Bichon's and allergies

katrina_ellenAugust 15, 2011

I have found a good home for a bichon , but then my daughter started telling me about the allergy problems the breed has. I am wondering if you have a bichon, do you have problems with allergies and if so, how have you treated them? I am wondering if it is such a good home because she said it can really run up vet bills in treating the allergies. The dog right now does itch itself and one ear but she has been checked out and nothing found so I am assuming there are some allergy issues - its not bad at all but she does scratch herself some everyday. I don't want to give her to these people if they are going to have to go to the vet over allergies because while it would be a loving home, there is not a lot of money for a lot of vet visits. Thanks for any info.!!!

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mazer415

Owners can reduce problems by feeding the dog high quality dog food without grains like wheat or corn and avoiding ingredients like by products and meal. Contact allergies can also be reduced by using environmentally friendly soaps and shampoos and laundry detergents.
Also avoiding herbicides pesticides and insecticides as well as petroleum based products Like Miracle Grow in the yard.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 2:27PM
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katrina_ellen

Anybody else have a bichon? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 9:53AM
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brownthumbia

Katrina, yes, I have 2 bichons. This year the allergies are really playing havoc with them. All other years we got it under control with prednisone. This year they are really suffering. I am giving them prednisone and also Benadryl to try and ease the itching. Nothing seems to help and the one right now is wearing a e. collar which helps because she can't get to her legs and feet to lick at. I've had them to the vet numeerous times and he and another vet in with him have no idea what else to do. I told him I thought the pills were no good and he said they all come from China, so it's hard to say whether they are made the way they should be. As for the expensive food---I tried that too. Changed to Blue Buffalo which is a very fine food and the dogs loved it but it didn't do anything for the allergies.
I do want to tell you this in defense of the Bichons, they are a loving, intelligent, loyal dog and you will learn to love them in a New York minute. It would be terrific if you could find them a loving family to care for them. As far as the expense of the prednisone, they are a very inexpensive medication, but don't forget there is also the expense of grooming and that can run into a lot of money depending on what part of the counntry you live in but that is one thing you cannot ignore because their hair won't stop growing.....just get really matted. I'm just mentioning the grooming because it is an expense the new owners will have to consider also. Best of luck with this dog. I hope you find someone who will take it and love it.BT

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 11:58AM
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katrina_ellen

brownthumbia, thanks. I heard that the Wellness food line is excellent, and the chicken and rice formula is really good for allergy sufferers. I haven't tried it because she is eating what the prior owner had for her which is a good brand but not excellent quality. I'm sorry to hear they are suffering with allergies, it seems to be fairly common with the breed from what I read. They are great little dogs, and I just hope I can find a nice family who would take good care of her, she is such a sweetie.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:13PM
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sooz

Like brownthumbia, I have two Bichons as well. This year is crazy awful for allergies! A while ago, I did some MASSIVE research on dog food and while we were feeding them good quality food, it DID have grains in it, so I changed out their food to the best possible made with human quality ingredients in the USA (not China!!!!!!!) by manufactures with stellar reputations. No grains, no filler, no extras that might cause problems, and I even researched the sources of the food because I did NOT want any food (fish) with ethoxyquin AND I researched where the food was being processed. We do not feed them the RAW diet, although many people do find that helpful for their dogs, and I respect that decision as I'd hope others would respect mine.

We had our little guy wearing his "little hat" (Elizabethan collar) but seemed like he was wearing it all the time, and that's not good! We've been to the vet numerous times, added probiotics, Omega-3, cut out food with chicken because someone told us that could be an allergy-source, and I kept charts of what we fed and how itchy our little guy was. Our little girl has hot areas that develop on her body--not the hot spots that are wounds, but actually hot-to-the-touch areas! She is very itchy on her back & rear end, and has rubbed off most of the hair on her bottom.

We graduated up from Benadryl to using Hydroxyzine without much luck. We are now doing the Prednosolone regimen and it seems to help him a lot. We have no fleas, and I even made up some homemade dog shampoo. It uses apple cider vinegar--apparently their skin is more acid than base. The shampoo seems to soothe them, but the next day, back to Itchy and Scratchy (not their real names, lol).

I trim the little guy myself--puppy cut is the cutest and easiest! but DH insists on taking our Pretty Pretty Princess to the "beauty shop" every month.

Here's the shampoo I make for them--I think it's posted somewhere on this very site! I scaled it down, but here is the original:
Use a gallon container like an empty milk jug and put the following in it:
12 oz or 1.5 C Dove, Ivory or Dawn liquid soap
2 oz or 1/4 C liquid glycerine. You can get it at a drug store or health food store, but don't let them show you the suppositories made with glycerine because that isn't it!
2 oz or 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1 C oatmeal run thru the food processor
ADD water up to the half-way point, or can just add water to fill the container.

