allergy tests will show what airborne stuff he is allergic to and they can give him shots for this just like people. Why arent they doing that?

    I even did that with my cat, poor thing was so allergic to pollen and other airborne things the list was a mile long of airborne stuff he was allergic to, and he would get pheomonia they gave hin shots.


    One of he main things is to boost is immune system. I just put Jake on this supplement to help along with salmon oil
    http://k9rawdiet.com/Bertes-Immune-Blend-pr-59.html
     
  6. LuvMyBabies

    LuvMyBabies New Member

    My dog also has allergies. We did the testing and came back with a list of about 30 things he is allergic to (including ragweed, cigarette smoke, kentucky bluegrass.....which is what we have in our backyard). I now give him shots at home to de-sensitize him from some of these allergies. We still have to stay away from certain foods and use unscented products in our house, but the shots definitely help with the airborne allergies (there are some things we just can't avoid).
     
  7. chalms

    chalms New Member

    You wouldn't believe how much this is costing us! I hope I don't sound cheap, cause it is our dog & I love him..but wow. The first visit to the vet(animal dermatologist) cost us over $700 for tests and meds. The 2nd visit was $220..we have the 3rd visit tomorrow. On top of that the atopica is $144 for a 10 day supply. He needs it continually. She will assess Buster tomorrow and see if he can cut the dosage of atopica. This is trial and error tho. There is nothing difinitive. Also we tried salmon oil as well as a salmon diet and it did not help. He has had only one hot spot but he gets sores all over his paws and an inflamation and sores on his groin area. Plus they smell bad and he sleeps in our bedroom. The atopica is helping tho and I put resicort on him as advised and benedryl as an antihestimine.

    I guess I'm just venting to you guys and trying to find out if there is anybody else that can relate to this...like honeybear said or if it is what it is...and this is the costs of a dog with severe allergies to the skin.
     
  8. chalms

    chalms New Member

    Luvmybabies I have a question for you...are the shots you are giving, atopica? They told us...this may be the case with Buster..that he could be allergic to so many airborne things...he will neet shots of atopica to control it for the rest of his life cause the pills are too expensive. Is your dog a Lab also?
     
  9. hermann muenster

    hermann muenster New Member

    Oh, I feel for all of you people with dogs that have allergies.
    I wish breeders would start screening for allergies. I think a lot of these problems are hereditary. And I have been hearing and seeing soooooooo much of it!

    I do think too, that some (not all!) vets will encourage testing and medications that become a financial stress to the pet owner and a physical stress to the poor animal.

    I personally would try ----- a good old fashioned bath with Johnson's baby shampoo! And I would bathe no more than every 4-6 weeks! Then I would get a decent commercial food - make a slow transition, and stick with that food for a good 4 weeks. I would stop the meds - and just keep the guy busy and happy, brushed every day, and sit back and watch!

    I think that stress from food changes, medications, visits to the vets, and sensing a nervousness from you could even be aggrevating the condition.
    But, this is just my opinion.

    Good luck.

    A little TLC can heal a lot of problems.
     
  10. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    Chalms here is some other info, hope this helps. I looked Atopica, it is different than allergy shots. The atopica is probably so expenisve because it looks like a new drug.

    I would ask the vet why they are not reccomending allergy shots since you had the testing done.
    Basiclly how they work is the mixture is different for evey type of allergy. They are basicly giving the dog in the shot what they are allergic to and their body creates antibodies to fight the allergens and this de sensitises them.

    Sounds like he is ona good food, but I would still get him on a supplement like I suggested to build his immune systems along with a good fatty acid supplement. Being in steroids on other drugs breaks down their immune system causing furhter problems. Where i got my immune blend I even talked to the woman who sells it and she was very helpful. She could guide you if that is the right supplement for with the other things you dog is taking. I know I have spent $$$ but they are my babies so I will do anything to help them

    good luck

    Question: Dr. Richards,

    I have taken my 3 year old yellow lab to the vet twice now for his excessive licking and scratching. The vet
    gave him a cortisone shot and put him on 3V Caps and prednisone to take over a three month period. The
    cortisone shot seemed to help for a day or two, but once he started taking the prednisone, he was sleepy most
    of the time, and drank so much water that he basically became incontinent. I was up 4 or 5 times a night to let
    him out to urinate and he was urinating in the house if no one heard him ring his bell to go out. (someone is
    home all day). So basically, the cure seemed worse than the "disease" and I weaned him off the prednisone
    after about 6 weeks. Besides which, it cost me $200 for the office visits and meds. I need to know what else it
    could be besides "allergies in August" because this licking is driving me (and the dog) crazy. He licks so loud
    and long he wakes us up, not to mention his skin and paws look bad where he licks.

    Any help would be appreciated. Gayle

    Answer: Gayle-

    If your Lab is licking a lot but has no visible skin disorder, such as pustules, scabbiness, hairloss or
    something similar, the odds are really high that your vet is correct about the cause. Even if these other
    conditions are present, it is highly likely that allergies are part of the problem.

    3V Capsules (tm) are currently favored by veterinary dermatologists as they contain a higher
    percentage of the fatty acids thought to be helpful. It takes several weeks for a benefit to show from
    essential fatty acid supplementation and not all dogs and cats are helped. Antihistamines used in
    combination with the 3V capsules may be beneficial. The antihistamine most likely to help, based on
    studies, is clemastine (Tavist tm). Regular bathing with soothing or antibacterial shampoos can be
    helpful, although not all dogs are cooperative about this.

