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Seasonal Allergies


kingfisher7151
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Poor Keeper is driving both of us CRAZY with his insane amount of scratching and itching.

 

I had him at the vet, who had me start giving him some antihistamines which help, but don't eliminate the problem. She said she'd prescribe some low dose steroids if the antihistamines didn't help, but after the prednisone hell we've gone through with Trooper I have nightmares about the word "steroid".

 

Is anyone else struggling this time of year? The cheet grass has exploded, and he always seems worse after being in contact with it. But who knows. No diet changes, so I think it's entirely environmental. I have added some more fat to his diet to try to combat some dry skin. Not that I should care, but he's RUINING his coat with all the constant itching and chewing. The poor guy is so frizzy and mangy looking. But more importantly, I hate watching him suffer.

 

I've read about things like vinegar, oatmeal, Epsom salts, and the like. But I'm afraid of irritating his already dry and inflamed skin.

 

Any suggestions?

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Ugh, Kieran is totally going through the same thing. I'm having nightmares about the "skitch skitch skitch" sound we are now hearing all day. It really sucks. Kieran is on low dose Temaril-P year round, but recently he's been worse to the point the Temaril isn't helping.

 

I added some generic Zyrtec to his food once a day, and I've been spraying some anti-itch solution I bought from Target onto his itchy areas. I think it's called Itch+. It has Vitamin E in it to help moisturize his skin. It seems to give him a little bit of relief.

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Different antihistamines work differently for different dogs. I'd ask the vet for a list of ones you can use and the dose and do 2-3 week trials to see which works best.

 

A short course of steroids can absolutely get it under control and quick. If he's scratching that much I'd consider the steroids just to give him a break from the itch.

 

Wiping down his paws and coat (and the other dogs) after being outside can help cut down on the allergens that he's bringing back into the house and help to make him a bit more comfortable. Also washing bedding helps get rid of what he's brought into the house.

 

Good luck in finding something that helps him! Kenzi has allergies and it's so frustrating at times

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I've only ever had one dog with allergies who was really bad. It was many years ago before there were many option as to allergy medications.

 

I had him tested to identify the specific allegens and then did desensitization shots. 1/3 of dogs will respond very well to desensitization, 1/3 will have some relief and 1/3 won't respond very much at all. He was in the middle 1/3 and along with meds it was enough that he wasn't chewing himself bloody from the itching. Eventually, after 7-8 years, I was able to discontinue the shots and just use meds.

 

Honestly, if I ever had a dog another with severe allergies I'd go that route again. (It's what I do for myself, as well.) If you're fortunate enough to have a dog who responds well, it'd be fantastic. Even the middle third get some relief and it makes it more manageable and, with time, may make it much less intense. To my mind, it's worth a try.

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Scratching can lead to skin irritation which can lead to a staph infection so watch for that. Usually shows up on belly and between rear legs first.

Even if you try a really low does of steroids it may help quite a bit.

 

Wiping him off with a damp towel or the grooming wipes that are available can help take the pollen off his coat when he comes in. Oatmeal shampoos can help but are a short term thing

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I'd definitely wiped down paws and coat with a damp towel after he has been outside. Also, different antihistamines work at different times of the year. Benadryl might work great in the spring but not summer/fall. Hydroxizine might work wonderful in the summer, and Zyrtec, Chlorpheniramine, Claratin, or another antihistamine. If things are really horrible for him allergy testing may be the way to go. Sometimes the results are surprising and just some household/environmental changes can make a huge difference even if you don't want to go ahead with the shots.

Also, there is a new drug out, it's called Apoquel. It is for itchy dogs. It's not a steroid, it's not an antihistamine. It's completely new. Zoetis makes it and it can be difficult to get ahold of. We are using it at the practice I work at and I have not seen a dog not respond well to it yet. Typically you can taper the dose down. I would use it during his worst time of year and rotate antihistamines the rest of the year. Some dogs just don't tolerate steroids well. Apoquel is a wonderful alternative to steriods.

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My Italian Greyhound Ender would get this from time to time on his legs, and Vanectyl-P was what helped him. Dexter scratches the fur off his chest every single summer and I have tried every spray, wipe, shampoo, supplement, antihistamine and voodoo I could think of. In the end, the only thing that stops him from itching/scratching is Viaderm applied to the irritated area. It stops him itching for days at a time.

 

Apoquel has its own set of problems associated with use; it's not a steriod, but its side effects aren't all that much less concerning.

 

RDM

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Last week a new vet at our practice prescribed a first generation anti histamine for my dog's conjunctivitis and he quickly became lethargic and anxious, refusing to eat properly and gong from constipate to explosive diarrhoea. I stopped the tablets and gradually he has returned to normal.

 

All I can say is check the side effects before giving your dog any antihistamine.

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I've heard lots of rave reviews about Apoqel. It's a miracle drug for some dogs. I heard of one person getting it from a U.K. Based pharmacy sine he couldn't get it in the U.S. for a while. But a friend's dog also came down with a major skin infection when on it. That dog has EPI so that very possibly played into the reaction.

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I gave Kieran a bath yesterday with HyLyt shampoo, and that really helped with his scratching. He hasn't chewed himself all day. It's the only thing differently I've done in the past couple days, so I'm assuming it has something to do with calming his allergies. Of course, that's not really something I can do every day... :mellow:

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