allergy question for those who have experience with allergie

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kristakmj
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allergy question for those who have experience with allergie

Postby kristakmj » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:45 pm

The dog i had put down because of an irresponsible owner has brought me to save another dog from the shelter .

Her name is gracelyn , the shelter was told she will be 1 in sept , she was brought there because the owner said she was sick and they couldnt afford to get her the health care she needed, the former owner told the shelter manager if the shelter got her healthy they would take her back carol ( the manager ) laughed and took gracelyn into the shelter .

so anyways this girl was in very bad shape when i first saw her , she went to the vet and the vet said she has allergies , they gave her a shot and it greatly improved her , BUT she still looks terrible , she has a few open sores from what looks like scratching and while she has gotten alot of her hair back it still is very thin .

I will be taking her to the vet myself to see what he recommends, but from what i have read the only way to know for sure is through blood testing . my question is

is there a mild diet i can start her on? Is fish oil really sometimes helpful for allergies? any suggestions until she gets to the vet would be wonderful as i have never delt with allergies but I was this girls last chance for a good home or she was gonna be PTS simply because she has health issues

I knew this would be a place for some experienced owners thanks in advance PBF

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:32 pm

The shot was likely a steroid and isn't going to be enough. The dog will also need antibiotics and medicated baths if she is still miserable as there are bound to be secondary infections.

The combination of steroids and antibiotics can keep the pup happy and healthy for quite some time... the allergy testing and desensitization vaccines may take up to a year to begin showing improvement. They're an excellent option, don't get me wrong, but may not be a good choice for a shelter environment where you don't know what her future home will be like.

90% of allergies are environmental and a single specific food will not play a role in improving them. Any quality consistent diet should be fine for a dog with environmental allergies. If the dog has food allergies, then you need a single protein single carbohydrate diet, such as Natural Balance formulas and they can't have ANYTHING ELSE. This means no heartguard, no pill pockets, no canned food, no nothing, which can be really hard to regulate with a dog getting meds in a shelter environment. If she's at a foster, this might be much more feasable.

kristakmj
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Postby kristakmj » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:18 pm

misskiwi thanks for the quick reply , i guess i didnt really make it clear I have adopted this wonderful girl in order to give her an actual chance at a good life where she wont be dumped for her health problems. she was going to be put down if not found a home soon and since most people wont consider a dog in her shape, i figured i would take her in my home .

I truly have no idea what her background is , like food she was on , i did see the address where she lived ( outside ) and it was horrible so who truly knows .

I dont have alot of money for testing her as far as allergies goes but i am willing to put some moeny and effort into trying to find the best way to make her comfortable , as far as her looks goes i really dont care about that as much as i want to get her to FEEL as best as i can afford to .

I know some might say why did i take her if i couldnt afford the care but its not that i cant afford her care i just dont know if i can afford all the test to try and pinpoint her exact allergy . does that make sense? so i really just want to make her comfortable as possible and give her a chance at life

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Postby Murfins » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:55 pm

Look into buying Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. It's like $19 USD and imo, has a wealth of information that you would find useful, especially when dealing with allergies.

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:12 am

kristakmj wrote:

I know some might say why did i take her if i couldnt afford the care but its not that i cant afford her care i just dont know if i can afford all the test to try and pinpoint her exact allergy . does that make sense? so i really just want to make her comfortable as possible and give her a chance at life


I have an allergy dog myself, and I know exactly how you feel! I'm glad to hear she's in a home, that makes things tons easier!

I would just start with a healthy food (nothing exotic like duck, venison or fish) and a vet visit and see how the next couple weeks go. Sometimes getting an animal out of a stressful situation, feeding a good food, and some minor medical care can work wonders.

The first thing you need to do is to pinpoint and resolve the secondary infections. It may take months to do this and after thats done and your pup is comfortable, THEN you can start worrying about the underlying cause. Allergies are like oranges, first you peel off the surface stuff, then you can section it up until you get to the bottom of the issue. Does she just look horrid, or does she itch like crazy too?

