Allergy test or Atopica

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Nina06
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Allergy test or Atopica

Postby Nina06 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:12 am

Okay, we finally came down to the decision that we are going to try and do more for Mia. We are pretty sure she has seasonal allergies as she is much better during winter. What happens when she flares up is

1. She starts getting bumps on her sides and her belly gets red.
2. We start giving her medication (cephalexin) and medicated shampoo baths
3. The bumps will turn into scabs and she will lose hair in those spots

just last month she flared up really bad so we took her in for a steroid shot and she was prescribed another medication similar to cephalexin (I'll have to look up the name). She cleared up within a week and lasted until the medication was out which was about a month. Just this week her belly is getting really red.

So, I just called and talked to her doctor about the two options I am posting about. The Allergy test are just blood test. Which allergy test should I ask for and which one is more accurate? Or, should I just go straight to the Atopica. She has said that they have had good results with a few allergy dogs they have tried this on so far and that Mia would be a good candidate. They even have the generic version to help save on costs.

Because it's most likely a environmental allergy, I am thinking we should just go ahead and start the Atopica. Because even if we do the allergy test she's going to end up being on some type of medication right?

We have been holding off on pursuing an answer to her issue because unlike most of the cases I read on here, she is nowhere near as bad. She gets the bumps and they go away with a little treatment. She is not extremely itchy where she is scratching herself bloody. She will just scratch herself on the couch every so often and a little licking but nothing severe. I want to say she is almost normal except it is an eyesore for us to see her looking like that. It's probably much much more worse on us than it is her.

So, what does everyone recommend?

PITtsburgher
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby PITtsburgher » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:09 pm

Have you done a food trial or a culture + sensitivity test yet? Is Mia on a good flea preventative?
I would consider all those before going on Atopica. You could be dealing with anything from a flea or food allergy to a resistant bacteria.

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:09 pm

I think intradermal tests are more accurate than blood tests but are harder to do because the dog has to be off all medications for so long before the test can be done.

The Atopica is good but it's kind of a band-aid solution AND it's really expensive (here anyways). But the clients we have that are using it, really love it.

If you do the allergy testing, and the results come up as environmental (which they likely will since only about 10% of allergies are caused by food), you can always do serum injections to build up her immune system so that her body stops reacting to the allergens. We have a little boston terrier who isn't allergic to any foods but has severe allergies to grass, dust mites, cedar trees, etc. He's been on the injections and is doing wonderfully. He can actually enjoy being outside now without turning as red as a tomato.

If she is fine during the winter, again, I would assume that this is not a food allergy. But PITtsburgher is right, there are more than just food and environmental allergies. There is bacterial hypersensitivity and flea allergy dermatitis as well to consider. However, I would assume that your vet has ruled both of these out since he is at the point of making the suggestions of atopica or testing.

Also, even if it is NOT food allergies, a diet high in omega fatty acids will help support good skin health and it's rare for dogs to have reactions to fish.

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IloveBlu
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby IloveBlu » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:24 am

My vet has told me that Blu has to be off meds for a month even for blood allergy testing? :huh?:

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magillicutty_momma
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby magillicutty_momma » Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:51 am

Kowa has allergies too. They didn't show up until this past Spring though. She broke out into hives (the bumps under the fur) and her little belly gets red and irritated too. She's done real well since Spring though. I think I identified the flowers I had that were making her react so badly. Also, be careful with household cleaners....febreeze and things of that nature. Kowa has bad reactions to scents and perfumes. I bathed her in oatmeal for the hives, and kept a box of wipes at the door to wipe her off before coming inside and getting whatever irritated her all over my house lol
I would suggest to have your vet run an allergy test first too. Then, go from there.

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Misskiwi67
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:28 am

IloveBlu wrote:My vet has told me that Blu has to be off meds for a month even for blood allergy testing? :huh?:


Yup, its true. The steroids for sure has to be out of their system for a month prior to testing or the results will be inaccurate. Some dogs get tested anyway because their too miserable without the meds and the test works... other times the test comes back without any results because there wasn't enough antibody to pick up.

