dog allergies

sewingbelleSeptember 25, 2010

Has anyone had success with Atopica? I have a rescue Boxer, who I have spent over six grand on dermatology vet fees in 2 and a half years. They have now suggested this drug, but I know it goes by weight and he weighs over 70 lbs. and obviously will need a larger dose. They also said he will need blood testing prior to starting and every 6 months after at a cost of over $200 each time.

They want me to give this in addition to the allergy serums, which I don't think have done any good in all this time. I would not have minded spending all this money on the dog if there were positive results, but he is exactly the same as the first day I took him there. I feel like I have just thrown the money away on all these tests, medications and serums.

The only time the dog ever has relief is when he is on steroids, but they don't want him on steroids because of long term risks.

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Well, you've been dealing with this problem for awhile but I have to throw this out there.....have any of the vets suggested change of diet or that something in your house could be causing the problem?

You may have seen them already but here are two sites that may be of help.

Here is a link that might be useful: allergies

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 5:24PM
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annz beat me to it. many times, food allergies will cause major skin problems. what are you feeding him? let's start there!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:48AM
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I am right behind annz and ninapearl on asking about diet. My jack russel mix that I had in college had ALOT of allergy issues that I constantly battled with. He too was on steroids ( which I was never comfortable with, but didn't know what else to do) and he was still miserable. I was referred to a holistic vet and one of the first things she told me was to change the diet. That made a world of difference for my sweet boy! BTW, grains are a BIG culprit in food allergies.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:41AM
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I agree with the others that the first thing to look at is his diet. Grains are frequent causes of allergic reactions, so the first thing I would do is go to a high quality grain-free food, assuming you aren't already doing this. I've linked to a site that has evaluations of dog foods and you can choose one of their top-rated foods, all of which are grain-free.

Some dogs develop allergies to certain protein sources and trying some of the less common ones, like buffalo, will help in some cases.

In the meantime, fish oil builds immunities and lessens allergy problems. My dog has seasonal allergies and fish oil actually gave him several years of relief, but now that he is sixteen years old his allergy problems are back. I had read that Nupro Gold, a general supplement, is effective too, and recently started my dogs on it, but it's too soon to judge its helpfulness.

I also use Benadryl and Hydrocortisone cream for my dog and bathe him in Dead Sea salt. The salt baths are very good for the overall itchiness and one bath seems to give him relief for several days.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dog food analysis

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 9:53AM
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A friend of mine has a boxer he calls the "$10,000 dog" because he figures he's spent at least that much on her if not more. She constantly licks herself, especially her feet. The vet says it's allergies.

He has had her on all the top foods, she's always eaten better than he has, she is his baby. I remember at one point it was suggested that she be put on a special food that was made of rabbit and potato since there was a low chance of allergic reaction. I think he was paying about $52/bag for this.

His next step was the allergy testing, I'm not sure what it's called, but they shaved a square on her chest and poked her with more than 50 needles to see what she was allergic to. Guess what? It was dust, mold, corn, etc, all things in the area where they lived, and not easily removed from her environment. Serums were mixed and daily shots were given for months on end. She was no better a year later than she was at the beginning. Steroids can help from what his vet told him, but she said they're hard on the liver.

So he feeds her Wellness which seems to bother her the least of anything he's tried, he keeps her feet as clean as he can, and just tries to keep her comfortable. If it gets too out of hand then he will go to steroids.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 10:18AM
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Thank you for your responses. I just bookmarked the links above and will read them thoroughly.

I have tried different diets, including the prescription Science Diet,ZD Ultra, none made any difference. I have not yet tried the "cook it yourself" diet. We were actually waiting for the winter to set in as he has so many outdoor allergies, we weren't sure we would be able to tell if diet was working or not.

He has had allergy testing and I have been giving him serums for over 2 years with no results.

He is allergic to: house dust; several different mold spores; all kinds of trees and grasses; you name it.
They did tell me that he could become immune to those but develop new ones and he should be tested again, but honestly I don't know what is left. Also, I just don't have the money for the testing again at this time.

I have Hexadene shampoo and Resi-cort lotion. The sea salt bath sounds interesting, but because he scratches so much and frequently has raw spots, I am afraid salt would burn?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 3:55PM
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You may want to try a holistic healer....get your dog to someone who can really help with allergies. Acupuncturist and or an herbalist that works with canines. Allergies can be a bear to hunt down, and it may be that your dog has multiple allergies. My friend had a cat that lived outdoors they moved, it became an indoor cat and it turns out it was allergic to 90% of things in processed food, when it was an outdoor cat it was eating lizards, moles and voles, mice was not until it moved inside and had its diet changed that the allergies were discovered. You may want to abandoned any commercially prepared food and go for a home made diet....there are plenty of recipies out there and the Bones and raw food diet has worked for many might want to check out BARF for your boxer, good luck.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 4:44PM
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most allergic reactions in a dog's food stem from corn and wheat. i'm pretty sure science diet is not a grain-free food. there are tons of them out there made specifically for dogs with allergies to these things.

all 3 of my danes get California Natural lamb meal/rice kibble. they have done wonderfully on it for over a year. if you decide to change food, look for something grain-free, limited ingredient. it could help your dog a lot.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 8:02PM
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Atopica is VERY expensive and has side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. I have two friends with dogs on it. One discontinued it very quickly because of the side effects, the other's dog is still on it and doing fairly well. It would be the very last resort IMO.

