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My buddies allergies are driving him and me nuts!

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by Guod, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Guod

    Guod

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    I have a shepherd mix that is now close to 4 years old. Over the years his allergies have become worse and worse. In the beginning he used to just rub his body to his food, so after consulting with our vet over the years we have changed his food many times. We have tried the quality natural "non allergenic" brands like dick van patten, etc.I have never skimped in price on his food, and have always purchased quality.

    I have noticed that he does not "rub" when he gets something like real chicken. I am also starting to wonder if it is dry food in general, and am thinking about trying canned food, since I have exhausted all other options. Finally if that does not work, I am thinking of moving to a home cooked formula with meat and rice, etc.(if anyone has recipes please share, I would appreciate it).

    As it currently is, he licks himself, bites himself, and overall likes to mutilate his body. Other than when he is playing, running with me, or in the evening when I can directly observe him, he has one of those plastic collars on. Crazy part is, he will still knaw at any part he can find. For instance he has managed to get his foot up high enough, and will knaw at that.

    I have also tried giving him the dermatitis baths, and now that it is summer I will give them to him more frequently. He does have horrible dandruff(when I brush him I see lots of flakes), but I still think this is something coming from within.

    Lastly when this whole thing peaked that we had to have a collar on him was around october. In november we went on vacation, and asked that while we were gone, that they take a look at things, and try and test him for allergies.

    Well the allergy shots are this super long, super expenive process, which in the end, the vet feels may not even detect the problem.

    There is also a new pill, I think called atovin(sp?) that is supposidly prednisone without the side effects, but that stuff is extremely expensive. With the dosage he would need, we are talking $500 a month!

    I'm sorry, I really love the guy, but there is no way I can justify spending $500 a month for a dogs allergies. I mean, if I was kevin federline, I would gladly blow britney's money on my dog, but I just can't swing that as me.

    I have never skimped on this dog, I really haven't, but it is now getting to the domain of only the rich.

    At this point I am really frustrated, and want to help my guy out. I am currently giving him a 75mg of bendedryl 2x a day, which seems to help him, but also makes him just sleep, which is to be expected. I don't want his life to be sleeping, but I also don't want his life to be suffering. After he has a "fit" and starts biting and licking himself and I stop him, he has such a frustrated and sad look on his face, I feel terrible.

    That said, this is also becoming a real pain in our life. It seems like we spend our entire waking hours at our house correcting our dog for trying to eat his hind area.

    I don't know if anyone can help, but I wanted to throw this out there.

    Thanks
     
  2. Armed&Feminine

    Armed&Feminine Adhuc vivo!

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    You might want to look into Atopica. It has worked REALLY well for my dog's allergies. The first few months I had to give it to him every day, and that was expensive. However, I now only have to give it to him once every three days, or every other day if his allergies are acting up. Atopica is Cyclosporine and does come in a generic form in either 25mg or 100mg.

    Also, have you tried any alternative protein source foods like duck/potato or venison/potato?

    Please let me know if this helps. :)
     

  3. Guod

    Guod

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    Thanks for your reply. I have tried the potato/duck, and venison formula's from dick van patten's. I think I have tried it in other brands as well. Nothing seems to work. Once in a while he will seem better for a day, but then it's back to his same old stuff.

    When we talked to our vet last year, she actually had to contact someone else to find out some things about the medication. I don't know that she is even aware that there is a generic version.

    Can you give me some more info on it? Do you get it from your vet, or from another source with prescription?

    Thanks
     
  4. Armed&Feminine

    Armed&Feminine Adhuc vivo!

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    Atopica is made by Novartis, have your vet contact her Novartis rep, they may be able to get you some free samples. The generic is MUCH cheaper I think it is about 250.00 for 30 as opposed to over 500.00. I get it from the vet because I work there, but I think you can get the generic from walgreens or try an online pet pharmacy.

    You might also consider a consult with a vet. dermatologist. It is well worth the office visit to see a specialist as they can save you from a lot of trial and error. One of the doctors in the clinic I work for sees a lot of derm. cases. He isn't a 'dermatologist, but many of the area vets refer their skin cases to him because of his expertise. :)
     
  5. sy2k

    sy2k

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    Have you actually isolated your dog's allergens? The best way to treat allergies is to avoid exposing the dog to the allergens in the first place, especially if he has food allergies. Might be worth paying for the blood test that identifies these. The allergens may be environmental, they might be food. Some dogs are highly allergic to flea bites. The list goes on.