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Jazzy
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Postby Jazzy » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:51 am

The test may not be as expensive as you think. I had Veronica allergy tested. Our vet drew blood and sent it out for analysis. I think it cost between $200 - $300. We have not yet started the desentsitization shots; V. is 2...so we have been waiting to see how things develop. My personal approach to medicine has developed into "less is best"...however our plans are to get through this allergy season and if things are the same or worse next spring; start the injections.

V. has primarily environmental allergies; which the vet we got a second opinion from is ackowledging; instead of trying to shove an allergy diet down my throat.

MissK...I have heard that statistic before; related to canine allergies being 90% environmental...do you have any links to professional journals or references that you can site: I would like to read more about that, or at the very least have access to the info so I can wave it around if need be. :))

I have heard...and I don't know if this is true...that food allergies generally consist of a lot of paw licking and ear infections and respond well to steroid treatment; environmental allergies respond better to antibiotics. :dunno:

Veronica seems to have allergies July - October. This year she has had an awful case of hives. Steroids really didn't touch them, but antibiotics clear them up. She was on antibiotics for 2 weeks, 2 days after she went off them the hives started coming back. Our vet put her back on the antibiotics. She said she had just gone to a dermatological seminar and the current thinking is that some of these dogs need to stay on antibiotics for 4 - 6 weeks. (Don't know how I feel about that, but for the moment we need to keep her clear and get through this season).

I am thinking the allergy shots may be cost effective in the long run; because the antibiotics cost $136 for a 3 week supply. (There are less expensive antibiotics that would be appropriate, they just give Ms. V. GI upset.) And of course, I am assuming that overall desentsitization shots would be better for her than being on antibiotics 2 months/year...

Not sure if any of this is helpful to you; just thought I'd share our on-going trials & tribulations. :)

kristakmj
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Postby kristakmj » Mon Aug 18, 2008 7:35 am

thanks guys for the replies , she really just itches alot i havent seen her as of yet licking her paws just scratching , i did give her some benadryl and she seemed to do better with that and i am guessing her allergies are enviroment , because im sure she would have got worse in the shelter if not since they survive on donations so they dont always get the best diet .

okay so i will try to just play this by ear until i we find a treatment that makes her comfortable . i do know that she can start now to have a a better life then her previous home and even in the shelter .

has anyone heard that omega 3's help any? I also read biotin is sometimes helpful as well?

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Postby Maryellen » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:06 am

if you dont do the allergy testing you wont know what she is allergic to, which will make it harder to treat.... she could have grass allergies, or house mites, or storage mites, or dust mites, or to weeds... by doing the blood allergy test for airborne allergies you can find out what exactly she is allergic to and then go from there, whether its wiping her down after going outside or vaccuming 3times a day with a hepa filter... you wont know how to treat her until you find out what she is allergic to.

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Misskiwi67
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Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:03 am

the thing I've learned about allergies is that there are NOT hard and fast rules... I've seen dogs itch themselves crazy with secondary yeast infections, and I've seen dogs itch themselves crazy with food allergies alone. I've seen dogs with raging infections that should have been tearing themselves to pieces that didn't itch at all...

I'm going to use my Romeo as an example... he has been intradermal allergy tested by a board certified dermatologist TWICE, he is a food allergic and food allergic only dog.

Ears, rears and feet are supposed to be environmental (thinnest skin is most easily irritated)... but my food allergic dog is primarily affected on his feet.

Environmental allergies are steroid responsive, food allergies are not. My food allergic dog is steroid responsive.

If a dog responds to antibiotics, the dog had a BACTERIAL INFECTION... it does not indicate which type of allergy the dog has in any way.

Steroids will NOT cure infections... in fact it will make secondary infections worse unless the secondary infections are treated at the same time.

When in doubt, see a dermatologist. It costs more short-term, but will save you hundreds (possibly thousands) over the long term.


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