Of special note is making colloidal oatmeal. I ran the oatmeal through the food processor and used it as indicated. I had gobs of oatmeal ready to clog my sink. I looked up how to make colloidal oatmeal and so this is what I did instead. I tried to pulverize the oatmeal. Added water to it. Let it set for a bit. Strained it out three times and used the "oatmeal water" to add to the shampoo. It still had a bit of oatmeal in it.

The site I'm including as a hot link is a good place to start for reading about different dog foods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good info about dog food

    Bookmark   August 20, 2011 at 1:14AM
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brownthumbia

well, I have the E collar back on the one and if it doesn't ease up I'm gonna go get one for the other dog. I, too, have a recipe for shampoo, quite a bit like the one above although I didn't put glycerine in it because I didn't have any and I'm 40 miles from the nearest pharmacy. Also not that much soap. Did add some apple cider vinegar and they are about to get a bath in a few minutes. I can only hope and pray it helps to ease up just enough to take the collar off of the one for a little while. I am thinking about changing the food again even though it did no good before. I'll try another brand. So far I haven't had any trouble with the oatmeal clogging the drains. Well, here I go to do my best. Good luck to all the others who are having this awful problem this summer. The prednisone isn't helping like it has in the past years. BT

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 4:47PM
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sooz

BT, we started out this time with too low a dose for our little guy, and had to up the dosage. Maybe that's the case for you too?

What I found works best for us is a loading dose of 1 full tablet a day for three days, then a full tablet every other day until we run out. Each tablet is 05mg (not sure if there should be a decimal in there or not).

What did NOT work was a half a tablet every other day. We learned that my boy needs a full loading dose.

I used the blue-colored Dawn regular dish soap when we do dishes (old school, by hand) and read a lot about that for it's gentleness (they wash oil-slicked birds and other animals with it) and I read that IT ALSO KILLS FLEAS! It was a bonus that I could also use it in the hypoallergenic shampoo I put together.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 1:45PM
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brownthumbia

sooz, we have tried everything on the one dog. 10 mg every day, and if I remember right she had one at night too, but not sure, we've been battling this so long I can't remember that far back, Do remember the vet saying it was as strong as we could go with her. Then ever other day, then 5 mg. every day then every other day. Just about every combination we can think of. But I do appreciate your input and I'm very happy you found the secret for your dog. Wish I could be so lucky. Cannot believe I've even thinking this but I wish we would have a hard killing frost for just 3 days. (Then warm up again, of course,) And hope that will ease their problems. I still appreciate any help from anyone. BT

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 3:26PM
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organic_susanh

Luckily our current Bichon at 5 yrs needs only 2 steroidal shots a year. For the other few months that she needs something I give her a half 25mg Benedryl twice a day when she first starts the biting, itching and in 3 days it usually goes away. Our last Bichon had worse problems and I ended up having her tested for allergies. The vet concocted a serum which I injected twice monthly. After a few years she didn't need the injections.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:16PM
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brownthumbia

sooz, I'm a little confused about the amount your recipe makes. Does it make a full gallon or do you leave it 'soapier' by just making a half gallon. I think I may alter the recipe just a bit by leaving the vinegar out, then rinsing the dog with half strength vinegar/water. The reason is because when I made it before I added a little vinegar to the recipe but when I shook it to mix it thoroughly it got really gassy and it didn't mix as well as it should. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it. Fortunately, the last few days the itching seems to have eased some. I also changed dog food. Got some that has NO grains in it. Hopefully I'm getting on top of this but gonna keep up with the shampoo. Thanks again. BT

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:38AM
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sooz

Hi, BT...I posted the original recipe, which apparently makes A LOT. I ended up scaling it down to a much smaller size. Remember when you were in school and you wondered WHY on earth did you have to learn stuff like division? Well, now I'm thanking my teachers!!

If I recall correctly, I scaled it down by one fourth...so 3 oz Dawn, 1/2 ounce glycerine, etc. It didn't seem to get gassy but did suds up because I shook it all up to mix the ingredients and the Dawn made the suds. Hope this helps!

Smiles,
Sooz

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:44PM
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schmaltzy

I rescued a Bichon 2 months ago who had been living in an e collar and had large bare patches of skin where he'd licked all of his hair off.
What worked for him was a dose of Advantage and putting Panalog ointment on his itchy spots. 3 days of twice daily Panalog and his skin was calm enough that he left it alone.
He has just begun licking again (8 weeks later),so I put the Panalog where he'd started a hot spot and redosed the Advantage. This time, 1 application of Panalog was all it took for him to leave it alone while the Advantage took hold. There was/is no obvious flea infestation, but we have 6 other furry ones, so it seemed like a good starting point.

He eats Wellness fish and sweet potato.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 1:57AM
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