Any Dog Allergy Solutions??? Help!!
I'm more often over on the Decorating or Holidays forums, but come here occasionally to look for solutions. And today, I REALLY could use some tried and true advice regarding my sweet furkid Ronin's allergies.
Quick background: We adopted Ronin, a 5 y/o neutered,black, purebred dobie from a doberman rescue group when he was just 3 y/o. He wasn't abused or abandoned, just unwanted when the new baby started walking. He's the most mellow dog I've ever known and very sweet. The rescue people had already started him on fish oil tabs to try and counteract his major itching when we got him . . . which is still a major problem and the reason I'm asking for advice here from you.
~ No skin lesions or loss of hair ever, and his coat has always been very lusterous and healthy.
~Pretty much non-stop scratching, which is NOT localized to any one area. That's another thing I should mention:it's never just a 'scratch, scratch, scratch' with him; it's always prolonged scratching that can go on for minutes.
~ Many vet check-ups since then have shown him to be in good health and of the right weight for his large size (95lbs). He does have a mild form of canine hemophilia (bleeder's disease), though, but it's never been a problem. I wonder if the itching could be a symptom of that??? Hmmm.
~ Per our vet's suggestion, he's been off all poultry, beef and grains for the past 2 years with no noticeable change in his itching. He does love this food (Taste of the Wild's Pacific Stream),though, and so we'll keep him on it.
~ Not over or under bathed and only with oatmeal dog shampoo for allergies. Still no change.
~ Having ruled out a food allergy causing this, our vet now feels that it's probably environmental (juniper, etc.) and he has Ronin on two 25mg Hydroxyz tabs (Rx allergy tabs), twice a day along with one fish oil capsule. He's not scratching 24/7 like he used to, but is still scratching a lot and even wakes us up in the middle of the night scratching for long periods of time.
~ our vet, who's very good and been in practice for at least 30 years, doesn't feel that canine allergy tests are all that conclusive and more of an expensive waste of money. DH, a family practice doc, agrees, and so we haven't had any done on Ronin.
~ I've tried taking him in for acupuncture, but this didn't work either for him.
~ we live in the mountains of New Mexico, surrounded by evergreen and juniper/cedar forests and cacti. Because of that and the high incidence of rodent-caused Bubonic Plague and Hantavirus in the area, Ronin is an indoor dog that we take on a lot of walks on the roads, not through the brush.
~ brick floors with Oriental rugs, instead of wall-to-wall carpet, so we have also ruled out allergies to the carpet or cleaning solutions.
~ Have you ever tried any OTC meds, Rx meds, vitamins, shampoos, anything that has helped your dog's allergy problems?
~ I'm now thinking about getting rid of his present two beds, in case they have old cedar shavings and/or some other allergen in them. I need to come up with replacements that are easily machine washable, though. Any ideas?
I hope that haven't loaded you down with TMI, but I didn't think you would be able to accurately assess the situation without it.
Thanks for any and all ideas or suggestions!