Allergy issues-asking for a friend

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Allergy issues-asking for a friend

Postby pitsnok » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:06 am

I went through the health section, and did a search but there are SO MANY posts on allergy issues that I didn't think I'd be able to find anything relating to this, so forgive me if I just managed to miss them, and links to previous posts you guys know of are always helpful.

My friend, Rachel adopted Penny Lane, a pit bull mix a few months back. She is absolutely wonderful and a complete softie, but has terrible allergies. Rachel's boyfriend gets home from Afghanistan in about a month and a half, but was recently home on leave. He loves Penny, but is frustrated because he "didn't want a high-maintenance dog"... (beside the point, I have said over and over, she isn't high maintenance at all, because literally her ONLY problem/issue behavior and health wise is that she has allergies).
And I don't mean just like, itchy at some points allergies... they're REALLY bad. Rachel said she is constantly itching and it is normal for Penny to get the REALLY RED hivey looking irritation on her belly and under her legs.
They switched to our veterinarian who I love, and trust 100%--he has never steered us wrong with any of our three, and has always been able to find a solution for any issues we've had--always starting with the least-expensive options because he knows we aren't just rolling in the dough. He is very pit bull friendly, and goes on and on about our dogs and how great they are... I wouldn't go to any other vet in the area unless referred to a specialist or something by ours. With that being said, It seems like they have tried EVERYTHING imaginable to treat Penny's allergies. For the first few months Rachel kept her on the same food she ate at her foster home- I think it was diamond naturals. By my advice based on Harlow's allergies, she has since switched to TOTW pacific stream, but Penny's allergies haven't gotten better. Benadryl doesn't help, and they have gotten to the point where she has to give her two zyrtec daily to get a small amount of relief. They do medicated baths, and she DID have a skin infection initially, but since has tested negative for it or any kind of parasites. Rachel told me she was going to try claritin next, to see if it helps with just one-a-day, since technically two zyrtec daily is over the recommended dose. (the vet did okay this with her, though.)
I think the ONLY thing that has ever helped enough to make a difference has been prednisone, but obviously it's not ideal to make that a permanent thing, so Rachel is really hoping for some kind of answer. The only thing I know of that they haven't tried is to do the cortizone injections monthly, or whatever it is... but I have never really heard of anyone getting great results from that, which is why I assume the vet hasn't tried it.

Rachel is always coming to me for advice, and up until now I have always had something to recommend, but I sort of feel like they've tried anything I know to advise... So I was hoping I could get some ideas here, where I know so many people are managing dogs with severe-allergies. She says her boyfriend would never want to give Penny up or anything, but still she wants to find some kind of solution because Penny is sort of "her" dog in the sense that she was adopted while her boyfriend was out of the country, and she wants her to be just as part of their family as their other dog, who is a bombproof, picture of perfect health and everything.

so, any advice for me...for Rachel? :dunno:
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Re: Allergy issues-asking for a friend

Postby amelie » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:39 am

Has she considered it may be allergies to chemicals? I have one dog that has food allergies and eats nutro grain free venison and potato, but also is allergic to chemicals. I can not use frbreeze or even wash my own clothes in perfumed laundry soap. I get laundry soap that has no perfume or dyes and can only mop and clean my house with vinegar and bleach. Something to look into...
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Re: Allergy issues-asking for a friend

Postby pitsnok » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:34 am

amelie wrote:Has she considered it may be allergies to chemicals? I have one dog that has food allergies and eats nutro grain free venison and potato, but also is allergic to chemicals. I can not use frbreeze or even wash my own clothes in perfumed laundry soap. I get laundry soap that has no perfume or dyes and can only mop and clean my house with vinegar and bleach. Something to look into...



I know that I have mentioned to her that it could be ANYTHING like laundry detergent or just grass, etc... but I do need to talk to her more thoroughly about that. The only thing that makes me think it may not be a household product is that she did have allergies before Rachel adopted her, but I don't think it was to this extent (granted, she did have demodex, so they may not have realized).
I wasn't aware it could just be a general "chemical" allergy...I always assume a certain product is the culprit whenever it is related to something of the sort... hmm... I will see what she thinks about that. I know there are a lot of "clean" detergents and stuff out now so that would be a really easy thing to try, and stick with if it were the issue.

I am just so worried that her boyfriend will like, not want Penny... because GOD she is such a wonderful little dog. The biggest lover I have ever met...She is JUST exactly like Harlow in personality so soft, and eager to please, but way lower energy. She is still pretty young (less than a year) and she is so calm, and doesn't jump on visitors, etc... she is seriously like, the ideal dog in my opinion...so it blows my mind that she could ever be considered "high maintenance" but I guess when your other dog could totally fend for himself for any reason, the bar is set really high... You have to understand he's a military guy, kind of a hard-ass, or whatever when it comes to stuff like that. Don't get me wrong, he LOVES his dogs, just has different expectations than I'm used to.
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Re: Allergy issues-asking for a friend

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:41 am

Commercial diets can't guarantee that there's no ingredient contamination. Top five allergies are beef, chicken, dairy, soy, corn. Soy has been found as a contaminant in MANY commercial diets, even those labelled as "no soy".

Also, food allergies only account fir about 10% of allergies. The majority of dogs suffer from environmental allergies or environmental AND food allergies-- it's almost unheard of for a dog to have just food allergies.

Most common environmental allergies are to grasses, pollens, molds, dust mites, etc.

My advice would be to do a proper 3 month diet trial with a prescription diet (hypo treats only, Bo rawhide, no flavored medications, etc) and to seek an appointment with a vet dermatologist.

Skin issues are managed, treated but almost never cured. The constant itching will lead to secondary bacterial infections or yeast infections. Prednisone helps reduce the itch and inflammation but does nothing to help the underlying issue.

I'd also have the dog on a fatty acid supplement and an immune support.

The dermatologist will be expensive up front but cheaper than a lifetime of steroids and antibiotics. They can make a customized set of allergy serums that will gradually expose Penny to the allergens that she is reacting to, allowing her body to build up a tolerance.

This is what I would do if it was my dog.
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Re: Allergy issues-asking for a friend

Postby Timas Mom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:46 am

The only commercial hypo diet that tested with no contaminants was Wellness Simple Solutions.
Problem is if we are allergic to duck ect its not a hypo diet for her.
They have to be food nazis and make sure the dog eats NOTHING but her food during the food trial. A single cracker can undo a tonne of hard work if we have a gluten allergy!!!
I would start with the highest dose of salmon or sardine or herring oil.
I would get them on a proper food trial.
And if they can afford it, a specialist appointment.
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Re: Allergy issues-asking for a friend

Postby pitsnok » Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:42 pm

I did forget to mention originally that as of a few days ago she was going to start her on fish oil supplements.


They are new to any thing like this so it helps to show lots of other people doing the same... that its normal, haha. Their first dog was eating dog chow before Penny came along if that tells you anything, haha.
I'm going to figure out what sort of treats she is using, and a good thing is they don't feed them any table scraps so that does help a bit.

I think I forget about ALLLL the other potential factors because our biggest issue has always been food allergies. I assumed from the beginning that Penny's problem was probably grass, and It very well could be... but aren't things like that usually seasonal? I will mention cleaning products and everything to her, and suggest switching to more allergy-friendly options.
She has had secondary infections more than once, along with demodex as a puppy so it's obvious she will always have skin issues, I (and my friends) just want to find something that gives her more relief that she is getting now...it would be a shame to see her have to go her whole life being miserable and uncomfortable.

Thanks for all the help guys, and keep it coming if anyone else has anything to add. I may just print it all out and pass it on to her.
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