    If there is a secondary (or primary) bacterial skin infection, then using an antibiotic or antibacterial
    shampoo might be helpful.

    In a dog this young, it would be worth considering going to a dermatologist, confirming that allergies
    are the problem and trying hyposensitization (allergy shots). It works about 70% of the time to
    control the itching and has few side effects compared to medications. This is costly the first year but
    over time I think it is less costly and more comfortable for the dog, when it works. Knowing that
    allergies are present and what the allergies are can sometimes allow better planning for medication
    use, even if you don't elect to try hyposensitization.

    Another alternative is to consider low dose cyclosporin therapy. This is a new approach to pruritis
    from allergies and there are no really long term studies on its use, but it seems promising based on
    early information.

    It may also be possible to adjust the dosage of prednisone to get some anti-itching effect with less of
    the side effects, especially if combined with fatty acid supplementation and antihistamines.

    Allergies are lifelong and that makes it important to think of the long range effects of everything that is
    done. It is best to use prednisone for as short a time and at as low a dose, as possible.

    I wish I had an easier solution for your problem.
     
  11. honeybears

    honeybears New Member

    Chalms here is some other info, hope this helps. I looked Atopica, it is different than allergy shots. The atopica is probably so expenisve because it looks like a new drug.

    I would ask the vet why they are not reccomending allergy shots since you had the testing done.
    Basiclly how they work is the mixture is different for evey type of allergy. They are basicly giving the dog in the shot what they are allergic to and their body creates antibodies to fight the allergens and this de sensitises them.

    Sounds like he is ona good food, but I would still get him on a supplement like I suggested to build his immune systems along with a good fatty acid supplement. Being in steroids on other drugs breaks down their immune system causing furhter problems. Where i got my immune blend I even talked to the woman who sells it and she was very helpful. She could guide you if that is the right supplement for with the other things you dog is taking. I know I have spent $$$ but they are my babies so I will do anything to help them

    good luck

    Question: Dr. Richards,

    I have taken my 3 year old yellow lab to the vet twice now for his excessive licking and scratching. The vet
    gave him a cortisone shot and put him on 3V Caps and prednisone to take over a three month period. The
    cortisone shot seemed to help for a day or two, but once he started taking the prednisone, he was sleepy most
    of the time, and drank so much water that he basically became incontinent. I was up 4 or 5 times a night to let
    him out to urinate and he was urinating in the house if no one heard him ring his bell to go out. (someone is
    home all day). So basically, the cure seemed worse than the "disease" and I weaned him off the prednisone
    after about 6 weeks. Besides which, it cost me $200 for the office visits and meds. I need to know what else it
    could be besides "allergies in August" because this licking is driving me (and the dog) crazy. He licks so loud
    and long he wakes us up, not to mention his skin and paws look bad where he licks.

    Any help would be appreciated. Gayle

    Answer: Gayle-

    If your Lab is licking a lot but has no visible skin disorder, such as pustules, scabbiness, hairloss or
    something similar, the odds are really high that your vet is correct about the cause. Even if these other
    conditions are present, it is highly likely that allergies are part of the problem.

    3V Capsules (tm) are currently favored by veterinary dermatologists as they contain a higher
    percentage of the fatty acids thought to be helpful. It takes several weeks for a benefit to show from
    essential fatty acid supplementation and not all dogs and cats are helped. Antihistamines used in
    combination with the 3V capsules may be beneficial. The antihistamine most likely to help, based on
    studies, is clemastine (Tavist tm). Regular bathing with soothing or antibacterial shampoos can be
    helpful, although not all dogs are cooperative about this.

    If there is a secondary (or primary) bacterial skin infection, then using an antibiotic or antibacterial
    shampoo might be helpful.

    In a dog this young, it would be worth considering going to a dermatologist, confirming that allergies
    are the problem and trying hyposensitization (allergy shots). It works about 70% of the time to
    control the itching and has few side effects compared to medications. This is costly the first year but
    over time I think it is less costly and more comfortable for the dog, when it works. Knowing that
    allergies are present and what the allergies are can sometimes allow better planning for medication
    use, even if you don't elect to try hyposensitization.

    Another alternative is to consider low dose cyclosporin therapy. This is a new approach to pruritis
    from allergies and there are no really long term studies on its use, but it seems promising based on
    early information.

    It may also be possible to adjust the dosage of prednisone to get some anti-itching effect with less of
    the side effects, especially if combined with fatty acid supplementation and antihistamines.

    Allergies are lifelong and that makes it important to think of the long range effects of everything that is
    done. It is best to use prednisone for as short a time and at as low a dose, as possible.

    I wish I had an easier solution for your problem.
     
  12. LuvMyBabies

    LuvMyBabies New Member

    My dog is shih tzu / mini dachshund cross. When we give him his allergy shots, we are actually injecting him with the things he is allergic to in order for his body to build up an immunity. We started out with shots every second day and are now giving every ten days. Eventually it will be a maintenance shot every 30 days.

    Trust me we when I say that this is a real problem and removing the stress from the situation would not make it go away. It used to break my heart to watch this little guy try to run and play and have to stop every couple of steps to scratch and bite himself.

    We are very careful with his food and he has been on the same diet for about 6 months. Some of his most intense allergies are to corn and oatmeal so alot of commercial foods are out of the questions. I used to give him baby carrots for treats thinking this would be perfectly safe for him.......he is allergic to carrots.

    Just hang in there. What works for one will not work for all but I think it is very important to determine what he is allergic to. Until you know that, you are just treating the symptoms and not correcting the problem. Good luck.
     

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