My Doberman also has atopic allergies. He was on several cycles of Temaril-P this summer and I'm trying to avoid steroids in the future. It is difficult to tell if food allergies are also involved because if you do a food trial and the dog still itches, you can't tell if it's from the food or the environmental things the dog is allergic to (which in the south can be present most of the year). My dog is raw fed and I do not feed grains.

I have spent thousands at the dermatologist and the dog has been on allergy shots for over a year. This summer was very bad so I don't think the shots are working. I've looked for other solutions and many of the things my regular vet suggested have helped.

I've had some success with antihistamines. Zyrtec works for my dog and I only give it when he's very itchy (about once a week right now). You can try different antihistamines to determine if one will work for your dog. Do some research on this first to determine which are safe for dogs.

I am also giving him Quercetin with Bromelain. This is a flavenoid that is an antioxidant and an H1 blocker. It helps some.

I've also tried to deal with environmental exposure. I have removed the carpet from half of the house and am in the process of getting rid of the rest of it. I am replacing upholstered furniture with leather as my finances permit. I use mite-proof covers on the pillows, mattress, and box spring. I run dehumidifiers to keep the house at 40% humidity. I also wash the dog's bedding at least once a week with Borax and Tide Free. And I use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These things all help with the dust mite allergies.

For the pollen allergies, I rinse the dog off with water after his walks. Once he's dry I wipe down his coat with Thayer's Witch Hazel with Aloe. This is soothing and helps keep him clean. Then I brush him and spray him with Neem spray (5 days a week) or BioGroom Mink Oil (twice a week).
I shampoo him every week or two with Duoxo Calm. I've tried the hexadine and Eqyss shampoos, but they dry his skin out and he seems more itchy.

Allergies are horrible to deal with. Good luck to you and I hope this is helpful info.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:15PM
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doberstinker, I have done trials with all the available antihistmines, the best success (if you could call it that) was with Zyrtec, he takes a tablet morning and night. Temaril-P works, but the dermatologist doesn't want him to stay on it.

Is Duoxo Calm a prescription shampoo or can I purchase it on my own?

I don't have any carpet, my house is all hardwood or tile.

My dog loves to go in and out, especially during the warmer months and loves to stay out in the yard, it makes it very difficult. One of my major problems is that he HATES water. If he smells rain in the air or feels a slight sprinkle he won't go out, he will hold it for 12 hours or more to avoid going out in the rain. If you are outside and go near the hose he will run and stand at least 50 feet away watching you warily to see what you are going to do with the water and he will bolt if he sees you unwinding the hose! I honestly have never seen a dog react this way, needless to say, trying to rinse him every time he comes in and out would be a nightmare, the bathing is bad enough. I do try to use a wet cloth to wipe him off, but that is difficult.

This dog was left tied up outside of a shelter, don't know what previous owners did, maybe left him out in the rain or squirted him with a hose?

Where do you get the Quercetin with Bromelain, would that be from a health food store? He does get fish oil capsules.

Iwill also try the witch hazel, I know I have used it myself in the past for hives, didn't know it came with Aloe.

I hate to see him suffer, but I am running out of money, I can't continue with these dermatologists fees, they are off the chart!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 11:16PM
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I was just on another forum that is for alternative treatments for pets, and while I can't say anything about it myself, I am going to try it and thought I would pass the info along. It's called Yucca Intensive. The product info reads as such:
Yucca Intensive is an outstanding, safe, all-natural supplement that is given for a number of reasons, including for the joints, skin, and digestion. Yucca is a purified extract derived from the Yucca plant, which is thought to promote symptom relief similar to steroid medications with none of the side effects. Yucca is given internally for joint health and digestion but must be diluted before being administered.

I read some of the reviews and it can be used for allergies as well as joint issues. I know I am going to give it a try for my ol girl that's having seasonal allergies and has some hip arthritis. I've read about yucca before but never realized it could help with allergies or how well it could work. Hope this is helpful!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:50AM
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I recently found a great online tool that helped me tremendously with some of the same issues we had with one of our dogs, actually a 'dumped dog' that we currently are trying to get healthy enough that someone might want her! I answered a few questions about this mangy (but sweet) dog and in a couple of hours I got some good answers that at least gave me some direction. Some of the advice had to do with diet (as referenced above). Of course, at the very end of the report, there were products suggested BUT I already use a couple of the products with my other dogs and my cat.

I have called them too and got pretty good advice from the coaches and so far, 'Mangy' is looking and feeling better. I don't like using medications if I don't have to and Atopica is very very expensive. (Been there, done that.)

I'd explore diet and natural solutions before dumpig a bunch of money on medications. The one product I use from them has yukka in it and is really good for joints. It's liquid Dinovite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Health report for dogs

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Does any one know the dose for Zyrtec? I know Benadryl is 1mg for every lb. Is zyrtec simiiar?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 6:41PM
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Just started my 45lb mutt on Quecertin 500mg with Bromlain 250mg for allergies.
Does anyone know the correct dosage?
I have searched and searched...."Do the Math" makes no mention of the potency, simply calculates "tablets"....worthless!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:13PM
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I have an labradoodle and she shakes her head constantly. after a year of ear drops and reoccuring ear infections we found out that she was allergic to anything containing beef products. we have switched her to salmon dog food and NO beef based treats. her ears have cleared up. we have little occurances, but once on track it goes away....hope this helps.....

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 10:47PM
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I have an labradoodle and she shakes her head constantly. after a year of ear drops and reoccuring ear infections we found out that she was allergic to anything containing beef products. we have switched her to salmon dog food and NO beef based treats. her ears have cleared up. we have little occurances, but once on track it goes away....hope this helps.....

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 10:49PM
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