    Re: food. Consuming grain-based foods as the majority ingredient in food may be responsible for your dog's issues. Even high-end, expensive kibbles use grain. In 'hypo-allergenic' kibbles, the grains are often oatmeal or rice. This is strange to me because dogs do not digest grain well - doesn't matter what grain it is. Dogs are carnivores, and in the wild, might only consume vegetable/fruit matter as a consequence of eating the guts of their prey - but never grain. Look into raw diets and discuss it with your vet. Their are several brands of dog food that are 'raw'. I love Honest Kitchen, and it agrees very well with my dog.

    Just a thought. Good luck with your pooch.
     
  6. Steve #1

    Steve #1

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    We just went through three weeks of scratching. I initially thought it was a reaction to a new grooming spray so it went longer than it should have. Turned out she was allergic to chicken which was the main ingredient in the food I switched her to almost three months ago.

    It's awful watching them scratch to the point that it hurts them and it's almost as bad knowing they want to scratch but aren't able to.

    I feed Eagle Pack and there nutritionist suggested the Anchovy, Sardine, and Salmon variety. We went through a small bag and the scratching stopped. The only problem with it is the fishy dog breath you end up with. I've now got her on a Lamb and rice variety (similar to what she was initially on but no chicken) and she's still doing well.

    Hope your boy starts doing better.
     
  7. Guod

    Guod

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    My wife picked up some of the dick van patten canned food in a variety of flavors. She fed him a can today, and she said that he did not try to lick or naw at himself at all, all day. Even while he was out with her all day while she was doing gardening, he didn't go at himself once. Since I have come home, he only quickly gave himself a little neck scratch at his collar. I am hoping for the best, but we will see.

    Thanks for all the other info guys, I will definitely check into it.
     
  8. Guod

    Guod

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    After one night. So far he had the potato and duck type, which he seemed to have no allergy to. He then had the venison, which he did not seem effected by, but did no some slight licking, and I heard him licking in the middle of the night, and I felt some wet patches on him so I put his collar on. This morning I gave him the lamb and rice, and he did rub a bit, so I think he was slightly affected.

    The difference in ingredients seems to be that the venison and the lamb formulas have rice in them. The potato and duck does not have rice. I do remember from buying the bagged potato and duck formula that it is ment as the hypo allergenic formula.

    Either way, I have not had to correct him all morning for licking himself, so it's really been a win, even if he needs the collar on at night to stop ocassional licking.

    I have a suspicion though that the potato and duck formula he will be best on, and possibly not be affected by at all. I have one more of those I will give him tonight. If he seems good on that, I will go pick up a case and donate the other two cans or something.
     
  9. Armed&Feminine

    Armed&Feminine Adhuc vivo!

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    I'm really glad that the food solution seems to be working for you guys. It always is the easiest, and most often is the least expensive! :) I wish my dog's allergies were to his food and not to the environment. :(
     
  10. HarlDane

    HarlDane

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    Going to a raw meat and bones diet has helped many of the dogs I know with allergy problems, and will be MUCH cheaper than feeding a top quality wet food. You might look into it if nothing else works.
     
  11. tbotts

    tbotts

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    +1 on the raw diet. Buy a copy of " Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats, The Ultimate Diet". Author is Kymythy R Schultze.
    Lots of good info on feeding the raw diet.
     
  12. Steve #1

    Steve #1

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    :frown:

    Well it looks like when we switched foods and things cleared up(she got about 80% better) it was only temporary. I'm going the give the fish food another try (fishy dog breath be damned). Other than that, I'm starting to think it may be environmental. I'm trying to keep her inside as much a possible to see if that helps now.
     
  13. Akita

    Akita gone

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    Take a deep breath and stop trying every remedy that you can think of. You are wasting money, time, and aggravation.

    What you need to do first is to have your vet draw blood for an allergy test. Test for both food and airborne allergens. When I did it with my boy(who was also driving me crazy) about 5 years ago, it set me back <$250. This is SO MUCH cheaper than continuing to try to guess your way past the problem. Do the test now and KNOW what you are fighting.

    You wouldnt go deer hunting blindfolded, would you?




    (yes, it worked like a miracle for us. simple food change and keeping him inside more for a couple of weeks when certain pollen was at it highest level)
     
  14. Steve #1

    Steve #1

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    We have an appointment with the vet tomorrow afternoon. I agree there are to many possibilities to try to trouble shoot.