Skin test won't work at all if dog is on meds prior to... so at least with the blood test its worth a shot if you have no other options.

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Cherry
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby Cherry » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:33 am

I'm happy we got the blood test on Cherry. Now we know exactly which environmental allergens to avoid. (certain trees, cat dander, etc) Some are unavoidable but we do our best to keep her away from them or at least limit her exposure.

I do regret doing the allergy shots though. Immunotherapy made Cherry 100x worse and it cost us A LOT of money that could have just gone straight to Atopica. But, it has worked in many other dogs. Cherry just can't handle it.

I also suggest you have a full blood panel, thyroid test and food allergy trial done. She could have a problem with her immune system, her thyroid or have a slight allergy to a certain food.

Allergies are like a threshold. Expose 2 or 3 allergens to Cherry, she is a little itchy or is manageable. Expose 5 or more and she's super itchy. Expose even more, or the ones she is highly allergic to and it is raw underarms and secondary infections. You need to know what she is allergic to so you can help her. She could be extremely allergic to something and you may be exposing it to her every day. But in the winter, it isn't so bad because they aren't being beat down by EVERYTHING they are allergic to.

Cherry does wonderfully on Atopica but it is still a struggle for us. It is a miracle though. We still have to give antihistamines, we still have to vacuum daily and avoid her allergens. Still no chemicals, scented detergents, etc. But her quality of life has VASTLY improved and we are down to one 100mg every 3 days so it is a lot nicer on my wallet!

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:34 pm

Cherry wrote:I'm happy we got the blood test on Cherry. Now we know exactly which environmental allergens to avoid. (certain trees, cat dander, etc) Some are unavoidable but we do our best to keep her away from them or at least limit her exposure.

I do regret doing the allergy shots though. Immunotherapy made Cherry 100x worse and it cost us A LOT of money that could have just gone straight to Atopica. But, it has worked in many other dogs. Cherry just can't handle it.

I also suggest you have a full blood panel, thyroid test and food allergy trial done. She could have a problem with her immune system, her thyroid or have a slight allergy to a certain food.

Allergies are like a threshold. Expose 2 or 3 allergens to Cherry, she is a little itchy or is manageable. Expose 5 or more and she's super itchy. Expose even more, or the ones she is highly allergic to and it is raw underarms and secondary infections. You need to know what she is allergic to so you can help her. She could be extremely allergic to something and you may be exposing it to her every day. But in the winter, it isn't so bad because they aren't being beat down by EVERYTHING they are allergic to.

Cherry does wonderfully on Atopica but it is still a struggle for us. It is a miracle though. We still have to give antihistamines, we still have to vacuum daily and avoid her allergens. Still no chemicals, scented detergents, etc. But her quality of life has VASTLY improved and we are down to one 100mg every 3 days so it is a lot nicer on my wallet!


:goodpost:

Nina06
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby Nina06 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:59 am

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will discuss this some more with her doctor. It would be nice to know what she's allergic to. I'm just hesitant because it's not a guarantee and money is tight. How much would the serum shots be anyways? Would it be better to do the testing during winter? That way I can keep her off of medications for a month or two. It's already been pretty chilly up here already so if it's something from outside hopefully it will go away soon.

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Angela Adams
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby Angela Adams » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:14 am

Has anyone every tried this blood test? This is the allergy test my vet offers and I'm thinking about getting it done on Sway.
http://www.vetallergy.com/index2.html

Nina06
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Re: Allergy test or Atopica

Postby Nina06 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:26 pm

okay, bring this back up as we held off on the blood test. But with spring right around the corner( hopefully) we want to get a jump on this. She is also due for her annual checkup at the end of the month so that's when we will be doing the allergy test.

I tried researching on here but didn't get much results and wanted feedback on either the VARL or the HESKA blood test. The doctor says she doesn't really have a preference as to which one to do and they both cost about the same. Anybody with experience or information regarding the two?


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